The Wider World

Baseball lands, vaccinations rise

TODAY is opening day for Major League Baseball. The Angels open tonight (Thursday) with limited attendance in Anaheim against the Chicago White Sox (Flickr/JC Sullivan).

“Play ball!” and “get vaccinated” mingle as a bit of normality return with the resumption – somewhat bumpy – of big league baseball.  On the same day that the 2021 season of America’s pastime begins, the number of U.S. adults who have had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine approaches 100 million.

One game has been cancelled. The Washington Nationals and New York Mets were scheduled to meet today (Thursday), but when one Nats players tested positive, the contest was called off.

The Los Angeles Angels will host the Chicago White Sox today and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be in Denver to take on the Colorado Rockies. In-person attendance is permitted, but if the recent rise in new coronavirus cases becomes an all-out surge, Major League Baseball is prepared to continue the season fan-less, as it did in the truncated 2020 season.

According to the Associated Press, the recent average of 55,000 new cases a day has risen to 64,000.  That’s an increase of 17 percent, while deaths have declined 26 percent. The New York Times is reporting that 17 percent of all adult Americans are fully vaccinated and 30 percent have had at least one dose.

News: Floyd “struggled with opioids”


The former girlfriend of George Floyd, the unarmed Black man who died after being held down by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, testified in court Thursday that Floyd had an addiction to pain-killing opioids.

“Our story, it’s a classic story of how many people get addicted to opioids,” said Courtney Ross. “Mine was in my neck and his was in his back.” Ross was called to testify in that regard, reportedly, to establish that he had a high tolerance for the drug and that it was Chauvin’s action of kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes that was the cause of death, not a drug overdose.

Chauvin is standing trial on a murder charge for the May 25, 2020 incident.

Business: Wall Street has a big day

Shaking off the ups and downs of the last week, the investment community responded Thursday with big gains. Responding to news about a rebound in manufacturing, all three major stock markets turned in notable performances. The S&P 500 gained 46.98 points to set a new record high of 4,019.87. The Dow jumped 171.66 points to close at 33,153.21 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 233.23 points to finish the day at 13,480.11.

The New York Stock Exchange will be closed tomorrow because of Good Friday.

Sports: How banged up is Stafford?


The Los Angeles Rams traded away Jared Goff for the veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions. On Thursday it was revealed that Stafford, 35, was coming off an injury-plagued 2020 season.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that he had “minor, elective surgery” on his throwing hand recently. He suffered ligament damage in his right thumb.

He also suffered a ligament injury to his left elbow and sustained injuries to a rib, his left knee and his right ankle.

However, Stafford will be “100 percent” ready to play when workouts begin in May.

Weather: And then it’s cool

After two days of hot weather, the West Orange County area will head into a period of cooler temperatures that will last at least a week. Friday will see a daytime high of 74 (overnight low of 51) with sun. Similar temperatures will be in place through Sunday with partly cloudy skies. Winds will be 12 to 13 miles an hour. In the coastal area of Huntington Beach, daytime highs will be four to five degrees cooler.


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