BC-AP Sports Digest
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Former U.S. women’s national team player Aly Wagner says the World Cup will captivate American audiences even without the home team there. Wagner, an analyst for Fox Sports during the tournament, appears on the AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now” with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. Also, trainer Bob Baffert discusses his second Triple Crown, and the AP’s Tom Withers weighs in on LeBron James’ future.
OMAHA, Neb. — If the College World Series plays out like the season up to this point, there’ll be lots of strikeouts. Mirroring what’s happening in the major leagues, strikeouts are on the upswing in the college game. Strikeouts are at an all-time high, and the number of pitching staffs averaging nine or more per nine innings has tripled in the last two years. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 a.m.
GLF--US OPEN-SHINNECOCK NATION
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — More than a century after a Native American golf pioneer played in the U.S. Open, the tournament’s organizers are honoring his legacy. Oscar Bunn, a Shinnecock Hills caddie and member of the nation that shared the course’s name, played in the 1896 event. A golf practice facility is being built to commemorate his contributions. By Terrin Waack. UPCOMING: 670 words, photos by 3 a.m.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Quarterback DeShone Kizer has a fresh start with the Green Bay Packers this offseason after going through a winless year with the Cleveland Browns as a rookie. There are no expectations to start in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers healthy again. Instead, Kizer is concentrating in part on learning a new playbook ahead of an expected competition for the backup quarterback job with Brett Hundley come training camp. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 580 words, photos by 3 a.m.
SOCHI, Russia — John Strong and Stuart Holden have a tough job. They’re the primary voices of Fox’s coverage of the World Cup after the network landed the U.S. English-language television rights. They’re about to embark on their first World Cup, with the challenge of engaging casual sports fans back home who may not be interested in the tournament without the U.S. involved. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 a.m.
— SOC--WCUP-THE LATEST
To many in the world of women’s basketball, Anne Donovan was a giant. And not just because she stood 6-foot-8. She won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach in her storied career. The 56-year-old Hall of Famer died Wednesday of heart failure, her family said in a statement. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. UPCOMING: 860 words, photos by 3 a.m.
Russia’s World Cup opens with a home team that doesn’t have much chance to win, and a nation eager to wipe away bad memories about doping controversies, criticism over its incursion into the Ukraine, allegations of election meddling and poisoning. Could a successful World Cup help improve Russia’s global image? By Angela Charlton. UPCOMING: Word count and timing uncertain, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-RUSSIA-SAUDI ARABIA
Russian officials promised crackdowns on ticket scalping, but some crafty resellers have figured ways around the fact that tickets are supposed to be registered to individuals. By James Ellingworth. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 a.m.
AP Sports Extra: World Cup: A paginated preview of the World Cup is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. The tournament in Russia starts Thursday. The pages look at the top storylines, including Germany’s bid to repeat as champion and key players to watch. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — The U.S. Open wants to be the ultimate test in golf, and sometimes that leads to a series of trick questions. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock Hills again trying to find the right balance of being stern without being silly. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 960 words, photos.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Justin Rose was coming up on 15 years as a pro and he still didn’t have a major. What he found was perspective. He says the key to winning a major is not being afraid to fail because it’s all part of contending for big tournaments. He broke through in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. He is going for his second major at Shinnecock Hills. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1140 words, photos.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — The world’s best golfers are seeing the Hamptons the way New York City residents have long experienced the beach haven. They are sitting in traffic, staring at brake lights for hours on end. Traffic on the way to Shinnecock Hills is taking some golfers and caddies up to three hours to reach the course. Tiger Woods is worried that someone is going to miss his tee time. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 910 words, photos.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Rickie Fowler knows he can win major championships. He says everyone in golf knows that. So how about this week in the U.S. Open? Majors have not been kind to Fowler. In all, he has eight top-five finishes in Grand Slam events, but has missed cuts in seven majors. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 790 words, photos.
AP Sports Extra: US Open: A paginated preview of the U.S. Open, which starts Thursday, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. The page looks at the top storylines, including Phil Mickelson’s pursuit of a U.S. Open title after finishing runner-up six times. The page also looks at other players to watch and facts & figures. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org
COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
BBC--CWS-RED RAIDERS RETURN
Texas Tech is back in the College World Series for the third time in five seasons. Red Raiders pitcher Davis Martin remembers being told to enjoy every second when he got to Omaha two years ago as a freshman. Martin threw seven scoreless innings against Florida. But he says he realized when Tech was leaving that he didn’t embrace it enough. He’s getting another chance. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 660 words, photos by 3 a.m.
FRISCO, Texas — A person with direct knowledge of the deal says the Dallas Cowboys and Zack Martin have agreed to terms on an $84 million, six-year contract extension that will make the two-time All-Pro the highest-paid guard in the NFL. By Pro Football Writer Schuyler Dixon. SENT: 500 words, photos.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Jason Verrett is back in practice with the Chargers and determined to recapture his Pro Bowl form after two injury-plagued years. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 810 words, photos.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jeremy Bates is not treating his rookie quarterback with kid gloves. The New York Jets offensive coordinator has Sam Darnold on the fast track and the No. 3 overall pick from USC is handling things like a seasoned veteran. Bates will be overseeing what is expected to be a hotly contested quarterback competition this summer between Darnold and veterans Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 900 words, photos.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson was arrested twice during a nine-month span in Florida. While charges were dropped in one case, Anderson still faces a misdemeanor reckless driving charge in the other. The 25-year-old Anderson is expressing thanks to the Jets for standing behind him during his legal troubles. By Dennis Waszak Jr. SENT: 820 words, photos.
A look at what’s happening around the majors. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 3 a.m.
NEW YORK — Teenage rookie Juan Soto homered twice and drove in four runs, becoming the youngest player in 29 years to go deep in a regular-season game in the Bronx, and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Yankees 5-4. By Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick. SENT: 930 words, photos.
NEW YORK — Hal Steinbrenner says his New York Yankees may need an upgrade in the starting rotation if they’re going to reach their first World Series since 2009. By Scott Orgera. SENT: 760 words, photos.
BERKELEY, Calif. — California incoming freshman linebacker Chris Fatilua has suffered a serious spinal cord injury. Fatilua’s family issued a statement through the school saying the injury stemmed from an accident in San Diego and that Fatilua’s long-term prognosis is unknown. SENT: 110 words.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
— BKL--WNBA CAPSULES
— SOC--MLS CAPSULES
Thursday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
San Francisco at Miami, 12:10 p.m.
Colorado at Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m.
Minnesota at Detroit, 1:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 2:10 p.m.
Houston at Oakland, 3:35 p.m.
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.
San Diego at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.
Boston at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
Indiana at Atlanta, 11:30 a.m.