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National Sports

Boston Marathon returns with fewer runners, more masks

BOSTON (AP) — In addition to a medal, some water and maybe a banana, volunteers will be handing out masks to the Boston Marathon finishers as they leave the socially distanced course and disperse into the city's bustling Back Bay. With an indoor mask mandate in Boston, race organizers have ...

Ratings surge: NFL is up 17%, averaging 17.3 million viewers

NFL and network executives expected ratings to increase this season. But the rate through the first four weeks has still taken many by surprise. Games are averaging 17.3 million viewers on television and digital, a whopping 17% increase over last season and 3% compared to two years ...

Matt Nagy makes Justin Fields No. 1 Bears quarterback

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy had a plan to develop Justin Fields and resisted making the rookie his team's starting quarterback from the start of offseason practices. Nagy has changed his mind and on Wednesday made Fields the team's starting quarterback going ...

Jags’ Meyer, players ready to move on after latest apology

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Urban Meyer is ready to move on. So are his players and his family. The Jacksonville Jaguars coach publicly apologized for the third consecutive day Wednesday and said he never considered resigning after his "inexcusable" behavior at an Ohio bar was caught on camera ...

Logan Webb to start NLDS Game 1 for division champion Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Logan Webb will start for the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Friday night against the Cardinals or Dodgers. Fellow right-hander and 14-game winner Kevin Gausman will go Saturday night in Game 2 for the NL West champions, having thrived ...

Stephens outlasts Watson in 3 sets in Indian Wells opener

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Sloane Stephens outlasted Heather Watson 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-1 on Wednesday in her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open. Stephens won 7 of 18 break points She raced to a 5-0 lead in the third set before Watson held, then served out the win. Watson had seven aces and ...

Defending AL champ Rays poised to open ALDS against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have won more games than any other team in the American League over the past two seasons, going about their business with a quiet confidence that has the full attention of the Boston Red Sox. The AL East rivals meet in a best-of-five Division ...

Padres fire manger Jayce Tingler after second-half collapse

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres still believe they have a World Series-caliber team despite a brutal late-season collapse that left them with yet another losing record. If the Padres do make it to the Fall Classic in the near future, it won't be manager Jayce Tingler who leads them ...

Flush with COVID-19 aid, schools steer funding to sports

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — One Wisconsin school district built a new football field. In Iowa, a high school weight room is getting a renovation. Another in Kentucky is replacing two outdoor tracks — all of this funded by the billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief Congress sent to ...

Beijing Olympics open in 4 months; human rights talk absent

When the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised the Games could improve human rights and civil liberties in China. There is no such lofty talk this time with Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics — the first city to host both the Summer and Winter ...