Thursday’s Sports in Brief
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Already seven months behind schedule because of the pandemic, the most unusual Masters was 30 minutes old when the silence was interrupted by a rumble down by Amen Corner.
No roars this week. Just thunder. And then a weather delay of nearly three hours.
All that, and it was still worth the wait.
Paul Casey matched his lowest score at the Masters with a 7-under 65, giving him a two-shot lead among half the field fortunate to play in perfect scoring conditions. Tiger Woods matched his lowest start, a 68, and kept a bogey-free card in a major for the first time in 11 years.
NEW YORK (AP) — Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman easily won the NL MVP award, topping off a trying year that saw him become so ill with COVID-19 he prayed “please don’t take me.”
Chicago White Sox slugger José Abreu earned the AL MVP, a reward for powering his team back into the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Freeman got 28 of the 30 first-place ballots in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts got the other two firsts to finish second and San Diego third baseman Manny Machado was third.
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox are sticking with new manager Tony La Russa for now, saying they understand the “seriousness” of his latest drunken driving case and will have more to say once it plays out in court.
“Tony deserves all the assumptions and protections granted to everyone in a court of law, especially while this is a pending matter,” the team said in a statement. “Once his case reaches resolution in the courts, we will have more to say. The White Sox understand the seriousness of these charges.”
La Russa, a Hall of Fame manager who won a World Series with Oakland and two more with St. Louis, blew out a tire on the grey Lexus he was driving in a collision with a curb that left the vehicle smoking when he was arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in February, according to an affidavit filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The case was filed on Oct. 28 — one day before his hiring — after tests taken the night of his arrest showed his blood alcohol concentration was .095 — above the legal limit of .08. He has pleaded not guilty.
The White Sox were aware of the case when they hired him. They initially declined comment Monday, saying it was “an active case.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Philip Rivers threw for 308 yards and a touchdown, and Nyheim Hines scored twice as the Indianapolis Colts beat the Tennessee Titans 34-17 to grab the head-to-head edge atop the AFC South.
The Colts (6-3) will host the rematch in Indianapolis on Nov. 29 after helping coach Frank Reich improve to 4-1 against Titans coach Mike Vrabel. Indianapolis now is 14-5 at Nissan Stadium.
Indianapolis came in with the NFL’s best defense in terms of fewest yards allowed. The Colts smothered a Tennessee offense that had been averaging 384.6 yards a game, 10th-best in the NFL, and seventh-best averaging 29 points a game. E.J. Speed also blocked a punt that T.J. Carrie returned 6 yards for a TD late in the third quarter.
The Ivy League became the first Division I conference this year to cancel all winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball.
The decision came 13 days before the scheduled start of the college basketball season. The league had decided this past summer, when it canceled fall sports, not to allow any of its sports to start play before early December.
Coaches were informed of the news on video conference calls Thursday evening
The league was the first conference to scrap its postseason basketball tournament last March. That preceded a cascade of cancellations. All major college and professional sports were halted within days.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — John Schlarman, the Kentucky offensive line coach who was an All-Southeastern Conference player for the Wildcats, has died after a two-year fight with cancer. He was 45.
The school announced Schlarman’s death from cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer, in a news release after being notified by his wife.
Schlarman was diagnosed in the summer of 2018 but continued to coach through treatments and had become an inspiration in the community.
He was most recently on the sideline for Kentucky’s 34-7 upset at then-No. 18 Tennessee on Oct. 17. Coach Mark Stoops awarded him a game ball after the emotional victory and said in the news release that he was heartbroken to learn of his friend’s passing.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer for 13 Black former Iowa football players announced that he has filed a lawsuit alleging his clients suffered racial discrimination under longtime coach Kirk Ferentz.
The plaintiffs, including former star running back Akrum Wadley and career receptions leader Kevonte Martin-Manley, suffered “serious and pervasive discriminatory treatment and harassment,” according to a press release from attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons.
They allege they were demeaned with racial slurs, forced to abandon Black hairstyles, fashion and culture to fit the “Iowa Way” promoted by Ferentz, and retaliated against for speaking out, the press release said.
Gio Reyna followed his father and mother onto U.S. national soccer teams, showing an insightful passing ability similar to his dad’s, and the Americans tied Wales 0-0 in an exhibition at Swansea on Thursday night.
The match ended a 10-month layoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Reyna, who has gotten regular playing time at Borussia Dortmund, debuted a day before his 18th birthday and his distribution keyed the U.S. attack, much the way former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna did for many of his 112 appearances from 1994 to 2006.
Gio’s mother, the former Danielle Egan, played six matches for the American women in 1993 and married Claudio in 1997.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Neymar has been ruled out of Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Uruguay next week because of a groin injury he sustained playing for Paris-Saint-Germain in a Champions League game.
Brazil’s soccer confederation confirmed Neymar will not play in the South American qualifying match on Tuesday in Montevideo.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel last week said it would be “impossible” for Neymar to play for Brazil as he recovered from the injury, but Brazil coach Tite insisted that the striker travel.
Neymar had already been ruled out of Friday’s game against Venezuela.