- Associated Press
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

MLB

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Justin Wilson became the New York Yankees’ second left-handed reliever to get hurt during spring training, leaving Monday night’s exhibition against Philadelphia due to tightness in his pitching shoulder.


New York said Wilson will have an MRI on Tuesday.

Wilson replaced Darren O’Day at the start of the seventh inning with the Phillies leading 2-0, his fifth spring training appearance.

He allowed a single on a 2-0 pitch to Rhys Hoskins and a home run to right field on a 1-0 pitch to former Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius. Alec Bohm fouled off a pitch before Wilson threw four balls in a row. Wilson worked the count full with his seventh pitch to Odubel Herrera, then waved his arm toward the dugout to summon director of medical services Steve Donohue and Boone.

TORONTO (AP) - The Toronto Blue Jays say right-hander Kirby Yates will miss several weeks because of a strained muscle in his forearm.

Yates was expected to be Toronto’s closer after signing a $5.5 million, one-year deal in the offseason.

Yates last pitched Saturday against Philadelphia, striking out two in one scoreless inning. It was his second outing of the spring and his first since March 11.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota hired Ben Johnson as its new men’s basketball coach Monday, giving the former Gophers player and assistant a five-year contract - and favoring relationships over experience in the latest attempt to lift a long-middling program up to the top of the Big Ten.

Johnson will replace Richard Pitino, who was fired after eight seasons and then took the job at New Mexico. The 40-year-old Johnson, whose base salary will begin at $1.95 million, was on staff under Pitino with the Gophers for five seasons before spending the last three years at Xavier under Travis Steele. Pitino made $2 million annually, plus performance incentives.

TENNIS

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Former U.S Open champion Juan Martín del Potro will undergo another operation on his right knee this week, and said Monday he still hopes to play at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Argentine has been sidelined since hurting his knee in the first round at Queen’s Club in June 2019 and has already had three surgeries on the injury. He posted a message on Instagram saying he will have surgery again on Tuesday in Chicago.

SOCCER

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A contentious meeting between Japan and South Korea may feature European-based stars but a match of more significance in Asia involves Tajikistan hosting Mongolia on Thursday, marking the resumption of continental qualification for the 2022 World Cup after a gap of 16 months.

Under the original schedule, Asian qualifying should be into the third round with 12 teams competing for four automatic spots in Qatar.

But after numerous postponements because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still 40 teams contesting the second round.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic has unfinished business at the World Cup.

The striker has come out of international retirement at the age of 39 and is set to play his first match for Sweden since 2016 when the team plays a World Cup qualifier against Georgia in Stockholm on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic’s initial aim is to play for Sweden at the continent-wide European Championship starting in June but looming further in the distance is the World Cup in Qatar that takes place in November and December 2022 - when he will be 41.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) - Volunteers from abroad will not be allowed into Japan for the postponed Tokyo Olympics, organizers said Monday.

The announcement came two days after Tokyo organizers said they would ban international fans from coming into Japan. Both measures are aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Organizers said a limited number of volunteers might be allowed if they have special skills.

COURTS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The court-appointed lead lawyer for thousands of retired players suing the NFL pledged Monday to try to remove race as a factor in dementia testing, but lawyers for Black players demanded he release the data on payouts by race in the $1 billion concussion settlement.

They argue that Black men are being denied awards that average more than $500,000 because of testing methods that assume Black people have lower cognitive function than white people.

That makes it harder to show they’ve suffered neurological damage linked to NFL concussions.

Lawyers challenging the “race-norming” practice insist they need to be part of the latest round of mediation with the NFL to ensure fairness for Black players, who make up the majority of the 20,000-member class of retired players.

HOUSTON (AP) - Six more women on Monday filed lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and harassment, bringing the total number of such lawsuits against the NFL player to 13.

The claims in the six new suits, which were filed in a Harris County state district court, are similar those in the earlier cases.

All of the women who have sued Watson are either licensed massage therapists or worked in a spa or similar business.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, declined to comment Monday on the latest lawsuits filed against his client.

OBITUARY

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Elgin Baylor, the Lakers’ 11-time NBA All-Star who soared through the 1960s with a high-scoring style of basketball that became the model for the modern player, died Monday. He was 86.

The Lakers announced that Baylor died of natural causes in Los Angeles with his wife, Elaine, and daughter Krystal by his side.

With a silky-smooth jumper and fluid athleticism, Baylor played a major role in revolutionizing basketball from a ground-bound sport into an aerial show. He spent parts of 14 seasons with the Lakers in Minneapolis and Los Angeles during his Hall of Fame career,

Baylor averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds during his 14-year career. He scored a total of 23,149 points in 846 games, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in May 1977.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Joe Boylan, a popular radio voice for Rutgers basketball and a former coach when the team made its only Final Four appearance nearly a half-century ago, has died. He was 82.

Rutgers announced his death on Monday. Boylan had a stroke on Wednesday and died Sunday, the day the Scarlet Knights lost to Houston and ended their first NCAA Tournament in 30 years.

Boylan was in the sixth season of his second stint as the men’s color analyst for the Rutgers Sports Network. He previously served as associate head basketball coach of the Scarlet Knights from 1973-85, a span during which they made the Final Four under Tom Young in 1976.

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