BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Doug Feinberg, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.
ESPN’s Desmond Howard insists he did not know his comments about No. 4 Clemson would offend an assistant coach and upset its fans. The Heisman Trophy winner and “College GameDay” analyst speaks on the AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now” with guest host Larry Lage. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
The USFL helped change pro football in its three, often weird and wild, years. The league is the subject of a new book by Jeff Pearlman, who speaks with the AP’s Ralph Russo on the Top 25 College Football Podcast. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
MILWAUKEE — So they can hit, too. Reliever Brandon Woodruff stunned ace Clayton Kershaw with an early home run and Milwaukee’s normally shutdown bullpen held on — barely — as the Brewers beat the sloppy Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 Friday night in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 870 words, photos.
MILWAUKEE — Clayton Kershaw pounded his glove over and over, yelling “Let’s go!” as he walked off the mound. Pretty soon, he was gone. Kershaw was hit hard in the shortest start of his spotty playoff career, and the shaky Los Angeles Dodgers lost 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 640 words, photos.
BOSTON — J.D. Martinez wants to thank the Houston Astros — not get back at them — for releasing him when he was struggling to make himself into a star. The Red Sox slugger credits his growing pains in Houston for teaching him “how to fail,” a lesson he credits with transforming him into an MVP candidate who helped Boston win a franchise-record 108 games and reach the AL Championship Series against his former team. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 850 words, photos.
— BBA--RANGERS-MANAGER SEARCH GIRARDI — World Series champion Joe Girardi was interviewed Friday by the Texas Rangers in their search for a new manager. Girardi, the former New York Yankees and Florida Marlins manager, was the first person with big league managerial experience interviewed by the Rangers as they look to replace fired manager Jeff Banister. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 250 words.
— NEW YORK — BBA--YANKEES-GREGORIUS INJURY — Yankees star shortstop Didi Gregorius needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after injuring himself making a throw in Boston during the AL Division Series, and there’s no telling exactly when he’ll be able to play again. General manager Brian Cashman said Friday that Gregorius will be out “until sometime next summer.” Cashman said the team will have a better idea about his return after surgery, which hasn’t yet been scheduled. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 750 words, photos.
Pyeongchang is already having regrets about hosting the Winter Olympics, and Tokyo figures to be in the same boat after spending some $25 billion for the next Summer Games. No city in its right mind should take on this financial boondoggle. By Sports Columnist Paul Newberry. SENT: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
FBN--ON FOOTBALL-BIG MOUTHS
They are called Diva Receivers for a reason. We tend to find out why when NFL pass catchers open their mouths. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 750 words, photos. For weekend use.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers are apologizing for initially leaving Colin Kaepernick out of a photo gallery celebrating the team’s history against the Green Bay Packers. The team posted dozens of photos on its website of past games against the Packers before the teams meet again Monday night without at first including any of Kaepernick. The team later added photos of Kaepernick. This is the first photo gallery the team has run this year but pictures of Kaepernick were included in all seven photo galleries posted on the team’s website last year. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. SENT: 400 words.
The NHL is criticizing an arbitrator’s decision to reduce the suspension of Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson, who pleaded no contest in July to a domestic assault charge.
Watson received a 27-game suspension from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman last month. The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced Thursday that arbitrator Shyam Das had reduced it to 18 games. SENT: 500 words.
MIAMI — Justise Winslow has agreed to a $39 million, three-year extension with the Miami Heat. A person with direct knowledge of the agreement confirmed the terms to The Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Winslow isn’t signing the contract until this weekend. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 300 words.
BKN--NBA PRESEASON RDP
From LeBron James’ arrival in Los Angeles to Jimmy Butler’s desire to leave Minnesota, it’s been an eventful NBA preseason. It was a rocky one for the Timberwolves, who spent most of it dealing with the Butler drama and finished it dealing with Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in just 25 minutes of Milwaukee’s 143-121 romp. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.
Saturday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
NLCS Game 2: Los Angeles at Milwaukee, 4:09 p.m.
ALCS Game 1: Houston at Boston, 8:09 p.m.
TOP 25 FOOTBALL
No. 1 Alabama vs. Missouri, 7 p.m.
No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU, 3:30 p.m.
No. 3 Ohio State vs. Minnesota, Noon
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh, 2:30 p.m.
No. 6 West Virginia at Iowa State, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon, 3:30 p.m.
No. 8 Penn State vs. Michigan State, 3:30 p.m.
No. 9 Texas vs. Baylor, 3:30 p.m.
No. 10 UCF at Memphis, 3:30 p.m.
No. 12 Michigan vs. 15 Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m.
No. 14 Florida at Vanderbilt, Noon
No. 16 Miami at Virginia, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Colorado at Southern Cal, 10:30 p.m.
No. 21 Auburn vs. Tennessee, Noon
No. 22 Texas A&M at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m.
Edmonton at N.Y. Rangers, 1 p.m.
Vegas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Los Angeles at Ottawa, 2 p.m.
Carolina at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Detroit at Boston, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Vancouver at Florida, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Islanders at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Anaheim at Dallas, 8 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Calgary at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Colorado at Minnesota United, 2 p.m.
FC Dallas at D.C. United, 4:55 p.m.
Orlando City at New England, 7:30 p.m.