Update on the latest sports
AP Interview: Manfred likes larger playoff, runner in extras
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says he hopes to keep two of this year’s innovations: expanded playoffs and starting extra innings with runners on second base.
Manfred also says the 30 teams combined for $3 billion in operating losses due the pandemic, which caused all 898 regular-season games to be played in empty ballparks without fans.
After opening day was delayed from March 26 to July 23, MLB and the players’ association agreed to expand the number of teams in the playoffs from 10 to 16. Manfred has previously advocated a future expansion of the playoffs to 14 teams.
MLB-WORLD SERIES Rays, Dodgers begin a one-of-a-kind World Series
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A World Series like no other opens tonight in Arlington, Texas, where the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays battle for the championship of a virus-shortened season played mostly in empty stadiums. Attendance will be limited to about 11,000 in the smallest crowd for a Series game in more than a century.
The Fall Classic will be played entirely on artificial turf for the first time since 1993, at new $1.2 billion Globe Life Field in Texas. Traditional postgame victory celebrations are banned.
This will be the first World Series entirely at one ballpark since 1944 between the Cardinals and Browns at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis — and the fourth overall. The Yankees and Giants shared New York’s Polo Grounds in 1921 and 1922.
While the World Series is being played at a neutral site, the Dodgers do have a field advantage. They have played 13 games at Globe Life Field this season. The Rays got a feel for the stadium for the first time during a workout Monday night. Los Angeles took two of of three in a series against the Texas Rangers in late August, and has played its last 10 games there. Los Angeles swept the San Diego Padres in three games in the NL Division Series before the seven-game NLCS over seven consecutive days last week.
MLB-WORLD SERIES-LINEUPS Rays, Dodgers set lineups for Game 1 of the World Series
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Cody Bellinger is in his normal spot in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bellinger is batting sixth and playing center field two days after knocking his right shoulder out of whack during his emphatic celebration after hitting a go-ahead homer in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
Tampa Bay first baseman Yandy Diaz is in the leadoff spot for the Rays against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. Right-hander Tyler Glasnow is pitching for Tampa Bay.
In roster moves, the Rays’ have added outfielder Brett Phillips and left-hander Ryan Sherriff. Right-hander Aaron Slegers and left-hander José Alvarado were dropped before Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Tampa Bay goes with 13 pitchers, one fewer than during the AL Championship Series against Houston, which was played on seven consecutive days. The World Series has off days after Games 2 and 5.
The Dodgers did not make any changes from their NL Championship Series roster against Atlanta. They will carry 15 pitchers and 13 position players.
MLB-WORLD SERIES-CENTER FIELDERS Achy center fielders say they are ready
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Both center fielders in the World Series say they are ready for Game 1. Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers knocked his right shoulder out of whack with an emphatic celebration after his go-ahead homer in the NLCS-clinching Game 7 victory. He says he’s feeling pretty good.
Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier is still dealing with a sore left wrist a week after getting hit by a 99 mile-an-hour fastball in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against Houston. The three-time Gold Glove winner returned to the starting lineup in Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday night.
Another World Series Game 1 start for Kershaw
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers have another chance to win a World Series for the first time since 1988. That was the year the 32-year-old ace lefty was born.
Kershaw has pitched in the final game of the season for the Dodgers six of the last seven years. None of those were followed by lifting the World Series trophy.
The three-time National League Cy Young Award winner is set to start Game 1 of the World Series for the third time in four years.
MLB-WORLD SERIES-FIELD ADVANTAGE?
Dodgers have played 13 games this season at World Series site
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — While the World Series is being played at a neutral site, the Dodgers do have a field advantage. They have played 13 games at Globe Life Field this season.
The Rays got a feel for the stadium for the first time during a workout Monday night.
Los Angeles took two of of three in a series against the Texas Rangers in late August, and has played its last 10 games there. Los Angeles swept the San Diego Padres in three games in the NL Division Series before the seven-game NLCS over seven consecutive days last week.
AP source: Ownership committee approves Mets sale to Cohen
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that the proposed purchase of 95% of the New York Mets by an entity of billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has been approved by Major League Baseball’s ownership committee.
Baseball’s executive council will consider the deal next and is expected to forward it for a vote by all owners. Final approval is likely to take place in the next month.
The sale values the franchise at $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion.
Pacers hire Bjorkgren as coach
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers have hired Nate Bjorkgren as their new coach. The decision ends a search that began Aug. 26 after the Pacers fired longtime coach Nate McMillan.
Bjorkgren spent the past two seasons as an assistant to Toronto coach Nick Nurse and was part of the Raptors 2018-19 title run. Bjorkgren also spent four seasons as Nurse’s assistant with the Iowa Energy of the G-League.
AP source: Tagovailoa replaces Fitzpatrick as Miami starter
MIAMI (AP) — A person familiar with the decision says Tua Tagovailoa will make his first NFL start next week for the Miami Dolphins, who are turning to him to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The person confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition on anonymity because the Dolphins hadn’t made an announcement.
The change by coach Brian Flores will come after the Dolphins’ bye this week and has been long anticipated. But the timing is surprising because the team won its past two games to improve to 3-3.
Tagovailoa will start at home against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 1.
In other NFL news:
— The Chicago Bears have signed former Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Teo to their practice squad. A 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist also known for his internet relationship with a person falsely posing as a woman stricken with leukemia, Teo has made 48 starts and 62 appearances over seven seasons with the then-San Diego Chargers (2013-16) and New Orleans Saints (2017-19). He has 307 tackles — 22 for loss — along with 13 pass breakups and two interceptions.
— The Los Angeles Rams have signed veteran kicker Kai Forbath from the Chicago Bears’ practice squad after a rocky start to the season for rookie Samuel Sloman. Los Angeles drafted Sloman in the seventh round out of Miami of Ohio, but he has missed three of his 18 extra-point attempts this season. The Rams kept Sloman on their active roster and placed linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo on injured reserve.
— The Panthers have placed starting safety Juston Burris and reserve wide receiver Keith Kirkwood on injured reserve and both will miss at least the next three games. Burris injured his ribs in Carolina’s 23-16 loss to the Bears on Sunday, while Kirkwood re-injured a shoulder that had kept him out of action the first five weeks. Burris had played almost every snap on defense this season prior to the injury and recorded 24 tackles, two passes defensed, and an interception that helped preserve Carolina’s win over the Falcons in Week 5.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE FOOTBALL
New Mexico-Colorado State game canceled
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — The Mountain West football game between New Mexico and Colorado State has been canceled due to COVID-19.
The Lobos were scheduled to play the Rams on Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado, but there’s a prevalence of the virus in the New Mexico county of Bernalillo. The league said in a statement released Tuesday that “in accordance with state guidelines, the University of New Mexico is unable to participate in the scheduled football game.” There is no plan to reschedule the game.
Elsewhere in college football:
— Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak seems to be contained. The 10th-ranked Gators reported four new positives since the middle of last week, when they postponed two games because of the novel coronavirus.