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National Sports

Stars missing, but labor strife will be avoided

Spring training has started, yet two of baseball’s biggest stars, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, are sitting at home. For those who think this is a strong indication that the national pastime is headed toward another paralyzing labor dispute, do not fret. There’s too much money at ...

Even in the age of the bullpen, teams built on strong rotations

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Forget about this bullpen obsession for a moment. Believe it or not, plenty of big league teams are still anchored by well-armed rotations. In this age of openers and closers, with relievers starting games and starters rarely finishing them, it might seem starting ...

Big Ten trio strong; others on bubble

The Big Ten has three teams that should have NCAA Tournament spots all but locked up. No. 6 Michigan, No. 11 Michigan State and No. 12 Purdue have done enough so far and their spots in the field of 68 are pretty much assured. The rest of the teams in the conference keep beating up on each ...

Houston claims 9th straight

HARTFORD, Conn. — Houston guard DeJon Jarreau believes he’s gotten his basketball career back on track and expects to be a factor as the Cougars make a run at a conference title and perhaps something bigger. The sophomore transfer from Massachusetts had 18 points and seven assists to help ...

France staying out of spotlight

The Associated Press DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jim France is running NASCAR the same way he lives his life — quietly, in the background, away from the spotlight he never craved. The youngest son of NASCAR’s founder carved his own path in the family business and left the leadership roles ...

AAF pleased with first ratings

The Associated Press The Alliance of American Football was a ratings winner in its inaugural weekend, but founder Charlie Ebersol realizes it is a small sample size. “We feel really good about them and that our theory that Americans want more football tends to be true,” Ebersol said in ...

Players pick up more arbitration wins

The Associated Press ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Trevor Bauer, Gerrit Cole and Alex Wood won their salary arbitration cases on Wednesday, giving players a 6-3 advantage over teams to ensure a winning record in consecutive years for the first time since 1989-90. Bauer won his hearing for the ...

QB Flacco traded to Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Joe Flacco has gone from Denver Broncos tormentor to savior. The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade the veteran quarterback to the Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL draft, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated ...

Woods-Mickelson rivlary still going strong

LOS ANGELES — The 144-man field at Riviera has 88 players who have combined to win 496 times on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson account for 25 percent of those victories. No one should be surprised. While too one-sided to be a rivalry, they have been a powerful one-two ...

NASCAR bets its chips on sports gambling

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Brendan Gaughan is the son of a casino magnate and has long grasped the allure of throwing down a few bucks to wager on a sporting event. Heck, Gaughan once bet on himself in Las Vegas to win the 2004 Daytona 500. Gaughan got a stern talking to from NASCAR back in the ...

Simmons-Magic meeting OK’d

NEW YORK — The NBA says Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson did not break any league tampering rules when he spoke about Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons earlier this week. The NBA’s relatively quick-moving investigation was initiated after it was revealed that Simmons ...

Murray an oddity in specialization era

Kyler Murray has chosen football over baseball, at least for now. It is anyone’s guess when the world will see another athlete with the skills and opportunity to have such a choice. The Oakland Athletics selected Murray ninth overall in the Major League Baseball draft last June. He then ...

Injured WR Thomas released by Houston

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans released veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, whose 2018 season ended prematurely when he tore his left Achilles tendon. Thomas played seven games for Houston last season, making 23 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He was acquired in October from ...

Wire fox terrier is top dog

NEW YORK — Wire fox terriers are still King at Westminster. A wire fox from Brazil who’s won big in Europe became America’s top dog Tuesday night, beating out a crowd-pleasing longhaired dachshund and popular Sussex spaniel. There were some boos — along with modest cheers — when ...

Browns believe Hunt deserves 2nd chance

The Associated Press BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns believe there’s remorse in Kareem Hunt’s heart. The NFL hasn’t gotten that far. Following their own investigation, the Browns signed Hunt to a one-year contract Monday, giving the former star Chiefs running back a second chance ...

Winning the pole won’t be enough for Byron

By Mark Long The Associated Press DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports in a familiar position: on the pole for the Daytona 500. His bigger goal is to make the starting spot pay dividends for the NASCAR powerhouse. The 21-year-old Byron and 25-year-old teammate ...

Night skies keep Lefty from winning

The Associated Press PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Phil Mickelson had everything go his way Sunday in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He just couldn’t beat the darkness. On a wild day of weather even by Pebble Beach standards, sunshine gave way to a hail storm that covered the greens in a ...

Johnson triggers crash, then goes on to victory

The Associated Press DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jimmie Johnson’s youngest daughter prays every night for Daddy to win a race. When Johnson scuffled through the worst season of his career, he felt the strain of not reaching victory lane. “It was putting some pressure on me,” Johnson ...

Corgis, shepherds and pugs ready to put on show

By Ben Walker The Associated Press NEW YORK — The 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show begins judging this morning, with Pyrenean shepherds, Pembroke Welsh corgis and pugs among the early arrivals. More than 2,800 dogs are coming in 203 breeds and varieties. Judge Peter J. Green is ...

Blue Devils in the driver’s seat

The Associated Press RALEIGH, N.C. — Second-ranked Duke got rolling from 3-point range, then took a big step toward winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season race. The Blue Devils beat third-ranked Virginia 81-71 on Saturday night in a matchup of league heavyweights ahead of ...