The Sports Report: Another week of baseball games canceled

Chief union negotiator Bruce Meyer, center, and general counsel Ian Penny, right, leave.
(Ron Blum / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Bill Shaikin: Another week disappeared from the shrinking baseball schedule Wednesday, with negotiations that had been whittled to one major issue suddenly exploding into a cascade of new issues that could make for a long, cold spring between owners and players.

For the second time in two weeks, talks on a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed under the weight of a league-imposed deadline. Now, the league says, no games will be played until at least April 14.


With any future delays, MLB would lose games on April 15, the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s major league debut.

In a statement, the players’ union called the cancellation of additional games “completely unnecessary” and said the league had declined to respond to the union’s most recent proposal.

On March 1, Commissioner Rob Manfred called off the first week of the regular season. When owners and players resumed discussions this week, the league offered to reschedule those games as part of a new agreement, providing a full 162-game season and full pay for players.

Now, with what the league probably considers too many games to reschedule, the players’ union would ask that a new deal pay players and credit them with service time for unplayed games.

At the same time, the owners probably would cite the revenue losses from canceled games and could offer less favorable terms in key areas where the two sides were nearly in agreement Wednesday: how much to pay players not eligible for salary arbitration, and how much a team could spend without paying a luxury tax.

All of those concerns would not have come into play had a deal been reached Wednesday, but the two sides could not reach agreement on one final core issue: an international draft.


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The Rams won the Super Bowl this season, the Lakers and Dodgers won titles in 2020. Which local team will win the next title?

From the list below, please rank 10 teams, with your first team being the one you think is most likely to win the next title, the second team the second most likely, and so on. Points will be assigned so that your first pick gets 12 points, second pick gets nine, and so on, with your 10th pick getting one point.

You have until March 18 to vote. Results will be announced in this newsletter soon after that. Please email your top 10 to

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UCLA men’s basketball

UCLA women’s basketball

UCLA football

USC men’s basketball

USC women’s basketball

USC football

If you are feeling extra sassy and want to vote for some other team, like the Cal State Dominguez Hills chess team, please feel free.


From Ryan Kartje: Andy Enfield isn’t going anywhere.


After the coach followed an extraordinary Elite Eight run with the winningest regular season in school history, USC left no doubt about its desire to continue that course with Enfield, inking him to an extension through the 2027-28 season.

The new deal will keep Enfield in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future, just as other potential suitors began to express interest in the USC coach.

“Andy has continued to meet and exceed every expectation we have set for him,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. “In our three years working together, our men’s basketball program has enjoyed unprecedented success and the national landscape of college basketball has taken notice. That is a testament to Andy’s leadership of the program, our coaches and support staff, and our talented basketball players. Andy’s incredible accomplishments stand on their own.”


From Ben Bolch: The UCLA Bruins captivated more than their fan base with an epic surge through March a year ago, their staying power unfurling for a legion of admirers that swelled every step of the way, from the First Four to the Final Four.

Cronin could sense his team was in the midst of something special. All he had to do was look at his players and feel their passion.

“We had the magic of a team that was so committed to staying alive and winning,” Cronin said. “You watched our bench, you could just see it. It was magnetic, it drew people to being fans of ours that weren’t even fans of ours. I think we gotta capture that again somehow.”


Consider this week’s Pac-12 tournament a warmup for the big race. A year ago, UCLA showed it was possible to prevail in the games that matter after going splat in the conference tournament.


From Broderick Turner: Two hours before the Clippers played the Washington Wizards Wednesday night, Reggie Jackson was on the Area court getting up shots. He started inside the lane, casually working on his stroke, each time making sure his follow-thru was the same as the previous shot.

In his prior two games, Jackson’s shot had betrayed him, leaving the point guard in a little mini slump.

But Jackson got his stroke working against the Wizards, scoring 31 points and sealing the game with two late free throws to push the Clippers to a 115-109 win.

Jackson scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter. He completed his night going 12-for-21 from the field, five-for-nine from three-point range.

He added seven assists, doing all his work in 40 minutes.

Nicoloas Batum had given the Clippers a 111-109 lead by hitting a three-pointer with 31.2 seconds left.


After Kristaps Porzingis missed a game-tying shot, Jackson got the rebound and was fouled with12.3 seconds left.

As the crowd chanted, “Reggie…Reggie…Reggie,” he made both free throws, helping the Clippers break a two-game losing streak.


From Dan Woike: The music echoed near the loading dock as a shirtless LeBron James went through pregame strength training, rapping along with every word as it came out of the speaker.

Teammates arriving on a later bus walked past and saw their leader smiling and singing, his presence already felt even before Frank Vogel said James would be back on the court. But the pregame vibes were met with on-court realities, the truth being that the Lakers need to be close to great against anyone, even one of the NBA’s worst teams, the Houston Rockets.

Rookie Jalen Green scored 10 of his 32 points in overtime as the Lakers got out-gunned in a 139-130 overtime loss.

A triple-double from James, one of the best offensive games of Russell Westbrook’s season, near 50% shooting? None of it could separate the Lakers from the Rockets, the two teams locked in a close game for nearly every possession, including the last one in the fourth.


But the inability to get stops and the inability to close out the young Rockets in regulation, meant the Lakers had to carry heavy legs into the final moments of a game where it became increasingly clear they could not win.

Carmelo Anthony missed a potential winner when a driving James zipped the ball to the perimeter, setting the stage for the Rockets to simply sprint past the Lakers in overtime for Houston’s 17th win of the season.

James finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists after missing one game with a knee injury, and Westbrook scored 30 points.


From Helene Elliott: Novak Djokovic, who remained on the entry list and in the draw for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells even though he is not vaccinated against the coronavirus and knew he faced obstacles to enter the United States, said on Wednesday he will not compete in the tournament.

The No. 2-ranked men’s tennis player said via social media that he knew he probably wouldn’t be able to enter the U.S. and that he received verification of that on Wednesday. Earlier this year, he was given an exemption to play in the Australian Open, but his visa was later revoked and he was deported from Australia.

“While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel. The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US,” he said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control. “Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments.”



Elliott: Naomi Osaka brings renewed confidence to Indian Wells: ‘I’m at peace with myself.’


1913 — The Quebec Bulldogs win the Stanley Cup in two games over Sydney.

1920 — Quebec’s Joe Malone scores six goals to lead the Bulldogs to a 10-4 rout of the Ottawa Senators.

1961 — Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors becomes the first NBA player to score 3,000 points in a season. Chamberlain scores 32 points in a 120-103 loss to Detroit to bring his season total to 3,016.

1963 — Wilt Chamberlain of the San Francisco Warriors scores 70 points in a 163-148 loss to Syracuse.

1985 — Dick Motta becomes the fourth NBA coach to record 700 victories as Dallas beats New Jersey 126-113.

1991 — Eddie Sutton of Oklahoma State becomes the first coach to lead four schools into the NCAA tournament. Sutton also coached Creighton, Arkansas and Kentucky in the tournament.


1992 — New York Islanders coach Al Arbour becomes the second coach in NHL history to win 700 games with a 5-2 victory over Philadelphia.

2001 — With Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark looking on, Hermann Maier wins the giant slalom for his 13th victory this season, equaling one of the mightiest alpine skiing records. Maier, winner of the overall World Cup title three of the last four years, ties the record Stenmark set in 1979.

2002 — John Stockton, the NBA’s career assist leader, has 13 assists in Utah’s 95-92 loss at Houston to give him exactly 15,000 for his career.

2004 — Orlando’s Tracy McGrady scores a franchise record 62 points in a 108-99 win over Washington.

2011 — Veteran referees Jim Burr, Tim Higgins and Earl Walton, cited for two errors in the final seconds of the St. John’s-Rutgers game, withdraw from the rest of the Big East tournament. The three officials missed two calls — a travel and stepping out of bounds — in the final 1.7 seconds of St. John’s 65-63 win in the second-round of Big East tournament. The Big East acknowledged after the game the officials blew the calls.

2014 — The game between Dallas and the Columbus Blue Jackets is postponed by the NHL after Stars forward Rich Peverley collapses on the bench during the first period.


2018 — Texas Southern beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 84-69 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game. Texas Southern (15-19) earns an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament after starting out 0-13 this season. The Tigers didn’t win a game until Jan. 1 and never beat a nonconference opponent.

2018 — The Vegas Golden Knights set a record for road wins by an expansion team with a 2-1 shootout victory at Buffalo. At 20-12-3, the Golden Knights break a tie with the 1993-94 Anaheim Ducks for most road wins by an NHL team in its first season.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

When your best friend strikes you out. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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