Weekend Sports in Brief
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Longtime closer Lee Smith and smooth-swinging Harold Baines were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Former outfielder and manager Lou Piniella fell one vote short.
Results of the 16-member Today’s Game Era Committee were announced at the winter meetings. It took 12 votes for election — Smith was unanimous, Baines got 12 and Piniella had 11.
Smith and Baines both debuted in Chicago during the 1980 season. Smith began with the Cubs and went on to post a then-record 478 saves while Baines started out with the White Sox and had 2,866 hits.
George Steinbrenner, Orel Hershiser, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Davey Johnson and Charlie Manuel all received fewer than five votes.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Baseball players may get a little more sleep when traveling after Sunday night games next year.
ESPN plans to announce it will move up the starting time of the nationally televised game by one hour, with the first pitch planned for shortly after 7 p.m. EDT.
The network intends to make the announcement on Monday at the winter meetings, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because the announcement had not yet been made.
—By Baseball Writer Ron Blum.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Napoli has announced his retirement after 12 years in the majors that included three trips to the World Series.
The 37-year-old Napoli, who did not play last season because of a knee injury, announced his decision Saturday on Twitter .
Napoli batted .246 with 267 homers and 744 RBIs over 1,392 games with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. He entered the majors as a catcher before switching to first base.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chili Davis has been hired as hitting coach of the New York Mets after spending last season in the role with the Chicago Cubs.
Davis was hitting coach for Oakland manager Bob Melvin (2012-14) and Boston manager John Farrell (2015-2017) before moving to the Cubs under manager Joe Maddon.
Davis was fired in October.
NEW YORK (AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has won the Heisman Trophy, edging Alabama’s Tua Tagvailoa and setting up a College Football Playoff matchup of Heisman winner and runner-up.
The fourth-ranked Sooners play the top-ranked Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl semifinal Dec. 29 in the seventh bowl matchup of Heisman winner and runner-up, and first since second-place finisher Vince Young and Texas beat Reggie Bush and Southern California in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
This season, Murray stepped into the starting job at Oklahoma held by last year’s Heisman winner and first overall NFL draft pick, Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma is the first school with have Heisman-winner quarterbacks in consecutive seasons and the fifth overall with winners in back-to-back years.
On Sunday, Murray apologized for anti-gay tweets posted to his Twitter account when he was 14 and 15., saying he “used a poor choice of word” that didn’t reflect who he is or what he believes.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — No. 22 Army recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had two rushing touchdowns and Army beat Navy 17-10 on Saturday to win its third straight game in the series.
President Donald Trump attended the 119th game between the rivals and flipped the coin before spending a half on each side in a show of impartiality. No matter his view, Army (10-2) always had the edge.
Army retained the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy— awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies — after winning it for the first time in 22 years last season and snuffed a late Navy (3-10) rally to retain possession of the patriotic prize.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Brian Hartline has been promoted to permanent receivers coach at Ohio State.
Under Hartline, Ohio State receivers achieved school records in receptions, yards and touchdowns behind quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ravens fullback and defensive lineman Patrick Ricard apologized on Sunday for racist and homophobic tweets made six years ago, when he was “a 16-year-old kid in high school who clearly made bad choices.”
The deleted tweets from 2011 and 2012 surfaced late Saturday night, and Ricard was a healthy scratch against the Chiefs after appearing in 10 games and playing both sides of the ball this season.
The Ravens issued a statement condemning the comments Sunday, calling them “totally unacceptable.” The team also said that “we have addressed the matter with Pat,” and would have additional comment later.
PHOENIX (AP) — Admiral Schofield hit a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left and scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half, helping No. 7 Tennessee knock off top-ranked Gonzaga 76-73 in the Colangelo Classic on Sunday.
Tennessee (7-1) jumped on Gonzaga early and fought back from a nine-point, second-half deficit.
The Zags passed every previous test despite playing without injured forward Kevin Tillie.
Gonzaga blew out Texas A&M in Spokane, then knocked off Illinois, Arizona and then-top-ranked Duke to win the Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs beat Washington in their last game on a last-second jumper.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Big East Conference has extended its agreement with Madison Square Garden to hold its postseason tournament at the venue through 2028.
The deal announced Sunday extends the current partnership by two years and ensures the Big East Tournament will be played at Madison Square Garden in the week leading up to Selection Sunday.
The Big East Tournament has been played at Madison Square Garden each year since 1983 and is the longest-running postseason championship at the same location in college basketball.
ATLANTA (AP) — Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar scored goals, Brad Guzan came up with a couple of clutch saves and Atlanta United gave the city its first title since 1995 with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final Saturday night.
Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank got to lift the trophy, just under three years after his other team, the NFL’s Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse.
MILAN (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic will remain at the Los Angeles Galaxy after the Major League Soccer club agreed with his requests, according to AC Milan sporting director Leonardo.
Milan had been trying to bring back the 37-year-old on a loan from the Galaxy. The former Sweden international scored more than 50 goals for Milan in two seasons at the club and helped the Rossoneri win the 2011 Serie A title.
PARIS (AP) — The defending champion United States is again placed in a group with Sweden for the Women’s World Cup next summer in France.
The draw for soccer’s premier tournament was held Saturday at a gala event in Paris.
The Americans defeated Japan 5-2 — highlighted by Carli Lloyd’s hat trick — in Canada at the last World Cup in 2015. The U.S. has played in every World Cup since the competition started in 1991, winning the event in 1991, 1999 and 2015
Twenty-four teams were placed in six groups at the draw. The U.S. is top-ranked and is grouped with Sweden for the fifth straight World Cup.
Also in Group F are Thailand and Chile, which is making its World Cup debut.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport.
After an Olympic leaders’ meeting on Saturday, the IOC says “discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature.”
Enthusiasm has seemed to dim since the IOC hosted a July conference with esports organizers and players.
Sports bodies are now advised to “continue to engage with this (gaming) community, whilst at the same time acknowledging that uncertainties remain.”