Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow have been fired after the pair were suspended by Major League Baseball for the team’s sign-stealing during the Astros’ run to the 2017 World Series title and during the 2018 season. Commissioner Rob Manfred strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face equally or more severe punishment. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros. The Red Sox are under investigation for sign stealing in Cora’s first season as manager in 2018, when Boston won the title.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Fans for No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Clemson have descended on foggy New Orleans for the College Football Playoff championship. Both sets of 14-0 Tigers will vie for the title tonight at the Superdome. Clemson is seeking its third crown in four seasons and 30th straight win. Top-ranked LSU is trying for its first national title since 2007. It’s practically a home game for LSU and its supporters were all around the Big Easy. Despite the sea of purple-and-gold and the lingering fog, packs of orange-wearing Clemson fans made their presence known in the historic French Quarter.
UNDATED (AP) — Baylor climbed to No. 2 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll after resounding road wins over Texas Tech and Kansas last week. Gonzaga maintained the top spot after breezing to a pair of victories while Duke dropped to third and unbeaten Auburn rose to fourth. Butler rounded out the first five, followed by the Jayhawks and another unbeaten in San Diego State. Oregon, Florida State and Kentucky rounded out the top 10.
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost defenseman Morgan Rielly for at least eight weeks with a fractured foot. Rielly blocked a shot in the first period of Sunday night’s 8-4 loss in Florida but managed to finish the game.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals say 23-year-old pitching prospect Fausto Segura has died. ESPN Deportes reported that Segura died in a traffic accident Sunday night in his native Dominican Republic. The right-hander signed a contract with Washington in 2017 and spent the past three seasons in the Nationals minor league system. Last year he was with the Auburn Doubledays in the short-season, Class-A New York-Penn League and appeared in 17 games as a reliever. The Nationals said in a statement Segura was “beloved by his teammates, coaches, coordinators and everyone he came in contact with throughout our organization.”