Red Sox manager Cora fired in sign-stealing scandal

BOSTON (AP) — Alex Cora has already been identified as a ringleader in an illegal system of sign stealing when he was with the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox didn't wait to see what punishment Major League Baseball might give him for possibly bringing a similar scheme with him to Boston.

Cora was fired by the team he led to the 2018 World Series title on Tuesday night, one day after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “an active participant” in the Astros' cheating when he was a bench coach in Houston.

Manfred mentioned Cora by name 11 times in a nine-page report, saying he "originated and executed" the scheme in which Houston used a center field camera to decode catchers' signals to pitchers, then banged on a trash can to relay the signs to batters so they would know what type of pitch was coming.

The Astros fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, making that announcement an hour after Manfred suspended them for the 2020 season for their roles in the cheating scheme. Cora met Tuesday with Boston management and they issued a release saying they had “mutually agreed to part ways.”

GreenJackets announce 2020 field staff

NORTH AUGUSTA — The Augusta GreenJackets have announced the 2020 Field Staff for SRP Park. Carlos Valderrama will return as manager to build upon the success of last season at SRP Park.

Returning to the staff to join Valderrama are hitting coach Jake Fox, fundamentals coach Willie Romero and trainer Chad Lewis. New to the staff in 2020 will be pitching coach Alain Quijano and strength and conditioning coach Joe Palazzolo.

Valderrama, 41, returns for his third season as manager after leading the GreenJackets to their first playoff appearance since 2013, posting a 41-29 record to claim the South Atlantic League Southern Division second half title in 2019. 

Quijano spent parts of the last five seasons as the pitching coach of the Gary SouthShore RailCats. Quijano was the pitching coach for former GreenJacket Matt Solter in 2016. This will be his first year in the Giants organization.

Opening day is scheduled for April 16.

Truist Park new name for Atlanta Braves' ballpark

ATLANTA (AP) — Truist Park is the new name of the Atlanta Braves' stadium, replacing SunTrust Park.

Atlanta announced the change Tuesday following SunTrust bank's merger with BB&T to form Truist Financial Corp. The stadium in Cobb County, north of downtown Atlanta, opened in 2017.

Most new purple signs at the stadium are expected to be in place in time for the Braves' home opener against Miami on April 3. SunTrust Park signs already have been removed.

Braves president Derek Schiller says he expects the new branding to endure for the "next 20-plus years.”

Gainey regains lead in Bahamas

Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey is back atop the leaderboard following three rounds at the Korn Ferry Tour's The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.

Gainey, the first-round leader following a 6-under 66, dropped down the leaderboard with a 75 Monday before following that with Tuesday's bogey-free, 5-under 67 to take the solo lead at 8 under for the tournament.

Will Zalatoris (65), Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (68), second-round leader Dylan Wu (76) and George Cunningham (69) are a shot behind Gainey.

Roberto Diaz (74) is tied for 47th at 5 over. Matt Atkins missed the cut at 7 over following rounds of 75 and 76.

Ex-player sues Penn State over football hazing allegations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Penn State football player claims in a lawsuit that Nittany Lions players hazed him and other younger teammates by imitating sexual acts in the shower and invoking Jerry Sandusky's name.

The player, who The Associated Press is not identifying because he hasn't spoken publicly on the matter, filed the lawsuit Monday in Pennsylvania federal court against the university, head coach James Franklin and one former teammate.

The school's own investigation found the ex-teammate had committed “prohibited behavior,” the complaint said.

University police turned over results of their investigation to the local district attorney, who declined to prosecute, Penn State said in a statement. The university said it conducted extensive interviews but found nothing to substantiate claims against Franklin or to indicate that anyone had been hazed.

The allegations include that older players said to younger ones, “I am going to Sandusky you."

Sandusky was the team's retired longtime defensive coordinator when he was convicted in 2012 of sexual abuse of 10 boys, including physical attacks on university property. He is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.