National Sports

Cloud of steroids hovers above Hall of Fame voting

By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The cloud of steroids hovers above Hall of Fame voting, much as it shrouded baseball in the 1990s and early 2000s. Tim Raines, in his 10th and final year of eligibility, appears likely to gain election along with Jeff Bagwell when the ...

As Isner falters, Sock poised to take next step for US men

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — John Isner has long been accustomed to carrying the torch for U.S. men's tennis, dealing with the heightened expectations at the Grand Slams and the inevitable questions that follow early losses. Isner again faltered at the ...

Europe announces changes to Ryder Cup qualifying system

By STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Europe's team for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France will have an extra captain's pick and is set to contain more in-form players following a revamp of the qualifying system in the wake of a big loss to the United States ...

Longtime baseball executive Dan O’Brien Sr. dies at 87

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Longtime major league executive Dan O'Brien Sr. has died at 87. The Texas Rangers said he died Monday in Dallas. The Rangers were one of four major league teams with whom O'Brien held front-office jobs over 45 years in professional baseball. O'Brien was the Rangers' ...

Motley 32 points, 20 rebounds, No. 6 Baylor 74-64 over Texas

By STEPHEN HAWKINS, AP Basketball Writer WACO, Texas (AP) — Johnathan Motley really couldn't explain that feeling he had when he kept scoring points and grabbing rebounds. Baylor's big forward just knew he wanted to play better than his last couple of games. "You don't really remember what ...

AP source: Bautista, Blue Jays agree to $18M, 1-year deal

By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Jose Bautista is staying with the Toronto Blue Jays after all. The free agent slugger agreed to an $18 million, one-year contract with Toronto that includes mutual options for more years, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The ...

Warriors rout defending champion Cavaliers 126-91 in rematch

By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Now, everybody can sit back for a few months and envision the possibility of another scintillating NBA Finals between Cleveland and Golden State. LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry for the third straight time, complete with the ...

Young Americans coming of age at Australian Open

By JUSTIN BERGMAN, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — More than 13 years after Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, the last time an American man triumphed at a Grand Slam, the future of U.S. men's tennis appears bright. The next generation of young players, all aged between 18 ...

6-time champions Djokovic, Williams open with wins

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — There was no easing into a title defense for Novak Djokovic, starting his Australian Open against the man who upset Rafael Nadal here last year in the first round. Djokovic lifted when he most needed to Tuesday night, holding off ...

Penguins halt Capitals’ win streak at 9 in wild 8-7 victory

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — The goals kept coming. One after another. A dizzying three periods of shots followed by baffled goaltenders fishing pucks out of the net wondering how things got out of hand so quickly. When Pittsburgh's Conor Sheary ended it 34 seconds ...

Steelers downplay Tomlin’s vulgar description of Patriots

By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH (AP) — Antonio Brown wanted to let the world in on the party when he live-streamed the giddy celebration in Pittsburgh's locker room after an 18-16 playoff win over Kansas City. The All-Pro wide receiver also happened to catch coach Mike Tomlin ...

No. 2 Kansas beats Iowa State 76-72 for 17th straight win

By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer AMES, Iowa (AP) — No. 2 Kansas passed its biggest Big 12 road test of the season, winning in a gym where losing was threatening to become a trend. Frank Mason III had 16 points, Landen Lucas scored 14 and the Jayhawks held off Iowa State 76-72 on Monday ...

Packers-Falcons, Steelers-Patriots for Super Bowl berths

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer Tom Brady vs. Ben Roethlisberger. Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Ryan. Quite a quartet of QBs is heading to the NFL's conference championship games next weekend: Brady's New England Patriots host Roethlisberger's Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC, and Rodgers' ...

Bell carries Steelers into AFC title game in New England

By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Le'Veon Bell deftly danced his way through the teeth of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Next, he'll carry Pittsburgh Steelers off to New England. With his amusingly patient, maddeningly effective running style, Bell followed ...

Cavs and Warriors headline MLK Day for the NBA

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Basketball Writer There are days the NBA holds dear, days the league sets even more emphasis on putting its best foot forward. Opening night, Christmas Day, All-Star weekend. They are all important dates for the league to engage its fans, grab ratings and put on a show. ...

Federer returns with a win, joins Murray in 2nd round

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer returned from a six-month layoff to beat fellow 35-year-old Jurgen Melzer just before midnight on day one of the Australian Open, agreeing it felt a bit like coming home. The 17-time major winner hadn't played at tour ...

On ballot for final time, Tim Raines hopes for Hall entry

By SEAN FARRELL, Associated Press MONTREAL (AP) — The 1982 All-Star Game at Olympic Stadium was the first outside the United States, the host Montreal Expos giving the event a distinctive international flair. As Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ...

Matt Ryan is keeping some special company these days

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Matt Ryan is keeping some special company these days. Well, maybe it's Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger who should be looking up to Ryan. The Atlanta passer is, after all, the All-Pro quarterback. When the ...

Arrieta, Harper, Machado, Britton get big-money deals

By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, Washington star Bryce Harper and Baltimore standouts Manny Machado and Zach Britton got big-money deals Friday as more than 100 major leaguers reached agreements for 2017 and left just 27 players on track for ...

Thomas sets records and moves closer to winning

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer HONOLULU (AP) — Justin Thomas put his name in the PGA Tour record book two days in a row. The idea now is to get his name on the trophy. And with each record, that becomes a little easier at the Sony Open. Thomas set the course record Thursday at Waialae ...