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Wednesday Sports in Brief

March 4, 2021 GMT

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone took a leave of absence from the team to get a pacemaker and intends to return to work in a few days.

The team said the procedure took place Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, and went as expected.

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza took over as acting manager for Wednesday night’s exhibition against Toronto in Tampa. The 41-year-old was a minor leaguer mostly with San Francisco and the Yankees from 1997-09 and is starting his 13th season working for the Yankees.

NFL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington will not have cheerleaders for the first time since the NFL’s longest-running cheerleading team was founded in 1962, with a coed dance team taking its place.

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The move is part of the organization’s rebranding effort and not related to a confidential settlement reached with members of the 2008 and 2010 cheerleading teams.

Former Laker Girl manager Petra Pope was hired Wednesday as an adviser to use her three-plus decades of NBA experience to revamp the group.

GOLF

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Detectives are looking at data from the “black box” of Tiger Woods’ SUV to get a clearer picture of what occurred during the Southern California rollover crash that seriously injured the golf star, authorities said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said traffic investigators executed a search warrant Monday to retrieve data from the device from the Genesis SUV that Woods was driving.

There was no immediate information regarding what was found in the black box, Deputy Trina Schrader said in a statement.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — The new president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee stopped short of saying there would be no foreign fans at this year’s games, but she certainly hinted at it Wednesday after online talks with IOC President Thomas Bach and others.

The Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported Wednesday that the decision had already been made to exclude foreign fans. It cited only unnamed sources “involved in the discussions.”

BEIJING (AP) — Calls for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on human rights grounds are “doomed to failure,” a Chinese government spokesperson said Wednesday, as lawmakers and political advisers began converging on China’s capital for the biggest annual gathering of the political calendar.

The spokesperson, Guo Weimin, also denounced speculation that Beijing was seeking diplomatic gains by providing COVID-19 vaccines and other global assistance to help fight the pandemic, saying China was only seeking to meet its international obligations in providing a public service.

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SOCCER

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Midfielder Sebastian Berhalter, the 19-year-old son of U.S. national team coach Gregg Berhalter, was acquired by Major League Soccer’s new expansion team in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday on a loan from Columbus in exchange for $50,000 in general allocation money.

Gregg Berhalter, a former U.S. defender, coached Columbus from 2013-18 before taking over the U.S. team.

Austin has the right to acquire Sebastian Berhalter on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

SWIMMING

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Cornel Marculescu, the executive director of swimming’s governing body FINA, resigned Wednesday after 35 years in charge in which the sport transformed its commercial appeal but was often troubled by doping.

A former Olympic water polo player for Romania, Marculescu took charge at FINA during the steroid-soaked 1980s, when East German swimmers dominated in the pool in what was later revealed to be a vast state-run doping scheme.

Over the following four decades, he helped introduce a wide range of often lucrative new events around the world in the various aquatic sports under FINA such as swimming, diving, artistic swimming and water polo.

COURTS

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former NFL player Kellen Winslow II was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in prison for multiple rapes and other sexual offenses against five women in Southern California, including one who was homeless when he attacked her in 2018.

The 37-year-old is the son of San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame receiver Kellen Winslow.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman said Winslow can only be described in “two words and that is a sexual predator.”

OBITUARY

BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Altobelli, the manager who led the Baltimore Orioles to their most recent World Series title in 1983, has died at the age of 88.

Altobelli was hired by the Orioles before the 1983 season — replacing future Hall of Famer Earl Weaver — and immediately found success. The team’s roster included future Hall of Famers like first baseman Eddie Murray, shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. and pitcher Jim Palmer.

The balanced club won the AL East by six games over the Detroit Tigers and went on to dominate in the playoffs, beating the Chicago White Sox before rolling to the World Series title over the Philadelphia Phillies in five games.

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