AP NEWS

Wednesday’s Sports in Brief

February 28, 2019

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players and management appear headed to early labor negotiations that could lead to significant economic changes in the collective bargaining agreement and possibly a new deal past the current expiration of December 2021.

Management backed off its desire for a pitch clock this year in a proposal to the players’ association on Tuesday, putting off most on-field changes to 2020 at the earliest. The union quickly made a counteroffer, and the biggest alterations still being discussed for this year are a single trade deadline, most likely on July 31, and lowering the number of mound visits without a pitching change from six to five.

PRO FOOTBALL

MONTREAL (AP) — Johnny Manziel’s time in the Canadian Football League is over.

The CFL terminated the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner’s contract with the Montreal Alouettes. The league also informed the eight other teams that it wouldn’t register a contract for Manziel if any tried to sign him.

The league said Manziel had violated an agreement that made him eligible to play in the CFL.

“We advised Montreal that Johnny had violated one of the conditions we had set for him to be in our league. And Montreal announced his release today,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in Vancouver. “We didn’t release the terms of those conditions then and we’re not going to do that now. We’re trying to do what we believe is in the best interests of the entire league. The conditions we set, we thought were the right ones. Those conditions have been violated and we feel it’s best, and Montreal feels its best, to let Johnny move on. And we think it’s best for our league that he do the same. And we wish him well.”

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert insists he would gladly welcome back Antonio Brown next season. If things don’t work out, Colbert has a plan for that, too.

Colbert addressed the rampant rumors about Brown’s future by saying he would only trade the Steelers’ star receiver if he gets equal value in return — and preferably to a team outside the AFC North.

“Ideally, you’d want to trade him to somebody you’ll never play but that can’t happen because if you’re good enough to get to the Super Bowl you’ll have to play him anyway,” Colbert said while answering a hypothetical question. “The less you would play him the better. But if a team you play twice a year comes through with the best compensation, you have to weigh that into the discussions. We haven’t ruled out anybody.”

What Colbert has ruled out is giving away one of the league’s top playmakers at a bargain price — even as some believe Brown’s price has continued to drop as he lobbies for a trade. Just last week, after Brown met with Steelers president Art Rooney II, Brown wrote on Twitter that the two agreed it was time to part ways.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nick Foles rejuvenated his career in Philadelphia. Now he wants to turn his success into an NFL starting job — and the Eagles intend to give him that chance.

General manager Howie Roseman told reporters that the franchise will not use the franchise tag on Foles, making him a free agent.

Roseman said the Eagles agreed to make the move after Foles expressed his desire during a recent meeting.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has suspended coach Fran McCaffery for two games for yelling at an official in a hallway heading to the locker room following Tuesday’s loss at Ohio State.

Hawkeyes athletic director Gary Barta announced the move on Wednesday, which will sideline McCaffery for upcoming games against Rutgers and Wisconsin. The Big Ten says it supports McCaffery’s suspension, and it tacked on a $10,000 fine for the university along with a public reprimand.

Barta called McCaffery’s comments “unacceptable,” adding that they didn’t represent the values of the school.

SOCCER

CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Alex Morgan scored her 99th international goal, but Yuka Momiki responded with a stoppage-time equalizer and Japan tied the United States 2-2 in the SheBelieves Cup tuneup tournament for the Women’s World Cup.

Megan Rapinoe also scored for the Americans in a rematch of the last two Women’s World Cup finals.

Emi Nakajima scored in the 67th minute for eighth-ranked Japan after a poor clearance from Tierna Davidson, and Morgan chested home the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute off a pass from Christen Press — a minute after Press entered the game. But Momiki stunned the crowd with a 91st-minute goal from close range.

The match was part of the opening day of the round-robin tournament that features four of the world’s top 10 teams. England beat Brazil 2-1 in the first game of the doubleheader at Talen Energy Stadium, home of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.

TENNIS

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Rafael Nadal tumbled out of the Mexican Open, squandering three match points in a 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6) loss to Australia’s Nick Kyrgios.

Playing his first event since losing to Novak Djokovic in late January in the Australian Open final, the top-seeded Nadal dropped the first two match points on Kyrgios’ serve and the last one on his own first serve.

Nadal won in Acapulco in 2005 and 2013. On Tuesday night, the second-ranked Spanish star opened play with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Mischa Zverev.

Kyrgios set up a quarterfinal match against Stan Wawrinka, a 7-6 (5), 6-4 winner over seventh-seeded Steve Johnson in the hardcourt event at The Princess Mundo Imperial.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Roger Federer maintained his perfect record against Fernando Verdasco to reach the Dubai Championships quarterfinals, while top-seeded Kei Nishikori was eliminated.

Federer converted his first match point when Verdasco sent a forehand wide, finishing off a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win that improved his record against the Spaniard to 7-0. Nishikori, though, lost 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 against Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

This was win No. 50 for Federer in Dubai, having won the tournament seven times.

___

https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.