- Associated Press
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - When the Yankees and Red Sox play later this month they will have names on the back of their jersey. All Rise, Sir Didi, Kraken and Toddfather should suit up for New York. Benny, 2-Bags, Brock Star and Laser Show could be in Boston’s lineup.


Major League Baseball and the players’ association said that players will wear colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth league uniforms during games from Aug. 25-27. Players can choose nicknames for the backs of their jerseys as part of the “Players Weekend” promotion.

Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Todd Frazier and the Yankees , home against Seattle that weekend, don’t have had names on the backs of their jerseys; the Red Sox and San Francisco don’t have names on their home shirts.

Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, Dustin Pedroia and Boston host Baltimore that weekend while the Giants are at Arizona . There will be a patch on the right sleeve with space for each player to write a name of a person or organization that helped his development.

Players also can use uniquely colored bats, spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher’s masks. They also will have caps and socks with special designs and can wear T-shirts promoting charities or causes during pregame workouts and postgame interviews.

The special equipment also will be used by Pittsburgh and St. Louis on Aug. 20 when they play at a minor league park in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, site of the Little League World Series.

Game-worn jerseys will be auctioned on MLB.com and the money raises will go to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The Brooklyn Nets will travel to Mexico City in December for two regular-season games as part of the 25th anniversary of the first NBA game in Mexico.

The league announced that the Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder will play in Mexico City on Dec. 7. The Nets will play the Miami Heat on Dec. 9. Both games will be in Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

It’s all part of the NBA’s emphasis on expanding the popularity of basketball in Mexico. Last season, the Phoenix Suns played the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City. The league has played 26 times in Mexico dating back to 1992, the most games held in any country outside of the U.S. and Canada.

The games will be televised on ESPN.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL will hire up to 24 full-time game officials.

The league will begin hiring between 21 and 24 full-time officials from among the current roster of 124 officials for this season.

“We believe this is a great development for NFL officiating overall and ultimately the quality of our game,” said NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent. “We share a common goal, which is to make our game as great as it can possibly be, and look forward to working together on this new effort.”

Full-time officials will be hired at each of the seven officiating positions and may serve on each of the 17 officiating crews. They will work collaboratively with their assigned crews, the league officiating staff and the NFL’s football-related committees during the offseason.

“NFL officials are always looking to improve, and we believe that additional time, particularly in the offseason, will be positive,” said NFL Referees Association executive director Scott Green. “We’re looking forward to working together with the league on this effort.”

HOCKEY

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The NHL’s Dallas Stars have become the first Texas professional sports franchise to officially oppose a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.

Team President James Lites said in a statement that the Stars are “strongly opposed to any legislation perceived as discriminatory.”

The NFL and NBA have previously joined dozens of powerful businesses in opposing a proposal requiring transgender Texans to use public restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.

Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature failed to pass the bill during a legislative session that ended in May. Gov. Greg Abbott convened a special session to revive the issue, but it looks unlikely to pass before that ends next week.

A similar law in North Carolina sparked national uproar and costly boycotts before lawmakers rolled back much of it.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Former Mississippi coach Houston Nutt’s civil lawsuit against the school and its athletics foundation has been dismissed by a federal judge.

The one-page filing said the federal court “lacks jurisdiction under the pleadings as presented” and the suit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers.

Nutt filed the lawsuit against Ole Miss in July during Southeastern Conference Media Days. The Rebels’ former coach - who led the program from 2008 to ‘11 - was alleging a breach of his severance agreement because of false statements he says school officials made during an ongoing NCAA investigation.

The lawsuit alleged then-Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and other school officials created a “false narrative” in an effort to place primary blame on Nutt for the NCAA investigation instead of Freeze.

TENNIS

MONTREAL (AP) - Top-seeded Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer cruised to easy victories in their opening matches at the Rogers Cup.

Nadal breezed past Borna Coric of Croatia 6-1, 6-2 to advance to the third round, while Federer routed Canadian Peter Polansky, 6-2, 6-1 in 53 minutes.

Nadal, a three-time Rogers Cup winner who is back in the hunt for the No. 1 ranking after winning his 10th French Open title this year, will play Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, who downed 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin De Potro 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a second-round match on a gusty afternoon.

The 18-year-old Shapovalov became the youngest player to reach the round of 16 of a Master Series tournament since Nadal in 2004 at Miami.

Federer, a two-time Rogers Cup champion ranked third in the world, played his first match of the hardcourt season that leads to the U.S. Open.

LONDON (AP) - Andy Murray has pulled out of next week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati because of an ongoing hip injury.

The top-ranked Murray has not played since his Wimbledon quarterfinal loss to Sam Querrey on July 12.

Murray said in a post on his Facebook page that he is working hard to be fit for the U.S. Open, which starts on Aug. 28.

AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - William Byron will replace Kasey Kahne next season at Hendrick Motorsports, the latest teenager to earn a promotion to NASCAR’s top level.

The 19-year-old Byron will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet in the Cup series. Kahne and Hendrick announced their split earlier this week. Byron will be sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems and Liberty University.

Byron is in his first season in the Xfinity Series, and has victories at Iowa, Daytona and Indianapolis. He will be teammates next season with Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman.

NASCAR is rapidly changing, with Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and, in a matter of months, Dale Earnhardt Jr. all retiring. Former champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch are among those unsigned for next season. Kahne was bounced earlier this week with a year remaining on his contract - and just weeks after he won at Indianapolis.


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