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The highlights of Wednesday’s AP Sports report. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories planned, including games and events, is available in Coverage Plan on AP Newsroom, http://newsroom.ap.org/coverageplan . You can also find a link to Coverage Plan on the left navigation of the Newsroom home page, http://newsroom.ap.org

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All times EST

The supervisor is Rebecca Miller, followed by Ben Nuckols at 5 p.m. and Bob Lentz at 1 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635.

TOP STORIES

BBA—RED SOX-CORA OUT

BOSTON — The decision for the Red Sox to remove manager Alex Cora was an “easy one” after Cora came to the conclusion that he could not effectively lead the team after being identified as a ringleader in an illegal system of sign stealing when he was with the Houston Astros, CEO Sam Kennedy says. By Jimmy Golen. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BBO—SIGN STEALING SOLUTIONS

PHOENIX — If Major League Baseball really wants to stop its teams from electronically stealing signs, it might consider fighting technology with more technology. One model is the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference, which uses an earpiece for coaches and catchers to communicate. By David Brandt. SENT: 900 words, photos.

HKN—GOLDEN KNIGHTS-GALLANT FIRED

Gerard Gallant was abruptly fired by the Vegas Golden Knights less than two years after leading them to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season of existence and winning NHL coach of the year honors along the way. Peter DeBoer, fired last month by the San Jose Sharks, takes over immediately. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 720 words, photos. With Around the NHL and NHL—Coaches Tenure (both sent).

BKC—NBA PROSPECTS-INJURIES

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — When college stars like Cole Anthony are injured they are faced with the question of whether they should return or just sit out to protect their looming draft prospects. Most want to return to the basketball court, which has proven to be a good option — provided they’re healthy. The more prospects can showcase on how they handle game situations certainly helps in their NBA draft evaluations. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 950 words, photos. With separate on Zion Williams scheduled to debut for the Pelicans on Jan. 22 (sent).

OLY—TOKYO-ARMLESS ARCHER

TOKYO — Matt Stutzman has become famous and known as the “Armless Archer.” The American won a silver medal at the 2012 London Paralympics and will be among the favorites in archery this year in Tokyo. By Steve Wade. SENT: 700 words, photos.

COMMENTARY

FBN—TIM DAHLBERG-TAGLIABUE HOF

Paul Tagliabue’s selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is vindication for the business part of his 17 years of running the NFL. His legacy to some, though, will never go past his refusal to acknowledge the devastating role of concussions and brain injuries in the sport he once led. By Sports Columnist Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m. With FBN–Hall of Fame-Centennial Class (sent).

BBN—ON BASEBALL-METS-BELTRAN

NEW YORK — While the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox took decisive action in jettisoning their managers after Major League Baseball concluded they were involved in nefarious sign stealing, the New York Mets have stayed silent on Carlos Beltrán’s future. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m.

NOTABLE

FBN—CHIEFS-WISE INVESTMENTS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rarely do massive contracts in any sport truly pay off. The Kansas City Chiefs know that all too well. But the deals they gave Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu have them on the cusp of playing in the Super Bowl, making them wise investments indeed. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m. With Titans separate on Jurrell Casey (upcoming).

FBN–49ERS-BOSA’S IMPACT

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Rookie Nick Bosa has had a major impact transforming San Francisco’s defense and helping the 49ers make it to the NFC championship game. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 8 p.m. With Packers separate on Davante Adams (upcoming).

BKW—T25-SOUTH CAROLINA-UPCOMING PERILS

COLUMBIA, S.C. — No. 1 South Carolina is the latest team to ascend to No. 1 in women’s college basketball. But the Gamecocks are not a finished product and their upcoming schedule is challenging, so they’ve got work to do to stay on top. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos by 6 p.m.

HKN—PERSISTENT PENGUINS

PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby returned from a two-month layoff stressing the need to simply fit in on a Pittsburgh Penguins team that remolded itself during his absence. The captain’s brilliant return during a rout of Minnesota highlighted how far the Penguins have come … and hinted at how far they can go. By Will Graves. SENT: 900 words, photos.

OLY—ISRAEL-BASEBALL

TEL AVIV, Israel — Team Israel’s improbable run to the Tokyo Olympic Games is spurring hope that it will provide the overlooked sport of baseball in Israel its long-awaited boost. By Aron Heller. SENT: 950 words, photos.

___

Wednesday Time Schedule (EST)

NBA

Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Boston, 7 p.m.

San Antonio at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Indiana at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Toronto at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.

Washington at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Charlotte at Denver, 9 p.m.

Portland at Houston, 9:30 p.m.

Dallas at Sacramento, 10 p.m.

Orlando at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

NHL

Chicago at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Men

No. 2 Baylor vs. Iowa State, 8 p.m.

No. 4 Auburn at Alabama, 9 p.m.

No. 5 Butler vs. No. 18 Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m.

No. 9 Florida State vs. Virginia, 7 p.m.

No. 10 Kentucky at South Carolina, 6:30 p.m.

No. 16 Wichita State at Temple, 9 p.m.

No. 25 Creighton at Georgetown, 7 p.m.

Women

No. 2 Baylor at Kansas, 8 p.m.

No. 17 West Virginia vs. Oklahoma, 7 p.m.

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