Update on the latest sports
Jays nip Yanks in 10
UNDATED (AP) — The Major League Baseball season began this afternoon in the Bronx as the New York Yankees welcomed fans into their ballpark for the first time since the 2019 playoffs.
The Yanks dropped their season opener as Randal Grichuk (GRIH’-chuhk) led off the 10th inning with an RBI double to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 3-2 victory. The Yankees had a chance to win it in the ninth after pinch-runner Michael Tauchman stole two bases, but he was thrown out at the plate by third baseman Cavan Biggio (KA’-van BIH’-zhee-oh) before Aaron Judge struck out to end the threat.
Teoscar (tay-AHS’-kur) Hernández hit a tying homer in the sixth off Gerrit Cole as Toronto improved to 23-22 in openers.
Meanwhile, the defending World Series champs were beaten on the road.
The Rockies posted an 8-5 win over the Dodgers as Colorado scored runs courtesy of a squeeze play, two wild pitches, a groundout, an error and three RBI singles.
Cody Bellinger had a home run negated when he passed Justin Turner on the base paths after Turner thought the ball had been caught.
This was a rare rocky season opener for Clayton Kershaw, who was tagged for five earned runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. In his previous eight opening day starts, Kershaw’s 1.05 ERA was the lowest of any pitcher with at least 40 innings since 1913.
Elsewhere in the MLB on Thursday:
— The Nationals-Mets opener in Washington had to be postponed after at least three of the 2019 World Series champions’ players tested positive for COVID-19. Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said one of the players testing positive had a fever, while the others were not displaying COVID-19 symptoms. Contact tracing was continuing to see who else might have been exposed.
— The Padres gave up four long balls in the fifth inning to blow a five-run lead before beating the Diamondbacks, 8-7. Eric Hosmer had a homer among his three hits and drove in three runs, newcomer Victor Caratini also had three RBIs. Jake Cronenworth hit a leadoff triple in the seventh before scoring the tiebreaking run on a sacrifice fly after Ketel Marte (keh-TEHL’ mahr-TAY’) Asdrubal (as-DROO’-bul) Cabrera, pinch-hitter Tim Locastro and Stephen Vogt (voht) went deep for Arizona in the fifth.
— Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a two-run homer and the Pirates’ bullpen dominated in a two-hitter in a 5-3 downing of the Cubs in Chicago. Relievers combined for six innings of one-run ball, with Richard Rodríguez notching the save. Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks lasted just three innings in his second straight opening-day start, issuing three walks while allowing three runs and four hits after he walked eight in 81 1/3 innings last season.
— Paul Goldschmidt and newcomer Nolan Arenado combined for six hits and the Cardinals roughed up Luis Castillo for six runs in the first inning an 11-6 thumping of the Reds. Dylan Carlson hit a three-run homer and Tyler O’Neill connected for a two-run shot. Castillo surrendered 10 runs, eight earned and eight hits over 3 1/3 innings.
— Austin Meadows’ home run with two outs in the eighth inning was all the Rays needed as the reigning AL champions started their season with a 1-0 win over the Marlins. Meadows connected off Miami reliever Yimi Garcia on a drive that cleared the 387-foot sign in left-center with ease. Jesus Aguilar had two of Miami’s three hits.
— The Phillies pulled out a 3-2 win over the Braves on Jean Segura’s RBI single with two out in the bottom of the 10th. Phillies ace Aaron Nola was one strike away from tossing seven scoreless innings before pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval ripped an 0-2 pitch into the second deck in right field to tie it at 2. Philadelphia received 3 1/3 scoreless innings from four relievers, with Connor Brogdon working the 10th.
— Lorenzo Cain beat a throw to the plate in the 10th inning to complete the Milwaukee Brewers’ rally in a 6-5 victory over Minnesota. The Brewers tied it by scoring three runs in the ninth, capped by Travis Shaw’s two-out, two-run double off closer Alex Colomé in his Twins debut. The Twins took a 5-2 lead into the ninth on Byron Buxton’s two-run homer in the seventh and Max Kepler’s three hits.
— Miguel Cabrera homered in his first at-bat of the season and added a sparkling play at first base to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. Matthew Boyd allowed three hits and four walks with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 scoreless innings despite a light snowfall and gametime temperature at 32 degrees. Shane Bieber allowed three runs over the first two innings before the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner finished with 12 strikeouts over six frames.
Lindor gets record-breaking deal
UNDATED (AP) — Francisco Lindor (lihn-DOHR’) has committed to the Mets for the long haul before his first game.
Lindor has agreed to a 10-year, $341 million deal with New York late Wednesday night. The deal currently is the largest ever for a shortstop, passing Fernando Tatis (tah-TEES’) Jr.’s $340 million, 14-year contract with San Diego signed in February.
In other MLB news:
— Infielder David Fletcher has agreed to a five-year, $26 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Fletcher’s deal could be worth up to $41 million because it includes two club options worth $8 million in 2026 and $8.5 million in 2027. Fletcher finished third in the AL in 2020 with a .319 average while leading the Angels in hits.
—The Rockies brought back Jhoulys Chacín (joh-LEES’ cha-SEEN’), agreeing to a one-year deal with the right-hander on the eve of opening day. Chacín spent the first six years of his major league career in Colorado after being signed by the Rockies in September 2004, as a nondrafted international free agent.
— The Braves will expand capacity at Truist Park to 50% for their second homestand beginning April 23 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves are permitting 33% capacity at their initial homestand to allow for ample social distancing, limiting the crowd to about 13,500.
Hawks’ Collins out at least a week with sprained ankle
UNDATED (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins will be out at least a week with a sprained left ankle, another blow to the injury plagued team.
Collins was injured during during Tuesday night’s loss at Phoenix.
The Hawks have dealt with a rash of injuries that have sidelines key players such as De’Andre Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovich and Cam Reddish for significant periods.
In other NBA news:
— Kevin Durant has apologized for threatening and profane comments he made to entertainer Michael Rapaport through social media. Rapaport released images of the private messages Tuesday on his Twitter account, and they included homophobic and misogynistic language from the Brooklyn Nets star. The NBA hasn’t weighed in yet on Durant’s comments and whether he would be fined. Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said the team has discussed the remarks but would keep the conversation internal.
— Veteran guard Jeff Teague (teeg) has signed with the Bucks after getting waived by the Orlando Magic last week. The 32-year-old Teague played 34 games for Boston this season but went to Orlando last week as part of the deal that brought guard Evan Fournier to the Celtics.
Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams retiring after 33-year run
UNDATED (AP) — North Carolina has announced that Hall of Fame basketball coach Roy Williams is retiring after a 33-year career that includes three national championships.
The decision comes two weeks after the 70-year-old Williams closed his 18th season with the Tar Heels after a highly successful run at Kansas. Williams won 903 games in a career that included those three titles, all with the Tar Heels, in 2005, 2009 and 2017.
UNC lost to Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in his final game, which was Williams’ only first-round loss in 30 tournaments.
In other college basketball news:
—The University of Texas has hired Chris Beard away from Texas Tech to lead the Longhorns basketball program. Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt says Beard informed him of his decision. Beard led the Red Raiders to an NCAA Tournament runner-up finish two seasons ago. He goes to Texas after Shaka Smart left the Longhorns for Marquette after six seasons.
— Michigan’s Juwan Howard is The Associated Press men’s college basketball coach of the year. Howard received 35 of 63 votes from a national media panel. Gonzaga’s Mark Few was second with 16 votes.
— Luka Garza of Iowa is The Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound senior received 50 of 63 votes from a national media panel. Ayo Dosunmu (EYE’-oh dah-SOO’-moo) of Illinois was second with six votes.
— Oklahoma State star freshman Cade Cunningham has announced that he will enter the NBA draft after a dynamic season that saw him named a first-team AP All-American. The 6-foot-8 point guard is expected to be a high pick — possibly No. 1 overall.
— Creighton center Christian Bishop has announced on Twitter on Wednesday night he would enter the NCAA transfer portal. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Bishop averaged 11 points and 6.4 rebounds as a junior, and his 68.1% shooting ranks No. 2 on the school list for single-season field goal percentage.
— Three men’s college basketball players say they heard “a lot of talk” from NCAA President Mark Emmert during a video call to discuss their concerns. The players want the NCAA to enforce Title IX gender equity rules. They also want a waiver to let college athletes start earning money from their name, image and likeness.. Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon, Rutgers’ Geo Baker and Michigan’s Isaiah Livers spoke with Emmert.
NFL considering changing onside kick and overtime rules
UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is considering a rule change that would allow teams to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play for an onside kickoff attempt.
The proposal submitted by the Philadelphia Eagles is among 11 that will be voted on at the spring league meetings. This one would allow teams to keep the ball by converting a fourth-and-15 from their 25-yard line.
Another proposal from the Baltimore Ravens changes the overtime format and eliminates OT in the preseason. It allows the winner of the overtime coin toss to choose where to spot the ball for the first play or start on offense or defense from the designated spot.
In other NFL news:
—The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed defensive end Steven Means to a one-year contract, bringing back a player who has been a key contributor on and off the field. Means set career highs in tackles, sacks, quarterback hits and forced fumbles while starting 11 of 16 games last season.
—Tyson Alualu has signed a two-year contract to remain in Pittsburgh. The 33-year-old defensive lineman had reportedly agreed to a deal that would reunite him with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
— The sister of Chargers controlling owner Dean Spanos is petitioning a California court to put one-third of the team’s ownership stake up for sale. Dea Spanos Berberian filed a petition in Los Angeles contending that mounting debt from the franchise is creating an estimated yearly loss of at least $11 million for the family trust. Berberian and Spanos are co-trustees of the trust.
AP survey: ADs fear sharing revenue with college athletes
UNDATED (AP) — A bill introduced by two U.S. senators would require schools to share the profits they make from revenue-generating sports with the athletes that play those games. An Associated Press survey of Division I athletic directors found 69% said they would strongly oppose “being required to give college athletes a share of university revenue derived from sports.”
Another 19.6% said they what somewhat oppose sharing athletic department revenue with athletes. Almost 77% of athletic directors said many fewer schools would be competitive in sports if schools had to share revenue with athletes and another 13% said somewhat fewer schools would be competitive.
COLLEGE SPORTS-SURVEY-GENDER ISSUES
In AP survey, ADs raise worries about women’s college sports
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new AP survey of athletic directors and conversations with ADs and conference commissioners during March Madness show concern about what would happen to women’s college sports under proposals that would put more money in the pockets of some athletes.
The most striking of the survey results released Thursday is that 94% of respondents say it would be somewhat or much more difficult to comply with Title IX gender equity rules if their school were to compensate athletes in football and men’s basketball. More than 70% said some sports would lose funding or be cut. An AP count showed only 14% of Division I ADs are women.
USOPC-SEX ABUSE LAWSUITS
California court says USA Taekwondo must protect athletes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee was not liable for the sexual abuse of former female taekwondo competitors because it was not close enough to their coach or the athletes.
The ruling provided a layer of insulation from litigation for USOPC, but upheld a lower court ruling that USA Taekwondo, the governing body for the sport, has a duty to protect its athletes from abuse. The ruling came in a Los Angeles lawsuit by three women who had been aspiring Olympic athletes when their coach sexually abused them for years as minors.
The three won a $60 million judgment against convicted coach Marc Gitelman in 2017 but the trial court threw out claims against USA Taekwondo and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.