Dusty Baker is working to finalize an agreement to become manager of the Houston Astros, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been completed. The 70-year-old Baker would become the oldest manager in the big leagues. He would take over from A.J. Hinch, who was fired Jan. 13, just an hour after he was suspended for the season by Major League Baseball for his role in Houston’s sign-stealing scandal. A manager for 22 seasons and three-time National League Manager of the Year, Baker last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017.
Newcastle on the market
England’s Premier League has been buzzing with news that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is leading an investor group that wants to buy Newcastle United for about $445 million. A potential takeover could be a boon for the northern soccer team with legions of passionate fans but a lackluster recent record, but it would also have repercussions well beyond sport. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Embiid returns to Sixers
Joel Embiid returned to the Philadelphia 76ers’ lineup three weeks after surgery on a torn ligament in a finger in his left hand. Embiid was in the starting lineup, wearing No. 24 in honor of Kobe Bryant instead of his usual No. 21 for Tuesday’s game against Golden State . . . The Harlem Globetrotters continued to extend the global nature of their roster, announcing the signing of their first-ever Ukrainian player. Smoove Kryvenko, a 6-foot-2-inch guard from Komsomol's'ke, Ukraine, joins the team’s two other international rookies, Lucky Jiang of China and Dazzle Kidon ofPoland.
Congress moves on racing bill
The Consumer Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA) that brought together horse racing industry heavyweights and representatives from two major animal welfare groups to advocate for passage. Testifying were Hall of Fame Jockey Chris McCarron, Jockey Club vice chairman William M. Lear, and Joe DeFrancis of the Humane Society’s horse racing advisory council. The bill would create a private, independent national horse racing antidoping authority and establish a new set of rules, testing procedures, and penalties to replace the current patchwork of regulatory systems that govern horse racing’s 38 jurisdictions.
Kristoffersen wins again
Henrik Kristoffersen overcame a big mistake in his final run to win a men’s World Cup night slalom, strengthening his lead in the overall and discipline standings. The Norwegian hit a gate with his left arm and nearly skied out after a few seconds but recovered from the mishap to edge out Alexis Pinturault and Daniel Yule . . . A judge in Pennsylvania flatly rejected Jerry Sandusky’s latest request to have his 30-60-year child molestation sentence reduced . Judge Maureen Skerda said she purposely fashioned the prison term to have an impact on the former Penn State assistant football coach and noted Sandusky continues to maintain his innocence.