Broncos entertain Ravens
DENVER (AP) — For football fans the wait has been difficult. A lot of time has passed since the end of the Super Bowl, when Baltimore beat San Francisco, and a new season is about to start this evening.
The opening game of the 2013 schedule is being played in Denver as the Peyton Manning-led Broncos open up with the defending champion Ravens and their high-priced quarterback Joe Flacco (FLAK'-oh). The game is a rematch of an AFC playoff game last January, when the Ravens won 38-35.
When the Broncos take the field in the Mile High City they won't have 15-year cornerback Champ Bailey in uniform. He won't be able to play tonight because of a sprained left foot. He hasn't practiced since getting hurt in a preseason game at Seattle on Aug. 17.
Livings released by Dallas
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have released guard Nate Livings. The dismissal comes just a year after he was signed as a free agent to shore up the offensive line. The Cowboys had originally put Livings on season-ending injured reserve after he had the second arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in the past six months during training camp. He will still be paid $1.7 million this season after signing a five-year contract with the Cowboys last year and started all 16 games in 2012.
Royals hosting Seattle
UNDATED (AP) — There's one day game being played in baseball. In Kansas City the Royals are looking to keep their playoff hopes alive as they entertain the Seattle Mariners. In the American League Wild Card hunt the Royals are 5 ½ games back of the final spot.
In tonight's top matchup the Reds are home to the Cardinals in the final game of a four-game series. The Reds won the first two games of the set before St. Louis came back to win last night's contest 5-4 in 16 innings. In the National League Central the Cards are a game back of first-place Pittsburgh while the Reds are 3 ½ back. In the National League Wild Card picture, the Reds and Cardinals currently hold down the two spots with Washington 6 ½ games back of the final berth.
The Yankees and Red Sox kick off a four-game series tonight in the Bronx. The Red Sox lead the American League East by 5 ½ games over Tampa while the Yankees are eight back. In the American League Wild Card picture the Rays hold down the second and final spot right now with the Yankees 2 ½ back. The Rays are in Anaheim tonight to meet the Angels.
The remaining games this evening feature the White Sox in Baltimore, Houston at Oakland and San Francisco home to Arizona.
No Grand Slam for the Bryan's/Williams's sisters advance
NEW YORK (AP) — The Bryan brothers' quest for the calendar Grand Slam is over. Bob and Mike Bryan lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Leander Paes (lee-AN'-dur payz) and Radek Stepanek in the U.S. Open semifinals, ending a 28-match winning streak in the Grand Slams and stopping their run two wins short of the Slam.
The Aussie team of Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman remains the only men's doubles pairing to win all four majors in a single year, back in 1951.
The twins' last loss in a Grand Slam match came in last year's Wimbledon semifinals.
The Williams sisters have advanced to the women's doubles semifinals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over defending champions Roberta Vinci (VIN'-chee) and Sara Errani (ehr-RAH'-nee). The Williams' are now two wins away from their 14th Grand Slam tournament title.
Play in the men's quarterfinals takes center stage today at the U.S. Open. In the lone afternoon match third seed Andy Murray is facing No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka (vah-VINK'-ah). This evening top seed Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) goes against 21st-ranked Mihail Youzhny.
The women's semifinals are on tap tomorrow.
TENNIS-HALL OF FAME
2014 nominees named
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Major champions Lindsay Davenport, Mary Pierce and Conchita Martinez are among the International Tennis Hall of Fame nominees for 2014. Davenport won singles titles at the U.S. Open in 1998, Wimbledon in 1999 and the Australian Open in 2000. She was ranked No. 1 for a total of 98 weeks, finishing at that spot in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2005.
Pierce was singles champion at the 1995 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open while Martinez is the only Spanish woman to win Wimbledon, beating Martina Navratilova (nah-vrah-tih-LOH'-vuh) in the 1994 final.
New man in charge in Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Brian Burke, the former president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been named the new president of hockey operations for Calgary. The Flames are in rebuilding mode after missing the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Burke will report directly to president Ken King and general manager Jay Feaster will report to Burke.
New job for Mullen
UNDATED (AP) — Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullen has been hired as an adviser by the Sacramento Kings. Mullen was the general manager of the Warriors from 2004-09. He was a five-time All-Star with Golden State, a member of the USA's gold-medal winning "Dream Team" in 1992 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
New deal for the coach
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga (la-ra-NAY'-gah) has been rewarded for the team's big season last year. The former George Mason coach received a three-year extension from the Hurricanes, who now have him under contract for the next nine seasons. Larranaga led the Hurricanes to 29 wins last season, along with the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships and a trip to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. He also was The Associated Press' coach of the year.
Larranaga is 49-20 at Miami and 519-354 for his career.
Report: Auriemma set to return
UNDATED (AP) — Geno Auriemma (aw-ree-EH'-muh) is reportedly set to return as coach of the U.S. women's basketball team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. A person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press that the decision will be discussed Friday at a USA Basketball news conference in Connecticut. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the appointment of the Connecticut coach has not been announced.
Auriemma will be the first repeat coach for the U.S. women's Olympic basketball team, which has won a gold medal at the past five games. Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF'-skee) decided in May he would return to coach the men a third time.
Auriemma's team cruised through the 2012 London Games, winning by an average of 34 points, including an 86-50 rout of France for the title.
Selections for Division II Football Hall
FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner, Jacksonville State tight end Keith McKeller and retired Indiana University of Pennsylvania coach Frank Cignetti have been selected for the Division II Football Hall of Fame. Bonner is one of only three two-time winners of the Harlon Hill Trophy as the top Division II player.
Cignetti, West Virginia's head coach from 1976-79, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in August.
McKeller was a four-time All-Gulf South Conference basketball player who walked onto the football team in 1986. He earned all-conference honors and later started in four consecutive Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills.
ROSE BOWL PARADE
Baseball great to serve as grand marshal
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Vin Scully will serve as grand marshal of the 125th Rose Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena. Scully told The Associated Press that his first reaction to being chosen was, "Wow." The 85-year-old says he thinks he was tapped for the honor because he's been around a long time and that the current success of the Dodgers has something to do with it.