Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgUpdate on the latest in sports: A-Rod interested in buying MetsNEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets were very interested in acquiring Alex Rodriguez through free agency almost 20 years. The situation is now reversed.A-Rod and fiancee Jennifer Lopez have retained J.P. Morgan to represent them in raising capital for a possible bid for the Mets. The move was first reported by Variety and confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the decision.The three-time AL MVP retired in August 2016 with 698 home runs, a .295 average and 2,086 RBIs in 22 years. He was suspended for the 2014 season for violations of Major League Baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.BASEBALL-MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTION Minor leagues prepared to accept contraction planNEW YORK (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the minor leagues are prepared to agree to Major League Baseball’s proposal to cut guaranteed affiliations from 160 to 120 next year.The plan would impact hundreds of prospects and cut player development expenses. An electronic negotiating session is scheduled for Wednesday.MLB last year proposed cutting 42 affiliates. The minors have fought the plan, but the new coronavirus pandemic has changed the dynamic and sapped minor league teams of revenue and willingness to fight.VIRUS OUTBREAK-DJOKOVIC Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-BUCCANEERS-GRONKOWSKIBucs acquiring GronkTAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski spent nine seasons catching passes from Tom Brady in New England. The two are about to reunite in Tampa Bay. COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NEWSBulls punished for recruiting issuesUNDATED (AP) — The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team has been placed on one-year probation after a former assistant coach was found to have forged recruiting documents.Buffalo also was fined $5,000, agreed to a two-week ban on communicating with potential recruits and reduced its recruiting days by five for the 2020-21 season.The decision was announced by the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference school as part of a negotiated resolution reached today. The school said it self-reported the infractions in October and cooperated with the NCAA investigation. Djokovic says he may reconsider stance on vaccinationBELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has reiterated he is against taking an anti-coronavirus vaccination if it becomes mandatory to travel, but says he’s open to changing his mind.The top-ranked Djokovic caused a stir when he suggested in a live Facebook chat over the weekend that if a vaccination becomes compulsory on the world tennis tour then he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone” to take it.Djokovic says in a statement emailed to the AP that despite his personal objection to a vaccine, “if it becomes compulsory, I will have to make a decision whether to do it or not.”OLYMPICS-POSTPONEMENT COSTS Conflict over who will pay for the Olympic delayTOKYO (AP) — An open conflict has broken out between Tokyo Olympic organizers and the IOC over who will be paying for the unprecedented year-long postponement.Tokyo spokesman Masa Takaya says the organizing committee asked the Switzerland-based IOC to remove a comment from its website suggesting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that Japan would pay most of the postponement costs.Media reports in Japan estimate the year-long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic will cost $2 billion to $6 billion.Takaya says it was not appropriate for Abe’s name to be linked. The IOC removed the reference. Gronkowski’s agent says the tight end is about to come out of retirement and has accepted a trade to the Buccaneers. The Patriots also would send a seventh-round pick to the Bucs for a fourth-rounder.The deal is pending a physical and would give Brady one of his most dependable pass-catchers. Brady signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Bucs last month.Gronkowski has caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 regular-season games. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has another 81 catches for 1,163 yards and 12 TDs in 16 playoff games.The tight end position already was considered one of Tampa Bay’s biggest strengths, with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate teaming with Pro Bowl receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. They form the best collection of targets Brady has had to work with in more than a decade.MLB-A-ROD-METS Son Clay says on Twitter his father died of “complications from CTE,” a degenerative brain disease.Curtis helped the Colts win a Super Bowl during a 14-year career spent predominantly in Baltimore. He earned the nickname “Mad Dog” because of his fierce play in the middle of a strong Baltimore defense. His interception in the waning minutes of the 1970 Super Bowl set up the winning field goal in the Colts’ win over Dallas.Mike Curtis was 77 years old.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6center_img The Spanish club’s executive board says it will donate the entire fee raised by selling the title rights to the Camp Nou to fighting the global pandemic. The Camp Nou has never had a sponsor since it opened in 1957.In other virus-related developments:— Reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson admits it was “bad timing.” The Baltimore Ravens quarterback threw footballs to teammate Marquise Brown and former NFL star Antonio Brown during an informal workout in Florida on April 1, without regard to social distancing. Jackson told reporters today that he’s now working out alone.— The deputy head of Germany’s national disease control center has cautioned against coronavirus testing for soccer players in order to restart the league. Regular testing of players and team staff is a key element of a plan to resume German soccer in empty stadiums next month. Robert Koch Institute vice president Lars Schaade says he doesn’t “see why certain sections of the population … should be routinely screened.” Schaade says he would prefer testing to be focused on people who show symptoms or who are linked to an outbreak of the virus.— The men’s and women’s professional tennis tours plan to create a player relief fund to help those in the sport dealing with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP and WTA say they are in discussions with the International Tennis Federation and the four Grand Slam tournaments. Neither tour provided any specifics about how much money they are pooling or how it will be distributed. No tournaments will be played before mid-July at the earliest. — The Associated Press has learned the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee is bracing for cuts of 10% to 20% because of the coronavirus pandemic that has pushed the Olympics back one year and triggered losses across the nation’s sports organizations. The AP received a copy of a letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to leaders across the U.S. Olympic world in which she said the exact nature of the cuts would be determined by the end of May.— A staff member of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has tested positive for COVID-19. Tokyo organizers say it’s a male employee in his 30s who worked at the headquarters building in a part of Tokyo known as Harumi. Organizers say the man is in quarantine at home. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last month until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.NFL-OBIT-CURTISFormer Colts linebacker Mike Curtis dead at 77ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The hard-hitting, no-nonsense linebacker Mike Curtis has died. He died Monday in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Playing Rules Oversight Panel also approved the rules change no longer requiring players to head to the locker room after being penalized for targeting. All other aspects of the rule discouraging above-the-shoulders contact remain the same.SOUTH KOREA-BASEBALLSouth Korean season to begin in May without fansSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s professional baseball league has decided to begin its season on May 5.The games will be played without fans until the risk of infection from the coronavirus is gone. The league plans to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule but has decided scrap its all-star game and shorten the first round of the playoffs from a best-of-five to best-of-three series.The KBO says it could shorten the regular season if infections erupt. The league will advise players to wear face masks in locker rooms and require them to download smartphone apps to report their daily health status to league officials.SOCCER-BARCELONA STADIUMNaming rights to be sold to iconic Barcelona stadium to benefit virus fightBARCELONA (AP) — Barcelona’s soccer team will sell the title rights to its famed stadium for one year in an effort to raise money for the fight against the coronavirus. In other college basketball news:— Ball State guard K.J. Walton will return for his sixth college season after receiving a waiver from the NCAA and the approval of the Mid-American Conference. The former Missouri player sat out the 2017-18 because of college basketball’s transfer rule and played just 10 games last season because of an ankle injury that required surgery. He has started 35 games of the 42 he’s appeared in with the Cardinals and averages 11.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NCAA RULESNCAA alters video reviews, targeting rulesINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA has announced a pace-of-play guideline for instant replay officials to complete video reviews in less than two minutes of a college football game. Associated Press April 22, 2020last_img read more

Edwards brothers embrace sibling connection in pool

first_imgBlake wants to cruise in an RV across Australia. Lachlan thinks the idea is dreadful. Lachlan loves listening to Taylor Swift. Blake thinks she’s awful. The Edwards brothers are two of USC’s top aquatic athletes. But though they share a love for the sport and for each other, they couldn’t be more different.Blake is a 23-year-old junior transfer from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Lachlan is a 20-year-old sophomore who was recruited by USC straight out of high school and spent last year playing for the Trojans.The two have spent many years playing water polo together. They grew up by the pool, as their mother and father represented Australia in swimming and water polo, respectively.Blake started playing water polo as a 12 year old, when his older brothers began their careers, and Lachlan started at the same time as an 8-year-old. The two are the third and fifth brothers in a family of aquatic athletes.Five of the brothers started for the same Melbourne Collegians club team in what was a season unlike anything most athletes or siblings could ever hope to experience.“For me, it was one of my most memorable water polo experiences — that camaraderie  that we developed from knowing each other,” Blake said. “It was just a really rewarding experience to be out there and to share something with your brothers.”Both brothers are members of the Australian National Team, so they have been able to travel to many places in Asia and Eastern Europe.  However, one place water polo had never taken the Edwards’ before USC was the United States.Their perception of America was taken straight from Hollywood. Blake confessed he loved watching the TV show The O.C.“My dream is to have a girl on the back of my bike, riding on the boardwalk,” he said.Not only are the two countries’ cultures different, but both brothers also acknowledged that the transition from Australian universities was very challenging because the student body is much more disengaged and the learning more theoretical on their home continent.“I find that the way it’s set up here with everyone on campus sets up more opportunities to network and meet people,” Blake said.  “The learning is much more engaging and enjoyable.”Though the brothers are good at coexisting in the pool, they aren’t so used to being forced to do so outside of it.  Currently, Blake and Lachlan are sharing a room, something they haven’t had to do since before they were five.“We fought a lot more back home. Usually he is the grumpiest man back home, and I’m always annoying him … now that we’re in the same room, he hasn’t really got a choice,” Blake said.  “We’re still in the honeymoon stage.”Even the honeymoon stage of a relationship has its tense points, though.  Blake described a wrong turn he made in L.A. that gave him an eye-opening look at some of the more interesting parts of Los Angeles.  Lachlan shook his head and expressed how happy he was that he missed out on that quasi-adventure.And though the brothers share a room, they do not share a taste in music.“You listen to all crap, like all ’80s stuff,” Lachlan said to Blake. “There’s a time and a place for that, and he cannot pick when that should be played.”Blake responded disapprovingly by telling his brother that he listens to a lot of teenage girl music.“It’s the best stuff,” Lachlan replied.When their time at USC comes to a close and the brothers are back down under, both would like to spend time seeing more of Australia, however Blake’s desired surfing road trip in an RV isn’t for everyone.“That’s where we’re the opposite,” Lachlan said.  “It’d be good to see that stuff, but a year in a truck with him, I don’t know about that.”In the meantime, the brothers said their biggest goal is to win a national championship for USC, something they said their connection might help them to do.“I seem to find him a lot easier,” Blake said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the size of him but that’s the way it’s always happened.  I understand him and his abilities a lot more, and he understands mine as well.”The brothers will continue their water polo career together, both in and out of the pool.  They will look to lead USC to another national title, something they say shouldn’t be too hard.“There’s no one closer than your family, so when I’m successful and able to share it with him, it’s something I can’t describe,” Lachlan said. “Seeing him be successful and play well, you get the same feeling if it was you doing it.”last_img read more