Thursday Sports in Brief

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MLB

NEW YORK (AP) — Kerwin Danley became the first African American umpire crew chief in Major League Baseball when a series of promotions, additions and retirements were announced Thursday.

The moves included Alfonso Marquez being elevated to the first Hispanic crew chief in MLB history born outside the United States and second overall.

Crew chiefs Jeff Kellogg, Dana DeMuth, Gary Cederstrom and Mike Everitt have retired. Kellogg and Everitt will move into jobs as MLB umpire supervisors.

Dan Iassogna and Jim Reynolds were promoted to crew chiefs.

Ramon De Jesus, who worked his first big league game in 2016 as a minor league fill-in, moved up and became the first Dominican-born umpire on the MLB staff. Also getting full-time jobs in the majors were Ryan Blakney, Chris Segal and Jansen Visconti.

Nic Lentz also joined the MLB umpire roster, replacing the late Eric Cooper.

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees right-hander Luis Severino had Tommy John surgery on Thursday.

The procedure was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The team said in a statement that the surgery went as planned. Also, an existing bone chip in his right elbow was removed during the procedure.

The two-time All-Star will miss all of 2020 after being sidelined for nearly all of 2019.

Severino's injury leaves the AL East favorites with a rotation of newly signed ace Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and two openings. The usual recovery time for Tommy John surgery is a year or more.

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will start the season on the injured list, manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday.

Sale, who reported to camp with pneumonia and is behind schedule, will be placed on the 15-day injured list and will remain in Fort Myers for extended spring training when the team breaks camp.

Sale ended last season on the injured list with elbow inflammation, making his last appearance Aug. 13 at Cleveland, where he gave up five runs with 12 strikeouts in 6 ⅔ innings. Roenicke emphasized this trip to the injured list is not related to Sale’s elbow.

NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Some key Kobe Bryant memorabilia, including two of his Los Angeles Lakers uniforms and cement handprints from his induction into the Grauman’s Chinese Theater hall of fame gallery, are going up for sale in April.

Julien’s Auctions said Thursday that the items would be up for sale on April 30 as part of its annual sports auction that includes a silver medal from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a 2002 FIFA World Cup gold winner's medal.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA fined the Minnesota Timberwolves $25,000 on Thursday for violating the player resting policy with point guard D'Angelo Russell.

Russell was held out Sunday at Denver for a planned rest. Though Russell did not play for Minnesota on Feb. 8 because of a quadriceps injury, two days after he was acquired in a trade, the NBA deemed Russell a healthy player under the policy that was designed in part to minimize star player absences from nationally televised games.

SOCCER

The marketing executive who branded the U.S. Olympic squad “Team USA” will now try to turn American women’s soccer players into household names more than once every four years.

Lisa Baird, the longtime marketing chief at the U.S. Olympic Committee, was named commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League on Thursday.

Baird most recently spent more than a year at New York Public Radio after nine years at the USOC. She will now be charged with running a league that is positioned to capture more cash and eyeballs after America’s stirring World Cup victory last summer.

The nine-team league, founded in 2013, got its first official beer sponsor last year when it signed a deal with Budweiser. Attendance rose to an average of 7,337 in 2019 — a nearly 22% increase over the previous year, much of which could have been attributed to a post-World Cup boost.

COLLEGES

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The whistleblower whose letter to University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel alleging sexual assault sparked an investigation into a former school doctor says he was inspired by the women who testified against convicted Michigan State physician Larry Nassar.

An attorney for Tad DeLuca said Thursday that his client complained to his wrestling coach in 1975 that Dr. Robert E. Anderson molested him during medical exams. In response, then-coach Bill Johannesen humiliated DeLuca, kicked him off the team and effectively removed his financial assistance, the attorney said.

“I spoke up again by letter in 2018 after hearing an NPR story about the MSU gymnasts, women who I am in awe of," DeLuca said. “Once again, the University of Michigan ignored me."

DeLuca's 2018 letter of complaint about Anderson, now deceased, led to a university police investigation that became public last week.

GOLF

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (AP) — LPGA major winner Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden missed the cut at the New Zealand Golf Open after becoming the first woman to play in the 101-year-old men's professional tournament.

Lindberg shot 1-over 73 Friday to follow her first round 9-over par 80, finishing in a tie for 151st in the 156-strong field. While she missed the cut, she surpassed her goal for the tournament — to "beat just one man" — by beating four.

The 11-year LPGA Tour veteran, who won the ANA Inspiration in 2018, played the tournament on a sponsor's invitation, teaming in the pro-am format with New Zealand rugby star Beauden Barrett.

TENNIS

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Kim Clijsters has been given a wild card into next month's BNP Paribas Open, another step in her tennis comeback at age 36.

The four-time major winner won in 2003 and 2005 at Indian Wells before retiring nearly eight years ago. Clijsters hasn't competed at the tournament in the Southern California desert since 2011.

The mother of three lost to Garbine Muguruza in straight sets this month in Dubai in her comeback match.

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur are out of the Australian team to play Brazil in a Davis Cup qualifier next weekend in Adelaide.

Kyrgios has a left wrist injury that forced him out of a tournament in Mexico this week while de Minaur has aggravated an abdominal injury which sidelined him for last month's Australian Open.

Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt said Friday that doubles specialist John Peers and Alex Bolt have been added to the squad.

OBITUARY

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Former Arizona linebacker Sterling Lewis has died after being hospitalized for valley fever. He was 32.

Arizona announced Lewis' death Thursday.

Lewis played under coach Mike Stoops from 2008-09 after transferring from Blinn College in Texas. He played 23 games for the Wildcats, finishing with 98 combined tackles and three sacks.

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