SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes, Jimmie Ward returned one of his two first-quarter interceptions for another score and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 for their first home win in more than a year.
The Niners (4-5) had lost four of five games and were in danger of falling out of the playoff race before putting together a complete performance against the Rams (7-3). San Francisco has won five straight against Los Angeles.
Garoppolo threw TD passes to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, Samuel also ran for a score and Ward delivered the big plays defensively to give San Francisco its second home win in the past two seasons. The other also came against the Rams on Oct. 18, 2020.
The Niners sealed the game when Garoppolo connected on a 40-yard TD to Samuel on fourth-and-6 early in the fourth quarter that made it 31-7. Garoppolo finished 15 for 19 for 182 yards and the two TDs.
The Rams lost for the second straight week with Matthew Stafford once again throwing two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
NEW YORK (AP) – Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena won AL Rookie of the Year honors with a superb follow-up to his 2020 postseason heroics while Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India earned NL Rookie of the Year.
Arozarena provided a stunning lift for the Rays during the 2020 postseason with 10 homers in 18 games during their run to the World Series. But the 26-year-old Cuban didn’t play enough during the 2020 regular season to lose his rookie status so he was eligible for the award this year. He followed up his postseason breakout with an excellent season in 2021, finishing with a .274 average, 32 doubles, 20 homers and 69 RBIs while adding excellent defense, helping the Rays return to the postseason.
Arozarena earned 22 of 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, beating out Houston right-hander Luis Garcia and Tampa Bay infielder Wander Franco.
India won the NL award eight months after earning the team’s second base job during spring training and never letting it go during a stellar first season. The 24-year-old India received 29 of 30 first-place votes, beating out Miami left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers and St. Louis outfielder Dylan Carlson. Rogers got one first-place vote.
India’s quick impact in the big leagues was somewhat surprising considering he had just 111 at-bats above Single-A before 2021. The 6-foot, 200-pound India was an all-around threat – particularly during the second half of the season – often batting leadoff and finishing with a .269 average, 34 doubles, 21 homers, 69 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He also showed good discipline in the batter’s box, coaxing 71 walks to finish with a .376 on-base percentage, and scored 98 runs.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Yankees hired former Mets manager Luis Rojas as their third base coach, a month after he lost his job with the crosstown rivals.
Rojas managed the Mets for the past two seasons. The team declined its 2022 option for him on Oct. 4, a day after finishing third in the NL East at 77-85.
Rojas will take the spot of Phil Nevin, who had been the Yankees’ third base coach since the 2018 season. Nevin was let go last month, shortly after he waved home Aaron Judge in a key spot in the AL wild-card game at Boston – Judge was easily thrown out, and the Red Sox went on to win.
The Yankees tied with Kansas City for making the most outs at the plate this season with 22.
The NCAA’s move to restructure college sports is not being driven by fear, but rather a desire to seize an opportunity to tackle issues that have been building for decades, NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
Emmert’s words came after the NCAA’s online constitutional convention, during which the entire membership of more than 1,100 schools in its three divisions weighed in on the proposed, scaled-down version of the association’s foundational document.
Emmert called for the constitutional convention over the summer, not long after the U.S. Supreme Court dealt the NCAA a potentially crippling blow. In upholding a lower court’s ruling in an antitrust case, the high court left the association vulnerable to lawsuits any time it makes a new rule the impacts athletes.
Rewriting the constitution is the first step toward decentralizing college sports’ governance and deemphasizing the role of the NCAA.
The college sports administrators who make up the constitution committee, including Georgetown President Jack DeGioia, who is the chairman of the NCAA’s Board of Governors, spent about four hours presenting the proposal to members and taking questions.
NEW YORK (AP) – Gonzaga, UCLA and Kansas held the top three spots in The Associated Press’ first Top 25 rankings of the regular season while Michigan climbed two spots to No. 4.
The Bulldogs received 55 first-place votes from a 61-person media panel in the poll released Monday after a win over Texas. The No. 2 Bruins had six first-place votes after beating Villanova and the Jayhawks were third following a win over Michigan State.
Villanova dropped a spot to No. 5. Purdue, Duke, Texas, reigning national champion Baylor and Illinois rounded out the top 10.
NEW YORK (AP) – After an impressive win, Indiana has vaulted to its best ranking ever: No. 4 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll.
The veteran Hoosiers had their best ranking ever at No. 8 in the preseason Top 25 and then had a week that included a rout of then-No. 13 Kentucky, 88-67.
South Carolina remained the top team in the poll, receiving 25 first-place votes from a national media panel. The Gamecocks had an impressive nine-point win at No. 5 North Carolina State to tip off the season. The Gamecocks were followed by UConn, which garnered the other five No. 1 votes, and Maryland.
All five of the top teams will head to the Bahamas over the next two weeks to play in two tournaments. There is the potential for a 1-2 matchup between the Gamecocks and Huskies if both teams win their first two games in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
The Hoosiers, Terrapins, Wolfpack and No. 7 Stanford play in another round-robin tournament on the island over Thanksgiving. The Cardinal dropped four spots after losing to then-No.25 Texas, which jumped to No. 12. The Longhorns climbed 13 spots, ending up just behind Arizona, which jumped to No. 11 from 22nd after an overtime victory against then-No. 6 Louisville. The Cardinals fell to 10th.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NHL postponed three Ottawa Senators games amid a COVID-19 outbreak on the team, the first time any North American major professional sports league has been hit by rescheduling this fall because of the coronavirus.
Games scheduled for Tuesday at New Jersey, at home Thursday against Nashville and at home Saturday against the New York Rangers were postponed. Ten Senators players are currently in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
While Ottawa played short-handed Sunday in a 4-0 loss to Calgary, the depth of the outbreak led to the decision to postpone games, which the league said was made in light of evidence of continued spread in recent days. The Senators are shut down through at least Saturday, with their training facilities closed to players until then as a precaution.
Neither the NFL nor the NBA has had to postpone a game so far this fall. Major League Baseball had nine virus-related postponements among 2,430 scheduled games, down from 45 in last year’s shortened 900-game schedule.
The NHL postponed 51 games for virus reasons during its last regular season.