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San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. won’t need surgery for shoulder injury

San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has been placed on the 10-day injured list but will not need surgery after the latest injury to his troublesome left shoulder, general manager A.J. Preller said Tuesday.

Tatis suffered the injury on a hard swing Monday and left San Diego’s 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. The Padres on Monday said Tatis had suffered a shoulder subluxation, which is a partial dislocation of the joint.

Preller said Tuesday that further exams showed a slight labrum tear consistent with a subluxation. He said the injury is “nonsurgical.”

The Padres hope Tatis can return as quickly as 10 days. Preller said the shortstop has full range of motion and that he wanted to be in the lineup Tuesday.

“In general for us, I think it’s just being safe, giving the left shoulder inflammation and some of the instability [a] chance to calm down,” Preller said.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler told reporters after the Giants game that Tatis had…

April 06

Iowa’s Luka Garza wins John R. Wooden Award to complete sweep of top-player honors

One year after finishing second in a tight race,  Iowa star Luka Garza added another award to his trophy case Tuesday by winning the John R. Wooden Award as the top player in men’s college basketball.

Garza, a 6-foot-11 senior standout, secured the award and completed the sweep of the major national player of the year awards in 2020-21 after finishing behind Dayton’s Obi Toppin in last year’s Wooden Award race. It’s the fourth national player of the year award for Garza, who previously captured the Oscar Robertson Trophy (United States Basketball Writers Association), the Naismith Trophy and Associated Press Player of the Year honors.

Garza, a projected second-round pick in ESPN’s latest NBA mock draft, averaged 24.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 2020-21. The Washington, D.C., native won the Wooden over fellow finalists Jared Butler ( Baylor), Cade Cunningham ( Oklahoma State), Ayo Dosunmu ( Illinois)…

April 06

New York Yankees acquire infielder Rougned Odor in trade with Texas Rangers

Infielder Rougned Odor was traded Tuesday from the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees for minor league outfielders Antonio Cabello and Josh Stowers.

The 27-year-old Odor did not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster and was designated for assignment on April 1. He is a left-handed hitter, and the Yankees have a mostly right-handed lineup.

“Hopefully we can help him get that talent out that we’ve seen flash over the years,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Odor is a second baseman but also played third in spring training.

Texas is expected to absorb almost the entirety of the $27 million owed to Odor, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. He’s due $12 million this year, $12 million in 2022 and a $3 million buyout on a $13 million club option in 2023.

Odor has a .237 career average with 146 homers and 458 RBIs in seven major league seasons. He hit .167 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and batted .200 with two homers and five…

April 06

Carlos Dunlap says Russell Wilson told him he’s here to stay with Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE — Before re-signing with the Seattle Seahawks last month, veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap wanted to make sure that Russell Wilson would still be their quarterback.

Dunlap said he got that assurance from Wilson himself.

Speaking with reporters via videoconference for the first time since returning to Seattle on a two-year deal, Dunlap paraphrased his conversation with Wilson.

“I did ask him if, obviously, he was going to be with us, because if I’m coming back, I’m coming back because I see him as my quarterback, and the rest of the team, I want to pick up where we left off,” Dunlap said Tuesday. “And he told me he’s with us and he’s here to stay, and he said, ‘Let’s go, Hawks.’ I’m not going to quote his every word. These words are not his words verbatim, but these are my explanation of how I interpreted what he said.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported at the start of free agency last month that the Chicago Bears made “a very aggressive…

April 06

LSU Tigers football coach Ed Orgeron says alleged sexual harassment of woman by ex-RB Derrius Guice ‘utterly unacceptable’

LSU football coach Ed Orgeron said in a written statement submitted to a Louisiana state Senate committee on Tuesday that he considered former running back Derrius Guice’s alleged sexual harassment of Gloria Scott in 2017 “utterly unacceptable” but denied ever speaking to Scott directly about the matter.

Orgeron’s statement contradicts some of what Scott told the committee on March 26 when she recalled how she was working as a security worker at the Superdome in New Orleans in December 2017 when Guice, then an LSU running back, approached her and told her in front of his friends that “I like having sex with older women like you” and “I want your body.”

Orgeron submitted his written statement after a request from the Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Women & Children to respond to the allegations made by Scott.

In a letter to Orgeron, Sen. Regina Barrow, who chairs the committee, wrote, “As the leader of the LSU football team, it is critically important that your…

April 06

James Harden to miss at least 10 days for Brooklyn Nets; Kevin Durant likely to return Wednesday

NEW YORK —  Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden will miss at least 10 days with a right hamstring strain, but teammate  Kevin Durant is probable to return Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans, the team announced Tuesday.

Harden played just four minutes before he was ruled out of Monday’s 114-112 win over New York. He had missed the two previous games.

One of the front-runners for league MVP, Harden is averaging 25.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 10.9 assists for the Nets.

Durant, meanwhile, has missed the past 23 games after suffering a right hamstring strain on Feb. 13. He has played only seven games alongside Kyrie Irving and Harden. Since then, the Nets have added Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge to their roster.

Initially, Durant had been ruled out for just two games, but subsequent imaging revealed a more severe strain. Last week, Durant said that he had been sidelined much longer than he had…

April 06

LSU Tigers coach Ed Orgeron says alleged sexual harassment of woman by ex-RB Derrius Guice ‘utterly unacceptable’

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said in a written statement submitted to a Louisiana state Senate committee on Tuesday that he considered former running back Derrius Guice’s alleged sexual harassment of Gloria Scott in 2017 “utterly unacceptable” but denied ever speaking to Scott directly about the matter.

Orgeron’s statement contradicts some of what Scott told the committee on March 26 when she recalled how she was working as a security worker at the Superdome in New Orleans in December 2017 when Guice, then an LSU running back, approached her and told her in front of his friends that “I like having sex with older women like you” and “I want your body.”

Orgeron submitted his written statement following a request from the Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Women & Children to respond to the allegations made by Scott.

In a letter to Orgeron, Senator Regina Barrow, who chairs the committee, wrote, “As the leader of the LSU football team, it is critically important that your…

April 06

Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu to enter NBA draft, hire agent

Illinois junior Ayo Dosunmu will declare for the 2021 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent, he announced on ESPN’s The Jump on Wednesday.

Dosunmu, the No. 22 prospect in the ESPN 100, was a consensus first team All-American and the winner of the Bob Cousy Award, presented to the nation’s top point guard. Dosunmu, 21, averaged 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 39% from 3-point range, leading Illinois to the Big Ten Conference tournament title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

“In my freshman season at Illinois just three years ago, we finished at the bottom of the Big Ten,” Dosunmu said. “… The postseason didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but what my teammates and I accomplished in three short years was pretty remarkable.”

The 6-foot-4 Dosunmu, who has a 6-foot-9 wingspan, is considered one of the best two-way guards to be available in the NBA draft, thanks to his length, pace and…

April 06

New York Yankees acquire IF Rougned Odor in trade with Texas Rangers

The New York Yankees have acquired infielder Rougned Odor from the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers will receive minor league outfielders Antonio Cabello and Josh Stowers, with the Yankees also getting cash considerations in the deal.

Texas is expected to absorb almost the entirety of the $27 million owed to Odor, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. He’s due $12 million this year, $12 million in 2022 and a $3 million buyout on a $13 million club option in 2023.

Odor spent the past seven seasons as the Rangers’ starting second baseman, but an attempt to convert him into a third baseman ended with Odor failing to make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Odor, 27, led Texas with 30 RBIs in 38 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and matched Joey Gallo with a team-best 10 homers. But Odor hit only .167, with seven of his 11 hits in September being homers, and struck out 47 times in 138 at-bats. He hit .205 in a full 2019 season. In 858 games for the…

April 06

Two women who filed lawsuits vs. Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson alleging sexual misconduct speak out

HOUSTON — Two of the 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior came forward publicly during a news conference Tuesday.

Ashley Solis, who lawyer Tony Buzbee said was the first massage therapist to file a lawsuit against Watson on March 16, spoke in the news conference. Lauren Baxley wrote a letter to Watson that was read by lawyer Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey, who works at Buzbee’s law firm.

“I got into massage therapy to heal people,” Solis said. “To heal their minds and bodies. To bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson has robbed me of that. He took that away from me, he tainted a profession in which I take enormous pride. … I suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and depression. I’m in counseling as a result of Deshaun Watson’s actions. I hope he knows how much pain he’s inflicted on me emotionally and physically. And I hope he knows how much pain he’s inflicted…

April 06

Sources: New York Yankees finalizing trade to get IF Rougned Odor from Texas Rangers

The New York Yankees are finalizing a trade to acquire infielder Rougned Odor from the Texas Rangers, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Rangers are expected to absorb almost the entirety of the $27 million owed to Odor, sources said. He’s due $12 million this year, $12 million in 2022 and a $3 million buyout on a $13 million club option in 2023.

Odor spent the past seven seasons as the Rangers’ starting second baseman, but an attempt to convert him into a third baseman ended with Odor failing to make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Odor, 27, led Texas with 30 RBIs in 38 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and matched Joey Gallo with a team-best 10 homers. But Odor hit only .167, with seven of his 11 hits in September being homers, and struck out 47 times in 138 at-bats. He hit .205 in a full 2019 season. In 858 games for the Rangers since his debut in 2014, he hit .237 with 146 homers and 458 RBIs.

Information from The Associated…

April 06

Justin Thomas says friend Tiger Woods is ‘bummed’ not to be at Masters while he recovers from car wreck

AUGUSTA, Georgia — In each of the previous four years, Justin Thomas played practice rounds at Augusta National Golf Club with two former Masters champions — Fred Couples and Tiger Woods.

Thomas said Couples, the 1992 Masters winner, blew him off Tuesday morning.

“He didn’t feel like getting up in the early cold weather this morning, so I made sure to give him some grief,” Thomas said. “I don’t know if he would have bailed on me if Tiger was with me, but he did on me.”

Woods, a five-time Masters champion who last won the event in 2019, is at home in Florida, recovering from serious injuries he suffered in a single-car wreck outside Los Angeles on Feb. 23.

He reached out on social media on Tuesday afternoon, saying he’ll “miss running up” Dustin Johnson’s bill at the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night.

Thomas said he visited with Woods a couple of times last week and exchanged text messages with him Friday morning.

“He said it’s kind of starting…

April 06

Defending Masters champion Dustin Johnson to tee off in morning session; Jordan Spieth in final group

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Dustin Johnson will begin his defense of the Masters title Thursday at 10:30 a.m. along with England’s Lee Westwood and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci.

The tournament begins with an honorary starter ceremony involving Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Elder, the first Black golfer to compete in the Masters. They start at 7:45 a.m., with the first tee time at 8 a.m.

Jordan Spieth, coming off a victory Sunday at the Valero Texas Open, PGA champion Collin Morikawa and Cameron Smith go off last at 2 p.m.

Among some other notable groupings: Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka and Viktor Hovland at 10:06 a.m.; Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Christiaan Bezuidenhout at 10:18 a.m.

Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy at 10:42 a.m.; Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger and Paul Casey at 10:54 a.m.; Phil Mickelson, …

April 06

Bryson DeChambeau says something in his bag for Masters week is ‘very helpful’ but won’t get into specifics

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Bryson DeChambeau is tinkering again, trying to find the right combination to take on Augusta National this week at the Masters.

And he was coy when discussing what he might be using when the tournament begins. DeChambeau said he is working with a new driver head but was vague about any other details.

“Obviously there’s something in the bag this week that’s very helpful,” he said Tuesday. “I won’t go into specifics of it. But just know this has been a few years in the making, and I’m very excited for it. Whether it helps me perform at a higher level, I’m not sure, because it’s golf and you never know what happens.

“Definitely what I’ve seen on the driving range and what I’ve seen the last week in practice, there’s some tremendous benefits to it.”

Whatever it is, DeChambeau is certainly not new to experimentation and implementation.

Before last year’s Masters in November, he worked with a 48-inch driver shaft. As has been well documented, he has pursued…

April 06

Washington Nationals put 10 on IL ahead of COVID-delayed season opener

The Washington Nationals finally opened their season Tuesday, but did so with a patchwork roster due to COVID-19 issues.

The Nats announced that starting pitchers Patrick Corbin and Jon Lester, catchers Yan Gomes and Alex Avila, first baseman Josh Bell, infielders Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer, left fielder Kyle Schwarber and reliever Brad Hand have all been placed on the injured list, though none with a specified injury.

A coronavirus outbreak has sidelined 11 players, four of whom tested positive for COVID-19, though the team has not revealed which players tested positive and which are in protocols.

With so many players out, the Nationals recalled seven players, including shortstop Carter Kieboom, to the 26-man roster and signed 34-year-old catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a contract as part of a flurry of personnel moves.

Lucroy started for Washington on Tuesday and batted eighth as the team opened its…

April 06

Atlanta Falcons open to trading No. 4 draft pick, source says

The Atlanta Falcons are “open to moving” out of the No. 4 pick in this month’s NFL draft, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as the first three picks in the draft appear to be locked in.

Quarterbacks are expected to be taken with the first three selections.

Clemson quarterback  Trevor Lawrence is widely expected to be taken at No. 1 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the New York Jets signaled that they will draft a quarterback at No. 2 when they traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers on Monday. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, traded up from No. 12 to No. 3 and have stated they did so with the intention of drafting a quarterback.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot said in February that he believed the No. 4 spot is “a prime spot to be in.”

“There are so many different scenarios,” Fontenot said at a news conference then. “There are going to be some really good players there at No. 4. We can move up, and…

April 06

Atlanta Falcons open to trading No. 4 overall draft pick, source says

The Atlanta Falcons are “open to moving” out of the No. 4 pick in this month’s NFL draft, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter as the first three picks in the draft appear to be locked in.

Quarterbacks are expected to be taken with the first three selections in this month’s draft.

Clemson quarterback  Trevor Lawrence is widely expected to be taken No. 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the New York Jets signaled they will draft a quarterback at No. 2 when they traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers on Monday. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, traded up from No. 12 to No. 3 and have stated they did so with the intention of drafting a quarterback.

Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot said in February he believed the No. 4 spot is “a prime spot to be in.”

“There are so many different scenarios,” Fontenot said at a news conference in February. “There are going to be some really good players there at No. 4. We…

April 06

Wisconsin Badgers AD Barry Alvarez retiring on June 30

Wisconsin Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez will retire from his post June 30, he announced Tuesday.

Alvarez, 74, has led Wisconsin’s athletic department since 2004 and served as the Badgers’ football coach from 1990 to 2005, when he revived the program with three Big Ten championships and three Rose Bowl victories. He spent two seasons as both athletic director and head football coach roles before moving fully into an administrative role.

Alvarez is the active athletic director with the third-longest tenure at one major program, trailing only Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione and Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart.

“It has been an honor to be a part of Wisconsin Athletics and I take great pride in all we have accomplished over the last three decades,” Alvarez said in a prepared statement. “From championships, to improvements on campus, to impacting thousands of student-athletes, it’s been a great ride. I’m grateful for the support, generosity, enthusiasm and loyalty of Badgers in the state…

April 06

Boston Red Sox ‘push the envelope’ with Marathon-inspired blue-yellow uniforms

The Boston Red Sox, known for their traditional white uniforms with red lettering and the iconic “B,” are unveiling their first jersey without any red at all.

As part of Major League Baseball’s first major jersey collaboration with Nike — which became the sport’s uniform supplier in 2019 — the Red Sox unveiled the yellow-and-powder-blue uniforms Tuesday.

Inspired by the Patriots’ Day holiday and the Boston Marathon, the jerseys feature a marathon bib patch with 617, Fenway Park’s area code, on the left sleeve.

The radical design for MLB is part of Nike’s first venture into designing alternates for baseball, known as the City Connect series, meant to push the boundaries of uniform design.

“It was front and center and this is why we did this deal. You take two iconic brands and you put them together and you have one and one make three,” MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said. “This is what we expected, and this is what we wanted. This is the plan we always set out…

April 06

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. suffers partial shoulder dislocation on hard swing, will undergo MRI

Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered another injury to his troublesome left shoulder on a hard swing Monday and left San Diego’s loss to the San Francisco Giants.

The Padres announced that Tatis exited because of a shoulder subluxation, which is a partial dislocation of the joint, and will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler told reporters that Tatis has experienced minor dislocations in the past but said that Monday’s incident was the most pain he’s ever seen Tatis in. Tingler also acknowledged that the nagging shoulder issue may have been bothering Tatis “more than we realized.”

Tatis crumpled to the ground in pain after swinging and missing at a 2-2 pitch from San Francisco’s Anthony DeSclafani in the third inning, leaving Petco Park in silence. He walked off the field with assistance from Tingler and a trainer, cradling his left arm against his body.

“Of course it’s concerning,” Tingler said. “You don’t want to see him…

April 06

NCAA group condemns anti-transgender sports bills in open letter

The bills send a message to kids that “they are not welcome,” one signee said.

April 06

Protesters march with signs in support of transgender and transgender youth rights march around the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., March 2, 2021.

Los Angeles Angels fans toss trash cans, jeer Houston Astros in win

ANAHEIM, Calif. — A gray, life-sized, inflatable garbage can was heaved over the right-field scoreboard and made its way onto Angel Stadium’s warning track at the conclusion of Monday’s sixth inning, the latest — perhaps most glaring — indication of the anger that still festers around the Houston Astros.

Moments later, with Jose Altuve up to bat, a real garbage can landed in almost the exact same place, spilling a handful of plastic bottles as it collided with the dirt and interrupted play once more.

The animosity, persistent throughout the course of a four-hour game from the 13,447 fans in attendance, was a continuation of what the Astros experienced in Oakland over the weekend, only this time they didn’t win in spite of it.

“You can tell the amount of hostility and the amount of hatred in the stands,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said after a dramatic 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, which dropped his team’s record to 4-1. “How many in the…

April 06

Baylor overwhelms Gonzaga, ends Bulldogs’ perfect season to win first men’s basketball national title

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly an hour after Baylor captured its first men’s basketball national title through an 86-70 pummeling of Gonzaga on Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bears coach Scott Drew sat on a dais with a Coca-Cola in his hand, the championship net around his neck and a smile on his face.

“First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing us with this opportunity tonight,” Drew said after the game. “I know the guys have worked really hard. And I’m so happy they get a chance to celebrate now. At the same time, I feel for Coach [Mark] Few and his team because they’re such class acts. And Coach Few is a Hall of Fame coach and an unbelievable guy. A better person than he is a coach. And you hate when friends aren’t feeling good.”

 

The buildup to Monday’s contest suggested the favored Gonzaga squad would shoot the final scene of its Disney movie by winning the national title and completing the first perfect season in 45 years. Instead, the greatest…

April 06

Baylor overwhelms Gonzaga, ends Bulldogs’ perfect season to win first men’s basketball title

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly an hour after Baylor captured its first national title through an 86-70 pummeling of Gonzaga on Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bears coach Scott Drew sat on a dais with a Coca-Cola in his hand, the championship net around his neck and a smile on his face.

“First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing us with this opportunity tonight,” Drew said after the game. “I know the guys have worked really hard. And I’m so happy they get a chance to celebrate now. At the same time, I feel for Coach Few and his team because they’re such class acts. And coach Few is a Hall of Fame coach and an unbelievable guy. A better person than he is a coach. And you hate when friends aren’t feeling good.”

 

The buildup to Monday’s game suggested the favored Gonzaga squad would shoot the final scene of its Disney movie by winning the national title and completing the first perfect season in 45 years. Instead, the greatest chapter of Baylor’s tale…

April 06

Baylor overwhelms Gonzaga, end Bulldogs’ perfect season to win first men’s basketball title

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly an hour after Baylor captured its first national title through an 86-70 pummeling of Gonzaga at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday, Scott Drew sat on a dais with a Coca-Cola in his hand, the championship net around his neck and a smile on his face.

“First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing us with this opportunity tonight,” Drew said after the game. “I know the guys have worked really hard. And I’m so happy they get a chance to celebrate now. At the same time, I feel for Coach Few and his team because they’re such class acts. And coach Few is a Hall of Fame coach and an unbelievable guy. A better person than he is a coach. And you hate when friends aren’t feeling good.”

 

The buildup to Monday’s game suggested the favored Gonzaga squad would shoot the final scene of its Disney movie by winning the national title and completing the first perfect season in 45 years. Instead, the greatest chapter of Baylor’s tale was written.

When he…

April 06

Fernando Tatis Jr. leaves San Diego Padres game due to left shoulder subluxation

SAN DIEGO — Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hurt himself taking a hard swing and immediately left Monday’s 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Tatis struck out swinging against Anthony DeSclafani and winced in pain as he fell to the ground. He cradled his left arm while he got up, and two athletic trainers helped hold his arm against his body as he walked off the field.

The Padres later said that Tatis exited because of a left shoulder subluxation, which is a partial dislocation of a joint. He will be reevaluated Tuesday. 

The 22-year-old Tatis left a game late in spring training with left shoulder discomfort but was back two days later. Manager Jayce Tingler said then that Tatis had been dealing with left shoulder discomfort since his minor league days. Tatis later said he’d had it since rookie ball.

Tatis committed five errors through the first four games.

He signed the longest contract in big league history on Feb. 22, a…

April 06

Fernando Tatis Jr. leaves San Diego Padres game with left shoulder subluxation

SAN DIEGO — Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hurt himself taking a hard swing Monday night and immediately left the game against the San Francisco Giants.

Tatis struck out swinging against Anthony DeSclafani and winced in pain as he fell to the ground. He cradled his left arm while he got up, and two athletic trainers helped hold his left arm against his body as he left the field.

The Padres later said that Tatis exited with a left shoulder subluxation, whichis a partial dislocation of a joint. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday. 

The 22-year-old Tatis left a game late in spring training with left shoulder discomfort but was back two days later. Manager Jayce Tingler said then that Tatis had been dealing with left shoulder discomfort since his minor league days. Tatis later said he’d had it since rookie ball.

Tatis committed five errors through the first four games.

He signed the longest contract in big league history on Feb. 22, a 14-year,…

April 06

Even with deflating loss to Baylor, Gonzaga still betting favorite to win the 2022 men’s basketball title

Fresh off falling short of an undefeated season and the school’s first national championship, Gonzaga is the betting favorite for the 2021-22 college basketball season. Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill has posted the Bulldogs at +550 and newly crowned champion Baylor as the second-favorite, at +850.

Handicapping which transfers and high school recruits will make the biggest impact is always tricky for oddsmakers. However, in response to the pandemic, the NCAA is allowing any player the option to transfer without sitting out a season, and that poses even more challenges for oddsmakers.

“It’s a completely different animal,” William Hill U.S. director of trading Nick Bogdanovich told ESPN. “It’s going to be a difficult task, to say the least. It might be one of those where we tread a little cautiously with the really big numbers and some of the favorites will be fattened up,” explaining that typical 50-1 long shots might be reduced to 35-1 to protect the house while offering…

April 05

Coors Field to host 2021 MLB All-Star Game, sources say

Coors Field in Denver has been chosen to host this year’s All-Star Game, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney on Monday.

MLB opted to move the game out of Atlanta due to voting laws passed in Georgia last month.

It will mark the second time the homer-friendly home of the Colorado Rockies will host the Midsummer Classic. The American League beat the National League 13-8 at Coors in 1998.

This year’s All-Star Game originally was scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park, home of the Braves. However, on April 2, MLB announced that it decided to move the game out of Atlanta because of a new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of color.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement at the time that he discussed the potential move with individual major leaguers and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year, before ultimately deciding to make the call “as the best…

April 05

Coors Field expected to host 2021 MLB All-Star Game, sources say

Coors Field in Denver is expected to host this year’s All-Star Game, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney on Monday.

MLB opted to move the game out of Atlanta due to voting laws passed in Georgia last month.

It will mark the second time the homer-friendly home of the Colorado Rockies will host the Midsummer Classic. The American League beat the National League 13-8 at Coors in 1998.

This year’s All-Star Game originally was scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park, home of the Braves. However, on April 2, MLB announced that it decided to move the game out of Atlanta due to a new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of color.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement at the time that he discussed the potential move with individual major leaguers and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year, before ultimately deciding to make the call “as the best way to…

April 05

Coors Field expected to host 2021 MLB All-Star Game , sources say

Coors Field in Denver is expected to host this year’s All-Star Game, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney on Monday.

MLB opted to move the game out of Atlanta due to voting laws passed in Georgia last month.

It will mark the second time the homer-friendly home of the Colorado Rockies will host the Midsummer Classic. The American League beat the National League, 13-8, at Coors in 1998.

This year’s All-Star Game originally was scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park, home of the Braves. However, on April 2, MLB announced that it decided to move the game out of Atlanta due to a new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of color.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement at the time that he discussed the potential move with individual big leaguers and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year, before ultimately deciding to make the call “as the best way to…

April 05

New York Jets trade QB Sam Darnold to Carolina Panthers for 3 draft picks

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Three years after hailing him as a franchise savior, the New York Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers on Monday, ending months of intense speculation about their quarterback plans.

In return for Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2018, the Jets received three picks: a sixth-rounder in the 2021 draft later this month and a second-rounder and fourth-rounder in 2022.

Without a proven quarterback on the roster, the Jets are expected to select Darnold’s replacement with the No. 2 overall pick in the April 29 draft in Cleveland (on ESPN and the ESPN App). The leading candidate is BYU’s Zach Wilson, who has met virtually multiple times with the Jets’ brass.

If the Jets do select a quarterback at No. 2 overall they would become the first team in the common draft era (since 1967) to select two quarterbacks within the top three overall picks in a four-year span, according to ESPN Stats & Information…

April 05

UConn Huskies freshman Paige Bueckers caps standout season, wins John R. Wooden Award

UConn’s Paige Bueckers won the John R. Wooden Award on Monday, becoming the first freshman to win the honor, which is given annually to the top women’s college basketball player in the country.

The 5-foot-11 guard had one of the greatest rookie seasons in UConn history, leading the Huskies in points (20.0), assists (5.8) and steals (2.3) per game in 2020-21. She also averaged 4.9 rebounds, shot 52.4% from the field, 46.4% from 3-point range and 86.9% from the free throw line.

“It’s a blessing. It means everything to me to win these individual awards, but it’s a true testament to our whole team and everything that they’ve done for me,” Bueckers said. “The coaching staff, for them to put me in this position, I’m just extremely thankful.”

Bueckers is just the second underclassman to win the Wooden Award, which was first handed out in women’s college basketball in 2003-04. Then-sophomore Maya Moore of UConn won the first of two Wooden Awards in 2009. Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu was a…

April 05

Kansas Jayhawks hire Travis Goff as new athletic director

Kansas has hired Northwestern administrator Travis Goff as its new athletic director, the school announced Monday. 

Goff, a Sunflower State native who graduated from KU, called it a thrill to return to Lawrence, Kansas, in what he labeled “one of the most humbling responsibilities and opportunities in college athletics.” 

“Our purpose will remain focused on fostering our student-athletes’ academic, social and athletic development; supporting our talented coaches and staff; connecting with alumni and donors; and, most importantly, building a culture that allows 16 proud programs to compete for Big 12 Conference and national championships while representing our department, our institution and our community,” he said in a statement.

Goff has been at Northwestern since 2012, most recently as deputy athletic director and assistant vice president for development. He played a role in fundraising that led to massive facilities upgrades at Northwestern and oversaw the football, baseball…

April 05

Travis Goff finalizing deal to be Kansas Jayhawks’ AD, source says

Kansas is finalizing a deal to hire Northwestern administrator Travis Goff, a Sunflower State native who graduated from the school, to be its next athletic director, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

Goff has been at Northwestern since 2012, most recently as deputy athletic director and assistant vice president for development. He played a role in fundraising that led to massive facilities upgrades at Northwestern and oversaw the football, baseball and volleyball programs.

Kansas has been searching for an athletic director since Jeff Long resigned almost a month ago.

Long was responsible for hiring Les Miles, with whom the school parted ways amid sexual misconduct allegations dating to the football coach’s time at LSU. Long initially said he would lead the search for Miles’ replacement, but criticism about the due-diligence he did in hiring his longtime friend, coupled with massive public outcry, led to his decision to resign.

Goff’s first big task will be to…

April 05

North Carolina Tar Heels hire Hubert Davis as new basketball coach, replacing retired Roy Williams

North Carolina has promoted longtime assistant Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams as the Tar Heels’ new head basketball coach, the school announced Monday.

Davis has been an assistant coach under Williams for the past nine seasons in Chapel Hill and was one of the favorites as soon as the job opened. He becomes the first Black head coach in UNC men’s basketball history. 

Williams, a Hall of Famer who won three national championships and more than 900 games, retired last week after 18 seasons at North Carolina and 33 seasons as a head coach. He is the only coach in history to post 400 wins at two schools.

“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,” Davis said in a statement released by the school. “I would not be here without Coach Dean Smith, Coach Bill Guthridge and Coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much — and I’m eager to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality. I also would not be here without Chancellor…

April 05

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers says he ‘would love’ to be full-time ‘Jeopardy!’ host

Here’s how far Green Bay Packers quarterback  Aaron Rodgers would go to someday become the permanent host of the game show “Jeopardy!”: He’d go clean-shaven to do it.

Just hours before Rodgers’ first episode in a two-week run as guest host was scheduled to air, he said he would like to be considered as a full-time replacement for the late Alex Trebek.

“If [shaving his beard and mustache] was a prereq to get the full-time gig, no problem with that at all. No problem at all,” Rodgers said Monday on The Pat McAfee Show. “I would love to be the host of ‘Jeopardy!’ yes.”

Rodgers did not say when he would like to take a run at the job, though.

His future with the Packers has been the subject of much debate ever since the team picked quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of last year’s draft. Shortly after that, Rodgers admitted that he had lost some control over when his tenure would end with the only NFL team he has ever played for. He…

April 05

North Carolina hires Hubert Davis as new basketball coach, replacing Roy Williams

North Carolina has promoted longtime assistant Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams as the Tar Heels’ new head basketball coach, the school announced Monday.

Davis has been an assistant coach under Williams for the past nine seasons in Chapel Hill and was one of the favorites immediately after the job opened.

Williams, a Hall of Famer who won three national championships and more than 900 games, retired last week after 18 seasons at North Carolina and 33 seasons as a head coach. He is the only coach in history to post 400 wins at two different schools.

“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this program,” Davis said in a statement released by the school. “I would not be here without Coach Dean Smith, Coach Bill Guthridge and Coach Roy Williams; they taught me so much — and I’m eager to walk their path in my shoes and with my personality. I also would not be here without Chancellor Guskiewicz and Bubba Cunningham. I appreciate their faith in me and I…

April 05

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers says he ‘would love’ to be full-time Jeopardy! host

Here’s how far Aaron Rodgers would go to someday become the permanent host of the game show Jeopardy!: He’d go clean shaven to do it.

Just hours before Rodgers’ first episode in a two-week run as guest host was scheduled to air, he said he would like to be considered as a full-time replacement for the late Alex Trebek.

“If [shaving his beard and mustache] was a pre-req to get the full-time gig, no problem with that at all. No problem at all,” Rodgers said Monday on The Pat McAfee Show. “I would love to be the host of Jeopardy!, yes.”

Rodgers did not say when he would like to take a run at the job, though.

His future with the Green Bay Packers has been the subject of much debate ever since the team picked quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of last year’s draft. Shortly after that, he admitted that he lost some control over when his tenure would end with the only team he’s ever played for. He said late last season that his future was “a…

April 05

Sources: Hubert Davis expected to be hired as North Carolina basketball coach, replacing Roy Williams

North Carolina is expected to promote longtime assistant Hubert Davis to replace Roy Williams as the Tar Heels’ new head basketball coach, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

The university’s board of trustees was holding a meeting Monday to approve Davis’ contract, sources told ESPN.

Williams, a Hall of Famer who won three national championships and more than 900 games, retired last week after 18 seasons at North Carolina and 33 seasons as a head coach. He is the only coach in history to post 400 wins at two different schools.

Davis has been an assistant coach under Williams for the past nine seasons in Chapel Hill and was one of the favorites immediately after the job opened.

UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham was expected to choose to hire someone within the Carolina family, as the program has done for the past 70 years, meaning Davis and UNC Greensboro’s Wes Miller were the front-runners.

Cunningham did do background research on a few names not part of the Williams…

April 05

Jordan Spieth heads into the Masters with relief after win

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth got to drive down Magnolia Lane late Monday morning with a sense of relief.

For the first time in nearly four years, he was a winner again Sunday on the PGA Tour, the constant scrutiny and questions concerning his troubling play now changing to talk of him being among the contenders at the Masters.

DraftKings now lists Spieth among the favorites, along with defending champion Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

“When you’re coming in form, it’s a good feeling when you arrive here, and I’ve had that a few times,” Spieth said. “I love being here. I love being on the grounds. It’s my favorite tournament in the world. I’ve expressed that many times here.

“Yesterday [at the Texas Open] was a great day. That was a lot of fun being in contention, having the putts kind of go in. As I’ve mentioned over the last six weeks or so, you put yourself in that position enough times, the bounces will go your way.”

Spieth,…

April 05

Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden (hamstring) available to play against New York Knicks

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets star James Harden is available to play Monday against the New York Knicks after missing the past two games with right hamstring tightness.

Harden had stayed back from the Nets’ trip to Chicago on Sunday — along with Kevin Durant — to continue to treat the tightness. Still, the Nets are without a slew of players for Monday’s crosstown matchup, including Durant, Blake Griffin, Tyler Johnson and Landry Shamet.

Griffin is sitting out the second half of the back-to-back for injury maintenance. Johnson left the Nets’ game against the Bulls early after injuring his knee on a noncontact play. Coach Steve Nash said on Sunday that Johnson was scheduled to have a scan on his knee. Shamet tweaked his right ankle in Sunday’s game against Chicago and is having some precautionary imaging done, sources told ESPN. Shamet already missed five games in late March with a right ankle sprain. He is not expected to…

April 05

Washington Nationals to play doubleheader vs. Atlanta Braves, eye roster moves amid COVID-19 outbreak

The Nationals and Braves will make up their game that was postponed Monday because of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak as part of a doubleheader Wednesday.

Major League Baseball announced the change Monday while Nationals players were working out at Nationals Park.

Four players on the Nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 and seven more have been placed under quarantine after contact tracing determined they potentially were exposed.

The Nationals plan to add infielder Luis Garcia, outfielder Yadiel Hernandez, catcher Tres Barrera, right-hander Kyle McGowin and left-hander to their 26-man roster for Tuesday’s season opener against the Braves, according to The Athletic.

Star shortstop Trea Turner, first baseman Josh Bell and catcher Yan Gomes were not among the players present at Monday’s workout, according to multiple reports.

The 2019 World Series champions have yet to play a game this season. Their opening three-game series…

April 05

Another lawsuit filed against Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, bringing total to 22

HOUSTON — Another lawsuit has been filed against Deshaun Watson, this one alleging the Houston Texans quarterback assaulted a licensed aesthetician “by touching her with his penis and exposing himself.”

The lawsuit, filed Friday night and made available on the Harris County District Clerk’s website on Monday, said “Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing and escalating pattern.” It was the 22nd lawsuit filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee since March 16.

The plaintiff alleges Watson “grabbed” her buttocks during a massage while his “penis was erect … and completely exposed.” The lawsuit alleges Watson told the massage therapist she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before he would pay her for the massage.

The lawsuit says, “based on publicly available information, in a short time frame … Watson used more than fifty different women for massages” and alleges that “Watson selected all of these women via social media, mostly through Instagram and through…

April 05

Cincinnati Reds OF Nick Castellanos suspended 2 games for sparking brawl

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos has been suspended two games for his actions Saturday that led to a benches-clearing brawl with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Castellanos, who is appealing the suspension, was not the only player to be penalized as he and five others were also fined.

The drama actually began on Thursday, Opening Day, when the Reds right fielder hit a home run and hopped out of the box before tossing his bat. After an off day for the teams on Friday, Castellanos was hit by a pitch from Cardinals reliever Jake Woodford in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game.

Unfazed by the plunking, Castellanos retrieved the ball and offered to toss it back to Woodford before flipping it out of play. When Castellanos came around to score on a wild pitch later in the inning, he slid and bumped into Woodford, who was covering at home plate, then stood up, yelled and flexed in front of the pitcher.

As Castellanos began walking away, catcher …

April 05

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott backs out of Texas Rangers’ first pitch over MLB’s decision to move All-Star Game from Georgia

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday afternoon that he would not be throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener, as had been scheduled, because of Major League Baseball’s response to voting laws recently passed in Georgia.

“I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game until @MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia’s election law reforms. It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics,” the Republican governor tweeted.

In an additional statement, Abbott said that he will not “participate in an event held by MLB, and the State will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.”

On Friday, MLB announced that this summer’s All-Star Game was being moved out of Atlanta in response to a new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of…

April 05

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott backs out of Texas Rangers’ first pitch over MLB’s decision to move ASG from Georgia

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday afternoon that he will not be throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener, as had been scheduled, because of Major League Baseball’s response to voting laws recently passed in Georgia.

“I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game until @MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia’s election law reforms. It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics,” the Republican governor tweeted.

In an additional statement, Abbott said that he will not “participate in an event held by MLB, and the State will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.”

On Friday, MLB announced that this summer’s All-Star Game was being moved out of Atlanta in response to a new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of…

April 05

Former Miami Hurricanes football coach Randy Shannon joins rival Florida State as defensive analyst

Florida State has hired former Miami Hurricanes head football coach Randy Shannon as a senior defensive analyst, the school announced Monday.

Shannon, 55, spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at UCF but was not among the assistants Josh Heupel brought with him from UCF to Tennessee.

Shannon, who went 28-22 in four seasons at Miami, also spent 2015 to 2017 at Florida, serving as defensive coordinator and four games as interim head coach in 2017.

“Randy Shannon is a tremendous addition to our staff,” Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell said in a statement. “I have all the respect in the world for the person and coach Randy Shannon is. His unique perspective will be valuable to [defensive coordinator Adam] Fuller and the rest of our defensive staff, while his relationships in Miami and throughout the state of Florida will be a great benefit for our entire program.”

A Miami native who played linebacker for the…

April 05

Former Miami football coach Randy Shannon joins rival Florida State as defensive analyst

Florida State has hired former Miami head coach Randy Shannon as a senior defensive analyst, the school announced Monday.

Shannon, 55, spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at UCF, but was not among the assistants Josh Heupel brought with him from UCF to Tennessee.

Shannon, who went 28-22 in four seasons at Miami, also spent 2015 to 2017 at Florida, serving as defensive coordinator and four games as interim head coach in 2017.

“Randy Shannon is a tremendous addition to our staff,” Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell said in a statement. “I have all the respect in the world for the person and coach Randy Shannon is. His unique perspective will be valuable to [defensive coordinator Adam] Fuller and the rest of our defensive staff, while his relationships in Miami and throughout the state of Florida will be a great benefit for our entire program.”

A Miami native who played linebacker for the Hurricanes and then the…

April 05

Georgia Bulldogs add former West Virginia Mountaineers CB Tykee Smith

Georgia has addressed one of its pressing needs in the secondary by adding former West Virginia starter Tykee Smith as a transfer.

Smith, an Associated Press third-team All-American in 2020, announced on Twitter on Sunday night that he plans to transfer to Georgia. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Smith, a junior from Philadelphia, had 61 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two interceptions in 10 games with the Mountaineers last season. He started eight games as a freshman in 2019 and had 53 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble.

Smith will be reunited with former West Virginia defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae, who left for Georgia in January.

The Bulldogs lost their top safeties when Richard LeCounte and Mark Webb entered the NFL draft and Tyrique Stevenson transferred to Miami. Three top cornerbacks, Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel, also left for the NFL draft.

“We’re a long way from…

April 05

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