- Associated Press - Monday, February 1, 2021

MLB

NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Baseball has proposed a one-month delay in starting spring training due to the coronavirus pandemic and pushing back opening day to April 28, two people familiar with the plan told The Associated Press.

Under the plan presented to the players’ union on Friday, the regular season would be cut from 162 games to 154.

Also, the playoffs would be expanded from 10 teams to 14, the designated hitter would extend to the National League for the second straight season and MLB would keep the experimental rules for seven-inning doubleheaders and beginning extra innings with a runner on second base.

All players would report for spring training on March 22, back from the current calendar that calls a voluntary reporting date of Feb. 17 for pitchers, catchers and injured players, and Feb. 22 for others.



Opening day would be pushed back 27 days from its currently scheduled April 1 and the regular season would end Oct. 10 instead of Oct. 3. The postseason would extend into November.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies and shortstop Didi Gregorius have agreed on a two-year, $28 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal is pending Gregorius passing a physical.

Gregorius, who turns 31 next month, batted .284 with 10 homers, 40 RBIs and an .827 OPS in 60 games in his first season with the Phillies.

- By AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi.

NEW YORK (AP) - The owner of the New York Mets says he has dropped off Twitter because his family received threats that he attributed to “misinformation” that was not tied to the baseball team.

Steve Cohen’s hedge fund, Point72, has become entangled in market turmoil that has pitted a band of small investors against traders that made bets against - or “shorted” - stock of companies including GameStop.

Hedge funds that shorted GameStop have lost billions as small investors bid up the company’s shares. One of the short sellers, Melvin Capital, announced this week that it received a $750 million infusion from Point72.

NFL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Detroit Lions are trading quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round draft picks and a third-round pick, a person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday night because the deal has not been completed and will not become official until the start of the new league year March 17. The swap will include the Rams’ first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 along with their third-round pick this year.

The trade of two former No. 1 overall draft picks will provide a fresh start for two durable starting quarterbacks who probably need a change of scenery.

- By AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham.

GOLF

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Showing no effects from a rules controversy a day earlier, Patrick Reed pulled away for a five-shot victory Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Reed closed with a 4-under 68 at Torrey Pines, making an eagle on the par-5 sixth and finishing off his ninth PGA Tour title with a birdie on the 18th.

The former Masters champions finished at 14 under.

The controversy arose Saturday on the par-4 10th when Reed hit a 190-yard shot out of a bunker with a TV replay showing the ball bounced once before settling into the rough. Without waiting for an official, Reed picked up the ball to see if it was embedded. Reed told the official that no one in his group, as well as a nearby volunteer, saw it bounce. He was awarded a free drop and saved par in a round of 70.

Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Ryan Palmer, Henrik Norlander and Viktor Hovland tied for second.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Paul Casey won the Dubai Desert Classic for his 15th European Tour title, closing with a 2-under 70 for a four-stroke victory.

The 43-year-old Englishman finished at 17-under-par 271 at Emirates Golf Club.

South Africa’s Brandon Stone was second after a 72. Scotland’s Robert Macintyre had a 74 to finish third at 12 under.

AUTO RACING

Wayne Taylor Racing won its record-tying third consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona, using a new car and a new lineup to beat some of the best racers in the world.

Filipe Albuquerque held off Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande - both part of WTR’s winning teams the last two seasons and both seeking to become the first winners of three consecutive Rolex races - to give the overhauled Taylor team its fourth win in the last five years at Daytona International Speedway.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - Former Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey says he plans to transfer to Northern Colorado, where his dad is the head coach.

In a Twitter post on Sunday night, McCaffrey wrote: “Extremely honored to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at The University of Northern Colorado. Go Bears!!”

McCaffrey threw for 242 career yards and three touchdowns as a backup at Michigan. He chose not to return to the Wolverines for a fourth year.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida landed one of the country’s most coveted transfers Sunday, a likely replacement for star tight end Kyle Pitts.

Former LSU standout Arik Gilbert committed to the Gators on Twitter, saying “this is the best situation for me and I’m excited to join the family.”

The 6-foot-5, 253-pound Gilbert, a five-star prospect and the No. 1 tight end in the 2020 recruiting class, left the Tigers with two games remaining in the 2020 regular season.

The Marietta, Georgia, native caught 35 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns before opting out.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida women’s soccer coach Becky Burleigh, who started the program in 1995 and won a national championship in her fourth year, is retiring at the end of this season.

The 53-year-old Burleigh made the announcement on social media Saturday after telling her team, saying “it’s been such a privilege” to coach the Gators for 26 seasons.

Florida won the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship 14 times under Burleigh, who owns another 12 SEC tournament titles. The Gators made the NCAA tournament 22 times in Burleigh’s last 25 years at the helm.

SKIING

Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia will miss the world championships in February after breaking a bone in her right knee on Sunday.

The Italian ski federation said Goggia fell while skiing down to the valley with other competitors after a World Cup super-G in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, was postponed until Monday because of fog.

It was not immediately clear how long Goggia will be out.

HORSE RACING

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Medina Spirit led all the way and fought off two challengers late to win the $100,000 Robert Lewis Stakes by a neck Saturday at Santa Anita and give trainer Bob Baffert a Kentucky Derby hopeful.

Ridden by Abel Cedillo, Medina Spirit ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.26 on a dirt track listed as good after 2.4 inches of rain fell through Friday.

Medina Spirit paid $4, $2.80 and $2.20 as the even-money favorite in a field of six. The colt earned 10 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

OBITUARY

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Patricia Rooney, the wife of late Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, has died. She was 88.

The Steelers said in a statement that Patricia Rooney died peacefully at her home on Saturday. A cause of death was not given.

Patricia Rooney’s husband, who died in April 2017, served as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland from 2009-12.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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