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Past, present, and future: Can Jean Segura be the best M’s shortstop since A-Rod?

There are just certain positions that some teams struggle to fill. The Mariners’ struggles to find a competent starting catcher since the retirement of Dan Wilson has already been covered here. There have been countless stories written in past years about their difficulty in finding a good left fielder, particularly when the Mariners were experiencing their highest levels of success.

Dempsey plays first half of Sounders’ scrimmage loss

TUCSON, Ariz. — Sounders forward Clint Dempsey took another step towards being able to compete during the regular season, playing the entire first half of his team’s 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in a scrimmage in Tucson, Ariz. on Tuesday. Dempsey played just 30 minutes of his team’s pre-season opener on Saturday, so the additional 15 minutes was a positive step. Still, he was kept off the field in the second half as the Sounders continue to ease him slowly back into games.

Rangers bring Napoli back on one-year deal

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers and Mike Napoli agreed to terms on a one-year contract that brings the 35-year-old back for his third stint with the club. The deal is contingent on Napoli passing a physical. Napoli will be utilized as a first baseman and designated hitter for Texas. He was a member of the Rangers in 2011-12 — making his lone All-Star team in 2012 — and again for the latter part of the 2015 campaign.

Bruins fire coach Julien, name Cassidy interim

BOSTON — Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was fired Tuesday morning after 10 years on the job. Julien, 56, had been the NHL's longest-tenured coach and is the Bruins' all-time leader in coaching victories with 419. He guided the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011, the Bruins' first title in 39 years.

Storm add Swords in trade

SEATTLE — The Storm upgraded its front line with a three-team trade that brings in fifth-year veteran Carolyn Swords, a 6-foot-6 center who started the past two seasons with the New York Liberty.

Green tirade directed at Durant on purpose

OAKLAND — The verbal altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green on Saturday was nothing more than an attempt by Green to light a fire under his superstar teammate, league sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

Quinn’s ‘all in, all the time,’ and he’ll have Falcons ready

HOUSTON — The young coach was relentless. Dan Quinn called San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. so much he could recite the office number backward. When that didn't work, Quinn turned to his sister-in-law, who worked with Mora's wife. Rarely has an entry-level job been so coveted.

Falcons’ Ryan wins MVP

HOUSTON — Matt Ryan was named NFL Most Valuable Player during the league’s primetime awards show on the eve of Super Bowl LI on Saturday. Ryan is the first MVP in Atlanta Falcons history.

Tomlinson, Jerry Jones lead 2017 Hall of Fame class

HOUSTON — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and longtime Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley were selected to the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class on Saturday along with LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, Jason Taylor, Kurt Warner and Morten Andersen.

Brady to give Super Bowl MVP truck to White

HOUSTON — Two years ago, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gave the truck he received as Super Bowl XLIX Most Valuable Player to cornerback Malcolm Butler for his game-saving interception. This year, he has plans to do something similar.

MLB proposes to raise the strike zone

NEW YORK — Is this the year baseball raises the strike zone? Is it the year the sport finally does away with the practice of lobbing four balls toward home plate to issue an intentional walk? Major League Baseball has made formal proposals to the players’ union to usher in both of those changes, sources said.

Pierce gets one last moment in TD Garden

BOSTON — Paul Pierce had never gone scoreless in a game at TD Garden during his 18-year NBA career. And he wasn’t about to let that change during his final visit to Boston.

Seahawks unlikely to be penalized for not reporting Sherman’s injury

The Seahawks will apparently escape significant punishment — if they get anything — from the NFL for not revealing that cornerback Richard Sherman played the second half of the season with a knee injury, according to a report Sunday morning from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, which is owned by the league.

Magic to help Buss with evaluation of Lakers

LOS ANGELES — Magic Johnson will return to the Los Angeles Lakers as an adviser to co-owner and president Jeanie Buss as she evaluates the direction of the franchise, the team announced Tuesday morning.