NEW YORK (AP) — A majority of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams have been able to relax coronavirus protocols after two additional clubs qualified and raised the total to 16 franchises reaching 85% vaccinations for players and other on-field personnel.
The pace of vaccinations has slowed markedly, however,
The commissioner’s office and the players’ association said Friday that three additional teams had reached the 85% level of having received final doses and would be able to relax protocols within the next two weeks once they are fully vaccinated. The teams were not identified.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels will keep their spring training home in Tempe, Arizona, until at least 2035 after reaching a deal for an extensive renovation of Tempe Diablo Stadium.
The city government and the Angels confirmed the agreement Friday. Tempe officials also unveiled plans for more than $50 million in comprehensive upgrades to the city-owned stadium, which is the oldest in the Cactus League.
MIAMI (AP) — Major League Soccer has fined Inter Miami $2 million and imposed other sanctions following its investigation into the 2020 signing of French international Blaise Matuidi.
The league’s investigation determined Miami violated roster designation rules for Matuidi and Andrés Reyes. It also found the team didn’t disclose agreements that led to underreported salaries for Leandro González Pirez, Nicolás Figal and Julián Carranza.
ZURICH (AP) — A pandemic-era rule giving competition organizers the option to let teams use five substitutes in a match was extended Friday through 2022.
FIFA can now apply the policy at next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
“The decision follows a global analysis of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on football,” the International Football Association Board said in a statement.
The interim rule was introduced last May to help players avoid injury and ease their workload. They resumed playing in a congested schedule after a near-total shutdown of the sport because of the pandemic.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers on Friday approved letting college athletes earn money with endorsements and sponsorship deals, pushing the state closer to joining others who have already opened the door to previously banned financial deals.
Friday’s Senate vote sends the bill to Gov. Greg Abbott to consider signing into law. Several states have already approved measures that allow athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness. The Texas version would take effect July 1.
Texas has five schools — Texas, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech in the Big 12, and Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference — in the so-called Power Five conferences. Supporters of the measure say those schools need the bill to compete for top-level recruits.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who leads active Division I coaches in career victories and won a national championship with the Tigers in 2009, is retiring at the end of this season.
The 63-year-old Mainieri, who announced his impending retirement on Friday, has coached for 39 seasons, the last 15 with LSU. If the Tigers (34-22) receive a bid to the 64-team NCAA tournament, he’ll continue to coach as far as LSU advances before his tenure officially ends.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Virginia freshman Emma Navarro needed just 75 minutes on Friday to claim the NCAA women’s singles championship, and Sam Riffice won the men’s title for team champion Florida.
Navarro (25-1) avenged her only loss of the season, on April 4, by beating defending champion Estrela Perez-Somarriba (24-3) of Miami (Florida) 6-3, 6-1 to become the first freshman to win the singles title since 2009.
Riffice become the first Gator since 1999 to claim the men’s title by defeating second-seeded Daniel Rodriques of South Carolina 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Riffice also helped Florida win the team championship last week.
Nike has confirmed it ended its sponsorship agreement with Neymar after he refused to collaborate in an investigation into an accusation that he sexually assaulted a female employee from the company years ago.
The soccer superstar has denied the accusation and criticized the company on Instagram while training with Brazil outside Rio de Janeiro.
Neymar called Nike’s claims “an absurd lie.”