- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL came down hard on its biggest star and its championship team, telling Tom Brady and the Patriots that no one is allowed to mess with the rules of the game.

The league suspended the Super Bowl MVP for the first four games of the season, fined the New England Patriots $1 million and took away two draft picks as punishment for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.

The Patriots lose next year’s first-round pick and a fourth-round choice in 2017.

Brady would miss the season’s showcase kickoff game on Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh, then Week 2 at Buffalo, a home game against Jacksonville and - after a bye - a game at Dallas in Week 5. He will return the week of a Patriots-Colts AFC championship rematch in Indianapolis.



Brady has three days to appeal the suspension to Commissioner Roger Goodell or his designee. His agent, Don Yee, said “the discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis” and that Brady will appeal.

BASEBALL

BALTIMORE (AP) - As the Baltimore Orioles prepared to play before their home fans for the first time in two weeks, the sights and sounds around Camden Yards on a lovely afternoon were all about baseball.

Vendors were hawking food, drinks and clothing. A few people were camped out near the home team parking lot, seeking autographs. About a half-dozen were looking to buy tickets at the window in the B&O; Warehouse behind the center-field wall.

There was one police car visible on the north edge of Camden Yards - a stark contrast to the Orioles’ last game in Baltimore.

The city had been overrun by violence on April 27 after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died while in the custody of Baltimore police. Then, in an unprecedented move, the Orioles hosted the Chicago White Sox on April 29 without allowing fans to enter.NBA

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton went 0 for 4 in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Round Rock.

Hamilton played left field for the first seven innings of an 8-2, 10-inning win against Nashville at First Tennessee Park. The 2010 AL MVP is 1 for 7 for a .143 batting average in his first two rehab games.

The 33-year-old Hamilton is on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing right shoulder surgery in February. He was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels on April 27, with Los Angeles expected to pay most of the remaining $80.2 million he is owed.

NFL

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Chargers were paid nearly $3.3 million by the city to play at Qualcomm Stadium from 2006 through 2013, thanks to rent credits and reimbursements from a settlement that made the stadium compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Without the ADA settlement and rent credits, the Chargers would have owed the city nearly $23 million during that span, according to figures provided by the city.

Final figures for the 2014 season haven’t been calculated. Rather than pay $3 million rent, the Chargers likely will make around $250,000, according to city estimates.

The Chargers are threatening to move to Los Angeles if they don’t get a new stadium.

An advisory group appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer has already recommended that a new stadium be built near the old one in Mission Valley, not downtown as the Chargers want.

SAILING

SAN DIEGO (AP) - America’s Cup syndicate Emirates Team New Zealand finally got some good news after a rough year and a half.

Emirates airline announced it will return as the team’s major sponsor, which could help it reach the starting line of the challenger series in Bermuda in 2017.

In a Cup cycle full of upheaval, this is the most significant commercial sponsor to announce backing of a team. There had been speculation that Emirates might not return as the team’s top sponsor, perhaps forcing the Kiwis to drop out.

Oracle Team USA, which stunned the Kiwis with a dramatic comeback to defend the America’s Cup in 2013, picked Bermuda to host the 2017 regatta, causing sponsorship problems for teams and the event itself.

Emirates doesn’t fly to Bermuda and thus would have no direct marketing tie-in.

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