Host William Lou recaps the Toronto Raptors' 102-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
Host William Lou recaps the Toronto Raptors' 102-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens will open their first playoff series in 42 years May 20 at Scotiabank Arena.
An unnamed player from the 2010 Blackhawks is suing the organization, alleging that they, along with another unnamed teammate, were sexually assaulted by assistant coach Brad Aldrich.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a huge Montreal Canadiens fan, so it's only fitting he chirped the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ronald Acuna Jr. hobbled down the right field line after hustling on an infield single.
Canada's Denis Shapovalov fell just short of a major upset against nine-time champion Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open on Thursday.
The players believe MLB acted in bad faith while choosing a regular-season length in 2020.
Both opening round series are dripping with intrigue as the Hurricanes, Predators, Lightning and Panthers square off for the Central Division crown.
The exclusive negotiating window expired earlier this week, but the sides have reportedly come to an agreement.
With every pitch he throws, Blue Jays RHP prospect Alek Manoah looks more and more like someone who can help the big club now rather than later.
Dwane Casey is now set in Detroit through the 2023-24 season.
The schedule gods have blessed us with another Lamar Jackson-Patrick Mahomes showdown — and plenty of other juicy matchups.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran when it comes to playoff pools, here are some tips and tricks you’ll find useful.
Hideki Matsuyama returns to the PGA Tour this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
It's been a great year for English football, with several key matches still at stake, while one of the Serie A's greatest rivalries is pushed to the forefront.
Get news, analysis, memes and more delivered to your inbox the morning after every Raptors game.
PHOENIX (AP) — The guys on the mound in Major League Baseball can have their pitches measured in a variety of ways, whether it's spin rate, speed or angle into the strike zone. The goal is simple: finding ways to hurl the baseball toward the plate as violently and unpredictably as possible. That's resulting in a whole lot of pain for batters — literally. MLB pitchers are hitting batters and throwing more wild pitches than at any time since 1900, according to baseball-reference.com. When baseballs are flying toward hitters at 95 mph or higher, that can obviously be quite dangerous. Just ask Phillies star Bryce Harper, who took a 97 mph fastball to the face back in April. Luckily, he wasn't seriously hurt. “We’ve brought guys up in a velocity world,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We gotta throw harder, you gotta get more spin rate, guys are trying to get more all the time. When you do that, you’re sacrificing the accuracy of what you’re doing.” The number of batters hit by a pitch, along with wild pitches, have steadily increased over the past decade. Teams are getting hit at a rate of 0.47 times per game in 2021, which is up from 0.32 in 2011. Wild pitches have increased to 0.40 from 0.32 over the same span. The reasons behind the trend toward the wild side are varied. Pitchers are certainly throwing as hard as ever and nasty breaking balls in the dirt are tough for catchers to block. D-backs veteran catcher Stephen Vogt said pitching philosophy has changed dramatically during his 15 years in professional baseball. The effective low and outside corner pitch — think Greg Maddux — isn't nearly as effective anymore. “If you throw out, you’re gonna get crushed,” Vogt said. “You have to be able to hit that inside corner.” Mattingly agreed with Vogt, saying that analytics have played into the trend of HBPs. The numbers say that hard-throwing pitchers who can hit spots high and tight in the strike zone are going to have a lot of success. “Basically, the top of that box, inside to a righty or a lefty, it’s one of those pitches that it’s really hard to do anything with it,” Mattingly said. “So if you can hit that corner, inside to a lefty or righty, it’s an out or a strike. And when that misses, it runs at you as a hitter. “That’s where you see guys getting hit a lot.” It's also the case that retaliation isn't as common in today's game. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo played in the 1980s and 1990s and said too many HBPs would often lead to trouble. “I don’t want to sound like the old cowboy here, but it used to be an eye for an eye," Lovullo said. "If one guy got hit, you can darn well be sure that someone on their team was going to get hit depending on who it was. “I don’t necessarily believe in that philosophy. I don’t think a lot of managers believe in that in today’s game. Nobody’s trying to intentionally hit someone.” Lovullo said not all the blame can be placed on pitchers. Batters aren't always shy about claiming real estate close to the zone. “Guys are on the plate, they want to launch the ball to the pull side,” the manager said. “Therefore, they’re crowding the plate, with less space and I think pitches get away and they’re clipping guys.” ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports David Brandt, The Associated Press
With the NBA regular season wrapping up, let's see what the first round of 2021-22 fantasy basketball drafts could look like.
ESPN could be rewarded with additional playoff games under its new deal with Major League Baseball. Walt Disney Company and MLB announced a seven-year extension of their rights agreement Thursday. ESPN has aired games since 1990 and the new deal means that will continue until at least 2028. “This agreement solidifies baseball’s ubiquitous presence across ESPN platforms, including ESPN+. The impactful collection of exclusive content, including ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ which has served as the signature MLB series for more than 30 years, will be amplified by the surrounding rights we have to make these live events even bigger," ESPN Chairman James Pitaro said in a statement. ESPN will exclusively air 30 regular-season games, with 25 taking place on Sunday nights. The other five will include a broadcast on opening day. ESPN also retains the rights to the Home Run Derby, which takes place the night before the All-Star Game. The deal also includes the rights to air an expanded wild card round if it comes to fruition during talks between MLB and the Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement. ESPN and ABC aired those games last year when the playoffs were expanded due to the shortened coronavirus season. If the current wild card format remains, ESPN will continue to have one of the two games as well as receive eight additional regular-season games. There is the possibility the Home Run Derby could be simulcast on ABC, but there are no immediate plans for that to happen. “Sunday Night Baseball” is up 34% over last season, averaging 1.65 million viewers. The package has had steady audience growth since the start time was moved to 7 p.m. The agreement also includes the ESPN+ streaming service airing at least one game a day as well as an extension of ESPN Radio's contract, which includes regular-season games, the All-Star Game and the postseason. ESPN will no longer consistently air games on Monday or Wednesday, but there still will be plenty of baseball on television. Turner will have a game on Tuesday nights starting next season while Fox and FS1 have a Saturday package. ESPN also has a reduced inventory of open broadcast windows starting next spring when it adds the Stanley Cup playoffs as part of its new agreement with the NHL. The extension also means all of MLB's rights deals with Fox, Turner and ESPN will expire after the 2028 season. “ESPN has been one of MLB’s longest and most important partners. As the way in which fans consume baseball continues to change, this partnership provides expanded opportunities for fans to engage with our content and we are excited to present those new opportunities,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joe Reedy, The Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have signed Blake Bortles as they attempt to add quarterback depth while MVP Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team remains uncertain. Rodgers, who has reportedly expressed his desire not to return to Green Bay, had been one of two quarterbacks on the roster along with 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love. General manager Brian Gutekunst said after the draft that “we’ll add a third arm and maybe a fourth arm as we go through.” Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, will be reunited with Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The 29-year-old Bortles started 73 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2014-18. Hackett was Jacksonville’s quarterbacks coach from 2015-16 and offensive coordinator from 2016-18. The move gives the Packers three quarterbacks who were drafted in the first round. Rodgers was selected 24th overall in 2005. The Packers traded up four spots to take Love 26th last year. How long Rodgers will remain with the Packers remains unclear. After ESPN reported just before the draft that Rodgers doesn’t want to return to Green Bay, Packers CEO Mark Murphy posted a column on the team’s website in which he said “this is an issue that we’ve been working on for several months.” Murphy acknowledged that he, Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur had met with Rodgers “on a number of occasions” during the offseason. Gutekunst has said the Packers have no plans to trade Rodgers, who has three years remaining on his contract. Murphy has indicated the Packers want to keep Rodgers in Green Bay in 2021 and beyond. Bortles spent portions of the 2020 season with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams but didn’t appear in a game for either team. He played three games in a reserve role for the Rams in 2019. He has completed 59.3% of his pass attempts for 17,649 yards with 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions. Bortles ranks second in Jaguars history in yards passing, touchdown passes, pass attempts (2,632) and completions (1,561). The Jaguars benched Bortles and fired Hackett late in the 2018 season after the Jaguars suffered a seventh straight loss while staggering to a 5-11 finish one year after reaching the AFC championship game. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL The Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho both scored twice as Borussia Dortmund withstood a second-half fightback in teeming rain to beat Leipzig 4-1 in the German Cup final on Thursday. Captain Marco Reus was involved in all four goals as Dortmund won the cup for the fifth time and denied bitter rival Leipzig a first title. Haaland was back after almost three weeks out with a muscle injury, but it was Sancho who fired Dortmund into a fifth-minute lead with a strike inside the far post Haaland barreled past Dayot Upamecano for Dortmund’s second goal in the 28th, and Reus and Sancho combined to make it 3-0 before the break. Leipzig emerged with intent for the second half, striking the crossbar and twice testing Roman Bürki in the Dortmund goal. Leipzig hit the post before Dani Olmo rewarded his side’s pressure with a fine strike from outside the penalty area in the 71st. Sancho missed a good chance in a one-on-one with Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, before Haaland finally sealed Dortmund's win in the 87th. Last year’s cup final was Germany’s first to be played without fans present, and they were excluded again Thursday due to ongoing precautions against the coronavirus. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press