Wednesday Sports in Brief

National Sports

MLB

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher David Hess says he is starting chemotherapy to treat a cancerous tumor in his chest.

Hess tweeted Wednesday that he went to an emergency room about a week ago after experiencing chest tightness and shortness of breath.

The 28-year-old has pitched in the majors for Baltimore, Miami and Tampa Bay, going 6-22 in parts of four seasons. He finished this year with Triple-A Durham, where he was 6-2 with a 3.57 ERA.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia Phillies hired Kevin Long as their hitting coach on Wednesday, reuniting him with both manager Joe Girardi and star slugger Bryce Harper.

Long spent the past four seasons as the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals, where he worked with Harper, and was part of the staff in 2019 when they won the World Series.

Before joining Washington, the 54-year-old Long spent three seasons as hitting coach with the New York Mets and he served as hitting coach for eight seasons with the New York Yankees.

NFL

Jon Gruden is being dropped from the Madden NFL 22 video game after he resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders because it was reported that he used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in emails.

EA Sports tweeted Wednesday that it was ”taking steps to remove” Gruden from the latest version of its popular pro football game and would ”replace him with a general likeness via a title update in the coming weeks.”

The game maker said it is ”committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity.”

NHL

TORONTO (AP) – The Toronto Maple Leafs sported TikTok decals on their helmets Wednesday night for the season opener against the Montreal Canadiens.

The team’s parent company announced a deal with TikTok earlier Wednesday for the social media platform’s logo to appear on players’ helmets throughout the season.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment said the one-year agreement with the video-sharing service also includes in-arena and digital branding, concession items inspired by TikTok, and further collaborations with the company’s other sports properties.

WNBA

PHOENIX (AP) – Brittney Griner dunked while scoring 29 points, Diana Taurasi had eight of her 20 points in overtime and Phoenix Mercury evened the WNBA Finals with a 91-86 win over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday night.

Griner kept the Mercury within reach of Chicago during a sluggish start and brought the Phoenix Suns players sitting courtside to their feet with her second career playoff dunk in the first quarter. She scored on a turnaround jump to help give Phoenix a late four-point lead in regulation, but just missed blocking Courtney Vandersloot’s tying layup with 4.4 seconds left.

Taurasi opened overtime with a four-point play and added a 3-pointer that put Phoenix up 89-86 with 1:24 left.

Skylar Diggins-Smith, who had 13 points and 12 assists, sealed it on a layup with 12.8 seconds left.

OLYMPICS

DENVER (AP) – Olympic sports organizations will look into co-hosting championship events with the NCAA as a way of preventing the U.S. gold-medal pipeline from withering under financial pressure.

The hosting partnerships were one of seven recommendations the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee released Wednesday after several months of meetings between Olympic officials and college athletic directors across the country.

More than 75% of the 613 U.S. athletes who went to the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year were products of an NCAA program. According to one recent estimate, U.S. universities combine to spend $5 billion a year on Olympic sports programs.

GOLF

SYDNEY (AP) – The men’s Australian Open golf tournament and Australian Women’s Open scheduled for next year have been canceled because of COVID-19-related travel and quarantine restrictions.

The men’s tournament was originally scheduled for Nov. 25-28 at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney but had already been re-scheduled for a date in early 2022.

The Women’s Australian Open, which was set be on the 2022 LPGA Tour, was scheduled for February at Kooyonga Golf Club in Adelaide, although an actual date had not been determined.

SOCCER

GENEVA (AP) – UEFA is preparing to give Europe’s top soccer clubs the greater control they have wanted for Champions League marketing rights and deals – an issue that helped drive some to launch the breakaway Super League.

UEFA said in a statement released late Tuesday it ”started the search for a marketing and sales partner” to complete deals within an agreed strategy for three seasons of club competitions from 2024-27.

The clubs’ increasing demands were a barrier in March to completing talks between UEFA and then-leaders of the European Club Association about new formats for competitions taking effect in 2024.

SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazilian club Sao Paulo FC announced Wednesday it has parted ways with Argentine coach Hernan Crespo after a string of poor results.

Crespo joined Sao Paulo in February after leading tiny Argentine club Defensa y Justicia to the Copa Sudamericana title and signed a contract until the end of 2022.

His stint started well with a Sao Paulo state league title, ending a nine-year trophy drought for the club. But Sao Paulo is only in 13th place in the Brazilian championship with 30 points after 25 matches. Leader Atletico Mineiro has 53 points in 24 matches.

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) – The Kosovo soccer federation fired Bernard Challandes as coach on Wednesday after a pair of World Cup qualifying losses.

Kosovo lost 3-0 at Sweden and then 2-1 at home against Georgia. The team is in last place in Group B.

The 70-year-old Swiss coach had been in charge of the national team since 2018.

RUNNING

Kenyan Olympic runner and two-time world championship bronze medalist Agnes Tirop was found dead at her home Wednesday with stab wounds and her husband was missing and wanted for questioning, police said.

Elgeyo Marakwet County police chief Tom Makori said they were searching for Tirop’s husband after his family reported he had phoned them crying and asking for God’s forgiveness for something he had done.

The 25-year-old Tirop was found dead at her home in Iten in western Kenya, a town renowned as a training base for distance runners. Kenyan media reported she was found with stab wounds in her abdomen and neck.

OBITUARY

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Ray Fosse, the strong-armed catcher whose career was upended when he was bowled over by Pete Rose at the 1970 All-Star Game, has died. He was 74.

Carol Fosse, his wife of 51 years, said in a statement online that Fosse died Wednesday after a 16-year bout with cancer.

Fosse was a budding talent for Cleveland when he made his first All-Star team as a 23-year-old in 1970, the same year he hit .307 with a career-high 18 homers and won the first of two Gold Gloves while throwing out 55% of attempted base stealers.

Rose barreled over him to score the winning run in the 12th inning of the exhibition at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. Fosse fractured and separated his left shoulder, and he told The Associated Press in 2015 his body still ached 45 years later.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories