A’s sign top draft pick Soderstrom as well as fifth-rounder

OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics have signed their top draft pick, left-handed hitting catcher Tyler Soderstrom.

Oakland also announced Monday that it finalized a deal with fifth-round selection pitcher Stevie Emanuels.

Soderstrom has been added to the club’s 60-player pool with workouts scheduled to begin later this week. The 18-year-old star from Turlock High, who batted .450 as a junior in 2019 with his senior season cut short this year by the Coronavirus pandemic, is set to report to the A’s alternate site, likely to be Stockton. 

“Super excited to be an Oakland A! Officially signed!” Soderstrom wrote on Twitter.

Emanuels went 3-1 with a 0.79 ERA and 38 strikeouts in four starts over 22.2 innings this year for the University of Washington.

The A’s also added three non-drafted free agents: right-hander Garrett Acton out of Illinois, catcher Cooper Uhl from Loyola Marymount and outfielder D.J. Lee of the University of Richmond.

Derby player Wisdom treated after being stabbed in robbery

DERBY, England — Derby player Andre Wisdom is being treated in the hospital after being stabbed in an “unprovoked assault and robbery,” the second-tier club said on Monday.

“He sustained injuries which resulted in him being admitted to hospital, where he is in a stable condition,” British media cited Derby as saying in a statement.

Derby did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment but tweeted: “Get well soon, Wis.”

The former Liverpool defender featured in Derby’s 2-1 victory over Reading on Saturday.

Derby is still chasing promotion to the Premier League, sitting three points from the playoff places with seven games remaining.

Zanardi undergoes 2nd brain surgery after handbike crash

SIENA, Italy — Italian auto racing champion turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi underwent a second brain surgery on Monday, 10 days after an emergency operation following a crash on his handbike.

The latest surgery lasted 2 ½ hours, after which Zanardi was returned to the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma, the Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena said in a medical bulletin.

“His condition remains stable from a cardio-respiratory and metabolic viewpoint, grave from a neurological viewpoint,” the hospital said.

Roberto Gusinu, the hospital medical director, said, “The operation that was done represents a step that was foreseen by the medical team.”

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, has been on a ventilator since he crashed his handbike into an oncoming truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19 during a relay event.

Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma, and doctors have warned of possible brain damage. 

Zanardi won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.

Last week, Pope Francis penned a handwritten letter of encouragement assuring Zanardi and his family of his prayers. The pope praised Zanardi as an example of strength amid adversity.

Patriots owner’s prostitution case heads to appellate court

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with twice buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes will attempt to save their case this week by arguing to an appeals court that his rights weren’t violated when police secretly video-recorded him in the act.

Prosecutors will tell the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal during an online hearing Tuesday that a county judge erred when he invalidated the January 2019 search warrant allowing police to install secret cameras at Orchids of Asia spa as part of an alleged sex trafficking investigation.

The judge said the warrant didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages, and he barred the videos’ use at trial as well as testimony about what they showed. If the ruling stands, it will deal a fatal blow to the prosecution’s case.

“Mr. Kraft’s guilt is a virtual certainty” and he has no right to benefit from any possible mistakes police made involving innocent customers, Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa wrote in court documents.

Kraft’s attorneys vehemently disagreed, arguing that if the three-justice panel allows the videos’ use, “civil liberties cherished in Florida and beyond” will be endangered.

“If the state wins this appeal, then everyone loses, not just the accused,” attorney Frank Shepherd wrote. “Government could run roughshod over privacy and constitutional rights while evading scrutiny.”

The Jupiter police recordings led to misdemeanor charges against Kraft and two dozen other alleged Orchids of Asia customers. The spa owners and some employees are charged with prostitution-related felonies.

Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie tests positive for virus

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie says he has tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Dinwiddie told The Athletic he is experiencing symptoms and it is unclear if he can play when the NBA season resumes.

His absence would be a significant blow to the Nets. He has played well this season with Kyrie Irving out of the lineup because of injuries.

Dinwiddie says he tested negative for the virus multiple times after returning to New York and took part in a couple practices. But he has since tested positive and says he has a fever and chest soreness.

He is at least the fifth Nets player to test positive. The previous four were in March, with Kevin Durant saying he was among them.

Dinwiddie is averaging 20.6 points for the Nets, who have a half-game lead over Orlando for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are set to face the Magic on July 31 in their first game back.

Storm coach Hughes to sit out 2020 season

Dan Hughes will not coach the Seattle Storm during the 2020 WNBA season over concerns about his risk for severe illness if he were to test positive for COVID-19.

The decision was made following a medical assessment by the league and in consultation with Hughes’ primary care physician. The WNBA is set to begin its season in late July with all teams playing in Florida.

Hughes, 65, had surgery last year to remove a cancerous tumor from his digestive tract. He missed nine games while recovering from the surgery.

Seattle promoted Gary Kloppenburg to head coach for the season. Kloppenburg served as the interim coach last season while Hughes was recovering from surgery.

Bears offering refunds to season ticket holders

The Chicago Bears are offering full refunds to season ticket holders because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Season ticket holders who choose that option will be able to renew their seats for the 2021 season, the team says. The Bears are not sure how many fans will be allowed at Soldier Field this season.

Chicago is scheduled to open at Detroit on Sept. 13 and host the New York Giants a week later. The Bears also have home preseason games against Cleveland and San Francisco on Aug. 15 and 29.

Jets also offering refunds to ticket holders

The New York Jets are offering fans refunds or payment deferrals on season tickets this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The team began emailing season ticket holders Monday to alert them about their options. The Jets also are deferring season ticket payments for July, as they have done each of the last three months.

Jets season ticket holders will have the option to get a full refund on 2020 tickets or defer all payments toward the 2021 season. Season ticket holders who choose one of those options can also opt to keep their same seats in 2021.

Also, season ticket holders with personal seat licenses who opt for the deferred payment or refund on tickets will also be able to defer their PSL payment, which is due in November to November 2021.

The team says those fans who make automatic payments on their season tickets will continue to have their payments made unless they opt for the deferral.

The Jets have not made individual game tickets available as they continue to monitor the situation regarding government restrictions and regulations during the pandemic. NFL teams are scheduled to report for training camp on July 28.

Austin Peay suspends voluntary workouts

Austin Peay has suspended voluntary workouts and closed its facilities after a cluster of positive tests for the Coronavirus among its athletes.

The Governors currently have 11 athletes who have tested positive. The FCS-level school in Clarksville, Tennessee, did not identify the sports involved.

Austin Peay closed its facilities Saturday. Athletic director Gerald Harrison said in a statement Monday that the positive tests are regrettable but procedures put in place worked as expected. That includes isolating those who tested positive along with people at risk through contract tracing in self-quarantine.

Austin Peay also is cleaning and disinfecting its facilities.

Austin Peay won the Ohio Valley Conference football championship last season and lost in the FCS quarterfinals.

Hurricanes helping to deliver meals to healthcare workers

The Carolina Hurricanes will help deliver meals to local healthcare workers to thank them for their work amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The team announced a five-week program Monday to deliver 1,000 meals in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. It begins Wednesday when Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour assists with the first delivery, this one to the UNC Health Wakebrook behavioral health campus in Raleigh.

More meals will be delivered each Wednesday through July.

English is fifth PGA Tour player to come down with Coronavirus

Harris English is the fifth PGA Tour player to test positive for the Coronavirus.

The positive test for English was part of the pre-tournament screening process at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. English did not play last week at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Since its return to golf, the tour had no positive tests the opening week in Texas; one positive test in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; and three positive tests — plus two positive tests for caddies — in Connecticut.

English says in a statement he feels healthy and supports the tour’s additional policy of not letting anyone at Detroit Golf Club until the test results were back. 

Previously, a player could practice but not enter the clubhouse while waiting on the results.

English started the season with limited status and has risen to No. 27 in the FedEx Cup. He must self-isolate for 10 days, meaning he will miss the next two tournaments.

NHL has 26 players test positive for COVID-19 since June 8

The National Hockey League says a total of 26 players have reported testing positive for the new Coronavirus since voluntary workouts began June 8.

Monday’s update includes four additional cases among those tested at team facilities, to go along with the 11 announced June 19. The league says it’s aware of 11 other players testing positive outside the voluntary workout protocol.

The NHL said more than 250 players who worked out at team facilities were administered more than 1,450 COVID-19 tests.

The league and players are in the final stages of agreeing to resume the season. Training camps can open as early as July 10 if an agreement on testing, health and safety protocols and “hub” cities to host the games can be reached.

NBA All-Stars sign up to be coaches at online basketball camp

NBA All-Stars Kemba Walker and Trae Young, and U.S. women’s Olympians Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart will be coaches for an online basketball camp set up in response to Coronavirus restrictions.

The camp for children of all ages was launched by former NBA player and longtime TNT basketball studio analyst Kenny Smith.

Two-time NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo and WNBA star Brittney Griner are also set to work “The Jet Academy,” with more participants to be announced.

The camps begin July 20 at www.jetacademycamp.com and can be streamed on any device. Schedule details and pricing are available on the website.

Smith has run a camp for 25 years in North Carolina, where he played collegiately. But camps have been limited or canceled in many locations because of rules limiting sizes of gatherings because of the virus.

NASCAR cancels Champion’s Week and Cup Series awards

NASCAR may be racing during the Coronavirus pandemic. Celebrating in early December now is off the schedule.

The motorsports series has canceled its Champion’s Week and Cup Series awards  scheduled for early December in Nashville, citing the uncertainty from the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the industry. NASCAR moved Champion’s Week to Nashville in 2019 from Las Vegas.

NASCAR still plans to celebrate its champions from the Xfinity Series to the truck series and promises details to come. And NASCAR says the series looks forward to returning to Nashville in 2021. 

AP sources: NBC gets US Open as Fox gets out of contract

The U.S. Open is returning to NBC starting this year at Winged Foot after Fox Sports has asked to end its 12-year contract with the USGA, multiple people told The Associated Press on Sunday night.

Three people with direct knowledge of the change say it came together in the last two weeks. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.

An announcement was expected Monday.

The U.S. Open, originally scheduled to be played last week, was postponed to Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in New York when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months.

NBC televised the U.S. Open from 1995 through 2014. That ended when the USGA signed a 12-year deal with Fox Sports worth about $1 billion that began in 2015.

Fox broadcast its first U.S. Open from Chambers Bay south of Seattle, with Greg Norman as the lead analyst. He was replaced by former PGA champion and Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger.

One person said NBC would pay for just under half of the rights fee through the rest of the contract.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.