Charge vs. Manziel dropped
A 2016 domestic assault charge against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel has been dismissed. The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday confirmed Manziel successfully completed requirements of a court agreement that included taking an anger management course and participating in the NFL’s substance-abuse program. The 24-year-old Manziel also had to stay away from former girlfriend Colleen Crowley, who accused him of hitting and threatening her during a January 2016 night out.
Buyers’ interest in Liberty
Multiple potential ownership groups are in discussions to purchase the WNBA’s Liberty from The Madison Square Garden Company, a source confirmed on Thursday. ESPN was first to report that “several” groups were in discussions with MSG. ESPN reported that the expectation is the team would remain in New York after the sale. It remains unclear where the Liberty would play their home games if the franchise was to stay in New York. The Liberty has played at MSG since 1997. James Dolan, MSG executive chairman and chief executive officer, announced about two weeks ago that he was selling the team. WNBA president Lisa Borders expects the Liberty to stay in New York. “We will have a team in New York. Mr. Dolan and MSG have been a terrific partner for 21 years,” Borders said. “We want the new owner, whoever she or he is, to have the latitude to make decisions for the team. We don’t want to tie their hands . . . The New York area is important to us. This is our headquarters.” — MIKE ROSE
Devils acquire defenseman
Even though the New Jersey Devils are off to a surprisingly strong start, they were on the lookout for an offensive-minded defenseman. They filled that need Thursday, acquiring Sami Vatanen from the Ducks in a trade that sent forwards Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi to Anaheim. Vatanen is coming off shoulder surgery, but the 26-year-old has shown the ability to score. But Vatanen has just a goal and three assists this season.
Jays’ TV analyst axed
Toronto Blue Jays television analyst Gregg Zaun has been fired from Sportsnet for “inappropriate behavior and comments” toward female employees. Rick Brace, president of Rogers Media, said in a statement that the company was terminating Zaun’s contract immediately. “After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately.” The 46-year-old Zaun was a catcher for 16 major-league seasons, including five years in Toronto from 2004-2008. He helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series in 1997.
Angels get more Ohtani $
The Angels acquired reliever Jim Johnson and the Atlanta Braves’ remaining $1.21 million in international bonus signing allocation for minor- league pitcher Justin Kelly, a deal that raises Los Angeles’ possible bonus offer to Shohei Ohtani to $1,315,000. The trade lifted the Angels to seventh behind Texas ($3,535,000), the Yankees ($3.5 million), Minnesota ($3.07 million), Pittsburgh ($2,266,750), Seattle ($1.557,500) and Miami ($1.49 million). — AP