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 EDT:

– KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After Kansas City won the World Series opener 5-4 in 14 innings, Johnny Cueto tries to pitch the Royals to a 2-0 lead over the Mets. Jacob deGrom starts for New York. Game starts 8:07 p.m.

– LOS ANGELES – Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves begin the regular season with heavy hearts three days after coach Flip Saunders’ death.

– OKLAHOMA CITY – Back from injury, Kevin Durant and new Thunder coach Billy Donovan open their NBA season against San Antonio.

– MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota coach Jerry Kill abruptly retired because of health reasons, ending his efforts to rebuild the Golden Gopher football program during a tenure that included a series of game-day seizures.

– GLASGOW, Scotland – China and Japan renew their longstanding rivalry in the men’s team final at the world gymnastics championships.

– Ohio State’s football players trickle into practice, strap on electrodes and hook them up to an iPod. The data it is gathering will determine whether practice is tough or light. The days of getting a team ready Junction Boys-style, pushing players well beyond their physical limits for the sake of making them tougher is mostly gone.

– LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a few days, there will be an empty stall in Bob Baffert’s barn and an empty space in the hearts of the trainer and owner of American Pharoah. The 3-year-old colt bids farewell to racing in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, ending a memorable journey that included winning the sport’s first Triple Crown in 37 years.

– CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Hall of Fame coaches Rick Pitino, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams and Larry Brown have resumes of unquestioned on-court success. They’re also running programs dealing with NCAA trouble.

– TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State has a buzz around its men’s basketball team more than perhaps any time in program history. New coach Bobby Hurley has that kind of effect.

– The Miami Dolphins’ improbable turnaround under interim coach Dan Campbell faces a tough test in prime time when they play Thursday at undefeated New England.

– NFL practice squad players are in the ultimate Catch 22. They’re hired to help prepare the starters for games, to impersonate upcoming opponents but not upstage the regulars, to give their teammates a good look without making them look bad. While they shouldn’t be showing up anyone, they also want to show the coaches they’re worthy of a roster spot themselves.

– ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Rock superstar Rod Stewart is well-known for his love of soccer, especially the Celtic Football Club in Glasgow, Scotland. Hockey, it turns out, is another matter. ”All he knows is if my team scores. That’s about it,” said his son, Liam Stewart. ”I was like, `Dad, that’s all you need to know – if we win or if we score.”’