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The Boston Red Sox are “showing active interest” in Toronto Blue Jays closer Ken Giles, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network.

Sources: #RedSox showing active interest in #Padres closer Kirby Yates and #BlueJays closer Ken Giles. @MLB @MLBNetwork

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 22, 2019

Giles, 29, has posted a 1.64 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 57 strikeouts and 14 saves in 33 innings of work for the Blue Jays this season.

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Follow Brandy Halladay’s lead and power through the tears, the grief and all those conflicting emotions to celebrate the joy, the impact and all that Harry Leroy Halladay III left behind.

He’s in the Hall of Fame now, a posthumous induction for the man known as Roy and more frequently called Doc, his on-field accomplishments immortalized on a plaque that fittingly begins its description of him with the words “top-of-the-rotation workhorse.”

That he wasn’t at the Clark Sports Center’s rolling grounds Sunday, under a searing sun burning through partly cloudy skies, hurts. That won’t ever go away. Listening to fellow class of 2019 members Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Lee Smith, Harold Baines and Mike Mussina recount memories from their days on the field only reinforced his absence.

“This,” Brandy said poignantly early on, “is not my speech to give.”

Still, neither baseball nor life stops moving, and as she walked up to the dais to speak on her late husband’s behalf, wiping the emotion from her eyes, the 53 previous inductees on stage behind her stood and applauded, as if picking her up and willing her forward.

“I was not as prepared as I thought I would be. That caught me off guard,” she conceded afterwards. “I don’t mind speaking in public. Emotion in public is difficult. When something hits you and you get that little wobble, it’s hard to let go. Knowing I had friends behind me, some new friends, some old friends, they made it so much easier for me. … I worried I would be out of place. They made sure I was welcomed and supported.”

Over the course of a seven-minute speech, she showed the type of poise that was a Halladay staple on the mound. She shared her family’s gratitude for all the love they’ve received, praised the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies for working as one to celebrate a pitcher iconic for both franchises and even revealed some of the humanity beneath the armour.

“I think that Roy would want people to know that people aren’t perfect,” she told a crowd estimated at 55,000. “We are all imperfect and flawed in one way or another. We all struggle but with hard work, humility and dedication, imperfect people can still have perfect moments. Roy was blessed in his life and in his career to have some perfect moments, but I believe they were only possible because of the man he strived to be, the teammate that he was and the people he was so blessed to be on the field with.”

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Certainly, Halladay’s journey from first-rounder made good to A-ball rebuild project to dominant pitcher of his era qualifies on that front, but 20 months after his personal aircraft crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey, Fla., killing him at age 40, questions linger.

Asked what message she meant to convey with her comment during a post-induction discussion with media afterwards, she said she wanted to make a point that Halladay was “a very normal person with a very exceptionally amazing job.”

“These men who are up here doing these outstanding things, they’re still real people, they still have feelings, they still have families, they still struggle,” she continued.

“So many of the guys I’ve known in my life through baseball, they work so hard to hide that. I know Roy did, and Roy struggled, a lot. Sometimes it’s hard to present the image that you know everybody wants to see. It’s also hard to be judged by the image people expect of you. It’s a perception and an idea and I think it’s important that we don’t sensationalize or idealize what a baseball player is, but really look at the man and the human that’s doing such an amazing thing.

“That’s all I meant to say there, real people doing really great things.”

Without a doubt that suits Halladay, and as much as Sunday was bittersweet, it was also a reminder of how much of him still remains to fete.

Brandy spent months thinking about what she wanted to say, ideas coming to her while in the shower or in the car. Translating that message into specific words was a challenge, especially when her goal was in trying to say things that Halladay might have wanted to say if he had the chance.

“He was a very private person, often quiet and introverted, but he was also very generous and caring,” she said. “He was a great coach, a nervous husband and father, only because he so desperately wanted to be as great and successful at home as he was in baseball.”

Their two sons, Braden and Ryan, sat in the front row as their mom spoke, and Braden later joined Brandy for the post-induction media session. Their time in Cooperstown offered him a window into his father he hadn’t previously known, saying “most of the stuff I saw was more his personality, just him being stupid.”

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Braden, a pitcher bound for Penn State after being symbolically selected in the 32nd round of the draft by the Blue Jays last month, relished picking the brains of the Hall of Famers he met.

He called that an “absolutely surreal experience” that his dad would have enjoyed, too.

Braden also heard stories about his father’s early mornings and drive to improve.

“…It’s a different side I get to see. I got a lot of stories about work ethic and things like that,” he said.

As for Brandy, Braden said he wasn’t worried about her as she delivered the speech, even when the first emotional tugs moistened her eyes, set off by a tribute video featuring Chris Carpenter.

“My mom, she’s a rock, she gets through everything,” said Braden, “so I didn’t have to even think twice if she’d be nervous or anything like that.”

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She was far from that, instead striking the right balance between the celebratory tone typical of induction speeches and sombreness.

Her speech was engaging, happy, sad, revelatory and strong, even on the touchy subject of the family’s decision to have no logo on the hat on Halladay’s plaque.

“Both teams quickly reached out to us, telling us how proud they were of that decision, validating the choice we knew in our hearts was right, was in fact, the correct one,” she said.

“We know without a doubt had Roy been here with us today, this is the decision he would have made, and more than anything would want both organizations to know that they hold a huge place in our hearts and always will.”

The same holds true for fans of Halladay, who first belonged to the Blue Jays, then belonged to the Phillies and now with his place in the Hall, belongs to all of baseball. Courageously, Brandy reminded everyone of that, of the mortality of the immortal, and of how greatness should be celebrated, even amid sorrow.

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WINNIPEG — Defenceman Neal Pionk has signed a two-year, $6-million contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets announced the signing of the restricted free agent on Sunday. The deal carries an average annual value of $3 million.

Winnipeg acquired Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 draft for defenceman Jacob Trouba on June 17.

He will be counted on to fill a void for the Jets after trading Trouba and losing defenceman Tyler Myers in free agency.

Pionk, six-foot-190 pounds, went undrafted and was signed as a free agent by the Rangers in May 2017 after two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

The 23-year-old from Omaha, Neb., split the 2017-18 season between the Rangers and the American Hockey League before joining New York full time last season.

He produced six goals and 26 points in 73 games in 2018-19.

Winnipeg used the 20th pick from the trade to select Finnish blue-liner Ville Heinola.

The Jets still need to get new contracts done for star wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.

The Rangers signed Trouba for seven years and $56 million, with an $8 million salary-cap hit for the upcoming season.

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EDMONTON — Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes have captured FIVB World Tour gold on home soil for the first time, adding to an already successful month of competition.

Humana-Paredes and Pavan defeated the American team of Betsi Flint and Emily Day, 21-11, 21-16 in the final of the Edmonton Open on Sunday.

Pavan, from Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto’s Humana-Paredes, also won the beach volleyball world championship in Germany earlier in July to claim Canada’s first world title and clinch a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Prior to the women’s final, the Canadian duo of Grant O’Gorman and Ben Saxton fell against Switzerland’s Nico Beeler and Marco Krattiger in the men’s championship.

The Swiss pairing took the match in three sets: 21-15, 23-25, 15-8.

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — The chants began even before baseball’s greatest closer stood to make his speech.

"Mariano! Mariano! Mariano!"

The former New York Yankees reliever paused and smiled.

"I don’t understand why I have to always be the last," Mariano Rivera joked at his Hall of Fame induction Sunday. "I guess being the last one is special."

Rivera and fellow closer Lee Smith, starters Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay, and designated hitters Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines were feted on a sun-splashed day in Cooperstown. Taking the podium last as he had predicted, Rivera delivered a speech that included a brief thank you to his native Panama and the fans there.

"You’re special for me," said Rivera, who spoke from notes although he had his speech ready if needed. "Thank you for your help. Latin American fans, thank you. Thank you for loving me. I’m so humbled and blessed to receive this incredible honour. God bless you all."

The career saves leader with 652, Rivera was the first unanimous Hall of Fame pick by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He pitched 19 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Yankees, and retired with 952 games finished — also a record.

A 13-time All-Star, Rivera helped the Yankees win five World Series titles and seven American League pennants. He led the AL in saves three times and finished with 40 or more saves nine times, a record he shares with Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman.

Halladay’s widow, Brandy, fought back tears as she spoke. Halladay was 40 when he was killed in a plane crash in November 2017.

"I knew I was going to cry at some point. It’s overwhelming the amount of people here today," she said. "I’m so grateful you’re here. I can’t tell you how many hugs I’ve gotten. They have extended so much love and friendship. I’m so grateful.

"The thank yous should and could go on for days. There are not enough words to thank you. I say it a lot, but it takes a village."

Smiling from beginning to end, Smith congratulated his new classmates before crediting his family and hometown of Castor, Louisiana, for much of his success.

"It’s been my family. They’re the main reason I’m standing here today," Smith said. "To my mom and dad — your support has meant everything to me."

Smith pitched 18 seasons for the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds and Expos and retired as MLB’s career saves leader with 478, a title he held for 13 seasons. That total ranks third all-time, as do his 802 games finished.

Martinez was a seven-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner for Seattle, where he spent his entire 18-year career. Martinez delivered the first part of his speech in Spanish before congratulating the other five inductees.

"I am honoured and humbled to be standing here," said Martinez, who was born in New York and grew up in Puerto Rico. "It is hard to believe that a dream that started when I was 10 years old (ended here). The first time I saw Roberto Clemente, all I wanted to do was play the game. What an honour to have my plaque in the Hall alongside his."

Martinez won two AL batting titles and led the league in on-base percentage three times. He was named the outstanding designated hitter five times, an award that now bears his name.

The soft-spoken Baines never displayed much emotion in his 22-year career, but his voice cracked throughout his speech.

"Somehow I acquired a reputation for not saying much. I’m not sure why," he deadpanned at the start. "From teachers to coaches who showed me kindness and discipline, I thank you all for what you’ve done for me. If I can leave you with one message, it’s to give back to your community. I stand here very humbled. It has taken time to sink in."

Mussina pitched for 18 major league seasons and spent his entire career in the high-scoring AL East with the Orioles and Yankees. A five-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, he posted a record of 270-153 and had 57 complete games in 536 starts. He was the first AL pitcher to win at least 10 games 17 times.

"I spent a lot of time reflecting on my time in baseball," said Mussina, the oldest first-time 20-game winner in MLB history when he reached the milestone at age 39 in 2008, his final season in the majors. "I was never fortunate to win a Cy Young Award or be a World Series champion, win 300 games or strike out 3,000 hitters. My opportunities for those achievements are in the past. Today, I get to become a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. This time I made it."

The late Frank Robinson and Willie McCovey were honoured with a moment of silence before Mussina was introduced. The two Hall of Famers died since last year’s induction ceremony.

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Centre Oskar Sundqvist and the St. Louis Blues avoided arbitration after the two sides agreed to a four-year, $11-million contract, the team announced Sunday.

The 25-year-old’s new deal carries an annual average value of $2.75 million.

The former third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins (81st overall in the 2012 NHL Draft) became a restricted free agent on July 1 and was slated to have an arbitration hearing on July 24. He signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Blues as an RFA last summer.

Sundqvist set career highs in goals (14), assists (17) and points (31) during the 2018-19 campaign and added nine points in 25 games as the Blues won their first Stanley Cup.

The native of Boden, Sweden has totalled 40 points in 144 career NHL games with the Penguins and Blues.

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GATINEAU, Que. — Montreal teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez won her first professional singles title on Sunday, beating fellow Canadian Carson Branstine 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the Gatineau National Bank Challenger.

It was the first time in the history of the $25,000 ITF tournament that two Canadian women were facing each other for the title.

The 16-year-old Fernandez rallied from a set down to beat the 18-year-old Branstine in just under two hours, becoming the second player to capture both the singles and doubles titles in Gatineau after Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., did it in 2016.

It was the second time Fernandez had faced Branstine in her career. Branstine won the last match, a Grade 2 junior tournament in Montreal in 2015.

Branstine experienced some difficulties on court and had to call for the trainer in the second set.

"It was a tough match today," Fernandez said. "I’ve known Carson for a long time and we are good friends. Of course I am happy with the win, but I am also very happy for Carson because she had a great week.

"I am satisfied with the way I played this week. You learn something from every match, no matter a win or a loss, and I feel like I am leaving Gatineau with more experience which will hopefully help me in the future."

In the men’s final, Jason Kubler of Australia won his first title of the year, beating Enzo Couacaud of France 6-4, 6-4.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have claimed Kostas Antetokounmpo off free-agency waivers according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Kostas Antetokounmpo — the younger brother of NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo — heads to the Lakers on a two-way deal. https://t.co/zpdgRZaedj

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 21, 2019

Kostas, the younger brother of NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will reportedly sign a two-way deal with Los Angeles.

The six-foot-10 forward was waived by the Dallas Mavericks on July 19 after playing only two games this past season, recording two points on two free throws, one rebound and two steals in 11 minutes of playing time. The 21-year-old played more of his time with the Texas Legends of the G League, averaging 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in 25.4 minutes per game.

According to Varlas Nikos of Eurohoops.net, the Raptors were planning on putting in a claim for the Greek native. Kostas was selected by the Mavericks with the very last pick (60th overall) of the 2018 NBA Draft.

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