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Yankees' German gets 81-game ban

UNDATED (AP) — Domingo Germán (hehr-MAHN’) won’t pitch off a major league mound until June.

The New York Yankees starting hurler will miss the first 63 games of the upcoming season as part of an 81-game ban for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Germán was put on administrative leave on Sept. 19 while MLB investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child. He missed the final nine games of the 2019 regular season and all nine of New York’s postseason games. Those missed games will count toward his ban.

The right-hander was the Yankees’ winningest pitcher last season, going 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 24 starts and three relief appearances.

Germán's ban is the longest levied by MLB under its domestic violence policy for a player who was not formally charged. He has agreed not to appeal the punishment.

In other MLB news:

— The White Sox and Cuban outfielder Luis Robert have agreed to a six-year, $50 million contract. The 22-year-old Robert has hit .312 over three minor league seasons, including 32 home runs, 92 RBIs, 108 runs and 36 stolen bases last season.

— The Red Sox have signed catcher Kevin Plawecki to a $900,000 contract for this year and designated first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis for assignment to make space on the 40-man roster. The 28-year-old Plawecki is a five-year big league veteran with the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians. He's a career .218 hitter and batted .222 with three homers, 17 RBIs and a .629 OPS in 59 games with Cleveland last season.


Wayne, Polamalu among HOF finalists

UNDATED The 15 modern-era player finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 have been announced, and the list includes first-year eligible players Troy Polamalu (poh-lah-MAH’-loo) and Reggie Wayne.

LeRoy Butler, Torry Holt, Sam Mills, Zach Thomas and Bryant Young are first-time finalists who previously have been eligible for the Hall.

The other player finalists are Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce and Alan Faneca (FAN’-eh-kah), along with Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, John Lynch and Richard Seymour.

In other NFL news:

— The Titans are getting back cornerback Adoree' Jackson in time for their AFC wild-card game Saturday against the Patriots. Jackson has practiced all week and is listed as available in their injury report. Jackson had missed the past four games after hurting a foot in a win Dec. 1 at Indianapolis.

— San Francisco linebacker Kwon Alexander has returned to practice for the first time since tearing his pectoral muscle midway through the season. The Niners opened up the three-week practice window for Alexander to be activated from injured reserve in the playoffs. He has not been cleared yet for contact.

— Former Bengals quarterback, offensive coordinator and head coach Sam Wyche (wysh) has died of melanoma at age 74, according to the team. One of the Bengals’ original quarterbacks, Wyche coached the Bengals to their second Super Bowl during the 1988 season by using a no-huddle offense that forced the league to change its substitution rules. He played three seasons with Cincinnati, throwing for 12 touchdowns with eight interceptions.


Bearcats beat Eagles in Birmingham Bowl

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — No. 23 Cincinnati has capped its 11-3 season by taking the Birmingham Bowl.

Desmond Ridder ran for 105 yards and three touchdowns while also throwing a scoring pass as the Bearcats blew out Boston College, 38-6. Cincinnati outgained the Eagles, 459-164 in reaching 11 wins for the second straight season and fourth in program history.

Michael Warren Jr. had 105 yards rushing for the Bearcats.

BC scored its only points on special teams as Mike Palmer blocked a field goal and Brandon Sebastian scooped it up and returned it 67 yards in the third quarter.


Kmet leaving South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Cole Kmet is the latest Notre Dame player to give up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Kmet initially said in November that he intended to return before announcing on Twitter that he was turning pro. He joins running back Tony Jones Jr. and safety Alohi Gilman in making themselves available for the April draft. Quarterback Ian Book will return to Notre Dame next season.


Williamson returns to practice

UNDATED (AP) — Zion Williamson returned to practice with the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday for the first time since he had arthroscopic knee surgery shortly before the season.

The first player taken in last year’s NBA draft said he “felt really good out there,” but cannot say when he'll make his regular-season debut. Williamson said he first must pass “assessments” by team medical staff before the decision can rest solely with him.

Coach Alvin Gentry said Williamson participated fully in the on-court work, but the practice wasn't particularly strenuous.

Williamson played in four preseason games before his injury, averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds. He had surgery in mid-October.

In other NBA news:

— The Magic could spend at least two months without forward Jonathan Isaac because of a knee injury suffered in Wednesday’s win over Washington. Test showed an injury to the posterior lateral corner of his left knee as well as a bone bruise, leaving the Magic without a sparkplug who is averaging career highs of 12 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals this season. The Magic say he won’t be re-evaluated for at least eight weeks, and that surgery may still be an option.

— Kings center Dewayne Dedmon has been fined $50,000 by the league for public comments about wanting a trade, in violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Dedmon told The Sacramento Bee on Sunday that he hasn’t been playing and wants to go were his talents are appreciated. The NBA calls the comment detrimental to the league.


Sabres move Scandella, get Frolik

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres have worked out two trades that free up cap space while opening room on their crowded blueline.

The Sabres shipped defenseman Marco Scandella to the Canadiens and picked up Michael Frolik (froh-LEEK’) from the Flames. Buffalo also acquired a fourth-round draft pick from Montreal and sent it to Calgary.

Frolik has just five goals and five assists in 38 games with the Flames this year after scoring 15 or more eight times in 12 NHL seasons. Scandella can become a free agent this July as he plays out the final year of a five-year, $20 million contract.


Finns beat US in world quarters

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) — The United States has been eliminated from medal contention in the world junior hockey championship by falling to Finland, 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

Joonas Oden scored a power-play goal with 15:37 remaining to give the Finns a victory in a rematch of last year’s final.

Finland will take on Canada in the semifinals on Saturday, with Sweden facing Russia.

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