Update on the latest sports


Major League Baseball wants to delay spring training

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is proposing a one-month delay in starting spring training because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two people familiar with the plan tell The AP that opening day would be pushed back to April 28. Under the plan presented to the players’ union on Friday, the regular season would be cut from 162 games to 154.

Also, the playoffs would be expanded from 10 teams to 14, the designated hitter would extend to the National League for the second straight season and MLB would keep the experimental rules for seven-inning doubleheaders and beginning extra innings with a runner on second base.

All players would report for spring training on March 22, back from the current calendar that calls a voluntary reporting date of Feb. 17 for pitchers, catchers and injured players, and Feb. 22 for others.


Mets owner gets threats connected to GameStop

NEW YORK (AP) — The owner of the New York Mets says he has dropped off Twitter because his family received threats that he attributed to “misinformation” that was not tied to the baseball team.

Steve Cohen’s hedge fund, Point72, has become entangled in market turmoil that has pitted a band of small investors against traders that made bets against — or “shorted” — stock of companies including GameStop. Hedge funds that shorted GameStop have lost billions as small investors bid up the company’s shares.

Hedge funds that shorted GameStop have lost billions as small investors bid up the company’s shares. One of the short sellers, Melvin Capital, announced this week that it received a $750 million infusion from Point72.


Serena Williams through easily in Australian Open tuneup

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams has restarted her now-lengthy quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Daria Gavrilova in an Australian Open tuneup tournament at Melbourne Park.

Williams has been stalled on 23 major singles titles since the 2017 Australian Open. A 24th singles major would equal Margaret Court’s Grand Slam total. There are six tuneup tournaments this week for players preparing for the first major of the season. Second-ranked Simona Halep started the Gippsland Trophy with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Anastasia Potapova.


Olympic cycling silver medalist Szurkowski dies at 75

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Two-time Olympic cycling silver medalist Ryszard Szurkowski has died at age 75. His wife says he died at a hospital in central Poland. He had been battling cancer.

Szurkowski won his Olympic medals in 1972 and 1976 as part of the Polish team in the road race. He also won three world championship titles. One was in the individual road race for amateurs in 1973. Szurkowski was in a cycling accident in Germany in June 2018 and later used a wheelchair.

He had two sons but one was killed in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.