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BC-AP Sports Digest

May 2, 2019

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Trainer Bob Baffert, who parlayed a win by Justify in last year’s Kentucky Derby into his second Triple Crown win, sees a wide open Derby this time around. He tells PodcastOne Sports Now co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg that anything can happen in a crowded field. Listen at podcastonesports.com, the podcastone app and apple podcasts. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

TOP STORIES

SEMENYA-SPORTS WORLD’S DILEMMAS

NEW YORK _ A court ruling ordering Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya to reduce her levels of testosterone goes to the heart of a dilemma facing the sports world: How to eliminate discrimination while ensuring that competitions are fair? The challenges facing Semenya, a South African woman who reportedly has some intersex traits, differ from those confronting transgender women. But there are parallels as well, as evidenced in the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 910 words, photos.

WITH:

_ ATH--SEMENYA-OVERCOMING OBSTACLES. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 700 words, photos.

_ ATH--CAS-SEMENYA APPEAL. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

_ ATH--SEMENYA CASE EXPLAINER. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 800 words, photos.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-FAVORITE SCRATCHED

LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ Suddenly, the Kentucky Derby is wide open. Favorite Omaha Beach was scratched because of a breathing problem Wednesday night, leaving a pair of Hall of Famers on the sideline — trainer Richard Mandella and jockey Mike Smith. Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia revised the morning line to make Game Winner the 9-2 favorite for the 1 1/4-mile race Saturday. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 560 words, photos.

BBO--INDIANS-MARLINS

MIAMI _ Cleveland ace Corey Kluber broke his right forearm when he was hit by a line drive during the Indians’ 4-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. Kluber was struck by Brian Anderson’s comebacker in the fifth inning. The Indians said he will be re-evaluated in Cleveland on Thursday. By Steven Wine. SENT: 575 words, photos.

SOC--BARCELONA-LIVERPOOL

BARCELONA, Spain _ Lionel Messi hit the 600-goal mark for Barcelona after striking twice to lead the Spanish club to a 3-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal. Luis Suarez opened the scoring by scoring against his former club in the 26th minute and Messi doubled the lead by scoring in the 75th. Messi made it 600 goals in his career for Barcelona by adding a goal from a brilliantly-struck free kick in the 82nd. By Joseph Wilson. SENT: 770 words, photos.

PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. _ Attorneys for Robert Kraft wound down a three-day hearing by arguing surveillance video capturing the New England Patriots owner inside a Florida massage spa should be suppressed in his prostitution case because a warrant allowing it should never have been granted. The judge in state court in South Florida didn’t immediately issue a ruling, but he did order Kraft to appear later in the month at a hearing on whether both sides are ready for trial. SENT: 525 words, photos.

SPORTS SHOWCASE

CAR--GREEN GRAND PRIX

The Green Grand Prix is the only event of its kind in the United States and is still thriving after 15 years. Essentially a fuel mileage rally for alternate-fuel vehicles and hybrids conducted at Watkins Glen International, organizer Bob Gillespie marvels at the energy of the participants. This year all slots were filled again, even on a day buffeted by rain, sleet and snow. By John Kekis. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 3 a.m.

KENTUCKY DERBY

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-BAFFERT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. _ The pain of seeing Cavonnier get beat by a nose in his first Kentucky Derby nearly kept trainer Bob Baffert from returning to Churchill Downs. He figured he would never again have a horse good enough to win on the first Saturday in May. Since the mid-1990s, Baffert has won five Kentucky Derbies and two Triple Crowns while becoming the face of horse racing. He goes for his sixth Derby win this weekend. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. SENT: 650 words, photos.

With:

_ RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-OLDEST JOCKEY. SENT: 480 words, photos.

_ RAC--HORSE RACING-BETTING FOR DUMMIES. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 750 words, photos.

NBA PLAYOFFS

BKN--TRAIL BLAZERS-NUGGETS

DENVER _ CJ McCollum picks up for a cold-shooting Damian Lillard and scores 20 points in Portland’s 97-90 win over the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets missed 23 of 29 3-pointers but trimmed a 17-point deficit to five points in the closing minute. The series shifts to Portland for Game 3 Friday night. By Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 750 words, photos.

WITH:

_ BKN--NUGGETS-CRAIG. By Pat Graham. SENT: 495 words, photos.

BKN--TIPOFF

PHILADELPHIA _ The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors head back to the U.S. tied 1-1 in their Eastern Conference playoff series. Game 3 is Thursday night. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 650 words, photos.

Also:

_ BKN--TIMBERWOLVES-ROSAS. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 500 words, photos.

NHL PLAYOFFS

HKN--FACEOFF

The Columbus Blue Jackets are continuing their trek deeper into uncharted territory with each victory. They’ve grabbed a 2-1 series lead over Boston and will try to build on that Thursday night on home ice. Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks will try to extend their 2-1 lead on Colorado. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 690 words, photos.

HKN--ISLANDERS-HURRICANES

RALEIGH, N.C. _ Sebastian Aho set up Justin Williams’ go-ahead goal with 9:45 remaining, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders 5-2 to take a 3-0 lead in their second-round series. Teuvo Teravainen scored two goals, including an empty-netter with 57.1 seconds remaining, and Justin Faulk also scored while Aho added another empty-net goal with 4.8 seconds to play. The Hurricanes moved within a victory of a spot in the Eastern Conference final. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 990 words, photos.

WITH:

_ HKN--SHAKEN ISLANDERS. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 675 words, photos.

HKN--BLUES-STARS

DALLAS _ Rookie Roope Hintz scored his fifth goal of the playoffs, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov each had two assists and the Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Wednesday night to even the second-round series at two games each. Rookie coach Jim Montgomery made a significant change by switching up his top two lines, and the move paid off for Dallas By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 750 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

BOX--TIM DAHLBERG-MIRACLE MAN

LAS VEGAS _ The moment with Canelo Alvarez won’t be too big for Danny Jacobs, of that he’s certain. Not after going toe-to-toe with the fearsome Gennady Golovkin before dropping a narrow decision. Not after beating cancer that doctors were sure would end his career, if not his life. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. SENT: 750 words, photos.

ATH--PAUL NEWBERRY-SEMENYA

Everyone is supposed to be doing their best to rid sports of doping. Yet, in a baffling decision Wednesday, South African star Caster Semenya was ordered to take drugs if she wants to keep running for championships. Talk about sending the wrong message. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 800 words, photos.

BASEBALL

BBO--LEADING OFF

A look at what’s happening around the majors today: Corey Kluber’s broken forearm gets checked, Shohei Ohtani says he’s ready, Noah Syndergaard tries to snap slump. UPCOMING: 350 words, photos by 3 a.m.

BBO--APRIL OFFENSE

NEW YORK _ Baseball’s all-or-nothing trend accelerated in the season’s first full month as batters binged on home runs and pitchers thrived on strikeouts. Players hit 1,144 home runs in 874 games through April 30, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, an average of 1.31 per game. That is on track to break the record average of 1.26 set two years ago. Batters are averaging 8.86 strikeouts per games, up from 8.48 last year _ the 11th consecutive record year for whiffs. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 640 words, photos.

Also:

_ BBN--METS-FAMILIA. By Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick. SENT: 750 words, photos.

_ BBN--GIANTS-PROSPECT SUSPENDED. SENT: 150 words.

_ BBN--DODGERS-POLLOCK. SENT: 200 words, photos.

GOLF

GLF--WELLS FARGO

CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Rory McIlroy starts his last tournament in his 20s at Quail Hollow, where he has won twice. He is one of three of the top 10 players in the world at the Wells Fargo Championship. And despite being around the highest level of golf for nearly half his life, he still feels like he’s one of the young players. McIlroy turns 30 on Saturday. He has won 23 times worldwide, including four majors, in what he referred to in January as the first phase of his career. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 830 words, photos.

WITH:

_ GLF--WELLS FARGO-GRIER. By Steve Reed. SENT: 720 words, photos.

SOCCER

SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE PREVIEW

Unai Emery is relying on an old friend to salvage something from his first year at Arsenal. The English team was faced with two possible paths to qualifying for the Champions League: via a top-four finish in the Premier League or through winning the Europa League. Was it ever really in doubt which route best suited Emery, a three-time winner of the Europa League? By Steve Douglas. SENT: 740 words, photos.

Also:

_ SOC--CASILLAS-HEART ATTACK. SENT: 180 words, photos.

LAW

PENN STATE-ABUSE

HARRISBURG, Pa. _ The cost of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal to Penn State has included millions of dollars in salary and legal expenses for the school president forced out more seven years ago. A federal judge’s decision Tuesday to throw out former President Graham Spanier’s child endangerment conviction comes after the school doled out millions to defend him and others in criminal court. Penn State isn’t saying what it’s currently paying Spanier, a professor on paid administrative leave. By Mark Scolforo. SENT: 675 words, photos.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY-COOPERATORS

BOSTON _ The growing number of defendants cooperating with prosecutors in the college admissions bribery case could cause problems for parents and coaches still fighting the charges. Since authorities arrested dozens of parents and coaches in March, former coaches at the universities of Texas at Austin and Southern California have signed cooperation agreements. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 700 words, photos.

Also:

_ OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR. By Kantele Franko. SENT: 610 words, photos.

_ BKC--COLLEGE CORRUPTION. SENT: 500 words.

_ FBC--EX-TEXAS A&M PLAYER-SLAYING. SENT: 130 words.

PRO FOOTBALL

FBN--GIANTS-BALLENTINE

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ The Giants have told Corey Ballentine to skip the team’s upcoming rookie minicamp to mourn the death of a Washburn University teammate who was killed in a shooting that also injured New York’s sixth-round pick just hours after being taken in the NFL draft. The Giants draft choices and rookie free agents were to report on Thursday and practice on Friday and Saturday. By Tom Canavan. SENT: 210 words.

Also:

_ FBN--BEARS-FLOYD. SENT: 250 words.

MEDIA

TV--FOX SPORTS 1

LOS ANGELES _ After myriad programming and executive upheaval since its launch in 2013, Fox Sports 1 has started to show signs of stability for the past year. Skip Bayless remains the network’s most divisive personality, but there is other programming that has shown signs of growth and variety. Most of the credit goes to an executive team that followed the tumultuous tenure of Jamie Horowitz that is showing patience. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 860 words, photos.

FBN--ESPN-MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BOOTH

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” will go with a two-person booth for the upcoming season, with Booger McFarland joining Joe Tessitore. McFarland was a field-level analyst for most of last season before moving upstairs for the final two games. Lisa Salters will return for an eighth season as the sideline reporter after signing a multiyear extension. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 470 words, photos.

CAR--NASCAR-EARNHARDT-KENTUCKY DERBY

CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ Dale Earnhardt Jr. will work his first Kentucky Derby on Saturday as part of his expanding role with NBC Sports. The retired NASCAR superstar is also slated to cover his first Indianapolis 500 later this month. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. SENT: 430 words, photos.

OTHER

_ TEN--WHISTLEBLOWER’S SUPPORT. SENT: 465 words.

_ FBC--PAC-12-SCHEDULING. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 545 words.

_ OBIT-HEALEY. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 500 words.

_ BOX--JOSHUA-RUIZ JR. SENT: 340 words, photos.

___

Thursday Time Schedule (EDT)

NBA PLAYOFFS

Toronto at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.

NHL PLAYOFFS

Boston at Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

San Jose at Colorado, 10 p.m.

BASEBALL

Cincinnati at N.Y. Mets, 12:10 p.m.

San Diego at Atlanta, 12:10 p.m.

Houston at Minnesota, 1:10 p.m.

Colorado at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Kansas City, 2:15 p.m.

St. Louis at Washington, 4:05 p.m.

Boston at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.

Toronto at L.A. Angels, 10:07 p.m.