BC-FL--Florida Sports Digest, FL
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MIAMI _ Surging Orlando, winners of five straight, visits Miami on Tuesday night in a massive game for two teams vying for Eastern Conference playoff spots. The loser will fall to No. 9 in the East race. Game begins 7:40 p.m. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
MIAMI _ Chris Bosh gets his No. 1 jersey retired by the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, three years after his career was cut short by blood clots. Developing from halftime ceremony. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 9 p.m.
PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE
WEST PALM BEACH _ New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft now says he wants his misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution charge tried by a jury, not a judge. Kraft’s attorneys filed a court notice Tuesday also waiving his arraignment, which had been scheduled for Thursday. His lawyers also reiterated his not guilty plea, which he made last month.
ST. PETERSBURG _ Ryan Yarbrough pitched four innings in his final spring training appearance, helping the Tampa Bay Rays close out their exhibition schedule with a 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. The 27-year-old left-hander led major league rookies with 16 victories last season, including a 14-4 record with a 3.72 ERA in 32 appearances out of the bullpen, where he thrived in a role of following “openers” who usually got the first three to six outs of a game. By Fred Goodall.
TAMPA _ Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner thinks New York has a championship-caliber team as it heads into Thursday’s opener against Baltimore. “We’re excited,” Steinbrenner said Tuesday after watching CC Sabathia pitch in a minor league game. “We’re as good as anybody. The team is going to do everything they can to win this thing. I believe they’re going to play up to their potential.” By Mark Didtler.
DENVER _ Denver native Kyle Freeland wears the affection for his city on his right arm: Tattoos of the area code (303), the elevation (5,280) and a silhouette of the Rocky Mountains. With his left, there’s the ability to carry the Colorado Rockies to even greater heights. By Pat Graham.
JUPITER _ The St. Louis Cardinals placed five players on the injured list as they shaped their roster for Thursday’s opener at Milwaukee. The team said Monday the official reason for Brett Cecil’s designation is carpal tunnel syndrome, though the left-hander also is dealing with arm fatigue and erratic mechanics. Right-hander Carlos Martinez is out with a strained rotator cuff and reliever Luke Gregerson with a right shoulder impingement.
GAINESVILLE _ Forward Keith Stone will transfer from Florida after his expected graduation this summer. Stone started 39 of 85 games in four seasons with the Gators. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range. The fourth-year junior tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in mid-January and missed the rest of the season.
TAMPA _ The NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning have signed coach Jon Cooper to a multiyear contract extension. The team announced the deal with the league’s longest-tenured coach on Tuesday, but did not say how long the new contract will run.
MIAMI GARDENS _ Defending champion John Isner advanced to the Miami Open quarterfinals with a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) win over 19th-seeded Kyle Edmund on Tuesday. Isner pounded 17 aces and lost one service game in the match. He surrendered the ninth game of the first set at love.
The AP, Miami