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MLB hits Altanta Braves with harsh sanctions

FILE-This Sept. 4, 2015, file photo shows Atlanta Braves assistant general manager and director of pro scouting John Coppolella talking on the phone in the dugout during batting practice before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, in Washington. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has hit the Atlanta Braves with heavy sanctions, including the loss of nine players, for rules violations committed by the team in the international player market. Manfred on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, also placed former Braves general manager Coppolella on the permanently ineligible list. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley, the team's international scouting chief, is suspended from performing services for any team for one year. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
2017 File/Alex Brandon/Associated Press
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, in sweeping sanctions taken Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves for their circumvention of rules governing the signing of international players, issued a lifetime ban to former Braves GM John Coppolella (above).

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Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred hit the Atlanta Braves with heavy sanctions, including the loss of 13 players, for circumventing international signing rules from 2015-17. Manfred also banned former Braves GM John Coppolella from baseball for life, and former Atlanta special assistant Gordon Blakeley, the team’s international scouting chief, was suspended for one year. Coppolella was forced to resign at season’s end because of the improprieties. The sanctions will leave the Braves, whose international signing bonus pool for 2020-21 was reduced by half, unable to bargain at full strength for a top Latin American prospect until 2021. Most notable among the players the Braves will lose is Kevin Maitan, an infielder from Venezuela who signed for $4.25 million in 2016.

Also, the Braves will forfeit their third-round pick in the 2018 draft as punishment for offering ‘‘impermissible benefits’’ to an unnamed draft pick to convince him to sign for a lower bonus.

Red Sox play Cubs in spring training

The Red Sox will close out their spring training schedule with games against the Cubs at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., on March 26 and 27. The games will be at 6:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. The Sox open the regular season March 29 at Tampa Bay. The Cubs, who train in Mesa, Ariz., open up that same day at Miami. Tickets go on sale for spring training home games at 10 a.m. on Dec. 2 at JetBlue Park or on redsox.com.

Peter Abraham

Yankees’ Judge has shoulder surgery

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New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, the unanimous selection for AL Rookie of the Year, had arthroscopic surgery Monday on his left shoulder for loose-body removal and cartilage cleanup and is expected to be ready for spring training, the team said . . . Major League Baseball, its Japanese counterpart, and the American players’ union have agreed to a new posting system that could allow Japanese star pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani to be put up for bid next week, a person familiar with the agreement told the Associated Press.

NFL

Moss, Lewis among Hall semifinalists

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First-year eligibles Randy Moss and Ray Lewis were among 27 semifinalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Others in their initial year of eligibility who made the cut were Brian Urlacher, Richard Seymour, Steve Hutchinson and Ronde Barber. The election for the Class of 2018 will be held Feb. 3, the day before the Super Bowl in Minneapolis . . . The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. in a staff shake-up. The Raiders have become the first team in modern NFL history to fail to intercept a single pass in the first 10 games and are tied for the fewest takeaways at this point in the season with just six . . . Josh Gordon, the Browns wide receiver who derailed a promising career because of substance abuse, will practice Wednesday for the first time in 14 months . . . The Falcons waived third-year cornerback Jalen Collins just as he was coming off a second suspension for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances . . . The Seahawks waived veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney, 37,just four games after signing him to boost their pass rush . . . Matt Ryan threw a pair of touchdown passes, Adrian Clayborn returned a fumble 10 yards for a score, and visiting Atlanta held off a late rally to beat Seattle, 34-31, on Monday night.

Miscellany

Olympian Douglas also claims abuse

Olympic champion gymnast Gabby Douglas said she is among the group of athletes sexually abused by a former team doctor. Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion and a three-time gold medalist, wrote in an Instagram post she waited so long to reveal the abuse by Larry Nassar because she was part of a group ‘‘conditioned to stay silent.’’ The 54-year-old Nasser, who is accused of molesting several girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, will plead guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault and face at least 25 years in prison, a person with knowledge of the agreement said . . . Toronto FC and the host Columbus Crew played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference final. The second of two legs of the aggregate-goals series is Nov. 29 at Toronto . . . The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston named Boston College defensive end Zach Allen and running back A.J. Dillon winners of the 79th George “Bulger” Lowe Award, “New England’s Heisman Trophy.” . . . Luwane Pipkins posted his third consecutive game with 20 or more points, scoring 21 points and dishing a career-high 10 assists to lead UMass (3-1) to an 85-76 win over Western Carolina (1-4) in Amherst.

. . . Louisville appealed the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions imposed ‘‘grossly excessive’’ penalties in ordering the vacation of its 2013 men’s basketball championship and tournament revenue for a sex scandal