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#SportsReport: Blue Jays top Red Sox; Phillies best Reds

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Kobe Bryant widow awarded $16M in trial over crash photos

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal jury has found that Los Angeles County must pay Kobe Bryant’s widow $16 million for emotional distress caused by deputies and firefighters sharing photos of the bodies of the NBA star and his daughter taken at the site of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed them. The jurors who returned the verdict Wednesday agreed with Vanessa Bryant and her attorneys that her privacy was invaded when they took and shared photos of the remains of Kobe Bryant and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Vanessa Bryant tearfully testified during the 11-day trial that news of the photos compounded her grief after losing her husband and daughter. County attorneys argued that the photos were necessary to assess the scene.

Hall of Fame Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson dies at 87

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, who helped the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title, died Wednesday. The MVP of the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings in January 1970 had been in declining health for years. He entered hospice care on Aug. 12. “Lenny the Cool” went into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1987. He also was inducted as a broadcaster in 2012. Dawson spent several decades working on local TV and radio broadcasts while also doing color analysis for NBC and hosting HBO's iconic "Inside the NFL.” The Chiefs intend to honor him during their preseason finale against Green Bay on Thursday night. Len Dawson was 87.

Top PGA Tour players to commit to 20-event big money slate

ATLANTA (AP) — The PGA Tour is making its boldest response yet to the rival Saudi-funded league. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has announced a plan for the best players to commit to a 20-tournament schedule starting next year. That means they will be competing against one another up to 17 times and maybe more. That involves elevating four additional tournaments that will offer $20 million or more to go along with the tournaments already announced. Monahan says top players will be determined by a new Player Impact Program criteria. The PIP will double in money to $100 million.

Amidst a battle of riches, the chase for $18M at East Lake

ATLANTA (AP) — The FedEx Cup and it's up for grabs. Well, sort of. Scottie Scheffler is the No. 1 seed and starts with a two-shot advantage. The Masters champ can't remember the last time someone had to give him strokes. In this case, that someone is Patrick Cantlay. Such is the nature of the FedEx Cup finale at the Tour Championship. The guys at the bottom start 10 shots behind. The good news for Scheffler is the last two No. 1 seeds have won the FedEx Cup. And no one more than five back at the start has gone on to win.

Woods, McIlroy behind tech-infused golf league in TV venture

ATLANTA (AP) — Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are bringing their own version of team golf to the PGA Tour. Woods and McIlroy are part of a new media group called TMRW (pronounced “tomorrow”) Sports. Former Golf Channel president Mike McCarley is the CEO. The first project is called TGL. It's a tech-infused golf league that will feature six teams of three players for matches on Monday night. The broadcast partner hasn't been announced. It will be played in a custom-built arena. The long shots will be using a simulator. The short shots will be live. The 18-hole matches take two hours.

PICK SIX: Who will win the national championship in 2022?

The 2021 season was filled with surprising contenders and conference champions. Another season with that much volatility seems unlikely. Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma get back to their league championship games. A first-year coach leads his team to the Pac-12 title. And, yet again, Georgia and Alabama decide the Southeastern Conference.

Kirby starts with record 24 straight strikes; Nats top M's

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle right-hander George Kirby set a major league record by throwing 24 straight strikes to start the game and fellow Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez reached a new level, but Ildemaro Vargas hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning that lifted the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 win. Kirby gave up five hits and one run before throwing his first ball to Joey Meneses in the third. Kirby topped the mark of 21 consecutive strikes to open by Joe Musgrove for Pittsburgh in 2018. Rodriguez hit his 20th home run, tying it at 1 in the eighth. The 21-year-old sensation became the fourth rookie in big league history with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season.

Gauff, Nadal play in US Open exhibition to benefit Ukraine

NEW YORK (AP) — Coco Gauff’s shoes carried the message “Play for Peace” as she joined Rafael Nadal, Iga Swiatek and other tennis stars in a pre-U.S. Open exhibition event that helped generate more than $1 million for humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. Gauff teamed with former player John McEnroe in a mixed doubles match against Nadal and Swiatek. The U.S. Tennis Association said 100% of proceeds from sales of tickets to its “Tennis Plays for Peace Exhibition” in Louis Armstrong Stadium went to an international nonprofit organization. Other players participating included Ukrainian pros Dayana Yastremska and Katarina Zavatska, 2021 U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez, Carlos Alcarez, Maria Sakkari, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jessica Pegula.

MLB teams to play all 29 opponents under '23 balanced sked

NEW YORK (AP) — Every Major League Baseball team will play each other in the same season for the first time next year as the sport switches to its first balanced schedule since 2000. As a result of the format switch agreed to in the March lockout settlement, high-profile games between division rivals such as Yankees-Red Sox, Dodgers-Giants and Cubs-Cardinals will be reduced from 19 and intradivision games will drop from 47% to 32%. A team will host all of the other 29 clubs at least once every two seasons. The season opens March 30 with all teams scheduled.

Timmy Trumpet coming to Mets game, could play song for Díaz

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz might get to hear his wildly popular entrance music played in person next week. The NL East leaders say Australian musician Timmy Trumpet, who teamed with Dutch pair Blasterjaxx to create the song “Narco” that Díaz uses, will be at Citi Field. And if Díaz happens to get summoned to pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, then Timmy Trumpet will perform the song live when he comes in from the bullpen. Díaz has been dominant this season, firing 100 mph fastballs. A huge part of his aura is his catchy entrance song.