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October 30

NBA fears January start to season could cost league up to $1 billion in revenue losses, sources say

After pushing back a deadline until next Friday that would allow for the NBA to serve notice on termination of the collective bargaining agreement in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the league and the National Basketball Players Association are running short on time to agree on starting the NBA's season before Christmas. And without assurances that the pandemic will allow for fans in arenas this season -- and projections that their absence could cost the league more than $4 billion in lost revenue -- the NBA fears delaying the start of the 2020-21 season until January could cost the league an additional $500 million to $1 billion in revenue losses next season and beyond, sources said. The consequences for the league's players would be a steep drop in salaries due to the collective bargaining agreement's 50-50 revenue split between the league and players. The NBA and NBPA are still at odds over a start date to the season, with the union resisting thus far a league plan to...
October 30
October 30

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley finally has surgery on torn ACL

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley underwent surgery Friday in Los Angeles to repair the torn ACL in his right knee. "Surgery was a success," Barkley's mother, Tonya Johnson, wrote in an Instagram post that included a picture of her son in a hospital bed. Barkley is expected to make a full recovery and, with almost 11 months to get back to full strength, be ready for the start of next season. The surgery took place 40 days after the injury occurred in a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears. The procedure Friday was expected to reconstruct the ACL and repair the meniscus in his right knee. Barkley also injured his MCL, but that was not believed to need surgical repair. Barkley and the Giants were waiting for the swelling to ease before having the surgery. This isn't uncommon when there is also some sort of MCL damage. It also provided Barkley an opportunity to strengthen the knee before the operation. Still, Barkley had to work around Dr. Neal ElAttrache's...
October 30
October 30

Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe announce engagement with Instagram pic

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird and U.S. women's national team soccer player Megan Rapinoe are engaged. Bird, 40, and Rapinoe, 35, have been dating since getting to know each other during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, having won her most recent title earlier this month in the bubble in Bradenton, Florida, as she completed her 17th season in the league. Rapinoe spent the season in the bubble with Bird. Bird posted a photo to Instagram on Friday of Rapinoe kneeling and placing a ring on her left hand. The Storm also posted a message to Twitter congratulating the couple. Bird, a former UConn star, won two NCAA titles, and she also has four Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women's basketball team. Rapinoe, who played collegiately for Portland, won gold with the U.S. soccer team at the 2012 Olympics and the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Rapinoe won the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot at the 2019 event. She also plays for the NWSL's OL Reign...
October 30
October 30

John Ross of Cincinnati Bengals eager to play, wants out if he can't

CINCINNATI -- Bengals wide receiver John Ross opened up about his role and uncertain future in Cincinnati on Friday. Ross, who has not played in four of the team's past five games as his role has diminished, rebuffed a report that suggested a team source wasn't sure if the speedy receiver still liked football. "Trade me if this (is) how y'all feel," the Bengals' 2017 first-round pick wrote on Twitter on Friday. "I'm healthy and eager to play. I know I can be productive. It's hard to love something when your (sic) not actually participating in it. "Believe me, its (sic) not football that I don't like." The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday.  Ross' lone offensive numbers this year are the two catches for 17 yards he had in the season-opening loss against the Los Angeles Chargers. He is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans (5-1) with an undisclosed illness. Ross was a full participant at Wednesday's practice before he...
October 30
October 30

New Orleans Saints rule out Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway

METAIRIE, La. -- Michael Thomas and Marquez Callaway have officially been ruled out for Week 8 as the New Orleans Saints' receiving corps continues to get thinner. Emmanuel Sanders remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning New Orleans will be without three of its top four wide receivers Sunday at the Chicago Bears. All three could be back as early as next weekend's critical showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football. Thomas has been sidelined since Week 1 because of a high ankle sprain, a team disciplinary action and a hamstring injury that he suffered last week. He returned to practice on a limited basis both Thursday and Friday this week. Callaway, meanwhile, suffered an ankle injury during his breakout performance last weekend while Thomas and Sanders were out. The undrafted rookie caught eight passes for 75 yards in New Orleans' 27-24 win over the Carolina Panthers. Callaway also practiced on a...
October 30
October 30

Source: Minnesota Vikings linebacker Todd Davis tests positive for COVID-19

EAGAN, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings placed Todd Davis on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday after the veteran linebacker tested positive for the coronavirus, a league source told ESPN. Davis was the second Vikings player this week to go on the reserve/COVID-19 list; the team designated rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler on Wednesday. It remains unclear whether Dantzler has COVID-19 or came into close contact with someone infected with the virus. The Vikings are now in intensive league protocols, according to coach Mike Zimmer, who said the team can still have walk-throughs, practices and virtual meetings. Dantzler did not show up on the final injury report, so his status for Sunday's game in Green Bay is in question. If not positive for COVID-19 or a high-risk contact, the rookie would need two negative test results taken within 24 hours of each other to be eligible to play. Minnesota is down to Kris Boyd, Mark Fields and rookies ...
October 30
October 30

MLB owners approve sale of New York Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen

MLB owners have voted to approve billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen as the new owner of the New York Mets, it was announced Friday. The proposed purchase of 95% of the Mets by an entity of Cohen had already been approved by MLB's ownership committee. Cohen needed 23 of the 30 clubs to sign off for the deal to be approved, and The Associated Press reported, citing a source, that the vote was 26-4. The sale values the franchise at $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. Cohen, 64, is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management. The Mets' ownership group had been headed by Fred Wilpon, his brother-in-law Saul Katz and Wilpon's son Jeff, the team's chief operating officer. The Wilpon and Katz families will retain 5% of the team after the sale, which is expected to be finalized within the next 10 days. "I extend my best wishes to Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Jeff Wilpon and thank them for their longstanding efforts for the Mets. In particular, we appreciate Fred's decades of...
October 30
October 30

MLB owners approve sale of New York Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen, source says

MLB owners have voted to approve billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen as the new owner of the New York Mets, a source familiar with the vote told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Friday. The proposed purchase of 95% of the Mets by an entity of Cohen had already been approved by MLB's ownership committee. Cohen needed 23 of the 30 clubs to sign off for the deal to be completed. The sale values the franchise at $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. Cohen, 64, is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management. The Mets' ownership group had been headed by Fred Wilpon, his brother-in-law Saul Katz and Wilpon's son Jeff, the team's chief operating officer. The Wilpon and Katz families will retain 5% of the team after the sale. Cohen first bought into the Mets when the team sought $20 million in minority investment stakes following the collapse of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which was costly to the Wilpons and their companies. The limited partnership shares were sold after a proposed $200...
October 30
October 30

Mike D'Antoni joins Steve Nash's staff with Brooklyn Nets

Mike D'Antoni will be an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets, reuniting him with his former MVP point guard, Nets coach Steve Nash, the team announced Friday. The Nets announced the hires of D'Antoni, Amar'e Stoudemire and well-regarded assistant Ime Udoka, who spent seven of the past eight seasons on Gregg Popovich's staff with the San Antonio Spurs. Nash has constructed a strong coaching staff for his first season as a head coach, including associate head coach Jacque Vaughn. The Nets are expected to be among the NBA's championship contenders with the return of Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn debut of Kevin Durant. Udoka spent seven years as an assistant under Popovich with the Spurs and the 2019-20 season as the top assistant with Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers. He has been a candidate for several head-coaching jobs in recent years. For D'Antoni and Nash, this is the third time they will be together, including a...
October 30
October 30

Detroit Tigers name AJ Hinch manager as MLB suspension ends

DETROIT -- As he waited out his suspension this year, AJ Hinch knew he wanted to return to baseball. The question was whether anyone in the sport would be ready to welcome him. His answer came pretty quickly. "About 30 minutes after the World Series' last out, my phone rang,'' Hinch said. It was Detroit general manager Al Avila, telling Hinch to get on a plane. The Tigers quickly hired Hinch as their new manager, giving him a chance to return to a major league dugout after he was fired by Houston in the wake of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. It may take a while for Hinch to overcome the stigma of what happened in Houston, but he and his new bosses were ready to address the topic Friday. "I understand the question and I understand how wrong it was, and I'm sorry for that," Hinch said. "I've said that before, I'll say it again, I'll continue to say it. I'll never forget the feeling that I've had throughout the past year as I've navigated this with my family,...
October 30
October 30

Detroit Tigers name A.J. Hinch manager as MLB suspension ends

The Detroit Tigers named A.J. Hinch their new manager on Friday, giving him a chance to return to a major league dugout after he was fired by Houston in the wake of the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. The Tigers announced the move, saying they agreed to terms with Hinch on a multiyear deal. Hinch replaces Ron Gardenhire, who retired late this season, and he takes over a rebuilding team that is hoping to start climbing the standings behind a handful of highly touted pitching prospects. For the 46-year-old Hinch, this is an opportunity to revive his managerial career. He guided Houston to the 2017 World Series title, but that championship -- and a lot of what Hinch accomplished there -- is now viewed in a different light after an investigation found the Astros used a video feed from a center field camera to decode the opposing catcher's signs, and players banged on a trash can to signal to hitters what was coming.   Major League Baseball suspended Hinch for...
October 30
October 30

Anderson Silva and Uriah Hall make weight for Silva's expected final UFC fight

LAS VEGAS -- Anderson Silva's final UFC appearance is officially on for Saturday, as both he and opponent Uriah Hall made weight during Friday's official weigh-in. Silva (34-10) tipped the scales at 184 pounds for his middleweight main event against Hall (15-9). Silva, 45, has been coy as to whether Saturday's bout will be his last, but he has acknowledged it is likely the final time he will fight. UFC president Dana White has promoted the bout as Silva's last trip to the Octagon. Silva is considered one of the greatest fighters in mixed martial arts history. He made his UFC debut in 2006 and won his first 16 fights. He held the 185-pound title from 2006 to 2013 and was widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world during much of that stretch. The UFC actually booked this fight against Hall -- who weighed in at 184 pounds -- years ago in Brazil, but Silva was forced to withdraw due to health issues. Hall has won three of his past four contests....
October 30
October 30

Tampa Bay Rays decline 2021 options on Charlie Morton, Mike Zunino

The Tampa Bay Rays have declined the 2021 options on starting pitcher Charlie Morton and catcher Mike Zunino, general manager Erik Neander said Friday. Morton was scheduled to make $15 million in 2021, while Zunino was slotted for $4.5 million. Both players are now eligible for free agency. Neander told reporters that he is open to bringing back both players for lesser deals. Morton was 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA in nine starts during the regular season for the Rays, and he went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 23 strikeouts in the postseason -- including a Game 7 victory over Houston in the American League Championship Series -- as Tampa Bay lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. Zunino had four home runs and hit only .147 with 10 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened season, but he had some huge hits in the playoffs, swatting four home runs.
October 30
October 30

Source: Denver Broncos OL Graham Glasgow, Minnesota Vikings linebacker positive for coronavirus

The Denver Broncos have postponed practice Friday after a player tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced. A source told ESPN the player is guard Graham Glasgow, confirming an NFL Network report. Broncos coach Vic Fangio informed his team that it will conduct virtual meetings Friday. The Broncos are expected to practice Saturday ahead of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. "We were informed early this morning that a Broncos player has tested positive for COVID-19," the Broncos said in a statement. "The player is at home in self-isolation along with two other players who were determined to be close contacts. Our organization, which has been operating under the league's intensive protocols, is in consultation with the NFL and taking guidance from medical experts. "As a precaution, we have made the decision to postpone today's practice and conduct virtual meetings in preparation for Sunday's game against the Chargers. The team is scheduled...
October 30
October 30

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy not completely ruling out Andy Dalton for Philadelphia Eagles game

FRISCO, Texas --  Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy would not completely rule out Andy Dalton for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Dalton "should be ready to go next week" during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Friday. Rookie Ben DiNucci has taken the first-team quarterback work this week in practice and would start the first game of his career. He completed two of three passes for 39 yards after Dalton suffered a concussion on a hit in the third quarter of a 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team last week. The Cowboys (2-5) play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 8 at AT&T Stadium before their bye week. Dalton is in the concussion protocol and was at Friday's walk-through but not a participant. He was in the quarterback meetings on Thursday. "If Andy would practice [Saturday], that would be the only chance he would have to play in the game,"...
October 30
October 30

Illinois-Duke matchup headlines 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

The matchups for the 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge were announced Friday, highlighted by a likely top-10 showdown between Duke and Illinois. The games will take place Tuesday, Dec. 8 and Wednesday, Dec. 9. Illinois' trip to Duke highlights the first slate of games, as the Fighting Illini will open the campaign ranked in the top 10 after bringing back  Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn from last season's team. Duke is also likely to be ranked in the top 10, as the Blue Devils bring in yet another top-10 recruiting class. Iowa and Wooden Award favorite Luka Garza will host North Carolina on Dec. 8. The Hawkeyes are one of the Big Ten title favorites, and the Tar Heels and their four McDonald's All American freshmen will hope to return to form after North Carolina struggled mightily last season. Other games on Dec. 8: Syracuse at Rutgers, Ohio State at Notre Dame, Purdue at Miami, ...
October 30
October 30

Schedule for College Football Playoff, bowl games revealed

College football's bowl season officially has a schedule. ESPN will televise 35 of the 37 bowl games, starting with the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl on Dec. 19 and concluding with the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 11. Once the bowl season starts, there will be at least one game every day through Jan. 2, except for the two Sundays in that time frame. The College Football Playoff begins New Year's Day, with the Rose Bowl Game and Allstate Sugar Bowl serving as semifinal hosts. Those games will be preceded that day by the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Vrbo Citrus Bowl. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will be the first among the New Year's Six bowl games to be played, on Dec. 30, with the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and Capital One Orange Bowl taking place Jan. 2. Two new games, the Montgomery Bowl (Dec. 23) and LA Bowl (Dec. 30), join the lineup, but the Fenway Bowl, which was scheduled to make its debut in Boston this year,...
October 30
October 30

Source: Denver Broncos offensive lineman, Minnesota Vikings linebacker positive for coronavirus

The Denver Broncos have postponed practice Friday after a player tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced. A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the player is an offensive lineman. Broncos coach Vic Fangio informed his team that it will conduct virtual meetings Friday. The Broncos are expected to practice Saturday ahead of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. "We were informed early this morning that a Broncos player has tested positive for COVID-19," the Broncos said in a statement. "The player is at home in self-isolation along with two other players who were determined to be close contacts. Our organization, which has been operating under the league's intensive protocols, is in consultation with the NFL and taking guidance from medical experts. "As a precaution, we have made the decision to postpone today's practice and conduct virtual meetings in preparation for Sunday's game against the Chargers. The team is scheduled to return to...
October 30
October 30

Schedule for College Football Playoff, all 37 bowl games revealed

College football's bowl season officially has a schedule. ESPN will televise 35 of the 37 bowl games, starting with the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl on Dec. 19 and concluding with the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 11. Once the bowl season starts, there will be at least one game every day through Jan. 2, except for the two Sundays in that time frame. The College Football Playoff begins New Year's Day, with the Rose Bowl Game and Allstate Sugar Bowl serving as semifinal hosts. Those games will be preceded that day by the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Vrbo Citrus Bowl. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic will be the first among the New Year's Six bowl games to be played, on Dec. 30, with the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and Capital One Orange Bowl taking place Jan. 2. Two new games, the Montgomery Bowl (Dec. 23) and LA Bowl (Dec. 30), join the lineup, but the Fenway Bowl, which was scheduled to make its debut in Boston this year,...
October 30
October 30

Five-star basketball recruit Caleb Houstan commits to Michigan

Five-star basketball recruit Caleb Houstan has committed to  Michigan, he told ESPN on Friday. "I was down to four great schools, but one definitely stood out to me the most. I decided to commit to coach Juwan Howard and the University of Michigan," Houstan said. "I was recruited by a lot of great schools, and I appreciate all the time they all spent with me and my family." Houstan is the No. 10-ranked player in the 2021 high school class, making him the highest-ranked Michigan recruit since at least 2007, the first year of the ESPN recruiting database. At 6-foot-8, Houstan has excellent size for a small forward with a versatile offensive skill set and is considered one of the best perimeter shooters in the high school game. He was the second-leading scorer at the 2019 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, averaging 23 points in 29 minutes per game and ranking among the top players at the event in both made 3-pointers and free throw attempts. His Canada team went 5-1,...
October 30
October 30

Sources: Mike D'Antoni finalizing deal to join Steve Nash's staff with Brooklyn Nets

Mike D'Antoni is finalizing a deal to become an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets, reuniting him with his former MVP point guard, Nets coach Steve Nash, sources told ESPN. The Nets are hiring D'Antoni and well-regarded assistant Ime Udoka, who spent seven of the past eight seasons on Gregg Popovich's staff with the San Antonio Spurs, sources said. Nash has constructed a strong coaching staff for his first season as a head coach, including associate head coach Jacque Vaughn. The Nets are expected to be among the NBA's championship contenders with the return of Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn debut of Kevin Durant. Udoka spent seven years as an assistant under Popovich with the Spurs and the 2019-20 season as the top assistant with Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers. He has been a candidate for several head-coaching jobs in recent years. For D'Antoni and Nash, this is the third time they will be together, including a memorable...
October 30
October 30

Baltimore Ravens sign LT Ronnie Stanley to five-year, $98.75M extension, source says

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was late for the Baltimore Ravens' morning meetings Friday, prompting center Matt Skura to reach out to see if something was wrong. "I got something to do," Stanley texted back. It wasn't until later that teammates found out that Stanley had been busy signing a five-year extension, which continues the Ravens' commitment to keeping young All-Pro talent. Stanley becomes the NFL's second-highest-paid left tackle, striking a $98.75 million extension, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. His annual average of $19.75 million trails only that of   Houston's Laremy Tunsil ($22 million per season). Stanley's deal maxes out at $112.866 million, the source said. He did surpass Tunsil in three areas: signing bonus ($22.5 million), total guarantees ($70.866 million, over $16 million more than Tunsil) and payout through March 31 ($47.116 million). "I'm very appreciative just to the whole organization,...
October 30
October 29

Hit on Carolina Panthers' Teddy Bridgewater draws ejection for Atlanta Falcons' Charles Harris

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  Atlanta Falcons defensive end Charles Harris was ejected in the third quarter of Thursday night's  25-17 win over the  Carolina Panthers after a vicious hit that briefly sidelined quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater was scrambling on the third-and-7 play when he was tripped and went down for a 2-yard loss. Harris came in after Bridgewater was down and delivered a blow to the helmet. The quarterback went to the sideline tent to be checked for a possible concussion. He came out a few minutes later and began throwing on the sideline then returned in the fourth quarter after clearing concussion protocol. Bridgewater wouldn't call Harris' hit a cheap shot, but running back Mike Davis didn't hesitate to. "Yeah, I thought it was a cheap shot," Davis said. "It was late, hit him on the neck. You hate to see that." Former XFL player  P.J. Walker took over at quarterback for three plays, and the Panthers...
October 29
October 29

Trevor Lawrence positive for COVID-19, will miss Boston College-Clemson

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Saturday's game against Boston College. "Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement Thursday night. "He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week's game against Boston College. "While we certainly will miss Trevor, this is an opportunity for other guys to step up and we're excited about competing against a very good BC team on Saturday. Go Tigers." Lawrence released a statement on social media, saying his symptoms were mild and that "the only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love." Lawrence is a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy and has not missed a game in three seasons at Clemson. When Lawrence was announced as out, Clemson was listed as a 29.5-point...
October 29
October 29

UFC's Dana White has 'feeling' Khabib Nurmagomedov will unretire to go for 30-0 record

It has been less than one week since undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport, but UFC president Dana White has already come out and stated he believes Nurmagomedov (29-0) will fight again. Speaking to CBS Sports Radio on Thursday, White said he has been in contact with Nurmagomedov since the fighter's emotional title fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 last weekend in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and he has gotten the impression the 32-year-old's retirement won't stick. "Khabib and I have been talking," White told "The Zach Gelb Show." "He was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0. "I think that he's not going to retire. His dad wanted him to get to 30-0, and I think he wants to honor his dad's wish." Representatives for Nurmagomedov did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Nurmagomedov defeated Gaethje via second-round...
October 29
October 29

Sources: Detroit Tigers finalizing deal to make AJ Hinch next manager

The Detroit Tigers have made progress in finalizing a deal with former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch to be their next manager, although the agreement is not finalized, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney. Last Friday, Tigers general manager Al Avila said the team wasn't ruling out hiring either Hinch or Alex Cora, both of whom lost their jobs before the start of the 2020 season for their roles in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. The Astros fired Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow on Jan. 13. Major League Baseball suspended Hinch and Cora for the 2020 seasons, with the suspensions ending at the conclusion of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Tigers are in the market for a replacement for manager Ron Gardenhire, who retired on Sept. 19 with a little more than a week left in the season. "Really, I can't say that I've eliminated anybody," Avila said Friday. "The cheating scandal is not a good thing, obviously. They're serving their suspensions, and...
October 29
October 29

Chicago White Sox's Tony La Russa announcement uses AJ Hinch's signature

CHICAGO -- A glitch in a graphic file that was emailed to some fans announcing the Chicago White Sox's hiring of new manager Tony La Russa on Thursday contained a signature of AJ Hinch on a picture of La Russa. The mistake was due to multiple variations of the graphic being prepared for various candidates, according to a team source, although Hinch, the former Astros manager who was suspended for the 2020 season because of the team's sign-stealing scandal, was never interviewed. The file ended up in the finished product that was emailed on Thursday as part of the La Russa announcement. Hinch, a rumored candidate for the job, was likely on an initial list of candidates that got folded into the graphic-making process. Sources told ESPN's Buster Olney on Thursday night that the Detroit Tigers have made progress in finalizing a deal with Hinch to be their next manager, although the agreement is not finalized. The White Sox later tweeted a corrected version of the...
October 29
October 29

Sources: AJ Hinch favorite to be hired as Detroit Tigers' manager

Former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch is widely regarded as the favorite to become the next manager of the Detroit Tigers, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney. The sources said the Tigers are making decisive progress toward finalizing their choice for manager. Last Friday, Tigers general manager Al Avila said the team wasn't ruling out hiring either Hinch or Alex Cora, both of whom lost their jobs before the start of the 2020 season for their roles in the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. The Astros fired Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow on Jan. 13. Major League Baseball suspended Hinch and Cora for the 2020 seasons, with the suspensions ending at the conclusion of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Tigers are in the market for a replacement for manager Ron Gardenhire, who retired on Sept. 19 with a little more than a week left in the season. "Really, I can't say that I've eliminated anybody," Avila said Friday. "The cheating scandal is not a...
October 29
October 29

Travis Roy, philanthropist for spinal cord injury treatment, dies at 45

Former Boston University hockey player Travis Roy, who was paralyzed after an injury in 1995 and became a philanthropist for spinal cord injury treatment, has died at 45. A family spokesperson told WCVB in Boston that Roy died in Vermont due to complications from a procedure he needed to maintain his quality of life. Roy slid headfirst into the boards just 11 seconds into his first shift for BU on Oct. 20, 1995. He cracked his fourth vertebra, which left him a quadriplegic. Roy had since regained movement in his right arm, which he used to control the joystick that maneuvered his wheelchair. "It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Travis Roy,'' Boston University said in a statement. "His story is the epitome of inspiration and courage, and he was a role model and a hero to so many people. Travis' work and dedication towards helping fellow spinal cord-injury survivors is nothing short of amazing. His legacy will last forever, not just within the Boston University...
October 29
October 29

Cam Newton: Buffalo game a 'must win' with New England Patriots in 3-game skid

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton called Sunday's road game against the Buffalo Bills a "must win" for the team. The Patriots (2-4) are on a three-game losing streak -- their first since 2002 -- and trail the Bills (5-2) in the AFC East. "This is a must-win for us, and I'm going to control the things that I can control. I have two or three more days to prepare and that's what I plan on doing," Newton said Thursday. With the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, Newton was asked if the team might look different should the game not go the way the Patriots hope. "Listen man, good vibes, good energies, you have to speak things into existence. I refute [that thought]," he said. "My main focus is to play a better version of what I've been playing lately -- protecting the football. That's the key to victory." The Patriots have won the division each of the past 11 seasons, but that's when they had Tom Brady at quarterback. The...
October 29
October 29

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to rookie Ben DiNucci: 'Go out there and do you'

FRISCO, Texas -- Ben DiNucci isn't sure whether he will start Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Dak Prescott has offered up advice to the Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback. DiNucci, who has taken the starter's reps in practice the past two days and would replace Andy Dalton, saw Prescott, who is out for the year because of a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, on Wednesday at The Star. "Kind of just walked up to him and said, 'Hey this isn't what you said my rookie year was going to be like,'" DiNucci said. "He laughed and gave me a hug and just said, 'We've talked about this. Go out there and do you. Take completions. Trust the guys around you. You'll be great. Don't overthink it. Football's football.' It's a game I've been playing since seventh grade. Not going to try to make it any more than it is. Going to have fun with it, bring a lot of energy, bring a lot of confidence and let my play speak for...
October 29
October 29

Mike Tyson's goal for exhibition fight is to 'disable' Roy Jones Jr.

Mike Tyson isn't pulling any punches entering his exhibition bout against former champion Roy Jones Jr. He wants to win. "My mindset is totally bliss. This is something I've done all my life since I was 13 years old," Tyson said. "I'm more evolved now than I've ever been. My objective is to go in there with the best intentions of my life and to disable my opponent, and that's just what it is." Tyson, 54, and Jones, 51, enter the ring against each other on Nov. 28 for an eight-round exhibition fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles without fans in attendance. Jones said the one question he always hears from people is, "Have you ever fought Mike Tyson?" Until now, that answer has been no. "Now I don't have to say 'no' no more," Jones said during Thursday's news conference. "I'm so glad to get this opportunity because now I can say, 'Yes, I did. I sure did.' And guess what? Tune in on the 28th, and you'll see how it go." The two boxing legends were originally set to meet on Sept....
October 29
October 29

Arizona Coyotes renounce rights to draft pick Mitchell Miller after history of assault, racism surface

The Arizona Coyotes are renouncing the rights to draft pick Mitchell Miller after his history of assault and racism as a juvenile were spotlighted in a newspaper investigation. Miller, an 18-year-old defenseman committed to play at the University of North Dakota next season, was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft (111th overall) by the Coyotes. On Oct. 26, the Arizona Republic published an extensive exposé of Miller's bullying of Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities in Sylvania, Ohio. "In junior high, I got beat up by him. ... Everyone thinks he's so cool that he gets to go to the NHL, but I don't see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life," Meyer-Crothers told the paper. The Coyotes initially stood by the pick, with president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez saying the team felt a responsibility to "part of the solution" for Miller. "We believe that we are in the best position to...
October 29
October 29

Chicago White Sox name Tony La Russa, 76, new manager

Tony La Russa, the Hall of Famer who won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics and two more with the St. Louis Cardinals, is returning to manage the Chicago White Sox -- 34 years after they fired him. La Russa, 76, rejoins the franchise where his managing career began more than four decades ago. He takes over for Rick Renteria after what the White Sox insisted was a mutual agreement to split. "We are extremely excited about the future of this team,'' general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday. "As we showed in 2020, this is a young, talented club that we expect to only grow better and better in the coming years. Adding in a Hall of Fame manager who is recognized as being one of the best in the history of the game, we are a step closer to our goal of bringing White Sox fans another championship.'' La Russa inherits a team loaded with young stars and productive veterans that made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, only to sputter down the stretch...
October 29
October 29

Source: New England Patriots' Julian Edelman has precautionary knee procedure, expected to miss Sunday

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman underwent a precautionary standard knee procedure Thursday morning, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter, and is expected to miss Sunday's road game against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots are practicing in the rain Thursday and Edelman is not on the field with his teammates. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Edelman, 34, has been limited all season because of his knee, and a source told ESPN he is expected to be sidelined for "some period of time." He leads the team with 21 receptions for 315 yards. The Patriots also could be without receiver N'Keal Harry on Sunday, as he remains sidelined because of a concussion. That would leave the Patriots with just Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski at receiver, likely leading to the team promoting someone from the practice squad. Edelman leads the Patriots in receptions (21), targets (39),...
October 29
October 29

Source: Minnesota Timberwolves meet with potential No. 1 pick LaMelo Ball

Projected No. 1 pick LaMelo Ball met with the Minnesota Timberwolves, owners of the top selection in the NBA draft, on Tuesday, a source told ESPN. The meeting, conducted in Southern California, consisted of an interview and did not feature any basketball activity. It was attended by Gersson Rosas, the Timberwolves' president of basketball operations, and head coach Ryan Saunders, the source said. The NBA relaxed restrictions on in-player evaluations and interviews in mid-October, according to a memo obtained by ESPN, opening the way for teams to meet with prospects in advance of the draft, which is scheduled for Nov. 18. This was the first meeting Ball had conducted. He is tentatively scheduled to interview with the Golden State Warriors early next week; they have the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft. The expectation is that Ball also will interview with the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, who pick third and fourth. It is not...
October 29
October 29

Sources: Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has multiple fractures, sprained ligament in thumb

X-rays taken this week revealed that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his right thumb, league sources told ESPN. Minshew has had discomfort in his thumb since Jacksonville's Oct. 11 game at Houston, a source told ESPN. He did not tell the team about the pain until after the last game, a 39-29 loss to the Chargers, which led to a postgame X-ray in Los Angeles. The Jaguars (1-6) didn't know about Minshew's injury until this week, per sources. It is uncertain whether Minshew will be able to play when Jacksonville returns from its bye to host the Texans. Jacksonville's backup quarterback is Mike Glennon, and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone already stated before his team's last game against the Chargers that he might have to ponder a quarterback change. The thumb injury could make Marrone's decision easy. The thumb injury might also explain why Minshew has sailed some passes in...
October 29
October 29

Big Ten nixes Nebraska Cornhuskers replacement game vs. Chattanooga Mocs

The Big Ten has nixed a proposed deal that would have allowed Nebraska to replace its canceled game Saturday against Wisconsin with a game against FCS foe Chattanooga. Dr. Jay Blackman, UTC's senior associate athletics director for strategic communications, confirmed the Big Ten's decision to ESPN. "We knew at the beginning of the conversations that it was going to be a long shot," Blackman told ESPN's Mark Schlabach. "We were trying to do things to get ready. People were excited." Nebraska released a joint statement from athletic director Bill Moos and chancellor Ronnie Green, saying: "With the cancellation of the game against Wisconsin, we did explore the possibility of securing a non-conference game for Saturday. The discussions we had were with teams that had already implemented stricter testing protocols than those mandated by the Big Ten Conference. Those details were non-negotiable if we were to bring a non-conference opponent to Lincoln. "With an...
October 29
October 29

New York Giants lineman Will Hernandez tests positive for the coronavirus, source says

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants offensive lineman Will Hernandez has tested positive for COVID-19, sources confirmed to ESPN, and is expected to be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list later Thursday. A positive test was discovered on Wednesday night, according to a statement by the team, which didn't identify the player. The player and those in close contact with him were told to remain home Thursday. In total, eight players and two coaches were not at the team's facility Thursday, and they will participate in remote meetings for the time being. The two coaches were defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson and outside linebackers coach/senior assistant Bret Bielema. As of now, the Giants players sent home as close contacts have not been deemed high risk, a source told ESPN, which means they could return to work as early as Friday if things stay on track. "The optimism on all the people who are only related to tracers is very high right now," coach Joe...
October 29
October 29

Sources: Big Ten nixes Nebraska Cornhuskers replacement game vs. Chattanooga Mocs

The Big Ten has nixed a proposed deal that would have allowed Nebraska to replace its canceled game Saturday against Wisconsin with a game against FCS foe Chattanooga, sources told ESPN. Nebraska's scheduled Big Ten game with Wisconsin was canceled after all Wisconsin team-related activities were paused this week because of an increased number of COVID-19 cases within the program. Nebraska, in trying to find a replacement at the last minute, had put together a deal to face Chattanooga, which lost to Western Kentucky 13-10 last week. It was the Mocs' only game this fall. The Southern Conference voted to play its season in the spring, and Chattanooga's next scheduled game is Feb. 20 against VMI. Chattanooga tested its players and staff members Wednesday, and the results all came back negative, sources told ESPN. Chattanooga conducted another round of tests Thursday morning, and Nebraska was going to test the players and staff members again on Friday in...
October 29
October 29

Source: Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey won't play Thursday vs. Atlanta Falcons

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will not get a prime-time return from a high ankle sprain, a league source confirmed to ESPN. The Panthers (3-4) decided not to activate McCaffrey for Thursday night's nationally televised game against the Atlanta Falcons (1-6), meaning his likely return will be next week against the Kansas City Chiefs. McCaffrey returned to practice Monday and on Tuesday was given a designation to return from injured reserve. But because it was a short week and McCaffrey didn't get to go through a full practice, the team opted to exercise caution. NFL Network first reported Thursday that McCaffrey was not expected to play against Atlanta. McCaffrey suffered the injury during a Week 2 loss to Tampa Bay that dropped the Panthers to 0-2. They went 3-2 without the league's highest-paid back, thanks in large part to journeyman Mike Davis. Davis averaged more than 100 yards from scrimmage in...
October 29
October 29

Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, Baltimore Ravens' John Harbaugh to face off record 25th time

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have produced vicious hits, dramatic finishes and now a historic matchup of head coaches. In Sunday's clash for first place in the AFC North, the Steelers' Mike Tomlin and the Ravens' John Harbaugh will become the first pair of head coaches in the Super Bowl era to face off 25 times in the regular season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Before a Ravens-Steelers game not too long ago, Tomlin was talking to Harbaugh about their place in the lore of one of the NFL's fiercest rivalries. "We'll be tied together forever by this," Tomlin told Harbaugh. Tomlin and Harbaugh will break a tie with two other longtime coaching matchups: Tomlin-Marvin Lewis and Sid Gillman-Hank Stram. Harbaugh holds a 13-11 edge over Tomlin in the regular season since their first meeting in 2008. It has been a closely contested series that has resulted in two-thirds of the games being decided by four points or fewer, including four overtime...
October 29
October 28

Quarterback Quinn Ewers, No. 1 in 2022 recruiting class, decommits from Texas Longhorns

Quarterback Quinn Ewers, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, announced Wednesday he had decommitted from Texas. Ewers is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect from Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, and had committed to the Longhorns in August. Ewers had been rethinking his decision, however, as more and more schools were still recruiting him, including Ohio State and Alabama, among others. "Recently, as I've competed alongside my teammates during my junior season at Southlake Carroll, I've also taken some time to think about my future," Ewers wrote on Twitter. "Given the COVID-19 pandemic facing us, this has been a challenging year for all students like myself. With the support of my family, I tried to navigate the recruiting process the best way I could. "With the process being abnormal this season, I tried my best to keep an open mind to all possibilities." Ewers went on to say he didn't fully explore all of his...
October 28
October 28

Los Angeles Rams take title baton: Must 'be great to be relevant'

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- After the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the World Series on Tuesday night, Rams quarterback Jared Goff sent text messages to outfielders Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson to congratulate them on their title. Bellinger's response? "'It's your turn now,'" Goff said. After the Lakers won their  17th NBA title earlier this month and the Dodgers won the World Series for the first time since 1988 on Tuesday, the Rams are now receiving the message that they're on the hook to hit a trifecta for L.A. "@RamsNFL ....... you know what to do!" Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma tweeted after the Dodgers' victory. "I mean that's the first thing you hear is, all right, now it's your turn," said Goff, who has led the Rams to a 5-2 record as they prepare for a Week 8 matchup on the road Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. "And I mean -- we've talked as a team since these two teams have done it, or I...
October 28
October 28

Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys' release of Dontari Poe due to weight, performance

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday evening that the team's release of defensive tackle Dontari Poe was primarily because of Poe's weight and lack of production. Jones declined to say whether Poe's persistence in kneeling for the national anthem before games was a consideration. "When you're 30 pounds overweight and you're not doing anything about what's keeping you from performing well on the field, there is no reason to get into the other stuff," Jones told ESPN. The "other stuff" was specific to a question as to whether Poe's being the only Cowboys player to take a knee for the cause of social justice during the national anthem factored in to his release Wednesday. "I understand your question, and I'm deliberately not going to answer it," Jones replied. "We have a platform here, but the platform on the football field has a high standard, and [Poe] was not up to the standard. He needed to correct that, and he did not. I'm going to leave it at...
October 28
October 28

By the Numbers: LA Dodgers’ historic win

How the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a World Series victory in a baseball season like no other.
October 28
VIDEO: By the Numbers: LA Dodgers’ historic win
October 28

Bruce Arians: Antonio Brown 'looked fantastic' during first workout with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said wide receiver Antonio Brown "looked fantastic" in his first day of work with the Bucs. "He looks fantastic. I think we had really good conversations today, he and I," Arians said Wednesday, the first day Brown could enter the facility, because incoming players are required to test six consecutive days for the coronavirus and, if negative on the five previous tests, may enter on the sixth day. "He was in the meetings and everything. And he's working with Anthony Piroli and the strength staff. He looks in great shape. Yeah, ready to go next week." Brown is in the final week of his eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy, however, so he was permitted only to work out with the strength and conditioning staff and attend meetings. He was not allowed to practice with the team. "It went real well. He and I had a good conversation this morning," Arians said. "He'll...
October 28
October 28

NFL plans to hold fan capacity to 20% for Super Bowl, with masks mandatory

The NFL is moving forward with plans for a reduced-capacity Super Bowl LV, to be played Feb. 7 even if the league ultimately adds an 18th week to its regular season. At this point, the NFL is planning to hold capacity to 20% at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, which normally holds 65,000 fans. With temporary seating, its capacity could have been enlarged to nearly 75,000. Fans will be in pods 6 feet apart and masks will be required. "The safety of the public, attendees, players and personnel continues to be our foremost priority. We are working on a host of Super Bowl plans, including gameday, in conjunction with the host committee and the appropriate local and county public health and government officials," the NFL said in a statement.  "There is no set capacity figure at this time as we continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic with more than three months to go before the Super Bowl on February 7. There have been 19 teams that have already or have been authorized by public...
October 28
October 28

Bruce Arians: Antonio Brown 'looked fantastic' during first Bucs workout

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said wide receiver Antonio Brown "looked fantastic" in his first day of work with the Bucs. "He looks fantastic. I think we had really good conversations today, he and I," Arians said Wednesday, the first day Brown could enter the facility, because incoming players are required to test six consecutive days for the coronavirus and, if negative on the five previous tests, may enter on the sixth day. "He was in the meetings and everything. And he's working with Anthony Piroli and the strength staff. He looks in great shape. Yeah, ready to go next week." Brown is in the final week of his eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy, however, so he was permitted only to work out with the strength and conditioning staff and attend meetings. He was not allowed to practice with the team. "It went real well. He and I had a good conversation this morning," Arians said. "He'll...
October 28
October 28

Stephen Silas to be new head coach of Houston Rockets, sources say

The Houston Rockets are hiring Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas to become the franchise's next head coach, sources told ESPN. Silas and the Rockets agreed to a four-year contract Wednesday, and a formal announcement was expected soon, sources said. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban congratulated Silas on Twitter. Silas will replace Mike D'Antoni, who left after his contract expired at the end of the season. Silas sold the Rockets on his offensive ingenuity and a strong family history in 20 seasons as an NBA assistant under highly regarded head coaches such as Rick Carlisle and Steve Clifford. His experience coaching elite guards -- including Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry and Kemba Walker -- is expected to serve him well with the Rockets, shaping his own system around James Harden and Russell Westbrook. "A great hire for the Rockets," Carlisle said. "Stephen did a great job for us here in Dallas helping us get back...
October 28

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