Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are the clear Hart Trophy favourites. Can their individual wonders raise the entire league’s profile in this shortened season?
Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews are the clear Hart Trophy favourites. Can their individual wonders raise the entire league’s profile in this shortened season?
These five women are atop their field in broadcast media, and will take the air for the March 24 Toronto Raptors-Denver Nuggets game.
The league will undergo a two-day playoffs, with the Isobel Cup awarded on March 27.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Newfoundland and Labrador skip Greg Smith was open to anything with his rink down 7-1 to Nova Scotia at the Brier.
Rickard Rakell is relevant again, Marcus Foligno is crushing the competition, and other players to target this week in fantasy hockey.
Though two players were forced out of the game due to potential exposure, the NBA said nobody at the All-Star Game tested positive for COVID-19.
Maya Brady, playing for softball powerhouse UCLA, was the nation's freshman of the year in 2020.
It could be a historic week in the Champions League, while a bitter rivalry is renewed again in the Premier League.
The record streak came to an end on Monday.
A Romanian soccer referee was suspended for the season after making “inappropriate” comments about a Black coach at a Champions League game.
Washington Capitals forward Tim Wilson was justifiably suspended seven games for a malicious, and partly disguised, hit on Brandon Carlo.
In the NFL, you either have a franchise QB or you don't. Dallas does, yet Jerry Jones doesn't seem motivated to keep him around long-term.
TORONTO — Former Montreal Expos utility player Casey Candaele is the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays' top minor-league affiliate. The Blue Jays named Candaele the manager of the triple-A Buffalo Bisons on Monday. Candaele began a nine-year major-league playing career with the Expos in 1986. Candaele managed lower-level Blue Jays minor league teams in Dunedin, Fla., and Vancouver in 2018 and '19 before earning the promotion to Buffalo. Candaele replaces Ken Huckaby, who was named Buffalo's manager for the 2020 but never worked a game as the minor-league season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other Blue Jays minor-league managers this year will be Cesar Martin (double-A New Hampshire), Donnie Murphy (high-A Vancouver), Luis Hurtado (low-A Dunedin), Brent Lavallee (Gulf Coast), and Dane Fujinaka (Dominican Summer League). This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
Canadian pitcher Rheal Cormier, who spent 16 years in the major leagues, has died after a battle with cancer. The native of Moncton, N.B., was 53. The Philadelphia Phillies confirmed his death. A sixth-round pick by the St. Louis in 1988, Cormier broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals three years later. After being traded to Boston, Cormier was shipped to the Montreal Expos in 1996. Cormier spent two years with Montreal before finishing his major-league career with Boston, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. In 683 major-league games, Cormier was 71-64 with a 4.03 earned-run average. Cormier's best year was 2003 with Philadelphia when he was 8-0 as a reliever with a 1.70 ERA Cormier also represented Canada at the 1987 Pan American Games, the 1988 Olympics and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
"That’s pretty amazing that he is thinking of me when he’s in his tough times that he’s going through right now."
Stoops, 60, was the head coach at Oklahoma from 1999 until he announced his retirement in June 2017.
LONDON — Jorginho’s penalty and Ben Godfrey's own goal gave Chelsea a 2-0 English Premier League win over Everton, extending new manager Thomas Tuchel's unbeaten start to 11 matches and a ninth clean sheet on Monday. The revival since Frank Lampard's firing in January has tightened the west London club's grip on fourth place and the final Champions League spot. Everton still has a game in hand on Chelsea, but the Merseyside club trails Tuchel’s side by four points. Chelsea's Kai Havertz impressed throughout the first half in the false nine role, and was unlucky to have the opening goal taken away from him. Havertz’s diversion of Marcos Alonso’s cross outfoxed goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and looked to be heading for the corner of the goal, before Godfrey’s intervention sent the ball crashing into the other side of the net in the 31st minute. Callum Hudson-Odoi deserved just as much credit as anyone else for the goal. The 20-year-old winger jinked one way then the other, dropped off his marker Mason Holgate, and collected a pass from Kurt Zouma. Spinning on his heel to face the goal, Hudson-Odoi then threaded the perfect throughball for the onrushing Alonso. The left back’s cross set the goal in motion, but Hudson-Odoi’s stunning movement and precision passing had unlocked an otherwise tight Everton defence. Alonso should have doubled Chelsea’s lead before halftime, having raced clear in latching onto Mateo Kovacic’s fine ball over the top of the Everton defence. Alonso's shot took a slight deflection which reduced the power, and allowed Pickford to palm the ball just around his far post. Tuchel spent much of the half screaming at Reece James to tuck in off the right flank when the play was on the left wing. Tuchel was determined to see James attack with more aggression on the ball, and eventually called James and Havertz over to detail his instructions on a notepad. Havertz had the ball in the net again, shortly after the interval. The lively forward was also denied a goal, however, as a neat finish was ruled out for handball. Chelsea did not have to wait long for their second goal though, and Havertz was involved once more. The former Bayer Leverkusen foward latched onto Kovacic’s raking throughball in the Everton penalty area, and was brought down by Pickford. Jorginho stepped up to the penalty spot and delivered his trademark skip-step finish, sending the frustrated Pickford the wrong way in in the 65th minute. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Entering its third season, the Canadian Premier League has demonstrated there is an appetite for a domestic soccer circuit. Two-time champion Forge FC has done the CPL proud in CONCACAF club play. Atletico Ottawa joined last year, an addition all the more remarkable in that the expansion franchise arrived during a pandemic. Some 10 CPL players — 11 if you include CF Montreal defender Karifa Yao, who has been loaned to Calgary's Cavalry FC — were named in Canada's provisional men's roster for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. CPL talent has made the jump to Major League Soccer and abroad. The eight-team league has shown plenty. What it hasn't done is lift the curtain on its finances. Until now. The CPL is sharing some of its financial data for the 2021 season, saying it's time for more transparency. "It needs to be done," commissioner David Clanachan said in an interview. With media and supporters clamouring for such information, Clanachan said the decision was made to share numbers to get the accurate information out there. The league says this season each team will operate with a $1.2-million salary cap, which covers both players and coaching/technical staff. Player spending must fall between $650,000 and $850,000 while the coach/technical range is between $350,000 and $550,000. Combined, the two must fall under $1.2 million. The cap includes salaries, housing and travel allowances and individual player bonuses but not "league or club accomplishment bonuses." The league says, on average, the salary cap accounts for some 57 per cent of team revenue — and could reach some 70 per cent factoring in bonuses. The league says, on average, it takes more $4 million a year to run a CPL team. Asked when the league might make a profit, Clanachan replied "We're not there yet, that's for sure. We're going to be a few years into it." "Our owners know that. They've invested circa $60 million already in this league. We're in a long-term game here." The league says the salary cap is the same as it was last year, because of the shortened season in 2020. The plan is to raise it in 2022. The decision to share some of the financial figures comes at a time when CPL players are trying to form a union. Last April, some 90 per cent of the players in the league signed on during the association's organizing drive. The Professional Footballers Association Canada (PFACan) was accepted last month as a candidate member by FIFPRO, which represents more than 65,000 professional men's and women's players across 65 affiliated national player associations. PFACan will have to serve two years as a candidate member before becoming a full member of FIFPRO, which recognizes one player association per country. PFACan has complained about the league's lack of transparency with regards player pay. Other complaints include the league adopting new rules and not publicizing them, and teams having access to player wage details throughout the league while the players themselves are not allowed to disclose their pay. "It's a deeply unfair field right now for players," said Paul Champ, an Ottawa-based labour and human rights lawyer who is helping the players organize. "And we're just trying to make it a bit fairer in terms of mobility, and negotiating free contracts and also having a minimum standard." Canadian international Marcel de Jong is president of PFACan. The 34-year-old, who retired as a Pacific FC player last Friday, says he understands the CPL is a new league. "But it's been two years now and I think that's enough time for the league to make some adjustments and see what it did wrong and correct them," he said. The league says its average player pay in 2021 is around $40,000, which may include housing, car allowances and incentive bonuses. The league says the top end of the salary scale is $77,000. There will be a minimum player salary of $22,000 in 2021, which including other compensation is expected to reach $26,000. The league says it had a "target" minimum salary in the past but is now "raising and codifying it." The minimum does not cover those on U-Sports contracts, who play during the summer while not at school. Clanachan said those deals would be in the range of $10,000 to $12,000. Options on player contracts come with 15 per cent raises on average, according to the league. Champ, however, said there are CPL players with contacts under $10,000 with a "large number" in the low teens. They would now be eligible for a bump in salary, according to the league figures. "We recognize there will be economic realities of this league … But these clubs still do OK. In the first season, a lot of clubs averaged 5,000 spectators per game. And they've got a big broadcast contract (with MediaPro)," said Champ. "So they don't have to be paying these poverty wages to players." De Jong says some players are forced to move home and live with their parents in the off-season because they can't afford their own place. Clanachan says the league is young and looking to improve standards and conditions every year. "Look at the amount of young Canadians that are playing professional football today that weren't playing it prior to 2019," he said. "That's the bottom line. That's what we're doing. We're creating a soccer economy in the country." The CPL is dreaming big. Clanachan says the goal is to become one of the top three leagues in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. "We're nowhere near that right now, but you've got to have lofty goals," he said. To get there, Clanachan says the CPL has to take "a managed, staged approach to how we grow the league." "We can't shoot for the moon right away. We've got to be careful and we've got to be purposeful the way we go forward." "I was taught a long time ago (that) to be good in business you've got to stay in business," he added. As a comparison, Major League Soccer teams will be able to spend US$9.225 million on player salaries in 2021, including basic general allocation money and targeted allocation money. The number is higher if they have designated players, only a portion of whose salaries count against the cap. The minimum MLS salary in 2021 is US$81,375 on the senior roster and US$63,547 on the reserve roster. The league has yet to release its 2021 schedule, but is targeting the Victoria Day weekend (May 22-24) for kickoff. The hope is some fans will be allowed in. The CPL has teams in Halifax, Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Langford, B.C., --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
As a veteran who played in the Netherlands, Germany and Major League Soccer, Marcel de Jong had more bargaining power than most when he came to the Canadian Premier League. The Canadian international, who joined Pacific FC ahead of the league's inaugural 2109 season, also had some real-world international experience to compare the fledgling Canadian circuit against. "It's been really a crazy ride so far," said de Jong. "The owners, the clubs, the league have all the power. The players are being left by themselves to defend themselves. "And we obviously have a lot of young players who never had the experience of playing abroad where they have proper unions and organizations to help them. Obviously that's something that's not here at the moment." The 34-year-old de Jong set out to change that. While he says he has been treated well by Pacific, he believes others need help. Last April, some 90 per cent of the players in the eight-team league signed on during the association's organizing drive. The Professional Footballers Association Canada (PFACan) was accepted last month as a candidate member by FIFPRO, which represents more than 65,000 professional men's and women's players across 65 affiliated national player associations. PFACan will have to serve two years as a candidate member before becoming a full member of FIFPRO, which recognizes one player association per country. De Jong, who announced his retirement as a player last Friday, is the inaugural president of PFACan and is running for re-election at end of the month at the association's inaugural annual general meeting for a two-year term. Because the CPL clubs are spread across the country, PFACan faces a more complicated road in being recognized. It hopes the league will do so voluntarily. Commissioner David Clanachan seems unwilling to do that. "I think the right thing to do is go through the process and we've committed to do that," he said. A less desirable option for the association is to go after a labour board certification order on its behalf in every province where there is a CPL team. "We can go through that dance and, if we have to, that's what we will do," said Paul Champ, an Ottawa-based labour and human rights lawyer who is helping the players organize. "We think it would be deeply unfortunate and a waste of resources on the part of both the league and the association." "I will say this, we're not going to allow another full season go by without forcing the issue, if the league isn't amenable to coming up with a voluntary agreement," he added. Clanachan says while he has no issues with players wanting to form an association, the time is not right. "There's no issue with that," he said. "But it would be nice to able to be out from underneath this giant cloud that we're all in right now first." Champ, says the association has told the league it just wants recognition as the players' formal bargaining agent to start with, and is willing to forgo collective bargaining for a year. "Obviously negotiating a collective agreement in the midst of a pandemic when they don't have any people in the stands, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And we get that," Champ said. In the meantime, he says players are paying the price. "Each individual player is at a massive disadvantage in trying to negotiate a free contract," Champ said. The association has offered another independent player vote to demonstrate its support to the league. "So far they haven't agreed to that," said Champ. At present, there is no formal link with the league, with Champ saying "they kind of tolerate us." PFACan has complained about the league's past lack of transparency regarding player pay. Other complaints include the league adopting new rules and not publicizing them, and teams having access to player wage details throughout the league while the players themselves are not allowed to disclose their pay. "Team owners shouldn't even be discussing such things. That's something unheard of anywhere else," said de Jong. Asked about teams exchanging contract information, Clanachan said he had not heard that. But he said there is "contract transparency" and that teams have access to contracts. Players took a 25-per-cent pay cut during the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season with de Jong and Champ saying they are still awaiting word on what happens to the money they didn't get. Clanachan said the players got about 82 per cent of what they were owed. They will not get the rest. "They played in the Island Games, they didn't play full seasons. I think we did our best for the players at the time," he said. The commissioner admits to "some miscommunication" on the pay reduction topic, however. Other current members of the PFACan board are Marco Carducci, Kyle Porter, Tomi Ameobi, Dylan Carreiro, Jamar Dixon, Ben Fisk, Omar Kreim, David Monsalve, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Roger Thompson. — Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
CHICAGO — A couple of post-season stars. The son of a former big leaguer. A versatile infielder from South Korea. Here is a closer look at a handful of rookies who could play a starring role this year: —OF Randy Arozarena and SS Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays: Arozarena helped power Tampa Bay to the World Series last year, batting .377 with 10 homers, 14 RBIs and a 1.273 OPS in 20 post-season games. The switch-hitting Franco, who just turned 20 on March 1, is widely regarded as baseball's top prospect. —RHP Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves: The 22-year-old Anderson was called up in August and went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in six starts, helping Atlanta win the NL East. He also shined in the post-season, allowing just two earned runs in 18 2/3 innings. —INF Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates: Hayes, 24, provided some hope for lowly Pittsburgh in September, batting .376 with five homers in 24 games. The slick-fielding son of former big league infielder Charlie Hayes was selected by the Pirates in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft. —OF Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals: The athletic Carlson was promoted in August and helped St. Louis reach the playoffs for the second straight year. He batted .200 with 35 strikeouts in 35 games, but the switch-hitter just turned 22 in October, and the Cardinals think he could be a big part of their lineup for years to come. —RHP Nate Pearson, Toronto Blue Jays: Armed with a fastball that gets into the upper 90s and a nasty slider, Pearson worked five scoreless innings in his first big league start at Washington on July 29. He went through some growing pains down the stretch last year, but that learning experience could pay off for Toronto in 2021. —OF Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners: Kelenic's future was in focus this spring after former team president Kevin Mather said the outfielder likely would begin the year in the minors in order to preserve another year of club control. The No. 6 pick in the 2018 amateur draft batted .291 with 23 homers over three minor league stops in 2019. A knee problem slowed him in spring training. —LHP Garrett Crochet, Chicago White Sox: Crochet became the first player from the 2020 amateur draft to make it to the majors when he tossed a perfect inning at Cincinnati on Sept. 18. He reached 100 mph on 45 of his 85 pitches while working six scoreless innings over his first five appearances with Chicago. —C Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds: The 24-year-old Stephenson broke into the majors in July, homering in his first plate appearance. The 2015 first-round pick is expected to take on a more prominent role this year after the Reds let Curt Casali go in December. —RHP Sixto Sánchez, Miami Marlins: Sánchez is a key part of one of baseball's most promising rotations, going 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in seven starts in his first stint in the big leagues. The right-hander was acquired in the February 2019 trade that moved catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia. —OF Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles: Mountcastle made his major league debut on Aug. 21 and batted .333 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 35 games. Selected by Baltimore with the No. 36 pick in the 2015 amateur draft, Mountcastle hit 25 homers for Triple-A Norfolk in 2019. —OF Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins: The sweet-swinging Kirilloff gets his first chance at a regular job in Minnesota after Eddie Rosario was non-tendered in December. The 23-year-old Kirilloff went 1 for 4 in Game 2 of the AL wild-card series against Houston in his first major league game. —INF Kim Ha-seong, San Diego Padres: The 25-year-old Kim signed a $28 million, four-year deal in December, adding even more versatility to San Diego's deep roster. Kim batted .306 with 30 homers, 109 RBIs and 23 steals for the KBO League's Kiwoom Heroes last season. ___ Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jay Cohen, The Associated Press
Promoter Lou DiBella announced on International Women’s Day that he’s making a major push to elevate the female fight game.