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Off the Wire

by Bob Holt | May 4, 2021 at 2:08 a.m.

BASKETBALL

Nicki Collen hired at Baylor

Nicki Collen, coach of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream the last three seasons and a former University of Arkansas assistant coach, has been hired as Baylor's new coach, it was announced Monday. Collen replaces Kim Mulkey, who left Baylor to take the LSU job after leading the Lady Bears to three national championships and the last 11 regular-season Big 12 titles in 21 years on the job. Collen, 45, was an Arkansas assistant from 2011-14 when her husband, Tom Collen, was the head coach of the Razorbacks. She also was an assistant for her husband at Colorado State and Louisville. Nicki Collen was the 2018 WNBA Coach of the Year in her first season in Atlanta when she led the Dream to a 23-11 record. The Dream finished 8-28 and 7-15 in her final two seasons with the team.

Kentucky guard to enter draft

Kentucky guard Davion Mintz will enter the NBA Draft but has left open options for him to return to school. The 6-3 graduate transfer from Creighton is Kentucky's fifth player to enter the draft. Mintz can sign with a NCAA-certified agent but must decide on remaining in the draft or returning to school by July 7. Mintz said in a release that he and his family have done a lot of reflecting and personal evaluation the past two months. He believes it's in his best interest to submit his name "to test the waters and go through a proper evaluation period." Mintz averaged team highs of 11.5 points and 3.1 assists per game last season along with 3.2 rebounds and 56 three-pointers.

BASEBALL

May to have elbow surgery

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Dustin May will have Tommy John surgery next week, sidelining one of baseball's top young pitchers for the rest of the season. The 23-year-old May was put on the 10-day injured list Sunday, a day after he winced in pain on the mound and was forced to leave a start at Milwaukee. May threw just 27 pitches before leaving Saturday's 11-inning loss to Milwaukee. After his final pitch, May reacted with obvious discomfort, took a few steps and called for attention. May is 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 5 starts this season. He has a career mark of 6-5 with a 2.93 ERA in 31 appearances, including 19 starts, since making his debut in August 2019.

Alomar's resignation obtained

Baseball's Hall of Fame has accepted Roberto Alomar's resignation from the board of directors, chairman Jane Forbes Clark announced Monday. Alomar, who was elected to the board in 2019, submitted a letter of resignation on Saturday in the wake of an allegation of sexual misconduct. The Hall of Fame second baseman was fired last week as a consultant by Major League Baseball and placed on the league's ineligible list after an investigation into the allegation. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the firing Friday, saying in a statement that a baseball industry employee reported an incident earlier this year involving Alomar from 2014. Clark said after Manfred's announcement that Alomar's plaque would remain on display in the Hall because "his enshrinement reflects his eligibility and the perspective of the BBWAA voters at that time." Alomar was inducted in 2011.

White Sox CF out indefinitely

White Sox center fielder Luis Robert could miss the remainder of the season because of a torn right hip flexor, another major blow for a team eyeing a deep playoff run. General Manager Rick Hahn said tests Monday confirmed the injury. There will be more consultations with specialists in the next few days before they determine whether Robert needs surgery. Either way, Hahn said Robert won't resume baseball activities for three to four months. It's not clear if he will play again this year. "It hasn't been ruled out," Hahn said. "It just all depends on the healing time frame here. And unfortunately, none of us are smart enough to know exactly how his body will respond to whatever's next. We'll just have to wait and see."

Cubs activate Pederson

The Chicago Cubs activated Joc Pederson from the 10-day injured list on Monday, giving the slugger a chance to face his former team. Pederson was in the starting lineup for Chicago's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had been sidelined by left wrist tendinitis. Catcher Willson Contreras joined Pederson in the lineup for his first start since he left Friday night's 8-6 loss at Cincinnati with tightness in his right thigh. The 29-year-old Pederson was selected by Los Angeles in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft. He hit .230 with 130 homers and 303 RBI while spending his first seven seasons with the Dodgers, winning the World Series last year. Pederson became a free agent after last season and finalized a $7 million, one-year contract with Chicago in February. He hit just .137 with a homer and 4 RBI in his first 16 games with his new team.

FOOTBALL

Cowboys decline LB's option

The Dallas Cowboys declined the fifth-year option on linebacker Leighton Vander Esch's rookie contract Monday, setting up an interesting season at the position after the club used this year's first-round pick on a potential replacement. Vander Esch had a strong rookie season after the Cowboys drafted him 19th overall in 2018. But injuries limited him to 19 games the past two years, most notably the revelation that the former Boise State player has always had spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that makes neck injuries more risky. The 25-year-old was due to make $9.1 million in 2022. Vander Esch has a $2.1 million base salary in the fourth year of his $11.8 million rookie contract.

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