BC-Sports Showcase Digest,ADVISORY

A look ahead to top enterprise and feature stories planned globally by AP Sports. New digests will go out each Thursday and Monday and will be repeated on other weekdays. Please note that story plans may change depending on news and other issues.

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As with all our operations, we welcome and want your feedback. If you have thoughts or questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia, deputy sports editor for presentation and storytelling, at 215-446-6632 or at ogarcia(at)ap.org.

All times are Eastern.

WEDNESDAY, May 23

CAR–INDY 500-SATO’S DEFENSE

The billboards went up all over Japan when Takuma Sato held off Helio Castroneves in a dramatic Indy 500, becoming the first driver from his nation to win one of motorsport’s pinnacle events. Now, after a switch from Andretti Autosport to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, he’s back to defend his title. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 a.m. Wednesday.

TEN–On Tennis-French Open

PARIS – Forget about trying to decipher whether a recent loss on red clay is better or worse for Rafael Nadal’s mind-set as the French Open arrives. Focus, instead, on this indisputable fact: Even as his 32nd birthday approaches, Nadal is as dominant a figure as anyone ever has been on a particular tennis surface. By Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 12 p.m. Wednesday.

With:

– TEN–French Open-What to Know. A look at some of the main story lines as the French Open approaches. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

– TEN–French Open-Quiz. Test your knowledge of the clay-court Grand Slam tournament with an AP quiz. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.

– TEN–French Open-Women’s Capsules. A look at women to keep an eye on at Roland Garros. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

– TEN–French Open-Men’s Capsules. A look at men to keep an eye on at Roland Garros. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

THURSDAY, May 24

SOC–WCUP-SPAIN-FADED GLORY

MADRID – The elegance and precise passes of Andres Iniesta. The personality and stout defense of Sergio Ramos. The intelligence and scoring touch of David Silva. It will all be on display again at the World Cup – but likely for the last time. The remaining members of Spain’s golden generation are set to make one final appearance at soccer’s showcase event. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m. Thursday.

SOC–CHAMPIONS LEAGUE-FANS FLEECED

KIEV, Ukraine – It’s supposed to be the biggest game in club soccer, but some Real Madrid and Liverpool fans feel they’re getting scammed. Ahead of the Champions League final on Saturday, Ukraine’s hotel operators have hiked prices and airports are overwhelmed. However, some charitable locals are determined to give fans a break with free homestays. By James Ellingworth. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 12 p.m. EDT on Thursday.

FRIDAY, May 25

CAR–INDY 500-PATRICK’S FINALE

INDIANAPOLIS – Danica Patrick will take her final trip in a race car, one last 500 miles around Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the biggest stage of her career. She’s a polarizing trailblazer but determined to end her career at the highest peak. She honestly believes she can win the Indianapolis 500, and if Patrick didn’t believe in herself, well, she never would have made it this far. By Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 5 a.m. Friday.

BBC–TEMPLE COLLEGE’S CRAZY TRIP

Temple College coach and former major league pitcher Craig McMurtry was at home in Texas, preparing for exit interviews with his players, when a strange thing unfolded some 130 miles way. A bench-clearing scuffle broke out between McLennan Community College and Cisco College in the Region V tournament final. No punches were thrown and order was quickly restored, but it led to a double forfeiture. As the third-place team, McMurtry’s Leopards were eventually awarded the spot to the Junior College Baseball World Series beginning this weekend in Grand Junction, Colorado. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 12 p.m. Friday.

SATURDAY, May 26

CAR–INDY 500-FINDING A RIDE

INDIANAPOLIS – Drivers still hang around Gasoline Alley throughout the month of May, hoping to land a ride in an extra car or perhaps fill in for an injured driver. But for most drivers, the quest to be on the 33-car starting grid Memorial Day weekend begins months in advance, when they try to secure their own sponsorship and funding. And even then, landing a ride is no sure thing. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by noon Saturday.

MONDAY, May 28

SOC–WCUP-MESSI

ROSARIO, Argentina – Cristiano Ronaldo has an airport named after him in his Portuguese hometown; Pele has his museum in his Brazilian native city of Santos; even Rocky Balboa – a fictional boxer – has been paid homage with a statue in Philadelphia. So why does Rosario, an Argentine city that lives and breathes soccer, seem to have an ambivalent relationship with Lionel Messi – the world’s most famous footballer? By Luis Andres Henao. UPCOMING: 2,000 words, photos by 3 a.m. Monday. With abridged version of about 800 words.

TUESDAY, May 29

BBO–THE SWITCH-HITTING PLATEAU

DENVER – The art of switch hitting would figure to be at a premium in this age of shifting defenses and advanced analytics. But really the number remains remarkably steady over the past two decades. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos, video by 3 a.m. Tuesday, May 29.

Again, if you have questions about the Sports Showcase Digest or the material listed, please reach out to Oskar Garcia at 215-446-6632 or ogarcia(at)ap.org.

Thanks,

AP Sports