Update on the latest sports
Chiefs’ Robinson, Kilgore on COVID-19 list as close contacts
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs placed a pair of backups, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore, on the COVID-19 list as close contacts as they begin their final preparations for the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay. Chiefs coach Andy said Monday he was told of the situation Sunday but could provide no other information. Neither of the players actually tested positive for COVID-19, which means Robinson — a regular contributor — and Kilgore could still play in the Super Bowl. Both would need to return negative tests throughout the week to get off the list.
In other NFL news:
— Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur say they expect Aaron Rodgers to remain their team’s starting quarterback in 2021 and beyond. Gutekunst and LaFleur made those comments Monday during season-ending Zoom sessions with reporters. Rodgers had said after the Packers’ 31-26 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC championship game that “there’s a lot of guys’ futures that are uncertain, myself included.”
—The Minnesota Vikings have promoted Ryan Ficken to special teams coordinator and hired Josh Hingst as strength and conditioning coach. Ficken is the longest-tenured coach on the staff, entering his 15th season with Minnesota. Ficken was the assistant special teams coach for eight years. He will now replace Marwan Maalouf, whose contract was not renewed after two seasons in the role. Special teams were a major problem in 2020 for the Vikings. Hingst was the strength and conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past eight seasons. He replaces Mark Uyeyama.
DeAngelo ‘has played his last game’ for NY Rangers, GM says
NEW YORK (AP) — General manager Jeff Gorton says Tony DeAngelo has played his final game for the New York Rangers despite going unclaimed on waivers.
Gorton said the 25-year-old defenseman has been assigned to the taxi squad but won’t be around the team after an undisclosed “incident.” The NHL’s other 30 teams passed on the opportunity to add DeAngelo when New York put him on waivers. Gorton said Alexandar Georgiev was fine after reports of an “altercation” between the backup goaltender and DeAngelo. The Rangers just re-signed DeAngelo to a $9.6 million, two-year contract in October. Gorton says DeAngelo couldn’t get over being a healthy scratch earlier this season.
Dustin Pedroia retires after 17 seasons with Red Sox
BOSTON (AP) — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has retired. Pedroia was the 2007 Rookie of the Year and the AL MVP in his second season. But he played in a total of nine games in the last three seasons because of a knee injury. A three-time All-Star, Pedroia spent all 17 of his seasons with the Red Sox. He played in two World Series and collected a third ring in 2018, when he was injured. In his career, he batted .299 with 140 homers and 725 RBIs.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The New York Mets have acquired pitcher Jordan Yamamoto from the Miami Marlins for minor league infielder Federico Polanco. The 24-year-old Yamamoto was 4-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 15 starts in 2019, striking out 82 and walking 36 in 78 2/3 innings. The right-hander was 0-1 with an 18.26 ERA in 11 1/3 innings over three starts and one relief appearance during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The 19-year-old Polanco hit .244 in 450 at-bats in two minor league seasons with 20 doubles and 50 RBIs.
— Left-hander Derek Holland agreed to a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers and was invited to major league spring training. The 34-year-old Holland is 79-81 with a 4.61 ERA in 12 major league seasons. He went 1-3 with a 6.86 ERA in 12 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last year. That was after he initially signed a minor league deal with them. Holland went 16-5 with Texas in 2011, when the Rangers won a second straight American League pennant.
— Michael Hill is taking over from Chris Young, who stayed just one season in the role of Joe Torre’s replacement as Major League Baseball’s disciplinarian. Hill will be senior vice president of on-field operations along with former major leaguer Raúl Ibañez. Hill will oversee umpires and on-field discipline, and Ibañez will be involved in rules, equipment and on-field technology. Former pitcher Joe Martinez was hired as senior director of on-field strategy, former outfielder outfielder Rajai Davis as senior director of on-field operations and former Houston manager Bo Porter as a consultant on coaching development.
— The sale of spring training tickets for St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins games in Jupiter, Florida, has been delayed because of uncertainty about the schedule for games. Major League Baseball last week proposed a one-month delay in starting spring training due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians will not be allowing fans to watch their spring training workouts in Arizona due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gonzaga remains on top
UNDATED (AP) — Gonzaga and Baylor have continued their season-long run atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.
The Zags received 61 first-place votes from a media panel and Baylor had the other three. Villanova is No. 3 followed by Michigan and Houston, which moved up a spot for its highest ranking since the Phi Slama Jama team reached No. 2 in 1983-84.
No. 9 Oklahoma made a massive leap from No. 24 after becoming the second team in 25 years to beat three straight top-10 teams. No. 25 Drake is ranked for the first time since 2007-08.