SAN FRANCISCO (AP)The San Francisco Giants became the first major league team to clinch a playoff spot this season, hitting four home runs to beat the San Diego Padres 9-1 on Monday night for their season-high eighth consecutive victory.
After finishing 29-31 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Giants have done a complete turnaround in manager Gabe Kapler’s second season. They have the best record in baseball (94-50) with 18 games remaining .
It’s the earliest date the franchise has ever clinched a trip to the postseason.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Southern California fired football coach Clay Helton on Monday, two games into his seventh season in charge.
Athletic director Mike Bohn made the move two days after an embarrassing 42-28 home loss to Stanford that dropped the Trojans (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) out of the AP Top 25.
Donte Williams, the Trojans’ cornerbacks coach and associate head coach, is taking over as head coach. Williams, the first Black head coach in USC football history, joined the program in 2020 and has played a major role in USC’s significant recruiting advancements over the past two cycles.
USC visits Washington State this weekend for its road opener.
Helton went 46-24 during his improbable tenure in charge. The career assistant coach twice took over as USC’s interim head coach before getting his first head coaching job on a permanent basis late in the 2015 season.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Texas A&M quarterback Haynes King is out indefinitely after having surgery to repair his broken right leg, suffered early in the seventh-ranked Aggies’ 10-7 win at Colorado over the weekend.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said Monday that King’s surgery to repair a broken tibia went well but that there is no timeline for his return.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – The Southeastern Conference has fined Arkansas $100,000 after Razorbacks fans rushed the field following last Saturday’s 40-21 win over Texas.
The fans violated the league’s access to competition area policy that was adopted in 2004. It states that ”access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times.”
Arkansas beat its former Southwest Conference before a crowd of 74.531 – the ninth-largest in Arkansas history. It was the Razorbacks’ first win over Texas in Fayetteville since 1981.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Longtime assistant Ivin Jasper is staying with the Navy coaching staff after another bad loss left his status in limbo.
The Midshipmen did part ways with offensive assistant Billy Ray Stutzmann, who says he’s been dismissed after he was unable to follow the academy’s COVID-19 policy for religious reasons.
On a dramatic day for the struggling program, coach Ken Niumatalolo said athletic director Chet Gladchuk decided to fire Jasper – the team’s offensive coordinator for over a decade – after Navy’s listless performance against Air Force on Saturday. But after further discussion, Jasper will remain in his other role as quarterbacks coach. Niumatalolo will call plays.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The NHL’s Nashville Predators’ home arena will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test at least through Nov. 15.
That makes the Predators the 14th NHL team using similar requirements. The Bridgestone Arena policy announced Monday applies to all events being held inside the facility, which includes the Country Music Association awards show Nov. 10.
Children 12 and under who cannot be vaccinated yet will either have to wear a mask at all times or provide proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event they’re attending.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Will Zalatoris was voted PGA Tour rookie of the year, the first player in 20 years to receive the award without being a full PGA Tour member.
Zalatoris played well enough on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020 to earn a spot in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, which did not have qualifying and was pushed back to September because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant it was part of the 2020-21 season.
Zalatoris tied for sixth, and with two other top-10 finishes, he was able to join the PGA Tour as a special temporary member in November, meaning unlimited sponsor exemptions.
Parys Haralson, a former linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, has died. He was 37.
The 49ers announced Haralson’s death on Monday. No details were provided.
Haralson also served as San Francisco’s director of player engagement for two years.
Haralson played college ball at Tennessee before he was selected by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL draft.
Haralson played in 118 NFL games, including 88 starts. He had 380 tackles, 28 sacks, five fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and five passes defensed.
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