By STEPHEN HAWKINS
With the sports calendar still mostly on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press takes a look at some of the live sporting events that would have taken place the week of May 4-10:
MLB: The 162-game regular season would have been about one-fourth complete after the Boston Red Sox played this coming weekend in the Bronx against the Yankees. It would have been the first series this season between the AL East rivals after New York won 14 of 19 games last year, including both games played in London.
New Atlanta Braves pitcher Cole Hamels (shoulder) might not have been ready to pitch in Philadelphia. Hamels began his MLB career with the Phillies from 2006-15, and was the 2008 World Series MVP. In his only start in Philly as a visitor, the lefty allowed eight runs in two-plus innings, an 11-1 loss by the Chicago Cubs last August.
TRIVIA BREAK: When the NBA season was suspended after March 11 games, the Lakers were the only Western Conference team that had clinched a playoff berth. Los Angeles had gone a franchise-worst six consecutive seasons without making the playoffs. What are the only two Western Conference teams with longer active postseason droughts? (Answer at bottom).
NBA: The playoffs would have been in the middle of the second round, with eight teams still in contention for the NBA title.
NHL: The quest for the Stanley Cup would have been down to four teams, with the Eastern and Western Conference finals getting underway.
TENNIS: The clay-court Madrid Open was supposed to be this week, one of the key tuneups for the French Open, which normally begins in late May but this year has been postponed until September. Known as the “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal has won the title in Madrid five times, but surprisingly lost in the 2019 semifinals there to Stefanos Tsitsipas. Novak Djokovic wound up with the trophy.
PGA TOUR: The Byron Nelson tournament was to be played for the final time at Trinity Forest Golf Club. Plans had already been announced for the tournament to move after only three years on the links-style course built on a former landfill south of downtown Dallas. The Nelson moves next year to TPC Craig Ranch north of Dallas.
NASCAR: A week before the return of actual live Cup Series racing in South Carolina, NASCAR is missing what would have been its latest spring race at Martinsville, Virginia, in a half-century. The paperclip-shaped half-mile track is the shortest on the circuit, and hasn’t hosted a spring race past April since 1970.
TRIVIA ANSWER: The Sacramento Kings have missed the playoffs the past 13 seasons and the Phoenix Suns have gone nine seasons in a row without making the postseason. That doesn’t include this season that is still on hold with both teams in the bottom-third of the Western Conference standings.
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