NEW YORK (AP) Ready or not, Alex Rodriguez will play his final game in pinstripes this week.
One of the most prolific hitters and polarizing figures in baseball history, the slumping slugger plans to take his final turn at-bat with the New York Yankees on Friday night and then become a special adviser and instructor with the team next year.
A-Rod and the club made the announcement before Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Cleveland.
”This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team,” he said, often choking up. ”And today I’m saying goodbye to both.”
The 41-year-old Rodriguez, who sat out the 2014 season while serving a performance-enhancing drug suspension, will play against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium and then be released following Friday’s game. New York will pay him the remainder of the approximately $27 million he’s owed as part of his $275 million, 10-year contract.
DENVER (AP) – Ichiro Suzuki tripled off the wall for his 3,000th career hit in the major leagues, becoming the 30th player to reach the milestone.
The 42-year-old Marlins outfielder did it in the seventh inning against Colorado at Coors Field on Sunday. He joined Paul Molitor as the only players whose 3,000th hit was a triple.
Miami players came out of the dugout to congratulate Suzuki, and he waved his helmet to acknowledge the cheers.
Hitting coach Barry Bonds gave him a hug as the celebration at third base ended, and Suzuki got another round of applause when he scored on Jeff Mathis’ single, as well as a hug from manager Don Mattingly.
Suzuki gave the crowd a wave as he went into the dugout. He batted again in the ninth and drew a walk.
Suzuki was hitless in his first three at-bats of the game before the big hit against Chris Rusin.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – After escaping a blanket ban from the Olympics, Russia was kicked out of the upcoming Paralympics as the ultimate punishment for the state running a doping operation that polluted sports by prioritizing ”medals over morals.”
Paralympic leaders expelled one of its most significant members as the IOC announced that 278 Russians have been given clearance to compete at the Olympics after their eligibility in Rio de Janeiro was left to individual sports.
Russia’s years of doping deception, including tampering with samples at the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, were outlined last month by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren.
In contrast to IOC President Thomas Bach, who opposed the ”nuclear option” of banning Russia ahead of Friday’s Olympic opening ceremony, Craven directly condemned the Russian state’s involvement in doping but stopped short of blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Olympic athletes have been competing in near empty venues and before thin crowds in other locations during the opening days of the Rio Games – a problem that can be traced to long security lines, traffic and a lack of familiarity in some sports.
Rugby and equestrian venues have been devoid of fans, and a Brazil volleyball match on famed Copacabana Beach had lots of empty seats. Scattered seats were open early during the basketball game Saturday night between China and star-studded Team USA, usually one of the biggest draws of the Olympics.
Rio organizers said long lines at airport-style security checkpoints prevented fans from getting into events. The line for the beach volleyball venue stretched down the Copacabana promenade to the Olympic rings display several blocks away, though the venue has not been full for any of the matches.
Organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada said the problem was being addressed, and he’s hopeful that lines would move quicker as the Summer Games entered its first full week.
CANTON, Ohio (AP) – An emotional and invigorating Hall of Fame weekend came to a grinding halt Sunday night when the Packers-Colts game was canceled because of poor field conditions.
One day after Brett Favre led the eight-member class of 2016 into the hall, its president, David Baker announced the cancellation after discussing problems with the turf with both teams. He said it was a safety issue and that all fans would be fully refunded for ticket purchases, which will cost the hall several million dollars.
Baker noted that the field was new and had been approved when inspected after its first installation. But paint congealed at midfield and in the end zone, hardening those areas. Workers used a variety of equipment to smooth the artificial surface. Rubber pellets used in the turf came loose and were scattered in several spots and needed to be removed, as well.
Joining Favre in the class of 2016 were Tony Dungy, a trail-blazing coach and Super Bowl winner; one of his stars, Marvin Harrison; Kevin Greene; Orlando Pace; Ken Stabler; Dick Stanfel; and Ed DeBartolo Jr.
Sprint Car driver Bryan Clauson remained hospitalized Sunday in critical condition following a harrowing accident in the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race.
Clauson was airlifted to a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, following the Saturday night crash. His family offered no details regarding his injuries in a statement provided by Bryan Clausen Racing.
Clauson is considered the nation’s top short-track dirt-car driver. He has won four USAC national championships and was participating in his 116th race of the season on Saturday night.
His schedule this year was on pace for 200 starts, and that included a 23rd-place finish in the Indianapolis 500.
Clauson was a three-time winner and the defending champion at Belleville. He flipped off the guard rail between turns 3 and 4 while leading. His car rolled several times and was hit by another car.
It was his second wreck of the weekend.