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Bosox fire Cora
UNDATED (AP) — The fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing evidence has reached the Boston Red Sox.
The Bosox have fired manager Alex Cora a day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred implicated him in the sport's sign-stealing scandal. Cora was the Astros’ bench coach when they won the 2017 World Series and led Boston to the title the following year in his first season as manager.
Manfred's nine-page report investigating sign-stealing by the Astros mentioned Cora 11 times, saying Cora was among those who “originated and executed” aspects of the cheating scheme. Manfred explained that the team used a center field camera to decode catchers' signals to pitchers and banged on a trash can with a bat or massage gun near the dugout to let hitters know which pitch was coming.
MLB had also been investigating allegations the Red Sox had stolen signs en route to their 2018 World Series championship.
Cora’s dismissal comes a day after Astros manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow (LOO’-now) were fired by the ballclub. Hinch and Luhnow let go an hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season for their role in the cheating scheme.
Donaldson picks Twins
UNDATED (AP) — Free agent Josh Donaldson has found a landing spot.
A personal familiar with the deal says the Minnesota Twins have worked out a four-year, $92 million contract with the third baseman and 2015 American League MVP.
The 34-year-old Donaldson returned after an injury-spoiled 2018 to bat .259 with 37 homers, 94 RBIs and a .900 OPS for the Atlanta Braves last season.
The deal likely means a position change for third baseman Miguel Sano (sah-NOH’), who just finalized his three-year, $30 million contract with Minnesota on Tuesday. Sano has seen action at first base and could replace the departed CJ Kron at the position.
In other MLB moves:
The Phils have designated Odubel (oh-DOO’-bul) Herrera for assignment to make roster room for fellow outfielder Nick Martini, who was acquired off waivers from Miami. Herrera set career highs with 22 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2018, but he lost his starting job last year and was suspended under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy following his arrest at a casino in Atlantic City. Herrera batting .222 in 39 games last season.
— Daniel Hudson’s two-year, $11 million package with the Nationals has been finalized. Hudson was 9-3 with a 2.47 ERA during the regular season last year before going 4-for-4 in save opportunities for the World Series champs.
— The Angels have picked up reliever Matt Andriese from the Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher Jeremy Beasley. Andriese had a 5-5 record last season and a 4.71 ERA in 54 appearances for Arizona in 2019.
— The Marlins have traded outfielder Austin Dean to the Cardinals for 18-year-old minor league outfielder Diowill Burgos. Dean batted .225 for Miami in 64 games last year and hit .337 with 18 home runs for Triple-A New Orleans.
Crosby returns to Penguins’ lineup
UNDATED (AP) — Sid the Kid is back in uniform for the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.
Team captain Sidney Crosby is in the lineup against the Minnesota Wild after missing 28 games due to a core muscle injury. Crosby hasn’t played since Nov. 9, five days before undergoing abdominal surgery.
Crosby was scoreless in his last four games before being sidelined, leaving him with five goals and 12 points in 17 games this season. The Pens are 10-6-1 with Crosby in the lineup compared to 18-6-4 without him.
Pittsburgh carries a three-game winning streak into tonight’s game and is 11-2-1 in its last 14 contests.
In other NHL news:
— Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom has accepted a five-year, $46 extension that runs through the 2024-25 season and will count $9.2 million annually toward the salary cap. The fourth player taken in the 2006 draft has nine goals and 35 points in 39 games this season. He’s scored at least 71 points in each of his previous six seasons and has 908 in 934 career games.
— Flyers general Chuck Fletcher expects center Nolan Patrick to return from a migraine disorder and play this season. The second player taken in the 2017 draft has been sidelined all season because of his condition after producing in two seasons with the Philadelphia.
— Sabres center Tage (tayj) Thompson will miss the remainder of the season following surgery on his right shoulder. The Sabres say Thompson will require between five and six months of recovery time.
Gates officially ends NFL career
UNDATED (AP) — Tight end Antonio Gates has formally announced his retirement after a 16-year NFL career spent entirely with the Chargers.
He holds the league record for tight ends with 116 touchdown catches, doing it without playing a down of college football. Gates didn’t play last season and is the Chargers’ all-time leader for TDs, receptions and receiving yards, grabbing 955 passes for 11,841 yards.
Epenesa turning pro
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is losing one of its top defensive linemen to the NFL draft a year early.
Defensive end A.J. Epenesa posted his decision on his Instagram page Tuesday, writing that his time with the Hawkeyes was everything he hoped it would be. He was an Associated Press second-team All-American and an AP All-Big Ten first-team pick this past season, recording 11.5 sacks to become the first Hawkeye to hit double-figures in that category in consecutive seasons since 2002-03. Epenesa paced the Big Ten with 10.5 sacks as a backup in 2018.
Rose punished for pen toss
NEW YORK (AP) — Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for tossing a pen across the court during the end of Monday night’s loss to New Orleans.
Rose sat slumped on a courtside table and flung the pen into the stands during a stoppage of play with 37 seconds left in overtime. He finished with 23 points and eight assists, but he also had two turnovers in the final 90 seconds and missed a potential game-winning shot.
PENN STATE FOOTBALL-HAZING LAWSUIT
Ex-player sues Penn State over football hazing allegations
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Penn State football player claims in a lawsuit that Nittany Lions players hazed him and other younger teammates by imitating sexual acts in the shower and invoking Jerry Sandusky's name.
The player filed the lawsuit Monday in Pennsylvania federal court against the university, head coach James Franklin and one former teammate.
According to the complaint, the school's own investigation found the ex-teammate had committed “prohibited behavior.” Penn State says a local district attorney declined to prosecute.
The Associated Press is not identifying the name of the accuser because he hasn't spoken publicly on the matter.
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