Monday’s Sports in Brief
CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) — Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona said he has left his off-the-pitch issues behind as he was formally introduced as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa.
Visibly jovial during a news conference at a luxury hotel in the Sinaloa state capital, Culiacan, Maradona assured Dorados fans that he didn’t come to Mexico for a vacation.
“We are all judged and we think we have the word of truth, but how many people are there here who do worse things than us and don’t end up in any newspaper?” Maradona said. “I came here to work, and I came to give my heart.”
Maradona surprised the international soccer world last week by signing a deal to manage Dorados, which is in the lower half of Mexico’s second division. The 57-year-old has publicly struggled in the past with drug and alcohol addiction, and analysts criticized his choice of club in a city considered the heart of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug smuggling gangs.
But Maradona said his partying days are in the past.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Golden Knights wasted little time in making sure Max Pacioretty will be around for the long haul after pulling off the trade that is bringing the former Montreal Canadiens captain to Las Vegas.
The team announced it had signed Pacioretty to a $28 million, four-year contract extension that runs through the 2022-23 season. The 29-year-old Pacioretty was entering the final season of a six-year deal.
The Stanley Cup runner-up Golden Knights acquired the All-Star forward Sunday night from the Canadiens for Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a 2019 second-round pick.
The additions of Pacioretty and veteran center Paul Stastny, whom the Knights signed earlier this year, upgrades a line that lost James Neal and David Perron to free agency over the summer. It also includes Alex Tuch, who enjoyed a breakout rookie season during the Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy needs more information on the extent of Aaron Rodgers‘ knee injury to determine the quarterback’s availability for next week’s game against Minnesota.
Rodgers was sore when the team returned to Lambeau Field, McCarthy said. The Packers reviewed the thrilling 24-23 win on Sunday night over the Chicago Bears, in which Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after returning from an injury.
The Packers return to the practice field on Wednesday, when the first injury report for Week 2 is due.
Rodgers left in the second quarter against the Bears on a cart after slipping to the turf during a sack and reaching back for the back of his left leg. Rodgers had ACL surgery on his left knee in college.
With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the Carolinas’ coastline, conferences and schools are monitoring the strengthening storm’s progress and exploring contingencies for games this week.
The National Hurricane Center issued an advisory Monday that the storm is expected to approach the North or South Carolina coast Thursday as an “extremely dangerous major hurricane.” That would be the same day that Wake Forest hosts Boston College in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup, and two days before six power conference schools host nonconference games in the Carolinas and Virginia.
For now, the teams are moving forward with gameweek plans until told otherwise.
LONDON (AP) — The International Tennis Federation is defending the chair umpire who gave Serena Williams three code violations during the U.S. Open final, saying his “decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules.”
Williams was cited by Carlos Ramos three times Saturday during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka: for getting coaching signals; for breaking her racket, which cost her a point; and for calling Ramos a thief, which cost her a game.
On Sunday, the tournament referee docked Williams $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of the chair umpire, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket.
The ITF said in a statement Ramos’ citations were “reaffirmed by the U.S. Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses.”
The governing body of tennis added that: “Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander made it seem like old times at Comerica Park, drawing several big cheers and pitching seven sharp innings in his return to his former home while leading the Houston Astros over the Detroit Tigers 3-2.
Verlander struck out 10 in his first game in Detroit since being traded to Houston in August 2017. The World Series champion Astros opened a three-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West.
Verlander made his major league debut with Detroit in 2005 and ranks among the top 10 on several of the team’s career pitching lists.
The 35-year-old righty received a lengthy standing ovation after a video tribute was played as he walked in from the bullpen, and another when he came out to warm up for the first inning. Both times, he tipped his cap and waved to the crowd.
Verlander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, improving to 98-50 at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer is second in career wins at the stadium with 46, while Jordan Zimmermann leads current Tigers with 14.