Wednesday Sports in Brief
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) — Jim Bouton, the former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the conservative baseball world with the tell-all book “Ball Four,” has died. He was 80.
Bouton’s family said he died at the Great Barrington home he shared with wife Paula Kurman. He fought a brain disease linked to dementia and was in hospice care. Bouton also had two strokes in 2012.
Published in 1970, “Ball Four” detailed Yankees great Mickey Mantle’s carousing, and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. Bouton’s revealing look at baseball off the field made for eye-opening and entertaining reading, but he paid a big price for the best-seller when former teammates and players and executives across baseball ostracized him for exposing their secrets. He wasn’t invited to the Yankees’ Old-Timers’ Day until 1998
YORK, Pa. (AP) — “Robot umpires” have arrived.
The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar.
He crouched in his normal position behind the catcher and signaled balls and strikes.
It didn’t appear deBrauwere had any delay receiving the calls at first but players noticed a delay at times. Infielder L.J. Mazzilli said a few times hitters who struck out lingered an extra second or so in the batter’s box waiting on a called third strike.
The umpires have the ability to override the computer, which considers a pitch a strike when the ball bounces and then crosses the zone. TrackMan also does not evaluate check swings.
CHICAGO (AP) — Work crews have begun extending the protective netting to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field, a step the Chicago White Sox are taking following a couple of high-profile injuries this season.
The White Sox say the the netting will be in place when the team returns home July 22 to host the Miami Marlins.
The White Sox are the first major league team to take the step after a liner by Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a 4-year-old girl in Houston in May. A woman was hit by a foul ball off the bat of White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez in Chicago on June 10.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has said extending protective netting down foul lines is a ballpark-to-ballpark decision because of differing configurations.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. women’s national soccer team celebrated its Women’s World Cup victory on both coasts, honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City before jetting to the West Coast and collecting trophies at The ESPYS in the evening.
Alex Morgan won female athlete of the year and shared the best team award with her soccer mates.
As she got up from the front row, Megan Rapinoe’s black tuxedo jacket opened and exposed her left breast, which was caught by cameras showing the in-house feed of the show. An ABC spokesperson said the show would be further edited for the Mountain and Western time zones.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks won male athlete of the year at the show honoring the past year’s top athletes and moments in sports.
Comedian Tracy Morgan presided over the show at Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
NEW YORK (AP) — Adoring fans packed New York City’s Canyon of Heroes amid a blizzard of confetti to praise the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s national soccer team as leaders on the field and advocates for pay equity off it.
Crowds chanted “USA! USA!” and workers sounded air horns from a construction site as the hourlong parade moved up a stretch of lower Broadway that has long hosted so-called ticker tape parades for world leaders, veterans and hometown sports stars.
Co-captain Megan Rapinoe and her teammates shared a float with Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro. Rapinoe struck her now-famous victory pose, took a swig of Champagne and handed the bottle to a fan. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher held the World Cup trophy aloft.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are now officially with the Los Angeles Clippers, moves that bring both of them back to their native Southern California.
It might not be forever: Both can become free agents in only two years.
The Clippers completed their blockbuster trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, acquiring George for guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and five first-round draft picks — along with the chance to swap draft places in two other years.
George can become a free agent again in 2021 if he chooses to exercise that option, and Leonard will be in the same situation as well. A person with knowledge of the situation said that the deal Leonard signed is a three-year max that could be worth nearly $110 million, though the third season is at Leonard’s option.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has charged North Carolina State with four violations, accusing a former assistant coach of providing payments and benefits connected to the recruitment of one-and-done basketball player Dennis Smith Jr.
The school said its notice of allegations was received Tuesday, and now has 90 days to respond.
The notice includes four serious charges, with two that are potential top-level charges. The NCAA alleges that from 2014-17, former assistant Orlando Early provided Smith and his associates approximately $46,700 in impermissible inducements and benefits — including $40,000 that a government witness testified he delivered to Early intended for Smith’s family in 2015.
The NCAA also said former coach Mark Gottfried, now coaching at Cal State Northridge, was “presumed responsible” and “did not demonstrate” that he monitored Early for compliance. It also accuses Gottfried of failing to monitor the program’s pass list, leading to a total 164 impermissible complimentary admissions to games.
Former Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth says on social media that he needs a kidney transplant.
The 38-year-old Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he’s been battling kidney disease for a few years. He shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed and wrote that his kidneys failed him Sunday and he’s looking for a donor.
Haynesworth added that he’s “in dire need of a kidney.”
Haynesworth played 10 seasons in the NFL. He spent his first seven seasons with the Titans, who selected him No. 15 overall in the 2002 draft out of the University of Tennessee. Haynesworth also played for Washington (2009-10), New England (2011) and Tampa Bay (2011).
He was selected as an All-Pro after the 2007 and 2008 seasons and had 30½ sacks in 123 games.
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