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Wednesday's Sports in Brief


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BASEBALL

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NEW YORK (AP) Baseball players appeared likely to propose more regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press.

Washington pitcher Max Scherzer, among eight players on the union's executive subcommittee, issued a statement calling management's proposal for more salary cuts a non-starter.

A day after Major League Baseball proposed a sliding scale of salary slashing for a pandemic-delayed season with an 82-game schedule in ballparks without fans, the union held a conference call that included its executive board, player representatives and alternate player representatives, the people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced. Scherzer, among the sport's highest-paid players, confirmed the call without divulging who was on it.

ATLANTA (AP) - Former Atlanta catcher Biff Pocoroba, who played in the 1978 All-Star Game and was a backup on the Braves team that won an improbable NL West title in 1982, has died at age 66.

Tom Wages Funeral Services in suburban Snellville confirmed that Pocoroba died Sunday. No cause of death was given.

Pocoroba spent his entire 10-year career with the Braves, first joining the team for 67 games in 1975. His best season came in 1977, when he batted .290 with eight homers and 44 RBIs in 113 games.

BASKETBALL

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Basketball Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo told ESPN that the enshrinement ceremony for Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and five others will be delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ceremony was to have taken place in Springfield on Aug. 29. Colangelo told ESPN that the event will be moved until the spring of 2021.

Colangelo did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. There was no immediate announcement from the Hall of Fame about the rescheduling plan.

AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Rain washed out the Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway - a slight break for NASCAR teams taxed by a grueling return to racing.

The race was rescheduled for Thursday night at 7 p.m., which in turn forced NASCAR to move the Xfinity Series race scheduled for Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. The turnaround time is too difficult for broadcast partner Fox Sports to leave Charlotte and quickly rebuild its setup in Tennessee under social distancing guidelines.

The Xfinity Series race will instead be run Monday night, a day after the Cup Series.

HOCKEY

Concerns about Canadian coronavirus restrictions could push hockey south of the 49th parallel into the U.S. this summer.

Seven of the 10 locations the NHL has zeroed in on to hold playoff games if it resumes are American cities not restricted by Canada's 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival. As 24 teams figure out how to squeeze an expanded roster and limited personnel into one of two ''hub'' cities, the Vancouver Canucks are even considering relocating training camp to the U.S. if the situation doesn't change in the coming weeks.

The 10 finalists are Las Vegas, Columbus, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton. The NHL will in the next few weeks select two or three to host Eastern and Western Conference brackets and then the Stanley Cup Final by factoring in government regulations, the frequency of COVID-19 in the community and availability of testing.

SOCCER

Pro soccer returns to the U.S. next month when the National Women's Soccer League starts a 25-game tournament in a pair of stadiums in Utah that will be kept clear of fans to protect players from the coronavirus.

Players from the league's nine teams will train and live at two Salt Lake City-area hotels, the league announced. All players will be tested for COVID-19 before leaving for Utah, and then will be regularly screened during their monthlong stay.

No fans will be allowed into the Zions Bank or Rio Tinto stadiums, two suburban Salt Lake City venues that will host the action. The tournament begins June 27, with games to be televised and streamed by CBS and its online and broadcast affiliates.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Mixed martial arts and boxing are back in business in Nevada.

The Nevada Athletic Commission unanimously agreed to allow two UFC events and two Top Rank boxing shows in Las Vegas over the next two weeks. The decision ends the moratorium on combat sports that has been in place in Nevada since March 14, when the commission stopped competition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The UFC immediately confirmed its plans to stage a show without fans in attendance Saturday night at the UFC Apex arena on its expansive corporate complex in Las Vegas, followed by the UFC 250 pay-per-view show at the same place June 6. Top Rank is expected to hold fan-free boxing shows at the MGM Grand on June 9 and June 11.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has tabled a proposal for a booth official who would aid calls by using a video feed, a person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press.

The league's competition committee told teams last month it supports studying ways to determine how officiating personnel who have access to a video feed could help on-field officials. A booth umpire would serve as an eighth game official.

But when the owners vote on rules proposals in a conference call Thursday, they instead will be looking at alternatives to a booth official, the person said on condition of anonymity because the league has not announced the move.

Copyright 2020 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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MORE HEADLINES
 
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ASA + 1714
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Kevin Rogers + 444
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Joe Williams + 300
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