I think it’s been very well documented what they did this winter and how they’ve gotten better as an organization over the last two, three years,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said as pitchers and catchers prepared for Thursday’s first workout.,Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman did acknowledge it’s “hard to say” if the Dodgers would have pursued pitcher Trevor Bauer as aggressively in the free-agent market if the Padres hadn’t started the arms race with their acquisitions of Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove this winter, fortifying a roster led by third baseman Manny Machado and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (third and fourth, respectively in the 2020 National League MVP voting).,Let’s do everything we can to go out next year and do it again,” Friedman said during an appearance on SportsNet LA, summarizing the texts that were going around among members of the Dodgers’ front office in the afterglow of last year’s title.,But as much as the rising threat in San Diego, the challenge for the Dodgers in 2021 is providing validation for last year’s short-season title by winning another in a standard-length season.,“I have argued and would still argue that last year’s circumstances were more difficult than a regular potential grind that we’ve known in the past, all that we’ve ever known,” Roberts said.

Except there’s a good deal more to Maharaj’s story than his introduction to hockey and his long and compelling journey toward becoming the Ducks’ goaltending coach.,“You were reminded you were different in the schoolyard, on the subway, on the rink,” said Maharaj, in his fifth season as the Ducks’ goaltending coach after joining the organization in 2013-14 to tutor their minor-league goalies, after eight seasons with the New York Islanders.,The Ducks’ John Gibson, right, chats with team goalie coach Sudarshan Maharaj prior to the game against the Kings on March 10, 2019, at Honda Center in Anaheim.,Gibson emerged as the Ducks’ No. 1 goalie and Andersen was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs after the 2015-16 season.,Gibson on Monday became the fourth goalie in Ducks history to play his 300th game with the club, following J-S Giguere (447), Guy Hebert (441) and Jonas Hiller (326).

“This isn’t just a City of LA problem but a County of Los Angeles problem, so all those cities (in the county) will be part of policing and development.”,Despite No Olympics LA’s advocacy against the Olympic Games, Los Angeles is pressing on with its Summer Olympics plans, but not everyone is ready to welcome the event with open arms.,“At first I was super excited about the Olympics coming to Los Angeles, but sadly I just think that when either a summer or winter city hosts an Olympic Games there’s always a lot of controversy and nightmares that come with the games,” said Estrada.,If the 2028 Olympic Games goes over budget, Los Angeles and California taxpayers will pay for the cost overruns, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office Olympic Bid report by The California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor.,“I think it’s a bit unjust to spend billions of dollars to host an Olympic Games in Los Angeles and renovate stadiums and renovate public transportation, and build new venues and at the same time Los Angeles is struggling with funding schools, and being one of the most heavily populated cities with homelessness,” said Estrada.

Perry Minasian’s first winter as the Angels’ general manager netted at least seven new players who will, barring injury, be a part of the big league roster.,Among the position players, the Angels picked up Jose Iglesias to be their new everyday shortstop, Dexter Fowler to be their right fielder (at least until Jo Adell is ready) and Kurt Suzuki to be the backup catcher.,After Ohtani agreed to a two-year deal earlier this month, agent Nez Balelo said Ohtani has taken his offseason workouts to a higher level, in an effort to move past the struggles and injuries of the past two years.,The Angels tossed Adell in the deep end last year, and months later Manager Joe Maddon conceded that the 21-year-old probably wasn’t ready.,He’s had a winter to work on the things he did wrong last year, and now he’ll go into spring training with some experience and the challenge to prove that he is still the super prospect he was supposed to be.

By PAUL J. WEBER and JAKE BLEIBERG

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A sprawling blast of winter weather across the U.S. is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where an unusually snowy emergency Monday knocked out power for more than four million people, shut down grocery stores and air travel and closed schools ahead of frigid days still to come.,As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday, as frustration mounted and the state’s electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.,Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.,Temperatures nosedived into the single-digits as far south as San Antonio, and homes that had already been without electricity for hours had no certainty about when the lights and heat would come back on, as the state’s overwhelmed power grid began imposing blackouts that are typically only seen in 100-degree Fahrenheit (38-degree Celsius) summers.,State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas’ system beyond the limits. read more

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ROME — On the eve of what was supposed to finally be the much-delayed opening of Italy’s ski slopes, the government yanked permission because high circulation of a coronavirus variant.,PRAGUE — The Czech government has re-declared its state of emergency for next two weeks to be able to effectively tackle the coronavirus pandemic in one of the hardest hit European countries.,UNDATED -- Though many people with disabilities are more vulnerable to COVID-19, in some U.S. states they’re being left behind in the massive effort to get limited vaccines into the arms of those who need them most.,LONDON — The U.K. government said Sunday that it reached its goal of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to at least 15 million of the most vulnerable people in the country by mid-February, increasing pressure on ministers to clarify when they will ease a lockdown imposed in early January.,NEW YORK — Millions of New Yorkers with health conditions that leave them at high risk of illness from COVID-19 can theoretically sign up for appointments at state-run vaccination sites starting Sunday, but a lack of vaccine supply means many will be frustrated in thei read more

This week in 1886, the Hillsborough Gazette reported that J.M. Jones had a small tobacco shop at 28 S. High St. in Hillsboro, and advertised he had “the best two-for-a-nickel cigars in town.”,A new boot and shoe shop opened on High Street in Hillsboro in the Mattill building.,This week in 1965, the front page of the Press-Gazette showed two views of the new wing of Hillsboro High School, which would come to be known in later years as “the new building,” taken from the roof of the existing school.,The cake of the week at Pence’s Bakery at 132 S. High St. in Hillsboro was chocolate ripple, and for the second week of the new year, a jelly roll was just 29 cents.,For a limited time, Arby’s in Hillsboro encouraged customers to “break the hamburger habit” as they rang in the new year with half-price melts, cheddar or Swiss cheese, for only 99 cents.

While championship banners hang on the walls of East Catholic High School’s gymnasium, its basketball court has been quiet for months.,“I’m more grateful as a coach,” said Hand High School hockey coach Brian Gonsalves.,During this abbreviated season all participants, coaches, and officials will require a mask that must be worn at all times, including during active play.,The CIAC Board of Controls approved a plan for the winter sports season on Thursday.,Ellington High school coach Adam Zylberman said he’s encouraged by the news, after presuming the season would be canceled completely.

The UConn women’s basketball team is adding a player into the mix much earlier than expected.Class of 2021 recruit Saylor Poffenbarger, who signed with UConn in November, has finished high school and will be traveling to Storrs this weekend.,She will be able to practice and eligible to play in games with the No. 4 Huskies following a medical quarantine.The Frederick News-Post initially reported the news Friday morning before the school officially announced it later in the day.Storrs, CT - 2/3/20 - Saylor Poffenbarger, left, and Caroline Ducharme watch the UConn women fall to Oregon on Feb. 3, 2020 at Gampel Pavilion.,Poffenbarger, a guard in the Class of 2021, had already committed at the time of the game, while Ducharme, a guard/forward in the same class, announced in April that she will attend UConn.,But as the chances of playing her senior season at Middletown High became less likely, and the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility for all college athletes this year, Poffenbarger decided now was the time to start her next chapter.With several COVID-19 metrics at an all-time high locally, the Frederick County Public School system suspended winter sport practices earlier this month and has delayed implementing its hybrid learning model.Poffenbarger isn’t the only early enrollee on the women’s basketball scene this season.,’”The Huskies’ roster now includes seven freshmen and 12 players overall.Poffenbarger’s fellow 2021 signees Fudd and Caroline Ducharme will be finishing the school year at their respective high schools, they told The Courant, while Amari DeBerry has not shared her plans as of now.The Big East announced another game postponement Friday afternoon: UConn will not longer play Providence on Jan. 26, as the Friars have extended their pause in play due to additional COVID-19 related issues.