Reuters Sports News Summary

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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

LeBron blasts MLB over Astros cheating scandal

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James on Tuesday expressed his outrage over the Astros 2017 sign-stealing scandal, which has rocked the sport and led to calls for Houston's World Series title from that season to be vacated. Major League Baseball last month said that during the 2017 season the Astros used a monitor near their dugout with a feed from the center field camera to decode their opponent's signals.

NFL notebook: Saints' Brees to return in 2020

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be back in 2020. Brees, 41, announced Tuesday he is set to return and make "another run" with the Saints. Brees, however, is an unrestricted free agent and not under contract for the upcoming season. But he said in January that he was down to two options: retiring or playing another season in New Orleans.

Trump issues pardon of former owner of San Francisco 49ers

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a pardon for Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team, a White House spokesman told reporters on Tuesday. DeBartolo Jr. pleaded guilty in 1998 to a felony charge of failing to report that Louisiana's former governor, Edwin Edwards, had extorted $400,000 from him to win a license for his riverboat casino, the San Francisco Chronicle reported at the time.

Olympics: With handclaps, help from Backstreet Boys, Tokyo mascots jet off to Europe

Toyko's 2020 Olympic Games mascots headed out from the capital's Haneda airport on Wednesday for a promotional tour of Europe, bemusing travelers with a ceremony featuring a clapping routine and a video message from veteran pop act the Backstreet Boys. Known as Miraitowa and Someity, the pair will touch down in six European cities on their 'Make the Beat' tour, named after the handclap routine they performed in Haneda's departure lounge alongside Japanese Olympic volleyball star Megumi Kurihara.

Report: Beilein out as Cavs head coach

John Beilein is out as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers after little more than half a season in the position, ESPN reported Tuesday night. The two sides reportedly had been discussing plans to mutually part ways this week, with The Athletic reporting that Beilein met with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Monday to discuss possible resolutions. ESPN and the Cleveland Plain Dealer added that the sides were working out a financial settlement.

Angry Astros ticket holder sues team after sign stealing scandal

A disgruntled season ticket holder has sued the Houston Astros over the team's pitch sign stealing scandal, alleging that the team knowingly fielded a "deficient product" and subsequently overcharged for tickets. Adam Wallach, a resident of Humble, Texas, is the only plaintiff listed in a lawsuit seeking class action status. It seeks to recover damages from "inappropriate increases" in season ticket prices from 2017 through 2020.

Newman 'awake and speaking' after horrific Daytona 500 wreck

Driver Ryan Newman is awake and able to speak after a horrifying last-lap crash at Monday's Daytona 500 resulted in him being rushed to a nearby hospital in serious condition, his racing team said on Tuesday. "Ryan Newman remains under the care of doctors at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida," Roush Fenway Racing said in a statement on social media. "He is awake and speaking with family and doctors."

Ice hockey: Top women players bring fight against inequality to Japan

Top women ice hockey players are headed to Japan for a three-game series with the national team to highlight their fight against inequality, the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) announced on Tuesday. The PWHPA, whose mission is to promote and advance a single women's professional league with fair wages, said the games will be played on March 4th, 5th and 7th at Tokyo's Shin-Yokohama Skate Center.

Manfred apologizes for 'piece of metal' comment

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred apologized Tuesday for his comments in which he referenced the World Series trophy as a "piece of metal." Manfred made the comment about the trophy -- officially called the Commissioner's Trophy -- during an interview with ESPN on Sunday, and he indicated Tuesday that his comment was "disrespectful."

NHL roundup: Crosby’s four points lead Pens into first

Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists, and Bryan Rust added a goal and two assists Tuesday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Pittsburgh won its NHL-best 22nd home game and moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division, overtaking an idle Washington Capitals team that had led the division since Oct. 19.