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National Sports

MLB’s testing sweep brings some success but optics are issue

PHOENIX (AP) — Major League Baseball's COVID-19 testing sweep appears to be having some success even as large swaths of the United States continue to struggle with containing the fast-spreading virus. MLB and the players' union released statistics on Friday saying six of 10,548 samples were ...

Elliott joins his father as winner of NASCAR’s All-Star race

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Chase Elliott collected the checkered flag and soaked in the sounds of fans in the grandstands. The spectators at Bristol Motor Speedway surged to the fence, chanted "USA! USA!" and celebrated NASCAR's most popular driver. Cue the siren at the Dawsonville Pool Room — ...

Finau leads Memorial at 65; Tiger returns

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Tiger Woods was back on the PGA Tour for the first time in five months Thursday and saw Muirfield Village like never before. It was practically empty. Woods opened with a 10-foot birdie and there was silence. He finished with a 15-foot birdie for a 1-under 71, leaving ...

As MLB season draws near, careful optimism prevails

With the start of Major League Baseball's shortened season a week away, games in empty stadiums and strange extra-inning rules are on the verge of becoming reality. Now that the players have gotten used to COVID-19 tests, social distancing and wearing masks in the clubhouse, it's just about ...

NHL’s older coaches debate taking virus precautions

After two days behind a mask and off his skates, Rick Bowness returned to his natural habitat on the ice with air inside the rink blowing against his face. “You get out there and you miss it,” the Dallas Stars coach said. “You realize how much you enjoy being out there.” The NHL’s ...

NASCAR hosting largest sporting event crowd since pandemic

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Fans are trickling into Bristol Motor Speedway for Wednesday night's All-Star race in NASCAR's largest event with spectators since the coronavirus pandemic shut sports down in March. They were greeted by a plane flying over the Tennessee track that was pulling a banner ...

Brewers seek to make history with 3rd straight playoff berth

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers want to celebrate their golden anniversary by accomplishing something they have never done before. After reaching the National League Championship Series in 2018 and falling in the NL wild-card game last year, the Brewers are seeking an unprecedented ...

St. Thomas can go D1; Minnesota school was ousted from D3 league

The NCAA gave the University of St. Thomas permission Wednesday to jump directly from Division III to Division I, the final clearance for a bold move born out of the Minnesota private school’s ejection from its conference for competitive reasons. The Tommies, who previously secured a spot ...

Pucks, masks prevalent as 24 NHL teams open camps

St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington is so accustomed to wearing a mask, he didn't mind doing so for the past four months during the coronavirus pandemic. "Sometimes, I forgot I'm wearing it while driving," Binnington said Monday, when the Blues were among the NHL's 24 teams to open ...

Short season could give rebuilding Tigers a shot

DETROIT (AP) — On their way to 114 defeats last year, the Detroit Tigers actually won seven of their first 10 games, and they were still 12-10 in late April. A start like that this season could mean a lot more. With only 60 games on tap for 2020, the rebuilding Tigers could be in a ...

NASCAR rookie Custer wins in upset at Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Cole Custer saw an opening and, with help from a friend, squeezed through for the most fulfilling moment of his young racing career. Custer became the first rookie regular to win in the NASCAR Cup Series in nearly four years, surging to the lead in a four-wide, final-lap ...

Dodgers closer Jansen encourages masks after positive test

Play ball — and mask up, too. Protective face coverings won't be out of sight when Major League Baseball resumes in less than two weeks. Some players and coaches are planning to wear them on the field. MLB's safety protocols require masks in clubhouses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ...

Big Ten Conference scraps nonconference football games

The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday it will not play nonconference games in football and several other sports this fall, the most dramatic move yet by a power conference because of the coronavirus pandemic. The conference cited medical advice in making its decision and added ominously ...

Devils hire Ruff as head coach

Lindy Ruff impressed the New Jersey Devils with his experience from decades of coaching. Tom Fitzgerald wowed ownership with his moves in a few short months as general manager. The Devils on Thursday hired Ruff as coach and removed Fitzgerald's interim tag to give him the full-time GM job. ...

Torkelson has shown Tigers why they took him No. 1

DETROIT (AP) — Spencer Torkelson has quickly shown the Detroit Tigers why they drafted him No. 1 overall this year and gave him a $8-plus million signing bonus to get in uniform for training camp. Torkelson put his power on full display during his first batting practice. "His first ...

NFL players banned from exchanging jerseys after games

NFL teams will be prohibited from postgame interactions within 6 feet of each other, which means players won’t be allowed to exchange jerseys after games as part of the guidelines to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions are outlined in the gameday protocols finalized ...

IIHF encouraged by NHL’s potential Olympics return

International Ice Hockey Federation chief Rene’ Fasel is encouraged after learning the NHL’s pending labor deal opens the possibility of the world’s best players returning to the Olympics. Aside from the uncertainty raised by the coronavirus pandemic, Fasel told The Associated Press he ...

Giants return, so do some players, but Padres’ Mateo out

As Major League Baseball cautiously tiptoes closer toward beginning its delayed 2020 season, several teams welcomed back players who might have been exposed to the coronavirus and the San Francisco Giants resumed workouts Wednesday after finally receiving the results of COVID-19 tests ...

Harbaugh was close to new deal at Michigan before pandemic

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday he was closing in on a contract extension before coping with the COVID-19 pandemic became a top priority for all involved in the discussions. “There’s bigger fish to fry for our athletic director, or our administration, me as a ...

More positive tests, canceled workouts add to MLB unease

As baseball nears the two-week countdown to the start of its delayed season, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep more players, including Boston Red Sox projected opening day starter Eduardo Rodriguez, off the field. On Tuesday, one day after Major League Baseball released its 60-game ...