AP source: McBride out as US men’s soccer general manager
NEW YORK (AP) — Brian McBride is out as general manager of the U.S. men’s soccer team. U.S. Soccer Federation sporting director Earnie Stewart told the governing body’s board of directors about the move. Stewart informed the board during his presentation near the end of the board’s executive session on Thursday, a person familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn’t been announced. McBride had held the job for three years. Stewart did not tell the board whether McBride will be replaced in the role.
Twins trade batting champ Arraez to Marlins for Pablo López
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have traded reigning American League batting champion Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins for a three-player package featuring starting pitcher Pablo López. The 25-year-old Arraez had a breakout season in 2022. He made his first All-Star team while batting a league-best .316 and denying Aaron Judge the Triple Crown award. The Twins also received two prospects from the Marlins: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio. The 32-year-old López had a 3.75 ERA in 32 starts last season. Salas was picked as Miami’s fifth-best prospect in the most recent MLB Pipeline rankings.
Bosa, Parsons bring pass-rushing spotlight to 49ers-Cowboys
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas star Micah Parsons sees himself and fellow All-Pro edge rusher Nick Bosa of San Francisco as entertainers in their divisional playoff. It’s just more of a sideshow, in Parsons’ view, compared to the bigger plot of who moves on to the NFC championship game. Both players were All-Pro edge rushers in 2022, and Bosa is the overwhelming favorite to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Both won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Bosa was the 2019 winner, two years before Parsons. The 49ers and Cowboys play Sunday evening in San Francisco.
Florida releases QB Rashada from scholarship to end breakup
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has granted quarterback Jaden Rashada a release from his national letter of intent. It comes three days after he requested to be let go because the Gator Collective failed to honor a four-year name, image and likeness deal worth more than $13 million. That detail is according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side acknowledged the split publicly. The high-profile case will likely prompt changes at Florida and could lead to a lawsuit and, potentially, an NCAA investigation.
Diamondbacks affiliate Hillsboro names woman as manager
PHOENIX (AP) — Ronnie Gajownik has been hired as manager of the Hillsboro Hops, becoming the first woman to manage a minor league High-A team, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Friday. Gajownik served as video coordinator for the Hops in 2021. She was on the coaching staff of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Diamondback’s Double-A affiliate, last season as first-base coach. Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage a professional baseball team last year when she coached the New York Yankees’ Single-A club, the Tampa Tarpons.
Wembanyama, even with eyes always on him, seems unfazed
PARIS (AP) — All eyes are on French basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama. And that doesn’t seem to bother the 19-year-old NBA draft prospect. He and his family sat just off the court at the game Thursday in Paris between Detroit and Chicago. A maze of people surrounded him as he walked to his seat because they all wanted to get a peek at the talk of the basketball world. But Wembanyama wasn’t bothered by the attention. He’s enjoying his French season and the NBA is getting ready to welcome him in a few months. Commissioner Adam Silver says it’s important for him to not add to the pressure Wembanyama is facing.
Thompson cards 3 more eagles, has 2-shot AmEx lead over Rahm
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Rookie Davis Thompson made three more eagles for a total of five through 36 holes to tie the PGA Tour record for the most in a 72-hole tournament since 1983, and he still didn’t put any more distance between himself and Jon Rahm at The American Express. Thompson was at 18-under 126 through two rounds, two shots ahead of Rahm. Both players shot 64 on Friday on the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West. Rahm is the highest-ranked player in the field and won two weeks ago at Kapalua. Six other players have made five eagles in a 72-hole tournament.
More than 50,000 tickets sold for AFC title game in Atlanta
ATLANTA (AP) — The NFL says more than 50,000 tickets were sold in the first 24 hours for a potential AFC championship game in Atlanta. Season-ticket holders of the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs were given priority access to tickets if the Jan. 29 game is played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The league revamped its playoff system after Buffalo’s game against the Cincinnati Bengal was canceled. That denied the Bills a shot at a home-field edge throughout the AFC playoffs. The league decided if those two teams advance, the AFC title will be decided at a neutral site.
Bills’ Hamlin faces long recovery, family spokesman tells AP
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A family spokesman for Damar Hamlin tells The Associated Press the Buffalo Bills safety still faces a long rehabilitation despite enjoying a remarkable recovery some three weeks after having to be resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati. Jordon Rooney says Hamlin still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects. Rooney provided the update to emphasize Hamlin still faces hurdles since being discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center on Jan. 11, and began making regular visits to the Bills facility this week.
Titans’ 1st Black GM says he stands on ‘shoulders of giants’
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ran Carthon says he has been so busy earning a job as an NFL general manager that he hasn’t had time to contemplate the history and meaning of becoming the Tennessee Titans’ first Black GM. Carthon says an aunt texted to warn him that the question about making history would come and that was when he realized it. Carthon says his goal is to be successful and leave the door open for other Black men. He takes over a franchise that finished the season on a seven-game skid. Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk says she still has high expectations despite the questions facing the team this offseason.