BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:

– MESA, Ariz. – Joe Maddon’s Chicago Cubs take the field at spring training for their first pitchers and catchers workout as defending World Series champions.

– SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Last year was certainly not the season Zack Greinke or the Arizona Diamondbacks envisioned for him when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million contract. Maybe year two will be more like it.

– TAMPA, Fla. – Aroldis Chapman is not thinking at all about the victory tour the Chicago Cubs will be making after winning their first World Series in over a century. He is focusing on his return role as the New York Yankees closer.

– JUPITER, Fla. – St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes, a candidate for the final spot in the starting rotation, needs season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right arm.

– OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors, who have already matched last season’s loss total of nine, host the Sacramento Kings in one of 14 games on the NBA schedule on the last busy night before the All-Star game. The Kings handed Golden State one of those nine losses the last time the two teams met. Game starts 10:30 p.m.

– CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 12 Duke brings a five-game winning streak into John Paul Jones Arena, where No. 14 Virginia is trying to put a blown lead at Virginia Tech in the past. Game starts 9:10 p.m.

– COLUMBUS, Ohio – Toronto looks to strengthen its hold on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference when the Maple Leafs visit Columbus. Game starts 7 p.m.

– Short-side goals are on the rise in the NHL as shooters adjust to goaltenders’ tendencies. Short side is the new five hole because the goals look bad, but aren’t as soft as they seem as the best skaters figure out how goalies want to stop the puck.

– LOS ANGELES – Gone are the days when players felt like the PGA Tour never really got started until Florida. The Genesis Open is loaded with the best in golf.

– Whether the dust-up between Steph Curry and Under Armour keeps mushrooming or fizzles away, this much is true: In an era of contentious politics, the dynamic between high-profile athletes and the big-money sponsors they endorse is growing more complicated.

– LOS ANGELES – Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has informed the mixed martial arts promotion that he is retired from competition.

– LONDON – The degenerative damage potentially caused by repeated blows to the head in soccer has been highlighted by a rare study of brains of a small number of retired players who developed dementia.

– MADRID – Police were called to investigate an altercation involving Diego Maradona and his girlfriend at a hotel in Madrid, authorities say.