Rays updating players, staff on Fla.’s virus surge

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays are keeping players and staff updated about the surge of COVID-19 cases in Florida.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Monday night’s game with Seattle that the team’s training staff is “pretty adamant about getting messages out and keeping people aware” of the evolving situation.

“Look, we’re all concerned,” Cash said. “I think the players are very aware. We all kind of had our fingers crossed that we were going to get past this to an extent but it doesn’t feel that way right now. So we’ll try to do our due diligence in keeping our group as safe as possible.”

Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data.

The numbers were released Saturday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s.

The increase has impacted baseball in the Sunshine State.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Class-A and rookie-level Florida Complex League teams located in Clearwater had games canceled or postponed over the weekend. Other minor leagues teams around the state have placed players on the COVID-19 list but were able to continue playing.

Rays reliever Nick Anderson was scheduled to join Triple-A Durham last Thursday to make a rehab appearance for a sprained right elbow, but didn’t because of COVID-19-related issues.

Most employees working inside Tropicana Field for Monday night’s game with the Mariners were back to wearing masks.

Originally found on Read More

Equinox, SoulCycle will Require Proof of Vaccination

Forbes reports:

Equinox said everyone entering any of the group’s gyms, studios or corporate offices must provide one-time proof of inoculation starting next month in New York City, where the vast majority of Equinox facilities are located, with plans to expand the policy to all markets in the works. Accepted forms of proof include vaccination cards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, photos of the CDC card or digital passports like the Excelsior Pass used in New York, Equinox said.

“We have a responsibility to take bold action and respond to changing circumstances with urgency,” Equinox Group Executive Chairman Harvey Spevak said in a statement. “We encourage other leading brands to join us in this effort to best protect our communities.”

Equinox’s announcement came as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urged private businesses, including bars and restaurants, to “go to vaccine-only admission,” saying the suggested policy is in their “best business interest.”

“Everybody has to get vaccinated,” Cuomo said during a press conference.

“Private businesses, I am asking them and suggesting to them go to vaccine-only admission. Go to vaccine-only admission. We did this,” the governor continued. “Radio City Music Hall months ago reopened vaccine-only, sold out all the shows. Sports arenas, they went up to about 90 percent vaccine-only.”

“Private businesses, bars, restaurants — go to a vaccine-only admission. I believe it’s in your best business interest,” he added.

In June, New York celebrated over 2 million users of the Excelsior Passes, a vaccine passport, which provides perks to holders such as exclusive access to the Empire State Building. The state issued the Excelsior Pass, which was developed in partnership with IBM, allows individuals to present proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

Originally found on Breitbart Read More

Americans Do Not Support Dem Political Gamesmanship on Infrastructure

Club for Growth released new polling Monday showing 64 percent of voters, including 49 percent of Democrats, agree with “Ending continuous deficit spending, and requiring that the federal budget be balanced,” while only 18 percent oppose.

The so-called “infrastructure” deal, which was exclusively released by Breitbart News Sunday evening, already costs $1.2 trillion and “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she will [not] bring the bipartisan bill for a vote unless it also comes with the $3.5 trillion reconciliation infrastructure bill.”

The polling also suggests that 60 percent of voters, including 55 percent of Democrats, support:

…reducing traffic by making it easier to repair our roads, bridges, and airports by speeding up environmental impact reviews that are often used to delay projects for years and eliminating requirements that force the federal government to often pay higher labor costs than private companies or state and local governments.

Only 13 percent of those polled oppose this statement.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said of the polling:

All Americans, including Democrats, prefer to end out-of-control spending and onerous regulations, and the infrastructure bill does the exact opposite, which is why we urge all Senators to oppose it. … This bill is a gateway drug to the reconciliation package and trillions in new spending that we don’t need and can’t afford.

In a July 21 letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), McIntosh also contended that “Republican Senators’ support for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework would be an explicit accommodation of $4.7 trillion in total spending and expedited passage of the radical, socialist, and partisan reconciliation bill.”

The so-called “infrastructure” deal contains many onerous regulations, including items from the socialist wing Green New Deal wish list and job-killing cryptocurrency taxes. According to a press release from Club for Growth:

This $1.2 trillion infrastructure package only provides $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects that the American people generally consider ‘infrastructure.’ Then it also provides over $1 trillion in excessive spending on Green New Deal provisions…

The following 17 senators voted to end debate and advance the so-called “infrastructure” bill:

Rob Portman (OH)
Jim Risch (ID)
Roy Blunt (MO)
Richard Burr (NC)
Kevin Cramer (ND)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Susan Collins (ME)
Mitch McConnell (KY)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Thom Tillis (NC)
Todd Young (ID)
Chuck Grassley (IA)
John Hoeven (ND)
Shelley Moore Capito (WV)
Bill Cassidy (LA)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Mitt Romney (UT)

WPA Intelligence conducted the poll of 1,000 registered voters for Club for Growth from July 20-28, 2021.

Originally found on Breitbart Read More

Partnerships Among Collegiate Athletes and Emerging Brands Are Getting Hotter Than a Texas Summer

August 2, 2021 (Newswire.com) –

As the Texas summer heats up so do brand relationships among future collegiate athletes. The recent changes regarding the ability of amateur athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness has thrown an unexpected fork in the road for many high school students including Quinn Ewers of Southlake, Texas. Ewers first became aware of Holy Kombucha through his mother, who has been a long-time Holy Kombucha enthusiast and is now a fan of their newest offering, Holy Tepache.

Holy Kombucha(TM) and Quinn Ewers are exploring a relationship to promote healthy, functional beverages and support youth mental health through their partnership with Hope Squad. Hope Squad’s goals are to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of youth suicide and to train its members to look for warning signs that their peers are experiencing a mental health crisis. Their members use empathy, listening, and compassion to help reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for a mental health illness.

Holy Kombucha is committed to partnering with talented individuals from all walks of life to represent its products and values. These individuals include emerging artists, local leaders, and athletes that love our Holy Kombucha and Tepache and have strong ties to their communities.

About Holy Kombucha: Holy Kombucha provides healthy beverages to stores nationwide including Whole Foods, Albertsons, Costco, Central Market, Natural Grocers, The Fresh Market and many more. Holy provides three distinct beverage product lines including Holy Kombucha(TM), Holy Tepache(TM), and Ritual Yaupon Tea(TM).

If you would like more information about this topic, please reach out to Holy Kombucha, Inc. via email at hello@holykombucha.com or by phone at 469.828.1572.

Source: Holy Kombucha

Originally found on Read More

FACT FOCUS: False reports of serial killer in Atlanta area

ATLANTA (AP) — After two women were found dead in Atlanta-area parks last week, false reports spread on social media suggesting a serial killer was on the loose. Law enforcement say the killings are not related and there’s no reason to believe they are the work of one person.

Here’s a closer look at the facts.

CLAIM: A serial killer is loose in Atlanta and police officials are not sharing the details of an ongoing serial killer investigation.

THE FACTS: False. Atlanta-area police officials are not treating the two cases as being connected, and they say there’s no evidence of a serial killer targeting individuals in that region. Still, false reports making the claim circulated widely across social media with warnings to be careful.

The first killing was discovered about 1 a.m., on July 28, in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. In that case, 40-year-old Katherine Janness, was found stabbed multiple times. In the second case, Tori Lang, 18, was found shot to death in Yellow River Park, near Stone Mountain, around dawn. The parks are about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from each other.


“There is nothing to connect the two cases and no reason to believe a serial killer is operating in the area,” said Gwinnett County police Sgt. J.R. Richter. Authorities there are investigating the case in Yellow River Park.

Police in Gwinnett County and in Atlanta are not working together on the two cases, Richter added.

Officer Steve Avery, of the Atlanta Police Department, said in an email that the killing of the woman in Gwinnett County is “not related to the incident in Piedmont Park.”

“Regarding the incident in Yellow River Park, we have leads we are pursuing but I can’t release those details as yet,” said Richter, the Gwinnett officer. Atlanta police have not discussed any possible leads they might have.

Some of the posts mention a supposed third killing in the nearby city of Norcross, Georgia, but police there are investigating no such reports. “Nothing factual about the posts we’ve seen,” Norcross Police Chief Bill Grogan said Monday.

Nevertheless, law enforcement officials are stressing the importance of practicing personal safety at all times. That means being aware of your surroundings, staying in well-lit areas, letting friends and family know where you are, not being distracted by your phone and trusting your instincts, Richter said.

The FBI is helping Atlanta police to investigate the Piedmont Park killing, but the FBI isn’t providing details of its involvement in that case, agency spokesperson Kevin Rowson said.


Fraser reported from New York.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more: http://apne.ws/FactCheckingAtAP

Originally found on AP Fact Check Read More

Mariners OF Jake Fraley returns but Shed Long Jr. placed on IL

Jake Fraley has seven home runs in 40 games for the Mariners this season. (Getty)

The Mariners are getting a key member of their lineup back, but they unfortunately weren’t able to make the move without losing another contributor to the injured list.

Groz: M’s tough weekend stings, but venom directed at Dipoto surprising

Outfielder Jake Fraley has been activated from the COVID-19 IL in time for Monday’s series opener on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays, but second baseman/left fielder Shed Long Jr. is headed to the 10-day IL in a corresponding move.

Long’s injury designation is right shin stress reaction, which is certainly worrisome as his 2020 season ended early and 2021 season began late as a result of a right shin stress fracture that required surgery during the offseason.

Fraley has been out since the Mariners returned from the All-Star break on July 16. He first was a late scratch for Seattle’s second half opener against the Angels in Anaheim, and a few days later was placed on the IL as manager Scott Servais informed the media Fraley had tested positive for the virus. Fraley spent over a week in quarantine at the team’s hotel in Anaheim and recently finished a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma.

The 26-year-old Fraley has been enjoying a breakout season when healthy this year. In 40 games, he has a .237/.409/.439 slash line for an .848 OPS. He also has seven home runs, two doubles, 23 RBIs, and seven stolen bases in eight attempts. His season has been highlighted by an impressive amount of walks (33 in 149 plate appearances) and multiple outstanding plays in the outfield.

Fraley was Seattle’s starter in left field on opening day but was out of action from May 7 through May 30 due to a hamstring strain.

Long, 25, has a .198/.258/.360 slash line (.619 OPS) with four homers, four doubles, a triple and a stolen base in 34 games. The biggest play of his season was a walk-off grand slam on June 20 against the Rays off his now-Mariners teammate Diego Castillo.

The Mariners made two more moves on Monday, claiming outfielder Marcus Wilson off waivers from Boston and designating fellow outfielder Dillon Thomas for assignment. The 24-year-old Wilson, a 2014 second-round pick by Arizona, has been assigned to Triple-A Tacoma. He had a .242/.370/.452 slash (.822 OPS) with 10 home runs in 64 games with Triple-A Worcester this season. Thomas, 28, made his MLB debut this season with Seattle and has appeared in four games for the Mariners, going 1 for 9. He has spent the majority of the season with the Rainers and has a .273/.379/.458 slash (.838 OPS) with nine homers.

The Mariners open their three-game series with the defending American League champion Rays at 4:10 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle, with the pregame show starting coverage at 3 p.m. Seattle also has a four-game set in New York against the Yankees this week before it returns to T-Mobile Park next Tuesday, Aug. 10 for a six-game homestand.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Drayer: Finding players like Toro is what M’s do, but will model change?

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‘WJ Live’: Graphic Content Warning: Crowd Horrified by School’s Pornographic Books


Grant Atkinson
August 2, 2021 at 1:56pm


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Originally found on Western Journal Feedzy

Democrat Infrastructure Bill Twice the Length of the Gutenberg Bible

The bill is 2,702 pages long while the Gutenberg Bible has 642 two-sided leaves or 1,286 pages. That makes the Democrats bill twice as long as the Bible, plus 1,416 pages.

According to the International Christian College and Seminary, it takes approximately 70 hours and 40 minutes to read the Bible.

So, reading H.R. 3684 from start to finish could take more than 140 hours, or six days, if read continuously.

According to experts, reading federal legislation is more difficult than other books.

“These bills are not written for even the educated layperson. They are written for specialists,” Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University, said in 2009 when lawmakers were considering healthcare legislation.

That included the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its companion Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), which together added up to 10,516 pages that were recorded in the Federal Register.

The promise Congress made back in the Obamacare era to allow 48 hours for a bill to be read before it was voted on is long forgotten, but with a bill as long as this infrastructure bill, it would take more than a couple days to read this massive document in its entirety.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to pstarr@breitbart.com.

Originally found on Breitbart Read More

Cubs and Rays Reportedly Discussed a Tyler Glasnow Deal Before the Deadline

Among the fun tidbits you get after the Trade Deadline are the stories of the talks that happened without folks knowing, the players who were surprisingly on the block, and the trades that didn’t happen.

Ken Rosenthal offered up a whopper on that front, with some specifics on what the Cubs and Rays talked about just before the deadline:

Rays discussed creative possibilities in talks with Cubs for Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel. Story: https://t.co/8ack3EBek5

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 2, 2021

A Kris Bryant for Kevin Kiermaier swap would’ve made a lot of sense as a way for the Cubs to “buy” prospects from the Rays (Kiermaier’s contract is one the Rays would like to get off the books), but given the names Rosenthal says were off the table, I don’t blame the Cubs for not going that route. Why “buy” prospects in a deal for Bryant if you’re not even going to approach a top 100 prospect? Bryant for a bad contract and lesser prospects?

The other rumored discussion is certainly more interesting (and again, didn’t happen because the Rays weren’t willing to part with sufficient prospects), but again, I am not at all bummed that the Cubs didn’t trade Bryant and Craig Kimbrel for Tyler Glasnow as the primary return. Note that the conversations took place before it was even reportedly publicly that Glasnow would likely undergo Tommy John surgery – the Rays apprised the Cubs that it was a possibility. But still. I don’t care for that.

Set that suspiciousness aside, and a deal for Glasnow still wouldn’t have made any sense. He’s going to miss most or all of his age 28 season next year, and then he comes back in 2023 for his final year of team control. Glasnow was becoming a STUD when healthy, but now you really don’t know what you’re going to get for the one year you get him. Guys pretty much always come back from Tommy John surgery nowadays, but they don’t always come all the way back to who they were pre-surgery, and they definitely don’t always do it within a year.

Why would the Cubs trade Bryant and Kimbrel for one post-surgery year of Glasnow and non-top prospects? You’d love to have a healthy Glasnow or even multiple years of a post-surgery Glasnow, but just that final year? Eh. That doesn’t sound like a particularly serious suitor to me, especially given the “package” the Cubs ultimately landed for those players in separate deals.

You can read Rosenthal’s piece for more on how the talks went and then how they died down.

I’m glad we got this context, by the way, because it would’ve always left me wondering which prospects the Cubs *could* have gotten from the Rays’ vaunted system. Now I won’t really wonder much.

(As an aside, though: if Glasnow has surgery, given the Rays are the Rays, any chance they try to trade him this offseason so that some other team can pay him to rehab and then take the risk of his final arbitration year in 2023? If so, I would expect the Cubs to be in those conversations, not only because of these past talks, but also because the Cubs *might* be more OK with trading for a guy who is going to miss 2022 than some other teams.)


Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago White Sox, or the Chicago Blackhawks. None of MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the Cubs, the Bears, the Bulls, the White Sox, or the Blackhawks have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It’s just a media site that happens to cover MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago White Sox, and the Chicago Blackhawks.

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5 Florida officers charged over violent arrests of Black men

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Five Florida police officers have been charged with battery connected to the violent arrests of two Black men last week, prosecutors announced Monday.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle held a news conference to announce the first-degree misdemeanor charges against Miami Beach police Sgt. Jose Perez, Officer Kevin Perez, Officer Robert Sabater, Officer David Rivas and Officer Steven Serrano. The officers had previously been suspended, and Fernandez Rundle said additional charges might follow. All five officers turned themselves in earlier Monday.

Surveillance video shows an officer chase Dalonta Crudup, 24, into the lobby of the Royal Palm Hotel in South Beach in the early morning hours of July 26. The officer orders Crudup onto the ground at gunpoint, and Crudup complies. Moments later, more than a dozen other officers run into the lobby and surround Crudup, who can be seen on the ground with his hands behind his back.

Fernandez Rundle said body camera footage shows Sgt. Jose Perez kick a handcuffed Crudup three times, while Officer Kevin Perez kicked Crudup at least four times.

Fernandez Rundle said surveillance video also shows Khalid Vaughn, 28, using a cellphone to record Crudup’s arrest from about 12 feet (4 meters) away. Body camera footage shows Vaughn backing away at the instruction of an officer when Sabater tackles Vaughn to the floor and repeatedly punches him. Fernandez Rundle said Rivas and Serrano also struck Vaughn.

Officers said they initially followed Crudup into the hotel because he struck a bicycle patrol officer while driving a scooter recklessly. That officer was taken to a hospital for treatment of leg injuries. Crudup was charged with several counts, including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer

Charges against Vaughn of resisting an arrest with violence and impeding a police investigation have been dropped.

The police officers’ union didn’t immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment about the battery charges.

(C) 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Originally found on Read More