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TODAY'S THOUGHT

His brokenhearted cry on the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do," shows God's heart toward sinners.

- John R. Rice

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K-HEART SPORTS - WEDNESDAY - 01/10/18 - PM EDITION

The Miami Marlins will host the Chicago Cubs in this year's major league opener on March 29, the earliest start in the sport's history excluding international openers....

     NEW YORK (AP) - The Miami Marlins will host the Chicago Cubs in this year's major league opener on March 29, the earliest start in the sport's history excluding international openers. The game at Marlins Park is scheduled for 12:40 p.m., a half-hour before the New York Mets start at home against St. Louis and Detroit hosts Pittsburgh in the lone interleague opener.
 
     World Series champion Houston opens at Texas.

    Every team is scheduled to open on the same day for the first time since 1968, and the season starts on a Thursday for the first time since 2011.
 
     The rest of the NL opening-day schedule has Philadelphia at Atlanta, Washington at Cincinnati, San Francisco at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee at San Diego and Colorado at Arizona.
 
     The AL opening-day schedule has Minnesota at Baltimore, the New York Yankees at Toronto, the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland, the Chicago White Sox at Kansas City and Cleveland at Seattle.
 
     In other baseball news:

    - Reliever Boone Logan and the Milwaukee Brewers have finalized a $2.5 million, one-year contract. The 33-year-old left-hander was 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA in 38 games for Cleveland last year, striking out 28 in 21 innings. He is 29-23 with a 4.47 ERA and three saves in 619 relief appearances for the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta the New York Yankees, Colorado and Cleveland.
 
     - Free-agent catcher Rene Rivera and the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year contract. He split last season between the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs, batting .252 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs in 74 games.
 
     - Japanese right-hander Kazuhisa Makita is guaranteed $3.8 million in his two-year contract with the San Diego Padres.. The 33-year-old was 10-4 with a 1.91 ERA the last two seasons with the Pacific League's Seibu Lions and was Japan's closer in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics.
 
     - Free agent catcher Mike Ohlman has agreed to a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers and will report to major league spring training. Ohlman appeared last season in seven games for Toronto and went 3 for 13 with one RBI. Texas also says it has agreed to minor league deals with infielder Ryan Brett, right-hander Brandon Cumpton and left-hander Brandon Mann.
 
     - The New York Yankees are expanding netting to protect seats behind each dugout and for five sections past down both foul lines, a decision announced after several fans were injured last year.
 
     - The Miami Marlins will host the Chicago Cubs in this year's major league opener on March 29, the earliest start in the sport's history excluding international openers. The game at Marlins Park is scheduled for 12:40 p.m., a half-hour before the New York Mets start at home against St. Louis and Detroit hosts Pittsburgh in the lone interleague opener. World Series champion Houston opens at Texas. Every team is scheduled to open on the same day for the first time since 1968.
 
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     NEW YORK (AP) - Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas has been fined $20,000 by the NBA for striking Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins in the throat. The punishment was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league's executive vice president for basketball operations.
 
     The incident occurred with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter of the Cavaliers' 127-99 loss to the Timberwolves on Monday night in Minneapolis. Thomas clotheslined Wiggins in the jaw as he drove to the basket. He was ejected for a flagrant-two foul. He said afterward it was an accident and that he was glad Wiggins was all right.
 
     Wiggins had 25 points in three quarters. Thomas, still on a playing-time restriction coming off a hip injury, had nine points in 19 minutes.
 
     In other NBA news:
 
     - The New Orleans Pelicans have signed free agent guard DeAndre Liggins to a 10-day contract. The roster addition comes after the Pelicans received an injury hardship exemption by the NBA. The 6-foot-6 Liggins has played in 31 games earlier this season with Milwaukee, averaging 1.8 points, 1.6 rebounds in a little more than 15 minutes per game.
 
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     OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Golden State star Stephen Curry is out for tonight's home game against the Clippers after he slipped during shootaround and sprained his troublesome right ankle. The Warriors updated their injury report to include Curry's status. It's the same injury that recently sidelined him for 11 games.
 
     The reigning Western Conference player of the week, Curry has scored at least 29 points in seven straight games with 30 or more in six of those games. He has 12 30-point performances overall this season.
 
     Curry had been practically unstoppable in five games since returning from the 11-game absence with his initial ankle injury, averaging 35.2 points over that span as well as 5.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.4 minutes. Curry also has four or more 3-pointers in seven straight games.
 
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     PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier has attended practice for the first time since injuring his spine against Cincinnati last month.
 
     Shazier posted a photo on Instagram this afternoon from the team's indoor training facility as Pittsburgh prepared to host Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs. Shazier, who underwent spine stabilization surgery on Dec. 6, is pictured in a wheelchair wearing sweatpants and a Steelers jacket.
 
     The extent of Shazier's injury has not been released. He called his visit to the facility "a first down" in his recovery. Shazier says he has been "making strides" over the past month but added he is "far from done." The 25-year-old says he is "working harder than ever" to get back.
 
     The Steelers host the Jaguars on Sunday and the winner will advance to the AFC title game.
 
     In other NFL news:
 
     - Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is back with the team after missing Tuesday's practice to attend to an undisclosed personal matter. Coach Dan Quinn says Ryan will participate in today's practice for Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game at Philadelphia. Ryan is expected to address his situation following the practice. The Falcons said Tuesday the absence from practice by Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, was not injury related.
 
     - New Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey has added former Green Bay executives Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith to his revamped front office. Wolf was the Packers' director of football operations and recently interviewed to be their GM. He'll be the assistant GM for the Browns. Highsmith, a former NFL running back, spent 19 years in Green Bay's scouting department. He will be a vice president in Cleveland's personnel department.
 
     - The New York Giants have seemingly wrapped up their first round of interviews for a new coach. The Giants talked to former Denver Broncos running backs coach Eric Studesville today. The 50-year-old has 21 years of NFL coaching experience, including three seasons with the Giants (2001-03) as a running backs coach.
 
     - The Los Angeles Chargers have signed kicker Roberto Aguayo to a reserve/future contract. Aguayo was a second-round pick in 2016 by Tampa Bay. But he missed nine of his 31 field goal attempts as a rookie, and was waived by Tampa Bay last August. The Chargers finished last in the NFL in field goal percentage.
 
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     UNDATED (AP) - Alabama junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley is entering the NFL draft. Ridley announced his decision in a Twitter post Wednesday, two days after the Crimson Tide won the second national championship of his three-year career. Ridley's 7-yard touchdown catch with 3:49 left tied the title game against Georgia and Alabama won 26-23 in overtime.
 
     Widely projected as a first-round pick, Ridley easily led the Tide in receiving. He had 63 catches for 967 yards while no other wide receiver caught more than 14 balls. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is second in school history with 220 career catches and third with 2,749 yards. He tied Dennis Homan for second in career touchdown catches with 18.
 
     Others announcing decisions on entering the draft:
 
     - Clemson receiver Deon Cain is joining the growing list of Tigers' underclassmen declaring for the NFL draft. Cain is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior from Tampa, Florida. He was Clemson's second leading receiver with 58 catches for 734 yards and six touchdowns. He joins receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, safety Van Smith and offensive lineman Taylor Hearn as Tigers giving up their remaining eligibility to turn pro.
 
     - Stanford cornerback Quenton Meeks says he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Meeks was a second-team All-Pac-12 pick this season when he had 65 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups. He is the third prominent defensive player for Stanford to leave early for the NFL, following safety Justin Reid and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. Tight end Dalton Schultz has also declared for the draft.
 

 

   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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