For Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts, coronavirus pandemic affects charities

first_imgIn response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball placed every element of a player’s routine under a powerful microscope. Crowds are nonexistent, masks are omnipresent except on the field, and the volume of off-the-field adaptations is staggering.An athlete’s charitable work is no exception.Kershaw’s annual PingPong4Purpose tournament is on hiatus. He also cancelled the annual country music concert in Dallas his charity, Kershaw’s Challenge, hosts every year. Ellen Kershaw said she hasn’t been able to meet with any of the beneficiaries of their projects.“We’re really focusing on trying to bring awareness to these different groups that we’re trying to help out, hopefully getting other people involved, and trying to raise money through different avenues,” Clayton Kershaw said. “Our team’s doing a great job of trying to figure out creative ways to do that.”Outside the team store at Dodger Stadium, cars lined up to receive bags full of supplies and chat with the Kershaws via remote video Saturday. The Dream Center will also deliver school supplies to families in need in Echo Park, Vernon, Watts, Lynwood, Chinatown, San Gabriel Valley, Huntington Park, Pacoima, South Gate, Compton, Inglewood, East LA, and Skid Row. Ellen Kershaw said there’s more red tape than usual for conducting any in-person charity events.“This is not really the charity we expected or intended to run, where you write a check, send it somewhere and hope that people are doing good with it,” she said.“It’s just kind of rolling with the punches,” Kershaw said. “It is what it is right now. At least we were able to get it off the ground and do it.”SMITH TO IL, RUIZ UPCatcher Keibert Ruiz was recalled from the Dodgers’ alternate site and Will Smith was placed on the 10-day injured list with neck inflammation. Ruiz is expected to be in the starting lineup Sunday, catching Dustin May in his first major league start.Smith was hurt in a collision Aug. 3, when Fernando Tatis Jr. ran into him at the end of a rundown between home third base and home plate in San Diego. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Smith had been dealing with “remnants” of that injury this week.Smith was hitting .188 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 14 games this season. Saturday, Austin Barnes made his fourth start at catcher in the last five days. He began the day hitting .257 in 12 games.Ruiz, 22, only has nine games of experience above the Double-A level in his young career. The switch-hitting catcher batted .261 with six home runs and more walks (30) than strikeouts (22) in 85 games last season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.“Keibert’s done a fantastic job, everything we’ve asked of him, at the secondary site,” Roberts said. “He’s always been very good bat to ball. The left-handed swing, a little uphill; he’s been around the baseball. Contact, very good always. Our hitting guys really cleaned that up and got him to backspin the baseball.”PETERING OUTPedro Baez’s average fastball velocity is down to 94.4 mph this season, more than one mph down from a year ago (according to MLB’s Statcast technology). Roberts said the team is aware of the drop and was hoping to see an uptick by now, nine appearances into his season.“There’s nothing that I’ve heard physically,” Roberts said of Baez. “Mechanically he looks somewhat similar, but I think the truth of the matter is, it was a quick ramp-up for Pedro and the ball isn’t coming out like it used to.”Baez has allowed five hits, three runs and five walks in 9 1/3 innings, and has a 2.89 ERA. ANAHEIM – Sunday afternoon, Mookie Betts will host a “grab-and-go giveaway” in Compton. The drive-through event at the Compton Town Center will offer free hand sanitizer, reusable face masks, food boxes, health screenings, and voter registration.By his own admission, Betts still doesn’t know much about the region he’ll call home for the next 12 years. He knew he wanted to help an underprivileged community after joining the Dodgers. This time he chose Compton. He partnered with Pull Up Neighbor, a community response organization that he’s worked with before in his hometown of Nashville.“Hopefully next year everything opens up and I can move around and get to know L.A.,” Betts said. “It’s my first time ever really being here, other than a couple series, but I didn’t get to do anything. I want to see what L.A. is really about.”Clayton Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, typically host a back-to-school giveaway at this time of year. Saturday, they greeted families driving through a Dodger Stadium parking lot from a television screen – a novel adaptation to the times – as children received backpacks, socks, food boxes, PE kits, health kits, school supplies, and other essentials for the school year.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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