Update on the latest sports


MLB: Most in Tier 1 vaccinated

UNDATED (AP) — Major League Baseball says 70% of players, on-field staff and support personnel have been fully or partially vaccinated for the novel coronavirus. In an email to The Associated Press, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said his figure referred to all individuals defined as Tier 1 in MLB’s protocols. Those persons include players, on-field personnel such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers, plus essential personnel who need to be in close proximity, such as translators and media and travel staff.

In other virus-related sports matters:

— The NHL is preparing contingency plans if virus restrictions in Canada prevent travel between provinces or back and forth to the U.S. during the playoffs. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman calls the situation “wildly unpredictable” and says the league will make whatever adjustments necessary to get the playoffs completed.” The earliest a Canadian team would need to play a counterpart in the U.S. under this season’s postseason format would be in June, though there has been speculation about the first two rounds of the North Division playoffs happening in a quarantined bubble.

— The Milwaukee Bucks are offering COVID-19 vaccinations to fans attending their game Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks say any eligible fans attending the game can receive a first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from a mobile vaccination site at the arena.

— Boston’s pro sports teams could be playing in front of full-capacity crowds by August, according to new Massachusetts COVID-19 reopening guidelines. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s office announced Tuesday that capacity at large venues, such as indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks, can increase from their current level of 12% to 25% beginning May 10.

— Sepp Straka and Tyrrell Hatton are the third and fourth players to have to withdraw from the Valspar Championship because of a positive test for the coronavirus. Hatton is the No. 8 player in the world ranking, making him the highest-ranked player to test positive on the PGA Tour since world No. 1 Dustin Johnson in Las Vegas last October. Will Gordon and Brice Garnett also tested positive this week and withdrew.


Reliever Blevins retires

UNDATED (AP) — Veteran lefty reliever Jerry Blevins has announced his retirement after 13 big league seasons spent mostly with the Athletics and Mets. The 37-year-old last pitched in the majors for Atlanta in 2019. He had been working at the Mets’ alternate training site in Brooklyn after failing to land a bullpen spot out of spring training. He finishes his career 30-13 with a 3.54 ERA and seven saves in 609 games.

— Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has landed on the 10-day injured list with a strained tendon in his right foot.

Molina was hurt in a game Friday night against Cincinnati. He sat out Saturday and Sunday, then returned on Monday to catch all nine innings of a 2-1 loss to Philadelphia.

The nine-time Gold Glove winner is off to one of the best starts of his career, hitting .323 with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

In other major league news:

— The Yankees acquired left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta (WAHN’-dee peh-RAHL’-tah) from the Giants on Tuesday for outfielder Mike Tauchman. Peralta is 2-1 with two saves and a 5.40 ERA in 10 relief appearances with the Giants this season. Tauchman is 3 for 14 in 11 games and has a .250 average with 26 doubles, 13 home runs, 63 RBIs and 16 stolen bases over five major league seasons.


Dolphins trade Flowers to Washington

UNDATED (AP) — The Miami Dolphins have agreed to trade guard Ereck Flowers to Washington in a deal that also includes a swap of late-round draft picks.

Flowers’ agent says the Dolphins will pay the veteran guard $6 million as a signing bonus for a restructured contract this year, and Washington will pay him a $3 million base salary. Flowers signed a $30 million, three-year deal with the Dolphins a year ago and started 14 games in his only season with them.

In other NFL moves:

— The Bills signed offensive lineman Ike Boettger to a one-year contract a little over a month after retaining the rights to the third-year player. Boettger was a restricted free agent who had seven starts at left guard last season

— Former NFL linebacker and Florida State star Geno Hayes has died at age 33. His death was confirmed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He suffered from liver disease and had been in hospice care at his parents’ home in Valdosta, Georgia. Hayes spent four seasons with the Bucs, who drafted him in the sixth round of the 2008 draft.


NHL reaches 7-year deal with Turner Sports, ending NBC run

UNDATED (AP) — The National Hockey League is leaving NBA and coming to TNT.

The league and Turner Sports announced a seven-year agreement that begins next season. It includes three Stanley Cup Finals, up to 72 regular-season games, half of the first- and second-round playoff games on TNT and TBS as well as a conference final series.

The deal means NBC’s run of covering the league ends after after this season’s playoffs. NBC has broadcast games since 2005 and is in the final season of a 10-year contract.


WVU’s Derek Culver signs with agent, will enter NBA draft

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia forward Derek Culver has decided to skip his senior season to enter the NBA draft. Culver announced Monday night that he has signed with an agent.

Culver was named to the all-Big 12 first team as a junior. He was second on the Mountaineers with a scoring average of 14.3 and led the Big 12 with 9.4 rebounds per game. He had 11 double-doubles this past season.


Wimbledon Middle Sunday play in ’22; fans, money TBD in ’21

LONDON (AP) — The All England Club says there will be play on Wimbledon’s middle Sunday starting in 2022. That is a significant break in tradition for the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. There only has been play on the middle Sunday in the past when rain created a backlog of matches.

Wimbledon returns in 2021 after it was called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Favorite gets post 14 in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Essential Quality is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will start from the No. 14 post for the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Rock Your World is the 5-1 second choice from the No. 15 slot, with Known Agenda third at 6-1 despite drawing the rail in the 20-horse field.

The obvious focus is on Essential Quality, the reigning 2-year-old champion who enters the Run for the Roses having won all five races and with Luis Saez aboard.