BC-AP Sports Digest,1853

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John Smoltz says baseball must change — and fast. The Hall of Fame pitcher speaks about the need to make the game more appealing to fans young and old on PodcastOne Sports Now with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. Also, longtime college sports writer Chris Dufresne discusses the beginning of the college football season.

https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast

ESPN's Rece Davis is a voter in the AP college football poll. He tells the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast that he tries to blend his preseason assessments with how a team might develop. The AP preseason poll was released Monday.

https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast

TOP STORIES

FBC--OHIO STATE-MEYER

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State trustees are meeting to discuss the future of football coach Urban Meyer, with Meyer seen entering the building where the private meeting is being held. The board is meeting to decide whether the superstar coach should be punished for the way he handled domestic-abuse allegations against a former assistant. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 450 words, photos. Will be updated on merits; timing uncertain.

With:

— FBC--OHIO STATE-MEYER-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout the day.

FBC--HOW TO MAKE A SCHEDULE

Touting the strength of a schedule has become all the rage in the College Football Playoff era. Schools and conferences want to schedule to impress the selection committee, but the driving factor in most scheduling decisions is the budget. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,870 words, photos.

FBN--BENGALS-DALTON THANKS BUFFALO

CINCINNATI — Bills fans flooded Andy Dalton's foundation with donations after his touchdown pass helped Buffalo make the playoffs last season, ending a 17-year drought. Dalton and his foundation will give back to Buffalo this weekend when the Bengals visit for a preseason game. By Joe Kay. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

SWM--SCHUBERT-SWITCHING ALLEGIANCES

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The ex-head coach of the U.S. Olympic swim team is now working with Chinese swimmers. Mark Schubert tells The Associated Press at the Asian Games he is working as a part-time adviser for China. He was wearing a Chinese team shirt on the pool deck with the Chinese flag on the chest. Schubert is a controversial figure despite unprecedented success. Some fault him for not doing enough in his long career to protect swimmers from sexual abuse. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 560 words, photos.

With:

— SWM--ASIAN GAMES-TESTING TIME — Testing time for Sri Lanka swimmer Akalanka Peiris at Asian Games. By John Pye. SENT: 550 words, photos.

— SWM--ASIAN GAMES — Singapore's Schooling ends golden streak for China and Japan. SENT: 550 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

BBO--TIM DAHLBERG-BASEBALL CHANGES

A lot of baseball fans are wondering what happened to their favorite sport. John Smoltz believes he knows and wants to do something about it. It couldn't come any sooner in a game that is struggling to keep fans in the analytics era. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 750 words by 7 p.m.

BASEBALL

BBO--CUBS-TIGERS

DETROIT — Jon Lester tries for his 14th win of the season when the Cubs take on Francisco Liriano and the Tigers. The NL Central leaders bolstered their struggling lineup by acquiring second baseman Daniel Murphy in a trade with Washington on Tuesday, and he may join the club for the night game at Detroit. By Baseball Writer Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7:10 p.m.

BBN--CARDINALS-DODGERS

LOS ANGELES — The streaking St. Louis Cardinals go for the sweep when Jack Flaherty takes the mound against rookie Walker Buehler and the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers. Matt Adams is expected to rejoin the Cardinals, who are back in playoff contention, after being acquired Tuesday from the fading Nationals. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game begins 10 p.m.

Also:

— BBA--BLUE JAYS-SANCHEZ — Blue Jays righty Sanchez comes clean on suitcase injury. SENT: 350 words, photos.

GOLF

GLF--NORTHERN TRUST

PARAMUS, N.J. — The majors are done. Brooks Koepka is not. Even after winning two of the three majors he played this year, Koepka goes into The Northern Trust hopeful of finishing the season right. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

NFL

FBN--CHIEFS-MAHOMES' PASS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II set social media ablaze last weekend with a 69-yard touchdown toss to Tyreek Hill. It was an impressive show of arm strength by Kansas City's new starter, though as coach Andy Reid warned, there's more to playing the position that being able to get the ball downfield in a hurry. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 880 words, photos.

FBN--FALCONS-PROTECTING JULIO

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — After skipping minicamp and offseason workouts, Julio Jones reported to training camp saying he has never felt better physically. The Falcons want to keep it that way, planning to hold the wide receiver out of all preseason games, including Saturday's game at Jacksonville. It's an unusual strategy also planned for running back Devonta Freeman. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.

Also:

— FBN--BILLS-ALLEN. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— FBN--CARDINALS-CORNERBACK. By Bob Baum. UPCOMING: 500 words by 9 p.m.

— FBN--COLTS-ANNOUNCER-RACIAL SLUR. By Michael Marot. SENT: 150 words. UPCOMING: 750 words, photo by 5 p.m.

— FBN--GIANTS. By Tom Canavan. UPCOMING: 550 words by 8 p.m.

— FBN--JETS-UNDERDOG McBRIDE. By Dennis Waszak Jr. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.

— FBN--BRADY-HELMET. SENT: 150 words, photos.

— FBN--RAVENS-NO SMITH. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 540 words, photos.

— FBN--SEAHAWKS-MINNESOTA CONNECTION. UPCOMING: 550 words by 8 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

FBC--PICK SIX-PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

The College Football Playoff has yet to produce a real surprise team. In four seasons, nine schools have reached the semifinals — and even the teams that came from outside the AP preseason top 10 were traditional powers. Might this be the year a surprise breaks through? Predictions for the 2018 college football season. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 840 words, photos.

FBC--TEXAS A&M-FISHER TIME

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M handed Jimbo Fisher a 10-year, $75 million contract to leave Florida State after Kevin Sumlin was fired last year. Aggie fans believe that's 75 million reasons why he should be the one to deliver their first national title since 1939. Fisher says he embraces the high expectations but he says building a great program takes time. By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

FBC--CHIZIK'S NEW LIFE

AUBURN, Ala. — Gene Chizik, who guided Auburn to the 2010 national championship, is enjoying life outside of coaching, packing his days with business deals, TV work and hours watching his son's high school practices and games. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 7 p.m.

FBC--T25-BOISE STATE-HARSIN

When Bryan Harsin returned to Boise State, he initially took over a program of Chris Petersen's players and immediately won a New Year's Six bowl game. Now all those players have cycled through, but the 22nd-ranked Broncos still have the same lofty expectations. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words by 7 p.m.

Also:

— FBC--T25-FLORIDA ST-INEXPERIENCED RECEIVERS. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— FBC--KENTUCKY-QB COMPETITION. By Gary B. Graves. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 5 p.m.

— FBC--MISSISSIPPI-BIG TIME BROWN. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.

— FBC--T25-OKLAHOMA-MURRAY. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 160 words. UPCOMING: 550 words by 7 p.m.

— FBC--T25-WISCONSIN-DAVIS SUSPENDED. SENT: 150 words. Will be updated from 2:45 p.m. coach's availability.

AP SPORTS EXTRA: PRESEASON POLL PAGE

A paginated look at the preseason Top 25 poll is available in full broadsheet, half broadsheet and tabloid size. The pages are suited for preseason football tabs, with space for local advertising or content. The focus is on the highest-ranked teams. The pages are available at no charge to all AP Sports subscribers. For more information, contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org

TENNIS

TEN--HALL OF FAME-CANDIDATES

Li Na could become the first player from Asia elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The two-time major champion from China is one of eight Grand Slam title winners who are candidates for the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2019, a list that includes Goran Ivanisevic, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Conchita Martinez. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. SENT: 550 words, photos.

Also:

— TEN--US OPEN-ARMSTRONG OPENS. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 350 words.

SOCCER

SOC--CHELSEA-KANTE'S NEW ROLE

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri inherited possibly the best defensive midfielder in the world when he took over the team in the offseason. N'Golo Kante has been one of the most influential players in English soccer's recent history, capturing back-to-back Premier League titles with Leicester (2016) and Chelsea (2017), and was the rock in the midfield of France's World Cup-winning team in Russia. So what has Sarri done with Kante upon arriving at Stamford Bridge? Change his position, of course. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 770 words, photos.

SOC--MLS-AROUND MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

It's rivalry week in Major League Soccer, but there's one match that would be important even if there weren't rivals involved. On Friday night, Atlanta United will visit Orlando City, a rivalry that has grown in intensity in the two seasons since Atlanta joined the league as an expansion team. But all eyes will be on United striker Josef Martinez, who is on the verge of making MLS history. By Anne M. Peterson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

Also:

— SOC--JUVENTUS-RONALDO — Cristiano Ronaldo says move to Juventus was "destiny." SENT: 520 words, photos.

— FIFA INVESTIGATION-TRIAL — Ex-Brazil soccer boss gets 4 years in prison in FIFA probe. SENT: 130 words.

LITTLE LEAGUE

BBY--LITTLE LEAGUE-PRESSURE

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Baseball looks like it comes easily to Hawaii's Aukai Kea. In Honolulu's first game of the Little League World Series, Kea slugged a walk-off home run after tossing 6 1/3 shutout innings. But even he isn't afraid to admit that playing on national television and meeting major league players can be quite daunting. The pressure will be amplified as Hawaii and a team from New York's Staten Island are set to play in the marquee matchup of the tournament thus far. SENT: 650 words, photos.

CAPSULES

— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES

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Wednesday's Time Schedule (EDT)

Baseball

Baltimore at Toronto, 12:37 p.m.

Cincinnati at Milwaukee, 2:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Chicago White Sox, 2:10 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 3:35 p.m.

Houston at Seattle, 4:10 p.m.

Atlanta at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Philadelphia at Washington, 7:05 p.m.

San Francisco at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Boston, 7:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

San Diego at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.

L.A. Angels at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.

St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

MLS

New York at New York City FC, 7 p.m.