Pro Sports

Boston Red Sox' Yoan Moncada walks off the field after practices at spring training, Friday, March 13, 2015, in Fort Myers Fla. The Red Sox have finalized a minor league contract with the 19-year-old Cuban infielder that includes a $31.5 million signing bonus, easily a record for an international amateur free agent under 23 years old. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

‘They’re Free To Go’

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Havana — Raul Castro is not a large man. He was never said to possess a decent curveball, unlike his older brother, nor any passion for baseball, let alone baseball politics. Whether that has been good for the Cuban game depends on your view of socialist athletics. But for Major League Baseball, and the wave of Cuban talent pouring into it, the Raul Castro era has been a good one. Very, very good. It was good, most recently, for Héctor Olivera, the 29-year-old defector signed by the Dodgers last week for $62.5 million. More intriguingly, it was good and perhaps better for Yoan Moncada, 19, …

Martinsville A Longtime Favorite

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Martinsville, Va. — If Jeff Gordon ever decides to race again after his 2015 retirement tour is finished, it would likely be at Martinsville Speedway, a track where the four-time champion has had great success. Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson lead active drivers with eight victories on the 0.526-mile paper clip-shaped track, which has been hosting races in southwest Virginia since …

Shiffrin Signs Off on U.S. Slalom Title

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Carrabassett Valley, Maine — Over the years, Mikaela Shiffrin has been patiently refining her technique, trying to get it just perfect. Her signature for autographs, that is. Her skiing is pretty letter perfect, too. Shiffrin, added another title to her impressive collection, winning the slalom by a huge margin Saturday at the U.S. Alpine Championships. The 20-year-old from Eagle-Vail, Colo., and a former …

Teen O’Brien Best of GS Field at U.S. Alpines

Friday, March 27, 2015

Carrabassett Valley, Maine — Lindsey Vonn wasn’t there to compete, simply to film the giant slalom course and mingle with the next wave of up-and-coming skiers. Well, here’s one to definitely keep an eye on: Teenager Nina O’Brien, …

The World Is Not Enough

Friday, March 27, 2015

Oakland, Calif. — One goal down, still more to go. That’s the message the Golden State Warriors are giving after winning the Pacific Division for the first time in 39 years. Now they’re trying to secure the Western …

Hoffman Beats Wind, Leads at Texas Open

Friday, March 27, 2015

San Antonio — Charley Hoffman took advantage of calmer afternoon conditions to take the first-round lead in the wind-swept Texas Open, shooting a 5-under 67 on Thursday. After wind gusts threatening 40 mph pummeled the morning starters, Hoffman faced steady 15 mph wind in the afternoon at TPC …

Ilyasova Career-Best Sends Bucks Past Indy

Friday, March 27, 2015

Milwaukee — Ersan Ilyasova had a career-high 34 points and the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Indiana Pacers 111-107 on Thursday night. Khris Middleton added 17 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 for the Bucks. They have won two straight after breaking a six-game losing streak. George Hill …

Sabres Fans Embrace Race to Basement

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Buffalo, n.y. — The Buffalo Sabres are in last place. And many of their fans are openly rooting for the standings to stay that way. “Lose!” yelled Doug Borsuk, a 10-year season-ticket holder from the upper level during a recent Sabres’ home game. “Of course, it’s weird. But …

U.S. Fades Yet Again

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The pattern since last spring is familiar: The United States does well in the first half and fades as the final whistle approaches. Nicklas Bendtner took advantage of a defense that gave up two more late goals to …

Minnesota Selected for MLS Franchise

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Associated Press Minneapolis — Major League Soccer has committed to Minnesota, awarding an expansion franchise to start playing in 2018 with the expectation an outdoor stadium will be built before then. Bill McGuire, the former health care executive and current owner of the Minnesota United club in …

Blue Collar First Before Greenbacks: Seasonal Jobs Essential for Baseball’s Low-Pay Prospects

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fort Myers, Fla. — Long before any of that major league money starts landing in their bank accounts, most players are in a similar predicament as everyone else in the regular workforce. Between baseball seasons there are no …

PAT Changes Likely for 2015 Campaign

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Phoenix — Spice it up. The NFL’s dullest play, the extra point, appears to be headed for some changes, perhaps significant ones, for the 2015 season. While team owners didn’t vote on any extra-point proposals Wednesday, there was …

Vermonter Duffy Stuns at U.S. Alpines

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Carrabassett Valley, Maine — The race was all but wrapped up, the medals all but awarded. Then along came 19-year-old Drew Duffy, who turned in a speedy and surprising run from a late starting position to win the …