Headlines from around the world in sports
Righty Archer, Rays agree to $25.5 million, six-year deal
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a long-term contract with another of their young pitchers, giving Chris Archer a $25.5 million, six-year deal yesterday.
The contract includes club options for 2020 and 2021 that could raise the value to $43.75 million.
A 25-year-old right-hander, Archer went 9-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 23 starts as a rookie last season. He’s scheduled to make his first start of the season today against Toronto.
Rangers ace Darvish set for season debut Sunday
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers said ace Yu Darvish is set to make his first start of the season Sunday at Tampa Bay.
Manager Ron Washington said Darvish is as strong as he was before the neck stiffness that kept the pitcher from throwing for two weeks. Darvish was placed on the disabled list to start the season, though the move was retroactive to March 21, making the right-hander eligible to be activated this weekend.
Nationals catcher Ramos has surgery on hand, out 4-6 weeks
NEW YORK – Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos had surgery for a broken hamate bone in his left hand and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Ramos, the team’s No. 1 backstop, was placed on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, retroactive to April 1. Washington recalled switch-hitting catcher Sandy Leon from Triple-A Syracuse before the second game of the season against the New York Mets.
Ramos batted cleanup on opening day and felt pain in his hand on a swing.
The 26-year-old Ramos batted .272 with 16 home runs and 59 RBI in only 287 at-bats over 78 games last season.
Mets place closer Parnell on DL, call up veteran Farnsworth
NEW YORK – Mets closer Bobby Parnell was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn elbow ligament and will be sidelined until at least late May.
Parnell will be out much longer if it turns out he needs surgery. But first, he will try resting for two weeks before beginning a throwing program that could last four weeks, General Manager Sandy Alderson said. If that doesn’t heal Parnell’s right elbow sufficiently, he likely would require surgery.
The move yesterday was made retroactive to April 1. New York selected the contract of veteran right-hander Kyle Farnsworth from Triple-A Las Vegas and added him to a suspect bullpen that flopped on opening day.
Viola resting comfortably after open-heart surgery
NEW YORK – The New York Mets said former pitcher Frank Viola is resting comfortably after heart surgery.
His children, Frank and Kaley, had said on Twitter that the 53-year-old Viola was scheduled for open-heart surgery yesterday.
The pitcher retired as a player following the 1996 season. He was hired by the Mets in January as pitching coach of Triple-A Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League, and a heart problem was detected during a spring training exam.
Viola was the 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner. He went 176-150 with a 3.73 ERA in 15 major league seasons with Minnesota (1982-89), the Mets (1989-91), Boston (1992-94), Cincinnati (1995) and Toronto (1996).
State Supreme Court won’t hear Sandusky appeal
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court won’t review Jerry Sandusky’s 45-count child molestation conviction.
The justices ruled yesterday that they won’t take up the former Penn State assistant football coach’s appeal.
Sandusky argued his lawyers were rushed too quickly to trial and prosecutors improperly made reference to his decision not to testify. Prosecutors had countered that Sandusky didn’t provide sufficient basis for the Supreme Court to take up the matter.
The 70-year-old is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 boys. His arrest led to the firing of Hall of Fame football Coach Joe Paterno and significant NCAA penalties against the school.
Steelers sign WR Heyward-Bey
PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Steelers and free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
Heyward-Bey caught 29 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last season with Indianapolis. He spent the first four seasons of his career in Oakland, catching 140 passes for 2,071 yards and 11 touchdowns in 56 games with the Raiders before being released last spring.
The 27-year-old Heyward-Bey gives the Steelers the deep threat they lacked last season after Mike Wallace left via free agency for Miami. Heyward-Bey is the second wide receiver signed by the Steelers since free agency began. Pittsburgh and former New Orleans wideout Lance Moore agreed to a two-year deal last month.
Giants sign DE Ayers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants signed former Denver Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers.
Ayers’s addition yesterday makes him the 13th veteran the team has signed since free agency started.
Ayers had a career-high 5.5 sacks last season for the AFC champion Broncos.
Blackhawks: Toews out until playoffs with upper-body injury
CHICAGO – Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss the rest of the regular season with an upper-body injury.
The team said yesterday that Coach Joel Quenneville expects Toews to be “100 percent” for the playoffs.
Toews was injured after a hit by Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Sunday night. Toews got up slowly and was seen holding his left arm on the bench before heading to the locker room.
The Blackhawks, who have clinched a playoff berth, are already without star forward Patrick Kane, who is out for the rest of the regular season with a lower-body injury. Toews has 28 goals and 68 points this season.
League: Golden State’s block in win was goaltending
DALLAS – The NBA said a block by Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal that set up Stephen Curry’s game-winning shot in overtime at Dallas should have been ruled goaltending.
O’Neal grabbed a runner just outside the lane by Mavericks guard Monta Ellis in midair with 16 seconds left, causing Dallas players to gesture wildly for goaltending.
NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement yesterday that Ellis’s shot was on the way down, but said the play wasn’t reviewable because it wasn’t possible to make the judgment without slow-motion replay.
Venus advances in Charleston
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Venus Williams advanced at the Family Circle Cup, battling from behind to defeat Chanelle Scheepers, 7-5, 7-5.
It was another long day yesterday for Williams, ranked No. 28 in the world and who needed an hour and 50 minutes to finish the straight-set victory over the South African. Williams fell behind 3-1 in the first set and trailed 4-1 in the second.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion has battled injuries and Sjogren’s syndrome, a fatigue-causing autoimmune disease, during the past two years.
Earlier yesterday, American Sloane Stephens was upset, 6-4, 6-4, by Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine, who got her fourth career victory over a top 20 player.