Around the Nation (June 19): Three primary new uniforms unveiled by Charlotte Hornets

Associated Press Published:

BASKETBALL

Hornets unveil three new uniforms

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Hornets have unveiled three new primary uniforms featuring white, purple and teal colors.

The uniforms bear a strong likeness in color scheme to the old Hornets regime but have been slightly updated.

The home white and away purple uniforms both read "Hornets" on the front, instead of "Charlotte" as in years past. The alternate teal uniform, which will be worn 16-20 times per season at both home and away games, has "Charlotte" on the front.

From 1988-2002, the team's primary uniforms all read "Charlotte."

Hornets senior vice president of marketing, entertainment and Interactive media Seth Bennett says, "In 1988, people needed to know who Charlotte was, but that's no longer the case."

The team did away with the popular teal pinstripes down the front of their home uniform.

BASEBALL

Tigers manager Ausmus misses mark with joke attempt about wife

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus apologized again Thursday, a day after he sarcastically told reporters that he beats his wife when his team isn't playing well.

Ausmus says he realized his words were insensitive and in poor taste as soon as they left his mouth.

The first-year manager was asked after Detroit's 2-1 loss to Kansas City on Wednesday how his mood is when he heads home from the ballpark these days. The Tigers have dropped 20 of 29.

Ausmus, clearly trying to joke, said: "I beat my wife."

About a minute later, without being prompted, Ausmus said: "I didn't want to make light of battered women. I didn't mean to make light of that, so I apologize for that if that offended anyone."

AUTO RACING

Keselowski looks to solve Sonoma

The list of unexpected winners of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 seems to grow with each passing year. Maybe that alone gives Brad Keselowski reason to feel optimistic about his chances in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

Keselowski, in his fifth season at Penske Racing, freely admits that "Sonoma's probably my weakest track on the circuit." But drivers such as Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr. also had experienced limited success on road courses before each won at the California track in recent seasons.

Keselowski has never finished higher than 10th in four starts at Sonoma, but considering how consistent his team has been through the first 15 races of this season, perhaps this could be a breakthrough year.

"I think we have an opportunity to go there and not only perform well, but hopefully win," Keselowski said in a phone interview last week. "That's what you hope for as a driver every week, but especially at a track that's one of your weakest. It would mean a lot to me to win there."

Keselowski, who has 11 career Cup victories and 40 top-5 finishes, seemed to be in position for another top-10 result at Sonoma last season, even leading the race for seven laps. But he was involved in an accident on a late restart and wound up 21st. Truex went on to capture his first victory on a road course.

It was all part of a disappointing 2013 for Keselowski, who finished 14th in the standings a year after winning the season championship.

This season, Keselowski has regained some of the form that he showed in 2012, with seven top 10s in 15 races. He's finished in the top three the last three weeks, coming in second to Jimmie Johnson at Dover on June 1 and to Dale Earnhardt Jr. on June 8 at Pocono, and was third at his hometown track of Michigan on Sunday.

Keselowski's race at Pocono could have easily resulted in his second victory of the season.

He led the race in the late stages but had debris on his grille, and his engine began to overheat. He tried to get behind Danica Patrick's car to remove the trash, hoping the air flow between the two cars would make it fly away, but the move backfired. Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed Keselowski, led the final five laps and took the checkered flag.

"It's never fun losing a race that you feel like you were supposed to win, but racing has a way of doing that to you," Keselowski said.

GOLF

Steele shoots 62 to take Travelers lead

CROMWELL, Conn. -- Brendan Steele shot an 8-under 62 on Thursday morning and it held up for a one-shot lead after the first round of the Travelers Championship.

The 31-year-old Californian started his round with an eagle, holing a 129-yard wedge shot in the rain. He went on to birdie six of the next 12 holes at TPC River Highlands, but closed the bogey-free round with five straight pars.

He finished two shots off the course record of 60 set by Patrick Cantlay in 2011 as an amateur.

Bud Cauley and Ryan Moore shot 63, and Chad Campbell, Joe Durant, Scott Langley, Eric Axley and Jeff Maggert followed at 64.

Steele is shooting for his third top-10 finish this season after failing to qualify for last week's U.S. Open.

FOOTBALL

Steelers LB Jones looking to up sack total in 2014

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones says the speed of the NFL game is slowing down for him as he nears his second season.

Jones managed just one sack during an uneven rookie season last fall. The former first-round draft pick understands that number needs to go up if Pittsburgh's defense is going to bounce back in 2013.

Jones says new Steelers assistant Joey Porter has been a big help during minicamp and organized team activities. Porter, who had 98 sacks during a 14-year career, joined Pittsburgh's staff in the offseason.

Jones believes Porter has helped him "clean up" his technique and learn how to work more effectively within Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense.

The Steelers wrapped up minicamp on Thursday. They report for training camp at Saint Vincent College on Friday, July 25.

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