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 …

Pitcher’s Duel Ends in a Draw

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bradenton, Fla. — Pittsburgh’s Francisco Liriano and Boston’s Wade Miley tossed several scoreless innings apiece Saturday before bowing out in a game that ended in a 2-2 tie. Liriano, who was named the Pirates’ opening day starter, struck out six and scattered two hits and three walks over …

Harvick Running for a West Coast Sweep

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fontana, Calif. — Although Kevin Harvick is on the biggest roll NASCAR has seen in four decades, the California native has been driving too long to take anything for granted when he attempts to complete his West Coast sweep. “In life in general, you’re never bulletproof,” Harvick said. …

Panthers Out-Shoot B’s

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunrise, Fla. — Brandon Pirri scored the winning shootout goal to lead the Florida Panthers over the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Saturday night. Pirri beat Tuukka Rask five-hole in the second round of the shootout. Roberto Luongo turned …

Spurs Hold Off Celtics

Saturday, March 21, 2015

San Antonio — Kawhi Leonard had 22 points and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed Friday night, holding off the Boston Celtics 101-89 after getting a late scare. Tony Parker had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Tiago …

UFC Champ Returns In August

Saturday, March 21, 2015

UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will return to the octagon against Brazil’s unbeaten Bethe Correia at UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 1. Rousey and UFC President Dana White announced the headlining pay-per-view matchup Friday during a news conference in Brazil. Rousey (11-0) finished her fifth …

In Brief: Kurt Busch Races to Pole

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fontana, Calif. — Kurt Busch won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway, turning a lap of 185.142 mph in his Haas Automation Chevrolet. With his first pole since May 2013, Busch took another step forward Friday in his return from four months of off-track …

Rapid Recovery for Sox’ Cuban Import

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fort Myers, Fla. — It looks as if Rusney Castillo is feeling much better. Castillo hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat of spring training, but the Boston Red Sox lost 11-5 to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. Castillo signed a $72.5 million, seven-year contract with Boston …

Lightning Clip Wings

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tampa, Fla. — Alex Killorn scored a tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, Ben Bishop made 30 saves and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Friday night. Tampa Bay also got goals from Anton Stralman and from Steven Stamkos, who got his …

In Brief: 2022 World Cup Final Set for December

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Zurich — The final match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be played on Dec. 18, the country’s national holiday. FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio confirmed the date Thursday, but did not say when the tournament would start. The governing body’s executive committee prefers a 28-day …

Commentary: Other Young NFL Players Could Walk Away

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Make no mistake about it: Chris Borland’s decision to preserve his health by retiring in the prime of his career was a watershed moment for the NFL as we know it. That doesn’t mean the NFL will wither away and die, the victim of its own core violence. …