Veteran slugger Reynolds retires
Slugger Mark Reynolds is retiring after hitting 298 homers over 13 seasons with eight teams.
Reynolds, a 36-year-old who grew up in Virginia Beach and starred at the University of Virginia, made the announcement Thursday. When the free agent was asked whether he still was pursuing a new team, Reynolds said he’s “moved beyond that, I’ve retired.” He added that he’s enjoying spending time with his family and it was time for him “to find something else to do.”
Reynolds was a prime example of the rise of all-or-nothing masher. His best years came with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hit .260 in 2009 and set career highs 44 homers and what is still a big league record 223 strikeouts. The previous year he had become the first batter to reach 200, and he has three of the 13 200-strikeout seasons by big league batters.
Texans land receiver Cooks in trade
The Los Angeles Rams are trading receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the teams hadn’t announced the deal. The NFL Network reported the Rams will get a second-round pick while sending a future fourth-rounder to Houston.
Cooks will help the Texans replace DeAndre Hopkins, who was shockingly traded to the Arizona Cardinals last month for running back David Johnson and two draft picks.
While Cooks hasn’t matched Hopkins’ superstar play during his six-year career, Cooks is a fast, steady deep threat who has five 50-reception seasons for three franchises.
Cooks, who spent his first three NFL seasons with New Orleans, played the past two seasons with the Rams after they acquired him from New England. Los Angeles gave him an $81 million contract extension through 2023 before he played a game for the team.
Chiefs re-sign cornerback Breeland
The Kansas City Chiefs are bringing back cornerback Bashaud Breeland on a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.5 million, helping to alleviate one of the Super Bowl champions’ biggest concerns ahead of the NFL draft.
The deal was confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Chiefs had yet to announce it. ESPN.com was first to report that the two sides had agreed to a reunion.
NBA, WNBA stars to compete in H-O-R-S-E
It’s not quite basketball, but there will be professional basketball players. They will be shooting. And, in a way, they’ll be keeping score — so it’s at least something.
A group of current and former NBA and WNBA players will participate in virtual H-O-R-S-E games from their isolated home courts. The opening round will air on ESPN beginning Sunday at 4 p.m.
In one bracket will be Thunder guard Chris Paul, Bulls guard Zach LaVine, ex-Celtics star Paul Pierce and Chicago Sky WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley. Paul will face Quigley and Pierce will take on LaVine.
In a second bracket will be Clippers color analyst and ex-NBA point guard Chauncey Billups, Utah’s Mike Conley, Atlanta’s Trae Young and recent WNBA Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings. Billups will play Young, and Catchings will face Conley.
The semifinal rounds will be held next Thursday. Then the H-O-R-S-E champion will be crowned that night when the winners from each group will compete.
Georgia Tech eligible for 2021 postseason
Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury says the school met the requirements of its men’s basketball postseason ban as part of punishments from the NCAA even though most of the postseason was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to fans made available to the public, Stansbury said he was recently informed Georgia Tech completed its mandated ban by removing itself from the ACC tournament on March 2. Georgia Tech made that decision when it withdrew its appeal of the NCAA postseason ban.
In the letter, Stansbury wrote the school “recently received official confirmation from the NCAA Committee on Infractions that we met the conditions of the penalty by not participating in this year’s ACC Tournament.”
By accepting the ban this year, Georgia Tech will be eligible for all postseason tournaments in the 2020-2021 season.
Kentucky transfer picks UCLA
Former University of Kentucky basketball player Johnny Juzang announced that he’s transferring to UCLA and will seek a waiver to become eligible immediately. The 6-foot-7 forward entered his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal last month following his freshman season at UK, during which he averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game as a reserve.
South Carolina guard to transfer
South Carolina guard Jair Bolden is leaving the men’s basketball program and will play his final season elsewhere.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound point guard from Brooklyn, New York will join his third school as a graduate transfer and be eligible to play immediately.
Bolden spent his first two seasons at George Washington, sitting out the 2018-19 season before playing in 31 of 32 games for South Carolina.
Bolden started the first 15 games for the Gamecocks and had 22 points in leading them to a 70-59 victory at Virginia this past December.