Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Following the final out, after Johnny Cueto completed his two-hitter, several hundred fans remained in Kauffman Stadium, wanting one more look at the Kansas City Royals.
The next time they see Eric Hosmer and his teammates may be in a parade.
After smothering the Mets 7-1 with Cueto and their pesky offense, the Royals have a 2-0 World Series lead and can capture their first title since 1985 when play resumes at New York’s Citi Field this weekend.
Rather than look ahead and anticipate a celebration, Hosmer thought back to Kansas City’s crushing seven-game loss to the Giants in 2014.
Kansas City wore down Jacob deGrom with persistence and prowess, then pounced. Hosmer hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs in a four-run fifth inning that included 14 foul balls.
Nineteen hours after Hosmer’s sacrifice fly won a 14-inning thriller, Cueto varied his delivery with occasional quick pitches and kept the Mets off balance.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The lawyer who is leading the San Diego Chargers’ efforts to move to Los Angeles was vigorously booed as he addressed the crowd at the beginning of a public hearing the NFL mandated as part of the relocation process.
”Why don’t you tell the truth?” one fan yelled at Mark Fabiani, who has criticized Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s efforts to build a new stadium in Mission Valley to replace aging Qualcomm Stadium.
Eric Grubman, the NFL’s point man on Los Angeles, had to step in and ask that the crowd to calm down.
Many Chargers fans feel betrayed because the team and its biggest rival, the Oakland Raiders, have proposed a joint $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, an industrial suburb of L.A. if they don’t get stadium deals in their home market. Their proposal was announced after St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans for a stadium in Inglewood.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The seizures had returned for Jerry Kill.
Perhaps hoping he could still mesh his demanding, pressure-filled job as Minnesota’s head football coach with his epilepsy, Kill guided the Gophers through one more practice on Tuesday. He was pleased with this week’s game plan for Michigan, yet he knew as he walked off the field what his heart-wrenching decision would be.
He was done coaching. The toll epilepsy took on his body, his mind and his family had become too much to bear for someone trying to turn around an FBS program.
The 54-year-old football lifer reluctantly and tearfully retired on Wednesday, halfway into his fifth season at Minnesota. The drain of his condition and the related medication was clashing with his exhaustive effort to transform the Gophers into a Big Ten power.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
SEATTLE (AP) – The coach of a Washington state high school football team who prayed at games despite orders from the school district to stop was placed on paid administrative leave.
Bremerton School District officials said in a statement that assistant football coach Joe Kennedy’s leave was necessitated because of his refusal to comply with district directives that he refrain from engaging in overt, public religious displays on the football field while on duty as a coach.
Kennedy has vocally engaged in pregame and postgame prayers, sometimes joined by students, since 2008. But the practice recently came to the district’s attention, and it asked him to stop.
He initially agreed to the ban, but then, with support from the Texas-based Liberty Institute, a religious-freedom organization, he resumed the postgame prayers, silently taking a knee for 15 to 20 seconds at midfield after shaking hands with the opposing coaches. His lawyers insist he is not leading students in prayer, just praying himself.
GENEVA (AP) – Seven men are in the running to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, with Michel Platini’s candidature accepted but pending because of his suspension from soccer.
FIFA published the list of valid applications ”proposed in due time and form” on Wednesday. It did not include former Trinidad and Tobago player David Nakhid, who did not have the five required nominations.
The seven candidates for the Feb. 26 election are: Platini, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale, Musa Bility, Jerome Champagne and Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa.
FIFA’s three-man election panel, led by audit committee chairman Domenico Scala, will announce next month which of the seven candidates have been officially accepted after integrity checks by the FIFA ethics committee.
Three of the candidates are from Europe, two are from Africa and two from Asia.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Three days after losing their leader to cancer, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making sure everyone knows that Flip Saunders is still with them.
The Timberwolves unveiled a new shooting shirt for pregame warmups in their season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. The gray shirts have ”WE” written in big, block letters, with ”FLIP” written over the heart.
The ”We over Me” concept is something Wolves GM Milt Newton and Saunders discussed starting last year and planned to instill as the mantra heading into the season. It was all about driving home to a young and impressionable core the importance of valuing team achievement over individual statistics.
The NBA granted the Wolves permission to wear the shirts for the first month of the season while they mourn Saunders, who died on Sunday at age 60.