The Rundown for September 28, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,113,666 and the nation’s death toll stands at 204,750, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Almost half the U.S. is reporting increased numbers of new Covid-19 cases as health experts warn of a potential coronavirus surge in the fall and winter. The number of new coronavirus cases has increased by at least 10 percent from the week before in 21 states. The states are: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington state, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

N.Y. TIMES OBTAINS TRUMP TAXES… The New York Times reported disturbing details about Donald Trump’s finances yesterday after obtaining the president’s tax returns going back decades. The report noted that Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 of 15 years beginning in 2000 because he reported extensive losses. Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes for 2016, the year he was elected president. The Times also found that Trump used the $427.4 million he was paid for “The Apprentice” to fund his other businesses, mostly his golf courses, and was putting more cash into his businesses than he was taking out. Times staffers warned that more bombshells are forthcoming. At a White House briefing yesterday, Trump denied the Times’ allegations and claimed that he pays “a lot” in federal income taxes. However, he refused to answer how much he has paid and walked out as reported shouted questions.

TRUMP FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER TAKEN BY POLICE… President Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was taken from his Fort Lauderdale home by police yesterday afternoon after his wife reported that he was armed, had barricaded himself in his home and was threatening to harm himself. Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Karen Dietrich called the encounter at Parscale’s home “brief” and said he went willingly with police under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows police to detain a person who is potentially a threat to himself or others. Parscale, who made himself highly visible as campaign manager, was demoted in July following a poorly attended rally in Tulsa.

BIDEN SEEKS TO HOLD OFF BARRETT NOMINATION… During a speech in his Wilmington, Delaware, hometown yesterday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden implored Senate Republicans not to act on President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court until after the American people finish selecting their next president. The former vice president argued that since voters have already begun voting, it’s crucial to hold off on any consideration of a Supreme Court nominee until the election results are known. Biden also noted the proximity of the nomination to an upcoming case before the Supreme Court that challenges the Affordable Care Act and warned that Barrett’s vote could leave Americans without health care.

GAS PRICES DROP A PENNY… The average price of regular-grade gas in the U.S. fell a penny over the past two weeks to $2.25 per gallon, according to a nationwide survey of gas stations released yesterday. The Lundberg Survey found that the most expensive gas was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it cost $3.27 per gallon. The cheapest gas was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a gallon cost $1.77.

ENTERTAINMENT
TAYLOR SWIFT TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” sold 87,000 copies in returning to the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart for a seventh nonconsecutive week. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” remained in second place after selling 75,000 units. YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s “Top” dropped from first to third place on sales of 63,000 copies. Alicia Keys’ new release, “Alicia,” opened in fourth place after selling 62,000 units. Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” slipped to No. 5 on sales of 51,000 copies.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Tenet” took in another $3.4 million to remain atop the weekend box office for a fourth weekend. “The New Mutants” made $1.1 million to stay in second place. “Unhinged” finished third with $1 million. The 2020 re-release of “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” took in $908,000 to finish fourth. “Infidel” capped the top five with $745,000.

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Miami – Boston

NFL SCORES
INDIANAPOLIS 36 – N.Y. Jets 7… Philip Rivers threw his 400th career touchdown pass and the Colts (2-1) cruised past the Jets (0-3). Defensively, Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie returned interceptions for touchdowns.

Carolina 21 – L.A. CHARGERS 16… Joey Sligh booted five field goals to 31 yards and the Panthers (1-2) took advantage of three turnovers in downing the Chargers (1-2).

SEATTLE 38 – Dallas 31… Russell Wilson’s fifth touchdown pass of the day was a 29-yarder to DK Metcalf with 1:47 remaining and lifted the Seahawks (3-0) over the Cowboys (1-2). Tyler Locket hauled in three TD tosses.

Detroit 26 – ARIZONA 23… Matt Prater booted a 39-yard field goal as time expired and the Lions topped the Cardinals (2-1) to snap an 11-game losing streak. Matt Stafford passed for 270 yards and two scores.

Tampa Bay 28 – DENVER 10… Tom Brady passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Buccaneers (2-1) past the Broncos (0-3). Defensively, Shaq Barrett had two sacks, including one for a safety.

Chicago 30 – ATLANTA 26… The Bears (3-0) came from 16 points down in the final 6-1/2 minutes to upend the Falcons (0-3). Nick Foles relieved starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter and threw three touchdown passes. Allen Robinson had 20 catches for 123 yards and a TD.

San Francisco 36 – N.Y. GIANTS 9… The 49ers (2-1) rolled past the Giants (0-3) despite playing without a half-dozen injured starters. Backup QB Nick Mullens passed for 343 yards and a score.

NEW ENGLAND 36 – Oakland 20… Rex Burkhead ran for a score and hauled in two touchdown passes as the Patriots (2-1) downed the Raiders (2-1). Sony Michel rushed for 117 yards.

PITTSBURGH 28 – Houston 21… The Steelers (3-0) held the Texans (0-3) scoreless in the second half of a come-from-behind win. Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of touchdown passes. James Connor ran for 109 yards and a score.

BUFFALO 35 – L.A. Rams 32… The Bills (3-0) rallied to get past the Rams (2-1) after blowing a 25-point lead. Josh Allen threw 3 yards to tight end Tyler Kroft with 15 seconds remaining for the winning score. Kroft caught two of Allen’s four TD tosses.

Tennessee 31 – MINNESOTA 20… Stephen Gostkowski booted his sixth field goal of the game from 55 yards out with 1:44 remaining and the unbeaten Titans (3-0) kept the Vikings winless (0-3). Derrick Henry rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

CLEVELAND 34 – Washington 20… The Browns (2-1) scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to put away Washington (1-2). The victory gave them their first winning record since 2014. Baker Mayfield passed for two touchdowns and Nick Chubb rushed for a pair of scores.

Cincinnati 23 – PHILADELPHIA 23 (tie, OT)… A scoreless overtime period left the Bengals Eagles tied and with identical 0-2-1 records. Cincinnati rooked QB Joe Burrow tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Tee Higgins in regulation. Philadelphia QB Carson Wentz dove into the end zone for the tying score in the final minute.

Green Bay – NEW ORLEANS

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Kansas City (2-0) is at Baltimore (2-0)

MLB POSTSEASON SET… It took until yesterday’s final day of the pandemic-shortened season to complete major league baseball’s playoff picture. The two final spots remaining were in the National League and ended up going to the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals played their way into the postseason with a 5-2 win over the Brewers, but Milwaukee gained entry after the Philadelphia Phillies were blanked 5-0 by Tampa Bay and the San Francisco Giants fell 5-4 to San Diego.

MLB WILD-CARD SCHEDULE
AL (best of three beginning tomorrow)
N.Y. Yankees are at Cleveland…
Minnesota hosts Houston…
the Chi. White Sox are at Oakland…
Tampa Bay hosts Toronto

NL (best of three beginning Wednesday)
St. Louis is at San Diego
the Chi. Cubs host Miami
Milwaukee is at the L.A. Dodgers…
Atlanta hosts Cincinnati

OTHER MLB SCORES FROM YESTERDAY
KANSAS CITY 3 – Detroit 1…
Miami 5 – N.Y. YANKEES 0…
TEXAS 8 – Houston 4…
WASHINGTON 15 – N.Y. Mets 5…
Baltimore 7 – TORONTO 5…
Chi. Cubs 10 – CHI. WHITE SOX 8…
Cincinnati 5 – MINNESOTA 3 (10 innings)…
OAKLAND 6 – Seattle 2…
CLEVELAND 8 – Pittsburgh 6…
ARIZONA 11 – Colorado 3…
L.A. DODGERS 5 – L.A. Angels 0…
Boston 9 – ATLANTA 1

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 6 with the Lightning leading 3-2

The Rundown for October 1, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,232,823 and the nation’s death toll stands at 206,918, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… House Democrats yesterday postponed a vote on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill as negotiations continue with the White House. The vote was rescheduled for today following a meeting between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met at the Capitol.

CHRIS WALLACE WASN’T READY FOR TRUMP… Fox News anchor Chris Wallace conceded yesterday that he should have been more assertive in Tuesday night’s presidential debate in Cleveland. Wallace, who moderated the event, offered “I’ve never been through anything like this.” During the debate Trump relentlessly interrupted Wallace and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at will. Yesterday the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would adopt new rules to guard against unruly behavior.

PARSCALE LEAVES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION… President Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale cited “overwhelming stress” yesterday in announcing that he is resigning from his current position as a senior adviser. The announcement comes just days after Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police detained Parscale in response to his wife’s claim that he was planning to harm himself with one of his guns. He is also under investigation over his use of millions of dollars of campaign funds.

COMEY DEFENDS RUSSIA INVESTIGATION… Former FBI Director James Comey yesterday defended his investigation into possible links between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian operatives. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey disputed the claims by Trump, Republican senators and Attorney General William Barr that the probe was unfounded and politically motivated. Comey noted the probe eventually resulted in nearly 200 criminal charges and dozens of indictments or guilty pleas after being taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES… Crews reported making some headway yesterday in their battle against two major wildfires that have charred more than 100,000 acres in Northern California. The Zogg Fire in Shasta County claimed its fourth fatality yesterday. The Glass Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties has destroyed dozens of wineries.

ENTERTAINMENT
MAC DAVIS DIES
… Singer-songwriter Mac Davis, whose career gained momentum when he wrote the Elvis Presley songs “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” died Tuesday in Nashville after heart surgery. He was age 78. Davis had his biggest hit with his own “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” and was named 1974’s entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. Davis also hosted a television variety show in the 1970s.

HELEN REDDY DIES… Australian Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and feminist icon Helen Reddy died Tuesday of unspecified causes, her family has confirmed. She was 78 and had been diagnosed with dementia in 2015. Reddy is best known for her hit 1960s and ’70s songs “I Believe in Music,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Delta Dawn” “Angie Baby,” “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress),” “You and Me Against the World,” “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” and “I Can’t Hear You No More.”

SPORTS
NBA FINALS OPENER

L.A. Lakers 116 – Miami 98
… The Lakers cruised past the Heat to open the NBA Finals. Anthony Davis scored a game-high 34 points. LeBron James had 25 points and 13 rebounds. Game 2 is tomorrow.

MLB PLAYOFFS
AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 2 SCORES

Houston 3 – MINNESOTA 1
… Carlos Correa cracked a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the seventh inning and the Astros held on to sweep the best-of-three series and leave the Twins with 18 straight postseason losses. Cristian Javier provided three innings of hitless relief to get the win. The Astros await the winner of the Oakland-Chicago White Sox wild-card series in the AL Divisional Series.

TAMPA BAY 8 – Toronto 2… Hunter Renfroe unloaded a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning followed Mike Zunino’s two-run shot and the Rays coasted past the Blue Jays to complete a series sweep. Tyler Glasnow allowed two runs on six hits over six innings. Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the New York Yankees-Cleveland wild-card series in the AL Divisional Series.

OAKLAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3… The Athletics held off the White Sox to force today’s decisive Game 3 in Oakland. Neither team has announced a starter. Marcus Semien homered with a runner aboard in the bottom of the second inning and Khris Davis added a solo shot in the fourth. Mark Cahna’s leaping catch at the wall robbed Yoan Moncada of a three-run homer in the third. Oakland starter Chris Bassitt surrendered a run on six hits over seven innings.

N.Y. Yankees 10 – CLEVELAND 9… DJ LeMahieu singled home Gio Urshela with the decisive run during a two-run top of the ninth inning and the Yankees slugged their way past the Indians for a sweep of the series. Urshela unloaded a grand slam. Gary Sanchez blasted a three-run homer. Giancarlo Stanton added a solo blast.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD-CARD GAME 1 SCORES
ATLANTA 1 – Cincinnati 0
(13 innings)… Freddie Freeman singled home Cristian Pache with the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning as the Braves outlasted the Reds in the longest scoreless duel in postseason history. The game featured a showdown between Atlanta starter Max Fried and Cincinnati’s Trevor Bauer in a matchup of between Cy Young-contenders. The teams combined for a postseason record 37 strikeouts, including 21 by the Braves. Atlanta will send Ian Anderson (3-2) to the mound in today’s Game 2. Fellow righthander Luis Castillo (4-6) gets the start for Cincinnati.

Miami 5 – CHI. CUBS 1… Corey Dickerson blasted a three-run homer as the Marlins scored all five runs in the top of the seventh inning to put away the Cubs. Sandy Alcantara allowed a run on three hits over 6-2/3 innings. Sixto Sanchez (3-2) gets the start for Miami in Game 2 today. Yu Darvish (8-3) takes the hill for Chicago in a matchup of righthanders.

St. Louis 7 – SAN DIEGO 4… Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer during a four-run top of the first inning and the Cardinals fought off the Padres. Matt Carpenter lifted a sacrifice fly and singled home a run. Adam Wainwright (5-3) takes the mound for the Padres in today’s Game 2. He’ll be opposed by fellow righthander Zach Davies (7-4).

L.A. DODGERS 4 – Milwaukee 2… Corey Seager smacked a solo homer and Mookie Betts doubled home a run as the Dodgers clipped the Brewers. Billy Smith and AJ Pollock drew bases-loaded walks in the first. L.A. sends lefthander Clayton Kershaw (6-2) to the mound today. He’ll be opposed by Milwaukee righthander Brandon Woodruff (3-5).

The Rundown for July 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached
3,497,847 and the nation’s death toll stands at 137,402, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Alabama Governor Kay Ivey yesterday announced a state-wide mask mandate after an “alarming” increase in cases and hospitalizations. The order begins today and remains in effect until at least July 31. In neighboring Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp yesterday voided orders by at least 15 local governments across the state that required people to wear masks in public places… Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who has steadfastly refused to issue a mask mandate, announced yesterday that he has tested positive. Last night, Tulsa city councilors voted 7-2 to approve a face-covering ordinance that will take effect as soon as Mayor G.T. Bynum signs it… Walmart yesterday announced that customers will be required to wear masks at all locations starting on Monday.

WHITE HOUSE ROLLS BACK ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS… The White House yesterday finalized its rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act. The Trump administration has removed the rule requiring the government to consider climate change before proceeding on a project and is allowing industry involvement in reviewing the environmental impacts of their projects. The White House says the changes will speed up environmental reviews.

SHAKEUP IN TRUMP CAMPAIGN… President Trump announced a shakeup of his 2020 campaign team yesterday. Bill Stepien, who previously worked as campaign chairman for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and had served as deputy press secretary for Trump’s re-election campaign earlier this year, is replacing Brad Parscale as campaign manager, with Parscale staying on as a senior adviser. The shakeup comes as Trump appears to be falling behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, with two polls yesterday listing Biden ahead by double digits.

CHIEF JUSTICE GINSBURG RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL… Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday after being admitted on Tuesday with a possible infection. The 87-year-old had complained of fever and chills. The High Court completed its most recent term last week and won’t be back in session until October.

TWITTER HACKED… A Twitter hack yesterday forced the social-media platform to disable verified accounts. Politicians, celebrities and other prominent figures were targeted in the hack, which appeared to be part of an apparent Bitcoin scam. Twitter says it is investigating the attack amid reports that hackers paid a Twitter insider for help.

ENTERTAINMENT
ROSE PARADE CANCELLED
… Organizers announced the cancellation of the 2021 Rose Parade yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since its inception in 1891, the New Years Day parade has been held annually except in the wartime years of 1942, 1943 and 1945. The status of the Rose Bowl college football game that traditionally follows the parade is pending.

SHOWTIME ENDS ‘KIDDING’… Showtime is pulling the plug on the Jim Carrey dramedy “Kidding” after two seasons. The final episode aired in March. Carrey played the star of a children’s television program who is trying to cope with a stressful personal life. The show co-starred Frank Langella, Judy Greer, Catherine Keener and Justin Kirk.

SPORTS
NFL
TITANS REACH DEAL WITH DERRICK HENRY
… ESPN reported last night that the Tennessee Titans have reached agreement on a four-year contract with star running back Derrick Henry. The deal is worth a reported $50 million. Henry led the NFL with 1,540 yards rushing last season. It was his second straight season of at least 1,000 yards.