Sunday, September 25

Monday’s Sports In Brief


TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) — Daniil Medvedev had an easy start to his U.S. Open title defense, beating Stefan Kozlov 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.

Simona Halep had another early exit, this one coming in a memorable first tour-level win for Ukrainian Daria Snigur. Snigur upset the No. 7 seed 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.

Serena Williams began what could be the final tournament of her career with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Danka Kovinic.

Andy Murray was another early winner, 10 years after winning the first of his three Grand Slam titles in Flushing Meadows. He had one of the first upsets of the tournament by beating No. 24 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 7-5, 6-3, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas won’t be staying in it after dropping the first 11 games to qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan before falling 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.

Two other past champions had short stays. Dominic Thiem, the 2020 champion who missed last year because of injury, fell to Pablo Carreño Busta in four sets. The 2016 winner, Stan Wawrinka, retired from his match against Corentin Moutet after losing a second-set tiebreaker.

NFL

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo is staying in San Francisco after agreeing to a reduced contract to be the backup to Trey Lance on the 49ers.

A person familiar with the deal said on condition of anonymity that the sides are finalizing a deal to reduce Garoppolo’s $24.2 million base salary for 2022. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been announced.

ESPN reported Garoppolo will receive a $6.5 million fully guaranteed base salary, $500,000 in roster bonuses and the chance to make nearly $9 million more in playing time bonuses. The deal also includes a no-trade clause and prevents San Francisco from using the franchise tag on Garoppolo next offseason.

The Niners had been unable to find a trade partner for Garoppolo and were facing a deadline with rosters being cut to 53 players on Tuesday. They were unwilling to keep Garoppolo as a backup at his full salary, and with no chances at a starting job on another team, the two sides found a compromise.

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Garoppolo had not taken part in a single practice or meeting with the team this training camp, working out on the side on his own as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego State football coach Brady Hoke said he didn’t know star punter Matt Araiza had been accused of participating in the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus party in October until a civil lawsuit was filed last week.

Hoke’s boss, athletic director John David Wicker, defended the school administration’s decision to obey the San Diego Police Department’s request to delay a campus-led inquiry into the alleged gang rape until authorities finish their criminal investigation. The incident happened on Oct. 17 at a Halloween party at a home where Araiza had been living.

Araiza, nicknamed the “Punt God” and honored as a consensus All-American for his booming kicks that helped SDSU to a school-best 12-2 season, was cut by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, two days after the civil lawsuit containing graphic details was filed against him and former teammates Zaver Leonard and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko. Leonard and Ewaliko are no longer with the team, Wicker said.

The school’s decision to accede to the SDPD was criticized by rape survivor and public speaker Brenda Tracy, who was brought in by SDSU to speak to the football team and other male athletes nearly three weeks after the alleged assault.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars traded wide receiver Laviska Shenault to the Carolina Panthers for an undisclosed draft pick in 2023.

It’s the second trade in a year between the teams involving early round picks. Jacksonville sent troubled cornerback C.J. Henderson to Carolina last September for tight end Dan Arnold and a fifth-round pick in 2022. Henderson was the ninth overall pick in 2020.

Shenault, a second-round draft pick in 2020, opened training camp in a tight battle for a roster spot despite catching 121 passes for 1,219 yards and five touchdowns during his first two NFL seasons. The Jaguars signed receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency and liked what they saw from Tim Jones in the preseason.

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Moving to Carolina will give Shenault a fourth head coach, fourth offensive coordinator and fourth receivers coach in three years.

OBITUARY

Ernie Zampese, one of the architects of the Dan Fouts-led “Air Coryell” offense with the San Diego Chargers and Troy Aikman’s play-caller for the last of the Dallas Cowboys’ three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s, has died. He was 86.

The Washington Commanders announced the death Monday without providing further details. Zampese’s son, Ken Zampese, is Washington’s quarterbacks coach.

Zampese joined Don Coryell’s San Diego staff in 1979, starting an eight-year run during which Fouts and the Chargers led the NFL in yards passing six times. The Chargers made the playoffs the first four years, reaching the AFC championship game twice.

Zampese went on to the Los Angeles Rams for seven seasons as offensive coordinator before joining the Cowboys in 1994 to direct an offense led by the “Triplets” of Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith and receiver Michael Irvin.

Dallas beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl a year later, and Zampese was in charge of the offense two more years before spending two seasons as New England’s offensive coordinator. Zampese ended his career with four seasons as a consultant: two in Dallas (2000-01) and one each with the St. Louis Rams (2002) and Washington (2004).

BASEBALL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) —Aaron Judge hit his 50th home run of the season but Shohei Ohtani also went deep during their MVP showdown, and the Los Angeles Angels held off the slumping New York Yankees 4-3.

The top two candidates for AL MVP both delivered before a sellout crowd that included plenty of Yankees fans. Ohtani broke a 2-all tie in the fifth inning with his 29th homer, a two-run drive to right-center. Judge connected in the eighth for a 434-foot shot off reliever Ryan Tepera that made it 4-3.

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With his parents in the stands, the California-born slugger became one of 10 players in major league history with multiple 50-homer seasons. Judge smashed 52 long balls in 2017, setting a rookie record that was broken two years later when Pete Alonso hit 53 for the New York Mets.

The first-place Yankees tried to rally in the ninth, but three-time AL MVP Mike Trout went a long way to make a running catch in deep center on a drive by Oswaldo Cabrera with a runner on first for the final out.

CINCINNATI (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols tagged his major league record 450th different pitcher for a home run, connecting off Cincinnati left-hander Ross Detwiler in a 13-4 rout of the Reds.

Pujols hit his 694th home run overall. He had been tied with Barry Bonds for most pitchers as longball victims at 449.

The 42-year-old Pujols lined a two-run, opposite-field drive to right field off the left-handed Detwiler in the third inning at Great American Ball Park. Pujols’ 15th homer gave the NL Central-leading Cardinals an 8-0 lead.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Major League Baseball Players Association is attempting to unionize minor leaguers, reversing decades of opposition.

The players’ association said it is circulating union authorization cards among players with minor league contracts to form a separate bargaining unit from the big leaguers.

While the average major league salary is above $4 million, players with minor league contracts earn as little as $400 a week during the six-month season.

The union’s executive board unanimously approved the minor league initiative on Friday.

Signed cards from 30% of minor leaguers in the bargaining unit would allow the union to file a petition to the National Labor Relations Board asking for an union authorization election. There are 5,000 to 6,500 U.S.-based minor leaguers at any given time, MLB estimates, the number increasing when new players sign each summer.

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