The Boston Red Sox issued affiliate invitations Wednesday to four minor-league teams – the Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A), Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A), Greenville Drive (High-A) and Salem Red Sox (Low-A) – and eliminated the short-season Lowell Spinners as part of the Major League Baseball restructuring plan that will cut the number of affiliated teams to 120 – four for each major league franchise.

In a statement issued later Wednesday, the Red Sox said they were discussing options to help Lowell keep baseball, likely in either an independent pro league or a wood-bat league for college players.

HALL OF FAME: Former baseball commentator Al Michaels will receive the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence by baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Michaels, 76, will be honored during the Hall of Fame induction weekend in July.

Michaels is most well known as the play-by-play broadcaster for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and previously for ABC’s Monday Night Football. But he got his start in sports as a broadcaster for several baseball teams, and gained a national spotlight when ABC had MLB rights from 1976-89 and again in 1994 and 1995.


CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: A day after walking off the field in protest, players from Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir returned to the Parc des Princes and knelt together with match officials in a display of unity against racism.

When their match resumed, Neymar put on the kind of display that would normally dominate the headlines, scoring a hat trick as PSG easily secured top spot in its group with a 5-1 win.

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, avoided early exits by winning on the final day of the group stage, and Atalanta and Borussia Monchengladbach also claimed places in the round of 16.

Real Madrid kept its record intact of always advancing from the group stage by beating Borussia Monchengladbach, 2-0, on two goals by Karim Benzema. Gladbach finished second in the group, though, because Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk played to a 0-0 draw – either team would have advanced with a win.

Atletico clinched its spot in the knockout rounds with a 2-0 win at Salzburg, and Atalanta knocked out Ajax with a 1-0 victory in Amsterdam.

U.S. MEN: Chris Mueller scored twice in his international debut, Ayo Akinola got a goal in his first game and the United States overwhelmed El Salvador 6-0 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in its fourth and final exhibition of the year.


NBA: Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar revealed he has prostate cancer in a magazine article he wrote about health risks faced by Blacks.

Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s career scoring leader, provided no other details about his illness in the piece he wrote for WebMD that first appeared Wednesday. A publicist for Abdul-Jabbar said this is the first time he has spoken about the prostate cancer.

Abdul-Jabbar, now 73, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2008.

WNBA: Vickie Johnson was hired as head coach of the Dallas Stars.

Johnson, a former San Antonio Stars head coach, has been an assistant for the Las Vegas Aces since 2017. She’ll be the league’s only current Black female head coach.

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