Imperial Valley Press : 2019-02-11

SPORTS : 10 : B2


B2 Monday, February 11, 2019 Imperial Valley Press n n Harper, Machado, Kimbrel, Keuchel on market as camps open Alex Cora, who led Boston to its fourth World Series title in 15 seasons. The Red Sox hope to become the first team to win consecutive titles since the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. “Repeating is tough,” Cora said. “It starts with the players. People are going to talk about hangovers and all that and the banquet circuit. It’s part of it. But they’ve been disciplined enough.” New baseball operations heads are in charge of three teams: Mike Elias (Baltimore), Farhan Zaidi (San Francisco) and Brodie Van Wagenen (New York Mets). Among the major trades of the offseason, Philadelphia obtained catcher J.T. Realmuto from Miami, St. Louis got first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from Arizona and the New York Mets got second baseman Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz from Seattle. In the free-agent market thus far, Washington added left-hander Patrick Corbin and the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock, Atlanta got third baseman Josh Donaldson and Colorado picked up second baseman Daniel Murphy. By March 28, when most teams open, many rosters will look significantly different. The Mets and Phillies have noticeably bolstered theirs. Others chose rebuilding and appear to have little chance to reach the postseason: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kanas City, Miami, Seattle and Toronto. “There’s always been players available in February or March,” Van Wagenen said. “I think there’s been a higher volume of more-recognizable names than in the past.” By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel won’t be around when the bat and ball bags are opened at spring training throughout Florida and Arizona this week. They are among the dozens of free agents still looking for jobs, joined by Mike Moustakas, Marwin Gonzalez, Carlos Gonzalez and Gio Gonzalez. For the second straight winter, camps are opening with many rosters in exceptional flux. “The market will sort itself out,” St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said at last week’s owners’ meetings. “There is a long time between the end of the season and spring training, and there’s maybe not so much a sense of urgency on whichever side it happens to be.” Among the 164 players who exercised free agency rights at the end of last year’s World Series, 84 had announced agreements on the eve of spring training. That is up from 65 of 166 at roughly the same point last season but down from 105 of 158 two years ago. Boston added J.D. Martinez last Feb. 26 and Philadelphia brought in Jake Arrieta on March 12. All but 26 of the free agents last offseason eventually reached deals, but some with big-money contracts flopped after late starts: Yu Darvish joined the Chicago Cubs on Feb. 13, went 1-3 and didn’t pitch after May 20 because of arm problems. Eric Hosmer finalized his agreement with San Diego on Feb. 19 and hit a career-worst .253 with 69 RBIs. Alex Cobb signed with Baltimore on March 26 and went 5-16. A drawn-out negotiating process means clubs have lost time in marketing new acquisitions, which seems especially significant to a sport coming off three straight years of attendance declines. Average attendance dropped below 30,000 last year for the first time since 2003. “We want players signed, particularly star players. I wish they were signed and ready to go,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Friday. “We got another week before they have to report. I’m really hopeful that it’s going to get resolved during that period of time.” Oakland takes the field first, starting workouts Monday in Mesa, Arizona. Seattle follows Tuesday in Peoria, Arizona, with both teams getting early starts because they open the season in Tokyo on March 20-21, a week before other teams get underway. Every other club launches practice Wednesday or Thursday except for Atlanta, which waits until Saturday. Six new managers are in charge for the second straight spring training and five of them are big league rookie skippers for the second straight year. Rocco Baldelli (Minnesota), David Bell (Cincinnati), Brandon Hyde (Baltimore), Charlie Montoyo (Toronto) and Chris Woodward (Texas) are first-timers running a big league dugout, joined by the Los Angeles Angels’ Brad Ausmus, Detroit’s manager from 2014-17. One of last year’s rookie managers was Stuhec spoils Lindsey Vonn’s farewell party at skiing worlds Juventus beats Sassuolo 3-0 to go 11 points clear in Serie A MILAN (AP) — Juventus is starting to entertain. Often winning by a solitary goal in the first half of the season, Juventus has now scored three goals in two straight matches. However, there was little sign of the defensive frailties that cost it dearly in last week’s 3-3 draw against Parma as the Bianconeri cruised to a 3-0 win at Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo, who turned 34 last week, had a hand in all three goals. The Portugal forward saw his swerving shot parried by Andrea Consigli in the 23rd minute but Sami Khedira was on hand to fire in the rebound. Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside shortly after halftime but he did get on the scoresheet in the 70th when he headed in a corner. It was his 18th league goal, two clear of Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata in the race for the top scorer award. Ronaldo also set up Juve’s third. After some delightful interplay with Paulo Dybala, Ronaldo picked out substitute Emre Can who scored with his ARE, Sweden (AP) — The Lindsey Vonn circus had rolled back into town, and that suited Ilka Stuhec just fine. All the talk at the world championships on Sunday — and indeed for the last few days — was whether Vonn could mark the last race of her career with a victory in the downhill. The spotlight, as ever, was almost totally on the American. Stuhec ended up spoiling the party. With Vonn sitting on the leader’s throne and the potential of a glorious finale increasing by the minute, Stuhec produced a virtually flawless run from No. 9 in the field to top her rival and become the first woman to retain the world downhill title since Maria Walliser in 1989. “She has won everything, won so much, and I was really honored to be there (on the podium) with her for her last time,” the Slovenian skier said of Vonn. Vonn, who finished third, still hogged the limelight. She was the last skier to leave the finish area after all the celebrations with her family and friends, the person the legion of photographers on points with Roma and Lazio but they could be leapfrogged by seventh-placed AC Milan if the Rossoneri beat Cagliari. Udinese is just one point from the drop after it had two goals disallowed, saw a penalty saved, hit the bar and had a player sent off in a dramatic final 20 minutes before losing 1-0 at Torino. Spal slipped to just four points off the relegation zone after Bologna moved out of the bottom three with a 1-1 draw against Genoa. first touch. Juventus moved 11 points clear of second-placed Napoli as it continues its seemingly unstoppable march to a record-extending eighth successive Serie A title. wanted to snap, the one Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark had traveled to watch. But this was also a day to savor for Stuhec, who — like Vonn — has proved capable of bouncing back from serious injury. She missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during a crash while training on the glacier in Pitztal, Austria. She watched the Winter Olympics last February from home, getting up at 3 a.m. like a “crazy fan.” Initial results this season were mixed but Stuhac underlined her threat ahead of the worlds by winning the downhill and super-G at Val Gardena in December. She was way too good for the rest Sunday, winning by 0.23 seconds from Corinne Suter and 0.49 from Vonn, to successfully defend her title from St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 2017. The fact it was a shortened course, because of fog and wind, made the margin of victory even more impressive. OTHER MATCHES Duvan Zapata kept up his scoring streak to help Atalanta come from behind to beat Spal 2-1 and keep up its push for a Champions League place. It was Zapata’s 15th goal in his last 10 Serie A appearances. Atalanta moved level Ogunbowale, Shepard lead No. 4 Irish to rout of No. 24 FSU SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Muffet McGraw got the effort she wanted from No. 4 Notre Dame right from the start Sunday, especially from Arike Ogunbowale, in a 97-70 rout of No. 24 Florida State. “She looked like she was enjoying herself out there,” McGraw said after Ogunbowale, who has been struggling of late, scored 27 points. Jessica Shepard added 26 as the Fighting Irish, who had two rare Atlantic Coast Conference losses in their last four games, rebounded from Thursday’s 72-65 defeat at No. 25 Miami. “I’ve got to be aggressive from the start — I’ve been kind of laid back,” said Ogunbowale, who had 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting against the Hurricanes but hit her first four shots against the Seminoles. Ogunbowale had made just 20 of 61 shots in her previous four games, which began with then-No. 1 Notre Dame’s 7873 loss at North Carolina on Jan. 27. Her 27 points, on 9-of-16 shooting including 5 of 7 from beyond the 3-point line, left Ogunbowale with 2,301 career points, 21 behind current Irish assistant coach Beth (Morgan) Cunningham. Skylar Diggins-Smith is the all-time leader at 2,357. Ogunbowale also had nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and had zero turnovers for Notre Dame (21-3, 9-2 ACC), which turned the ball over just 10 times. “I was happy with the offense,” McGraw said as the Irish shot 52.9 percent (20-4, 8-3) lost for the first time on the road this season. The game was tied 2-2 before the Irish opened up a 22-12 first-quarter lead at 4:02 on a 3-pointer by Ogunbowale. Notre Dame led 28-22 after a turnover-less first quarter. The Seminoles made just 5 of 15 shots in the second quarter and Notre Dame opened a 52-38 halftime lead with the help of a 9-0 run. The Irish used a 15-0 run to start the third quarter for a 67-40 lead with 3:34 to go as Florida State, after making its first shot, missed its next 10 in a 6-minute scoring drought. It was 74-50 after three quarters. Florida State: The Seminoles came into the game with an ACC-leading plus-4.8 turnover margin but made 10 in the first half. It also didn’t help that Florida State missed its first six shots of the second quarter. Notre Dame never trailed and had 16-point leads at several occasions in the first half before pulling away in the third quarter when the Seminoles hit just 4 of 20 shots. They finished at 34.3 percent (24 of 70). Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish, who were averaging almost 15 turnovers a game, made just four in the first half. The Irish’s transition game, lacking in the loss at Miami, also got going and Notre Dame had 13 assists on its 20 first-half field goals. (36 of 68) and had a 43-36 edge on the boards after shooting a season-low 37.3 percent and being outrebounded 46-37 at Miami. “We were able to get the break going because we rebounded better.” Shepard had eight rebounds with two assists, including one from her knees when she fed Ogunbowale for a corner 3-pointer that gave Notre Dame a 45-33 lead in the second quarter. “Arike made a great pass to me and I probably blew it,” Shepard said. “I remember seeing her out there and found a way to tip her the ball. Coming off a loss, it was important to come out strong.” Brianna Turner had 13 points, five blocks and four assists, and Jackie Young had 10 points and five assists for the Irish, who had 25 assists, led by Marina Mabrey’s six. “I think they are the best transition team in the country,” Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. “We knew with our young pups coming in here that it was going to be a huge challenge and it was.” Nicki Ekhomu scored 26 points, Kiah Gillespie added 17 and Nausia Woolfolk had 15 before fouling out as the Seminoles

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