Thursday’s Sports in Brief
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed practice with a right hand injury a day after being limited by the same issue as New England prepared for its AFC championship game matchup with Jacksonville.
Brady was present and wore a glove on the injured hand during the stretching portion of practice open to reporters. But he was listed as a non-participant on the injury report. He usually only wears a glove on his non-throwing hand.
His scheduled news conference was also postponed until Friday.
Brady appeared on the Patriots’ weekly injury report several times during the latter half of the regular season with both an Achilles tendon and left shoulder injury. But the 40-year-old has never missed a playoff start during his 18-year career. He hasn’t missed any start because of an injury since he sat out the final 15 games of the 2008 season with a knee injury.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — U.S. Olympian McKayla Maroney said being sexually assaulted by a Michigan sports doctor who molested her and other gymnasts scarred her mind in ways that may never heal.
Dr. Larry Nassar won’t be sentenced until next week to accommodate the many victims who want to speak. Since Tuesday, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina has listened to more than 60 who were molested after seeking his help for injuries, including a statement from Maroney that was read by a prosecutor.
“Dr. Nassar was not a doctor,” said the 2012 Olympic gold and silver medalist. “He left scars on my psyche that may never go away.”
USA Gymnastics in 2016 reached a financial settlement with Maroney that barred her from making disparaging remarks. But the organization this week said it would not seek any money for her “brave statements.”
As the hearing was happening, USA Gymnastics announced that it was ending its long relationship with the Karolyi Ranch, the Huntsville, Texas, home of former national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband, Bela. The announcement came three days after Olympic champion Simone Biles expressed dismay at having to attend camps there, where she says Nassar sexually abused her.
NEW YORK (AP) — The players’ association rejected Major League Baseball’s proposal to institute 20-second pitch clocks and limits on mound visits, a move that dares management to unilaterally impose the changes designed to speed pace of games.
Union head Tony Clark and deputy general counsel Matt Nussbaum informed MLB of the decision during a telephone call to deputy commissioner Dan Halem, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
Management has the right to implement the rules changes it proposed last year. Under baseball’s labor contract, management can change on-field rules on its own with one season of advance notice.
MLB does not intend to make any decision before its next owners’ meetings, scheduled for Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 in Beverly Hills, California. Spring training games start Feb. 23 and the season opens March 29.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield says one of his top priorities as he prepares for the NFL draft is to allay concerns about his character.
“People will have their guesses and their opinions on my character, but anyone that’s actually sat down and talked to me knows that I don’t have any character issues, any off-the-field issues,” Mayfield said during a conference call after being selected the 2017 Manning Award winner.
Mayfield, who passed for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns, is the first Sooner and first former walk-on to win the Manning Award, which is given to the nation’s top college quarterback. It is the only award to consider postseason performances in voting by a national media panel as well as Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.
Mayfield also won the Heisman Trophy this season. And after racking up prestigious accolades for his performances during live snaps, Mayfield said he’s eager to meet with NFL coaches and front-office personnel and explain why some of his antics after the whistle and his behavior off the field won’t be an issue going forward.
The original “GoDaddy Girl” is back with sponsorship intact to push forward with her “Danica Double.”
Danica Patrick has secured the money needed to race in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. Now she just needs to find the rides to get her back on racing’s two biggest stages. GoDaddy reunited with Patrick on Thursday for the final two races of her career, even though she still has to close deals with teams to make it happen.
She’s not worried about pulling it off, either.
“Power of positive thinking,” she told The Associated Press from Scottsdale, Arizona.
Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career at Daytona and Indy, but still doesn’t have rides. Yet Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. When talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about seats for both races, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons late last month and asked about a reunion.
The Washington Spirit selected midfielder Andi Sullivan out of Stanford with the first pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft. Draft day also featured a high-profile three-team trade involving U.S. national team star Carli Lloyd.
A person familiar with the deal said Sky Blue FC acquired Lloyd in a trade that sent Christen Press to the Houston Dash and Australian Sam Kerr to the Chicago Red Stars. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced.
The deal sends Lloyd, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, to her home state, New Jersey. She played three seasons in Houston.
Lloyd’s move was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Other details about the deal were not released, but on Thursday night Dash forward Janine Beckie went to Twitter to say she was headed for Sky Blue.