BC-AP Sports Digest
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Former U.S. women’s national team player Aly Wagner says the World Cup will captivate American audiences even without the home team there. Wagner, an analyst for Fox Sports during the tournament, appears on the AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now” with co-hosts Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke. Also, trainer Bob Baffert discusses his second Triple Crown, and the AP’s Tom Withers weighs in on LeBron James’ future.
MOSCOW — After raising the World Cup not far from Copacabana Beach in Brazil four years ago, Germany hopes to lift the trophy a short hop from the Kremlin on July 15 and become the first repeat champion in more than a half-century. The 32-nation showcase begins Thursday. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 850 words, photos.
SOC--WCUP-CHALLENGES OF RAMADAN
GROZNY, Russia — Ramadan, the holy month that requires Muslims to fast and refrain from drinking or eating from sunrise to sunset, has posed serious challenges for some of the teams in their buildup to the World Cup in Russia. Tunisia had a plan. By Hamza Hemdawi. SENT: 850 words, photos.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Tiger Woods is back in the U.S. Open for the first time in three years with conflicted feelings. Compared with where he was a year ago, he’s thankful to be playing. Considering how his game has come together, he’s mildly frustrated that he still hasn’t won. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-THE LATEST — Real-time developments throughout day.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Julio Jones was missing when the Atlanta Falcons opened mandatory minicamp. The team is in contact with the star receiver and his agent. The general manager says he has not discussed the possibility of negotiating a new deal. Jones has three years left on his contract. By Charles Odum. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
GLF--ON THE FRINGE-TWO MAJORS
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Identifying the best player without a major has been a topic for the better part of 30 years. Given the number of top players establishing themselves in golf, the next question might be this: Who’s the best with only one? By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
SOC--WCUP-JOHN LEICESTER-SALAH SUCKERED
MOSCOW — These were not good optics by Mohamed Salah. By cozying up with the leader of Chechnya and holding his hand at a stadium, the Egyptian star — one of the big draws at the World Cup — made a man accused of terrible human rights abuses seem like a normal sports-loving guy. By Sports Columnist John Leicester. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Jordan Spieth’s patience is being tested. He has gone 11 months since his last victory at the British Open. Worse yet, he rarely has been in serious contention this year. The three-time major champion also knows how one week can change everything. By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-KOEPKA — Brooks Koepka returns as defending champion at far different U.S. Open. By Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 7 p.m.
— GLF--US OPEN-NOTEBOOK — By Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— GLF--GOLF GLANCE — SENT: 750 words.
AP Sports Extra: US Open: A paginated preview of the U.S. Open, which starts Thursday, is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. The pages looks at the top storylines, including Phil Mickelson’s pursuit of a U.S. Open title after finishing runner-up six times. The page also looks at other players to watch and facts & figures. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at firstname.lastname@example.org
KALININGRAD, Russia — Russia says its World Cup stadiums meet the highest environmental standards, but some have been built on top of ecologically sensitive areas. Depending on one’s view, it’s either a triumph of engineering or an environmental disaster. By Iuliia Subbotovska and James Ellingworth. SENT: 800 words, photos.
NEW YORK — The World Cup offers a big fashion platform, and team jerseys command the spotlight. Like that checkered effect? Well, Croatia’s for you. If stripes are your style, so is Argentina. The big winner seems to be Nigeria, whose bright green jerseys are finding droves of fans. By Leanne Italie. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
SOC--WCUP-BRAZIL-FEELING AT HOME
SOCHI, Russia — Brazil is feeling quite at home at its World Cup base, with warm weather and a private beach in this Black Sea resort, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 650 words, photos.
MADRID — Real Madrid says Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will be the team’s manager after the World Cup. The announcement comes two days before Spain’s opening match against Portugal. He is replacing Zinedine Zidane, who quit after leading Madrid to three straight Champions League titles. SENT: 450 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-POLICING — Russia prepares to deal with flash point issues: hooliganism, terrorism, restricted LGBT rights. By James Ellingworth. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— SOC--WCUP-MOMENTS-ROSSI’S RETURN — Paulo Rossi springs to life in goal-scoring burst at 1982 World Cup in Spain. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 350 words, photos.
— Stories on selected World Cup teams.
AP Sports Extra: World Cup: A paginated preview of the World Cup is available in AP Newsroom by searching for “Sports Extra” under the Graphics tab. The tournament in Russia starts Thursday. The pages look at the top storylines, including Germany’s bid to repeat as champion and key players to watch. For questions, contact Barry Bedlan at email@example.com
NEW YORK — Bryce Harper plays at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2015 in a game between division leaders. CC Sabathia starts for New York against Tanner Roark of Washington. Daniel Murphy could make his season debut for the Nationals. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7:05 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Bartolo Colon is on the mound for the last-place Texas Rangers, with the 45-year-old tied with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most wins by a Dominican-born pitcher at 243. The Dodgers have won seven of 10 and are three games out of first in the NL West. By Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 10 p.m.
— STATEN ISLAND PIZZA RATS — Minor league team with august Yankees name rebrands as “Pizza Rats.” SENT: 140 words.
Toronto assistant Nick Nurse has agreed to become the next coach of the Toronto Raptors, the AP is told. He succeeds Dwane Casey, who was fired after Toronto was swept from the second round of the playoffs by Cleveland. Nurse worked under Casey the past five seasons. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 350 words, photos.
OAKLAND, Calif. — For the second straight year, throngs of fans decked out in gold and blue pack a parade route for a Warriors team many proclaim a dynasty. A sweep of Cleveland gave Golden State its third NBA championship in four years. SENT: 450 words, photos. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m.
— BKN--WARRIORS-PARADE-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.
WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals are celebrated with a parade down Constitution Avenue and a rally on the National Mall. It’s the first D.C. sports celebration of its kind since 1992 and the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in its 44-year history. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video by 5 p.m.
— HKN--CAPITALS-PARADE-THE LATEST — Real-time updates throughout day.
— HKN--SENATORS-ARREST — Ottawa assistant GM due in court, to miss part of NHL draft. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. SENT: 250 words.
PITTSBURGH — Antonio Brown says he skipped the final two weeks of team activities to spend time with family. The Steelers standout receiver adds it was not because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also bailed on the voluntary sessions. By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — It’s an intriguing mix of experience (Josh McCown), charisma (Teddy Bridgewater) and hype (Sam Darnold). This is how the battle for the Jets’ quarterback job will play out this summer. By Dennis Waszak Jr. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 7 p.m.
BEREA, Ohio — Josh Gordon has learned to appreciate life’s “little victories.” Sober for the longest period of his football career, the Browns’ talented wide receiver sees a new future as he tries to put more distance on his troubled past. By Tom Withers. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Bills offense will feature a new quarterback, new coordinator and revamped line. The one constant is LeSean McCoy’s role as Buffalo’s most dynamic threat even with the running back turning 30 next month. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
— Stories from selected NFL camps.
BBC--COLLEGE WORLD SERIES CAPSULES
A capsule look at the eight teams in the College World Series. By Eric Olson. SENT: 2,800 words, photos.
— BBC--CWS-NORTH CAROLINA-OFFENSE — Tar Heels, swinging big bats, back in CWS for first time since 2013. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 4 p.m.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Penny Hardaway knows exactly what Memphis fans demand, and the former NBA star feels he was born to coach this team right now. Hardaway, coaching for the first time, already has revived interest in his alma mater in less than three months on the job. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 850 words, photos.
BKL-AROUND THE WNBA
NEW YORK — The surging Connecticut Sun move to the top of the AP power poll. On any night, any of coach Curt Miller’s players can lead the team. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— TEN--STUTTGART OPEN — Two-time finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber loses in first round in Germany. SENT: 150 words.
— BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES
— BKL--WNBA CAPSULES
Tuesday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.
Washington at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.
Colorado at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.
San Francisco at Miami, 7:10 p.m.
Minnesota at Detroit, 7:10 p.m.
Toronto at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.
Houston at Oakland, 10:05 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Seattle, 10:10 p.m.
Texas at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Las Vegas at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Phoenix at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Chicago at Seattle, 10 p.m.
Atlanta at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.