Friday Sports in Brief
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A fire early Friday swept through the sleeping quarters of an academy for Brazil’s popular professional soccer club Flamengo, killing 10 people and injuring three, most likely teenage players, authorities said.
Firefighters were called just after 5 a.m. to the sprawling Ninho de Urubu training grounds in Rio de Janeiro’s western region. Overhead images captured by an Associated Press drone showed a smoky, charred area of the complex.
The cause of the fire was not known, but Claudio Castro, vice governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, said authorities were looking at the possibility of a short circuit in an air conditioning unit. It is currently summer in Brazil.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The LA Galaxy will honor David Beckham with a statue of the English superstar outside their stadium.
The statue will be unveiled before the club’s regular season opener March 2, Galaxy spokesman Brendan Hannan confirmed Friday.
Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 and spent parts of six seasons in Los Angeles, leading the club to two MLS Cup championships at the arena now known as Dignity Health Sports Park.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball is considering one of two matchups for its 2020 series in London: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals.
Two people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press of the potential matchups. They spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because no announcements had been authorized. An announcement is expected after opening day this year.
MLB’s first games in Britain are scheduled for this summer, when the World Series champion Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees at London’s Olympic Stadium in June 29-30. The venue was built for the 2012 Olympics and reconfigured for the Premier League club West Ham United.
—By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bryce Harper and the Giants met in the free agent slugger’s hometown of Las Vegas this week, and new San Francisco baseball operations chief Farhan Zaidi said the sides had mutual interest.
Zaidi, the club’s new president of baseball operations, would not say whether an offer was extended to the star outfielder. The Giants still hope to add two outfielders.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor will likely miss the start of the season with a strained right calf.
Lindor, one of baseball’s best all-around players, sustained the injury recently while working out in Orlando, Florida. He was checked Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. Mark Schickendantz, who confirmed a moderate sprain.
The Indians anticipate him being out up to nine weeks, which would place his return sometime in early April. Cleveland opens the regular season on March 28 in Minnesota.
PHOENIX (AP) — Right-hander Ricky Nolasco and lefty Marc Rzepczynski have agreed to minor league contracts with the Arizona Diamondbacks and will report to big league spring training.
Nolasco, 36, has not pitched in the major leagues since 2017 with the Los Angeles Angels. He was released by Kansas City in spring training last year after allowing eight runs, five hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings in one start and one relief appearance.
Rzepczynski, 33, had a 6.97 ERA in 23 games last year with Seattle and Cleveland, allowing 11 runs — eight earned — 16 hits and 10 walks over 10 1/3 innings in 23 relief appearances, He is a 10-year big league veteran, primarily as a reliever.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson and the Washington Nationals have finalized their $1.3 million, one-year contract, a deal that allows him to earn $4 million in performance bonuses for starts.
The 31-year-old was 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 19 starts for Washington last season, when he earned just over $2.9 million, including $1.1 million in bonuses.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Jim Small has been promoted to senior vice president of Major League Baseball’s international business and will move back to the New York area after establishing MLB’s Tokyo office and running it for 15 years.
The 57-year-old worked in the public relations departments of the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and the commissioner’s office, spent two years with Nike, then returned to MLB in August 1998 as a vice president of MLB International.
He opened the Tokyo office during the second half of the 2003 season and helped launch the World Baseball Classic in 2006. Small had been vice president of Asia-Pacific.
DALLAS (AP) — The Mavericks have waived Zach Randolph two days after acquiring the forward while sending Harrison Barnes to Sacramento in a trade designed to give Dallas salary-cap relief.
Randolph and young forward Justin Jackson were sent to the Mavericks in a deal that came together while Barnes was playing for Dallas in a 99-93 win over Charlotte on Wednesday. Jackson was active for Friday night’s game against Milwaukee.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets coach Adam Gase has filled out his staff, including hiring Jim Bob Cooter as running backs coach, Shawn Jefferson as assistant head coach-offense/wide receivers and Frank Bush as assistant head coach-defense/inside linebackers.
Among other hirings announced Friday are: Joe Vitt (senior defensive assistant/outside linebackers) — who’s also Gase’s father-in-law; Blake Williams (defensive assistant), son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams; John Dunn (tight ends); Frank Pollack (offensive line); Derek Frazier (assistant offensive line); and Andre Carter (defensive line).
Dennard Wilson returns as the defensive backs coach and adds passing game coordinator to his duties.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins have hired Tim Rattay as quarterbacks coach.
The team announced the move Friday. Rattay succeeds Kevin O’Connell in the job after O’Connell was promoted to offensive coordinator.
Rattay spent the past four years as quarterbacks coach at Louisiana Tech. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006 when now-Redskins coach Jay Gruden was an offensive assistant.
NEW YORK (AP) — Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk has been fined $5,000 for high-sticking Kings defenseman Alec Martinez during Los Angeles’ 3-2 shootout win at Philadelphia.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced the fine on Friday. Van Riemsdyk was docked the maximum amount under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have traded Emil Pettersson to the Arizona Coyotes for forwards Laurent Dauphin and Adam Helewka.
The Predators announced the deal Friday.
Pettersson, 25, has 33 goals in 49 games with the Predators’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee this season, and the 6-foot-2, 170-pound native of Sundsvall, Sweden, originally was a sixth-round pick by Nashville in the 2013 entry draft.
The Predators get a pair of 23-year-old players in Dauphin and Helewka who have been playing with the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners.
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn leading scorer Jalen Adams will be out the next four to six weeks because of a knee injury suffered during the Huskies’ loss to Temple on Wednesday.
The school announced Friday that an MRI confirmed the senior guard sprained the MCL in his left knee.
Adams, averaging 17 points per game, was injured just under six minutes into the game when Temple’s J.P. Moorman II fell on Adams’ leg in a scramble near the basket.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Quarterback Justin Fields has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play immediately for Ohio State after transferring from Georgia.
The former five-star recruit transferred to the Buckeyes after he got stuck behind Jake Fromm on Georgia’s depth chart.
Ohio State announced Friday that the NCAA has approved Fields’ request for a waiver of the rule requiring transfers to sit out a year. Fields is expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot after Dwayne Haskins Jr. left early to enter the NFL draft.
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — An assault charge was dismissed against Alabama safety and NFL top prospect Deionte Thompson, who was linked to a 2017 spring break fight in Texas.
Prosecutors in Galveston County requested the charge be dropped against Thompson, an All-American who in January announced for the NFL draft. A judge signed the order Wednesday.
Thompson was among four men indicted in October 2017 over the alleged beating of a man on Crystal Beach, near Galveston.
DENVER (AP) — A group of winter sports athletes wants the president of the International Ski Federation to resign after he spoke of “so-called climate change” and said he would rather deal with dictators than argue with environmentalists.
The climate advocacy group Protect Our Winters sent an open letter Friday urging 75-year-old Gian Franco Kasper to step down.
In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger , Kasper said “dictators can organize (big) events ... without asking the people’s permission” and that “from the business side, I say: I just want to go to dictatorships, I do not want to argue with environmentalists.”
He also referenced “so-called” climate change.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer will miss the World Cup season finale later this month, cutting his season short because of a neck injury.
Mazdzer has been sliding through the injury for about three weeks, and will compete Saturday and Sunday in a World Cup at Oberhof, Germany. He will skip the finale in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia on Feb. 23 and 24. That means the U.S. will have only men’s and women’s singles sliders that weekend, with no doubles sled or team relay entry.
ARE, Sweden (AP) — Wendy Holdener retained her Alpine combined title at the skiing world championships Friday by beating Petra Vlhova by 0.03 seconds.
The Swiss racer was in fifth place after the downhill leg, and lost time on Vlhova in the top section of the slalom. She was tied with the Slovakian skier after the third checkpoint, but made up ground in the final stretch.
BONN, Germany (AP) — The International Paralympic Committee has voted to reinstate Russia after a suspension of over two years for widespread doping.
The IPC says reforms in Russian sport to crack down on doping and limit government interference are enough to allow Russia to compete under its own flag ahead of the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
The committee has given up on a demand that Russian authorities should admit to the findings of a report by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren which led to the Russian Paralympic Committee’s suspension in August 2016.
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — Former professional cyclist Floyd Landis has announced plans to open a bicycle showroom and coffee shop that will sell hemp products in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
LNP reports Landis said Thursday he will open Floyd’s of Lancaster Cafe in the spring featuring products from his Colorado-based business that sells cannabis derivatives.
The cafe will serve coffee, food and products made with CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. The bike shop will also feature electric bikes from Van Dessel, which sponsors Landis’ professional cycling team.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — David Williams II, the first black athletic director in the Southeastern Conference, has died. He was 71.
Vanderbilt officials said Williams died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A retirement party for Williams, whose last day as athletic director was Jan. 31, had been scheduled for Friday night.
Williams had been the SEC’s second-longest tenured athletic director behind only Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart when he announced his retirement last September. Malcolm Turner took over Feb. 1, Williams stayed on as a full-time law professor. He also was establishing a Sports, Law & Society program at Vanderbilt Law School.