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 September 23, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,894,586 and the nation’s death toll stands at 200,724, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against traditional trick-or-treating this year, calling it a higher risk activity. The agency is also discouraging “trunk-or-treat” events, where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots; crowded costume parties held indoors; and visiting indoor haunted houses, where people may crowd together and scream.

TOPICS CHOSEN FOR PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE… Moderator Chris Wallace has selected the topics for next Tuesday’s first 2020 presidential debate. The event will air live from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Wallace announced that topics will include: The Trump and Biden Records; The Supreme Court; Covid-19; The Economy; Race and Violence in our Cities; and The Integrity of the Election. Critics complained that climate change wasn’t included in the discussion.

CIA ASSESSES PUTIN BEHIND BIDEN DISINFORMATION… The Washington Post reported yesterday that a top-secret CIA assessment has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “probably directing” a disinformation campaign designed to damage Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The report, later confirmed by NBC News, cited two unnamed sources who reviewed the assessment. The highly classified report builds upon intelligence gathered by the FBI and the NSA. It was published internally at the end of August.

REPUBLICANS HAVE VOTE TO FILL SUPREME COURT SEAT… Republicans appear to have the votes they need to support filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Yesterday, Utah Senator Mitt Romney and his Republican colleague from Colorado, Corey Gardner, announced they would vote to fill the seat. President Trump vowed yesterday that he will announce his nominee on Saturday.

HOUSE PASSES FUNDING BILL… The House voted 359-57 last night to pass a stopgap funding bill that keeps the government running through December 11. The legislation faces another shutdown threat in eight days if it fails in the Senate. The bill had been held up by questions about federal farm assistance until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Republicans.

ENTERTAINMENT
JOHN LENNON KILLER APOLOGIZES
… The man who fatally shot John Lennon 40 years ago has apologized to the late Beatle’s widow, Yoko Ono. 65—year-old Mark Chapman was convicted of shooting Lennon four times outside his New York Manhattan apartment in 1980. He was denied parole for the eleventh time following a hearing last month. Chapman said at the hearing that he killed Lennon for “glory” and was deserving of the death penalty.

FOUR SEASONS SINGER DIES… Tommy DeVito, a member of the 1960s doo-wop group Four Seasons, has died from COVID-19 complications. He was 92. DeVito, along with bandmates Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi, were best known for the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Their story of growing up in New Jersey, complete with drug issues and run-ins with the mafia, inspired the 2005 Broadway hit, “Jersey Boys.”

SPORTS
NBA PLAYOFFS SCORE

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Denver 114 – L.A. Lakers 106… The Nuggets built an 18-point lead after three quarters and cruised past the Lakers to pull within 2-1 in the series. Jamal Murray pumped in 28 points. Jerami Grant added 26 points. Nikola Jokic finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Game 4 is tomorrow.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Boston vs. Miami in Game 4 with the Heat leading 2-1

MLB SCORES
ATLANTA 11 – Miami 1… The Braves rolled past the Marlins to clinch their third straight NL East title. Marcell Ozuna went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers and five RBIs. Freddie Freeman, Oscar Albies and Dansby Swanson also went deep.

CLEVELAND 5 – Chi. White Sox 3 (10 innings)… Jose Ramirez connected for a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Indians outlasted the White Sox to clinch a playoff spot. Cesar Hernandez added a solo shot for Cleveland.

PITTSBURGH 3 – Chi. Cubs 2… Jacob Stallings smacked a game-winning solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Pirates sunk the Cubs. Despite the loss, Chicago clinched a playoff spot after Philadelphia dropped both games of a doubleheader.

WASHINGTON 5 – Philadelphia 1… Austin Voth (1-5) allowed just a run on three hits in going the distance and the Nationals took the opener of the doubleheader. Brock Holt doubled home two runs during a four-run bottom of the third inning.

WASHINGTON 8 – Philadelphia 7… Yadiel Hernandez belted a walkoff two-run homer in the bottom of the eight inning to give the Nationals a sweep of the twinbill. Juan Soto cracked a three-run blast.

N.Y. Yankees 12 – TORONTO 1… The Yankees pounded out 15 hits in their pounding of the Blue Jays. Aaron Hicks tripled home a run and stroked a two-run single. Gerrit Cole (7-3) surrendered a run on five hits over seven innings.

Milwaukee 3 – CINCINNATI 2… Eric Sogard’s double in the top of the seventh inning scored Jedd Gyorko with a tie-breaking run and the Brewers made it stand in edging the Reds. Tyrone Taylor homered with the bases empty.

N.Y. METS 5 – Tampa Bay 2… The Mets got home runs from Robinson Cano, Pete Alonso and Guillermo Heredia in preventing the Rays from clinching the AL East title. Seth Lugo (3-3) gave up a run on four hits over 6-1/3 innings.

BOSTON 8 – Baltimore 3… Christian Vazquez belted a three-run homer to lead the Red Sox past the Orioles. Nick Pivetta (1-0) held Baltimore to a run on four hits over five innings.

MINNESOTA 5 – Detroit 4 (10 innings)… Max Kepler came through with a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and added a game-winning RBI single in the 10th to send the Twins past the Tigers. Byron Buxton and Mitch Garver also homered for Minnesota.

St. Louis 5 – KANSAS CITY 0… Cardinals starter Austin Gober (1-1) pitched four-hit ball over six innings and three relievers completed the shutout of the Royals. Dylan Carlson went 3-for-4 with a two-run double.

ARIZONA 7 – Texas 0… Caleb Smith and reliever Riley Smith combined on a six-hitter and the Diamondbacks blanked the Rangers. Carson Kelly cracked a three-run homer.

Houston 6 – SEATTLE 1… Maldonado’s three-run homer capped a five-run top of the sixth inning that carried the Astros past the Mariners. Michael Brantley sparked the uprising with a leadoff homer.

L.A. Angels 4 – SAN DIEGO 2… Angels starter Griffin Canning (2-3) limited the Padres to a run on two hits and struck out 10 over six innings. Max Stassi went 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and three RBIs.

L.A. DODGERS 7 – Oakland 2… Corey Seager singled home a run and homered as the Dodgers cruised past the Athletics. Max Muncy added a two-run blast. AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor hit solo homers.

SAN FRANCISCO 5 – Colorado 2… Pinch-hitter Alex Dickerson led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a tie-breaking homer and Brandon Belt added a pinch-hit two-run double as the Giants put away the Mariners. Austin Slater homered to lead off the first.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
the L.A. Angels (Jaime Barria, 1-0) are at San Diego (Mike Clevinger, 3-2)…
Washington (Erick Fedde, 2-3) hosts Philadelphia (Zach Eflin, 3-2)…
Texas (Wes Benjamin, 1-1) is at Arizona (Alex Young, 2-4)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 8-1) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-3)…
the N.Y. Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka, 3-2) are at Toronto (Robbie Ray, 2-5)…
Seattle (Nick Margevicius, 1-3) hosts Houston (Zack Greinke, 3-2)…
Milwaukee (Adrian Houser, 1-5) is at Cincinnati (Trevor Bauer, 4-4)…
Pittsburgh (Trevor Williams, 1-8) hosts the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 6-4)…
Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow, 4-1) is at the N.Y. Mets (Michael Wacha, 1-3)…
Atlanta (Max Fried, 7-0) hosts Miami (Sixto Sanchez, 3-2)…
Baltimore (Dean Kremer, 1-0) is at Boston (Nathan Eovaldi, 3-2)…
Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 5-1) hosts Detroit (Casey Mize, 0-2)…
St. Louis (Carlos Martinez, 0-2) is at Kansas City (Danny Duffy, 3-4)…
the L.A. Dodgers (Julio Urias, 3-0) host Oakland (Sean Manaea, 4-3)…
Colorado (Ryan Castellani, 1-3) is at San Francisco (TBD)

TODAY’S NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay vs. Dallas in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1

NOTRE DAME HALTS FOOTBALL… Notre Dame announced yesterday that it is pausing all football-related activities after seven players tested positive for coronavirus out of the 94 tests performed Monday. 13 Fighting Irish players now are in isolation. Saturday’s game against Wake Forest has been postponed and schools are trying to reschedule the game for October 3.

The Rundown for July 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 3,763,395 and the death toll stands at 140,477, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Florida yesterday recorded its fifth straight day of more than 10,000 new cases and reported a record number of 2,700 hospitalizations within a week. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday that the Navy has sent teams of medical and support professionals to support hospitals in Harlingen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Rio Grande City. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is pushing back against bipartisan efforts to ramp up funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for coronavirus contact tracing and testing. White House officials argue that there is sufficient funding still remaining from the March stimulus law. Specifics of the bill are expected to be unveiled next week.

TRUMP WON’T COMMIT TO ELECTION RESULTS… President Trump yesterday declined to commit to accepting the results of the 2020 election. During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump told show host Chris Wallace that he will “have to see” about the results and made the baseless claim that mail-in voting will “rig the election.” During the interview, Trump also defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, belittled political rival Joe Biden and discredited National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.

HOUSE DEMS WANT PORTLAND INVESTIGATION… House Democrats are calling for the Inspectors General of the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to open investigations into reports that federal law enforcement agents have been unlawfully arrested protesters in Portland, Oregon. Reports claim that federal law enforcement agents began using unmarked vehicles to nab protesters last Tuesday. A joint letter signed by several congress members warns that “The Attorney General of the United States does not have unfettered authority to direct thousands of federal law enforcement personnel to arrest and detain American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.” Co-signers of the letter include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. Yesterday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the presence of federal troops and enforcement officers is actually leading to “more violence and more vandalism.”

WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES POMPEO COVER-UP… A whistleblower who has complained about alleged misconduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was blocked from pursuing the issue by top department officials who were covering for Pompeo, according to a copy of the complaint released yesterday. The whistleblower, a State Department employee, also promised new evidence to support allegations against Pompeo. The State Department admitted that it redacted large sections of the four-page report it released following a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group American Oversight. The State Department said its redactions were necessary due to an “ongoing investigation.”

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT FEDERAL JUDGE’S HOME… The 20-year-old son of a federal judge was fatally shot and the judge’s husband was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at the family’s home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the gunman approached the house dressed as a delivery driver and began shooting after the husband opened the door. Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark was reportedly in the basement at the time and was not injured. Salas most recently has been presiding over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE AT FEDERAL JUDGE’S HOME…  The 20-year-old son of a federal judge was fatally shot and the judge’s husband was critically wounded after a gunman opened fire at the family’s home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the gunman approached the house dressed as a delivery driver and began shooting after the husband opened the door. Judge Esther Salas of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark was reportedly in the basement at the time and was not injured. Salas most recently has been presiding over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who accuse the company about making false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failing to monitor “high-risk” customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

SHOOTINGS IN PEORIA… Authorities in Peoria, Illinois, say 13 people were shot at a gathering of almost 200 people early yesterday. Police say that there were multiple shooters involved in what appeared to be the “result of a dispute between groups of people,” but the suspects have not been identified. The victims’ injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

ENTERTAINMENT
JUICE WRLD TOPS ALBUM CHART
… Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” sold 497,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Last week’s champ, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon,” dropped into second place with 110,000 units sold. The original Broadway cast recording of “Hamilton: An American Musical” dropped to No. 3 with 95,000 copies sold. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” finished fourth after selling 58,000 units. Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” remained at No. 5 on sales of 34,000 copies.

LINKIN PARK DOESN’T WANT SONG IN TRUMP VIDEO… Linkin Park announced yesterday that it has issued a cease and desist letter over the use of one of the band’s songs in a video promoted by President Trump and White House due to a copyright violation. The version of the song “In The End” used in the video was a cover that featured Jung Youth, complained separately over the weekend. Twitter removed the video due to a copyright violation. Earlier this month, Neil Young objected to Trump playing several of his songs during a July 4 event at Mount Rushmore.

SPORTS
NFL PLAYERS QUESTION SAFETY PROTOCOLS
… The NFL is meeting some resistance as it plans to open training camp this week. Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and other high-profile players went on social media yesterday to question the league’s plans for the 2020 season. Players are demanding that owners listen to medical experts as they finalize safety protocols. The players’ union and owners continue to negotiate proposals.