Pro Sports

Mike Esterman poses for a photo in front of a sign for Super Bowl XLIX Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in downtown Phoenix. The New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

NFL: Ref Inspected Footballs Properly

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phoenix — NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said the inspection of the footballs by referee Walt Anderson before the AFC championship game was handled properly. Blandino also said Thursday the process of checking the footballs and security surrounding the inspections will be enhanced for Sunday’s Super Bowl. As the league’s investigation into the Patriots’ use of under-inflated footballs moves along, …

Serena Aims for 19th Major Title

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Melbourne, Australia — It wasn’t until Serena Williams forced herself to relax, and not focus too intently on a milestone Grand Slam title, that she rediscovered the art of winning the biggest events in tennis. Now she’s on the verge of a 19th major championship after beating 19-year-old Madison Keys 7-6 (5), 6-2 …

A Corner Comparison: Super Bowl Features Two of NFL’s Elite Defenders

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phoenix — They won’t line up across from one another. They won’t even be on the field at the same time. But the New England Patriots’ Darrelle Revis and the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman are perhaps the NFL’s two most accomplished cornerbacks, so their “matchup” in Sunday’s Super Bowl has led to plenty …

New on The Job

Monday, January 26, 2015

New York — Rob Manfred knows he’ll get pounded now that he’s baseball commissioner — his name is printed in blue script on the sweet spot between the seams of every big league ball. “Probably good if I get hit hard,” he said, smiling and laughing. “A little …

Capitals See Selves in Race

Monday, January 26, 2015

Columbus, Ohio — Alex Ovechkin’s familiar gap-toothed grin has returned with the Washington Capitals in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Hardly anyone’s smiling in the West, where the standings are far more convoluted heading into …

Kraft Offers Defiant Defense of His Team

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chandler, Ariz. — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered a defiant defense of his organization, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady amid the ball-deflation controversy on Monday, further entrenching the team’s position that it committed no …

Sox’ Monbouquette Dies

Monday, January 26, 2015

Boston — Bill Monbouquette, an All-Star pitcher who threw a no-hitter and had a 20-win season for his hometown Boston Red Sox, has died. He was 78. Monbouquette died Sunday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston due to complications from leukemia, the Red Sox announced Monday. Monbouquette …

Pelicans Extend Run at Sixers’ Expense

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Orleans — Anthony Davis had 32 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, and the New Orleans Pelicans stretched their season-long winning streak to four games with a 99-74 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. Ryan Anderson scored 19 points and Eric Gordon added 13 …

Russians Set Semi Matchup

Monday, January 26, 2015

Melbourne, Australia — Maria Sharapova moved closer to another Australian Open title, set to face a fellow Russian in the semifinals who has never beaten her. Sharapova made all the big points look easy Tuesday in defeating 20-year-old Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-2 — her fourth consecutive win over …

Rams Go Yearly On Stadium Lease

Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Louis — The St. Louis Rams took a step toward a possible move back to the West Coast, notifying the city’s Convention and Visitors Commission on Monday that they intend to shift to a year-to-year lease agreement for their use of the Edward Jones Dome. The CVC, …

Celtics Slip Past Nuggets

Monday, January 26, 2015

Denver — Avery Bradley scored 18 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:24 left, and the Boston Celtics hung on to beat Denver 100-99 on Friday night, sending the Nuggets to their fifth loss in a row. The Nuggets played without star guard Ty Lawson, who was away …

Snowboarding Takes a Slide in Popularity

Monday, January 26, 2015

Killington, Vt. — Aging athletes, new skis and a lack of snow are ganging up on the once-edgy sport of snowboarding, which has seen a marked drop in participation over the last decade. Industry experts say it’s a …

The Super Bowl Remains a Big Deal

Monday, January 26, 2015

Phoenix — The Super Bowl, at its most basic level, is a game that determines the NFL championship. It has become so much more since the first game was played in 1967. Super Bowl Sunday has become an …