Judge wins AL MVP in runaway; Goldschmidt takes NL prize
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees has won the American League MVP award, and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt took the NL prize. After hitting 62 home runs this season to break the AL record, Judge easily beat out Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani in an MVP race some thought might be close. The 6-foot-7 outfielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes and two seconds for 410 points from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel. Ohtani, last year’s winner, was picked first on two ballots and second on the other 28 for 280 points. Goldschmidt won the NL award for the first time after a couple of close calls earlier in his career. Padres third baseman Manny Machado came in second.
World Cup organizers to ban alcoholic beer sales at stadiums
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that World Cup organizers will ban the sale of all beer with alcohol at the eight stadiums used for the soccer tournament. The decision comes only two days before games start in Qatar and 12 years after the country first consented to respect FIFA’s commercial partners. The person says non-alcoholic beer will still be available for fans at the 64 matches. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because organizers have not yet announced the decision.
Tannehill leads Titans to 27-17 victory over Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns to outduel Aaron Rodgers as the Tennessee Titans defeated the Green Bay Packers 27-17. Tannehill looked much sharper in his second game back after missing two games with an injured right ankle. He went 22 of 27 and had one interception as the Titans won for the seventh time in eight games. Rodgers went 24 of 39 for 227 yards with two touchdown passes to rookie Christian Watson. Green Bay has lost six of seven.
NFL shifts Bills’ game vs. Browns to Detroit due to storm
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The NFL is relocating the Bills’ home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit on Sunday because of a lake-effect snowstorm set to hit the Buffalo region. The move to relocate the game comes before the storm even began. The forecast is for between 1 to 3 feet of snow in the region through the weekend. The switch in sites means the Bills will play back-to-back games in Detroit. They’re scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Rodgers, NFL players urge league to nix turf, go with grass
Aaron Rodgers and his peers around the NFL are calling for teams to tear up their turf playing surfaces and replace them with grass. The outpouring comes a week after NFL Players Association President JC Tretter called on six venues to immediately change their field types, saying the artificial turf in those stadiums was resulting in higher injury rates. Players are concerned about non-contact and lower extremity injuries. The NFL has said its data shows injury rates are similar on grass and artificial turf. Rodgers says owners could be “putting your money where your mouth is if player safety is important.”
Devils win 11th straight, edging Maple Leafs 3-2 in OT
TORONTO (AP) — Yegor Sharangovich scored 57 seconds into overtime, Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves and the New Jersey Devils beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Thursday for their 11th straight victory. Sharangovich scored his fourth goal of the season on a rebound after Jack Hughes stole the puck, beating goalie Matt Murray. Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt also scored to help New Jersey improve to 14-3-0. The Devils have won 11 in a row for the third time in franchise history. Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for Toronto, William Nylander also scored and Murray made 30 saves.
Pratt accounts for 6 TDs, No. 21 Tulane tames SMU 59-24
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Michael Pratt passed for three touchdowns and ran for three, and No. 21 Tulane capitalized on a slew of SMU mistakes to beat the Mustangs 59-24. Tyjae Spears carried 13 times for 121 yards. It was his fifth straight game eclipsing 100 yards rushing. Spears scored two touchdowns rushing and another receiving as Tulane beat SMU for the first time in eight meetings. The Green Wave can clinch a berth in the American Athletic Conference title game by winning its regular season finale at Cincinnati. SMU came in averaging a league-high 40.3 points per game. But the Mustangs were plagued by dropped passes and five turnovers.
Griner has begun serving sentence in Russian penal colony
WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner has begun serving her nine-year sentence for drug possession at a Russian penal colony. That’s according to statements from her lawyers and agent on Thursday. Her lawyers say they visited her last week at a penal colony in Mordovia, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow. They say, “Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment.” The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan.
World Cup could mean redemption for Brazil forward Neymar
The hype surrounding Neymar was considerable when he was preparing to play at his first World Cup for Brazil back in 2014. He had just moved from Santos to Spanish club Barcelona as one of the most promising young players in the world. But things have changed considerably since then. Neymar remains one of the top players in the world but he has failed to fully meet the expectations that came along with his move to Europe. This year’s World Cup in Qatar could mean redemption for him and put his name back at the top of the award lists.
Culture clash? Conservative Qatar preps for World Cup party
A recent outpouring of local anger to scenes of foreign artists and models reveling in Qatar underscored the tensions tearing at the conservative Muslim emirate. The hereditary sheikhdom restricts alcohol, bans drugs and suppresses free speech but is nonetheless preparing to welcome some of the world’s rowdiest crowds for the first World Cup in the Middle East. Human rights groups have raised concerns over how Qatari police will handle foreign fans’ violations of the country’s Islamic legal system that criminalizes public drunkenness, sex outside of marriage and homosexuality. Meanwhile, Qatar faces pressure from within to stay true to its Islamic heritage and Bedouin roots.