Ireland wing Simon Zebo will miss the remainder of the RBS 6 Nations after breaking a bone in his foot in the 12-6 defeat by England at the Aviva Stadium. Press Association Flanker Sean O’Brien (tight hamstring), lock Mike McCarthy (knee ligament strain), centre Brian O’Driscoll (twisted ankle) and lock Donnacha Ryan (back) also sustained injuries, but have yet to be ruled out against Scotland in two weeks time. “Simon will have surgery. Jonny will have a scan either later tonight (Sunday) or tomorrow,” Kidney said. “It looks like a couple of weeks for Jonny, but it would be wrong to try and second guess the outcome. We’ll know more by Tuesday. “It’s been an attritional couple of games and we had a few injuries leading into the tournament, but that’s the way it goes.” Zebo will undergo an operation on Monday to repair the damage incurred in the 10th minute of a brutal Test in Dublin and has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks. The prognosis on Jonathan Sexton’s hamstring injury was less grave with coach Declan Kidney estimating a two-week lay-off for the Leinster fly-half, who was replaced by Ronan O’Gara after half an hour.
Associated Press Update on the latest sports VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSSaints head coach test positiveUNDATED (AP) — New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton told ESPN that he learned Thursday he has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Payton is the first employee of either an NFL team or the league to make such a diagnosis public. He tells the network he came forward to motivate people to educate themselves about what they can do to help fight the pandemic. Payton says he took the test Monday after he began to feel ill a day earlier. He adds that he has not been admitted to a hospital and does not have a fever or cough. The 56-year-old coach says he has been resting comfortably at home, where is in in self-quarantine.In other virus-related developments:— The number of known coronavirus cases within the NBA has doubled to 14. Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics pleaded with people to take social distancing more seriously Thursday and the league ordered all teams to shutter their training facilities indefinitely. Smart revealed that he tested positive and the Los Angeles Lakers said two of their players tested positive as well, bringing the number of players who have acquired the virus to 10. The Philadelphia 76ers said three members of their organization tested positive and the Denver Nuggets said someone within their franchise was positive as well. March 19, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWS-SALESale to get Tommy JohnBOSTON (AP) — San Francisco Giants right-hander Tyler Beede will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery. Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made the announcement and Beede’s surgery will be performed by Dr. Keith Meister in the Dallas area. Beede joined others who are having procedures, some because there is ample time given baseball’s season being pushed back because of the novel coronavirus. The Red Sox announced Thursday that left-hander Chris Sale would have Tommy John surgery. The operation would keep him out the entire 2020 baseball season if and when it resumes after the coronavirus pandemic. The team made the announcement two weeks after saying that the 30-year-old left-hander had a flexor strain near the elbow. At the time, the team hoped Sale would avoid the operation that usually requires a full year to recover from. Olympic flame arrives in JapanTOKYO (AP) — The Olympic flame has arrived in Japan from Greece and was greeted in a scaled-down ceremony at an air base in northern Japan. The flame touched down amid doubts if the Tokyo Games can open as scheduled on July 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers and the IOC say it will, but postponement or cancellation is seen as a growing option. The flame reached Japan aboard a white aircraft painted with the inscription “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay” along its side. The flame will stay in northern Japan for almost a week until the four-month torch relay begins officially on March 26 from the northern Fukushima prefecture. This is the northeastern part of Japan that was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of three nuclear reactors.NFL-NEWSNFL allowing teams to announce free agency agreementsUNDATED (AP) — The NFL’s off-the-field business has joined most of the rest of the country in full work-from-home mode. That has turned signings and trades into tests of patience and technology. Conducting a free agency period during a global pandemic has produced complications well beyond the usual salary-cap constraints. Because team facilities have closed out of concern for the spread of the coronavirus, players have not been able to take the physical exams required to finalize contracts with team physicians. The biggest news on the second day of the new league year was the Los Angeles Rams releasing running back Todd Gurley. — The American East Conference announced that two people on the floor during recent tournament games have tested positive for the coronavirus. The games involved teams in the America East, Horizon League and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference during play from March 7-11. The teams involved were Maine at Vermont (Burlington, Vermont); UIC vs. Wright State; (Indianapolis); Manhattan vs. Fairfield and Manhattan vs. Siena (Atlantic City, New Jersey).— The Seattle Mariners have shut down their spring training facility in Arizona because of the virus outbreak and told their players to view the coming weeks as though they’re in offseason mode. The Mariners had initially planned to keep the facility open and work with players in small, staggered groups of 10 after Major League Baseball announced it was delaying the start of the season. But, only a few players were showing up for those workouts and most of the 40-man roster had gone home.— Minor league players shut out of spring training camps will receive allowances from teams through April 8, and a plan is underway to compensate those players during the postponed portion of the regular season. Minor leaguers will receive allowances of $400 per week from teams in a lump sum. That’s a significant bump from their usual spring per diems of $100-200 per week. Teams hope that will allow players to cover housing, food and other expenses through the previously scheduled end of spring training. The minor league season was supposed to open April 9. MLB said it is working with teams to develop an industry-wide plan to compensate players for missed games.— The Cleveland Indians are continuing to pay minor league players their weekly stipends to help offset any “hardship” during the coronavirus shutdown. The team also is closing its year-round facility in Arizona although the team is not aware of any players or staff members testing positive for COVID-19. The team’s complex in Goodyear, Arizona, will close Friday.— The iconic Monaco Grand Prix has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak and two other Formula One races were postponed. F1’s showcase race was scheduled for May 24 in the tiny principality on the Mediterranean coast between France and Italy. Hours after being postponed along with races in the Netherlands and Spain, it was scrapped for 2020 having held a race every year since 1955. The Dutch GP was set to return to host an F1 race on May 3. Spain was set to follow on May 10. It is not known when the season will start. In other NFL news:— The Los Angeles Rams have released Todd Gurley. The superstar running back had a massive contract and a troubling injury history. The Rams made the move several minutes before roughly $10 million in the three-time Pro Bowl selection’s contract became fully guaranteed. Gurley will consume $20.15 million in dead salary cap space this season for the Rams, who signed the 2015 first-round pick to a four-year, $60 million contract with $45 million guaranteed in June 2018. Gurley was cut before even playing the first year of that contract extension, which made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL at the time.— A person with knowledge of the move tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos are waiving Joe Flacco after he failed his physical. Flacco sustained a neck injury last season and missed the final two months of the season. He was eventually replaced by rookie Drew Lock. Earlier this week the Broncos agreed to terms with new backup quarterback Jeff Driskel. Cutting ties with Flacco means the Broncos take a $13 million salary cap hit but it also frees up $10 million for the team to spend in free agency.— The Baltimore Ravens have announced the deal that secured defensive end Calais Campbell, a skilled run-stopper who also has a knack for getting to the quarterback. To get Campbell, Baltimore gave Jacksonville the 2020 fifth-round pick it got from Atlanta in a trade that sent tight end Hayden Hurst to the Falcons. The Ravens agreed in principle with Campbell on a one-year contract extension, pending the passing of his physical.— The Minnesota Vikings and kicker Dan Bailey have agreed to terms on a new contract. Bailey was fourth in the NFL in 2019 with a 93.1 percent field goal rate, his best since 2015. Bailey made 27 of 29 kicks, including all three tries from 50-plus yards. Bailey also landed touchbacks on 66 of 87 kickoffs. The 32-year-old joined veteran punter Britton Colquitt in returning to the Vikings, after both specialists became free agents. And Houston’s Justin Verlander underwent groin surgery.BASEBALL-MINORSMinor league players to receive allowancesUNDATED (AP) — Minor league players shut out of spring training camps will receive allowances from teams through April 8, and a plan is underway to compensate those players during the postponed portion of the regular season. Minor leaguers will receive allowances of $400 per week from teams in a lump sum. That’s a significant bump from their usual spring per diems of $100-200 per week. Teams hope that will allow players to cover housing, food and other expenses through the previously scheduled end of spring training. The minor league season was supposed to open April 9. MLB said it is working with teams to develop an industry-wide plan to compensate players for missed games.TOKYO-OLYMPIC FLAME — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and his wife, Emily, are donating $50,000 toward food during the coronavirus outbreak. The Mayfields announced on Instagram that they’re making their donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, an organization they’ve worked with in the past. They asked others to donate and pledged to match those contributions.— Two senior Italian sports executives have issued emotional appeals to the International Olympic Committee to revise its stance over the Tokyo Games. The calls come as the death toll in Italy from the coronavirus overtakes China’s. Former Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci tells The Associated Press that “saying that the Olympics will still go on is a big mistake in communication.” Italian and European swimming federation president Paolo Barelli adds that “if this situation continues like this into April talking about the Olympics is ridiculous.”— An Italian company that makes cycling apparel for some of the world’s best teams along with jerseys for the world championships will shift production to masks to help the nation confront the coronavirus crisis. Santini said Thursday it would work with a local textile company to begin making masks next week. It hopes to provide up to 10,000 per day.Cycling is one of the most popular sports in Italy. The country has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus. NHL-PREDATORS-SMITHPredators sign forward Cole Smith to 1-year deal — The NBA has told its teams to close its training and practice facilities to all players and staff starting Friday. The league says the shuttering will last indefinitely in the latest response to the global coronavirus pandemic. The league told teams of the new directive in a memo sent Thursday afternoon, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. As recently as Monday, the NBA was telling teams that individual workouts could take place using what the league called the “one player, one coach, one basket” rule. Now, that’s not even permitted. —The Philadelphia 76ers say three members of the organization have tested positive for the coronavirus. The Sixers did not identify the members. They say players, coaches and specific basketball operations support staff were tested for COVID-19. The tests were secured and processed privately. All other tests results are currently negative. The individuals are in self-isolation and will be monitored closely by medical professionals.-Celtics guard Marcus Smart says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Celtics said in a statement Thursday night that they received word of a positive COVID-19 test by a player who had been exposed to a known positive case. They didn’t identify him, but Smart confirmed it was him in a video posted on Twitter. He added that he is not exhibiting any symptoms and is feeling well thus far. Boston played the Utah Jazz on March 6. Since then, Jazz All-Star players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have both tested positive for the virus.— The Denver Nuggets say an unidentified member of the organization has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The person was tested after experiencing symptoms Monday and is under the care of the team’s medical staff and in isolation. Entering Thursday, the NBA had seven players known to have tested positive for COVID-19. The total included four from the Brooklyn Nets, two from the Utah Jazz and one from the Detroit Pistons.— The NBA has told its teams to close their training and practice facilities to all players and staff starting Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The league says the shuttering will last indefinitely. As recently as Monday, the NBA was telling teams that individual workouts could take place using what the league called the “one player, one coach, one basket” rule. Now, that’s not even permitted. — Roger Penske (PEN’-skee) tells The Associated Press no decision has been made yet regarding the Indianapolis 500 in May — a race that draws more than 300,000 spectators annually. Penske bought Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series in January and has been preparing to host his first Indy 500 on May 24. The Indy 500 has been held every year since 1946, with postponements only because of weather. Previously, world wars stopped the race.— Horse racing at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York has been suspended indefinitely after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The New York Racing Association says there will be no live racing until further notice after a backstretch worker who works and lives at Belmont Park tested positive. Belmont Park remains open only for the training and care of horses.— The first player under the PGA Tour umbrella has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The tour says Victor Lange of South Africa was diagnosed with COVID-19 upon returning home to Johannesburg on March 9 from playing a PGA Tour Latinoamerica event in Mazatlan, Mexico. He was tested as a precaution while going to a non-virus-related doctor’s appointment with a friend. Lange received the diagnosis on Tuesday. The tour says Lange has no symptoms and is expected to make a full recovery while under quarantine at home in South Africa. The PGA Tour Latinoamerica is one of six circuits the tour runs.— USA Cycling is tweaking its selection timeline for the Tokyo Olympics after the UCI, the sport’s global governing body, instituted a freeze on points accumulation and results due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The first deadline for the American team is May 1 for track cyclists. The BMX freestyle team will be May 15, followed by the mountain bike and road racing teams on June 1. The BMX racing team will be June 3. USA Cycling says it will adjust its schedule if the International Olympic Committee alters the date of the Tokyo Games.— Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and left tackle Andrew Whitworth have donated $250,000 apiece to pay for 2 million meals with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. The Rams announced the charitable donation as the first gift heading into a virtual telethon in conjunction with KABC-TV, to be held next Tuesday. The money raised will benefit the food bank and United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Pandemic Relief Fund. The 38-year-old Whitworth agreed to a three-year contract Wednesday to stay with the Rams. — Darius Slay got what he was waiting for — a trade out of Detroit and a big new contract. The Lions agreed to trade Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles, ending the standout cornerback’s seven-year stint in Detroit. Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the trade Thursday and said Slay has agreed to a three-year, $50 million extension with Philadelphia. The Lions drafted Slay 36th overall in 2013, and he earned All-Pro honors in 2017.— The Cleveland Browns beefed up their defensive front, agreeing to terms with former Bengals tackle Andrew Billings. His agency announced the move with a posting on Twitter. Billings is the third defensive player to strike a deal with the Browns in 24 hours. The team reached deals with linebacker B.J. Goodson and safety Karl Joseph on Wednesday.— The Buffalo Bills have confirmed signing safety Jordan Poyer to a two-year contract extension, which locks up the three-year starter through the 2022 season. Poyer was entering the final year of the four-year contract.— The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing back a key backup on their offensive line. The Jaguars agreed to terms with center/guard Tyler Shatley on a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. The deal includes $600,000 guaranteed. The Jags previously agreed to terms with Cleveland linebacker Joe Schobert, Cincinnati cornerback Darqueze Dennard and Arizona defensive lineman Rodney Gunter over the last two days.— A person familiar with the deal says the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract worth about $3 million with free agent guard Tom Compton. Compton will help fill the void created by the planned release of Mike Person. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have signed forward Cole Smith to a one-year, two-way deal for the 2020-21 season.Smith just finished his senior season at North Dakota, where he scored a career-high 11 goals and had 18 points in 34 games. The 6-foot-3, 197-pound forward played on both the power play and penalty kill as a senior and helped North Dakota win its conference’s regular-season title.He finished with 51 points in 137 games over four years at North Dakota.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
The Latest: Williams beats Stephens in 3 sets at US Open Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Open tennis tournament (all times EDT):4:13 p.m.Serena Williams has come back from a slow start to beat Sloane Stephens 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the U.S. Open’s third round. The USTA says the new quarantine orders mean those players “identified as having prolonged close contact with the infected player will quarantine in their rooms for the remainder of their quarantine period.”___12:15 p.m.Maria Sakkari reached the fourth round at her second consecutive Grand Slam tournament after needing just 55 minutes to eliminate mistake-prone American teen Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 6-1.The 22nd-seeded Anisimova, who turned 19 on Monday, finished with 28 unforced errors and just four winners. Sakkari made eight errors. The 15th-seeded Sakkari entered 2020 with an 0-7 record in third-round matches at major championships. But she finally won at that stage at the Australian Open in January, then did it again Saturday in Louis Armstrong Stadium.Normally the Grand Slam circuit would head to Paris and London between Melbourne and New York. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the French Open was postponed from May until late September and Wimbledon was canceled for the first time in 75 years. Sakkari will play Serena Williams or Sloane Stephens next.___ Associated Press September 5, 2020 Williams’ victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday allowed her to avoid what would have been her earliest exit at Flushing Meadows since she lost in the third round in her tournament debut all the way back in 1998.Williams was 16 then and had yet to win a Grand Slam title. She turns 39 in three weeks and is pursuing her 24th major championship in singles.Williams will face Maria Sakkari of Greece in the fourth round.___3:40 p.m. 11:30 a.m.Day 6 has started at the year’s second Grand Slam tournament — the U.S. Open normally closes the major tennis championship season but the pandemic caused changes to the calendar.The sun is shining and the temperature is in the mid-70s Fahrenheit (mid-20s Celsius) as the third round continues Saturday.Among the matches underway: No. 15 Maria Sakkari of Greece is facing No. 22 Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. in Louis Armstrong Stadium.The highlight of the afternoon is expected to be Serena Williams against Sloane Stephens in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens are heading to a third set in their third-round showdown at the U.S. Open.Stephens took the first set 6-2, and Williams grabbed the second by the same score.Williams has won six of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at Flushing Meadows. Stephens won the 2017 title in New York.___2:45 p.m. 2:25 p.m.Kristina Mladenovic and her partner, Timea Babos, have been dropped from the U.S. Open women’s doubles competition after Mladenovic was issued a quarantine notice by public health officials of Nassau County, New York.The U.S. Tennis Association announced the withdrawal Saturday, saying it was “obligated to adhere to government guidance.”Mladenovic was one of seven players placed under extra restrictions during the tournament after contact tracing determined she potentially could have been exposed to COVID-19 by Benoit Paire, the only entrant to test positive.Mladenovic had been allowed to continue to compete in singles. She won in the first round but lost in the second round after blowing a 6-1, 5-1 lead. Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens have started their third-round U.S. Open match in Arthur Ashe Stadium.Williams has won six of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at Flushing Meadows; Stephens won the 2017 title in New York.That matchup follows 2019 runner-up Daniil Medvedev’s 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory over American wild-card entry J.J. Wolf in Ashe.Other third-round winners Saturday include No. 10 Andrey Rublev in the men’s draw, and No. 16 Elise Mertens in the women’s, both in straight sets.___ Williams owns 23 Grand Slam singles titles, including six in New York. Stephens won the 2017 U.S. Open.___More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
USC senior Steve Johnson wrapped up a fitting ending to his prolific collegiate career by capturing his second-consecutive NCAA singles championship Monday.Johnson, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, clinched the back-to-back by defeating Kentucky’s No. 3 Eric Quigley 6-4, 6-4 in the finals at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.A strained abdomen and shin splint could not hold Johnson back, especially in the final game of the second set.Champion · Senior Steve Johnson won the NCAA singles championship for the second consecutive year by defeating Eric Quigley of Kentucky. | Photo courtesy of Bill KallenbergHe fired off three straight aces before forcing Quigley to error with a deep ball that sent Johnson to his knees, screaming after taking his final point as a Trojan.With the singles title, the back-to-back singles champion also earned a wild card berth in the U.S. Open in August.En route to the finals, Johnson relinquished just one set to his six opponents.Johnson finished his Trojan career by winning an unprecedented 72 singles matches in a row, dating back to January 2011. After going 37-0 in his senior year, Johnson concluded with a 149-21 overall record.“He’s special; we all know that,” USC coach Peter Smith said. “In a lot of ways he’s changed college tennis. I think he’s going to show that it’s OK to stay four years.”No. 21 senior Daniel Nguyen, No. 25 sophomore Ray Sarmiento, No. 57 sophomore Emilio Gomez and No. 51 freshman Yannick Hanfmann also participated in the singles tournament after the No. 1 Trojans captured their fourth-consecutive NCAA team title last Tuesday.Hanfmann, who clinched the team championship for the Trojans with his singles win, fell 3-6, 4-6 in the first round against No. 50 Louis Cant.The other three Trojans, with the exception of Johnson, were eliminated in the subsequent round.Gomez and Sarmiento fell in straight sets to No. 9 Blaz Rola and No. 2 Mitchell Frank, respectively, while Nguyen finished his collegiate career with a 4-6, 4-6 loss to No. 5 Henrique Cunha.Nguyen, who was a part of the team for all of its last four championships, finished 135-38 for his career.In the 32-team doubles tournament, USC’s only pair, consisting of Johnson and freshman Roberto Quiroz, advanced to the quarterfinals as the No. 2 seed.Four-peat · The USC men’s tennis team won its fourth-straight national title by defeating the University of Virginia. The title is the school’s 20th. – Photo courtesy of Bill KallenbergAfter a grueling quarterfinals win over No. 39 Alex Domijan, Johnson could not finish the quarterfinals doubles match later in the day.[Correction: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated that Steve Johnson Roberto Quiroz were leading when they retired to the Texas Tech pair in doubles.]“I feel like I let Roberto down a little bit,” Johnson said. “I just physically didn’t have it in me, and I hit an overhead point in that last game that completely ripped my stomach apart.”Despite coming up short in doubles, Johnson, who had the option of skipping his senior year at USC to begin his professional career, achieved his ultimate goal of winning another team title with USC and became the first NCAA singles champion to also win four team championships.“I can’t believe it. Four years went by quick, but to say the least it’s been a special four years that I’ll never forget. It’ll definitely go with me for the rest of my life,” Johnson said.
In stoppage time, with Chelsea already guaranteed a four-point lead at the top, mayhem broke out following a terrible tackle by Sergio Aguero on David Luiz.The Argentine was shown a red card and, as players piled in, Fernandinho was also dismissed for pushing Cesc Fabregas over the advertising hoardings.City’s goal was a soft one with Cahill displaying technical deficiency, trying to clear Jesus Navas’s cross with his right foot when he needed to use his left.City piled on the pressure after the break with De Bruyne forcing a fine save from Courtois and more comedy defending almost gifting a goal for Aguero before De Bruyne’s open-goal miss from Navas’s cross.It was a costly error as Fabregas found Costa with a lovely, long ball which he controlled on his chest before outsmuscling Nicolas Otamendi and firing the equaliser.Costa then put Willian clean through, the Brazilian firing across Claudio Bravo into the corner before he marked his goal with an emotional raising of his black armband to honour those who died in the Chapecoense air crash.After Hazard had latched on to a long ball from Marcos Alonso to sprint clear of Aleksandar Kolarov and net the third, City’s frustration got the better of them as Aguero’s wild knee-high lunge on Luiz resulted in furious scenes with all 22 players and staff being involved in a melee.Luiz, with his knee bandaged afterwards, refused to be drawn on Aguero’s challenge. “I don’t like to speak about these type of things. Aguero is an amazing player who does a lot for football,” he told Sky Sports. “I want to dedicate this win to the people who died in Brazil. It was difficult to get my head together as I had some friends there. We just need to pray for the victims’ families.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Chelsea came from behind to secure a dramatic 3-1 win at Manchester City and forge clear at the top of the Premier League as their top-of-the-table clash ended in a mass brawl with two City players sent off.Diego Costa, the league’s leading marksman, scored his 11th of the season on the hour to equalise, substitute Willian notched on the counter-attack 10 minutes later and Eden Hazard sealed Chelsea’s eighth straight win in the 90th minute.Gary Cahill had given City a deserved lead just before halftime, slicing the ball into his own net with a clumsy attempted clearance, and the home side had chances to wrap up the points after the break as Kevin De Bruyne missed from three metres when it seemed easier to score.
Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “No, I don’t listen to that anymore,” he said Saturday of trade speculation. “The first couple years, yes, because I like to play with this team. I like to hang out with my teammates here. Now the last couple years, I’m a better teammate and have more communication with my teammates and manager and coaches. Now I don’t worry about that.“This is baseball. You come here, you get your start here with the Los Angeles Dodgers but you could finish with the Los Angeles Dodgers or another team. The reason I came to the United States was to play baseball. I’m going to do my best here and God only knows where you’re going to finish.”In Spanish, Puig called the recent acquisition of Manny Machado “a great trade” and said he wanted to “thank everyone involved in bringing Manny Machado here.”Ironically, those same people might be working to send Puig elsewhere.Related Articles ATLANTA – It’s complicated.The Dodgers’ relationship to Yasiel Puig always has been. It remains so as Puig returned from the DL Saturday night and rejoined the Dodgers’ lineup after missing nearly three weeks with an injured oblique muscle in his right side. Alex Verdugo went 5 for 16 with a home run, a double, three walks and four runs scored in five games and is considered “a big-league ballplayer” by the Dodgers, Manager Dave Roberts said. But he went back to Triple-A Oklahoma City Saturday to make room for Puig.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.With the non-waiver trade deadline just a couple days away, the Dodgers’ willingness to trade their most volatile asset is once again an open secret. The potential to package Puig with a prospect as a way to acquire bullpen help and stay under the luxury-tax threshold at the same time – or in separate moves – adds a new element to the rumors this year.Puig says he’s heard it all before. What once bothered him – the prospect of playing somewhere other than Los Angeles – does not seem to carry the same menace for him as it once did. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Adopting a mentality that ignores all of that is not easy, Puig acknowledged.“No. But you can’t do anything about that,” he said. “The only thing you can do is keep working hard every day, play the game right and show the people what you can do on this team or on a different team. … If a trade comes true, you need to go there and show the new team and the new city.”What Puig needs to show in the present, Roberts said, is an ability to maintain his focus on a consistent basis — the same challenge that has frustrated the Dodgers for six seasons now.“I think with Yasiel it’s competing,” Roberts said. “Before he hurt himself, he was playing good baseball. I think the defense over the last five weeks, six weeks had ticked up and in the batter’s box the compete every pitch is very important for Yasiel. You can see what we’ve been doing offensively it’s been 1 through 8, a professional at-bat, grinding mentality. I expect Yasiel to do a lot of the same thing.”Defensively, Roberts said he will speak to Puig about maintaining a respect for the fundamentals. During the series in Anaheim when Puig was injured, he was guilty of some lapses.“That’s my job, our job as coaches, to continue to remind players how important it is to hit the cutoff man, throw to the right base, not give up outs on the bases,” Roberts said. “He’ll be reminded of that.”The fact that the Dodgers won 10 of 15 games without Puig and moved into first place in the National League West is another reminder.“I don’t want to speak for Yasiel. But I’m going to,” Roberts said. “Going on the DL, he was playing good baseball. He never wants nor does any player want to go on the DL. But I think it’s a positive thing to always see that the team, the operation continues to move on without anyone. No one player is greater than the whole sum. I think that’s healthy for everyone to see.“The game keeps going. It’s also good when you keep winning too. We have a lot of good players. It speaks to competition, doing things the right way.”ALSOLeft-hander Adam Liberatore returned to action with Triple-A Oklahoma City Friday after missing six weeks with an injured rib muscle. Liberatore also had problems with an ankle injury earlier in the year.“He’s in the mix,” Roberts said. “But he’s gotta show he can stay healthy. When we’ve called on him, he’s been banged up the last couple years.”UP NEXTDodgers RHP Ross Stripling (8-2, 2.43 ERA) at Braves LHP Sean Newcomb (9-5, 3.41 ERA), Sunday, 11:35 a.m., SportsNet LA (where available) Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies For most of his time with the Dodgers, Puig has been a relative bargain with his salary topping out at $7.5 million this season. He is eligible for arbitration this winter and might be pricing out of the Dodgers’ plans, particularly with Verdugo on the rise. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire
… And the agony of defeat: Sporting News staff recalls their most heartbreaking memories from the NCAA Tournament. Get your tissues ready.Top 80 upsets in March Madness history: It’s not March Madness until there’s an upset. Ranking the best we ever saw.Best buzzer-beaters in NCAA Tournament history: The defining shots of the NCAA Tournament, and the reason it’s dubbed “March Madness.” SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQPrintable bracket | Predictor tool | Best bracket names | TicketsNCAA Tournament bracket picks: East RegionSN’s BRACKET GUIDES: WEST | MIDWEST | SOUTH Best storylineThis is Zion’s region. Do we even need to say his last name? Perhaps to meet proper journalistic standards we should note his full name is Zion Williamson, that he is a forward at Duke playing in his first NCAA Tournament, that he is 6-7, 285 pounds and was named the Sporting News Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. But you probably know all of this.There is a small segment of fans still to be introduced to him, who will come on board for March because that’s what they do each year when the bracket is released. If they haven’t yet seen Zion — but have heard vaguely about him — they are in for a treat.Likewise, there is a segment of fans worn out from promotion of his feats, but is it really possible to be cynical about him when he creates magic like he did on Saturday night, with a full-court bounce pass through traffic with just enough backspin to make it perfectly catchable for Devil point guard Tre Jones. Zion is not Magic — but he is magical.All-region teamPlayerPositionTeamZion WilliamsonForwardDukeRJ BarrettGuardDukeCassius WinstonGuardMichigan StateTremont WatersGuardLSUBruno FernandoCenterMarylandHoly heck, Zion, RJ and Cash are 60 percent of the Sporting News’ All-America first team.Best first-round gameNo. 7 Louisville vs. No. 10 Minnesota. The committee members want us to believe they do not set up these “storyline” games in the bracket. I’ve been a part of the mock bracketing process four times, and I know they can happen by accident. But if the committee wanted everyone to believe such games are not contrived, they’d have taken this one off the board as soon as their bracketing exercise cooked it up. Gophers coach Richard Pitino against the school that fired his father 18 months ago? Not only is it awkward, it also invited those covering the tournament to dredge up the ugliness of the FBI investigation of the basketball talent game. Yeah, it’ll be a fine game, with the Gophers’ Amir Coffey and Jordan Murphy up against Louisville star Jordan Nwora and his excellent supporting cast.MARCH MADNESS: Get your printable NCAA Tournament bracketSeeded too highNo. 5 Mississippi State. If seems like the Bulldogs lost most of their biggest games, it’s only because they did. They had Kentucky in their building and lost, LSU in their building and lost. They won six games against the field, but four of them were at home. They were under .500 against the field. Yes, Nevada botched their final few weeks, but there’s no way there are two seed lines between that team and this one. There was nothing about Mississippi State’s season that declared they had one of the game’s 20 best seasons.Seeded too lowNo. 2 Michigan State. The Spartans could have been a No. 1 seed, although their bad losses to Indiana and Illinois could reasonably be used against them. They could have been the No. 5 overall squad on the seed list, ahead of fellow No. 2 seed Tennessee. But even if you grant that the committee got those two decisions right, there’s no defense for putting the Spartans in the East Region with a potential game against overall No. 1 Duke. It had to be clear to everyone in that room that the extra 120 miles the Spartans would need to travel if placed in the Midwest Region at Kansas City would be preferable than to be paired with Duke. And they did it, anyway. Pathetic.BRACKET TIPS: KenPom | Play the odds | Idiot’s guideUpset specialNo. 9 UCF over No. 8 VCU. It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen UCF 7-6 center Tacko Fall how thoroughly he wrecks the game for Knights opponents. His vast presence makes challenging the rim impossible at times, forcing teams to rely more heavily on the 3-point shot. This is not good news for the Rams, who rank near the bottom of Division I in 3-point offense. Now, VCU certainly can force an opponent into turnovers, and that’s what they’ll have to do to UCF. That way, they can race down for layups before Fall is in the neighborhood to reject their shots.Best potential gameNo. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Michigan State. These are two of the nation’s best teams, even with MSU compromised by a series of injuries that has damaged their perimeter game. The latest was a severe ankle sprain that is expected to knock out junior wing Kyle Ahrens for the remainder of the season, an injury he suffered in the Big Ten Tournament championship game against rival Michigan. When the Spartans won and went to collect the trophy, the first two players to climb onto the podium — Ahrens and star wing Joshua Langford — did so in walking boots. It has heaped more pressure on Winston, but he has handled it beautifully. The most famous college basketball injury this season, to Williamson, is long since past the Devils; they will be at full strength. And that is a frightening proposition for all opponents.I HATE MARCH MADNESS BRACKETWhat do you hate about March Madness? Vote in SN’s poll Best potential player matchupMichigan State PG Cassius Winston vs. LSU PG Tremont Waters. Winston is not a great defender, and Waters is disruptive with his ability to gathers steals — but not one to overpower the basketball. These two creative geniuses going at one another (Winston averages 7.5 assists, Waters averages 5.9) could be a brilliant display.Get to knowYale PG Miye Oni, who averages 17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists and shot .388 from 3-point range. He is considered a professional prospect and could be a rare — very rare! — early NBA draft entrant from the Ivy League. Once committed to Division III Williams College, Oni started to catch the attention of Division I programs with a strong senior year at Viewpoint High in Calabasas, Calif., and when Yale became one of them he could not resist its prestigious education. He has averaged double-figure scoring in each of his three seasons and 1,286 career points.MORE BRACKET PICKS: DeCourcy (Duke) | Bender (Duke) | Fagan (Duke) | KenPom (Duke)Don’t be surprised if …Bradley coach Brian Wardle meets with some degree of hostility at his news conference. Wardle and the school’s sports information department took the bizarre step of attempting to ban veteran beat writer Dave Reynolds from covering a press event to discuss the upcoming tournament with the Braves, who qualified by winning the Missouri Valley Conference. Reynolds has been covering the team for 29 years, but assistant director of athletic communications Jason Veniskey told Reynolds, “You don’t promote the Bradley brand” and told him player interviews were off limits. The United States Basketball Writers Association protested. The school since retreated from this stance, but not before turning one of the happiest occasions in the basketball program’s recent history — this is the first NCAA bid since 2006 — into a sorry occasion.Sleeper teamNo. 4 Virginia Tech. They are not deep into the field, but think about this: The Hokies earned a 4-seed while playing for six weeks without top-notch point guard Justin Robinson, who averages 13.7 points and 5.2 assists and had 35 against Syracuse just a game before he went down with a foot injury. Tech beat Duke without him – yes, the Devils were without Zion, but still — and went 7-5 without him, with two of the losses coming to Florida State in overtime. They might be capable of something special as a complete team.Final Four pickDuke. The Devils are loaded with lottery picks and both score and defend at an elite level. The games in D.C. should be de facto home games, given their audience appeal on the East Coast. If they have to shoot the ball to win this thing, though, that might be an adventure. They’re still 338th in Division I in 3-point offense.March Madness features from Sporting News”40 Minutes of Hell” to Hog Heaven: Nolan Richardson’s 1993-94 Arkansas team will go down as one of the most fun SEC title-winning teams of all time. It was something he built, one minute at a time.How to stop Zion Williamson: Opposing coaches dish on their strategies to deal with Duke’s freshman phenom and, with some luck, beat the Blue Devils.A barrier-breaking title: The 1961-62 Cincinnati Bearcats made history when they started four black players in their NCAA title game win over Ohio State. We remember the importance of that groundbreaking win.An Oral History of Steph Curry’s 2008 Breakout: In 2008, a little-known, baby-faced guard from Davidson completely took over the NCAA Tournament.Upset City: Reliving the wildest opening venue in NCAA Tournament history.The Fagan Jinx: They’re not just upset “alerts” when Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan is in attendance. Recapping the many improbable upsets Fagan has been on hand to witness. DeCourcy’s best of 30 years: Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy ranks the best games he has witnessed from 30 years’ worth of NCAA Tournament coverage. The thrill of victory …: Sporting News staff recall their favorite memories of the NCAA Tournament.
The two test matches against the national team of Spain were the last test before the upcoming World Cup in Spain for young BiH basketball players, current champions of Europe.“We’re going to Spain in a completely different role. Of course that we are among the favorites, together with the United States and Canada. I think that everyone have big, too big respect for America, but it is quite unnecessary. On the field, at the beginning of the match, the score is 0: 0. They are not starting with 30 points more, so that they have some advantages. With the Bosnian mentality and defiance, we will have a lot to show them if we encounter them at the World Cup,” said the captain Džanan Musa, currently the best young player in Europe.Amar Barukčija, Sani Čampara, Emir Čerkezović, Džanan Musa, Lazar Mutić, Vedran Mirković, Emir Bačvić, Aljoša Janković, Miladin Vlačić, Adi Alikadić, Srđan Kočić and Drago Cvitanović will defend colors of BiH in Spain.“I think that our generation will stay together. There is no end to this generation. With Mirza Teletović and Jusuf Nurkić, with new generations, I think this will be a special era for BiH basketball in a year or two … The one who is the real patriot, I think, despite all the obstacles, will stay with the national team. Personally, nothing would make me play for another team, no money, no conditions. It is a special feeling when our anthem starts playing and I stand still. I could never imagine another anthem or flag, except ours,” said Musa.When it comes to club status, Musa is still playing for Cedevita from Zagreb.He is undestined football player, because its height directed him to basketball, which he started playing at the age of 7.He performed at the European Cadet Championships in August 2014 in Latvia in colors of BiH.BiH cadets finished on the 8th place on this EC. With the cadet national team of BiH he participated in the EC, which was held in August 2015 in Lithuania.On the way to the finals, national team of BiH beat Spain, Germany, Croatia, France, Italy and Serbia, while it was defeated by Finland and Montenegro.With the victory against Spain they made a great surprise in the semi-finals, and in the final duel against domestic Lithuania, they celebrated victory for the historic success of BH basketball.(Source: balkans.aljazeera.net)
DES MOINES — Republican lawmakers are setting new financing requirements for construction on the public university campuses in Ames, Cedar Falls and Iowa City.Under the plan, the state will provide just 60 percent of the cost for building projects at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. Officials at those universities will have to raise the remaining 40 percent of the cost from federal grants or private sources. Republican Representative Gary Mohr of Bettendorf, a retired college administrator, said the universities can ask their 50,000 graduates for more money“I’ve done this for 40 years,” Mohr said during House debate. “In this economy and in this world, you can raise 40 percent.”The University of Northern Iowa would be required to raise 20 percent of the construction costs from sources other than state tax dollars. Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, said it’ll be hard to raise private donations for some vital projects, like power plants and steam tunnels.“This has enormous ramifications to our universities in Iowa and I don’t understand why you would spring this on us at the last minute,” Mascher said.Lawmakers are hoping to complete the work of the 2019 legislative session by this weekend.The proposal on private fundraising for construction at the public universities is included in a budget bill that’s been approved by the Senate and the House, but senators must vote again on some adjustments House members made.
Highlanders loose forward Shannon Frizell, Crusaders loose forward Jordan Taufua and Chiefs halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi are the three possible debutantes.Sam Whitelock captains the side in the absence of the injured Kieran Read.Also selected are Crusaders teammates Tim Perry, Richie Mo’unga and Jack Goodhue, who played non-Test matches on last year’s European tour and are yet to make their Test debuts.Meanwhile, making a welcome return to the All Blacks are 95-Test cap prop Owen Franks and Hurricanes outside back Nehe Milner-Skudder who both missed the back half of last year’s All Blacks season through injury.As well as the 33-man squad, two other players will assemble with the squad. Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman, will come in as paternity cover for Nathan Harris, whose partner is expecting a baby during the Series; while Blues loose forward Akira Ioane will assemble as well, with the All Blacks selectors wanting to take the opportunity to continue his development at international level.With Kieran Read injured, the All Blacks selectors have named 96-Test lock Sam Whitelock as captain for the series, with fullback Ben Smith and loose forward Sam Cane named as vice-captains. Whitelock has captained the team once before, against Wales in the last Test of 2017.As well as Read, other players not considered for selection due to injury were Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Kane Hames, Nepo Laulala, Atu Moli, Patrick Tuipulotu and Israel Dagg.All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: “I’d like to congratulate all those players selected for the Steinlager Series, especially the three new All Blacks.”It was a really tough squad to select, more so because there are some very talented players who have missed out, but I’m sure they will get their opportunity in the black jersey in the near future.”Hansen also congratulated Whitelock on his appointment as captain for the series.”He’s one half of the best locking combination in the world and one of the best players on and off the park. He has a cool head under pressure and the support of the players and management.”In saying that, we’re blessed with a number of other leaders in our group and the expectations are that they’ll continue to lead both on and off the park in their actions, and in doing so make Sam’s job that little bit easier.”In setting the scene for the All Blacks season, Hansen said: “2018 will be about consolidation for us.”We’ll look to continue to grow our player depth and expose more players to our environment and Test rugby, help them improve and enhance their game fundamentals, and in doing so, create consistent, ingrained habits that will hold up under the greatest of pressures, which is Test rugby.”Hansen described the French as “always a dangerous side”.”Whilst they’re at the end of their season, many of their players haven’t played a lot of rugby through injury, so they’ll be a lot fresher than they’d normally be, for this campaign. Our preparation will need to be both smart and bone-deep if we’re to combat this French team, who’ll come with a strong belief and commitment. As history tells us, we’d be very foolish and naïve to underestimate their abilities.”The squad is as follows: (with age, Super Rugby club, province and Test caps.)Forwards:HookersNathan Harris (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 11)Codie Taylor (27, Crusaders / Canterbury, 29)PropsOwen Franks (30, Crusaders / Canterbury, 95)Joe Moody (29, Crusaders /Canterbury, 31)Tim Perry (29, Crusaders / Tasman, uncapped)Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (27, Hurricanes / Wellington, 1)Ofa Tuungafasi (26, Blues / Auckland, 14)LocksScott Barrett (24, Crusaders / Taranaki, 16)Brodie Retallick (26, Chiefs / Hawke’s Bay, 68)Samuel Whitelock (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 96) – CaptainLoose ForwardsSam Cane (26, Chiefs / Bay of Plenty, 53) – vice-captainVaea Fifita (25, Hurricanes / Wellington, 5)Shannon Frizell (24, Highlanders / Tasman, uncapped)Ardie Savea (24, Hurricanes / Wellington, 22)Liam Squire (27, Highlanders / Tasman, 15)Jordan Taufua (26, Crusaders / Tasman, uncapped)Luke Whitelock (27, Highlanders / Canterbury, 2)Backs:HalfbacksTJ Perenara (26, Hurricanes / Wellington, 42)Aaron Smith (29, Highlanders / Manawatu, 71)Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (23, Chiefs / Taranaki, uncapped)First five-eighthsBeauden Barrett (27, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 62)Damian McKenzie (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 12)Richie Mo’unga (24, Crusaders / Canterbury, uncapped)MidfieldersRyan Crotty (29, Crusaders / Canterbury, 32)Jack Goodhue (22, Crusaders / Northland, uncapped)Ngani Laumape (25, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 4)Anton Lienert-Brown (23, Chiefs / Waikato, 22)Sonny Bill Williams (32, Blues / Counties Manukau, 46)Outside backsJordie Barrett (21, Hurricanes / Taranaki, 2)Rieko Ioane (21, Blues / Auckland, 13)Nehe Milner-Skudder (27, Hurricanes / Manawatu, 11)Waisake Naholo (27, Highlanders /Taranaki, 18)Ben Smith (30, Highlanders /Otago, 64) – Vice-captain