Headlines from around the world in sports
Harvin ruled out for NFC title game
RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin will miss tomorrow’s NFC championship game after he was not cleared by doctors following a concussion suffered in last week’s playoff game against New Orleans.
Seattle Coach Pete Carroll announced Harvin’s status after practice yesterday. Harvin did not participate all week and was not cleared through the league’s concussion protocol. Harvin’s loss subtracts a significant playmaker from Seattle’s offense heading into the game against San Francisco.
Harvin suffered the concussion late in the first half while jumping for a pass in the end zone and hitting his head on the turf as he was being hit by New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins. It was the second big hit Harvin absorbed in the game. He was belted by Rafael Bush on Seattle’s opening possession, a hit that drew a 15-yard penalty.
Scherzer, Tigers agree at $15,525,000
DETROIT – AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers for $15,525,000, setting himself up for an even bigger payday when he becomes eligible for free agency after the season.
Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts as the Tigers advanced to the AL Championship Series against Boston. He made $6,725,000 last year, and another stellar season could put him in position to gain a deal similar to those of teammate Justin Verlander ($180 million for seven years) and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez ($175 million for seven) or even the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw ($215 million for seven).
Detroit also reached one-year agreements with right-handers Rick Porcello and Al Alburquerque, and outfielders Andy Dirks and Austin Jackson. All had filed for arbitration.
Reynolds, Brewers agree to minor league deal
MILWAUKEE – Infielder Mark Reynolds agreed to a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Reynolds would get a $2 million salary if added to the 40-man major league roster, and he can terminate the agreement announced yesterday if he is not put on the big league roster by March 24.
Reynolds is a .233 hitter with 202 homers, 568 RBI, 459 walks and 1,276 strikeouts. He hit .220 last season with 21 homers and 67 RBI for Cleveland and the New York Yankees.
The 30-year-old Reynolds can play first or third base.
Ligety wins 1st World Cup super-combined
WENGEN, Switzerland – Ted Ligety owned Olympic and world championship gold medals in super-combined, but until yesterday he had never won the event on the World Cup circuit.
Then the American surpassed Alexis Pinturault of France, last year’s winner, in the decisive downhill run.
“It’s a nice little confidence boost and step in the right direction for getting ready for Sochi,” said Ligety, who perhaps became an Olympic gold medal favorite in two events, including his specialist giant slalom discipline.
Ligety overturned a 1.22-second deficit from the slalom to beat Pinturault by 0.22. Natko Zrncic-Dim of Croatia was third, trailing 1.08 behind Ligety’s combined time of 2 minutes, 44.74 seconds.
Bode Miller, the super-combined Olympic champion, was ninth after finishing seventh in a tricky slalom in the morning.
Frenzel wins fourth Nordic combined of season
SEEFELD, Austria – Eric Frenzel of Germany won a Nordic combined World Cup yesterday for his fourth victory of the season and 13th overall.
Frenzel was second after the ski jump and finished the 5-kilometer cross-country sprint in 12 minutes, 37.4 seconds.
Magnus Moan of Norway, who started the cross-country in 12th, was the fastest skier and finished 8.4 seconds behind Frenzel in second. Tino Edelmann of Germany trailed by another second in third.
Defending overall champion Frenzel extended his lead in the standings. The German has 503 points, followed by 2010 Olympic gold medalist and former overall champion Jason Lamy Chappuis of France with 376, and Akito Watabe of Japan with 373.
White wins halfpipe qualifier, closes in on Sochi
MAMMOTH LAKE, Calif. – Shaun White is all but assured of another shot at Olympic halfpipe gold.
And White’s latest trick looks ready to lead the charge for a three-peat.
White dominated yesterday afternoon’s qualifying event at Mammoth Mountain, posting a score of 98.6 to move closer to one of the four spots on the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team.
The two-time gold medalist landed the frontside double-cork 1440 in competition for the first time in the run-up to next month’s winter games in Sochi, Russia.
Olympic bronze medalist Scotty Lago finished second, while Taylor Gold was third.
Pikus-Pace of U.S. earns World Cup silver
IGLS, Austria – Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold topped Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States for the win in a women’s World Cup skeleton race yesterday, the third straight competition where the Olympic gold-medal favorites took the top two spots.
Yarnold finished two runs in 1 minute, 49.04 seconds, posting the best time in each heat. Pikus-Pace was second in 1:49.36, while Austria’s Janine Flock and Russia’s Maria Orlova shared the bronze in 1:49.71.
The U.S. will announce the skeleton athletes who qualified for the Sochi Olympics later this weekend. Pikus-Pace is a lock for that team, as is Katie Uhlaender, who was 12th yesterday.
Logan, Brown earn slopestyle Olympic spots
PARK CITY, Utah – Devin Logan is headed to the Sochi Olympics with a victory in the slopestyle final at the U.S. Grand Prix yesterday morning.
The 2011 U.S. halfpipe champion clinched one of three automatic berths after scoring 87.40 points on her first run.
It was just enough for Logan to hold off Canada’s Dara Howell, who scored 87.00 on her second run to finish second. Canada’s Kaya Turski, the 2013 World slopestyle champion, took third after scoring 86.80 points on her second run.
American skier Alex Schlopy won the men’s slopestyle final in the afternoon to earn his first podium finish since 2011. Schlopy, who was the 2011 men’s world champion, earned 92.20 points on his first run to clinch the victory.
Bobby Brown scored 91.80 on his final run to finish second and clinch a spot in Sochi.
McIlroy shoots 67, 2 shots off Abu Dhabi lead
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes to post a 5-under 67 and lie two shots off the lead two rounds into the Abu Dhabi Championship yesterday.
McIlroy, at 7 under overall in the European Tour event, was rapt to be in contention for a second win in three tournaments. Playing partner Phil Mickelson was also happy, though in relief to make the cut by two shots at 1 under after a 70.
In a two-way tie for the lead were Scotland’s Craig Lee (67) and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello (68) at 9 under, a stroke ahead of England’s Danny Willett (63), who eagled the par-5 8th hole at National Course beside seven birdies.
Mayweather: Last fight will be in September 2015
JOHANNESBURG – Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he’ll fight for the last time in September next year.
Mayweather told guests at a gala dinner in South Africa yesterday that he remembers his first fight when he was a kid in 1987, and that “September 2015 will be my last.”
The unbeaten five-division world champion, considered by many the best boxer of his era, said after beating Canelo Alvarez in a dominating display last September that he had four fights and two years left in his career.
Mayweather’s next bout will be in May against an undecided opponent, having said this week that British fighter Amir Khan and Argentine Marcos Maidana are the leading contenders.
Mayweather has a 45-0 record with 26 knockouts and made his pro debut in 1996.