United States president Donald Trump is unsure when sport can resume in the country, but hopes it is "sooner rather than later".

With the coronavirus pandemic having brought sport to a standstill around the world, Trump spoke with leaders of the USA's leagues and organisations via a call on Saturday.

The NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR seasons were among those suspended, while the start of the MLB campaign was pushed back and there are concerns over the NFL.

Trump hopes to see sport resume shortly, telling a media conference: "I want fans back in the arenas.

"Whenever we're ready, as soon as we can obviously and the fans want to be back too, they want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey, they want to see their sports.

"They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air."

Asked about a possible resumption, Trump said: "I can't tell you a date.

"But I think it's going to be sooner rather than later. We're not going to have to have separation for the rest of our times on the planet.

"We need it for this period of time, but eventually people are going to be able to occupy those seats in arenas next to each other, like we have for all of my life and all of your life."

More than 64,000 people have died from coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll in the USA exceeding 8,400.

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander will be donating the paycheques he receives from the MLB during the coronavirus pandemic to charity.

According to reports, Verlander will receive $33,411 per week until the season starts following an agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The 2020 campaign was scheduled to start on March 26 but has been suspended due to the spread of COVID-19 and is now not expected to get under way until at least May.

Verlander announced on social media that he and his wife Kate Upton will be donating the money they receive each week to a different charitable cause.

In a statement posted on Instagram, the two-time American League Cy Young Award winner said: "Recently the @mlb announced they will be continuing to send paycheques to players while the season is suspended.

"@kateupton and I have decided to donate those funds to a different organisation each week so that we can support their efforts and highlight the great work they're doing during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Everyone around the world is affected by this virus, and we hope to contribute to the families and jobs affected, the healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines and the many others in need of basic necessities, medical supplies and support at home.

"As soon as the first paycheque is received we will be highlighting the first organisation.

"We know everyone is impacted by this crisis, but for those who are able, we encourage you to stay home to help flatten the curve and look to those around you who need a helping hand."

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas is on track to be ready for the team's delayed season opener as he continues his recovery from a forearm injury he sustained during spring training, general manager John Mozeliak has said.

Mozeliak, speaking at a teleconference with reporters on Thursday, said Mikolas has progressed to playing catch up to 120 feet and is close to being cleared for throwing a light bullpen session. 

The 2018 All-Star was briefly shut down during spring training after being diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain in his right forearm in February.

Mikolas had been slated to miss the start of the 2020 season prior to Major League Baseball's shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 31-year-old made 32 starts in each of his first two seasons with St. Louis after returning to the majors following a successful three-year stint in Japan, though he slipped to a 9-14 record and a 4.16 ERA in 2019 after going 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA the previous season.

Mozeliak also gave a positive report on reliever Andrew Miller, who made just one Grapefruit League appearance before games were suspended as he dealt with a lack of feel for his pitches. The veteran left-hander has been working out at his home in Tampa and barring any setbacks, figures to be ready if and when the season resumes.

Fellow reliever Brett Cecil, who strained his right hamstring during a Grapefruit League game on March 11, is expected to return to rehabilitation activities next week after taking some time off for personal reasons, according to Mozeliak.

Mozeliak added that the Cardinals' spring facility in Jupiter, Florida remains "basically closed" as the team complies with social distancing guidelines intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"We do have a couple of players that are in the Jupiter area that are coming in for their medical rehab treatment," he said. "It's not business as usual. It's very quiet."

Former All-Star outfielder Jim Edmonds says he has tested positive for coronavirus and is symptom-free.

Edmonds posted an Instagram story this past Saturday saying he had been diagnosed with pneumonia and was awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

He posted another message on Thursday, saying he is no longer showing signs of the virus.

"I am completely symptom-free now and doing really well, and so I must have had it for a while," he said in the video.

"I appreciate everyone who has said well-wishes and wished me the best."

Edmonds was a four-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner in an MLB career that spanned 1993-2010.

He hit .284 with 393 home runs and 1,199 RBIs in 2011 games.

Edmonds won the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006.

The Los Angeles Angels have cleared starting pitcher Griffin Canning to resume throwing as he continues his rehabilitation after an elbow injury.

The right-hander was diagnosed with "chronic changes" to the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm in late February and has not pitched since.

He will begin by throwing from flat ground but Angels general manager Billy Eppler said on Wednesday he expects Canning to work from a mound by the end of April.

The hope is that the 23-year-old can avoid having surgery after an injury-marred debut campaign in 2019. Canning had two separate stints on the 10-day injured list last season with right elbow inflammation, with the latter period extending to a season-ending trip on the 60-day injured list.

One factor in Canning's course of rehabilitation may be that renowned surgeon James Andrews has indefinitely suspended all Tommy John surgeries while the United States' attention and medical supplies are being directed toward fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canning, a California native and UCLA product, made his major league debut on April 30 last season and was 5-6 in 17 starts, registering a 4.58 ERA over 90 1/3 innings of work.

Former Chicago White Sox pitcher and long-time broadcaster Ed Farmer died at the age of 70 on Wednesday after battling kidney disease.

Farmer was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois and attended Chicago State University before beginning his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians in 1971.

He joined the White Sox in June 1979 after being acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers and went on to post 54 of his 75 career saves with his hometown team before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent following the 1981 season.

Farmer's only All-Star season came in 1980 with Chicago, when he had a career-best 30 saves. His last MLB campaign was in 1983.

Farmer became a radio broadcaster with the White Sox in 1992 and served as the play-by-play commentator for the past 14 seasons.

"Ed Farmer was the radio voice of the Chicago White Sox for three decades, and he called no-hitters, perfect games and of course, a World Series championship," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

"His experience as a major league All-Star pitcher, his wry sense of clubhouse humour, his love of baseball and his passion for the White Sox combined to make White Sox radio broadcasts the sound of summer for millions of fans.

"Ed grew up a Sox fan on the south side of Chicago and his allegiance showed every single night on the radio as he welcomed his 'friends' to the broadcast. I am truly devastated by the loss of my friend."

Today marks 25 years since Major League Baseball stars called off their strike, which had resulted in the previous year's World Series being scrapped.

It is also 38 years to the day since the New York Mets were left stunned by the death of one of the biggest names in baseball.

History was made on this day in England at Aintree in 1977, while India's cricketers and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney were both celebrating nine years ago.

Let's take a look back at April 2 in sporting history.

1972 - Baseball in shock as Mets manager Hodges dies

Gil Hodges had been a superstar with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and rounded off his playing career with the just-founded New York Mets. An eight-time All-Star, as a coach he added to the two World Series with the Dodgers, Hodges famously reviving the Mets and leading them to a shock 1969 title triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. But Hodges died on April 2, 1972, at the age of just 47, when he suffered a heart attack following a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his second heart attack: a first came in Atlanta in September 1968, early in his career as manager of the Mets.

1977 - Red Rum wins third Grand National

Tommy Stack rode Red Rum to Aintree glory, as the Ireland-bred steeplechaser followed up 1973 and 1974 triumphs at the Liverpool course with an unprecedented third Grand National victory. The feat has never been matched, with Red Rum triumphing against the odds after second-placed finishes in 1975 and 1976. At the age of 12, Red Rum's third success went down as one of racing's most famous wins.

1995 - Baseball stars go back to work

From August 12 1994 until April 2 1995, there was no top-tier baseball in the United States, with MLB stars going on strike in a labour dispute that stemmed from salary-cap proposals that got players riled. The 1994-95 season was abandoned in September, and the strike lasted for 232 days until judge Sonia Sotomayor's injunction against team owners persuaded the players to go back to work.

2011 - India triumph, Rooney treble

India landed Cricket World Cup glory in front of their home fans in Mumbai when the hosts landed a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. Mahela Jayawardene made a century in Sri Lanka's 274-6 before India reached their target with 10 balls to spare, helped by 97 from Gautam Gambhir and 91 not out from MS Dhoni.

In London, on the same day, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to defeat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park in the Premier League, an important result as Alex Ferguson's team went on to win the title weeks later.

With the 2020 MLB season in flux amid the coronavirus pandemic, veteran Choo Shin-soo is putting some cash in the pockets of the minor leaguers in the Texas Rangers system, giving $1,000 each to 191 of them.

Choo's gift comes a day after MLB announced it would be giving minor leaguers $400 a week through at least May 31 with the season on hold.

A 15-year major-league veteran who spent parts of seven seasons in the minors, Choo said on Wednesday he knows money can be tight for minor leaguers, especially without a regular pay cheque with no games.

"I will never forget the minor leagues," he said in a conference call.

"I will never forget having to make that decision. Every day, I had to make a schedule of meals. I had to plan things out. I don't want players to have to do the same thing. I don't want them to have to worry about these kinds of things.

"People are really having a tough time. I can help. I can help people because of baseball and I want to give back."

Choo is entering the final year of a seven-year, $130million deal, and is set to be Texas' highest-paid player this season at $21m.

His professional career started in 2001 when he was 18 years old and left South Korea to join the Seattle Mariners.

"Think about 20 years ago, first time I came from Korea, I've got nothing," he said.

"Now a lot of things I have is because of baseball ... So I want to pay back to other people, especially this hard situation in the whole world. I can still help other people, that’s a good thing."

Choo also made a $200,000 donation to the city of Daegu, South Korea, which has been hit hard by coronavirus and is about an hour from where his parents still live.

Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the London Series scheduled for June 13-14 between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals has been cancelled
due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB played its first regular season games in Europe last season when the New York Yankees swept the Boston Red Sox in a two-game series from June 29-30 at London Stadium, the home of Premier League club West Ham United.

"We made the decision because it was unlikely the events would go forward, and timely cancellation allowed us to preserve important financial resources," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a memorandum sent to MLB employees.

The league had already cancelled two other series scheduled to be played outside of the United States.

The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres were set to play the first MLB regular season games in Mexico City from April 18-19, while the New York Mets and Miami
Marlins had a three-game series in Puerto Rico scheduled for April 28-30.

MLB opening day was due to be on March 26, but the league has said the earliest play could begin was mid-May.

Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis said he is "ready to roll right now", with the MLB postponed due to coronavirus.

The MLB season was scheduled to get underway on March 26, but it has been pushed back amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than 42,100 lives.

Davis has struggled for form since winning his second home run title in 2015 but the former All-Star and Silver Slugger is raring to go.

"I honestly feel like I'm still ready to roll right now," Davis said in a conference call on Tuesday.

"Baseball is obviously a huge part of my life, a huge part of a lot of people's lives, but right now the most important thing is to deal with this virus and put it past us," Davis said.

"I'm looking forward to getting things rolling, but right now we're just in that idle waiting period."

Last season, Davis appeared in 105 games, tallying 12 home runs, 26 runs and 55 hits for the Orioles.

He was batting .467 in spring training, with three home runs in nine games.

"It was nice to see some results and to have a little bit of peace of mind that what I was doing this offseason really worked," the 34-year-old said. "For me, that was a positive – confirmation to know that I could come back home and continue what I was doing and not make any adjustments.

"I feel like I'm still swinging the bat just as well as I was when the games ended, and I look forward whenever we can start back up."

The longest strike in baseball history came to an end on this day in 1995.

A walkout that lasted for 232 days concluded on March 31, 25 years ago.

That is not the only significant sporting moment to unfold on this date.

Let's take a look back on this day in history...

 

1995 – MLB strike ends

The strike started in August of the previous year following wrangling over pay, with the rest of the season cancelled as a result.

That meant, for the first time since 1904, the World Series was not played.

It was on this day in 1995 that MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced an agreement had been reached to end the dispute.

1997 – Captain Lara leads Windies to victory

The legendary Brian Lara fist captained West Indies in a 1997 Test match against India.

It was a thriller, with the hosts securing victory in Bridgetown after India failed to chase down 120.

Lara top-scored for his team in the second innings, contributing 45 runs, while he also claimed a catch off the dangerous Sachin Tendulkar as the tourists were skittled for 81.

2001 – Schumacher brothers' Canadian GP one-two

The 2001 Canadian Grand Prix proved to be a special occasion in the Schumacher household.

Brothers Ralf and Michael enjoyed a respective one-two finish, sharing the podium with Mika Hakkinen.

Ferrari star Michael went on to win the title with 123 points, 58 clear of nearest rival David Coulthard.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale underwent Tommy John surgery, the MLB franchise announced on Monday.

The Red Sox deemed the elbow procedure – performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles – a success.

Sale will miss the entire 2020 season, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a best-case scenario would have the World Series winner back in June 2021.

A seven-time All-Star, Sale has struggled with injuries in recent seasons – the 31-year-old hurt his left elbow late last season.

In 25 appearances in 2019, Sale tallied 218 strikeouts and six wins.

Sale has 2,007 strikeouts in 312 career games since making his debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2010.

 

Former All-Star outfielder Jim Edmonds says he's been diagnosed with pneumonia and is awaiting results after being tested for coronavirus.

The 49-year-old Edmonds posted an Instagram story on Saturday night in which he said he was home from the hospital and would give an update when he heard results of the test.

Earlier in the day, Edmonds posted an update with a picture of himself in hospital and wrote: "Held off as long as I could. I thought I was tough enough to get through. This virus is no joke #gethealthy."

Edmonds also said he was "not taking any chances because it is so hard to get tested by the rules of the CDC.''

Edmonds was a four-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner in a Major League Baseball career that spanned from 1993-2010. He hit .284 with 393 home runs and 1,199 RBIs in 2011 games. Edmonds won the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006.

Major League Baseball owners have approved an agreement with the Players Association that will allow players to accrue service time if the 2020 season is shortened or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With players having agreed to the 17-page agreement on Thursday, the deal was approved by owners on Friday.

The terms of the deal include teams advancing $170 million for player payments during the hiatus that will not have to be reimbursed, though players will have to forfeit their salaries in the event a season cannot be played.

Players, such as big names Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, George Springer and J.T. Realmuto, who are set to become free agents after the 2020 season will also be allowed to test the market later in the year.

MLB will also have the right to cut the 2020 amateur draft from 40 rounds to five and the 2021 draft to 20 rounds, and signing bonuses will remain at 2019 levels for players selected in 2020.

Both sides also agreed to potentially increase the amount of double-headers and conduct games without fans once the season is cleared to begin, as well as the possibility of playing postseason games at neutral sites in November to reduce weather concerns.

Opening day was scheduled to begin Thursday, but MLB has pushed back the start of the season until mid-May at the earliest as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

MLB players are reportedly set to agree on a deal with teams that would allow them to keep their service time if the 2020 season is called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This would mean players set to be free agents after the 2020 season would still be able to test the free-agent market even if there is no season.

Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, George Springer and JT Realmuto are some of the biggest names eligible to be free agents.

Also as part of this agreement, management has the right to cut the 2020 amateur draft from 40 rounds to five and the 2021 draft to 20.

Players have agreed to this 17-page deal, and teams are set to approve it on Friday, according to ESPN.

Players and teams are open to an increase in doubleheaders and playing games without fans in the early portion of the season in an effort to squeeze in as many games as possible. Both sides also agreed to possibly playing postseason games into November in potential neutral sites.

Opening day was scheduled to be Thursday but will not start until mid-May at the earliest as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

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