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Yankees SS Jeter cleared for baseball activity

Yankees SS Jeter cleared for baseball activity

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he's been cleared to start baseball activity in his recovery from a broken left ankle.

The 38-year-old team captain reiterated Wednesday that he is on track to be in New York's starting lineup for the opener on April 1.

Jeter won't take the field for workouts until later this month. The 13-time All-Star said that is his normal pre-spring training routine.

``I've got the OK to start,'' Jeter said before a launch party for his Turn 2 Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic. ``But I don't start until next week or the week after, anyway. In terms of baseball activity, I'm right where I need to be.''

Jeter broke his ankle lunging for a grounder in Game 1 of the AL championship series against Detroit on Oct. 13. He had surgery a week later and the Yankees said recovery time would be four to five months.

``Great ... the leg is good,'' Jeter said.

Jeter had a resurgent season in 2012, leading the American League with 216 hits and batted .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs. He first injured his ankle in mid-September and then fouled balls off his foot several times after that.

The aging Yankees won the AL East last season and defeated Baltimore in the division series, then were swept by Detroit in the AL championship series.

``Too old or experienced?'' Jeter said. ``I'm pretty sure we'll be competitive, and be right where we need to be.''

Jeter's foundation has given out more than $17 million in grants since 1996 to organizations that help steer young people away from alcohol and drugs.

NOTES: Among those attending the event were Tampa Bay Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer, who is returning this year for 65th professional season. ``As ready as I can get,'' Zimmer said with a smile about the upcoming season. ... Tino Martinez, hired during the offseason as the Miami Marlins' hitting coach, is looking forward to working the team's young hitters. ``I thought for me, a first-year coach, it was a great situation to come in to, to work young players,'' Martinez said. The former Yankees star, who also considered a coaching position with Boston during the offseason, said managing is something he may consider in the future.

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Celtics' Al Horford reportedly will decline option, become unrestricted free agent

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Celtics' Al Horford reportedly will decline option, become unrestricted free agent

Boston big man Al Horford is reportedly not picking up his $30.1 million option with the Celtics for the 2019-20 season, qualifying him as an unrestricted free agent according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Horford is reportedly interested in working out a long-term deal with the Celtics with negotiations beginning after the start of free agency June 30.

The five-time All-Star could help free up some of the Celtics' cap space with a deal under his $30.1 million option.

Horford joined the Celtics in the 2016 offseason, leaving the Atlanta Hawks. At the time, the Wizards had been a contender to sign him before he ultimately chose Boston. 

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Eagles will open just one training camp practice to fans, and charge them

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Eagles will open just one training camp practice to fans, and charge them

Following a growing trend, the Philadelphia Eagles cut fan access at training camp way back. Way, way back actually. 

The Eagles will open just one training camp practice to the public, and what's more, the team will charge fans to watch. To watch the Eagles lone public training camp session will cost $10, but it's important to note that the proceeds will go the Eagles Autism Challenge, per an ESPN report.

Raising money for charity is admirable. That's not a debate. 

Still, Philadelphia might be on the forefront of an NFL wide trend that significantly limits fan access to teams during training camp. Last year, the Eagles held two open practices at Lincoln Financial Field that fans could attend. This year, it's just one, and by putting it at their home stadium changes the atmosphere too. For some fans, it might be great to get to see the stadium without paying game day prices, but for others, the up-close access of training camp will be greatly missed. 

The Redskins were widely mocked nearly 20 years ago when they moved training camp sessions to their practice facility in Ashburn and charged to watch the practices. The outcry was deserved, not to mention that by charging to watch practice allowed other team's scouts to attend. The NFL changed a rule in 2017 that opposing scouts are not allowed to watch a team's practice regardless of cost. 

Other teams around the league are slowly pulling away from the traditional training camp experience of going away for a few weeks of practice. In the NFC East, the Eagles and Giants hold their camps at their facilities while the Redskins and Cowboys travel. Dallas does their training camp in Oxnard, California, while the 'Skins go to Richmond. 

Washington's deal with the city of Richmond expires after training camp in 2020. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Redskins training camp practices after that, especially as the team wants a new stadium. Any new stadium would probably include facilities to hold training camp practices, similar to the Giants in New Jersey. Additionally, the promise of training camp practices could be part of the negotiations for a new stadium. 

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