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US to play Slovakia in hockey playoff...Daytona 500 about to begin...AP source: Hosmer, Padres reach a deal

February 18, 2018

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The United States will play Slovakia in Tuesday’s qualification round of the Olympic hockey tournament playoffs. A win would send the Americans into a quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic. The other qualification games are Finland vs. South Korea, Switzerland vs. Germany and Slovenia vs. Norway. Four teams are going directly to the quarterfinals after winning their groups: Canada, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The Russian delegation at the Olympics has announced that one of its athletes has failed a drug test. Two Russian state news agencies say the delegation received an official notification of the test from the International Olympic Committee. The reports quote a spokesman for the “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” who did not identify the athlete or the sport.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alex Bowman starts from the pole when the Daytona 500 gets underway this afternoon (at 3 p.m. Eastern time). Bownan will be driving the No. 88 Chevrolet that used to be driven by star Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is missing “The Great American Race” for the first time since 1999. Earnhardt will serve as grand marshal.

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — A person with direct knowledge of the deal says free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer has reached preliminary agreement on an eight-year contract with the San Diego Padres, pending a physical. Hosmer, who spent his first seven major league seasons with Kansas City, would receive a reported $144 million.

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz says his mother is doing better after a harrowing kidnapping ordeal in Venezuela. Ana Isabel Soto was rescued last weekend, three days after she was kidnapped. Diaz was given permission to arrive late to spring training, and he spoke to reporters there today. The 27-year-old says he’s trying to move family members out of Venezuela, but the process isn’t easy.

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