BC-AP Sports Digest
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John Smoltz says baseball must change — and fast. The Hall of Fame pitcher speaks about the need to make the game more appealing to fans young and old on PodcastOne Sports Now with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
ESPN’s Rece Davis is a voter in the AP college football poll that was released Monday. He tells the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast that he tries to blend his preseason assessments with how a team might develop. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer kept his job at Ohio State, his punishment a relatively minor three-game suspension. But an investigation details his many missteps in handling the repeated misconduct of a fired assistant, offenses a less successful coach might not have survived. By Mitch Stacy. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— FBC--OHIO STATE-MEYER FINDINGS — SENT: 550 words, photos.
PARAMUS, N.J. — Tiger Woods returns to the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in five years and shoots a par-71 in the first round of The Northern Trust. This is the first of four playoff events that conclude with the Tour Championship in Atlanta. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — The Cardinals are baseball’s hottest team in the dog days of summer. They’re 17-4 in August and have won eight straight on the road while gaining ground in the division and wild-card races. The results have come since last month’s firing of manager Mike Matheny. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
LANSING, Mich. — Former Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages is charged with lying to police amid an investigation into the school’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against imprisoned sports doctor Larry Nassar. By David Eggert. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.
TEN--US OPEN DRAW
NEW YORK — Serena and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round matchup at the U.S. Open. If the sisters do play each other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 550 words. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
FBC--ON FOOTBALL-MEYER’S FAMILY
What has transpired over the last three weeks at Ohio State should be a lesson to all coaches. Your football program is not a family. Urban Meyer treated Zach Smith like family, and it almost cost one of the most accomplished coaches in college football his job. A case can be made that it should have. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 750 words, photos.
WASHINGTON — Top contenders for the NL Cy Young Award square off when Aaron Nola (14-3, 2.24 ERA) and the Phillies face Max Scherzer (16-5, 2.11) and the Washington Nationals. Philadelphia is 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 1:05 p.m.
BOSTON — The Red Sox try to slow when Edwin Encarnacion when Boston and Cleveland meet in a game between runaway division leaders. Encarnacion cleared the Green Monster twice Wednesday night after being sidelined since Aug. 12. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game started 1:05 p.m.
BALTIMORE — Cemented together by a seven-year contract, the Baltimore Orioles and Chris Davis are staggering toward the finish of a historically horrid season for both the franchise and former home run king. Davis is batting .163, the Orioles are 51 1/2 games out of first. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 500 words, photos.
CLEVELAND — Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles looks to bounce back from last week’s shaky performance by him and Philadelphia’s starting offense when the Eagles play Cleveland. The Browns see this exhibition game as a measuring stick of their progress. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8 p.m.
FRISCO, Texas — Travis Frederick’s revelation that he has a rare neurological disorder will reverberate on and off the field. The Cowboys likely will begin the season without their stalwart center, not knowing what will happen to him. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 7 p.m.
FBN--RIVERS & BREES
COSTA MESA, Calif. — The history between Philip Rivers and Drew Brees has the ingredients of a major sports rivalry. Except these two quarterbacks still genuinely like and respect each other 14 years after they were thrown together with the San Diego Chargers. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS — Colts safety Malik Hooker has never been through an injury or recovery quite like this. He’s looking forward to testing his surgically repaired right knee Saturday against San Francisco. By Michael Marot. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBN--NFL RDP — UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— FBN--STEELERS-WASHINGTON — By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBN--TITANS DEFENSE — By Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBN--CARDINALS-DEFENSE — By Bob Baum. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 7 p.m.
NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown made his mark last season as a speedster. Now that he’s added tools and size in the offseason, he expects to be even more dangerous. He’ll be a marked man when the No. 7 Sooners open on Sept. 1 against Florida Atlantic. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Blue chip players aren’t the only ones who come and go at No. 1 Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s success has led to a turnover on coach Nick Saban’s staff as well. He had to recruit six assistants this offseason while elevating two others to coordinator positions. By John Zenor. SENT: 800 words, photos.
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus appears in court for less than five minutes on charges he sexually assaulted two drunken women in his apartment this spring. Cephus has denied any wrongdoing and is set for a Sept. 6 preliminary hearing. By Todd Richmond. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— FBC--VIRGINIA-SUR-EHANDED BUTTS —By Hank Kurz Jr. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— FBC--TENNESSEE-DEFENSE’S TEST — By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— FBC--CALIFORNIA-LAIRD — By Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 9 p.m.
Ryan Hunter-Reay Sspeaks with the AP about the crash that left Robert Wickens with a spinal cord injury. Hunter-Reay, an IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, was not injured. But he knows it could have been far different. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Sebastian Vettel trails defending champion Lewis Hamilton by 24 points with nine races left in the Formula One season. Vettel needs to start making up ground, beginning with this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 550 words, photos.
REGINA, Saskatchewan — Brooke Henderson opens play in the CP Women’s Open, trying to become the first Canadian to win the national title since 1973. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 10 p.m.
— GLF--CZECH MASTERS — John Daly part of four-way tie for lead after first round of European Tour event in Prague. UPCOMING: 150 words by 4 p.m.
Capitals rookie Chandler Stephenson is taking the Stanley Cup to Humboldt on Friday, hoping to “bring some of the joy back to the game of hockey” for the Canadian town. An April bus crash of a junior hockey team left 16 dead. More than a dozen current and former NHL players will join Stephenson. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 800 words, photos.
HKN--COYOTES-HOCKEY’S DESERT GROWTH
PHOENIX — When the Arizona Coyotes moved to the desert in 1996, the youth hockey in the desert barely existed. With the help of the Coyotes and a big boost from Auston Matthews’ popularity, Arizona has become one of the fastest-growing areas for grassroots hockey. By John Marshall. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jack Eichel now understands he can’t transform the Buffalo Sabres into contenders on emotion alone. After three frustrating seasons, the center and face of the franchise tells the AP he plans on taking a steadier approach. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
BKN--KYRIE IRVING-RESERVATION VISIT
FORT YATES, N.D. — Kyrie Irving is welcomed into his mother’s Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The Boston Celtics star and his sister visit the reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Irving is given the Lakota name Hela (“Little Mountain”). By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 550 words, photos.
SOC--ENGLAND SPOTLIGHT-SALAH’S CHALLENGE
Mohamed Salah finished last season with more goals than any player in Premier League history, surpassing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Alan Shearer. Two games into the new season and there’s no sign the Egyptian is slowing down. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— SOC--DOPING-GUERRERO’S BAN — Peru captain Paolo Guerrero banned again after ruling by Swiss court. SENT: 300 words, photos.
— SOC--ITALY SPOTLIGHT-RONALDO — Cristiano Ronaldo makes home debut for Juventus on Saturday. By Daniella Matar. SENT: 500 words, photos.
— SOC--BUNDESLIGA PREVIEW — Bayern Munich looks to extend Bundesliga record run to seven straight titles. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— SOC--EUROPEAN SOCCER WEEKEND — Arsenal vs. West Ham highlights European play this weekend. SENT: 800 words.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The 16 umpires working the Little League World Series have more than 350 years of experience combined. They play a big role in making the games run smoothly. They also faced a tough road to get this far, and they’re not getting paid for their labors. By Sara Perlowitz. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m.
CYC--SPANISH VUELTA PREVIEW
BARCELONA, Spain — With Chris Froome not defending his title, former champions Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana are the favorites for the Spanish Vuelta, the major cycling race that starts Saturday. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— GYM--ASIAN GAMES-CHUSOVITINA’S MEDAL — Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina, a seven-time Olympian, wins silver medal at 43 at Asian Games in Indonesia. SENT: 100 words, photos.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
— BKL--WNBA PLAYOFF CAPSULES
— SOC--MLS CAPSULES
Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Cleveland at Boston, 1:05 p.m.
Philadelphia at Washington, 1:05 p.m.
San Francisco at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Detroit, 1:10 p.m.
San Diego at Colorado, 3:10 p.m.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 7:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.
Oakland at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.
Philadelphia at Cleveland, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles at Washington, 6:30 p.m.
Phoenix at Connecticut, 8:30 p.m.
Columbus at Chicago, 7 p.m.
FC Dallas at Houston, 9 p.m.