Thursday's sports stories

Kendall Baker
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 13, 2022 - Sports

Why Orioles' Camden Yards may see fewer home runs this year

The Orioles are altering Camden Yards' playing dimensions ahead of the 2022 season in an effort to reduce the park's propensity for home runs.

Details: The left field wall will be pushed back "as much as 30 feet" and raised approximately five feet, per the team. Last year's dimensions were 333 feet to left and 364 to left-center. The fence was seven feet high.

Jan 13, 2022 - Sports

Judge clears path for potential Denver Broncos sale

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A judge's ruling has removed a major roadblock to the sale of the Denver Broncos, which now appears imminent.

Driving the news: In 1984, Pat Bowlen bought the Broncos from Edgar Kaiser Jr., who secured a right of first refusal on a potential future sale. On Tuesday, a Denver judge ruled that agreement was no longer valid.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 13, 2022 - Sports

Poll: Patrick Mahomes is most liked NFL skill position player

Patrick Mahomes. Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Patrick Mahomes is the most-liked skill position player in the NFL, per Morning Consult's annual survey of U.S. adults.

By the numbers: Mahomes scored a net favorability rating of 34, which was calculated by taking the 41% of respondents with a favorable opinion of him and subtracting the 7% with an unfavorable opinion.

Jan 13, 2022 - Sports

World's oldest soccer goalscorer signs another contract

Kazuyoshi Miura during a 2020 match with Yokohama FC. Photo: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Kazuyoshi Miura, a Japanese striker known as "King Kazu," has signed with the Suzuka Point Getters of the fourth-tier Japan Football League.

Why it matters: He turns 55 next month!

DOJ charges man for allegedly distributing performance-enhancing drugs to Olympians

Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Justice has charged a Texas man with distributing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first criminal charge brought under an anti-doping law that went into effect last December, according to the DOJ.

CAA Icon: Nashville would back women's pro team

Maura Losch/Axios

There is support for Nashville to recruit a professional women's soccer or basketball team at a community and corporate level according to a new consultant's report released Wednesday.

Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

Yankees name Rachel Balkovec as 1st woman to manage minor league team

Hitting coach Rachel Balkovec looks on during the Florida Complex League (FCL) game between the FCL New York Yankees and FCL Detroit Tigers on July 9, 2021 at the Tigers Minor League Complex in Lakeland, FL. Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rachel Balkovec will become the first woman to lead a minor league baseball team after the New York Yankees this week named her manager of the Tampa Tarpons.

Driving the news: Balkovec, 34, will manage the Tarpons, the low Class A affiliate of the Yankees, for the 2022 season, which begins in April.

Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

The story of trans Penn swimmer Lia Thomas

Penn's Lia Thomas during a meet with Yale and Dartmouth on Saturday. Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Lia Thomas, a 22-year-old transgender woman who swims for the University of Pennsylvania, is dominating in the pool this season.

Why it matters: Thomas' record-breaking campaign comes amid a debate over transgender inclusion in sport — one that has become increasingly politicized as anti-trans legislation sweeps across the U.S.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

LeBron James: The ageless wonder

Data: Basketball Reference; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

After two decades of non-stop media attention, you'd be forgiven for developing LeBron James fatigue and taking "The King" for granted. But I'm begging you: Please don't.

By the numbers: Currently in his 19th NBA season, James is putting up almost identical numbers at age 37 as he was at age 27. It's utterly insane.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

Georgia fans buying championship apparel at record pace

Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Georgia fans are buying championship gear at a historic rate. 41 years of waiting will do that to you.

Driving the news: Fanatics says it sold more Georgia championship merchandise in the first 24 hours after the Bulldogs' victory than the previous best-selling school (2021 Alabama) sold in the first 30 days.

How to fake it: Bears coaching choices

Jim Harbaugh scrambles during a game in 1990. Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

According to some NFL insiders, the Bears are a top destination for head coach candidates this offseason even though the big-market team hasn't won a playoff game in over a decade.

Quick take: Here's a cheat sheet of a few coaches on the Bears' radar. Use it to make you look smarter on your next Zoom happy hour.

Updated Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

Djokovic admits travel papers "mistake" as Australia visa decision looms

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open at the Melbourne Park tennis centre in Melbourne on Jan. 12. Photo: William West/AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic apologized Wednesday for not isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 and blamed his agent for an "administrative mistake" when making an incorrect declaration in his Australian travel document.

Why it matters: Australia's immigration minister is still considering whether to revoke the men's tennis world No. 1's visa and deport him, despite Djokovic winning his legal case to stay in the country and defend his Australian Open title at the tournament, which begins Monday.