No. 1 Alabama tops preseason AP Top 25; Ohio St, ‘Dawgs next
Alabama is No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25 for the second straight season. That is also the ninth time overall, second most in poll history. The Crimson Tide received 54 of 63 first-place votes. Ohio State is No. 2 with six first-place votes. Defending national champion Georgia is third with three first-place votes. Clemson is No. 4 and Notre Dame rounds out the top five. The Tide’s preseason No. 1 ranking is the seventh in 15 years. Since the preseason rankings started in 1950, only Oklahoma has been No. 1 in the initial poll more than Alabama.
Rangers fire manager Chris Woodward short of his 500th game
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have fired manager Chris Woodward with the team on pace for its sixth consecutive losing season. Woodward has managed the team for almost four seasons. The move came with Woodward two games short of his 500th game with the Rangers. He finished with a 211-287 record in his first managerial job. Woodward was under contract through next season, and the team held an option for 2024. Third base coach Tony Beasley was named the team’s interim manager. Texas is 52-63 after beating Oakland 2-1 on Monday night.
Dodgers’ Buehler to have elbow surgery, out for season
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler will have season-ending surgery for the elbow injury that has prevented him from pitching for the last two months. The Dodgers announced Monday before the start of their four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers that Buehler’s surgery is scheduled for Aug. 23. Buehler, a two-time All-Star, is 6-3 with a 4.02 ERA in 12 appearances this season. He last pitched June 10 and left that game after four innings when his elbow began bothering him. Los Angeles has the best record in the majors even with Buehler sidelined.
Pete Carril, old-school Princeton coaching maestro, dies
The old-school Princeton basketball coach Pete Carril has died. He was 92. A statement from Carril’s family says he died Monday. The statement did not give a cause of death. Carril was a cigar-smoking Hall of Fame coach who led Princeton to 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. His teams gave big-time opponents fits with constant motion, quick passing and backdoor cuts. He coached Princeton for 29 years and won more than 500 games. In 1989, his Tigers nearly knocked off a No. 1 seeded Georgetown team. He later worked as an assistant with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.
Yankees blanked for 2nd straight game, lose to Rays 4-0
NEW YORK (AP) — The slumping New York Yankees were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since 2016, losing to Ryan Yarbrough and the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0. Coming off a 3-0 defeat Sunday night against the Boston Red Sox, New York failed to provide any run support for ace Gerrit Cole, whose only run allowed followed a misplay in center field by Aaron Hicks. The AL East leaders were blanked for the fourth time in nine games and dropped to 8-16 since the All-Star break. Yarbrough pitched four innings as a bulk reliever for his first win in nearly a year, striking out six without a walk.
Urías, Dodgers blank Brewers 4-0, continue 2nd-half surge
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Freddie Freeman and Gavin Lux homered to back Julio Urías’ five solid innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0. A day after their 12-game winning streak ended with a 4-0 loss at Kansas City, the major league-best Dodgers got back on track. Los Angeles is 20-4 since the All-Star break. Freeman hit a solo shot in the first inning off Freddy Peralta and Lux added a two-run blast against Hoby Milner in the sixth. Urías improved to 10-0 with a 1.99 ERA over his last 11 starts.
AP Top 25 Reality Check: Pouring caution on that optimism
The Associated Press preseason college football poll comes with the promise of an exciting season for teams that make the Top 25. AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo suggests a healthy dose of caution, unless you root for Alabama. Last season was especially volatile in the Top 25: 14 teams that started the season ranked finishing outside the rankings. The average for the previous decade was 9.5 teams falling out of the poll. Russo says the top-ranked Crimson Tide is the closest thing to a sure bet in college football.
PICK SIX: Frost, Harsin among coaches in precarious spot
Last season, 30 major college football programs made coaching changes. They included Southern California, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and LSU. Will this season be quieter? Not necessarily. AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo says a number of coaches are on the hot season even before the season begins. They include Nebraska’s Scott Frost and Auburn’s Bryan Harsin.
World Cup Watch: Jesus out to reclaim Brazil’s No. 9 jersey
Playing as the center forward for Brazil at a World Cup is one of the biggest honors in soccer and Gabriel Jesus knows all about it. He was handed Brazil’s No. 9 jersey for the 2018 tournament in Russia and failed to score a goal. Jesus might yet get a second chance despite falling down the pecking order in recent years. An offseason move to Arsenal from Manchester City looks to have revitalized his career. He is now back playing as an out-and-out striker after mostly operating out wide at City and he has taken his strong preseason form into the Premier League.
Las Vegas top WNBA playoff seed, league debuts new format
A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces are the top seed in the WNBA playoffs. The postseason will have a different look this year with four best-of-three opening round series. The opening two rounds of the postseason had been single-elimination games since 2016. Las Vegas has homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. Defending champion Chicago is the No. 2 seed and will try to become the first repeat champion since 2001-02.