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The places blessed with ballpark views during MLB's no-fans era

A view of Nationals Park from a shared roof deck. Courtesy: Nick DiChiara

No fans will be in attendance when baseball returns this month, as games are set to be played in empty ballparks across the country.

Yes, but: A handful of apartments, hotels and rooftops offer views of MLB ballparks, meaning a small contingent of lucky residents, hotel guests and traveling fans will still presumably get to enjoy live baseball in 2020.

Jul 1, 2020 - Sports

Movies are out, sports are in

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

July is typically a quiet month for American sports. The kind of quiet that leads to routine double-plays making SportsCenter's "Top 10," and saw July get just 0.5% of votes in our pre-coronavirus "best sports month" poll (poor August got 0%).

The state of play: For Hollywood, it's quite the opposite. Studies suggest we're more likely to go to movies when the weather is warm and kids are out of school, so July is one of the biggest box-office months and a prime blockbuster release window.

Jun 30, 2020 - Sports

How the NBA's "smart rings" work to assess coronavirus risk

Courtesy: Oura Ring

When play resumes a month from now at Walt Disney World, NBA players will have the option of wearing an Oura Ring.

Why it matters: The rings track heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature and sleep patterns. The hope is that they can be an additional line of defense against the spread of COVID-19.

Jun 26, 2020 - Podcasts

Red Sox CEO on bringing back baseball

Baseball players and owners struck a deal earlier this week to begin a shortened season, but there's still no guarantee that games will be played.

Axios Re:Cap, our new afternoon podcast, digs in with Boston Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy. We also talk to the CEO of grocery giant Albertsons, which went public on Friday, and we share one surprising thing about the big Amazon announcement. All in 10 minutes.

Jun 26, 2020 - Sports

16 NBA players test positive for coronavirus

16 of the NBA's 302 players — or 5.3% — tested positive for the coronavirus after league-wide testing, the Players Association announced Friday.

Why it matters: It's the first in a series of regular tests for the players, with the league set to restart on July 30 in Orlando, Florida. Players who participate in voluntary workouts at their team's facilities will also be tested every other day beginning next week, per ESPN.

Jun 23, 2020 - Sports

MLB owners vote to kick off 60-game season next month

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It sure looks like baseball will finally be played in 2020.

The state of play: MLB owners voted unanimously Monday to impose a 60-game season that will begin around July 24, assuming players sign off on health-and-safety protocols and agree to arrive in home markets by July 1 to begin "spring" training.

Jun 22, 2020 - Sports

The longest professional sports drought since 1918

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Today marks 103 days since the last MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL game — the longest such drought since the fall of 1918, when the World Series was held in September amid WWI and the Spanish flu.

The big picture: Of course, there was no NFL or NBA back then, and the NHL had only been around for a year, so there wasn't nearly as much to miss. Television hadn't been invented, either, so unless your ancestors lived down the street from Ebbets Field, they probably didn't miss the Dodgers games.

Jun 19, 2020 - Health

Phillies close Florida spring training facility after 5 players test positive for coronavirus

Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Friday that the team would indefinitely close its Clearwater, Florida, spring training facility after five players and three staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The news, first reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia, illustrates just how challenging it will be to bring sports leagues back as some states — including Florida, the planned home for the NBA, MLS and WNBA — have seen a surge in new cases.

Jun 19, 2020 - Sports

NFL's top doctor: There won't be "football as usual" in 2020

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, told Axios that he's "very optimistic" about the league's season moving forward this fall — but cautioned that it won't be "football as usual."

Why it matters: "There are going to be a lot of changes in the way that we do things, from how we practice, to how we lay out our facilities, to how we travel, to how we organize sidelines and the on-field experience," he said.

Jun 18, 2020 - Sports

Colin Kaepernick joins board of blogging company Medium

Photo: Prince Williams/Wireimage

Former NFL player-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick will join the board of the blogging platform Medium and partner with the company to create content focused on race and civil rights, CEO Ev Williams announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Kaepernick sparked years of controversy when he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest racism and oppression in 2016. NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell recently said the league should have better listened to players who protested.