Thursday Sports in Brief

Sports
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MLB

NEW YORK (AP)Yankees pitcher Domingo German will miss the first 63 games of the 2020 season as part of an 81-game ban for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

The league announced the suspension Thursday. German has agreed not to appeal.

German was put on administrative leave on Sept. 19 while MLB investigated an alleged domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend, with whom he has at least one child. He missed the final nine games of the 2019 regular season and all nine of New York’s postseason games. Those missed games will count toward his ban.

The right-hander was the Yankees’ winningest pitcher last season, going 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 24 starts and three relief appearances. The 27-year-old had a $577,500 salary but will not be paid for the time he missed after being placed on leave, costing him $35,153. He is expected to make a similar salary for 2020 but again will not be paid while suspended, losing out on more than $225,000.

German will be eligible to return June 5 against Tampa Bay, barring any postponements.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago White Sox and Luis Robert agreed Thursday to a $50 million, six-year contract, clearing the way for the prized outfielder to open the season in the majors.

The White Sox can add the 22-year-old Cuban to their opening day roster if they think he is ready rather than hold him in the minors because of service time issues.

Robert combined to hit .328 with 32 home runs, 92 RBIs, 108 runs and 36 stolen bases last season at Class A, Double-A and Triple-A. He was the first minor leaguer since Joc Pederson in 2014 with at least 30 homers and 30 steals and the first White Sox prospect to do it since at least 1988. Robert ranked among the minor league leaders in total bases (tied for second), hits (fourth), extra-base hits (fourth) runs (fifth) and triples (tied for sixth).

NBA

METAIRIE, La. (AP) – Zion Williamson returned to practice with the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday for the first time since he had arthroscopic knee surgery shortly before the season.

But the NBA’s top overall draft choice out of Duke cannot yet say when he’ll make his regular-season debut

”I felt really good out there,” he said.

Williamson, 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, said he first must pass ”assessments” by team medical staff before the decision can rest solely with him.

Coach Alvin Gentry said Williamson participated fully in the on-court work, but the practice wasn’t particularly strenuous. It was the last practice before New Orleans flew to Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Friday night.

Gentry said Williamson is not expected to play on the two-game trip that includes a stop in Sacramento on Saturday. New Orleans plays at home on Monday night against Utah.

NFL

Reggie Wayne and Troy Polamalu are among 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s modern-day 2020 class.

The former Colts receiver and Steelers safety are joined by five others who have never been finalists: Packers safety LeRoy Butler; Rams receiver Torry Holt; Panthers linebacker Sam Mills; Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas; and 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young.

They are joined by past finalists Broncos/Jets safety Steve Atwater; Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli; Rams/49ers receiver Isaac Bruce; Steelers/Jets/Cardinals guard Alan Faneca; Seahawks/Vikings/Titans guard Steve Hutchinson; Colts/Cardinals/Seahawks running back Edgerrin James; Buccaneers/Broncos safety John Lynch; and Patriots/Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

These 15 will be considered for selection on Feb. 1 in Miami. A player must receiver 80% of votes from the selection committee. A maximum of five modern-day players can be chosen.

NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – The Buffalo Sabres traded veteran defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens and acquired forward Michael Frolik from the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

Buffalo acquired a fourth-round draft pick from Montreal and sent it the Flames.

Trading Scandella allowed Buffalo to free up space under the salary cap while opening room on its crowded blue line. The deal cleared the way for the Sabres to add much-needed forward depth in Frolik, whose production has dropped this season.

Frolik has just five goals and five assists in 38 games with the Flames this year after scoring 15 or more eight times in 12 NHL seasons.

The 29-year-old Scandella was in the final year of a five-year, $20 million contract and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent following this season. He’s a 10-year veteran who was acquired by Buffalo in a multiplayer deal with the Minnesota Wild following the 2016-17 season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

MIAMI (AP) – UTEP basketball coach Rodney Terry is in critical condition in a Miami hospital, school officials said Thursday.

Terry is stable and ”is expected to make a full recovery,” the school said. There is no timetable for his return to the bench.

He did not coach in UTEP’s loss to Florida International on Thursday. First-year assistant Kenton Paulino handled the coaching duties in the Conference USA opener for both schools.

The Miners are scheduled to visit Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, about an hour north of Miami, on Saturday.

Terry was admitted to the hospital Wednesday after going into anaphylactic shock, the school said. Anaphylactic shock is serious and often life-threatening, restricts breathing and is typically caused by a reaction to food or an insect bite.

OBITUARY

Sam Wyche, who pushed the boundaries as an offensive innovator with the Cincinnati Bengals and challenged the NFL’s protocols along the way, has died. He was 74.

Wyche, who had a history of blood clots in his lungs and had a heart transplant in 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina, entered hospice on Monday and died Thursday of melanoma, officials with the Bengals confirmed.

One of the Bengals’ original quarterbacks, Wyche was known for his offensive innovations as a coach. He led the Bengals to their second Super Bowl during the 1988 season by using a no-huddle offense that forced the league to change its substitution rules.

And that wasn’t the only way he made waves throughout the NFL. A nonconformist in a button-down league, Wyche refused to comply with the NFL’s locker room policy for media, ran up the score to settle a personal grudge, and belittled the city of rival Cleveland during his eight seasons in Cincinnati. He later coached Tampa Bay for four seasons.

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

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