Yankees have no use for Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez was released from his minor league contract with the New York Yankees. The 33-year-old lefthander agreed to the deal in mid-March. If added to the 40-man roster, he would have received a $3 million salary while in the major leagues and the chance to earn $9 million in performance bonuses: $300,000 for each start through 30. Gonzalez was 2-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts and 15 innings with Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Under the terms of his deal, he exercised his right Saturday to ask the Yankees to put him on the big league roster or release him within 48 hours. The Yankees recalled Jonathan Loaisiga from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make a spot start Tuesday night against the Angels. Manager Aaron Boone wants to give an extra day of rest to his current rotation just past the halfway point of a stretch that includes 13 games in 13 days. Gonzalez was 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA last season for Washington and Milwaukee, which acquired him on Aug. 31. He was 3-0 in five starts for the Brewers down the stretch. New York also agreed to a minor league contract with 29-year-old infielder Brad Miller. He hit .250 with one home and four RBIs this year for Cleveland, was designated for assignment April 15 and elected free agency two days later . . . Cardinals righthander Michael Wacha was placed on the 10-day injured list because of patellar tendinitis in his left knee and will miss his scheduled start Tuesday against Milwaukee. St. Louis said the move was retroactive to Friday. Wacha, 27, was sidelined for the fourth time in six years. He was 8-2 in 15 starts last year but did not pitch for the Cardinals after June 20 because of a strained oblique muscle in his left side . . . Mets ace Jacob deGrom remains on track to start Friday night after an MRI on his right elbow showed no damage . . . The Pirates activated Gregory Polanco off the 10-day injured list after the right fielder completed a lengthy rehab from a dislocated left shoulder last September. Polanco was to bat third for the Pirates on Monday night against Arizona, a welcome jolt for a team dealing with a rash of injuries to the outfield. Starling Marte, Corey Dickerson, and Lonnie Chisenhall are all out indefinitely while dealing with injuries. The 27-year-old Polanco hit a career-high 23 home runs for Pittsburgh in 2018 before his season ended thanks to an awkward slide into second base against Miami on Sept. 7. He underwent surgery on Sept. 12 to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
Walton facing sexual assault claim
Kelli Tennant, a female sports reporter in Los Angeles, has accused new Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton of sexual assault in a lawsuit. TMZ reported Monday night, citing legal documents, that Tennant claims she went to Walton’s hotel room in May 2017 to discuss a book she was writing when Walton pinned her to the bed, forcibly kissed her, and groped her. The Los Angeles Times reported that Tennant’s lawyer declined to say whether she reported the alleged assault to police. Walton was let go by the Lakers earlier this month and was quickly hired by the Kings . . . Brooklyn Nets minority owner Joe Tsai was fined $35,000 by NBA commissioner Adam Silver for public statements detrimental to the league, becoming the latest member of the organization to be penalized for actions during their playoff series against Philadelphia. Tsai tweeted support Sunday for general manager Sean Marks, who was suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 for entering the referees’ locker room following the Nets’ Game 4 loss.
Jayhawks center to return
Kansas center Udoka Azubuike will return for his senior season, giving coach Bill Self the 7-foot center he hoped to build his offense around last season. Azubuike averaged 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds before undergoing season-ending wrist surgery last season. The Jayhawks went on to finish 26-10 and lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Azubuike, who led the nation in field-goal percentage as a sophomore, briefly considered heading to the NBA. But the recovery from his wrist injury meant he could not participate in the NBA’s combine or work out for teams. Four other players have said they will not return: Quentin Grimes, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson, and Charlie Moore . . . Georgia Tech’s James Banks is entering the June 20 NBA Draft. The school said the 6-foot-9-inch junior has submitted paperwork for the draft. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 2.5 blocks a game while averaging 10.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. He was named to the ACC’s all-defensive team. He has until May 29 to withdraw his name and remain eligible for his final college season . . . West Virginia shot-blocking specialist Sagaba Konate, who missed most of this past season with a knee injury, declared for the draft. The school said the 6-8 Konate plans to sign with an agent. Konate played in eight games as a junior, averaging 13.6 points and eight rebounds. Konate holds the school record with 191 blocked shots.
Flyers get rid of Smith statue
The Philadelphia Flyers removed a statue of late singer Kate Smith outside NHL team’s arena Sunday, two days after covering it amid allegations of racism against the 1930s star. ‘‘The NHL principle ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for,’’ Flyers president Paul Holmgren said in a statement. ‘‘As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today.’’ On Friday, the Flyers said Smith’s ‘‘God Bless America’’ recording had been removed from their library, following baseball’s New York Yankees. The Yankees suspended use of Smith’s recording during the seventh-inning stretch amid conflicting claims about several of her songs. Smith’s connection with the Flyers started in 1969 when a team executive ordered her version of ‘‘God Bless America’’ to be played instead of ‘‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’’ That led to her performing the song several times before games in the 1970s. A year after her 1986 death, the team erected the statue . . . Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, says she is home after surgery to remove a brain tumor. She said on her Instagram account that the surgery lasted 12 hours. Earlier this month, she shared that an MRI showed the tumor after she had vertigo spells within the last year . . . A promoter has sued the US Soccer Federation, asking a court to order the governing body to sanction an Ecuador league match in Florida. Relevent Sports filed suit Monday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging the USSF illegally refused to approve its application to have Ecuador’s Barcelona and Guayaquil clubs play May 5 at Miami Gardens . . . Brenda Jackson, mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and a longtime employee at JR Motorsports alongside her daughter Kelley Earnhardt Miller, has died following a battle with cancer. She was 65. The team announced her death Monday. Jackson was the daughter of NASCAR fabricator Robert Gee, who built cars for various racers, including the late Dale Earnhardt. She married Earnhardt in 1972, had two children, and Dale Jr. and Kelley remained with their mother when the couple separated and Earnhardt chased a career in NASCAR.