Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Osaka suffers woeful Fed Cup return
Naomi Osaka's return to Japan's Fed Cup team after a year's absence turned sour on Friday as the world number 10 suffered a thrashing at the hands of Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo. The two-time Grand Slam champion was expected to give Japan a huge boost in their bid to overcome five-time champions Spain at the La Manga Club near Murcia, but lost 6-0 6-3.
Did cheating help Astros win World Series? Hinch says we may never know
Did cheating help the Houston Astros win the 2017 World Series? A.J. Hinch, who was fired as manager over the illegal sign-stealing operation used during his team's championship season, acknowledged it's a fair question, and said we may never know. "I hope over time it's proven that it wasn't (tainted)," Hinch, in his first public comments since being fired last month, said in a interview with MLB Network that will be aired in its entirety at 6 p.m. ET (2300 GMT) on Friday.
NTSB says Bryant helicopter engines showed no signs of catastrophic internal failure
The engines of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter that crashed into a steep hillside killing basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and 8 others near Calabasas, California on Jan. 26 showed no evidence of a "catastrophic internal failure," the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Friday. The NTSB investigative update said "viewable sections of the engines showed no evidence of an uncontained or catastrophic internal failure."
NBA roundup: Bucks, Giannis avenge earlier loss to 76ers
Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 36 points, 20 rebounds and six assists as the host Milwaukee Bucks avenged a Christmas Day loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with a 112-101 victory on Thursday. The reigning NBA MVP has recorded five consecutive games of at least 30 points, 16 rebounds and six assists for the Bucks, who improved to 17-2 since dropping a 121-109 decision to Philadelphia. It marked Antetokounmpo's first career game with at least 35 points and 20 rebounds.
Canadian Dunfee finds solace in race walking
Canadian Evan Dunfee grew up dreaming about competing in the Olympics but was not good at sports and looked unlikely to fulfill his ambition until a desire to prove schoolyard bullies wrong led him to race walking. Dunfee describes his younger self as the quintessential kid to pick on given his curly red hair, thick-rimmed glasses and lack of coordination, but he found solace in a sport that itself is often the butt of jokes.
Felix sets sights on fifth Olympics after year of change
With a possible fifth Olympics in her sights, Allyson Felix faces a year unlike any other - yet the goal in many ways is the same, especially as an athlete. In the roughly 15 months since giving birth, Felix carved out a new role on the track and off it, advocating for better benefits for working mothers and maintaining her competitive edge as she looks to add to her long list of accomplishments.
Bolt says no way speedy receiver Hill will make Olympic team
Usain Bolt has some advice for speedy Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill: Forget trying to make the U.S. team for the Tokyo Olympics. "No chance," the retired 100 and 200 metres world record holder told NBCSports.com when asked about Hill's stated quest.
Brazier eyes NFL future -- after Olympics
Not satisfied with being an 800m world champion, Donavan Brazier is looking at life beyond the track - perhaps even the NFL. In the short term, Brazier, who set an American record while grabbing the 800m gold at last year's world championships in Doha, has only one objective - to grab gold at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
Veteran Morales retires after 13 seasons
Kendrys Morales is retiring after 13 seasons, ESPN reported on Friday. Morales, originally from Cuba, batted .265 with 213 homers and 740 RBIs in 1,363 major league games.
Reports: Red Sox to name Roenicke next manager
The Boston Red Sox will promote bench coach Ron Roenicke to manager once MLB's investigation into allegations of sign stealing by the team is complete, according to reports Friday. Both USA Today and The Boston Globe reported the pending move, citing league sources.