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National Sports

Pack, 49ers trying to cap comebacks

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers are one win away from accomplishing a turnaround that’s been done only once before in the Super Bowl era. With a victory in the NFC championship game at home today against the Green Bay Packers, the Niners will become the second team in NFL ...

Titans, Chiefs eye Super Bowl berth

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andy Reid rarely digs into his own past, preferring to stay in the moment or focus squarely on the future. It’s an approach that has served him well during a coaching career that might someday land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yet when his Kansas City Chiefs ...

Cards go into Duke and leave with win

The Associated Press DURHAM, N.C. — Freshman David Johnson had a season-high 19 points and No. 11 Louisville hung on down the stretch to beat No. 3 Duke 79-73 on Saturday night in a key matchup in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular-season title chase. Malik Williams added two free ...

Tennis players are counting on officials to make it safe

By Howard Fendrich The Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia — As messages on video boards cautioned Australian Open spectators to “be aware we are expecting a reduction in air quality” Saturday, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seemed satisfied that all will be fine at the year’s ...

Federer knows his records aren’t going to last forever

By Howard Fendrich The Associated Press DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Roger Federer, for one, figures questions about whether Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic — or both? — will surpass his men’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles are moot. That’s because he’s sure it’s ...

FIU quarterback sparks East

The Associated Press ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida International’s James Morgan led two first-quarter scoring drives and Charlotte’s Benny LeMay rushed for two touchdowns to lead the East to a 31-27 victory in the East-West Shrine Bowl on Saturday. LeMay’s 9-yard TD run with just ...

Rose speaks on Astros’ cheating scandal

LAS VEGAS — Pete Rose was taking a break from signing autographs at the MGM Grand hotel when asked a question he’s uniquely qualified to address. What’s worse, betting on baseball or cheating at baseball? “I don’t know,’’ Rose tells The Associated Press. “All I know is I’ve ...

Epstein feels fan frustration during Cubs’ slow offseason

CHICAGO — Theo Epstein understands the fans’ frustration. He feels it, too, at times. The Chicago Cubs went from 95 wins in 2018 to 84 last year, finished third in the NL Central behind St. Louis and Milwaukee and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014. But when it comes to big ...

Scheffler and Landry break away in desert

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Andrew Landry and Scottie Scheffler broke away Saturday at The American Express. Landry shot a 7-under 65 at PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to join Scheffler atop the leaderboard at 21-under 195, four strokes ahead of third-place Rickie Fowler. Scheffler ...

Home teams heavy favorites this week

Pro Picks is surprised. Consider that the NFC title game is a matchup of the conferences’s top two seeds. The spread favors host San Francisco (14-3) over Green Bay (also 14-3) by 7 1/2 points. In the AFC, it’s the sixth-seeded Titans (11-7) at No. 2 Kansas City (13-4), which would seem ...

Rodgers vs. Sherman should be fun

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Nine years into his career and a little more than two years removed from a debilitating torn Achilles injury, Richard Sherman is still tormenting quarterbacks on a weekly basis. Just ask Kirk Cousins. Sherman had his third career playoff interception last week in a ...

Newberry: MLB whistleblower deserves praise

When future generations are documenting baseball history, Mike Fiers will surely be remembered as one of the game’s most significant figures. Not necessarily for what he did on the field, though tossing a pair of no-hitters is certainly a worthy achievement. Let’s just hope all his ...

Giants to hire Garrett as OC

NEW YORK — Jason Garrett is headed to the other side of the Giants-Cowboys rivalry. A person with direct knowledge of the decision says New York is hiring the former Dallas coach to be the Giants offensive coordinator. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity ...

Reid the outlier among playoff coaches left

Of the coaches in the NFL’s Final Four, Andy Reid is the outlier. Only Kansas City’s coach has been the head man in a Super Bowl. Only Reid is close to having a Hall of Fame-worthy resume. Only Reid has been around for a couple of decades. While Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel, Green Bay’s ...

Mets’ Beltran out in cheating scandal

NEW YORK — Carlos Beltran, called out on a curveball again. So for the second time since they last threw a pitch, the New York Mets are in the market for a new manager. Sign of the times. Beltran’s 2 1/2-month tenure as Mets manager ended Thursday before he spent a single game on ...

LSU probing OBJ payments

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU has contacted officials from the NCAA and Southeastern Conference about Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s apparent cash payments to Tigers players on the field after the national championship game, a university spokesman said. LSU athletics spokesman ...

Mahomes’ star still rising

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs had just lost to the Tennessee Titans, their fourth defeat in the first 10 games of the season, and much of the optimism that surrounded the defending AFC champions had begun to evaporate amid the barbecue smoke that wafts over Arrowhead Stadium each ...

ESPN’s Mendoza calls out Fiers

ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza says pitcher Mike Fiers should have gone to Major League Baseball before he told a journalist about his allegation the Houston Astros had been using a camera to steal signs. Mendoza, a New York Mets adviser in addition to her media job, said Thursday on ESPN’s ...

Rooney: Team to stand pat with its QB scenario in 2020

By Will Graves The Associated Press PITTSBURGH — Art Rooney II isn’t quite sure what to make of what the Pittsburgh Steelers president called one of the “craziest” seasons he’s experienced during his 50-plus years around the NFL. The Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ...

Red Sox fire Cora after scandal

BOSTON — Alex Cora has already been identified as a ringleader in an illegal system of sign stealing when he was with the Houston Astros. The Red Sox didn’t wait to see what punishment Major League Baseball might give him for possibly bringing a similar scheme with him to Boston. Cora ...