Thursday Sports in Brief
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Racing returned to Santa Anita for the first time since the track was closed nearly a month ago following the deaths of 22 horses.
Discrete Stevie B, the 8-5 favorite, won the first race on the main dirt track in front of a small crowd that was typical of weekday attendance. Outside the track, about 20 protesters toted signs critical of the sport.
The first six races on the eight-race card went off without incident under sunny skies, a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s. The resumption of racing was being closely watched by the industry and the general public concerned about the safety of the horses.
Santa Anita had been without racing since March 3, leaving a variety of track employees idled without pay. The dirt surface was inspected and renovated during the shutdown that followed the high number of horse deaths since Dec. 26.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit three home runs and then was intentionally walked in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the major league record, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-5.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell signaled for the free pass with one out and a runner on second. Cardinals fans behind the visiting dugout cheered as Goldschmidt approached the plate and booed loudly when Counsell made the move.
Just 18 players have hit four homers in a game, including J.D. Martinez and Scooter Gennett in 2017.
Goldschmidt had four hits and drove in five in his second game with St. Louis. The six-time All-Star was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts in his debut Thursday after an offseason trade from Arizona.
Upton ran into the outfield wall at Angel Stadium while chasing a flyball during an exhibition game Sunday. The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain and Upton was placed on the 10-day injured list with hopes of returning in mid-April.
Those plans changed after Upton was diagnosed with turf toe on his left foot. Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Upton could miss three months.
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California hired Mark Fox as its new men’s basketball coach just five days after firing Wyking Jones.
Fox had a 286-176 record in 14 seasons as coach at Nevada and Georgia. He made the NCAA Tournament five times but never advanced to the Sweet 16. Fox was fired at Georgia last year after failing to reach the tournament in each of his final three seasons with the Bulldogs.
Jones was fired Sunday after back-to-back eight-win seasons at Cal. The Golden Bears had a 16-47 record during his tenure for the worst two-season stretch in school history and also had a school-record 16-game losing streak this year before winning the final three regular season games in the Pac-12.
The 50-year-old Fox got his head coaching career started at Nevada in 2004. He made the NCAA Tournament in each of his first three seasons and advanced to the second round twice during that time. He won at least 20 games each season and had a 123-43 record when Georgia lured him away in 2009. He made the tournament in his second year with the Bulldogs in 2011 and then again in 2015. But he lost in the first round each time and then struggled to a 57-44 record in his final three years there.
According to a Yahoo! report, Cousins said the fan “muttered” a racial slur at him on Jan. 26.
The Celtics say the fan, who is a minor, was ejected from the game immediately after they received the complaint. The team says it reviewed videotape and spoke with fans, police and security in the area and concluded the fan was verbally abusive toward the Golden State bench. The investigation found that “none of the interviewed parties were able to verify the use of racially offensive language, and video evidence proved inconclusive.”
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech football player Brandon Adams was practicing a dance routine when he collapsed suddenly and died last weekend, police said.
There was nothing in Adams’ autopsy to indicate foul play and no evidence to warrant a criminal investigation, Atlanta police spokesman James H. White III said in a statement to The Associated Press.
According to a police report accompanying the statement, Adams collapsed in a garage area near the Georgia Tech campus early Sunday morning.
“They took a water break, and when Mr. Adams went to drink some water he fell backward, hit his head on the ground, started to convulse, and foamed up white substances from his mouth,” the report said.
The player was pronounced dead at nearby Emory hospital. Campus police, who had been investigating the incident, called in Atlanta police after learning of Adams’ death. An investigator said “it appeared to be natural and that there was no apparent foul play involved.”
The school announced Adams’ death on Sunday, two days before the start of spring football practice. He was 21.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas running back Pooka Williams agreed to diversion terms for a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, though the Jayhawks‘ biggest offensive weapon remains suspended from the program.
Court records filed Thursday show the agreement requires Williams to complete 40 hours of community service by Nov. 30. He also must submit to domestic violence offender assessment, and if that assessment doesn’t result in any recommendations, Williams must take an anger management course. If he successfully completes the diversion, the allegation would be dropped from his record.
Williams was charged in December after an 18-year-old Kansas student he was dating accused him of punching her in the stomach and grabbing her throat. He was suspended by the football program Dec. 7.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina star Lionel Messi admitted to being upset with constant criticism in his homeland, saying in an interview that even his 6-year-old son asks why his countrymen attack his performances for the national team.
Many Argentinans feel Messi doesn’t have the same enthusiasm for international soccer that he does for his club Barcelona. They also questioned his silence after being eliminated from last year’s World Cup by France, something Messi said he wanted to forget.
“I wanted to distance myself from the team, let time go by and cool myself. It was painful to end the cycle this way,” Messi told radio Club 94.7. “Many people said I should not return (to the national team). Family, friends. My 6-year-old (asked me) ‘Why do they kill you in Argentina, daddy?'”
The 31-year-old Argentina captain said he still wants to win a tournament and will keep trying with the team under coach Lionel Scaloni.