Longtime Boston Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo died Thursday while covering spring training after collapsing on the sidewalk outside the Red Sox clubhouse in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 62.

The Globe said Cafardo appeared to have an embolism. The team's medical staff responded quickly but was unable to revive him.

"Nick was one of the best people to ever walk through our doors — generous with his time and insights, immensely knowledgeable, deeply devoted to the Globe," editor Brian McGrory said in the paper's obituary.

Cafardo joined the Globe in 1989 from The (Quincy) Patriot Ledger, where he had been on the baseball beat. He continued to cover the Red Sox before switching to the New England Patriots in time for the team's first NFL championship, in 2001.

He returned to baseball and has covered the Red Sox and the major leagues for the past 15 years.

The Globe said that Thursday was a day off for Cafardo, but "Cafardo's love of baseball and commitment to his craft compelled him to report to JetBlue Park."


Padres announce deal

The San Diego Padres announced their $300 million, 10-year free-agent deal with All-Star infielder Manny Machado, more than two days after the deal was agreed to. Machado will be introduced Friday at spring training in Peoria, Arizona.

• Relievers Tyler Clippard and Dan Jennings agreed to to a minor league contracts, Clippard with the Cleveland Indians and Jennings with the Los Angeles Angels.

• Former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has joined ESPN as an analyst on "Baseball Tonight."


McIlroy shoots a 63

Rory McIlroy flirted with a hole-in-one on the par-4, 305-yard first hole en route to an 8-under 63 and a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson after the first day of the Mexico Championship.

Beginning his second nine, McIlroy hit a 2-iron on No. 1 that landed on the front of the green and settled just 6 feet from the pin.

Tiger Woods shot a 71, Jordan Spieth a 75 and Phil Mickelson a 79. Spieth's regular caddie, Michael Greller, was not in attendance because of the death of his father. Spieth's father filled in.

• Woods committed to playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 7-10 at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando. He will skip next week's Honda Classic at PGA National.

• Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea led the LPGA Thailand by two shots after opening with a 9-under 63. Ji won the season-opening Tournament of Champions last month in Florida.


Diggins finishes 8th

Minnesotan and two-time Olympian Jessie Diggins skied to an eighth-place finish in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championship sprint in Seefeld, Austria. Diggins got boxed in and finished fourth in her semifinal heat on the 1.2K course. The world championships continue Saturday with the men's and women's skiathlon.


NFL: The New Orleans Saints released safety Kurt Coleman after one season. … The Chicago Bears released tight end Dion Sims, who played in just eight games in 2018.

MMA: UFC star Georges St-Pierre retired. The 37-year-old Canadian leaves with a record of 26-2 and a 13-fight winning streak.