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    The Russian city of Sochi's only professional soccer club says it is withdrawing from the league, in a move which calls World Cup legacy plans into question. FC Sochi says in a website statement that it's 'taking a break' to rethink its strategy but plans to return in the 2018-19 season. 'This does not mean that FC Sochi will cease to exist,' the club added. It didn't mention any deal with Russian football authorities, who would need to approve any return. FC Sochi, which played in the Russian third tier, had been due to move into Sochi's World Cup stadium after the tournament. It held a single league game there in April, its 6,000 fans vastly outnumbered by empty seats in the 47,000-capacity arena. The Fisht Stadium was originally built to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. After the games, it closed for an extensive refit and only held its first football games this year. It's one of Russia's four venues for the Confederations Cup. The stadium is 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the center of Sochi in the tourist-focused Olympic Park, which could pose difficulties for fans traveling to club games. A pro ice hockey team using a nearby Olympic arena has struggled to attract fans, averaging 5,300 at home games. Professional soccer in Sochi has long been plagued by financial problems, which forced an earlier incarnation of FC Sochi to withdraw from the league in 2015. Another club from the city, Zhemchuzhina Sochi, briefly played in the Russian top flight in the late 1990s until cashflow problems forced it to close.
  • Russia's soccer team couldn't hit the target against Portugal, but at least its fans could hit the bar. Russia has lifted its ban on beer sales at stadiums for the Confederations Cup tournament as part of its deal with FIFA, which has Budweiser as a key sponsor. Ahead of Russia's 1-0 loss to Portugal on Wednesday, fans crowded stalls surrounding the stadium which offered two brews from 200 rubles ($3.30), plus a no-alcohol option. Lifting the ban 'is the right thing to do,' said Sergei Sazonov, who sipped a beer while wearing a Russian flag and a bushy sheepskin hat typical of Russia's Caucasus regions. Banning beer from stadiums doesn't mean there are no drunk fans, he reasoned. 'Anyone who wants to get wasted can do that earlier in the day.' Russia started restricting alcohol at sports events after drunken fans at an outdoor screening of a 2002 World Cup loss to Japan went on the rampage in central Moscow. A ban at all sports stadiums followed in 2005 and still applies for non-FIFA events. Russian governments have tried for decades to reduce the country's alcohol consumption, which ranks among the highest in the world and has been linked to many early deaths. Alcohol isn't a major factor in football violence, though. These days, many Russian hooligans see their fights not as beer-sodden brawls, but as a combat sport requiring sobriety and training. Unlike Russia, 2014 World Cup host Brazil fought hard to keep a beer ban many politicians saw as a key anti-hooligan measure. FIFA eventually got its way, but alienated many Brazilians with its hard-line stance. As strong winds and rain started to lash the crowds outside the Spartak stadium, most fans rushed inside, but a few hardy drinkers stayed on. Olga Akenina huddled with a friend behind a beer stall, trying to stay out of the rain as they finished their lagers. 'It's pretty good,' she said. 'A lot of beer is bad, but a little bit is great.' Akenina swiftly amended that when a gust of wind blew her beer cup off a nearby table, spattering her feet with foam. 'Well, usually.
  • ___ DARVISH VS. TANAKA The last meeting between Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.35 ERA) and Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 6.34) was six years ago and nearly 7,000 miles away from Yankee Stadium. The Japanese pitchers will start opposite each other for the first time in the majors when the Rangers play a series opener in New York. 'I think it's something hopefully that Japanese baseball fans are looking forward to,' Tanaka said through an interpreter. In four head-to-head matchups in Japan, Darvish was 2-1 with a 1.36 ERA and Tanaka 1-3 with a 2.90 ERA. The last was July 20, 2011, the year before Darvish went to Texas. Both threw complete games, with Darvish's team winning 3-1. 'I remember he threw it away on a pickoff at first,' Darvish said through his interpreter. KING OF THE NORTHWEST Felix Hernandez will rejoin the Mariners rotation as they open a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Hernandez hasn't pitched since April 26 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. The rehab took a little longer than expected, but Hernandez was excellent in his final start with Triple-A Tacoma, throwing six shutout innings and striking out eight. Returning against Houston is a tough task. Hernandez has lost his last three starts against the Astros. BATTERED BIRDS Ubaldo Jimenez and the Orioles try to avoid a bit of ignominious history as they open a series at Tampa Bay. Baltimore has allowed at least five runs in 19 straight games, one shy of the major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies. Jimenez (2-2, 6.25) is making his second turn after returning to the rotation with seven innings of two-run ball against St. Louis on Sunday. TRADING PLACES Last season, Boston's Rick Porcello won the AL Cy Young Award, and the Angels' Alex Meyer posted a 5.68 ERA while getting traded and shuttling back and forth from the minors. But that was last year. Porcello (3-9, 5.05) has struggled to replicate that form, losing his last four decisions, while the 6-foot-9 Meyer (3-3, 3.53) has a 1.19 ERA in four June starts. The pair square off in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. MISS YA! While the Red Sox are struggling to get production at third base, former Boston infielder Travis Shaw is having a breakout season with the NL Central-leading Brewers. Milwaukee acquired Shaw in December from the Sox in a package for reliever Tyler Thornburg, who is going to miss the entire season following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Shaw is batting .298 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs for Milwaukee, which opens a series against Atlanta. SOUTHPAW SHOWDOWN A pair of promising left-handers will start as the Rockies and Dodgers open a big three-game series in Los Angeles. Alex Wood (7-0, 1.90 ERA) has allowed just four runs over his past six starts for the Dodgers, including one over eight innings against Cincinnati last time out. Kyle Freeland (8-4, 3.42) is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two career starts against L.A. LEITER SIDE Mark Leiter Jr. (0-0, 4.74) was in the Phillies clubhouse Thursday and is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make his first big league start against Arizona. The 26-year-old right-hander, who made 12 relief appearances earlier this season, is the son of former big league pitcher Mark Leiter and nephew of former pitcher Al Leiter. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Ice Cube is not planning an old timer's tour. He isn't interested in All-Star Game intensity. Players coming out of retirement for his new 3-on-3 basketball league were told they would need to deliver serious competition — and some were turned away when their bodies weren't up for it. The product needed to be worthy of a sport that's so popular around the world that it's ticketed for the next Olympics. So when the Big3 debuts Sunday in New York, it will not be a bunch of former players going through the motions. Cube expects them to be going all out, perhaps believing they can get another shot at the NBA or maybe even a gold medal. 'I think it's going to be a treat for the fans and it's not an All-Star Game,' the actor and entertainer said. 'Guys want to win. They want to be champions. They want to be the first champions, so I'm not worried about that at all.' The eight-team league of ex-NBA players, highlighted by Hall of Famer and former MVP Allen Iverson, begins with four games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It will play on nine more weekends throughout the U.S. and broadcast each Monday night on FOX Sports 1, culminating in the Aug. 26 championship game in Las Vegas. Former top players such as Jermaine O'Neal, Rashard Lewis and Mike Bibby are playing captains, while coaches include Julius Erving, Rick Barry, George Gervin, Gary Payton, Clyde Drexler, Charles Oakley, Rick Mahorn and Iverson — who is a coach and captain, meaning he can complain to himself about practice . Each roster of five players includes a captain and co-captain. The league, founded by Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, got the boost it needed when it landed Iverson. Most of the other players would be classified as NBA journeymen, but Kwatinetz said the game was more important than the name. 'Ultimately getting names is important. More important is that the competition is great, that people love the basketball,' he said. Games will be played to 60 points, with halftime when the first team reaches 30. There will be some gimmicks that separate it from the official international basketball version, such as a 4-point shot and encouragement of trash talking. 'Our rules are funner than the FIBA rules. Big3 is going to be the most enjoyable 3-on-3 to watch at the end of the day,' Cube said. 'We're allowing hand checking. We're not doing that so the game can be rougher. We're doing that to ensure great defense so it's not a dunkfest.' FIBA has pushed 3-on-3 as a way to get more young players involved in the game, and its persistence paid off when the game was added for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Success has been limited for men's teams from the U.S., where top players favor standard 5-on-5 competition, but Cube thinks his players could be the answer. 'I think you'll have a league where guys are thinking 24-7, 3-on-3 basketball and I believe they're going to end up being some of the best 3-on-3 basketball players in the world,' Cube said. 'So it's conceivable that one day they could compete for the United States for the gold medal and all that.' Lewis was a two-time All-Star who averaged nearly 15 points in the NBA and played in the Finals for the Miami Heat in 2014 in his final season, giving him one of the best resumes among the players in the Big3. He had wanted to play a little longer in the NBA before hurting his knee, so figured playing halfcourt would be a perfect way to continue without the wear and tear. Then he saw how serious guys were when they played preseason scrimmage games and realized he needed to get himself in better shape. 'I think that's the thing is us as athletes, especially playing professional basketball, the competitive nature is always there and I saw that in the promo game, the preseason game,' he said. 'Maybe the first two, three minutes going into it, guys kind of eased into it to get a feel for it and try to understand how the 3-on-3 is going to work. But once guys started knocking down shots or defending you, that competitive nature kicked out because it's a defensive challenge. You have to really play defense because pretty much it's a wide-open court when you're playing 3-on-3.' Cube and Kwatinetz leaned on their fellow league executives, former NBA player and Players Association executive Roger Mason, Jr. and longtime Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask, in developing the structure and format of the league. Players will compete for a revenue share based on final league standings. And if they aren't a captain or co-captain and their teams don't make the championship game, Cube said players will go back into the draft pool for next season — meaning they may not even be assured a job. 'We've done everything to incentivize hard play and guys to go for it,' Cube said, 'and we've seen a few scrimmages and these are some of the most intense 3-on-3 basketball games I've ever seen in my life.' Whether that continues when the real games start will be determined beginning Sunday. 'This is not a novelty, let's just go out and fill some space,' Kwatinetz said. 'This is, if you think about it, 3-on-3 is the most-played sport in the world and the fact that there wasn't a professional 3-on-3 league in the United States is shocking but left a real opportunity if we were really committed to doing it right and the players stepped up, which they have.' ___ More AP basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
  • Lauri Markkanen had a special accessory sewn into the lining of his suit jacket at the NBA draft. The Finnish flag. 'It's been a little while,' Markkanen said. For the sharpshooting Finn, it was worth the wait. Markkanen — officially drafted by Minnesota, but traded to Chicago in the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves — will become the second Finland-born player in the NBA, after Hanno Mottola. And while international players didn't hear their name called as often in this year's draft as was the case last year, when a record 27 were selected, there was still a distinct foreign flavor. 'I'm really honored to be part of this organization, and can't wait to go there and do what I can,' said Markkanen, who spent his lone college season at Arizona. 'It's just a blessing to be here. And of course Michael Jordan, greatest player ever to play, so it's huge to be a part of it.' There were a half-dozen players with true international ties taken in the first round. Right after Markkanen went off the board, the New York Knicks took point guard Frank Ntilikina with the No. 8 pick. Still just 18, Ntilikina has been a pro for three years already. 'I think it definitely helped me to play against grown men, adults, and to play against some of the guys that went into the NBA actually,' Ntilikina said. 'Like, I had teammates that played in the NBA, former Mavs Rodrigue Beaubois, former Knick Mardy Collins, so actually every teammate can help you to make the transition.' UCLA's T.J. Leaf, picked No. 18 by Indiana, was born in Israel. Terrance Ferguson, the No. 21 pick by Oklahoma City, was born in Oklahoma but played this last season in Australia. OG Anunoby, the No. 23 pick by Toronto, was born in London. And Anzejs Pasecniks was taken at No. 25 by Orlando before getting traded to Philadelphia; he's a Latvian who has been playing in Spain. But he's well-versed in the NBA world. 'I was like all kids, I was watching LeBron, Kobe, Durant, Allen Iverson,' Pasecniks said. 'I was hoping one day I'm going to be there, too, and now I'm hoping that one day other kids are going to watch my top moments and think that he wants to be like me one day.' The second round, as usual, featured plenty of players from foreign teams — former UCLA player and Australia-born Jonah Bolden was most recently playing in Serbia; Vlatko Cancar, Ognjen Jaramaz and Alpha Kaba were all teammates in Serbia; Isaiah Hartenstein was born in Oregon, raised in Germany and played in Lithuania; Mathias Lessort has been in France and Aleksandar Vezenkov last played in Spain. They've all been pros already. Now, when or if any actually get to the NBA, their biggest challenge awaits. 'Being in different situations in my life, coming from Eugene to Germany then to Lithuania really helped me mature as a player and as a person and I think I was really ready for this step,' said Hartenstein, who went No. 43 to Houston. 'I think now just getting picked where I got picked, I think now I'm just coming in with another chip on my shoulder, and I think I'm just going to work as hard as I can.' ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
  • With TCU holding a one-run lead and two Louisville runners on base and two outs in the fifth inning, Sean Wymer got called out of the bullpen. The first batter he faced: national player of the year Brendan McKay. Wymer struck out McKay to end the inning, and he fanned him again with a runner on to end the eighth during another shutdown performance that helped the Horned Frogs win 4-3 on Thursday night at the College World Series. TCU advanced to its bracket final for the third year in a row. The Frogs must beat Florida on Friday night and again Saturday to reach the best-of-three championship series for the first time. 'I felt like it was a classic ballgame from beginning to end,' coach Jim Schlossnagle said. 'Obviously, the story tonight was Sean and how well he pitched out of the bullpen for us. I was trying to hold off on putting him in there as long as possible but felt like it was the fifth inning there with McKay coming to the plate. That could be the game.' Wymer (6-4), who worked the last 4 1/3 innings, has thrown nine shutout innings over his last four appearances. He limited the Cardinals (53-12) to two hits after they had pulled within a run on McKay's 18th homer of the year and Logan Taylor's first homer in 123 games. McKay, the No. 4 overall pick by Tampa Bay in last week's Major League baseball draft, was the Dick Howser Trophy winner as the nation's top college player and also is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. 'I knew what my job was when I came in,' Wymer said of facing McKay in the fifth. 'I had to get that out because you wanted to keep the game, obviously, in our favor. So that's really it.' The Horned Frogs led 4-0 in the second inning against freshman left-hander Nick Bennett (5-1), who was making his first start since a regional win over Xavier on June 4. After Connor Wanhanen doubled in a run, Omaha native Ryan Merrill singled in two more to knock out Bennett. Josh Watson scored the second run on Merrill's base hit on a play at the plate that stood after a video review. The sliding Watson was able to touch home with his left hand as catcher Colby Fitch tagged his knee almost simultaneously. Austen Wade followed with an RBI single off Adam Wolf to break an 0-for-15 slump. The Cardinals scored each of the next three innings to pull within one. Josh Stowers singled in a run, McKay homered on the first pitch of the fourth and Taylor on the first pitch of the fifth to chase TCU starter Nick Lodolo. Louisville coach Dan McDonnell was ejected in the eighth inning after pinch runner Ryan Summers was caught stealing second. McDonnell sprinted out of the first-base dugout to argue with second-base umpire Mark Winters. The play was not subject to video review. TV replays showed Summers' foot touching the bag as Cam Warner tagged his helmet. McDonnell was the first coach ejected in a College World Series game since Cal State Fullerton's George Horton on June 18, 2007. 'I lost my cool and just fought for my guy knowing the point of the game and how valuable that base was,' McDonnell said. 'But I'm never going to stand behind a camera and blame an umpire. That's not the reason we lost. I don't know if I should have been thrown out, but that's not my call to make.' ELLIS' SLUMP Drew Ellis came into the CWS as the Cardinals' leading hitter, but he was 1 for 10 after popping out in the eighth with a runner on first. STRUGGLING AT TOP TCU is in the bracket final despite its Nos. 1 through 3 hitters struggling. Wade, Zach Humphreys and Evan Skoug are a combined 3 for 29 in the CWS. JUST ONE WIN Louisville failed to win multiple games at the CWS for the fourth time. The Cardinals are 2-8 all-time in the CWS and 1-4 in elimination games. Their only win in an elimination game was in 2007.
  • Dave Tippett stuck with the Arizona Coyotes through four seasons of playing without an owner, five years of losing since the franchise's greatest success in the desert and the start of a rebuilding process. The latest changes have the affable coach headed out after leading the franchise through eight up-and-down seasons. Tippett and the Coyotes mutually agreed to part ways Thursday night, a move that comes as owner Andrew Barroway revamps the franchise. 'After some thoughtful discussions with Andy, we both agreed that it was best for me to move on,' Tippett in a statement. 'I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Coyotes and wish Andy and the entire organization all the best in the future.' Tippett coached the Coyotes through four years of being run by the NHL after the team went into bankruptcy, making the best with a team hampered by financial limitations. The Coyotes hit a high by reaching the 2012 Western Conference Finals, but have fallen on hard times since, missing the playoffs five straight seasons. Tippett was given a five-year contract extension and was named executive vice president of hockey operations in 2015, but had philosophical differences with Barroway. Barroway became the sole owner of the franchise when he bought out the minority owners earlier this month and has made big changes since taking over in an effort to rebuild the team. Arizona traded away No. 1 goalie Mike Smith last weekend and bluntly told captain Shane Doan that he would not be offered a contract for next season after 21 years with the franchise. 'Tip is a man of high character and we are very grateful for his leadership during his tenure as our head coach,' Barroway said in a statement. 'Ultimately, we have some philosophical differences on how to build our team. Therefore, we mutually agreed that it is in everyone's best interest to have a coaching change in order to move our franchise forward.' The 55-year-old Tippett went 282-257-83 in the desert, winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's coach of the year in 2009-10 in his first season in Arizona. He's 553-413-120 overall — with 28 ties — in an NHL coaching career that started with six seasons with the Dallas Stars. 'Dave is an excellent head coach and a great person,' Coyotes GM John Chayka said. 'I have the utmost respect for him and the job he did for the Coyotes. It was a privilege to work with him and I wish him the best in the future.' The former North Dakota star played 11 seasons in the NHL with Hartford, Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and was a member of Canada's 1984 Olympic team.
  • The Cleveland Indians put on another offensive show against a Baltimore Orioles pitching staff that's poised to set a record for extended futility. Austin Jackson had three hits and three RBIs, Erik Gonzalez homered and the Indians pounded out 13 hits in a 6-3 victory Thursday night. The Indians won three of four from the Orioles to complete a 7-1 road trip that began with a four-game sweep of Minnesota. Cleveland has scored at least five runs and reached double figures in hits over nine consecutive games, and homered in 11 straight. 'It kind of starts at the top and it trickles its way down to the bottom, from the 1-hole hitter to the 9-hole hitter,' Jackson said. 'It seemed like everyone was having good at-bats.' Baltimore's struggling pitchers were overmatched against that kind of firepower. The Orioles were outscored 28-10 in the series and have given up at least five runs in 19 straight games, one short of the major league record set by the 1924 Philadelphia Phillies. Starter Wade Miley (3-5) gave up four runs in five-plus innings and Gonzalez hit a solo shot off Richard Bleier in the sixth to make it 5-2 and extend the streak. 'We're going out there and working our tails off trying to work on track,' Miley said, 'and I think we're moving in the right direction.' Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger (3-3) walked four and hit two batters in five innings, but he only gave up two runs to earn his first win in five starts since May 20. 'That's the ultimate bend but don't break,' Indians manager Terry Francona said. The victory lifted Cleveland a season-high seven games over .500 (39-32) and lengthened its lead over second-place Minnesota in the AL Central to 2½ games. Seth Smith homered for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 15. 'There's not a single person that has any sympathy for us, and I get it,' cleanup hitter Mark Trumbo said. Baltimore played without manager Buck Showalter, who left the team to attend the birth of his first grandchild. Bench coach John Russell took over as manager. After Smith put the Orioles ahead with his fourth leadoff homer of the season, Jackson hit an RBI triple and scored on a single by Yan Gomes in the second inning. Baltimore pulled even in the bottom half when Clevinger hit two batters and walked Jonathan Schoop with the bases loaded . In the third, Jackson followed a pair of walks with a two-out, two-run single for a 4-2 lead. RAMIREZ STOPPED Cleveland's Jose Ramirez went 1 for 4, ending his run of successive multihit games at nine — the team's longest streak since 1936. Ramirez hasn't had a day off since May 21, so Francona asked him if he wanted to take a break. 'He's like, 'Not now,'' Francona said. 'I get it, man. I'll just stay out of his way.' ROSTER MOVE Indians: Clevinger was recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game, and RHP Cody Allen was placed on the paternity list. Orioles: After the game, RHP Gabriel Ynoa was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. TRAINER'S ROOM Indians: LF Michael Brantley (sprained ankle) took batting practice Thursday and is expected to do running drills Friday. Francona said Brantley, who is eligible to return Monday, shouldn't need a rehab assignment. Orioles: RHP Darren O'Day (shoulder) is expected to come off the 10-day disabled list Friday. ... CF Adam Jones was given the night off. It was a preventive measure, because Jones missed time recently with a sore hip and Baltimore's next six games are on artificial turf. ... Closer Zach Britton (forearm strain) pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Delmarva on Thursday. He will pitch again for the Shorebirds on Saturday. UP NEXT Indians: Trevor Bauer (6-5, 5.54 ERA) makes his team-high 15th start in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Twins. Orioles: Back in the starting rotation after being exiled to the bullpen, Ubaldo Jimenez (2-2, 6.25 ERA) helps launch a three-game series on the road against AL East rival Tampa Bay. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • ___ DARVISH VS. TANAKA The last meeting between Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.35 ERA) and Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 6.34) was six years ago and nearly 7,000 miles away from Yankee Stadium. The Japanese pitchers will start opposite each other for the first time in the majors when the Rangers play a series opener in New York. 'I think it's something hopefully that Japanese baseball fans are looking forward to,' Tanaka said through an interpreter. In four head-to-head matchups in Japan, Darvish was 2-1 with a 1.36 ERA and Tanaka 1-3 with a 2.90 ERA. The last was July 20, 2011, the year before Darvish went to Texas. Both threw complete games, with Darvish's team winning 3-1. 'I remember he threw it away on a pickoff at first,' Darvish said through his interpreter. KING OF THE NORTHWEST Felix Hernandez will rejoin the Mariners rotation as they open a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Hernandez hasn't pitched since April 26 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. The rehab took a little longer than expected, but Hernandez was excellent in his final start with Triple-A Tacoma, throwing six shutout innings and striking out eight. Returning against Houston is a tough task. Hernandez has lost his last three starts against the Astros. TRADING PLACES Last season, Boston's Rick Porcello won the AL Cy Young Award, and the Angels' Alex Meyer posted a 5.68 ERA while getting traded and shuttling back and forth from the minors. But that was last year. Porcello (3-9, 5.05) has struggled to replicate that form, losing his last four decisions, while the 6-foot-9 Meyer (3-3, 3.53) has a 1.19 ERA in four June starts. The pair square off in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park. MISS YA! While the Red Sox are struggling to get production at third base, former Boston infielder Travis Shaw is having a breakout season with the NL Central-leading Brewers. Milwaukee acquired Shaw in December from the Sox in a package for reliever Tyler Thornburg, who is going to miss the entire season following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Shaw is batting .298 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs for Milwaukee, which opens a series against Atlanta. SOUTHPAW SHOWDOWN A pair of promising left-handers will start as the Rockies and Dodgers open a big three-game series in Los Angeles. Alex Wood (7-0, 1.90 ERA) has allowed just four runs over his past six starts for the Dodgers, including one over eight innings against Cincinnati last time out. Kyle Freeland (8-4, 3.42) is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two career starts against L.A. LEITER SIDE Mark Leiter Jr. (0-0, 4.74) was in the Phillies clubhouse Thursday and is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make his first big league start against Arizona. The 26-year-old right-hander, who made 12 relief appearances earlier this season, is the son of former big league pitcher Mark Leiter and nephew of former pitcher Al Leiter. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • 1. SENATE GOP LAUNCHES PLAN TO OVERHAUL 'OBAMACARE' Four conservative GOP senators announce initial opposition to the measure but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems determined to muscle it through his chamber next week. 2. NO COMEY TAPES: TRUMP ENDS GUESSING GAME The president declares he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with the ousted former FBI Director. 3. WHAT BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER PROMISES EU CITIZENS Theresa May say EU citizens will not be immediately kicked out of Britain when it leaves the union and says their fate will be a top priority in Brexit negotiations. 4. WHO IS THE MAN CHARGED IN THE FLINT AIRPORT STABBING Amor Ftouhi, a 49-year-old from Tunisia, was a part-time caretaker at a Montreal apartment building who kept the stairwells clean, paid his rent and lived with his wife and children without making 'any trouble,' his landlord says. 5. HOW NANCY PELOSI DEFENDS HER LEADERSHIP The House minority leader tells reporters she is 'a master legislator' and a 'strategic, politically astute leader,' pushing back against Democratic grumbling after a high-profile election loss. 6. TORNADO FLATTENS BUSINESSES IN ALABAMA The twister sprang from the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy, which also caused rising tides in a coastal Louisiana calls that promoted evacuation calls. 7. WHY SOME JURORS WANTED TO ACQUIT BILL COSBY Some jurors were concerned that prosecutors waited 10 years to charge him, expressing suspicion that politics had played a role in the case, one juror tells the AP. 8. JUDGES SAY 'MAKING A MURDERER' INMATE SHOULD BE RETRIED OR FREED The three-judge federal appeals panel rules that Brendan Dassey's confession was improperly obtained. 9. WHERE GRIZZLIES WILL LOSE PROTECTION Protections that have been in place for more than 40 years in the Yellowstone National Park area will be lifted this summer after government officials rule the grizzly population is no longer threatened. 10. 76ERS TAKE MARKELLE FULTZ WITH NO. 1 PICK IN NBA DRAFT The Los Angeles Lakers followed by taking Lonzo Ball as the draft started with a pair of freshmen point guards from the Pac-12 Conference.

Latest Bulldog News

  • New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell can be sweet when he wants to be. Mitchell has a three-book deal with Scholastic, the children's publisher told The Associated Press on Thursday. The books include a newly illustrated edition of his self-published 'The Magician's Hat,' to come out next May, and two more original works. Mitchell is a literacy advocate who founded the 'Read With Malcolm' program. With New England, Mitchell caught 32 passes last year during the regular season and another six in the Super Bowl, when the Patriots came from behind and defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.
  • After his shot at the NFL ended, former University of Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera is working on his next dream— the WWE. An alum of North Clayton High School in Atlanta, Herrera was one of 40 athletes who participated in a WWE tryout last week at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., according to the WWE. Herrera, who was named second-team All-SEC during his senior season, was drafted by Indianapolis Colts the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but was released on Aug. 10, 2016 after playing in three games as a rookie. Herrera also has stints with the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Redskins. In his four seasons as a Bulldog, Herrera started 43 games and recorded 334 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three interceptions.
  • Sanford Stadium Utility Work Update - Tate Drive Closing From 6/19 through 6/30, construction crews working on the utilities at the Tate drive will be performing their work at night starting at 7PM and working to 6AM. During this time, the drive to the Tate Parking Deck from Lumpkin will be closed. The entrance to the parking deck will be shifted to the ramp just south of the intersection at Baxter and Lumpkin and traffic will be directed by UGA PD. There will also be a full closure of the drive from 7pm on 6/23 through 10pm on 6/24 as the utilities are installed across the width of the drive. During the day, the drive will be re-opened.
  • From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS, Ga. — Six home games – three each in November and December – and four road challenges anchor the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2017-18 non-conference schedule, which was announced by head coach Mark Fox on Thursday. “The goal every year is to create a non-conference schedule that 1) prepares you for SEC play and 2) gives you the strength of schedule at the end of the year to have a chance to go to postseason play,” Fox said. “I think again we’ve put one together that again should allow us to do both of those things The Bulldogs will open their campaign in the dramatically renovated Stegeman Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 10, by hosting Bryant. This summer, Stegeman is undergoing the final phase of more than $20-million in upgrades over the past several years. The arena’s inner bowl is the focus of the final portion of the project and will feature acenter-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. “The final stage of the Stegeman renovations is finally here, which will be the most drastic stage of the project,” Fox said “Obviously, the installation of the glass and work on the concourse was significant, and the building looks different from the outside. I think the interior will look just as significantly different as the outside. I also think you’re going to see the game experience change greatly because of the center-hung scoreboard and video boards and all the other things that can be done with that will be a big upgrade for our game atmosphere and our fans.” The matchup with Bryant is the first of three home games to open the season. Georgia also will host USC-Upstate on Tuesday, Nov. 14 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday, Nov. 19. The Bulldogs will then play three games as part of the Wooden Legacy in California over the Thanksgiving break. Georgia is among the eight-team field which also includes Cal State Fullerton, DePaul, Harvard, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State and Washington State. Games will be played on Thursday, Nov. 23; Friday, Nov. 24; and Sunday, Nov. 26. Georgia will then face Marquette in Milwaukee on Saturday, Dec. 2 before returning to Stegeman to host Winthrop on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Bulldogs will venture to UMass on Saturday, Dec. 16, before wrapping up their pre-SEC slate with dates against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Dec., 19 and Temple on Friday, Dec. 22. Georgia’s remaining non-conference outing will be at Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 27 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Last week, the SEC announced the league’s home and away matchups for this upcoming season. Georgia will face Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee on a home-and-home basis. The Bulldogs also will host Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, while traveling to Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs will return 10 letterwinners, including five with double-digit starts, from a year ago. Consensus All-SEC forward Yante Maten headlines that list. Maten is the SEC’s leading returning scorer after averaging 18.2 ppg a year ago. Junior Derek Ogbeide is the second-leading returning rebounder in the league. He averaged 7.6 rpg last season. In addition, Georgia will welcome four freshmen to the Bulldogs’ roster. “We have a significant number of returning players – nine of our top-10 are back and we’re adding probably one of the better recruiting classes that we’ve had,” Fox said. “But obviously, experience, there’s no substitute for. Everyone is going to be a little bit different role this year because we lost a great leader (J.J. Frazier). We have a lot of guys who we understand what their abilities are and what they’re capable of and I think our chemistry remains very strong. The new guys have the advantage of learning from that experience. We’re working like a team that is very hungry and driven. Right now, we’re excited about their approach.” Stegeman Coliseum Renovation Information Stegeman Coliseum is undergoing major renovations this summer. Work began recently on Phase II of the approximately $8-million project to the Coliseum’s interior. Prior to last season, Phase I included the addition of an HD scoreboard and a dramatic mural covering the distinctive end wall of the arena’s east end. This summer, renovations include a center-hung scoreboard, new seats, significantly upgraded sound and lighting systems and additional LED signage. The current projects follow a $13-million renovation in 2010 that transformed Stegeman’s concourses, upgrading the graphics, enhancing spectator access to concessions and restrooms and adding 5,000-square feet of concourse space on each side of the arena. Those efforts won awards from both the American Institute of Architects and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. Basketball Enhancement Fund Information Donations to the UGA Athletic Association's Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF) will be accepted beginning this Thursday (June 1) through August 1. Current BEF contributors should expect renewal notices to arrive via email on June 5. BEF contributions are utilized for determining renewable season tickets and various other benefits available to Georgia Basketball supporters. The BEF has established records for both amount contributed and number of contributors in each of the past two years. The Georgia Bulldog Club is hoping for another record-setting effort and is challenging donors to contribute 110 percent of their previous donation. The minimum donation to purchase renewable season tickets is $150 per seat. A gift of $150 also will be recognized with a car decal and an invitation to a designated preseason practice of the Bulldogs. Varying levels of BEF donations are used to determine ability to purchase premium courtside seating, as well as tickets to the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. Additional potential benefits associated with contribution levels include reserved parking at Stegeman Coliseum, invitations to the team's preseason and postseason banquets and pre- and in-game hospitality.
  •  From UGA Sports Communications ATHENS------Georgia senior pitcher Andrew Gist was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft Tuesday.   Gist, a 5-10, 196-pound native of Cumming, Ga., served as Georgia’s SEC Friday night starter this past season, posting a 3-4 record and a team-best 3.80 ERA. He appeared in 17 games with 11 starts for a total of 73.1 innings as the team went 25-32 and advanced to the SEC Tournament. He clinched Georgia’ spot in the postseason when he provided a career-high eight innings in a 6-3 road win over No. 30 South Carolina. Also, he struck out a career-high 10 in six innings as part of a combined 3-0 shutout of Missouri this past April.   Gist enjoyed a two-year career with the Bulldogs after spending his first two seasons at Walters State in Tennessee. As a Bulldog, Gist went 6-6 with one save and a 4.35 ERA in 32 appearances including 17 starts. He tallied 116 strikeouts and 33 walks in 122 innings.   Georgia has a string of 44 straight seasons with at least one player signing a professional contract. In 2016, six Bulldogs were drafted and began their professional career.   The MLB draft began Monday with the first two rounds while Tuesday’s slate featured rounds three-10. On Tuesday, the Atlanta Braves in the second round selected Bulldog signee Drew Waters, an ALL-USA First Team outfielder out of Etowah High School. The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 11-40. The MLB signing deadline for underclassmen and high school seniors selected in this year’s draft is July 15.   Bulldogs In The 2017 MLB Draft *Drew Waters, OF, 2nd Round (41st overall), Atlanta Braves Andrew Gist, LHP, 9th Round (259th overall), Tampa Bay Rays *2017 Georgia signee