BASEBALL

Shohei Ohtani’s two-way All-Star season with the Los Angeles Angels was so unprecedented that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred created a special award to recognize it.

Manfred presented Ohtani with a Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award before Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night.

“Over the next few years, I know that there are going to be many, many awards and accolades that come your way,” Manfred said, with Ohtani sitting next to him. “But I felt that 2021 was so special that it was important to recognize the historic achievement that took place in 2021 with an award just about 2021.”

Ohtani hit 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs and stole 26 bases this season, his fourth in the majors after playing in his native Japan. In 23 starts on the mound, he was 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA while striking out 156 batters.

This 27-year-old Ohtani is the most accomplished two-way player since Babe Ruth, who last pitched regularly in 1919. Ohtani was the first two-way starter in the history of the All-Star Game, which began in 1933. While pitching for the American League, he also hit in the leadoff spot as the designated hitter.

“This award is not given out every year, so I know how special it is,” Ohtani said through his translator. “I’m not fully sure if I really deserve it, but since Mr. Manfred’s going to give it to me, I’m going to accept it.”

• The San Diego The Padres reached way back when conducting what may have been their first managerial interview last week.

A source confirmed the team interviewed former White Sox and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who has not managed since 2012.

The interview took place before the team spoke with Luis Rojas, who managed the Mets from 2020-21, and Mike Shildt, who managed the Cardinals from the middle of the 2018 through the end of ’21.

BASKETBALL

WNBA: The Atlanta Dream have announced the hiring of Dan Padover as general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations, with former interim head coach Darius Taylor taking over as assistant GM.

The appointments round out the leadership team of the WNBA franchise, which has undergone a radical makeover under new ownership after three straight losing seasons.

Padover was WNBA executive of the year the past two seasons as general manager of with the Las Vegas Aces.

Before his three-year stint with the Aces, Padover was vice president of basketball operations for the New York Liberty.

The hiring of Padover and Taylor follows the appointment of longtime WNBA player Tanisha Wright as head coach and former NFL executive Morgan Shaw Parker as president and chief operating officer.

The Dream have gone through tumultuous changes in the past year. Owner Kelly Loeffler was pressured to sell her 49% stake in the team after she objected to the league’s social justice initiatives.
The new ownership group is led by owner Larry Gottesdiener, a real estate investor, and includes former Dream guard Renee Montgomery.

Nicki Collen abruptly stepped down as coach shortly before this past season’s opener to take the head job at Baylor, and the Dream went through two interim coaches, Mike Peterson and Taylor, during a dismal 8-24 campaign.

TENNIS

ERSTE BANK OPEN: Stefanos Tsitsipas saved three set points before beating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (6), 6-4 to join Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in the second round at Vienna.

Zverev also advanced in straight sets but had to rally from 5-2 down in the second to overcome Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 7-5.

Tsitsipas, who is striving for his third title of the season, next plays Frances Tiafoe, who defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4.

ST. PETERSBURG OPEN: American players Taylor Fritz, Mackenzie McDonald and Tommy Paul all won their first-round matches in Russia.

The fifth-seeded Fritz beat Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-1, 6-4 and will next face Paul, who defeated Spanish player Pedro Martinez 6-3, 6-2.

McDonald beat Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 7-5, 6-4 and will next play third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut.

SOCCER

U.S. WOMEN: The U.S. women sent Carli Lloyd into retirement with a 6-0 rout of South Korea at St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lloyd didn’t score in her final match, but it hardly mattered because the night was all about her. Fans chanted Lloyd’s name before the match, with one holding a sign that read: “One More World Cup, Please?”

Lloyd is retiring after a career that includes two World Cup titles and a pair of Olympic gold medals. She scored three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the U.S. victory over Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final.

Lloyd’s final match was her 316th with the national team, the second-most international appearances of any player. She scored 134 goals for the United States, third most in team history, along with 61 assists.

Lloyd was subbed out in the 65th minute and sobbed as she left to a standing ovation by the crowd of 18,115 at Allianz Field. She removed her cleats and pulled off her jersey, revealing another jersey with her married name, Hollins, emblazoned on the back.

WOLFSBURG: Wolfsburg appointed former Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt to take over the team following Mark van Bommel’s dismissal.

Wolfsburg said the 39-year-old Kohfeldt was getting a contract through 2023 and would start coaching the team on Thursday.

Kohfeldt was Bremen coach from October 2017 until last May, when he was fired by the club in an ultimately futile bid to avoid Bundesliga relegation. He had saved the team from relegation the season before. Kohfeldt was previously assistant coach in Bremen.

NWSL: The owners of Kansas City’s professional women’s soccer team announced they plan to build a $70 million stadium for the team.

The stadium for Kansas City NWSL will be the first built in the U.S. specifically for a women’s soccer team.

Kansas City NWSL owners Angie Long, Chris Long and Brittany Matthews announced the 11,000-seat stadium will be built along the Missouri River close to downtown Kansas City. It will be privately financed.

Construction is expected to start next spring or summer, with the stadium ready for use by 2024, The Kansas City Star reported. Kansas City NWSL had previously announced plans to build a $15 million training facility in the Kansas City suburb of Riverside.

OBIT: Walter Smith, the Scottish soccer coach who won 21 trophies over two spells with Rangers and restored respectability to his national team in a brief stint in charge, has died. He was 73.

Smith had been “battling illness,” Rangers chairman Douglas Park said in a statement from the Glasgow team announcing the death.

“It is almost impossible to encapsulate what Walter meant to every one of us at Rangers,” Park said. “He embodied everything that a Ranger should be. His character and leadership was second to none.”

With a dry sense of humor and an endearing humbleness belying his status as one of Scotland’s greatest ever coaches, Smith established Rangers as the country’s biggest force in soccer by winning seven straight Scottish league titles as well as three Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups in his first spell at Ibrox from 1991-98.

GOLF

TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP: The Travelers Championship announced that June’s golf tournament, with limited fans in attendance, raised more than $2.2 million for Connecticut charities.

That was up from $1.6 million raised during 2020 when the tournament in Cromwell was the third post-quarantine event on the PGA Tour and held without fans because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also was more than the $2.1 million raised during the 2019 tournament.

Just under 10,000 spectators per day were allowed in this June.

The PGA event, which donates all of its net proceeds, will give money to more than 125 local charities this year, officials said. This year’s primary beneficiary was The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children, which is rebuilding a portion of its campus in Ashford, Connecticut, after a fire destroyed its main program complex in February.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.