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Sandman a unanimous Hall pick…Braves keep Markakis…Serena falls…NFL ponders added replay review

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has become the first unanimous selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rivera set a major league record with 652 career saves while recording a 2.21 ERA during a 19-year career spent entirely with the Yankees. Joining Rivera among the Class of 2019 are Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez, while Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens failed to receive the required 75 percent of the vote.

ATLANTA (AP) — All-Star outfielder Nick Markakis has accepted a significant pay cut to remain with the Atlanta Braves, accepting a one-year, $6 million package with a club option for 2020. The 35-year-old Markakis made the 2018 All-Star game and earned both Gold Glove and Silver Slugger honors last season, hitting .297 with 14 homers and 93 RBIs while starting all 162 games in right field. He took a package with a $4 million salary this season and a $2 million buyout after receiving only minor interest on the open market.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Seventh seed Karolina Pliskova has ended Serena Williams’ latest quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam by downing the American in the Australian Open quarterfinals. Pliskova fought off four match points and won the last five games in a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 comeback against Williams. No. 4 Naomi Osaka earned the right to take on Pliskova by routing No. 6 Elina Svitolina, 6-4, 6-1.

NEW YORK (AP) — Two people with direct knowledge of the NFL’s plans tell The Associated Press that the league’s competition committee will consider expanding replay reviews to include certain penalties, including pass interference. Officiating once more became a hot topic when officials missed a pass interference call and helmet-to-helmet hit by the Rams near the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game, which was won by Los Angeles over New Orleans in overtime. Saints coach Sean Payton said NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating, Al Riveron, told him afterward that a flag should have been thrown.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls have finalized a trade that sends veteran forward Carmelo Anthony to the Windy City. The Bulls acquired the draft rights to Jon Diebler and cash considerations in exchange for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic. The Bulls have no plans to play Anthony and will look to either trade the 10-time All-Star before the Feb. 7 deadline or ultimately waive him and make him a free agent.

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