PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Rheal Cormier, the long-lived left-hander who spent 16 seasons with the majors and played notably in the Olympics before and after his time in the major leagues, has died. He was 53 years old. The Philadelphia Phillies said Cormier died of cancer Monday at his home in New Brunswick, Canada. Cormier owned a neat corner in Phillies’ history: he was the winner of the last game Philadelphia won at Veterans Stadium in 2003, and also the winner of the first game the Phils won after moving to Citizens Bank Park in 2004 had for Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the 2008 Beijing Games.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – JC Hassenauer will seek out the potential replacement for retired Pittsburgh Steelers Center Maurkice Pouncey. The Steelers have signed the 25-year-old Hassenauer to a one-year contract. Hassenauer was an exclusive, unlawful agent. Pittsburgh is in the market for a center after Pouncey, a nine-time pro bowler, retired on February 12th. Hassenauer made three starts in the center and one on the left in 2020.
UNDATED (AP) – # 16 Virginia is back as top seed for this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The tournament opens on Tuesday in Greensboro, North Carolina. The league doesn’t have the usual high-level teams and star-studded squads. No. 15 Florida State and No. 22 Virginia Tech join the Cavaliers as the only AP Top 25 teams on the field. Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers are number one for the fifth time in eight seasons. They are chasing their third tournament title under Bennett. The tournament also includes an early matchup between the NCAA bubble teams Syracuse and North Carolina State.
UNDATED (AP) – The NBA’s Atlanta All-Star game mini-bubble apparently worked. No players, coaches, or match officials have tested positive for COVID-19 in Atlanta. The NBA announcement on Monday will come after the final tests have been processed and the results returned to the league and participating teams. These include Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, a pair of all-stars who missed the game and left Atlanta early after being tagged by contact tracing. A barber they both saw before going to Atlanta tested positive, which meant Embiid and Simmons may have been exposed to the virus. So according to the league policy this season, they couldn’t play on Sunday night.
FEASTERVILLE, PA (AP) – Joe Frazier was celebrated in his adopted home of Philadelphia on the 50th anniversary of his victory over Muhammad Ali in the Battle of the Century. Frazier had a 9-foot, 1,600-pound statue unveiled in a gym that belonged to some of his followers early in his fighting career. There is also a mural in north Philadelphia that his friends and family hope his legacy will live on long after his death. Frazier died on November 7, 2011 after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67. Their first fight at Madison Square Garden was so epic it was dubbed the fight of the century, and 50 years later it reigns unbeaten
GREENSBORO, NC (AP) – The Atlantic Coast Conference named Moses Wright, Senior Georgia Tech, Player of the Year and Mike Young of Virginia Tech named Trainer of the Year. The 6-foot-9 Wright finished third in the league with an 18-point average and just over eight rebounds per game. Georgia Tech won its last six games, finishing fourth in the regular season. Wright is supported on the first All-ACC team by Carlik Jones from Louisville, Justin Champagnie from Pittsburgh, ACC championship leader Matthew Hurt from Duke and Sam Hauser from Virginia, the regular season champion.