Update on the latest sports
Minnesota fires Boudreau
UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Wild have fired coach Bruce Boudreau.
He is the eighth NHL coach to lose his job this season and the sixth fired for performance reasons. That matches the most for one season in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Assistant Dean Evason was named the Wild’s interim coach. Minnesota is 27-23-7 and three points out of a playoff position in the Western Conference with 25 games left to play.
Boudreau was in his fourth season with the Wild. He previously coached the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks.
In other NHL news:
— The St. Louis Blues say Jay Bouwmeester (BOH’-mees-tur) had surgery Friday to insert a defibrillator to restore his heart’s normal rhythm. The Blues defenseman collapsed on the bench during a game in Anaheim this week. Doctors quickly used a defibrillator to restore his heart beat and he regained consciousness before going to a hospital on Tuesday night. General manager Doug Armstrong says the procedure was performed at the UC Irvine Medical Center. Once Bouwmeester is cleared to return to St. Louis, he’ll be monitored by doctors at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University.
— The Buffalo Sabres have placed defenseman Zach Bogosian on waivers. The move comes months after Bogosian asked to be traded and opens a spot on Buffalo’s blue line for young players like Lawrence Pilut. Bogosian has five points in 19 games this season. The 29-year-old has been in and out of the lineup with hip injuries. Bogosian is in the final year of his contract and counts $5.14 million against the salary cap. He would be assigned to Rochester of the American Hockey League if he clears waivers. Bogosian has 53 goals and 141 assists in 636 regular-season games with the Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets and Sabres.
Haniger has second surgery
UNDATED (AP) — Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger isn’t likely to take the field anytime soon following his second surgery in less than a month. The Mariners say the 2018 All-Star had a lower back procedure Thursday that followed core surgery in January.
Both are related to a ruptured testicle sustained in a game last June, an injury believed to have occurred when he fouled off a pitch and the ball hit him in the groin area. In working his way back, Haniger felt back pain and never played again last season.
In other MLB news:
— All-Star closer Josh Hader lost his salary arbitration case against the Milwaukee Brewers, dropping players to 1-6 in hearings this year. Hader will earn $4.1 million rather than his $6.4 million request. Hader earned $687,600 last year. He had 37 saves in 44 chances and went 3-5 with a 2.62 ERA in his second straight All-Star season. He failed to hold a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning of the NL wild-card game. Seven players remain scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 21.
— The Cleveland Indians are already dealing with adversity before taking the field for their first full-squad workout. Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger (KLEH’-vihn-jur) injured his left knee during a workout in Arizona and will have surgery. The team says he tore cartilage on Wednesday. A timetable for his return will be set after the operation. Clevinger won 13 games last season. The Indians are counting on him to have a larger role after two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber was traded this winter
— The Atlanta Braves have signed first baseman Yonder Alonso to a minor league contract with an invitation to the major league spring training. The 32-year-old Alonso gives the Braves depth behind Freddie Freeman, who had surgery in October on his right elbow. Freeman said last month he has no pain in the elbow and will be ready when position players report on Monday.
— Washington Nationals general Mike Rizzo is not satisfied with the way the Houston Astros attempted to apologize for their sign-stealing scandal. Rizzo’s Nationals beat the Astros in last season’s World Series and were prepared in case Houston tried any funny stuff. Rizzo said people from other teams in baseball reached out to the Nationals to offer advice before they faced the Astros in the Fall Classic. Rizzo said the Astros cheated to win the 2017 World Series and he would like to hear members of Houston’s organization use the word “cheated” to describe what they did.
MLB-SALARY RAISE-MINOR LEAGUERS
AP Exclusive: MLB raises salaries for minor leaguers in 2021
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball is raising the minimum salary for minor league players in 2021, according to a memo sent Friday from the commissioner’s office to all 30 teams and obtained by The Associated Press.
Two years after successfully lobbying Congress to exempt minor leaguers from federal minimum wage laws, MLB opted to give those players a wage increase between 38% and 72%. The bump was discussed at last week’s owners meetings and confirmed in the memo from Morgan Sword, executive vice president of baseball economics and operations.
Players at rookie and short-season levels will see their minimum weekly pay raised from $290 to $400, and players at Class A will go from $290 to $500. Double-A will jump from $350 to $600, and Triple-A from $502 to $700.
Minor leaguers are paid only during the five-month season and don’t receive wages during the offseason or spring training.
Ravens OL James Hurst suspended 4 games for PED use
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman James Hurst has been suspended for the first four games of the 2020 season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancers.
Hurst is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to his team’s active roster on the Monday following the team’s fourth game.
Signed as a rookie free agent in 2014, Hurst played in all 16 regular-season games for the Ravens last season, with two starts at left tackle. He was part of an offensive line that paved the way for an NFL-record 3,296 yards rushing in 2019.
The 28-year-old Hurst signed a four-year contract in March 2018. He didn’t miss a game over his first four seasons before being inactive for six games in 2018 with a back injury.
KOBE BRYANT MEMORIAL
Ticketing plan for Kobe Bryant public memorial released
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers announced Friday that fans seeking to attend the Feb. 24 memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, at Staples Center must register to purchase tickets and there will be no outside overflow areas.
Tickets will be priced at $224 each, two for $224 and $24.02 each — combinations of numbers that like the date, 2/24, represent the No. 24 worn by Bryant and the No. 2 worn by Gianna on her girls basketball team.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, the Lakers said.
Ticket registration was to extend from 11 a.m. Friday through 10 p.m. Monday through the Ticketmaster Verified Fan system. On Tuesday, registered fans will receive emails with non-transferable personal access codes that will allow them to participate in the public sale on Wednesday morning.
In a move apparently intended to prevent a repeat of the massive crowds that flocked to Staples after Bryant’s death, the Lakers said the memorial will not be shown on exterior video screens at the arena or the adjacent L.A. Live entertainment area.
LPGA-WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN
7-time major champion Inbee Park tied for lead Down Under
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Seven-time major champion Inbee Park moved into contention for her 20th LPGA Tour victory on Friday by taking a share of the second-round lead at the Women’s Australian Open.
Park shot 4-under 69 to put her at 10-under 136 at Royal Adelaide, tied with first-round leader Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
Jillian Hollis, was in third place, one stroke behind. Defending champion Nelly Korda was six strokes behind. Five-time champion Karrie Webb, whose lead-up to the tournament was hampered by a virus, missed the cut after a second consecutive 74.
Because of the virus outbreak in China, the Women’s Australian Open will be the last LPGA tournament for a month after the cancellation of three scheduled events in Thailand, Singapore and China.
No ‘Plan B’ for Olympics; questions over Chinese presence
TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee said Friday there is no “Plan B” for the 2020 Games, which open in just over five months and have been jolted by the outbreak of a virus in neighboring China.
The coronavirus has infected almost 64,000 people globally with almost 1,400 deaths in China, but only one in Japan, where fear is rising with so much attention focused on the outbreak.
John Coates, the head of an IOC inspection team, and Tokyo Olympic organizers took questions at a news conference on Friday to wrap up a two-day visit that was dominated by the virus issue.
Coates was asked by a reporter if he was 100% confident that the Tokyo Olympics would go on as scheduled and open on July 24. He replied, “Yes.”