Wallace tops Daytona 500 speed chart in final practice

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The first black driver to start the Daytona 500 since 1969 continues to blaze a trail at Speedweeks. Darrell Wallace Jr. turned heads again Saturday at Daytona International Speedway and topped the speed chart in the final practice for NASCAR’s season opener. “A lot of stories, a lot of headlines being talked about,” Wallace said. Wallace sparked plenty of his own. He went 196.954 mph in the No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports, one more astounding moment in a week where he finished third in a Daytona 500 qualifying race and earned a seventh-place start on Sunday. There’s only one box left to check on… Read More

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Dustin Pedroia to miss opener for first time in 12 years

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Dustin Pedroia knew this would be the deal after knee surgery in the off-season. The Red Sox second baseman will be missing from Boston’s opening-day lineup for the first time in 12 years. The 34-year-old former AL MVP had cartilage restoration procedure in late October and it’s expected keep him sidelined until May. He also understands that the surgery was important for his post-baseball life. “I think mentally I’m focused on the rehab stuff they give me and try to be the best at that,” he said outside the spring training clubhouse before workouts on Saturday morning. “I’m not looking ahead. It is a process. You… Read More

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Reds 2B Scooter Gennett wins in arbitration hearing

PHOENIX — Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett has won his salary arbitration case, giving players a final 12-10 margin over clubs this year. Gennett was awarded a raise from $2,525,000 to $5.7 million. The Reds offered $5.1 million. Players finished with a winning record for the second time in three years, but only their fourth since 1996. The 22 decisions were the most since players went 14-10 in 1990. Just five players settled among the 27 who swapped proposed salaries with their teams last month. Gennett hit .295 last year and set career bests with 27 homers and 97 RBIs in his first season with the Reds. He hit… Read More

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A’s prospect Jesus Luzardo was supposed to be at Douglas High before shooting

MESA, Ariz. — A’s prospect Jesus Luzardo was getting ready to go practice with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball team, something he did three times a week for two months in the offseason back home, when he received a frightening text from the team’s baseball coach Todd Fitz-Gerald — there was a shooter on campus. Luzardo is a 2016 graduate from the school in Parkland, Florida where tragedy struck this past Wednesday as 17 students and teachers were killed in what became the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school. A feeling of helplessness came over Luzardo after receiving the text from Fitz-Gerald. He quickly sent out texts… Read More

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Spring training notebook: At long last, Axford joins Blue Jays’ staff

DUNEDIN, Fla. – The same logo that once covered John Axford’s pyjama pants now surrounds him in the Toronto Blue Jays’ clubhouse. Axford, a native of Port Dover, Ont., grew up cheering for the Blue Jays. Soon after signing a minor-league deal with Canada’s only MLB team, he shared a picture that shows him wearing Blue Jays-branded pyjamas. “It’s what I grew up with,” he said. “It’s what I was a fan of my entire life growing up.” Christmas morning 1994 in Port Dover, Ontario. Decked out in my @BlueJays gear! Somehow, I am happier now than I was in this picture! Beyond excited for this opportunity!!! pic.twitter.com/zdJcxrXW83 — John… Read More

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Watch Team LeBron take the court at All-Star practice

Want Warriors news in your inbox? Sign up for the free DubsDaily newsletter. LOS ANGELES – The All-Star game is a day away, but Team LeBron and Team Steph have one practice Saturday. Here are some videos of Team LeBron taking the court at The Los Angeles Convention Center. Warriors’ forward Kevin Durant entered the court second-to-last behind James. Before they took the court, they were joking around and laughing. James and Curry were team captains and James had the first overall pick, with which he selected Durant. Team Curry will practice later Saturday afternoon. Though Curry missed out on Durant, he was able to select two other Warriors teammates,… Read More

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Oilers recall goaltender Laurent Brossoit from AHL on emergency basis

The Edmonton Oilers have recalled goaltender Laurent Brossoit from the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors on an emergency basis. The move was necessitated because regular Oilers backup Al Montoya took a puck off the mask early in practice Friday and left the ice under his own power. Montoya hurt in practice. Took a shot up high. pic.twitter.com/u2jmzVYrTN — Rob Tychkowski (@Rob_Tychkowski) February 16, 2018 In 13 games with the Oilers this season, Brossoit features a 3.22 goals-against average with an .866 save percentage, while in 11 games at Bakersfield he sports a 3.08 GAA with a .901 save percentage. In a corresponding move, Edmonton assigned defenceman Keegan Lowe to AHL Bakersfield. The… Read More

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PSG returns to Ligue 1 comfort zone with home win

PARIS — After falling short in the Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain returned to its French league comfort zone and beat Strasbourg 5-2 on Saturday. Edinson Cavani netted twice, and Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria, and Neymar also scored to ensure PSG stayed 12 points clear of second-place Monaco at the top. But not without a fright. Strasbourg took the lead in the sixth minute and pulled back to 3-2 as PSG continued to show alarming signs of weakness at the back. Strasbourg had a late goal incorrectly ruled out for offside after PSG’s defence was again easily breached, although it was already 5-2 by then. PSG lost at Real Madrid… Read More

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Barcelona wins before trip to Chelsea for Champions League

BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi helped set up two goals to beat 10-man Eibar 2-0 on Saturday as Barcelona warmed up for their visit to Chelsea in the Champions League. Barcelona broke its mini-skid of back-to-back draws to remain unbeaten in the Spanish league through 24 rounds and extend its advantage over second-place Atletico Madrid to 10 points. Barcelona visits Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the opening leg of their round-of-16 tie. “We will head to the match with confidence,” Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said about Chelsea. “We are having a good season, but that won’t mean anything now. We are facing a tie against a great team that won… Read More

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