Verlander, Alcantara are unanimous Cy Young Award winners
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston’s Justin Verlander in the American League and Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in the National League are both unanimous selections for the Cy Young Award. It’s the second time the winners in both leagues were unanimous since the award began in 1956. The 39-year-old Verlander won the award for the first time, having previously won in 2011 with Detroit and 2019 with Houston. He’s the 11th player to win it three times. Verlander missed almost all of the previous two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He led the AL in ERA. Alcantara led the majors in complete games with six.
Universities focus on athletes’ mental health after crises
There is no playbook to instruct how athletic departments are to respond to the tragic death of one of their athletes. But those who have experienced the trauma say the increased emphasis on mental health care in athletic departments and universities at-large — spurred in part by the pandemic — help when a crisis strikes. Tragedy struck the University of Virginia earlier this week. Three members of the football team were shot and killed while on a bus returning to the Charlottesville campus from a field trip to Washington.
Prosecutor: Witness told police UVA suspect targeted victims
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A prosecutor says a witness told police the University of Virginia student suspected of opening fire on fellow students as they returned by bus from a field trip targeted specific victims. The prosecutor gave a brief accounting of what police say happened Sunday night during the suspect’s first court appearance Wednesday. Christopher Darnell Jones Jr. was ordered held without bond. His attorney did not address the substance of the charges against him. The school also announced Wednesday it was canceling its final home game of the season scheduled for the weekend against Coastal Carolina. The violence Sunday night left three football players dead and one player and another student wounded.
Browns QB Watson practices for 1st time during suspension
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Deshaun Watson is practicing with the Cleveland Browns for the first time since his 11-game NFL suspension started in August. Watson was accused of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women in Texas and reached a settlement with the league this summer. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback returned to the field with his teammates on Wednesday. Despite temperatures hovering around freezing, Watson had on short sleeves during the portion of practice open to reporters. He fired passes to Cleveland’s wide receivers while periodically tucking his hands into a warmer around his waist. As long as he meets the league’s requirements, Watson can play on Dec. 4 when the Browns visit Houston, which drafted him in 2017.
Celtics claim 8th straight win, beat Hawks 126-101
ATLANTA (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 22 points to lead a balanced Boston attack and the East-leading Celtics stretched their winning streak to eight with a 126-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. The Celtics were missing injured guards Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon. It hardly mattered. There were plenty of players to fill the void against the Hawks, who were coming off a big win at Milwaukee and eager to show they could challenge the best in the conference. Not on this night. Boston took control in the irst quarter against the cold-shooting Hawks, whose occasional spurts were quickly snuffed out by the Celtics’ stifling defense. Trae Young led the Hawks with 27 points
Novak Djokovic has visa to play Australian Open in January
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government confirmed that Novak Djokovic has been granted a visa to compete in the Australian Open in January a year after he was deported over his stance against COVID-19 vaccination. The 21-time Grand Slam champion had his visa cancelled on public interest grounds on Jan. 14 and lost an appeal against deportation in the Full Federal Court. Immigration Minister Andrew Giles says he had approved Djokovic’s application to revoke the cancellation decision because the ground for canceling the visa no longer existed. The visa ban could have lasted for three years. The 35-year-old from Serbia is clear to compete at the Australian Open, which runs from Jan. 16-29.
Tom Brady, Larry David, other celebrities named in FTX suit
NEW YORK (AP) — A host of Hollywood and sports celebrities including Larry David and Tom Brady were named as defendants in a class-action lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange FTX, arguing that their celebrity status made them culpable for promoting the firm’s failed business model. FTX has been in the public eye for more than a week, after the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange ended up with billions of dollars worth of losses and had to seek bankruptcy protection. The lawsuit names “Seinfeld” creator David, as well as star quarterback Brady, basketball players Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry, and tennis star Naomi Osaka, among several others.
Harper set for elbow surgery, opening day status in doubt
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will have surgery next week to repair the small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. The injury forced the right fielder to spend most of the season as designated hitter. It now puts his opening day status in doubt. Phillies President Dave Dombrowski says there’s no timetable on Harper’s recovery until after Wednesday’s surgery. Whether he needs Tommy John surgery to replace the ligament or could face an easier repair won’t be known until Harper goes under the knife. While pitchers can miss up to 18 months or worse with Tommy John surgery, hitters can make a more rapid return because they don’t have to throw.
Qatar’s World Cup denounced for ‘washing’ country’s image
Qatar’s decision to launch itself into hosting the 2022 World Cup was a head-scratcher from the start. Why, some wondered, would a Middle Eastern emirate with fewer than 3 million people and little soccer tradition want to host the sport’s biggest event? Skeptics say the country wanted to use the prestige of the World Cup, which starts Sunday, to remake its image as a natural-gas producer with a shaky human-rights record. They viewed the move, which will cost the country some $220 billion, as a classic case of “sportswashing” — using sports as a forum to cast a country or company as different than many perceive.
Ronaldo delivers scathing criticism of United in interview
Cristiano Ronaldo’s highly anticipated tell-all interview with Piers Morgan has finally been broadcast and few at Manchester United have been spared in his scathing condemnation of the club. Past and present teammates, former managers and the board all got a blast from Ronaldo, whose days at United are now surely numbered. He said United had failed to move on as a club since his first spell there and that “progress was zero” at United compared to his previous teams Real Madrid and Juventus. Ronaldo says he is surprised that the young players at United haven’t used him as more of an example and that most of them ”don’t care.”