Tuesday Sports in Brief

The Associated Press
·7 min read

MLB

TORONTO (AP) -- All-Star outfielder George Springer became the most prominent among baseball's free agents to reach an agreement this offseason, a $150 million, six-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

It would be the largest contract in team history.

Springer, who turned 31 in September, is a three-time All-Star who has spent his entire seven-season career with Houston and was the World Series MVP when the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games for their first title in 2017. The championship was later tainted when it was discovered Houston illicitly stole signs that season.

Springer hit .265 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs during the shortened 2020 season.

- By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and Rob Gillies.

NEW YORK (AP) - New York Mets general manager Jared Porter was fired Tuesday after sending graphic, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 when he was working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office.

Mets owner Steve Cohen said Porter was fired Tuesday morning.

''We have terminated Jared Porter this morning,'' Cohen wrote on Twitter. ''In my initial press conference I spoke about the importance of integrity and I meant it. There should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior.''

The accusations against Porter were reported by ESPN on Monday night.

Porter sent dozens of unanswered texts to the woman, including a picture of ''an erect, naked penis,'' according to the report. ESPN said it obtained a copy of the text history.

New York hired the 41-year-old Porter last month. He agreed to a four-year contract after spending the past four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks as senior vice president and assistant general manager.

NFL

ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday named Terry Fontenot the team's first Black general manager, and team owner Arthur Blank said it's the kind of hire that will eventually also create more opportunities for NFL minority coaches.

The 40-year-old Fontenot joins Atlanta following 18 seasons with NFC South rival New Orleans.

Fontenot helped build a consistent winner as the Saints' vice president and assistant general manager in charge of pro personnel. The Falcons fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn following a 0-5 start this season, which led to a 4-12 finish, Atlanta's third consecutive losing season.

DETROIT (AP) - Brad Holmes was not even a candidate when the Detroit Lions began their search for a general manager nearly two months ago.

Holmes won the Lions over and landed a job he didn't dream of when his NFL career began as a public relations intern in 2003.

The Lions love Holmes' combination of leadership skills, intelligence and personality along with his collaborative approaches. Holmes' ability to use analytics to project which players will have success in the league particularly impressed the Lions.

NHL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The NHL postponed its first game since the league's season began, calling off Tuesday night's game between Carolina and the Predators hours after the Hurricanes won the first of a two-game set in Nashville.

''The decision was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,'' the league said.

The NHL did not specify which team prompted the postponement, though four Hurricanes players were added to the COVID-19 list Tuesday.

GOLF

Tiger Woods has suffered a setback with his back, disclosing Tuesday that he recently had a fifth surgery that will keep him from starting the year until after the West Coast Swing on the PGA Tour.

Woods will not play next week in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which he has won seven times, most recently in 2013. He also won the U.S. Open in 2008 at Torrey Pines, which hosts the U.S. Open again in June.

He also will miss the Genesis Invitational on Feb. 18-21 at Riviera, where he serves as tournament host.

AUTO RACING

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Beth Paretta has a vision for her new IndyCar team.

She wants to send the first female driver to victory lane at the Indianapolis 500 with the support of a predominantly female cast. And then Paretta hopes to turn it into a full-time pipeline for women in racing.

On Tuesday, she announced the formation of Paretta Autosport and the intention to run this May at Indianapolis. Additional races could be added later this year, she said, with the hope of competing in every IndyCar race next season.

WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Olivia Nelson-Ododa led a balanced attack with 18 points and No. 3 UConn, playing for the first time in 10 days, routed Butler 103-35 on Tuesday night.

The win was coach Geno Auriemma's 1,099th at UConn, moving him past late Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, into second place on the all-time list just two days before the Huskies visit Knoxville to take on the Lady Vols.

SOCCER

MADRID (AP) - Lionel Messi avoided a tougher sanction and was suspended for only two matches on Tuesday after hitting an opponent in an incident away from the ball in the Spanish Super Cup final.

The Barcelona forward was facing a suspension of up to 12 matches for swinging his arm at an Athletic Bilbao player at the end of the team's 3-2 loss on Sunday. The Spanish soccer federation's competition committee did not deem the incident to be too serious and applied a less severe penalty. The committee also fined the club 700 euros ($845) and Messi 600 euros ($725).

Barcelona said it would appeal Messi's suspension.

ATLANTA (AP) - Paul McDonough has returned to Atlanta United as vice president of soccer operations.

The MLS team announced the rehiring of McDonough on Tuesday after he spent two years as Inter Miami's sporting director.

McDonough returns to the role he held in Atlanta from 2016-18, becoming a key player in the club's dynamic entry into MLS.

United set numerous attendance records and captured the MLS Cup championship in just its second season in 2018.

LONDON (AP) - Norway's appearance record holder, Hege Riise, will temporarily take over as coach of the England women's national soccer team following Phil Neville's departure.

Riise will lead England's February camp but the team is still without opposition to play due to the travel complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Riise is stepping up having already been due to work as an assistant coach at England alongside former Canada player Rhian Wilkinson until Sarina Wiegman takes charge of the 2019 World Cup semifinalists in September.

OBITUARY

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Don Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher who was a stalwart of the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation spanning an era from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela, died Tuesday. He was 75.

The Baseball Hall of Fame said Sutton died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a long struggle with cancer. The Atlanta Braves, for whom Sutton was a long-time broadcaster, said he died in his sleep.

A four-time All-Star, Sutton had a career record of 324-256 and an ERA of 3.26 while pitching for the Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, California Angels and the Dodgers again in 1988, his final season.

The durable Sutton never missed a turn in the rotation in 756 big league starts.

ATLANTA (AP) - Former BYU and Kennesaw State coach Tony Ingle has died at 68 from COVID-19 complications.

Ingle failed to win a game in his tenure as BYU's interim coach but went on to capture lower-division national championships at two Georgia colleges,

His son, Izzy Ingle, says his father had been placed on a ventilator Jan. 8 after contracting the coronavirus.

Ingle went 0-19 as interim coach at BYU during the 1996-97 season. He won the NCAA Division II national championship at Kennesaw State in 2004 and an NAIA title at Dalton State in 2015. He retired from coaching in 2018.

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