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AP Top Sports News at 4:51 a.m. EST

MLB to push forward with process for rule changes
PHOENIX (AP) -- Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract....

Lakers shake-up: Magic is in charge after GM Kupchak fired
With the Los Angeles Lakers mired in the worst years in franchise history, owner Jeanie Buss has turned to Magic Johnson to lead them back to championship contention....

Lakers trading Lou Williams to Houston for Corey Brewer
The Los Angeles Lakers have swung their first deal of the Magic Johnson Era, agreeing to send Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer and a future draft pick....

NHL teams expected to pick up trading pace over next week
DETROIT (AP) -- Brendan Smith was planning to spend his bye week in Florida, trying to relax. It might be tough for him to truly get away....

Lean on me: International NBA players supporting each other
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Boris Diaw arrived at his favorite Salt Lake City coffeehouse expecting to meet fellow Frenchman Rudy Gobert, and just smirked when told Gobert was running late....

Super subs are now key players on pitching-dominated rosters
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Jace Peterson starts out the day shagging fly balls in the outfield. Then, he changes gloves and heads to the infield to take some grounders....

Play vs. Rest: For many NBA teams, it's still a real battle
MIAMI (AP) -- There are 27 games remaining on Cleveland's regular-season schedule, and perhaps only one person over that stretch will be able to stop LeBron James....

Identifying the best in golf not as easy as 10 years ago
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- Imagine the best players in golf competing at the absolute top of their games....

Expect more gung-ho attacking in Man City-Monaco Part II
MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Pep Guardiola and Leonardo Jardim were up and down from their seats in the dugout, trying to get messages to their players but ultimately powerless to exert any control in a chaotic game that was unfolding before them....

Johnson's 8th title could stake him as NASCAR's greatest
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Jimmie Johnson might have had an easier time had his 6-year-old daughter asked for help with a school art project. Genevieve Johnson instead left dad briefly bewildered with a messier question:...

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