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    Oakland Athletics fan K.C. Sandstrom was sitting down the right field line watching his team warm up while armed with a small dry-erase board, a marker and a statement written in all caps. “MIKE FIERS FOR PRESIDENT” It's been a tumultuous few months for Fiers, the current A's pitcher and former Houston player who helped expose the Astros' sign-stealing scandal that's rocked Major League Baseball. But on a cool Sunday in Arizona, the 34-year-old received a largely warm reception during his first spring training appearance in Mesa. “Oakland's going to support us no matter what,' Fiers said after throwing two perfect innings against San Francisco. “They've always been there. It's fun, it's fun playing in front of these fans and with these guys. Just a great day of baseball.” While Fiers is now widely known for his connection to the Astros' sign-stealing, he's also an accomplished pitcher. He's thrown two no-hitters over nine seasons and is coming off his best year in the big leagues — he finished with a 15-4 record and 3.90 ERA in a career-high 184 2/3 innings in 2019. When the Oakland lineup was announced before the game, he received loud cheers from the A's side of the stadium. The Giants' side was a little less enthusiastic, but certainly not hostile. “Overall, a good day,” Fiers said. “I was able to throw strikes, I was able to put balls where I wanted to and threw all my pitches.” Baseball's biggest scandal in years began in November after Fiers detailed to The Athletic about how the Astros used electronics to illicitly steal signs from opposing catchers during their World Series-winning season in 2017. Fiers pitched three seasons for the Astros, including 2017. Fiers' role as the whistleblower in the Astros' scandal has been met with both praise and criticism. Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Tuesday that the sport would 'take every possible step to protect Mike Fiers wherever he's playing, whether it's in Houston or somewhere else” and added that “Mike did the industry a service.' Others haven't been as complimentary. Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said Fiers was “looking like a snitch” for disclosing the team's cheating scandal only after he had left the team. Fiers said everyone is entitled to their opinion and he wasn't concerned. “It's all about going out there and playing baseball for everybody,' Fiers said. “Every team's trying to get back out there, play the game we love and compete. The rest will take care of itself.” Elsewhere in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues: PHILLIES 4, PIRATES (SS) 3 Jay Bruce hit two doubles and drove in two runs for Philadelphia. New shortstop Didi Gregorius was hitless in three at-bats in his Phillies' debut. Aaron Nola started, allowing three hits while pitching two scoreless innings. Kevin Newman singled and scored a run for Pittsburgh's split squad. Trevor Williams struggled in his first start, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk in two innings. Before the game, the Phillies unveiled the new-look Phanatic. The mascot got a makeover this year amid a legal fight between the team and his creators. The Phanatic now features includes flightless feathers rather than fur-colored arms, stars outlining the eyes, a larger posterior and a powder blue tail, blue socks with red shoes, plus scales under the arms. TIGERS (SS) 8, PIRATES (SS) 4 JaCoby Jones led off the game with a home run for Detroit's split squad. Riley Greene, a 19-year-old who was the fifth overall pick in the 2019 draft and is the Tigers' top hitting prospect, hit a solo home run and walked twice. JT Riddle tripled and scored, adding an RBI single, for Pittsburgh's split squad. Top 5 prospect Oneil Cruz doubled in a run. TIGERS (SS) 5, BRAVES 1 Jordy Mercer had a two-run single for Detroit. Kody Clemens singled and drove in a run. Ivan Nova got the start, surrendering two hits in two scoreless innings. Freddie Freeman had a sacrifice fly to drive in Atlanta's run. NATIONALS (SS) 2, ASTROS 1 Asdrubal Cabrera had a sacrifice fly and Brandon Snyder had two hits, driving in the winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth for Washington's split squad. Yordan Alvarez singled for one of Houston's four hits. Framber Valdez started, allowing a walk in two shutout innings with three strikeouts. MARLINS 5, NATIONALS (SS) 2 Matt Kemp had a run-scoring single for Miami. Top 5 prospects Monte Harrison and Jazz Chisholm drove in runs in a four-run eighth inning. Elieser Hernandez allowed a run on a hit batter and a walk, pitching two innings in his first start. Kurt Suzuki and top 5 prospect Luis Garcia drove in runs for a Washington split squad. RAYS 9, YANKEES 7 Mike Zunino had an RBI single and starter Ryan Yarbrough tossed a scoreless inning for Tampa Bay. Japanese-born Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who is penciled in as the designated hitter, singled and walked in his first appearance. Miguel Andujar had a solo home run for New York. Andujar didn't play after mid-May last season because of a shoulder injury. BLUE JAYS 5, TWINS 5 Rowdy Tellez had two singles and two RBIs for Toronto. Anthony Kay, the Blue Jays' top left-handed pitching prospect, gave up two runs on three hits, throwing two innings and striking out two. Minnesota newcomer Josh Donaldson went 0 for 3 in his debut. Miguel Sano singled and scored. Twins ace Jose Berrios tossed two scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out four. ORIOLES 11, RED SOX 5 Dwight Smith Jr. had two hits, driving in a run for Baltimore. Rio Ruiz added a run-scoring single. Wade LeBlanc got the start, allowing one hit in two shutout innings with two strikeouts. Kevin Plawecki had an RBI single for Boston. Top 5 prospect Jeter Downs, who was acquired when the Red Sox sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, went 0 for 3 in his first action. METS 3, CARDINALS 3 Newcomer Jake Marisnick hit a solo home run and J.D. Davis singled and added a sacrifice fly for New York. Mets starter Steven Matz gave up a leadoff home run to Harrison Bader. Reliever Jeurys Familia, who lost 30 pounds in the off-season, pitched a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and a walk. Bader also had a double for St. Louis. Adam Wainwright started, allowing a run on two hits and two walks while retiring four batters. DODGERS 4, CUBS 2 Former AL MVP Mookie Betts flied out twice before adding a fifth-inning sacrifice fly in his debut with Los Angeles. Alex Wood started, giving up a hit in a scoreless inning while striking out two. Corey Seager went 1 for 3 in his spring debut. Victor Caratini hit a solo home run for Chicago. Cubs starter Tyler Chatwood allowed one hit, pitching a scoreless inning. GIANTS 5, ATHLETICS (SS) 3 Joey Rickard had two hits, including a double, driving in a run for San Francisco. Andrew Suarez got the start, pitching two shutout innings and allowing a hit and a walk with two strikeouts. Mark Canha had an RBI single for Oakland's split squad. Tony Kemp added a solo home run. DIAMONDBACKS 7, ATHLETICS (SS) 3 Ketel Marte, who homered, Jon Jay and Nick Ahmed each had two hits for Arizona. Robbie Ray struck out three and walked two while retiring five batters in a scoreless start. Seth Brown hit a solo home run for Oakland's split squad. WHITE SOX 7, REDS 2 Tim Anderson had an RBI single and James McCann doubled and scored a run for Chicago. Dylan Cease pitched two shutout innings in a start, allowing three hits while striking out three. Reds newcomer Shogo Akiyama had a hit. INDIANS 9, ROYALS 5 Franmil Reyes hit a solo home run for Cleveland. Yu Chang had a single and double, scoring two runs. Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez went 1 for 3 after being injured all last season. PADRES 7, BREWERS 2 Trent Grisham and Wil Myers both singled and scored a run for San Diego. Taylor Trammel, San Diego's top hitting prospect, doubled and scored a run. Zach Davies pitched two perfect innings in his first start. Brett Anderson allowed two runs — one earned — on two hits and a walk, pitching one inning in a start for Milwaukee. ANGELS 7, ROCKIES 5 Los Angeles prospect Jo Adell had two hits, drove in a run and stole a base. Nolan Arenado had a sacrifice fly and Elias Diaz doubled and scored for Colorado. Eric Stamets added a three-run homer. RANGERS 7, MARINERS 5 Newcomer Todd Frazier had two hits, including a double, in his debut with Texas. Joey Gallo doubled, scoring a run. Yusei Kikuchi struggled in a start for Seattle, surrendering three runs — two earned — on four hits and a walk while retiring four batters. Shed Long Jr. doubled in a run and Kyle Seager picked up his first spring hit. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeo events under the alias Mason Saunders and even won $26,560 in a team-roping competition in December, according to a story published Sunday by The Athletic. Bumgarner told the website he has discretely competed in rodeos for a while, including in March of last year two days before pitching for the San Francisco Giants in a Cactus League spring training game. He has been roping since he was 15 or 16 years old and said he's been at it so long that “it's just part of who you are.” The 2014 World Series MVP agreed to an $85 million, five-year contract with the Diamondbacks in December, about two weeks after winning the rodeo competition in Wickenburg, Arizona. Bumgarner infamously injured his shoulder in 2017 in a dirt bike accident and missed three months of San Francisco's season. He apologized at the time and called it a “stupid” decision that likely violated his contract, although the Giants are not believed to have pressed the issue with the four-time All-Star. Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen told The Athletic he was “not going to get into discussing specific contract language” when asked about Bumgarner's hobby. Photos of Bumgarner roping were posted to the Facebook page for Rancho Rio in Wickenburg. Bumgarner — a right-handed roper — said he's often recognized at rodeo events, but he's maintained the alias to keep his profile low. He formed the Mason Saunders moniker by shortening his first name and adopting his wife's maiden name as the surname. “Something for my wife to call me when we were out in public to keep people from recognizing me,” Bumgarner said. “But you’re going to ruin that for me.” Bumgarner disputed a widespread narrative that he signed with Arizona “just to have my horses,” but did acknowledge it was a benefit. He also said he may pursue roping more rigorously after his baseball playing days are done. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • South Korea on Monday reported 161 more cases of a new virus that has spread rapidly around a southwestern city, bringing the nation's total to 763 cases a day after the president called for “unprecedented, powerful” steps to combat the outbreak. Two more deaths were confirmed, raising South Korea's death toll to seven from the COVID-19 illness, which is caused by a newly identified coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands of people, mostly in China. More than 140 of South Korea's new cases were in and near the city of Daegu, where most of the country’s infections have so far occurred. Six of the seven deaths were linked to a hospital in Cheongdo, near Daegu, where a slew of infections were confirmed among patients in a mental ward. While officials have expressed hope they could contain the outbreak to the region surrounding Daegu, some experts noted signs of the virus circulating nationwide, pointing to a number of cases in the capital, Seoul, and elsewhere that weren't immediately traceable. Far from where the illness first emerged, authorities in Italy battled to contain Europe's first major outbreak and Iran reported eight deaths — the highest toll outside of China. Some of the disease clusters identified in recent days have shown no link to China, a worrying sign of the virus spreading beyond control. The Iranian health ministry said there were now 43 confirmed cases in Iran, which did not report its first case of the virus until Wednesday. In Italy’s northern Lombardy region, which includes the nation’s financial capital, Milan, the governor announced Sunday that the number of confirmed cases stood at 110. Italy now has 152 cases, the largest number outside of Asia, including three deaths, the most recent on Sunday. Venice, which is full of tourists for Carnival events, reported its first two cases, said Veneto Gov. Luca Zaia, whose region includes the lagoon city. It wasn't immediately known if the two infected had participated in Carnival festivities. As Italy scrambled to check the spread of the virus, authorities announced that all Carnival events had been called off as well as major league soccer matches in the stricken region. Cinemas and theaters were also ordered shuttered, including Milan's legendary La Scala. Warning that China’s virus epidemic is “still grim and complex,” President Xi Jinping called for more efforts to stop the outbreak, revive industry and prevent the disease from disrupting spring planting of crops. Xi defended the ruling Communist Party’s response as “timely and effective” in a video conference with officials in charge of anti-disease work, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “The current epidemic situation is still grim and complex,” Xinhua cited Xi as saying. “Prevention and control are at the most critical stage.” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his government had increased its anti-virus alert level by one notch to “Red,” the highest level. It allows for the temporary closure of schools and reduced operation of public transportation and flights to and from South Korea. The new school year for kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools in South Korea was put off by one week until March 9. Moon said the outbreak “has reached a crucial watershed,” and that the next few days will be critical. “We shouldn’t be bound by regulations and hesitate to take unprecedented, powerful measures,” he said.
  • He's 42 years old, a little out of shape and clearly no spring chicken. But clearly there's no one more popular on the field for the Philadelphia Phillies than the Phanatic. Which is why all eyes at the ballpark were on the furry mascot Sunday for the big reveal: He's gotten a makeover this year amid a legal fight between the team and his creators. The revamp unveiled before the Phillies played the Pittsburgh Pirates in their spring training home opener includes flightless feathers rather than fur-colored arms, stars outlining the eyes, a larger posterior and a powder blue tail, blue socks with red shoes, plus a set of scales under the arms. Don't look for any change, though, in the Phanatic's prankster approach. Tom Burgoyne, the man behind the mascot, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer that “he’s still the same old Phanatic, just with a little more sashay in him.' He noted that the mascot’s fur color, jersey, hat, and overall look have “changed a little bit over the years.” Early reviews were mixed. Some eagle-eyed fans liked the old version more, others said the changes weren't that big of a deal. The team and the mascot's creators have been sparring in court ahead of the June 15 expiration of a 35-year-old copyright agreement. Designers Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison — who also created the famed Muppet Miss Piggy — say they alone made the Phanatic’s character and backstory when they were contracted to create the costume in 1978. The Phillies argue that the baseball franchise is just as responsible for the success of the mascot as the puppet-making pair. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Patrick Reed was more concerned about how to save par than how to answer his critics. He was consumed with navigating around the trees from 152 yards away with a gap wedge more than any chatter about his character. Reed only plays for himself. And when it feels as though the world is against him, he plays his best. A week that began with Brooks Koepka saying he thought Reed cheated when he was penalized for swiping away sand in the Bahamas ended with Reed delivering clutch moments down the stretch Sunday to win the Mexico Championship.. Two shots behind with four holes to play, Reed ran off three straight birdies to overtake a faltering Bryson DeChambeau, closing with a 4-under 67 for his second World Golf Championships title. As for the outside noise? “I'm used to it,” Reed said. “Honestly, it's one of those things that at the end of the day, all I can control is me and what I do on and off the golf course. And if I feel like I'm improving each day on and off the golf course and setting a good example for the next generation coming up ... then that's all I can do, and I feel like I've been doing a good job of that.” If questions remain, they have nothing do with his moxie. Reed made it interesting in the end with a wild tee shot into the trees on the 18th hole, forcing him to chip back to the fairway. He had to two-putt from 35 feet for eighth victory of his PGA Tour career. He one-putted 45 times over 72 holes, an astounding performance on the poa greens of Chapultepec. The birdies at the end might not have mattered without par putts from 10 feet on the 11th and 8 feet on the 13th as DeChambeau was starting to pull away. “And then after that, the hole seemed to get a little larger,” Reed said. In a wild final round in which five players had a share of the lead — four were tied heading for the back nine — DeChambeau appeared to seize control with five birdies in a six-hole stretch starting at No. 9. Everyone around him faltered — Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Erik van Rooyen — everyone but Reed, who played bogey-free until he only needed a bogey to win. DeChambeau missed two good scoring chances on the 15th and 16th, and then he three-putted from 65 feet on the par-3 17th to fall into a tie. Reed seized on the moment. Blocked by the edge of the trees left of the 16th fairway, he hammered a hook with a gap wedge that rolled around the ridge and fed down the slope to 3 feet. Reed never flinched with so much going on around him, on and off the golf course. He has yet to shake whispers on the tour and heckling from the gallery over the Hero World Challenge in December, when video caught him twice swiping away sand behind his ball in a waste area in the Bahamas. Reed accepted the two-shot penalty and said a different camera angle would have shown his club wasn't as close to the ball as it looked. Koepka became the strongest voice during an interview Monday with SiriusXM in the Bay Area while he was previewing his title defense at the PGA Championship in May. Radio host Sway Calloway asked Koepka if Reed was cheating. “Uh, yeah. I think, yeah, yeah,” Koepka said, known for speaking his mind. “I mean, I don't know what he was doing, building sand castles in the sand. But you know, you know where your club is. I mean, I took three months off and I can promise you I know if I touched sand. “If you play the game, you understand the rules,” he said. “You understand the integrity that goes on. I mean, there's no room for it.” Reed said all week that he doesn't listen to what others are playing, he just plays golf. All he did Sunday was win. If he had anything to prove, it was only to himself. “Coming into this week, I knew we were in a good pattern and I knew all I needed to do was continue to try to improve on my golf game, but at the same time just block out all the noise, no matter what it was,” Reed said. “I feel like I've been able to do that really well throughout my career. ... I've always been able to — when I get inside the ropes — just focus on what I need to do, and that's play golf.” He finished at 18-under 266 and moved to No. 8 in the world. DeChambeau walked back across the bridge to the 18th green to congratulate Reed. DeChambeau can appreciate heavy criticism, his variety for his pace of play. 'There's been a lot of stuff said in past years, I guess you could say, with him, and even with me. I feel like unfortunately sometimes we get quite a bad rap,' DeChambeau said. “And yeah, there's things that we've done that hasn't been right, but we haven't got really gotten the best rap. ... He's a great player, and he'll be a great player for a long time, and I have a lot of respect for his game.” Rahm had a chance to reach No. 1 in the world with a victory, depending on how McIlroy finished. It was a moot point when the Spaniard took bogey on the par-5 11th and dropped another shot on the 14th with a short iron that went just over the back of the green. McIlroy was within one shot until going nine straight holes without a birdie. Thomas lost the lead when he hit into the water on the par-3 seventh, and then made another bogey on the next hole. He then had to play a left-handed shot on the 10th on his way to a double bogey. He shot 73.
  • Members of Nevada’s most politically powerful labor group were warned by union leaders that Bernie Sanders’ plan would doom their prized health care, but they voted for him anyway. The casino workers of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 are powerful enough in Nevada Democratic politics that special caucus sites are set up in Las Vegas Strip casinos to accommodate them. In at least four of those seven caucus sites Saturday, workers threw their support behind Sanders. The results are a warning sign to labor unions that any attempt to influence the primary risks being ignored, and a harbinger of Sanders' strength with working-class voters, Latinos and labor rank and file — all voters that will be critical in California’s delegate-rich primary early next month. Morena Del Cid, a Culinary Union member and a porter at the Bellagio casino-resort, said she voted for Sanders because she thinks “we need a lot of change in this country.' She said that she knows Joe Biden had ties to her union’s leaders, but she felt Biden and President Barack Obama’s administration didn’t get enough done on immigration and gun control after eight years in power. “We need something different. Somebody different. Somebody strong to put out Donald Trump,” she said. Culinary, like its parent union Unite Here, officially decided not to endorse, joining a number of national unions making a similar calculation to stay on the sidelines of a still-crowded primary and avoid causing dissension among their ranks. The 60,000-member Culinary Union didn’t stay totally neutral, however, sending out leaflets to members in recent weeks that said candidates pushing for a government-run insurance system under “Medicare for All” would force “millions of hard-working people to give up their healthcare” and create “unnecessary division between workers, and will give us four more years of Trump.' One leaflet specifically said Sanders’ would “end Culinary healthcare.” Angel Lazcano, a 46-year-old busperson at the Aria and a Culinary Union member, didn’t heed the warnings. Lazcano cited Medicare for All as one of the things that drew him to Sanders. With Medicare for All, Lazcano said, 'everybody can choose their own doctors instead of going through the insurance and taking only the doctors that use the insurance.” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Culinary’s leader, pushed back against the notion that the union’s members failure to heed the warnings about Medicare for All is a sign of weakness, arguing that despite the leaflets, the union wasn’t campaigning against any candidate. “We want the members to have the right information, but we know some members, they agree with that, some members don’t agree with that,” Argüello-Kline said. Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian at the University of California Santa Barbara, said that like all other voters, laborers make decisions based on values. “Unionists are not green eyeshades accountants who say, ‘How is this going to help me?’” he said One of those values is fighting for all working people, said Mark Dimonstein, president of the American Post Workers, which backs Sanders. “Unions are at our best not just for the workers we represent but for the betterment of the working class in general,” he said. Dimonstein said his members’ federal health benefits are better than many workers’ plans but there is still dissatisfaction as rising premiums keep cutting into workers’ pay checks. “Postal workers would be far better off with Medicare for All,” he said Jody Domineck, a nurse in Las Vegas and executive board member with a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union, said that though many union members enjoy good insurance, it’s something that they have to continually fight for and questioned why employers use as a bargaining chip. “Even though we do have good benefits, they are threatened continually. And I feel like if we had an overall plan or some other access, that wouldn’t be a tool that could be used against us. Domineck said she doesn’t know if Medicare for All is the best plan but she’s open to it. She voted for Elizabeth Warren, who also has proposed a Medicare for All plan. Whoever becomes the Democratic nominee, including Sanders, Argüello-Kline said Sunday that the Culinary Union plans to put 100 percent of its effort behind the nominee in service of a broader goal — defeating Donald Trump. ___ Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper and Nicholas Riccardi in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
  • One of every three people in Venezuela is struggling to put enough food on the table to meet minimum nutrition requirements as the nation's severe economic contraction and political upheaval persists, according to a study published Sunday by the U.N. World Food Program. A nationwide survey based on data from 8,375 questionnaires reveals a startling picture of the large number of Venezuelans surviving off a diet consisting largely of tubers and beans as hyperinflation renders many salaries worthless. A total of 9.3 million people – roughly one-third of the population – are moderately or severely food insecure, said the World Food Program’s study, which was conducted at the invitation of the Venezuelan government. Food insecurity is defined as an individual being unable to meet basic dietary needs. The study describes food insecurity as a nationwide concern, though certain states like Delta Amacuro, Amazonas and Falcon had especially high levels. Even in more prosperous regions, one in five people are estimated to be food insecure. “The reality of this report shows the gravity of the social, economic and political crisis in our country,” said Miguel Pizarro, a Venezuelan opposition leader. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been largely reluctant in recent years to invite international organizations to provide assessments of the nation’s humanitarian ordeal, though the World Food Program said it was granted “full independence” and collected data throughout the country “without any impediment or obstruction.” “WFP looks forward to a continuation of its dialogue with the Venezuelan government and discussions that will focus on the way forward to provide assistance for those who are food insecure,” the agency said in a statement. There was no immediate response to the findings by Maduro's government. The survey found that 74% of families have adopted “food-related coping strategies,” such as reducing the variety and quality of food they eat. Sixty percent of households reported cutting portion sizes in meals, 33% said they had accepted food as payment for work and 20% reported selling family assets to cover basic needs. The issue appears to be one that is less about the availability of food and more about the difficulty in obtaining it. Seven in 10 reported that food could always be found but said it is difficult to purchase because of high prices. Thirty-seven percent reported they had lost their job or business as a result of Venezuela’s severe economic contraction. Venezuela has been in the throes of a political and humanitarian crisis that has led over 4.5 million people to flee in recent years. Maduro has managed to keep his grip on power despite a push by opposition leader Juan Guaidó to remove him from office and mounting U.S. sanctions. Maduro frequently blames the Trump administration for his nation's woes, and his government has urged the International Criminal Court to open an investigation, alleging that the financial sanctions are causing suffering and even death. The nation's struggles to feed citizens and provide adequate medical care predate U.S. sanctions on the Venezuelan government. In addition to food, the survey also looked at interruptions in access to electricity and water, finding that four in 10 households experience daily power cuts. Four in 10 also reported recurrent interruptions in water service, further complicating daily life. Noting that the survey was done in July through September, Carolina Fernández, a Venezuelan rights advocate who works with vulnerable women, said she believes the situation has deteriorated even more. While it was once possible for many families to survive off remittances sent by relatives abroad, she said, that has become more difficult as much of the economy is dollarized and prices rise. “Now it’s not enough to have one person living abroad,” she said. Fernández said food insecurity is likely to have an enduring impact on a generation of young Venezuelans going hungry during formative years. “We’re talking about children who are going to have long-term problems because they’re not eating adequately,” she said. Those who are going hungry include people like Yonni Gutiérrez, 56, who was standing outside a restaurant that sells roasted chickens in Caracas on Sunday. The unemployed man approached the restaurant’s front door whenever a customer left with a bag of food, hoping they might share something. He said he previously had been able to scrape by helping unload trucks at a market, but the business that employed him closed. “Sometimes, with a little luck, I get something good,” he said of his restaurant stakeout. ___ Associated Press writer Jorge Rueda reported this story in Caracas and AP writer Christine Armario reported from Bogota, Colombia.
  • The University of Colorado has reached into the NFL ranks again to find their head football coach, luring Karl Dorrell back to Boulder from the Miami Dolphins. Athletic director Rich Geoge hired Dorrell on Sunday, two weeks after Mel Tucker bolted for Michigan State and 72 hours after Dorrell was promoted to assistant head coach of the Dolphins after one season as receivers coach. Dorrell, 56, who went 35-27 as UCLA's head coach from 2003-07, will be formally introduced Monday. Tucker, who had a decade of experience in the NFL ranks, went 5-7 in his one season in Boulder after arriving from the University of Georgia in December 2018. Dorrell brings 16 years of coaching experience in the college ranks, including 2003-07 as head coach at his alma mater, UCLA, and 14 years in the NFL, including three seasons in Denver as Mike Shanahan's wide receivers coach in the early 2000s. George has asked the Board of Regents to approve a five-year contract for Dorrell worth $18 million plus incentives that includes a starting base salary of $3.2 million with annual increases of $200,000. George also is proposing a salary pool of $3.8 million for assistant coaches, up from $3.155 million for Tucker's sta Dorrell has two previous two stints in Boulder, where he served under head coaches Bill McCartney and Rick Neuheisel in the 1990s. 'I'm excited to be back, it's like coming home,' Dorrell said in a statement. 'The thing that excited me about this job is that my experience in the past here for the most part has been very successful. We had a lot of good teams, went to a lot of good bowl games. It's a top caliber program that has a lot of potential, and I'm excited to return it to that level.' Many members of the top-35 recruiting class that signed with Colorado just a week before Tucker's departure have said they plan to stick with the Buffaloes. Tucker's stunning departure in the middle of the night after a day of promoting the program sent George searching for his third coach in three seasons, one that wouldn't be looking to leave anytime soon. 'It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously,' George said. 'Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.' Dorrell's pro experience includes stops as the Jets' receivers coach (2015-18), the Texans quarterbacks coach (2012-13), and two stints with the Dolphins, first as their receivers coach from 2008-10 and then as their QBs coach in 2011 and again as their receivers coach in 2019. Flores said the Buffs 'hit a home run hiring Karl as their head coach.' “I'm excited for him to have this opportunity,” Flores said. “He is a great teacher and excellent leader. He is a coach I would want my kids to play for.' Neuheisel concurred with Flores' 'home run' analogy, saying, 'Karl's very knowledgeable, very passionate, and I know he loved his time in Boulder. His strong point is organization and leadership. He's always been an offensive guy, and by spending a lot of time in the NFL, he's learned even more. This is making me a bit nostalgic about the fun we had coaching together with the Buffs and when we played together at UCLA -- he was my go-to guy.' Kordell Stewart, who was Colorado's quarterback from 1991-94, said Dorrell made the receivers 'understand the game through the eyes of the quarterback, which isn't always easy to do. ... I'm excited about this opportunity for him. With his combination of head coaching experience at UCLA and his time as a position coach in the NFL, he brings a tremendous amount of credibility to the table. I would hope that the players on the team now and the incoming recruits will appreciate that -- he's got the background that should earn him an enormous amount of respect. 'He understands how CU operates, understands the community, knows the lay of the land. It was important for Rick to hire someone who understands the Colorado way and our tradition. Karl fits that mold of what CU is trying to do and will pick up the pieces that were broken with the last coach and put them back together. In time, he will make this thing really work.' Michael Westbrook, who was an All-America receiver during Dorrell's first stint in Boulder, compared Dorrell to McCartney, saying, 'they were cut from the same cloth.' 'I know him, trust him, the program is in good hands and I'll enjoy coming back to watch the Buffaloes play under Karl.' ___ Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • The adjustments to a major offseason overhaul at Team Penske continued Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where miscommunication between Joey Logano and his new crew chief led to a botched final pit stop. Logano still wound up in victory lane for the second year in a row, winning a two-lap sprint to the finish that ended under caution. A caution with six laps remaining forced teams to make strategic decisions and crew chief Paul Wolfe told Logano to come to pit road for new tires. Logano didn't hear Wolfe and remained on track, a move that cycled him into the lead but put him in position to hold off a slew of contenders on fresh tires. Logano knew it was critical to get his Ford separated from the pack quickly on the restart to have any shot at the win. “Clean air was going to be key with old tires,” he said. “If I got swallowed up by a couple cars, I was just going to fall backwards really quick.” Logano got a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the restart with two laps remaining, then threw a block on William Byron to maintain his position out front that Logano called 'the winning move. “I was able to get down in front of him and then be able to separate myself a little bit from the field,” he said. Logano, the 2018 champion, just missed advancing to the championship race last season. At the start of this year, owner Roger Penske announced he'd swapped the crews of Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski, with Logano getting Wolfe, the crew chief who led Keselowski to a Cup title. They've worked together at the track the last three weeks and Logano praised the new pairing. “He's done such a great job, and it's been fun getting to know each other, and the whole team,” Logano said. “The pit crew was amazing today. I think we gained a spot every time at least. Proud of the effort that everyone has put in over the offseason.” Logano had taken the white flag when a crash occurred deep in traffic to bring out the caution, freeze the field and secure the victory for the No. 22 Ford. The 24th victory of Logano's career broke a tie with Ricky Rudd for 35th on NASCAR's all-time win list. Matt DiBenedetto in a Ford for the Wood Brothers — a Penske partner — for his second race was 0.491 seconds behind to tie his career-best finish. “This is all just too surreal,” he said. “Tough to be that close, but, hey, this is only the second race of the season. So it was the strength of this team. It's so cool to have the backing of all the people that allow me to drive this thing.” Stenhouse, pole-sitter for the Daytona 500 a week ago, was third in a Chevrolet in his second race for new team JTG-Daugherty Racing. “So far so good,' Stenhouse said. “Two weeks, we've been fast this week, we weren't bad this week, and we know what we need to work on.” Austin Dillon was fourth for Richard Childress Racing and followed by Jimmie Johnson, Bubba Wallace, Logano teammate Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. Kyle Larson and Ty Dillon rounded out the top 10. Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in 17th as the brand and Joe Gibbs Racing struggled the entire 400 miles. Ross Chastain drove the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing as the replacement driver for Ryan Newman, who suffered a head injury in a crash on the final lap of Monday night's Daytona 500. It ended a streak of 649 consecutive starts dating to 2002 for Newman, who has no timetable for a return but his team said Sunday that he intends to get back in his car. Chastain finished 29th, in part because of a late spin, but ran inside the top-10 earlier in the race. Roush Fenway has not indicated who will drive the car next week. Chastain was bitterly disappointed as he headed to his Xfinity Series car for the resumption of Saturday's race, which was rained out after 50 laps and rescheduled for after the main event. “I was just overdriving there at the end for sure. It just got away from me there and got loose,' Chastain said. 'The car deserved a lot better finish. I just didn’t have great restarts. These guys kind of ate me alive on the restarts and I’d lose three or four spots every time, and picked the wrong lines through one and two, and then three and four again I just kept making silly mistakes that I should learn from after I make the mistake once. I just have to be better.” BAD BREAK Chase Elliott appeared to be the driver to beat through the first two stages, both wins for Elliott in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. But his shot to win the race ended after a tire issue following a pit stop from the lead caused Elliott to hit the wall. He had led five different times for 70 laps, with the two stage victories, before heading to pit road for repairs. Elliott finished 26th. BLANEY BOUNCES BACK An emotional week for Ryan Blaney ended with an 11th place finish at Las Vegas and Blaney moving toward closure after Ryan Newman's crash on the final lap of Monday night's Daytona 500. It was contact from Blaney that triggered Newman's crash, and Blaney said Sunday morning before the race he struggled in the first few days over his role in the accident. “I talked to his dad on Tuesday and said when he's feeling better, I'd like to talk to Ryan,” Blaney told The Associated Press. “Ryan called me Wednesday and just talking to him, hearing him, really made things easier.” Blaney said he'd never before been involved in such a violent crash and the potential of Newman being hurt rattled him. “You never want to see something like that, especially coming off your own nose,” Blaney told AP. Blaney thought he had a shot to win the race until he was one of the drivers to pit on the final stop and he failed to make up the difference with his fresh tires. UP NEXT Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, where Kyle Busch won last season. It is not determined if Ryan Newman will be back in his car next week, or if the team will use a replacement driver again.
  • Mookie Betts still has some work to do, settling in with the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the field, though, he's fine. 'The hardest thing is finding a house and learning everybody's name,' Betts said Sunday after making his Cactus League debut. 'The baseball's the same. We all have the same focus.' Betts led off and played right field for the Dodgers against the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. He received an enthusiastic welcome from the sellout crowd of 13,282 when he was introduced before the game with the rest of the Dodger starters and again when he batted in the first inning. He flied out to left in his first at-bat, flied deep to right in the third inning and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center in the fifth inning before coming out of the game. 'Just seeing him at the top of the order, in our lineup, makes everybody around him better,' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers beat the Cubs 4-2. 'You felt the energy from the fans too.' Betts, 27, was dealt to the Dodgers from Boston after the two parties were unable to come to an agreement on a long-term contract. He is a free agent after this season. But after playing in Boston, winning an MVP and a World Series there, he doesn't feel any extra pressure on a new team with high expectations, or entering his free-agent season. 'I try to channel it into working hard,' he said. 'I don't worry about it.' Roberts has been impressed with Betts' work ethic, as well as his mental approach and overall attitude. “I knew he'd be professional in every sense of the word,” Roberts said. “I didn't realize he'd be as open to talking about how he's feeling at the plate or what he does defensively. A lot of guys just do things, but to kind of share of information, he's always willing to have a conversation about baseball.” Kenley Jansen also made his spring debut, working a perfect second inning for Los Angeles. Jansen, 32, struck out two Cubs. He is coming off a season that saw him post the highest ERA (3.71) of his 10-year career, all with the Dodgers. Jansen never really got going after a slow start last spring but he threw as hard as 93 mph in a 14-pitch outing on Sunday. 'It just seems like he's synced up with his body, his arm's catching up,' Roberts said. “If he can stay there, a lot of good things are going to happen.” ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports