Update on the latest sports
Pujols said to be returning to Cardinals
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Slugger Albert Pujols reportedly is returning to St. Louis after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Cardinals. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported the agreement and said the contract with the 42-year-old Pujols is pending a physical.
Pujols is 21 home runs shy of 700 for his career. The NL Rookie of the Year in 2001 spent his first 11 years in St. Louis and helped the Cardinals win two World Series.
The three-time NL MVP signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. He was waived by the Angels last May and signed with the Dodgers.
Celtics try for seventh straight win
TORONTO (AP) – With six wins in a row, the Boston Celtics have the top spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, heading into tonight’s game against the Raptors in Toronto. The Celtics have won 24 of their last 28 games. They meet Miami on Wednesday, having already beaten the Heat twice this season. Miami has an identical 47-and-28 record.
– Miami has now lost four straight, and is hoping to turn things around tonight at home against the Sacramento Kings.
– The Chicago Bulls, in fifth place in the East, are in New York to play the Knicks.
– The Cleveland Cavaliers, who’ve now fallen into a play-in spot in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, host the Orlando Magic.
– The Charlotte Hornets, who are now tied with Brooklyn for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, are at home against the Denver Nuggets.
– The Atlanta Hawks, limping toward the postseason with no prospects beyond a play-in spot, are in Indiana to take on the Pacers.
– The Memphis Grizzlies have won four straight – and eight of their last nine – as they prepare to host the Golden State Warriors, who are four games behind the second-place Grizzlies in the Western Conference.
– In other NBA action, the Houston Rockets host the San Antonio Spurs, and the Portland Trail Blazers are at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Hurricanes in Washington
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Carolina Hurricanes, just one point behind Florida for the top spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, are on the road tonight to play the Capitals in Washington.
– The St. Louis Blues, with just one win in their last six games, are at home against the Vancouver Canucks.
– The Los Angeles Kings, with a solid hold on second place in the Pacific Division, have a rematch at home against Seattle. The Kings beat the Kraken 4-2 on Saturday, their second win over the expansion club this season.
– Tonight’s other NHL contests find the Buffalo Sabres playing the Blackhawks in Chicago, and the Edmonton Oilers hosting the Arizona Coyotes.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UConn looks to continue women’s Final Four streak
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – UConn has been to the final four of the women’s NCAA tournament thirteen straight times. Tonight, NC State will try to end that streak, but it could be a tall task. The game will be played in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in front of an expected sellout crowd that will be pulling hard for UConn.
In tonight’s other game in the women’s Elite Eight, third-seeded Michigan will try to avenge its blowout loss to top-seed Louisville during the regular season.
Longtime Jaguars center Linder, a 5-time captain, retires
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Longtime Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder has announced his retirement after eight injury-filled seasons.
Linder spent more than a week contemplating his decision before announcing he’s hanging up his cleats on Instagram. He says “it is at this time I have decided to close this chapter of my life and retire from the NFL.”
Linder was due to count $9.53 million against Jacksonville’s salary cap. The five-time team captain played 88 games since the Jaguars drafted him in the third round in 2014. He also missed 41 games because of various injuries.
AP Source: Taxpayers face $850M tab for new Bills stadium
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – A person familiar with the details confirms to The Associated Press that state and county taxpayers will be asked to commit $850 million in public funds toward construction of the Buffalo Bills’ new stadium, which has a state-projected price tag of $1.35 billion.
The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the agreement has not yet been approved. The Athletic first reported the figure earlier in the day. The dollar amount is considered to be the largest public commitment for an NFL facility, with the Bills and the league picking up the rest of cost.
The figure was revealed as the Bills prepared to present their stadium proposal at league owners meetings in Florida.
Pitt and Narduzzi reach long-term deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh and football coach Pat Narduzzi have agreed on a new contract that will keep Narduzzi with the Panthers through at least 2030.
The deal comes three months after Narduzzi led Pitt to its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship on its way to an 11-3 record and a No. 13 ranking in the final AP Top 25 poll, the program’s highest postseason ranking since 1982.
Narduzzi is 53-37 in seven seasons with the Panthers. His 53 wins rank fourth all-time in program history.
Canadian gymnasts ask for investigation into ‘toxic’ culture
UNDATED (AP) – A group of Canadian gymnasts is asking Sport Canada to launch an independent investigation into what they describe as a “toxic culture” within the sport’s national governing body.
The group of 71 current and former Canadian gymnastics national team members sent an open letter to the director-general of Sport Canada saying it can “no longer sit in silence” as cries for change have gone unheeded.
The gymnasts are the latest group within Canada’s Olympic movement to call for change. Candian bobsled and skeleton athletes did the same earlier this month.