Headlines from Around the World in Sports
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) watches from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Longoria agrees to deal adding $100 million
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria agreed to a new contract through 2022 that adds six guaranteed seasons and $100 million.
The agreement announced yesterday with the three-time All-Star incorporates the remainder of the 27-year-old’s existing contract, which called for him to earn $36.6 million over the next four seasons. The new deal includes a team option for 2023.
“We drafted Evan in 2006 with the belief that he and the organization would grow with each other and together accomplish great things,” Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. “That is why the Rays and Evan signed a long-term contract in 2008, and it is why we are extending our commitments. Evan has clearly become a cornerstone player and a fixture in our organization. We are proud of what we have accomplished these past seven years, and I expect the best is yet to come.”
Federal mediators to join NHL lockout talks
WASHINGTON – Federal mediators are entering the stalled NHL labor talks, which have led to the first 2½ months of the regular season being canceled.
George H. Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, said yesterday he had assigned three mediators to assist in negotiations to end the lockout. Cohen said the parties had agreed to use the assistance of the FMCS and that deputy director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, director of mediation services John Sweeney and Commissioner Guy Serota will join the talks.
Cohen has worked with the players’ associations for Major League Baseball, helping end the 1994-95 strike as an outside counsel, and the NBA. He was an adviser to the NHL players’ union before joining the FMCS three years ago.
Cohen mediated during the 2010 negotiations in Major League Soccer and 2011 talks in the NFL and NBA, along with this year’s dispute between the NFL and its on-field officials.
Hockey players and management have not negotiated since last Wednesday. The NHL has canceled more than 34 percent of its regular season, including all games through Dec. 14, the New Year’s Day outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star weekend scheduled for Jan. 26-27 at Columbus, Ohio.
NFL suspends Buccaneers CB Wright 4 games
TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay cornerback Eric Wright was suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Wright is the second Tampa Bay starter disciplined for using Adderall. Cornerback Aqib Talib was suspended Oct. 13 for four games and subsequently traded to the New England Patriots while serving the ban.
Wright signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Bucs as a free agent in March. He started the first 10 games of the season before sitting out Sunday’s loss to Atlanta because of an Achilles tendon injury.
The player issued a statement through his agent saying he took Adderall “at the end of July for health issues I was experiencing.”
Wright appealed the discipline, which was upheld by the NFL.
NFL won’t suspend Suh for low blow against Schaub
DETROIT – The NFL decided not to suspend Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for his actions against Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.
League spokesman Greg Aiello announced the decision yesterday on his Twitter account, adding the “incident’ will be reviewed for a potential fine.
Suh’s left cleat connected with Schaub’s groin area after he threw a pass in the first quarter of last Thursday’s game. The defensive tackle was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman and extended his left foot to hit Schaub below the belt.
Suh was suspended for two games a year ago after he was ejected for stomping on the right arm of Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during a game on Thanksgiving.
AP Source: Saints’ Bunkley won’t be suspended
METAIRIE, La. – A person familiar with the decision said the NFL will not be suspending Saints starting defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley for his kick to the back of offensive lineman Alex Boone’s helmet in the final minutes of San Francisco’s 31-21 victory over New Orleans on Sunday.
The person spoke to the Associated Press yesterday on condition of anonymity because the league has not announced any punishment yet and a fine is still possible later in the week.
The decision not to suspend Bunkley means he can play when the Saints visit Atlanta on Thursday night.
Bunkley was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected with 1:05 left for kicking Boone after the Saints had blocked a field goal.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said the play was “out of character” for Bunkley.
49ers WR Williams done for season with knee injury
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and return man Kyle Williams said he will miss the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his left knee sustained in Sunday’s win at New Orleans.
Williams posted on his Twitter account yesterday that he has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Surgery would be the likely next step.
Coach Jim Harbaugh provided no updates yesterday.
Williams and running back Kendall Hunter both were hurt on the same play during the second half of Sunday’s 31-21 win over the Saints.
Both were helped off the field and were soon after taken by cart to the locker room. They were injured on a running play in which Hunter carried the ball for a 2-yard gain late in the third quarter.
Dolphins DB Amaya accused of choking cab driver
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Dolphins reserve defensive back Jonathon Amaya allegedly choked a taxi driver and was charged with battery early yesterday.
According to a police report, Amaya offered the driver $100 to take him from Miami Beach to Weston. The driver told police Amaya became aggressive, so he turned around the car and asked him to get out. The driver said Amaya then leaned forward, wrapped his hands around the driver’s neck and starting choking him. Officers saw the taxi driving erratically and heard the driver scream “this man is trying to kill me.”
Police escorted Amaya out of the car and he was arrested. The driver wasn’t injured.
The arrest came hours after the Dolphins’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
“We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering information,” Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said.
Amaya, a third-year pro, plays mostly on special teams.
Jackets’ Smith plans to play in ACC title game
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech opened practice for the ACC championship game without leading rusher Orwin Smith.
Smith said he’s still expecting to play in Saturday night’s game against No. 13 Florida State.
Smith missed last week’s 42-10 loss to No. 3 Georgia with a sprained right ankle. His absence was felt, as the Yellow Jackets were held to a season-low in scoring.
The senior running back said yesterday he “definitely” plans to practice today.
Georgia Tech (6-6) is a two-touchdown underdog and will need its spread-option offense to be at full strength against Florida State’s tough defense.
In a matchup of strengths, Georgia Tech is No. 3 in the nation in rushing, and Florida State ranks fourth against the run.
Louisville center Dieng will miss 4-6 weeks
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville announced that junior center Gorgui Dieng is out four to six weeks with a broken left wrist.
Dieng will have a screw inserted into his scaphoid bone today at the Kleinert Kutz Hand Center. The 6-foot-11 junior broke his wrist on Friday against Missouri.
Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said in a statement yesterday that “with a little luck” Dieng will return for the start of Louisville’s Big East schedule in January.
With Dieng sidelined, 6-10 sophomore center Zach Price, 6-9 senior forward Stephan Van Treese and 6-8 freshman center Montrezl Harrell will try to fill the void.
“We will miss his defensive presence and passing ability, but it’s time for other guys to step up their performances,” Pitino said.
Dieng fell taking a charge during the Cardinals’ 84-61 victory in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas. He returned with his wrist taped and played 24 total minutes but missed Saturday’s loss to Duke in the championship.
Dieng is averaging 8.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for No. 5 Louisville (5-1). He set a single-season school record with 128 blocks as a sophomore to lead the Big East.