Friday's Sports in Brief
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, has died. He was 93.
The Dodgers said Friday that he had a heart attack at his home in Fullerton, California. Resuscitation attempts were made on the way to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday.
Lasorda had a history of heart problems, including a heart attack in 1996 that ended his managerial career and another in 2012 that required him to have a pacemaker.
He had just returned home Tuesday after being hospitalized since Nov. 8 with heart issues.
Lasorda attended the Dodgers’ Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Oct. 27 in Texas that clinched the team’s first World Series title since 1988.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns can finally practice for the playoffs.
The team was granted permission by the NFL to resume normal activities — by 2021 standards — at its training facility, which has been closed since Tuesday when coach Kevin Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19 along with Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and three others.
A team spokesman said practice will start at 4:30 p.m. The indoor workout is closed to the media.
The Browns have been kept off the field and limited to virtual meetings in advance of Sunday night’s wild-card game in Pittsburgh. It’s Cleveland’s first postseason appearance since the 2002 season.
On Thursday, quarterback Baker Mayfield said he hadn’t thrown a football since last weekend, when the Browns clinched the AFC’s No. 6 seed by beating the Steelers to set up their second game in eight days with their chief rival.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan after their defense allowed a franchise record in points and finished 31st in the NFL against the run in his only season.
Coach Mike McCarthy hired Nolan from New Orleans, where he was coaching linebackers, when McCarthy replaced Jason Garrett a year ago. They worked together for a season in San Francisco in 2005, when Nolan was coach and McCarthy was his offensive coordinator and the 49ers finished 4-12.
Dallas also fired defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, another former San Francisco coach.
UNDATED (AP) — Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce were unanimous choices for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was selected for the third time, finishing ahead of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes in voting from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Last season’s Super Bowl MVP shared second-team honors with Josh Allen of Buffalo.
Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who ran for 2,027 yards to win his second consecutive rushing title, was named All-Pro for the first time after leading the AFC South champion Titans to their first division title in 12 years.
Donald, who has helped the Los Angeles Rams to the top-ranked defense in the NFL, earned his sixth All-Pro selection. It was the third for Kansas City’s record-setting Kelce.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has decided to stick with coach Jim Harbaugh, finalizing a new, five-year deal that cuts his guaranteed compensation but gives him an opportunity to make up for the financial loss if he can start winning championships.
The school will pay him $4 million in 2021 with a chance to make nearly $8 million in the fifth year of his contract, according to the memorandum of understanding signed by Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel.
Harbaugh can make $1 million for winning the Big Ten title and another $1 million for winning the national championship along with other bonuses he will earn if he can improve the team’s success on the field.
The deal ends months of speculation about Harbaugh’s future. He could have potentially returned to the NFL or the school could have cut loose a coach with one year left on the seven-year contract paying him about $7 million per season that he signed after leaving the NFL.
The NHL said that six Dallas Stars players and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 in a development that will push back the opener for the defending Western Conference champions by nearly a week.
The Columbus Blue Jackets also held a number of players off the ice “out of abundance of caution” in another reminder that the pandemic will likely play havoc with the season opening next Wednesday.
Dallas had been set to open the season Jan. 14 at Florida. The NHL said it was “reviewing and revising” the Stars’ schedule and the opener was not likely to be any earlier than Jan. 19, currently a rematch in Tampa Bay against the Stanley Cup champion Lightning.
The Dallas players and staff are self-isloating and the team’s training facilities were closed for the next several days amid contact tracing. The Blue Jackets, who open their season the same night at Nashville, said their move was “in accordance with NHL COVID-19 protocols.”