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Cubs, Pirates trim company payrolls

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates are trimming payroll while they await word on the fate of the Major League Baseball season.

The Cubs are instituting pay cuts because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there will be no furloughs through the end of June. The Pirates announced Thursday they are instituting furloughs for several employees in business operations beginning on June 1.

Chicago’s cuts were based on compensation, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said.

President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and president of business operations Crane Kenney took the highest reductions.

The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said 80% of associates are taking a pay cut of 20% or less.

Boxing eyes possible June 9 return

Boxing promoter Bob Arum said Thursday he plans to stage a card of five fights on June 9 at the MGM Grand, the first of a series of fights over the next two months at the Las Vegas hotel. A second fight card will be held two nights later, with ESPN televising both cards, kicking off twice weekly shows at the hotel in June and July.

No fans will be allowed, and Arum said fighters and everyone else will be tested at least twice during fight week for the new coronavirus. The fights are pending approval of the Nevada Athletic Commission, which meets next week to consider the events, along with two cards that the UFC plans to stage at its facility in Las Vegas.

They are also pending the reopening of the MGM and other Las Vegas hotels, something that is widely expected to happen the first week of June, though no dates for a second phase of easing virus restrictions have been announced by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Penguins owners make big contributions

Pittsburgh Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle are each contributing $100,000 to assist local health outlets dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The joint $200,000 donation will be split equally between Highmark Health and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Highmark Health donation is earmarked for creating a mobile COVID-19 testing unit that will focus on under-served populations in the Pittsburgh area. The donation to UPMC will benefit the UPMC Children’s Hospital Helpers Fund, which supports families and caregivers who are impacted by COVID-19.

Syracuse’s Desko elected to Hall of Fame

SYRACUSE — Syracuse men’s lacrosse coach John Desko has been elected to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. A two-time national coach of the year, Desko has won five national championships since taking over in 1999. He has a record of 258-86-0 (.750) and keeps alive a school streak — all four head coaches in the history of the men’s program have been elected to the Hall of Fame. Desko joins Laurie Cox (1916–1930), Roy Simmons Sr. (1931–1970), and Roy Simmons Jr. (1971–1998).

Wahlke resigns from U.S. Soccer Federation

CHICAGO — Lydia Wahlke has resigned as chief legal officer of the U.S. Soccer Federation, two months after she was placed on administrative leave. Wahlke was put on leave after USSF president Carlos Cordeiro resigned March 12 and was replaced by former national team player Cindy Parlow Cone, who had been vice president. Parlow Cone said the USSF legal process will be reviewed.

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