Thursday Sports in Brief

Sports

BASEBALL

SEATTLE (AP)When the Seattle Mariners started down the path of bidding for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the target was 2024 or later to host for a third time.

When MLB came back to the club asking if 2023 was a possibility, the Mariners quickly kicked into gear.

”I think with some of the shuffling that went on, (2023) became the more viable alternative,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. ”And I have to say, the Mariners did a fantastic job in terms of the up-tempo, the preparation.”

Seattle was formally unveiled as the host of the 2023 midsummer classic Thursday, making the announcement inside the Space Needle with Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez looking on.

Seattle’s first All-Star Game was in 1979 at the Kingdome, and it hosted again 22 years later in 2001 at Safeco Field.

Twenty-two years later, the game will be back at what’s now T-Mobile Park.

The 2022 All-Star Game will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was originally scheduled to be there in 2020 before being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHL

CHICAGO (AP) – Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the NHL expects 98% of players to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of the season.

The league projects that only between 10 and 15 of roughly 700 players will not be vaccinated by the time the season begins Oct. 12. The league and NHL Players’ Association did not impose a vaccine mandate on players, but restrictions – including the potential of not being able to cross the border from the U.S. into Canada without a lengthy quarantine – contributed to the number.

”We weren’t really trying to convince each other one way or the other,” Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty said. ”But then I think when the NHL released that statement that you lose pay and stuff like that, that kind of changed some guys’ minds.”

Teams will be able to suspend unvaccinated players without pay if they cannot participate in hockey activities as part of the protocols, which could include games in Canada since Daly confirmed there is no exception in this case for the country’s quarantine rule. Fully vaccinated players will have any COVID-19 positives treated as hockey injuries and still be paid.

Unvaccinated players also will have their movements restricted when on the road. And there will still be regular coronavirus testing for vaccinated players.

NFL

The ”Hard Knocks” franchise will have regular-season episodes for the first time when ”Hard Knocks In Season: The Indianapolis Colts” debuts on Nov. 17 on HBO.

NFL Films announced the series during halftime of Thursday night’s game between the New York Giants and Washington Football Team.

It will be the Colts’ first appearance on ”Hard Knocks,” which debuted in 2001 by following the Baltimore Ravens through training camp as they began defense of their Super Bowl title. The Dallas Cowboys recently wrapped up the 16th edition of the documentary series, becoming the first to make three appearances.

The Colts series will have at least nine episodes on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET.

The Colts are trying to make a return trip to the playoffs but dropped their opener to the Seattle Seahawks. Indianapolis traded for quarterback Carson Wentz during the offseason, and linebacker Darius Leonard was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018.

The series also could showcase coach Frank Reich, who is in his fourth season.

SOCCER

CLEVELAND (AP) – Carli Lloyd scored a career-high five goals, and the United States routed Paraguay 9-0 in the national team’s first game since the Olympics.

The Americans won the bronze medal in Tokyo, a somewhat disappointing finish for the defending World Cup champions.

Lloyd scored a pair of goals in the opening five minutes, and added her third and fourth before halftime as the United States built a 6-0 lead. She added her final goal in the 61st.

Lloyd, 39, has 133 international goals in 313 appearances with the national team. She moved in front of Kristine Lilly for third on the career list.

Lloyd’s scoring outburst was reminiscent of the 2015 World Cup final, when she scored three goals in the first 16 minutes against Japan. She announced she plans to retire from soccer after the team’s four post-Olympic games.

The United States plays Paraguay again on Tuesday in Cincinnati. The team is scheduled to host South Korea twice next month before a possible road trip to Australia in November.

HORSE RACING

OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) – Jockey Tomas Mejia has been been banned for 10 years for using an electronic device to win a race at Monmouth Park.

In a ruling announced Thursday, the stewards at Monmouth Park also fined the 26-year-old Panamanian $5,000 and recommended that the New Jersey Racing Commission permanently revoke his jockey’s license. Tracks around the country will uphold the ban.

The stewards said in their ruling that Mejia used the electronic device in winning the seventh race at Monmouth on Sept. 3 with Strongerthanuknow. They said he had the prohibited device entering the winner’s circle and prior to dismounting.

The board said photographic evidence was presented at its hearing on Sept. 9. The jockey was taken off his mounts the following day. The original hearing was continued on Wednesday before a decision was made. It came on Mejia’s birthday.

Mejia started riding in the United States in 2018 and has 110 wins in 1,101 rides with earnings of $2.96 million.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Blackhawks

More Blackhawks

Northwestern

More Northwestern

SportsClick

More SportsClick