Update on the latest in sports:
UNDATED (AP) – Milwaukee leads the NL wild-card race by two games over St. Louis going into a three-game series at the Cardinals. St. Louis has a 1 1/2-game lead for the second wild card over Colorado, which hosts Philadelphia.
Right-hander Jack Flaherty (8-8, 3.08 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Cardinals and right-hander Chase Anderson (9-8, 3.93 ERA) for the Brewers. Flaherty is 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.
St. Louis has won six of seven coming in and Milwaukee three of four.
In other baseball news:
– The Rockies could have a less-motivated opponent in four games at Coors Field. The Phillies were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, but at 78-77 hope to finish above .500 in manager Gabe Kapler’s first season. Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin (11-7, 4.09 ERA) will try to win his third straight start. Colorado opens its final homestand with left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-9, 4.76).
– After failing to clinch a wild card at home, Oakland plays at Seattle and gives right-hander Daniel Mengden (7-6, 4.00 ERA) his first start since June 23. Mengden is 1-0 with 1.83 ERA in five relief appearances since being called up from Triple-A Nashville on Aug. 27.
– The Rays would be a tough opponent in a wild-card game. Fortunately for the rest of the AL playoff teams, they likely won’t get there. Tampa Bay is 16-5 in September and a major league-best 25-7 since Aug. 19. And the Rays could send Cy Young Award hopeful Blake Snell (21-5, 1.90 ERA) to the mound in the winner-take-all game. But Tampa Bay would have to win all seven games on its final homestand and Oakland would have to lose its remaining six games for the Rays to overtake the A’s. The Rays host the Yankees and playoff-bound New York has plenty to play for, trying to stay ahead of Oakland and host the wild-card game.
– The NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (87-69) are one game behind the NL East champion Braves (88-68) heading into the season’s final week, and whichever team finishes with a better record could end up getting home-field advantage in the NL Division Series. The question is whether either team would want it. Atlanta and Los Angeles have better records on the road than at home. The Braves finished their second season at SunTrust Park with a 43-38 record there and were 12th in the majors in average attendance. The Dodgers have great fan support, drawing nearly 47,000 a game, but went 44-37 at home, their worst record at Chavez Ravine since 2011.
Hall of Fame receiver Tommy McDonald dies at 84
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Hall of Fame receiver Tommy McDonald has died at 84.
McDonald was the small, speedy and sure-handed receiver who teamed with quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to help the Philadelphia Eagles win the 1960 NFL championship.
McDonald was a two-time All-American for Oklahoma. He played 12 seasons for NFL five teams and was a six-time Pro Bowl selection. When he retired in 1968, he ranked second in league history in touchdown catches, fourth in yards receiving and sixth in receptions.
The 5-foot-7, 175-pound McDonald had to wait 30 years before becoming the smallest player inducted into the Hall. When that day came in 1998 in Canton, Ohio, McDonald shouted: “Do I look excited, like I just won the lottery or the jackpot? Yes! I’m in the Hall of Fame!”
Private jets, favors to son detailed in FIFA official’s case
GENEVA (AP) – A newly published legal document says FIFA spent $11.7 million in less than three years on private jets, including luxury sight-seeing trips for a top official.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has published a panel’s verdict explaining why it dismissed Jerome Valcke’s appeal against a 10-year ban.
As FIFA secretary general in 2013, Valcke was urged in an internal memo to find “more cost efficient alternatives whenever possible.”
Excessive use of private jets and ordering business-class travel for his son were factors in Valcke being banned by the FIFA ethics committee after he was fired in 2016.
CAS judges also detailed Valcke intervening to help his son’s business interests with FIFA paying an initial $709,000 for a 2014 World Cup contract.
COMERICA PARK-SPITTING VIDEO
Detroit ballpark worker videoed apparently spitting on pizza
DETROIT (AP) – A food service worker at Comerica Park in Detroit has been fired after a video was posted online allegedly showing him spitting on a pizza.
WXYZ-TV reports the video was visible on Instagram over the weekend and shows an employee spitting on the pizza intended for customers. WWJ-AM reports officials at the home of the Detroit Tigers determined the video was recorded Friday, when the team hosted the Kansas City Royals.
Detroit Sportservice, which provides food service at the ballpark, says in a statement that it “immediately closed that food stand and disposed of all the product” when it found out. It says food safety is the “top priority” and that they will “take any appropriate action necessary to protect … guests.”
Prosecutors could review the case for possible charges.