Saturday, May 26, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

SOCCER

SPONSORS want MORE SAY IN REFORM

LONDON — Five World Cup sponsors have written to FIFA's executive committee demanding "independent oversight" of the reform process in their latest intervention that highlights concerns about their links to soccer's scandal-battered governing body.

Sponsors were originally promised places on the FIFA reform committee. But instead of being invited into meetings discussing the overhaul of the organization, they have been offered seats only on an advisory board which is yet to be appointed.

The sponsors' letter was sent from Adidas, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Visa, and Budweiser brewer AB InBev to FIFA's ruling body ahead of meetings this week when a final slate of reform proposals will be discussed.

UNDER FIRE: French Prime Minister Manuel Valls joined in the criticism of Karim Benzema, saying the Real Madrid striker "has no place" on the France team at the European Championship in the wake of a blackmail scandal.

TEAM VS. BOARD: Venezuela coach Noel Sanvicente offered to step down if it helps the national team's dispute with its federation. Fifteen players are threatening to quit unless the entire Venezuela Football Federation board of directors resigns.

EPL: Manchester City thrashed Hull 4-1 and advanced to the League Cup semifinals. Everton and Stoke progressed with wins against second-tier opposition.

MLS: D.C. United has agreed to trade attacker Chris Pontius, to the Philadelphia Union for financial considerations,

OLYMPICS

Rome adamant: No referendum

While Hamburg's bid for the 2020 Olympics was rejected by German voters, leaders of Rome's bid are sticking to their plans of avoiding a referendum. "The citizens in Rome are very particular," bid ambassador Fiona May said. "Italians are very passionate. I don't think you need to do a referendum. You feel it."

TOKYO GAMES: The Tokyo city government agreed to foot a quarter of the $1.3 billion cost for the new stadium for the 2020 Olympics.

BOXING

Ex-champ pleads guilty to battery

Former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to more than a half-dozen charges stemming from three separate incidents over the past year, including him shooting and wounding his cousin and firing a gun at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Taylor appeared in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock, Ark., with his attorney two days before he faced trial. Sentencing is set for April 19, and it wasn't clear how much time Taylor might face.

ET CETERA

PISTORIUS TRIAL: A top South African appeals court said it will rule Thursday on whether to overturn a manslaughter conviction against Oscar Pistorius and find the double-amputee Olympian guilty of murder for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius, 29, was released from jail Oct. 19.

AUTOS: Robin Pemberton will leave his position as NASCAR's senior vice president of competition at the end of the year. Pemberton joined the sanctioning body in August 2004 and has overseen all areas of NASCAR competition.

CRICKET: New Zealand Cricket said it will support captain Brendon McCullum should he face a backlash over testimony he gave to the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns, who was acquitted Monday.

GOLF: Jason Day was named the winner of the inaugural Greg Norman Medal as Australia's best-performing international golfer, and Jarrod Lyle was awarded the PGA Tour's Courage Award for his battle with cancer.

RUGBY: No positive tests were recorded from nearly 500 doping samples collected during the World Cup, organizers said.

SAILING: America's Cup skipper Franck Cammas of Groupama Team had successful surgery after sustaining a double shinbone fracture in a training accident. The Frenchman, 42, will be sidelined for several weeks before starting rehabilitation in January, the team said.

Times wires

Comments
Thomas Bassingerís takeaways from Saturdayís Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassingerís takeaways from Saturdayís Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Raysí closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Raysí closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegasí birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays jump on Orioles early, coast to 5-1 win

Rays jump on Orioles early, coast to 5-1 win

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Orioles on Saturday at Tropicana Field.In his first career start, Ryne Stanek pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings for Tampa Bay, retiring all five batters he faced. His fastball sitting...
Updated: 1 hour ago
RAYSREPORT

RAYSREPORT

Today: vs. Orioles1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of gamePromotion: Raymond childrenís book for kids 14 ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

Rays Tales: What the trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span leads to next

The reality of Friday's surprising trade of Alex Colome and Denard Span to Seattle is, of course, between the extremes.One side is screaming this is the latest proof the Rays are driven more to pocket money than winning games (and, for the loudest, o...
Updated: 3 hours ago

For starters: Rays vs. Orioles; Ryne Stanek makes first start, Carlos Gomez returns

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' bullpenning experiment continues, with right-hander Ryne Stanek to open this afternoon's game against the Orioles at Tropicana Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10.It is the first career start for Stanek, who has ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Redfish bite strong on afternoon high tide

Early morning stops at jetty rock piles have produced excellent action for a variety of species. Snook, redfish and trout are the targets. Free-lining live pilchards against the rocks at the strong part of the tide is your best opportunity for snook,...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs rookie CBs quickly catching on

Bucs rookie CBs quickly catching on

TAMPA ó If the first few days of organized team activities are any indication, the Bucs secondary could be much improved.Completions may be down, interceptions should be up."A lot of interceptions,íí coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday after practice. "...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 12 hours ago