Phils beat Realmuto in arbitration; teams lead players 7-4
UNDATED (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies won their arbitration case against All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh) on Thursday, putting teams ahead of players 7-4 this year and ensuring clubs will finish with a winning record.
Realmuto will get a raise from $6.05 million to $10 million instead of his $12.4 million request.
Arbitrators Gary Kendellen, Jeanne Charles and Richard Bloch made the decision a day after hearing arguments.
Obtained from Miami just before spring training last year, Realmuto hit .275 with 25 homers and 83 RBIs, earning his second straight All-Star selection. His hearing was the first for the Phillies since Ryan Howard beat Philadelphia in 2008 and was awarded $10 million — then arbitration record —- over the team’s $7 million.
A decision is pending for Arizona pitcher Archie Bradley, whose case was argued Tuesday. Phillies reliever Héctor Neris is the lone player still scheduled for a hearing.
In other MLB news:
— New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino has been shut down from throwing for the second consecutive spring training, this time because of right forearm soreness. Severino, who turned 26 on Thursday, was sidelined until the final weeks of the regular season last year. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Severino has been feeling on and off discomfort since October and has a loose body in his right elbow that the manager said has not been an issue. New York already expects to be without left-hander James Paxton for the first two months of the season following back surgery on Feb. 5.
— Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco felt discomfort in his right leg during a spring training workout and is having tests. The 32-year-old Carrasco made an inspiring comeback last season after being diagnosed with leukemia, The Indians say he won’t work out Thursday and the team plans to provide an update on his status on Friday. If Carrasco is out for any period, it will put further strain on Cleveland’s pitching depth. Right-hander Mike Clevinger recently underwent knee surgery and will be out until mid-April.
NFL owners approve negotiated terms for new labor agreement
NEW YORK (AP) — NFL owners voted to accept the negotiated terms for a new collective bargaining agreement on Thursday.
Now the onus is on the players, who have a conference call Friday.
With the league eager to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the players in the next few weeks — the current deal runs out in March 2021 — team representatives were summoned to New York to discuss the NFL’s proposal.
Among the items in that proposal, according to several people familiar with the negotiations but speaking anonymously because they are not authorized to release such information:
— A 17-game schedule, which always has been a stumbling block in talks with the NFL Players Association. More roster spots per team would be a must for the players.
— A reduction of the preseason.
— A higher share of revenues for the players; the current number is 47 percent.
— Even an expansion of the playoffs, something the NFL has been seeking for years.
Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested back in 2015 that increasing the postseason field to seven teams in each conference was in the works. The owners could unilaterally add a wild-card team in the AFC and the NFC, but are willing to make such a move part of a new CBA.
Also being considered is a second bye week to go with a 17th game, although almost certainly not for the 2020 season. The expansion of the playoffs easily could occur this year, however.
In other NFL news:
— Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry has elected to have hip surgery after initially opting not to have the operation. Landry was bothered by his hip all last season, but still finished with a team-leading 83 catches for 1,1174 yards and six touchdowns. He visited a specialist after the season and decided not to have the procedure before changing his mind after playing with pain in the Pro Bowl. The Browns say Landry’s surgery was performed on Tuesday in Minnesota. A Browns spokesman says the team expects Landry to make a complete recovery “for the 2020 season.”
— Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will become a free agent for the first time in his 11-year career. He’s coming off a bounce-back season for the longest-tenured player on the team. Griffen has chosen to exercise his option to void the remaining three years on his contract, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The move will clear more than $13 million off the books for 2020 for the salary cap-strapped Vikings. Griffen had eight sacks in 15 games in 2019 after a rough season the year before.
— An attorney for New Orleans’ Roman Catholic archdiocese is strongly defending the New Orleans Saints’ public-relations help in dealing with the clergy sex abuse crisis. He says the legal effort to unseal emails between them is aimed at trying to shame those “who had the audacity” to back the church. The remarks came in a court hearing today on the Saints’ request to keep those emails confidential. The hearing comes amid claims the Saints joined the church in a pattern of concealing sexual abuse — an allegation the team denies. A special master is not expected to rule immediately.
Layman’s long-term injury near end, back at Wolves practice
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jake Layman was finally cleared Thursday to return to practice, with his absence at 39 straight games and counting because of a sprained left toe.
Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, however, does not have that clearance. Nor has there been clarity yet revealed by the Timberwolves about how long his sprained left wrist will keep him out.
The Timberwolves will play Friday against Boston without Towns, who missed the last game prior to the All-Star break on Feb. 12. Towns missed 15 games earlier this season with a left knee injury.
Layman, who’s in his first season with Minnesota, was hurt Nov. 18 at Utah. The Timberwolves said Layman will be re-evaluated in one week, meaning he’ll sit out at least four more games. The 6-foot-8 Layman was averaging a career-best 10.5 points over the first 14 games, on a career-high 35.2% shooting from 3-point range.
Roger Federer has knee surgery, will miss French Open
BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Roger Federer will miss the French Open and no fewer than three other tournaments while he is sidelined for at least four months after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Writing on his Facebook page Thursday, the 20-time Grand Slam champion said his knee had been bothering him for a while so he decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Federer wrote that doctors “are very confident of a full recovery.” He ended his post by telling his fans “see you on the grass!” as he targets a return for Wimbledon.
It’s only the second operation for the 38-year-old Federer — the other was on his left knee in 2016 — and one that is certain to raise questions about his future in tennis.
Wimbledon starts June 29.
Pitt hoops, football placed on 3 years’ probation by NCAA
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Pittsburgh football and men’s basketball programs have been placed on probation for three years by the NCAA. The organization says both programs committed a series of violations between 2015 and 2018. The violations centered around both programs exceeding the number of allotted practices during that time.
Former men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings was given a three-year show-cause order for his role in the violations. Stallings was fired in 2018 and is currently out of coaching. He must sit out 30% of his new team’s games if he is hired during the three-year window of the show-cause order. Stallings is currently out of coaching.
Dan Cage, who was the director of basketball operations during the 2016-17 season, was also given a three-year show-cause order. The NCAA penalized Cage for refusing to participate in an enforcement interview about his involvement in coaching activities as a noncoaching staff member.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN DOCTOR-INVESTIGATION
University of Michigan investigates doctor sex abuse claims
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Another man has come forward to publicly accuse a late University of Michigan physician of sexual abuse decades ago.
Gary Bailey said Thursday that Dr. Robert E. Anderson molested him during a medical exam in 1968 or 1969. Bailey says he filed an official complaint with the university at the time but never heard anything back.
The university says it has received 22 calls to a hotline since Wednesday when it announced an investigation into Anderson. Police started investigating the onetime director of the University Health Service and physician for the football team in July 2018 after a former student athlete alleged abuse by Anderson in the 1970s.
Officials have acknowledged that some university employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation.
Anderson died in 2008.
TOKYO VIRUS-OLYMPIC TEST EVENTS
Virus limits next Tokyo Olympic test event to Japanese-only
TOKYO (AP) — A test event for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for later this month that would have involved some non-Japanese athletes is being revamped because of fear of the spreading virus from China.
It’s now limited to only Japanese athletes, with the Olympics just over five months away.
The two-day test event opens at the new Ariake Arena on Feb. 28 and is relatively obscure — a Paralympic test for boccia, a precision ball sport similar to bocce and related to lawn bowling. It’s the first of 19 remaining test events before the Olympics are to open on July 24.
They will be watched closely, as will the start of the torch relay on March 26 in Fukushima, a prefecture devastated nine years ago by an earthquake, tsunami and the meltdown of three nuclear reactors.
The test events may reveal what effect the spreading virus is having on Olympic preparations, and the ability of non-Japanese athletes to safely enter Japan.