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Royals ready for opening day, key vote next week to help fund downtown ballpark

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals owner John Sherman said jokingly that he doesn’t sleep very well under normal circumstances, so just imagine how his nights are going these days, with opening day on deck and a key vote for a downtown ballpark coming up next week.

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The Royals play AL Central rival Minnesota on Thursday in their opening three-game series. After an offseason spending spree resulted in a revamped starting rotation, rebuilt bullpen and revitalized lineup, expectations in Kansas City are the highest in years for a club that lost 106 games last season.

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“I’m trying not to play the expectation game,” Sherman said Wednesday before a public workout at Kauffman Stadium, the 51-year old building affectionately known as “the K” that the Royals want to replace with a downtown ballpark by 2028.

“We’ve done a lot to make this team better,” Sherman said. “I’m particularly encouraged by the mix of veterans in the clubhouse, the energy, setting an example for the younger guys. I would say my expectations are high. Time will tell.”

The biggest additions were starters Seth Lugo, who signed a $45 million, three-year deal, and Michael Wacha, who got a $32 million, two-year contract. They will fill out an rotation headlined by opening day starter Cole Ragans, who arrived last year in a trade with Texas, along with Brady Singer and Alec Marsh, who won the final job in spring training.

More money was spilled on the bullpen, where the Royals signed left-hander Will Smith — a three-time World Series champion — to a $5 million deal to close out games, and right-hander Chris Stratton to a $4 million deal to hold onto leads.

The biggest lineup addition is outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who signed a $13 million, two-year deal to provide some pop.

In all, just seven players are left on the 26-man roster from the club that struggled so mightily lsat season.

“That’s a pretty significant revamp,” Sherman said.

One of those seven back? Bobby Witt Jr., the Royals’ brilliant young shortstop, who committed to their future by signing an 11-year deal worth more than $288.7 million guaranteed to serve as their cornerstone going forward.

That deal also sent notice to weary Royals fans, many of whom will vote Tuesday, that they are serious about winning.

On the ballot in Jackson County, Missouri, is the renewal of a 3/8-cent sales tax that has been paying for the upkeep of Kauffman Stadium and neighboring Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs.

The Royals want to use their share of future money to help pay for a $2 billion ballpark and entertainment district in a section of Kansas City known as the Crossroads, just south of the T-Mobile Center and Power & Light District. The Chiefs plan to use their share to help with an $800 million renovation to Arrowhead Stadium after the 2026 World Cup is played there.

“What keeps me up at night? It’s really thinking about this decision, this process for our ownership group,” Sherman said. “This is the most important thing we’ll probably do while we are the stewards of this franchise.”

Neither the Royals nor the Chiefs have said what they would do should the ballot measure fail. But Sherman is doing his best to allay concerns among voters, which range from traffic to parking to what would happen to current Crossroads businesses. He spent last weekend knocking on doors, attending a church service and taking part in a neighborhood meeting in the 18th & Vine district, which is near the Crossroads and home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

“I’ve got my ear to the ground,” said Sherman, who joked that his wife went to a restaurant in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City recently and “she had four yeses, three nos and a couple of maybes” in her informal polling.

Royals manager Matt Quatraro made his opinion clear, wearing a shirt Wednesday that read “Vote Yes on 1.”

“When you travel around to different cities in the league, the downtown ballparks put a ton of energy into the city. The players enjoy it. The fans soak that kind of thing in,” Quatraro said. “And what a new ballpark could bring our team — the amenities, the facilities underneath are smaller. The operation is continuing to grow, and players need certain things that are hard to provide here. From a player-development standpoint, I think it would be a great thing for the team.”

In the meantime, Quatraro is much like Sherman in that his expectations are high for a better season in Kansas City.

“We came into last year with great expectations as well. We don’t come into any season thinking it’s not going to be good,” he said. “From a team concept, we expect these guys to go out and try to win every game.”

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.



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Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield’s missing daughter ‘at risk’ due to ‘previous threat of suicide,’ cops say

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The runaway daughter of Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield is believed to be “at risk” because of a “previous threat of suicide,” police have said. 16-year-old Mint Butterfield was reported missing earlier this week. The teen, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, reportedly fled their mother’s home in Bolinas, California.

Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield’s missing daughter, Mint Butterfield, ‘at risk’ due to ‘previous threat of suicide,’ cops say (Marin County Sheriff's Office)
Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield’s missing daughter, Mint Butterfield, ‘at risk’ due to ‘previous threat of suicide,’ cops say (Marin County Sheriff’s Office)

Flickr founder Caterina Fake, Mint’s mom, alerted authorities after finding a letter they had left behind. It is believed Mint could have been on her way to San Francisco’s very dangerous Tenderloin District neighbourhood.

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“At this time, we have no information to believe that Mint was taken against their will. The Sheriff’s Office is considering Mint a voluntary-missing juvenile, who is “At- Risk” due to a reported previous threat of suicide,” a statement by the Marin’s County Sheriff’s office read.

How did Mint Butterfield leave the area?

Mint fled the house with a suitcase “during the night or early morning,” according to authorities. “Fake and Mint also share a home in San Francisco, and it is believed, based on statements from Fake, that Mint may have left for the Tenderloin District of San Francisco,” the statement says.

The sheriff’s office also noted that Mint did not have access to a phone or any kind of vehicle, so it is unclear how they left the area. The San Francisco Standard reported that Mint has a history of substance abuse. They had been living with their mother before they went missing. Mint was enrolled at a private school in the Napa area.

Mint was known for having frequently visited the Tenderloin area. The area is notorious for open-air drug markets, homelessness, and violent crimes.

“Marin County Deputies entered Mint into the Missing and Unidentified Persons System (MUPS) and sent out All Points Bulletin flyers to surrounding law enforcement agencies with a description and photograph of Mint,” the sheriff’s office said.

It added, “In collaboration with San Francisco Police Department, detectives from both agencies have attempted to find Mint, but have been unable to locate them.”

Mint’s father, Stewart, co-founded Slack back in 2013. He left the company after it was acquired by Salesforce for $28 billion in 2021.

The sheriff’s office has urged people with information on the incident or Mint’s whereabouts to contact the Marin County Sheriff’s Office at (415) 479-2311 or email tips@marinsheriff.org.

Discussing suicides can be triggering for some. However, suicides are preventable. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).



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KKR vs PBKS, IPL 2024: Catch all the action in images

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Published on Apr 27, 2024 12:11 AM IST

  • PBKS defeated KKR by eight wickets in their IPL 2024 fixture, on Friday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

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Punjab Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets in their IPL 2024 fixture, at Eden Gardens.(PTI)
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Published on Apr 27, 2024 12:11 AM IST

Punjab Kings defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets in their IPL 2024 fixture, at Eden Gardens.(PTI)

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Chasing 262, PBKS reached 262/2 in 18.4 overs, courtesy of an unbeaten ton by Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow smacked an unbeaten knock of 108* runs off 48 balls and Shashank slammed 68* off 28 deliveries.(AP)
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Published on Apr 27, 2024 12:11 AM IST

Chasing 262, PBKS reached 262/2 in 18.4 overs, courtesy of an unbeaten ton by Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow smacked an unbeaten knock of 108* runs off 48 balls and Shashank slammed 68* off 28 deliveries.(AP)

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For KKR's bowling department, Sunil Narine took a wicket.(PTI)
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Published on Apr 27, 2024 12:11 AM IST

For KKR’s bowling department, Sunil Narine took a wicket.(PTI)

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Initially, Phil Salt (71) and Narine (71) took KKR to 261/6 in 20 overs.(KKR-X)
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Published on Apr 27, 2024 12:11 AM IST

Initially, Phil Salt (71) and Narine (71) took KKR to 261/6 in 20 overs.(KKR-X)

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For PBKS' bowling department, Arshdeep Singh took two wickets.(ANI)
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Published on Apr 27, 2024 12:11 AM IST

For PBKS’ bowling department, Arshdeep Singh took two wickets.(ANI)



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UWW threatens to suspend WFI and India’s wrestlers too

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Ten days after sports ministry told the Delhi High Court that it will neither recognise nor provide any support to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), United World Wrestling (UWW) has warned that government interference could lead to WFI being suspended again. This time, the suspension could extend to the wrestlers as well.

Nenad Lalovic during the ASOIF General Assembly earlier this month(Getty)
Nenad Lalovic during the ASOIF General Assembly earlier this month(Getty)

In a strongly-worded letter signed by UWW president Nenad Lalovic, wrestling’s global governing body has reiterated its determination to uphold WFI’s independence and autonomy.

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“We have been informed that the Wrestling Federation of India is once again threatened by your Ministry of Sports with the imposition of an ad hoc committee to oversee its affairs,” UWW wrote.

“In case any decision or order should be made against your federation, and a third party be designated to run the daily affairs of our sport in India in violation of the UWW Statutes, UWW would have no other option than to re-impose a temporary suspension of your federation until further notice, and which, this time, could maybe include your athletes.

This suspension would apply to the final Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament in May, and will certainly attract the attention of the IOC on this matter, who may also consider further action,” UWW noted.

On Wednesday, a day before UWW’s letter, WFI appointed the Athletes Commission in accordance with the world body’s demand. Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Narsingh Yadav was elected chairman of the commission.

Ban lifted in February

UWW had placed the WFI under provisional suspension in August 2023 after WFI’s continued delay in holding elections. The ban was lifted this February. A month later, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) reinstated WFI and dissolved the three-member ad hoc committee constituted to run the sport.

WFI, however, continues to remain under suspension since last December by the ministry. Earlier this month, the ministry told the Delhi High Court that it might review the suspension only after there is visible improvement in WFI’s governance.

The ministry, in the affidavit filed through standing counsel Anil Soni, added that it would treat any national championships or competitions organised by WFI as unsanctioned and unrecognised. The Sanjay Singh-led WFI has held national championships as well as selection trials for the Olympic qualifiers.

“It is further submitted that the Ministry is continuously monitoring the governance of the WFI and at present does not deem it appropriate at this stage to review its decision dated 24/12/2023. Any review will be undertaken only after marked and visible improvement its governance, demonstration of compliance of UWW’s order and IOA’s order dated 18.03.2024 and steps taken Expiry Date 15/03/2025 WFI with regard to its democratic functioning, adherence to the Government guidelines aiming towards good governance practices including grievance redressal mechanism and safety of wrestlers,” the ministry had told the court.

In an earlier hearing this month, the court had considered setting up an ad hoc committee for running WFI.

“UWW’s letter must be taken very seriously. WFI is an autonomous body and there is no need for ministry’s suspension or interference,” Sanjay Singh said.

“The fact that UWW’s ban may extend to the wrestlers is a first in our history. The government must allow us to function independently,” a senior WFI official said.

While WFI continues to grapple with the government, Indian wrestlers’ performance has been a major cause of concern. At the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Bishkek last week, Indian bagged quotas through Vinesh Phogat (50kg), Anshu Malik, (57kg) and Reetika (76kg), adding to Antim Panghal’s 53kg berth. The male wrestlers, both freestyle and Greco Roman, drew a blank.



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