Happy Slurpee Day (It’s 7-11, get it?)
Do not worry, the worldwide convenience store chain did not pay me for that endorsement. I am not endorsing the chain. In fact, the closest one is quite a ways away. But it has a nice ring to it.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business.
While COVID-19 numbers have been rising in Harvey County in the last couple of weeks, the summer sports activities are still going.
I did get a report of one youth team shutting down because of it, but the details were sketchy and I was unable to get further information.
The Legion Baseball Knights teams have been going, as well as the summer college Rebels. Both programs have had a couple nights with strong crowds; overall, they seem down from recent years.
The local diamonds have been pretty busy with the younger baseball teams.
The seasons end for many of these teams in the next three or four weeks. There is no formal postseason for the Legion teams this year. That decision was made at the national level.
The Junior Knights are hosting a small event this weekend to end the season.
Word came down last week that, while the majors will go on, minor league baseball will not.
That will delay the start of the Wichita Wind Surge to next year.
We’re still awaiting details of the 2020 National Baseball Congress World Series, including dates and format. At this time, the tournament is still on, but all the details still need to be ironed out.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s pretty much an area affair with not many teams from outside the region playing. It’s not a great time to be traveling across state lines
Sand Creek Station has had several big events, but there haven’t been as many spectators.
All of the lower crowd numbers are probably to be expected.
There was a scare just before the opening of the MAYB Summer Kick-off Tournament. Several COVID-19 cases were reported from an MAYB tournament the week before in Hays.
Most of that tournament, outside of the eighth-grade boys’ division, has been played in the Wichita area for several years now. I didn’t get a chance to attend, since it was on the same weekend as The Railer at Sand Creek Station, so I don’t know what the attendance was like.
The Kansas City Royals reported the team will begin the season July 24 in Cleveland for a three-game series, followed by four games in Detroit. The home opener is July 31 against the White Sox. The regular season will end for KC on Sept. 27. The Royals will play their last seven games at home, including three against the Cardinals and the last four against the Tigers.
Initially, according to MLB releases, the stadiums will be empty. That may be lifted if conditions allow.
Some new rule changes for the mini-season have been put in place. If a game goes into extra innings, the last out in the previous inning (or a pinch runner) will be put on second base (much like the tie-breaker rule in fast-pitch softball). If that run scores, it is not an earned run against the pitcher.
A reliever must face three batters, or finish the inning, before being allowed to be replaced.
If a game is suspended with fewer than five innings played, if it is made up, it will be continued from the point of suspension.
The MLS restarts this weekend with a tournament. All games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Sporting KC plays Sunday against Minnesota United FC. Sporting was 2-0 before play was suspended.
FC Dallas just withdrew from the tournament after players and staff members tested positive for the virus.
The NBA will join the MLS in Orlando in late August to finish the regular season. Just 22 teams will finish the season (those out of playoff contention were eliminated).
The nearest team to here, Oklahoma City, opens play Aug. 1 against the Utah Jazz.
Mark Schnabel is the sports editor of the Kansan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.