NEW YORK (AP)Two-thirds of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after four additional clubs qualified and raised the total to 20 franchises reaching 85% vaccinations for players and other on-field personnel.
The commissioner’s office and the players’ association said Friday that two additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and will be able to relax protocols within the next two weeks once they are fully vaccinated.
Relaxed protocols include dropping the requirements for facemasks in dugouts and bullpens, and loosening restrictions on mobility during road trips.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has had surgery on his right knee and will not be available when the team reports for training camp in September.
The team made the announcement Friday but did not provide specifics on when Malkin underwent the procedure or the nature of the surgery.
Malkin injured the knee in a collision against Boston on March 16. He missed seven weeks before returning to appear for the final four games of the regular season. Malkin aggravated the injury before the first round of the playoffs. The Russian star sat out Games 1 and 2 against the New York Islanders but did have a goal and four assists in four games during Pittsburgh’s first-round exit.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Portland Trail Blazers and Terry Stotts parted ways Friday, ending a nine-year run that saw the team good enough to get to the playoffs – but not good enough to get past the first round in four of the last five seasons.
It was being termed as a mutual decision. The move was made one day after Portland’s season ended with a six-game, first-round ouster at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, a defeat that had Blazers guard Damian Lillard taking to social media after the game to indicate his frustration.
Stotts, 63, was the NBA’s fourth longest-tenured coach in his current job. He went 402-318 in his nine regular seasons in Portland, with the eight playoff berths, and led the team to the Western Conference finals in 2019 – where the Blazers were swept by Golden State.
NEW YORK (AP) – Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday has won the Joe Dumars Trophy as the NBA player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.
Each NBA team nominated a player for the award. After a panel of league executives chose one finalist from each of the NBA’s six divisions, 343 current players confidentially cast votes to select the winner.
Other finalists were Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes, Minnesota’s Josh Okogie, Boston’s Kemba Walker and San Antonio’s Derrick White.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Katherine Evans is joining the Washington Wizards as the first woman to head the research or analytics department of an NBA franchise.
Monumental Basketball announced the hire Friday, saying Evans would oversee its research department, supporting the Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the G League’s Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming. Her new title is vice president of research and information systems.
SINGAPORE (AP) – Formula One on Friday canceled the Singapore Grand Prix for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The street course race in Singapore under floodlights had been scheduled for Oct. 3.
Singapore has largely relied on tight entry restrictions and contact tracing to keep infections low during the pandemic.
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Minor league pitcher Tyler Zombro was kept overnight at a hospital and remains in stable condition after being struck in the head by a line drive Thursday night, a frightening scene that prompted Triple-A Durham to suspend its game.
Zombro, a right-hander in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, was hit by a sharp liner from Norfolk’s Brett Cumberland in the eighth inning. Zombro crumbled to the ground, lay motionless for a moment face down, then began to convulse uncontrollably as teammates and a trainer rushed toward the mound.
MONACO (AP) – Olympic hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal was banned for five years on Friday in a doping case, ruling her out of this year’s Tokyo Games and the 2024 Paris Games.
The Athletics Integrity Unit said the American’s second career ban was for ”tampering within the results management process” of doping control samples.
The 29-year-old hurdler’s ban runs to August 2024, days after the Paris Olympics finish.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Manchester United co-owner Joel Glazer offered Friday to make shares available to supporters with the same voting rights as shares held by his family, marking an attempt to heal the rift that deepened after failing to engage with fans before being part of the ill-fated attempt to launch a European Super League.
Talks on Friday marked the first engagement by the Glazers with fans since buying United in a leveraged takeover in 2005 that loaded debt onto the club and sparked years of protests.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
CANTON, Ohio (AP) – The head football coach at an Ohio high school and six other coaches there have been ousted after a football player said he was forced him to eat pork in violation of his religious beliefs for missing a voluntary workout.
The Canton City Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to not renew the coaching contracts of Canton McKinley head football coach Marcus Wattley, two of his assistants and an assistant baseball coach, The Canton Repository reported. With the same vote, the board also deemed three other assistant football coaches as ineligible for future coaching positions.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A former University of Louisville basketball assistant has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempted extortion and will avoid prison time.
Dino Gaudio was dismissed from the team along with another assistant in March after the Cardinals missed the NCAA tournament. During a meeting with coaches, Gaudio threatened to go to the media with alleged NCAA violations by the team, according federal prosecutors.
He pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of interstate communication with intent to extort.
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