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SPORTSBRIEFING

It’s Bristol baby

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Less than three days after taking the checkered flag in Charlotte, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first short-track race of the season.

The high-banked, half-mile oval near the Tennessee-Virginia border has hosted 118 Cup Series races with 42 different winners.

The Supermarket Heroes 500 will honor all the the store workers and the truck drivers who deliver the goods. The 500-lap event will start at 3:30 p.m. Sunday and will be televised on FS1.

The Busch brothers have combined for 14 wins at the track –eight by Kyle Busch and six by Kurt Busch. They have led a combined 3,429 laps.

Mount Union rallies

ALLIANCE — It’s Saturday and another classic Mount Union football game will be shown.

At 7 p.m., WVIM in Canton will broadcast the 1998 NCAA playoff semifinal game between Mount Union and Trinity (Texas).

Gary Smeck threw two touchdown passes to Adam Marino in the final 10 minutes as the sophomore connection rallied Mount Union to a 34-29 victory in front of 5,013 fans at Mount Union Stadium.

The Purple Raiders, starting five sophomores on offense, won their first three playoff games by a total of nine points heading into the national championship game.

The game is on Spectrum Channel 989 in Canton and online at WIVMTV.com.

Players hold ground

NEW YORK (AP) — Agent Scott Boras recommends his clients refuse Major League Baseball’s attempt to cut salaries during negotiations with the players’ association, claiming team financial issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have their origin in management debt financing.

In an email obtained by The Associated Press, Boras wrote that players should not alter terms of the March 26 agreement between MLB and the union that called for players to reduce their salaries to a prorated rate based on a shortened season. MLB on Tuesday proposed a series of tiered reductions that would cause top stars to receive the biggest cuts.

“Remember, games cannot be played without you,” Boras wrote. “Players should not agree to further pay cuts to bail out the owners. Let owners take some of their record revenues and profits from the past several years and pay you the prorated salaries you agreed to accept or let them borrow against the asset values they created from the use of those profits players generated.”

Taste of baseball

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — The Pawtucket Red Sox are going from “Play Ball” to “Bon Appetit.”

With the minor league baseball season on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox has found another use for its home field. Starting next weekend, “Dining on the Diamond” will allow PawSox fans and others just longing for a taste of baseball to sample typical ballpark fare on the McCoy Stadium infield.

“For a baseball romantic, this is the best restaurant in the world,” team President Charles Steinberg said. “It was an emotional, sentimental experience for those who have tried it so far.”

Minor league ballparks have long been a laboratory for some of the wackiest promotions in sports, giving away everything from toilet seat cushions to vasectomies to funerals. During the coronavirus shutdown, other teams have rented out their stadiums on Airbnb or offered them for high school graduations.

New York favorite

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City baseball-themed bar Foley’s has closed for good.

“With everything that’s going on, there’s just no way that I can see that we can do it,” owner Shaun Clancy said in a video posted to Twitter.

Foley’s, filled with baseball memorabilia, opened near Madison Square Garden in 2003 and closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bar was named after former New York Daily News baseball writer Red Foley.

Give hockey a chance

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama-Huntsville’s hockey program has gotten a reprieve — for now.

Athletic director Cade Smith said Friday that “numerous individual donors” had combined to raise more than $500,000 this week to help save the program from the chopping block.

Two other gifts of $125,000 each from longtime supporters Taso Sofikitis and Sheldon Wolitski provided enough money to allow the Chargers to continue competing at the Division I level for the 2020-21 season.

The $750,000 marks the largest athletic campaign contribution in UAH history. UAH had announced the elimination of hockey and men’s and women’s tennis amid the financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

University President Darren Dawson committed university money to cover the balance of the hockey team’s operations during the upcoming season.

Dawson says a new Hockey Advisory Board will work with supporters of the program and the university to fund hockey after next season.

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