Thursday sports in brief – Washington Times

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MLB

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Because they avoided sign-stealing from their team during the 2017 World Series championship season, Houston Astros players Alex Bregman and José Altuve apologized on Thursday for the schedule being investigated and penalized by Major League Baseball.

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Astros owner Jim Crane and new manager Dusty Baker – who replaced the fired AJ Hinch – also spoke at a press conference at the team's spring training facility.

And while the clear goal was to say: & # 39; We are sorry & # 39; and we hope to go further, Crane raised eyebrows with this statement: & our opinion is that this had no impact on the game. We had a good team. We have won the World Series. And we leave it at that. "

Moments later asked for his explanation of the effects on the game, Crane tried to come back and said, "It's hard to determine how it has affected the game or whether it has affected the game."

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MLB did not punish any player for cheating and Crane said he stayed with it.

NBA

CHICAGO (AP) – Devin Booker is finally on his way to his first NBA All-Star Game.

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The Phoenix guard – who felt he was being thrown away by voters and coaches when he did not make the original list for Sunday's game in Chicago – was tabled Thursday as the player who will be the injured Portland guard Damian Lillard in the game to replace.

Booker was chosen by commissioner Adam Silver, who makes the final call to replace injuries with the All-Star rosters. Through NBA As a rule, the substitute player must come from the same conference as the injured player.

Lillard injured his groin on Wednesday night and said he could not play in the game or the 3-point competition on Saturday night.

CAR RACING

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Joey Logano and William Byron won the qualifying races that formed the field for the Daytona 500.

The victory in the first 150-mile race on Thursday evening earned Logano a second-row spot for the Daytona 500 season opening. Byron will join Logano in the second row, behind pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and teammate Alex Bowman, who achieved the first row in time trials at Daytona International Speedway.

Byron got out of line late, got a push from fellow Chevrolet driver Kurt Busch and drove to the confidence-inspiring victory.

The 40-car field for Sunday's race is first determined by time trials that make up the first row, then the remaining starting order is based on the results of the pair of 60-lap qualifying races. There were five drivers racing for two slots in the Daytona 500 on Thursday night and they went to Reed Sorenson and Timmy Hill.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – President Donald Trump orders drivers to start their engines before the Daytona 500.

Daytona International Speedway officials called Trump the great marshal for the season opener of NASCAR, meaning he delivers the most famous four words in motor racing. "Sir, start your engines", has been a main component of races throughout the country and the world for decades.

White House spokesperson Judd Deere said on Thursday that the president is planning to attend the race. Track president Chip Wile confirmed the news in a release.

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) – Tokyo Olympic organizers repeated their message Thursday at the start of two days of meetings with the International Olympic Committee: the 2020 games are not being attacked by the virus spreading from neighboring China.

“I want to make it clear again that we are not considering canceling or postponing the games. Let me make that clear, & # 39; said organizing committee chairman Yoshiro Mori, who spoke through an interpreter with dozens of top IOC officials who had gathered in Tokyo.

The Olympics will open in just over five months, and the torchlight procession will begin in Japan next month – a clear signal that the games are getting closer.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina became the newest school to receive an NCAA notification of allegations about the federal probe in college basketball.

Athletic director Ray Tanner said on Thursday that the school has received notification of a violation allegedly committed by former assistant coach Lamont Evans, who worked for coach Frank Martin for four seasons from 2012-13 to 2015-16.

The NCAA categorized the violation as Level I, the most serious of its violations. The letter from the NCAA stated that a panel of the Commission for infringements should assess what it called a "serious behavioral error".

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Two former footballers from the state of Ohio did not plead guilty on Thursday because they were holding a woman against her will and raping her this month.

Defensive backs Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint – who were kicked out of the team Wednesday after they were charged – first appeared in the Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, and their respective lawyers introduced pleas for non-guilt.

Judge Cynthia Ebner placed a band at $ 100,000 for Riep and $ 75,000 for Wint and ordered that the men have no contact with the prosecutor or with each other. They were also instructed not to discuss her on social media.

The case will now go to a large jury who will decide whether the men should be charged.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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