Update on the latest sports
It’s done: The NBA comes back on Dec. 22, a 72-game season
UNDATED (AP) – It’s official: The NBA is coming back Dec. 22.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have struck a deal on rules for this coming season, setting the stage for what will be a frenzied few weeks before games resume.
Teams will play a 72-game schedule.
The league said a new system will be used to ensure that the split of basketball-related income continues, one of the many details that had to be collectively bargained with the union because the current agreement between the sides had a great deal of language that needed reworking because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In other NBA news:
– The New York Knicks have temporarily closed their training facility after three team employees tested positive for the coronavirus. The Knicks say the tests came during routine screenings. They said all three employees were without symptoms and were currently under quarantine. The training facility, located in Greenburgh, New York, will be thoroughly cleaned while closed. The NBA season will begin Dec. 22.
MLB-MANAGERS OF THE YEAR
Kevin Cash, Don Mattingly win Manager of the Year awards
UNDATED (AP) – Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash has earned the American League Manager of the Year award, and Miami’s Don Mattingly is the winner of the NL honor.
Long regarded as one of baseball’s bright young minds, Cash guided Tampa Bay to an AL-best 40-20 record during the pandemic-shortened season. But he was roundly criticized for pulling ace left-hander Blake Snell in the sixth inning of the decisive Game 6 in the World Series against the champion Dodgers.
Voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America concluded before the beginning of the playoffs.
Mattingly guided the Marlins to their first playoff appearance since 2003 despite dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that paused their season and ravaged the roster. The Marlins’ 31-29 record was Mattingly’s first winning season in his fifth year with the club.
The former big league first baseman and AL MVP had a winning record in each of his five seasons as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mattingly and Cash both won the manager award for the first time.
Back in Boston, Red Sox’s Cora vows to be above reproach
BOSTON (AP) – Alex Cora led the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2018, then lost the job of his dreams after an MLB investigation named him as the ringleader of a sign-stealing scandal during his time as Astros bench coach in 2017. Now he’s back in Boston, armed with the task of rebuilding both his reputation and a team whose roster looks totally different from the one he previously oversaw. He acknowledges his mistakes, and says he’s eager to prove he’s also worthy of the second chance the team has given him.
In other baseball news:
– – A person with knowledge of the decision says the Los Angeles Angels have narrowed down a field of five candidates to be their next general manager. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the Angels aren’t publicly disclosing details of their search. The finalists to replace Billy Eppler include Seattle Mariners assistant general manager Justin Hollander, Chicago Cubs senior vice president of player personnel Jason McLeod, and Arizona Diamondbacks assistant general managers Amiel Sawdaye and Jared Porter. The fifth candidate wasn’t disclosed by the source. The Angels have been without a general manager since Sept. 27, when owner Arte Moreno fired Eppler.
– Steven Cohen promised splashes of cash Mets fans expect from his billions- within reason. In his first remarks since buying team team for a baseball record $2.42 billion, Cohen said he would be disappointed if the Mets don’t win the World Series within three to five years. He promised the Mets will act “like a major market team” but also said the team won’t “act like drunken sailors in the marketplace.” Sandy Alderson, back as team president, said Luis Rojas probably will return for a second season as manager.
– Syracuse, Binghampton, Brooklyn and St. Lucie will be the New York Mets’ four minor league affiliates next year, leaving Columbia, South Carolina and Kingsport, Tennessee, to be dropped. Returning Mets president Sandy Alderson made the announcement during a news conference to introduce Steven Cohen, who bought the Mets last week from the Wilpon and Katz families for $2.42 billion. Syracuse is the Mets top farm team at Triple-A. Alderson did not give the level for Binghampton and Brooklyn. It appears St. Lucie will be low Class A next year.
Roethlisberger among Steelers added to COVID-19 list
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed four more players on the COVID-19 list, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The move comes a day after tight end Vance McDonald went on the list after testing positive following a 24-19 win at Dallas that pushed the Steelers to 8-0. Running back Jaylen Samuels, offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins and linebacker Vince Williams joined Roethlisberger on the list Tuesday.
The reserve/COVID-19 list is either for players who have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has.
All players who have been in close contact must quarantine for five days and are unable to visit the team’s practice facility but can participate virtually. They must pass COVID-19 tests throughout the week to have an opportunity to play Sunday when the Steelers host the Cincinnati Bengals.
In other NFL news:
– The Baltimore Ravens fortified their defensive backfield by signing free agent cornerback Tramon Williams, who hasn’t played since last season. The 37-year-old Williams played in all 16 games with Green Bay a year ago. He has 13 seasons of NFL experience, most of them with the Packers. His addition to Baltimore’s 53-man roster Tuesday coincided with cornerback Khalil Dorsey being placed on injured reserve with a dislocated shoulder. Williams made the Pro Bowl in 2010.
– Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had successful surgery to repair the torn left knee ligament that ended his season after seven games. The Browns said Beckham is expected to be ready for the 2021 season. Typically, the surgery requires at least nine months of recovery time. Renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in Pensacola, Florida. Beckham posted a photo on Instagram from the recovery room. Beckham was playing well for the Browns in his second season with them before getting hurt in an Oct. 25 game at Cincinnati.
– The Jacksonville Jaguars signed kicker Chase McLaughlin off Minnesota’s practice squad and expect him to play at Green Bay this weekend. McLaughlin will be the team’s sixth kicker this season. He follows Josh Lambo, Brandon Wright, Aldrick Rosas, Stephen Hauschka and Jon Brown. Lambo re-injured his hip during an onside kick Sunday and returned to injured reserve a day later. He initially hurt it in Week 2. McLaughlin will have to go through COVID-19 protocols before joining the Jaguars on Saturday.
– Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs will miss several weeks with a broken foot, a blow for a defense that was playing better in part because of the rookie’s contributions. Diggs was injured in the second half of Sunday’s 24-19 loss to Pittsburgh. The second-round pick out of Alabama had the first two interceptions of his career two weeks ago in a 23-9 loss to Philadelphia. The Cowboys had just one interception on the season before Diggs’ pair. The last-place Cowboys are off this week before visiting Minnesota on Nov. 22.
– The Minnesota Vikings have placed cornerback Holton Hill on injured reserve with a foot injury that has kept him out of the last four games. Cornerback Mike Hughes is also on injured reserve with a neck injury that has cost him four games this year. The Vikings began the season with Hughes and Hill as their two primary cornerbacks. The Vikings also activated linebacker Todd Davis from the COVID-19 reserve list and placed long snapper Austin Cutting on the COVID-19 reserve list.
– The New York Giants have activated starting left guard Will Hernandez off the Reserve/COVID-19 list after missing two games. New York on Tuesday also waived cornerback Corey Ballentine, a sixth-round pick a year ago, and added wide receiver/return specialist Dante Pettis to the roster. Hernandez was placed on the Reserve/COVID list on Oct. 29, four days before a game against Tampa Bay. It ended his career-beginning streak of 39 consecutive starts.
– NFL owners have approved a proposal that will reward organizations for developing minority coaches and front office executives who become head coaches, general managers or team presidents for other clubs. Also, the league’s owners unanimously approved a contingency plan to expand the playoff field to 16 teams if meaningful games are canceled due to COVID-19. Teams that lose a minority coach or an executive to a head coach position or primary football executive role with another club will receive a third-round compensatory pick for two consecutive years. If a team loses a minority coach and an executive to both head coach and general manager/president roles, that club will receive a third-round compensatory pick for three consecutive years.
– The Seattle Seahawks say they will not have fans for their Nov. 19 home game against Arizona. The Seahawks have not had fans at any of their first four home games. The team said Tuesday that continued conversations with local health and government officials led to the decision not to allow spectators against the Cardinals. The team said it has not ruled out the possibility that conditions could improve to the point where limited fans would be allowed for any of its three home games in December.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 1 Alabama-LSU, No. 5 Texas A&M-Tennessee postponed
UNDATED (AP) – No. 1 Alabama at LSU and No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee won’t be played Saturday because of COVID-19 issues, raising the number of Southeastern Conference football games postponed this week to three.
The Aggies and Volunteers will be rescheduled for Dec. 12, but the Crimson Tide’s game against the defending national champion Tigers is in danger of not being played at all. Both teams are coming off their open dates and LSU already has a game against No. 6 Florida scheduled for Dec. 12 that had to be postponed last month.
In the American Athletic Conference, Memphis at Navy was postponed as the Midshipmen struggled with COVID-19 cases for a second straight week.
In other virus-related college football news:
– No. 24 Auburn has paused team activities after nine players and three staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The Tigers game at Mississippi State scheduled for Saturday had already been postponed because of an outbreak with the Bulldogs. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday his administration had already been discussing whether the Tigers would have had enough scholarship players for the game. Auburn also has “a handful of close contact” cases having to quarantine in addition to the positive tests, Malzahn said. He didn’t give a specific number or which positions had been hardest hit. Auburn, which is coming off an open date, is scheduled to host Tennessee on Nov. 21. There’s at least a chance the Tigers wouldn’t have been able to play Saturday anyway. The SEC requires at least 53 scholarship players to be available.
– Arkansas coach Sam Pittman will miss the Razorbacks’ game at No. 6 Florida on Saturday after having two positive COVID-19 tests. Pittman was tested Sunday as part of the team’s normal protocol and learned Monday morning that his test was positive. A follow-up test taken on Monday confirmed the initial positive result. Southeastern Conference protocol for an asymptomatic positive requires him to isolate for at least 10 days. Defensive coordinator Barry Odom will serve as interim coach. Pittman will remain a part of team meetings virtually. The Razorbacks are off to a 3-3 start in Pittman’s first year – a significant jump from last year’s 2-10 campaign. Arkansas has won two of three and is coming off a 24-13 win over Tennessee.
– Kansas State has had a novel coronavirus outbreak among its younger players that has left the Wildcats without a scout team in practice this week. Coach Chris Klieman says the outbreak has sidelined “upwards of 20 guys.” Klieman says the Wildcats won’t practice for as long as they normally do because of the lack of numbers, He called the outbreak a good reminder that it only takes one positive test to cause problems. Kansas State, which has lost two in a row, has this weekend off before facing Iowa State.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-IOWA-RACIAL BIAS
Ex-Iowa players’ attorney pulls $20M demand, says he’ll sue
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The attorney representing eight Black former Iowa football players who allege racial discrimination during their time with the Hawkeyes withdrew his clients’ demand for a $20 million settlement.
Damario Solomon-Simmons says he will still move forward with a lawsuit.
The players’ initial demands also called for the firings of head football coach Kirk Ferentz, offensive line coach Brian Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta.
The university in June hired an outside law firm to review the culture of the football program after dozens of former players, most of them Black, spoke out on social media to allege racial disparities and mistreatment.
Former Celtics star Tommy Heinsohn dead at 86
BOSTON (AP) – Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Tommy Heinsohn has died at age 86.
Heinsohn was a player, coach and broadcaster who was with the team for all 17 of its NBA championships. He beat out teammate Bill Russell for the NBA’s rookie of the year award in 1956 and combined with his fellow future Hall of Famer to win eight championships in nine years.
After retiring, Heinsohn broadcast the team’s games for three years before moving to the bench in 1969, succeeding Russell. Under Heinsohn, the Celtics won two more titles 1974 and ’76 and he was inducted into the Hall for a second time for his coaching.
HORSE RACING-MAXIMUM SECURITY RETIRED
Disqualified Derby winner Maximum Security retired
VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) – Maximum Security, disqualified after crossing the finish line first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, has been retired to stud.
The 4-year-old colt ended his career with a fifth-place finish in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic last weekend at Keeneland. Maximum Security will stand at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, next year for a breeding fee of $20,000. He is owned and bred by Gary and Mary West.
He won 10 of 14 starts and had career earnings of $12,431,900.