Update on the latest sports
Patriots OC McDaniels meets with Browns about coaching gig
CLEVELAND (AP) – Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is again interviewing to become coach of the Cleveland Browns, his third go-around with the team he grew up watching as a kid.
McDaniels was a candidate for Cleveland’s job in 2009 when it went to Eric Mangini (man-JEE’-nee) and again in 2014, when he pulled himself from consideration.
The 43-year-old McDaniels might be ready to leave the comforts of New England, where he’s won Super Bowl titles on Bill Belichik’s staff while working alongside superstar quarterback Tom Brady.
McDaniels is from Canton, Ohio, and he went to college at John Carroll in suburban Cleveland.
McDaniels is the eighth candidate to meet with owner Jimmy Haslam and his search committee, who have no other scheduled interviews at this point and could be nearing a decision.
The Browns interviewed Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on Thursday. He was a finalist for the job a year ago.
Guillermo Heredia agrees to $1 million deal with Pirates
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Outfielder Guillermo Heredia agreed Thursday to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Heredia, who turns 29 on Jan. 31, hit .225 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 231 plate appearances last season for the Tampa Bay Rays, who declined to offer him a contract by the Dec. 2 deadline and allowed him to become a free agent. He was acquired by the Rays from Seattle after the 2018 season.
Heredia has a .240 average with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in four major league seasons with the Mariners and Rays.
To clear a roster spot, Pittsburgh designated infielder Pablo Reyes for assignment.
Spain edges Belgium to reach ATP Cup semifinals
SYDNEY (AP) – Rafael Nadal lost a singles match for only the second time since July, and was two points from another defeat not long afterward that would have ended Spain’s run at the ATP Cup.
But after losing to David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the singles on Friday, the top-ranked Nadal combined with Pablo Carreno Busta to win the deciding doubles in a match tiebreaker against Belgium. The victory just after 1 a.m. in Sydney put Davis Cup champion Spain into the semifinals against host Australia.
Second-ranked Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) had a comeback 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4 ) win over Denis Shapovalov of Canada to clinch a semifinal spot for Serbia against Russia.
Osaka, Kvitova, Keys, Pliskova reach semifinals in Brisbane
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Madison Keys and defending champion Karolina Pliskova all reached the semifinals Friday at the Brisbane International.
Osaka beat Kiki Bertens 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, Kvitova defeated qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-2, Keys beat Danielle Collins 6-4, 6-1 and Pliskova eliminated Alison Riske 7-6 (6), 6-3. Brady was coming off wins over Maria Sharapova in the first round and top-ranked Ash Barty in the second.
Keys, a 2017 U.S. Open finalist, reached the semifinals in Brisbane for the first time in four attempts.
IOC president defends rules limiting Olympic protests
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is endorsing the IOC’s new guidance on which type of protests are prohibited in Olympic venues and medal ceremonies.
Bach said Friday that the political neutrality of the Olympics would be undercut if an athlete took a knee in protest on the medal podium at this year’s Tokyo Games. He said the Olympics “are not and must never be a platform to advance political or any other divisive ends.”
Taking a knee, making hand gestures with political meaning, and refusing to respect fellow medalists on the podium are highlighted as “divisive disruption” in the guidelines published Thursday.
Bach robustly defended two long-standing Olympic Charter rules in a 25-minute speech. Rule 50 prohibits any “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in Olympic areas. Rule 40 restricts an athlete’s ability to promote his or her own sponsors at a time when many of them receive a huge amount of attention.
Women to join ex-NHL players on ice during Harvard-Yale game
NEW YORK (AP) – Five women will participate in a scrimmage with former NHL players, hoping to generate interest in female hockey.
The scrimmage on Saturday at Madison Square Garden is part of The Last Game series that is aiming to raise awareness to the impact of climate change. The female hockey players are expected to join United Nations officials, first responders along with former NHL players such as Doug Brown on the ice during the first intermission of the Harvard-Yale game.
Many of the top women hockey players in the world are hoping a professional league emerges that can provide a living wage, health insurance, infrastructure and support for training.
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League shut down last spring after 12 years of operation. That left a five-team National Women’s Hockey League, which pays most players less than $10,000 a season.