Royals sign veteran OF Alex Gordon to $4M contract for 2020
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals have signed outfielder Alex Gordon to a $4 million contract for next season, giving the rebuilding club a veteran presence in what is expected to be a young lineup under new manager Mike Matheny.
The Royals designated right-hander Heath Fillmyer for assignment Wednesday in a corresponding roster move.
The 35-year-old Gordon, a three-time All-Star, won his seventh Gold Glove last season to move within one of Frank White for the most in franchise history. He committed just one error in 146 games played in the outfield. His seven outfield assists tied him for third among big league left fielders, and his .266 batting average was his best since the 2015 season.
Gordon was even called upon to pitch twice in games that got out of hand.
The former Nebraska standout is among the most popular players in Kansas City. He already ranks in the top 10 on several franchise lists, including fourth in homers with 186 and sixth in hits with 1,609 in his 13 seasons.
AP source: Browns, Vikings assistant GM meet for 2nd time
UNDATED (AP) — New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski could be reuniting with an old friend in Cleveland.
The Browns are interviewing Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager George Paton for the second time to be their new GM, according to a person familiar with the meeting. The person tells The Associated Press that Paton was at the team’s headquarters Wednesday.
Paton worked in Minnesota for 13 years with Stefanski, who since being hired by Cleveland has been part of the search committee with owner Jimmy Haslam and others to hire a general manager. Stefanski was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator this season.
The team also interviewed Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry and New England college scouting director Monti Ossenfort.
In other NFL news:
— The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired former Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden as their offensive coordinator. Gruden replaces John DeFilippo. DeFilippo was fired earlier this month after one season. The Redskins fired Gruden in early October following an 0-5 start. Gruden went 35-49-1 in five-plus seasons in Washington and reached the playoffs once. He previously served as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator (2011-13) and guided Andy Dalton to the quarterback’s best season before leaving for Washington. Gruden was one of four former head coaches who interviewed with the Jaguars, joining Ben McAdoo, Scott Linehan and Ken Whisenhunt.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer has extended his streak of reaching the third round at the Australian Open by beating Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1. The 20-time major champion needed only 1 hour, 32 minutes to win. He has won the title in Australia six times and made the third round or better every year since his debut at Melbourne Park in 2000.
In women’s action, Serena Williams moved a step closer in her bid for a record 24th major title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tamara Zidansek to reach the third round .
In other action:
— Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch) fired 16 aces in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 downing of Tatsuma Ito (tat-SOO’-mah EE’-toh). Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas got a walkover into the third round when Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their scheduled match because a muscle strain.
— Women’s No. 1 Ash Barty rolled into the third round with a 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Polona Hercog (poh-LOH’-nah HURTS’-ahg).
— Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka won her second-round match by overcoming swirling winds on Margaret Court Arena to beat Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-4. American teenager Coco Gauff trailed 4-6, 0-3 before pulling out a three-sets victory against Sorana Cirstea to move into the third round against Osaka.
— Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (kuh-VIH’-toh-vah) saved three set points in the second set before beating Paula Badosa 7-5, 7-5 to advance to the third round. Kvitova lost last year’s final here to Osaka.
— Also advancing to the Round 3 were No. 14-seeded Sofia Kenin, No. 18 Alison Riske, No. 25 Ekaterina Alexandrova and Julia Goerges, who beat 13th-seeded Petra Martic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
— Three-time major semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov was eliminated by 22-year-old American Tommy Paul in a second-round match that went to a fifth-set tiebreaker. Paul, ranked 80th, had never won a Grand Slam match until this week.
— 12th-seeded Fabio Fognini needed more than four hours and a total of five match points to finally get past Jordan Thompson of Australia 7-6 (4), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the second round.
— No. 10 Madison Keys beat Arantxa Rus 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Cardinals WR Fitzgerald purchases minority stake in Suns
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has purchased a minority stake in the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Fitzgerald just finished his 16th season with the Cardinals and is among the most productive receivers in NFL history. He recently signed a one-year deal to return for 2020.
The 36-year-old Fitzgerald is often at Suns games, sitting courtside with managing partner Robert Sarver.
Sarver said in a statement Wednesday that Fitzgerald “has been a great ambassador for our organization for years” and “brings a unique perspective from outside basketball but still grounded in sport, and we welcome him as a valued partner and investor.”
Fitzgerald, an 11-time Pro Bowler, said he “has a special place in my heart for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, and I have a great deal of respect for Robert.”
Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
Hall of Fame HS basketball coach Morgan Wootten dies
HYATTSVILLE, Md. (AP) — Hall of Fame high school basketball coach Morgan Wootten has died at 88.
Wooten built Maryland’s DeMatha High School into a national powerhouse and mentored several future NBA stars during a career that spanned parts of six decades. He launched the careers of a number of players who went to the NBA, including Adrian Dantley, Danny Ferry, Sidney Lowe and Kenny Carr.
DeMatha had already earned recognition as one of the top basketball programs in America before Wootten led the Stags into a game in 1965 against Power Memorial, which was led by future NBA star Lew Alcindor and was riding a 71-game winning streak, including a victory over DeMatha one year earlier.
Before Wootten arrived at DeMatha, the school had dropped out of the Washington Catholic League because it could not compete against bigger, better teams with far more talented athletes.
Wootten never had a losing season and won at least 30 games on 10 different occasions.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. He was introduced at the ceremony by Red Auerbach, the Hall of Fame coach of the Boston Celtics who died in 2006.