From the Be The Ball, Danny Department:
- Baseball is back back back: South Korea’s professional baseball league, the Korean Baseball Organization, opened its regular season at roughly 1:30 am Eastern time on Tuesday with a full slate of games that featured big moments for former Detroit Tigers Dixon Machado and Warwick Saupold. Machado’s go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning helped the Lotte Giants beat the KT Wiz Suwon. Saupold, meanwhile, took a no-hitter through 6 2/3 and ultimately finished a complete-game, two-hit shutout as his Hanwha Eagles beat the SK Wyverns. ESPN finally secured U.S. telecast rights for KBO games after it upped its initial bid of $0.00. Meanwhile, the CPBL, already a few weeks into its regular season, is set to allow limited numbers of fans to return to games starting today. (Early images here.) American audiences may not see many of those games, though, following a report that the network that had been streaming CPBL games for English-language viewers is shifting to a pay-per-view model. The good news is that at least one team, the Fubon Guardians, nevertheless will host free, English-language streams of its home games for North Americans on its Twitter page. As the saying goes, “Fubon Guardians, last in the league (6-10 through Thursday), first in your streaming hearts.”
- No bull no more: Quietly making news as the first U.S. professional sports league to resume competition, Professional Bull Riding recently held an event in Oklahoma and plans to continue its season, sans fans for now. Not sure who won but assuming it was one of the bulls.
- Bundestag Buoys Bundesliga: The top professional soccer league in Germany has government approval to return to spectatorless action this month. Over in the New World, MLS has reopened some training facilities for voluntary player workouts. And, somehow buried beneath the dearth of live sports coverage over the past weeks is the news that the top professional soccer league in Belarus, Vysheyshaya Liga, is playing games in front of fans. Your editor thinks he missed this story because the current season, which started in March, never stopped, which, it turns out, is a think that can happen when you’re in Belarus and your president doesn’t believe in COVID-19. The good news is that none of the players have tested positive for the disease. On the other hand, the total number of tested players is three.
- Unsick laxin: The Premiere Lacrosse League announced it will stage an abbreviated season it’s describing as a “championship series” comprising twenty games in sixteen days beginning July 25. NBC Sports Network has the telecast rights.