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    Max Verstappen has steered his Red Bull to pole position at Formula One's Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Carlos Sainz. The two-time defending champion and points leader has secured pole for four of seven races this season. Sainz got his Ferrari into the front row, with Lando Norris third for McLaren. Home favorite Fernando Alonso could do no better than eighth after his Aston Martin took some damage to the bottom after running through the gravel. Charles Leclerc took pole last year but this time he will start from 19th after his Ferrari was perplexingly slow.

      SANTA CLARA, Calif. — If the Warriors or Sharks had their leading scorer in each of the past six seasons leave the team, it would be a pretty big deal. But when that exact thing happened to the 49ers this offseason with kicker Robbie Gould’s exit, more attention was paid to when the team drafted his replacement. Kickers get no respect — even when you really need them. Kyle Shanahan knows how ...

        Claressa Shields is perhaps in the prime of her career, establishing a big enough name as a two-time Olympic gold medalist and world champion in three weight classes to headline the first boxing card in the six-year history of Little Caesars Arena in the Motor City. She became the first woman to earn a seven-figure payday in her last two fights and is expected to make another $1 million on Saturday night when the undisputed middleweight champion faces top-ranked contender Maricela Cornejo. Still, Shields laments the gender inequities in boxing.

          Justin Suh has the 36-hole lead at the Memorial. Hideki Matsuyama is one shot behind. Both can thank their putters for that. Suh made eight putts from the 10-foot range and longer. That includes a birdie on his final hole for a 66. Right behind is Matsuyama. The Japanese star made a pair of long birdie putts at the end of his round for a tournament-best 65. Patrick Cantlay is a two-time Memorial champion. He's two shots behind. And four shots back were Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Rahm began his round of back-to-back bogeys and recovered for a 70.

            After last season's wet-and-wild debut in Portland, the NASCAR Xfinity series returns under considerably sunnier conditions. Saturday's 75-lap race on the 12-turn road course at Portland International Raceway is set to be run under a clear sky in temperatures hovering around 80. That's a big difference from the deluge last year, when A.J. Allmendinger said afterward it was one of the craziest races he'd ever won. Thirty drivers are set to run in the Pacific Office Automation 147, a rare standalone event on the Xfinity Series, a step below the NASCAR Cup series.

              Chicago Bears officials met with Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli on Friday to discuss the possibility of abandoning their plans for a new stadium development in Arlington Heights in favor of building it in the large western suburb. In a move that could be used as bargaining leverage, the team said in a statement Friday that plans to build “the largest single development project in Illinois ...

                The Detroit Grand Prix provides drivers and teams with a chance for a fresh start, coming off Josef Newgarden's win at the Indianapolis 500. Jack Harvey is thankful for the opportunity. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver is ranked No. 22. With 11 races remaining, he's fighting to keep his job and salvage a sputtering IndyCar career. The Detroit Grand Prix is returning to a downtown street course for the first time since 1991 after running up the river on Belle Isle, perhaps giving Harvey a chance to earn desperately needed points on Sunday.

                PHILADELPHIA — When Bill McGovern died Tuesday, it would have been understandable if a ripple of recognition, and nothing more, swept over those Eagles fans who happened to notice the news. McGovern spent three years with the team — the entirety of Chip Kelly’s tenure, from 2013 through 2015 — as its outside linebackers coach. In fact, he was Kelly’s defensive coordinator at UCLA before ...

                Nikola Jokic got a triple-double in his NBA Finals debut, Jamal Murray scored 26 points and the Denver Nuggets had little trouble with the cold-shooting Miami Heat on the way to a 104-93 win in Game 1 of the title series on Thursday night.

                LOS ANGELES — Pacing back and forth and moving his hands nonstop as if he were signaling jets to land on an aircraft carrier, Rams coach Sean McVay provided plenty of evidence of his well-known personality trait of being energetic and passionate while addressing more than 60 high school football coaches on Thursday at the Rams' training headquarters in Thousand Oaks. It was a high school ...

                Lebanon High School graduate Ryan Cowden has been hired as a special advisor to New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen. Cowden has formerly been with the Tennessee Titans. 

                Tom Brady is done. Really, he is. No more playing in the NFL for that guy. How many times does ol’ TB12 have to say it? “I’m certain I’m not playing again,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion told Sports Illustrated on Thursday. “So I’ve tried to make that clear and I hate to continue to profess that, cause I’ve already told people that lots of times.” Brady is right — he has said that a ...

                PITTSBURGH — Thanks to their epic tank job (besides the one they've pulled this month), the Pirates have the No. 1 pick in the rapidly approaching MLB draft. This would be a bigger deal if it were football or hockey. It should be a big deal in this case, too, because the options are enticing and potentially franchise-altering. Many drafts do not offer a generational choice at the top. This one ...


                The Memorial has another loaded field. That included the pro-am with a cast of athletes and celebrities. The tournament Jack Nicklaus built already was among the best on the PGA Tour. Now it's an elevated event with a $20 million purse. It's part of a crowded PGA Tour schedule that's going to get more compact next year. Tour officials are developing a schedule with $20 million events and majors all bunched together. That's to give space to the other tournaments. As for the Memorial, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler resume their battle for No. 1 in the world.

                For NHRA Top Fuel racer Justin Ashley, Bristol Dragway is all about family. His father, Mike Ashley, a former NHRA Pro Mod champion and Funny Car regular, is a former winner at Bristol. The younger Ashley crafted his own memory in last year’s NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

                They were No. 8 seeds. They barely got into the playoffs after up-and-down regular seasons. They had to face the No. 1 overall seeds in Round 1 of the postseason. They had to win Game 7s in Boston just to keep their seasons alive. They are Eastern Conference champions. They are four wins from a championship. This is the story of the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers. And it could have an ending like none other.

                Peyton Stearns is playing in the French Open for the first time and now the 21-year-old American is into the third round after knocking off 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko. A 2022 NCAA champion for the University of Texas, Stearns used her big forehand to put together the 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 victory on Wednesday. That leaves just one past Roland Garros champion in the women's field. 

                Eri Yoshida is a 31-year-old Japanese knuckleball pitcher with a sidearm delivery that she hopes might carry her to the big leagues in the United States or Japan. She says "I know it's a really difficult challenge, but I have a dream in my heart that I really want to stand on a mound in the majors with a knuckleball." Even Yoshida acknowledges that it's a far-fetched fantasy. But it's also very real. She travels this week to play for two months in the Empire League, an independent baseball league in upstate New York. Yoshida has pitched in games in Japan, the United States, and Canada — against men and women.

                Wednesday marked the deadline for players who were early entrants to the NBA draft to withdraw and return to college basketball. The list of returnees includes Purdue's 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey after being named Associated Press national player of the year. There's also national champion Connecticut getting back guard Tristen Newton. But Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe is staying in the draft as a former AP national player of the year. UCLA returned Pac-12 freshman of the year Adem Bona. Michigan State retained guards Jaden Akins and A.J. Hoggard. Other returnees included Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James and Illinois' Terrence Shannon Jr.

                Tom Walter is coach of the Wake Forest team that is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Baseball has often played a secondary role during his 27-year career even though he has won more than 800 games and taken three different schools to the national tournament. Walter donated a kidney to one of his Wake Forest players. The kidney recipient Kevin Jordan and Walter co-founded a nonprofit focused on social justice. Walter also met the challenge of moving his players at New Orleans to New Mexico State for school and fall practices following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

                It's been nearly a decade since there was this much hype surrounding the Spanish Grand Prix. The last time the Formula One crowd in Spain had such high hopes of celebrating a victory by Fernando Alonso was back in 2013 when the two-time champion was driving for Ferrari. Alonso went on to win that race in Barcelona but since then has never been in a realistic position to make it to the top step of the podium again at home. That was his last win in F1 anywhere and the last by any Spaniard in the local race. The 41-year-old Alonso arrives this season revitalized with a strong Aston Martin team.

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