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Affidavit: Smuggler threats follow Puig

MIAMI – Court documents in Miami said the smugglers who helped Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig leave Cuba on a speedboat have made death threats against him and against a Cuban boxer who says he defected with Puig.

The boxer describes in an affidavit a dangerous odyssey of shady characters, unpaid smuggling debts and threats of violence that have followed Puig since he left Cuba in June 2012. Boxer Yunior Despaigne said the smugglers claim Puig owes them money.

Puig’s smuggling venture was first reported by Los Angeles Magazine. Despaigne said Puig promised 20 percent of his contract to Miami men who set up the smuggling venture.

Puig signed a $42 million, seven-year contract with the Dodgers in June 2012. The outfielder is declining comment.


Cardinals put Kelly on DL with hurt hamstring

WASHINGTON – St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly was put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

The Cardinals also optioned righty reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie right-handers Eric Fornataro and Jorge Rondon from Memphis before last night’s game at the Washington Nationals. Neither Fornataro nor Rondon has ever appeared in a major league game.

Kelly got hurt while trying to beat out a bunt attempt in the fourth inning of the Cardinals’ 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday. He is 1-1 with a 0.59 ERA in three starts this season.


Teixeira hopes to rejoin Yankees on Sunday

TAMPA, Fla. – Mark Teixeira could be back in the New York Yankees’ lineup Sunday.

The first baseman walked twice, struck out and scored a run yesterday in his first extended spring training game since injuring his right leg.

Teixeira played three innings of defense against Toronto minor leaguers. He is scheduled to get five at-bats and play five innings in the field in another extended spring training game today.


Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in jail

MESA, Ariz. – Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb was released from an Arizona jail after serving a one-day sentence for a DUI arrest late last year.

Records released by West Mesa Justice Court show the 37-year-old McNabb served his time Wednesday and was released yesterday morning.

McNabb was arrested Dec. 15 on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He pleaded guilty on March 27 and nine days of his sentence was suspended.


Duke freshman Parker declares for NBA draft

Duke freshman Jabari Parker is entering the NBA draft, and there’s a strong chance he’ll be the No. 1 pick.

The 6-foot-8 All-American forward was the highest-scoring freshman in Duke history. He was also the first freshman to lead the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding and the first freshman in three decades to be selected team MVP.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement yesterday it was “an honor for us to have him in our program.” In an essay posted on, Parker said the NBA offers him the best chance to develop both as a player and off the court.

Parker led the Atlantic Coast Conference with an average of 8.7 rebounds and his 19.1 points were second only to North Carolina State’s T.J. Warren, who entered the NBA draft last week.


Sponsorship woes put Swan future in doubt

Swan Racing’s future is on the rocks and the two-car team is reviewing its ability to compete in NASCAR.

Cole Whitt drives the No. 26 Toyota Camry and Parker Kligerman drives the No. 30 Toyota Camry for Swan in the Sprint Cup series.

Swan Racing is owned by Brandon Davis, the CEO of independent oil and gas company Swan Energy.

The team says in a statement yesterday it has been unable to secure the sponsorship needed to effectively operate the team. Swan adds it is “exploring every available option.”


Minnesota State team to return under Hoffner

MANKATO, Minn. – Football players at Minnesota State, Mankato, said they are ready to practice under reinstated Coach Todd Hoffner.

The Mavericks football program held a news conference yesterday, the day after players refused to practice when Hoffner returned to the school.

In a statement, junior defensive back Sam Thompson and sophomore wide receiver Kyle Riggott said the team is “ready to get back to playing football.” The players said they wanted their voice heard about their support for Interim Coach Aaron Keen and for a “more robust communication channel” about the coaching situation.

Hoffner said in a statement he does not take the players’ actions personally.

Hoffner returned to campus for the first time Wednesday since an arbitrator ruled he was fired unfairly last year in the wake of a child porn investigation that ultimately cleared him.


Djokovic, Nadal on to Monte Carlo quarters

MONACO – Defending champion Novak Djokovic raced into the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals in dispatching Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, 6-0, 6-1, in 47 minutes yesterday.

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal also had little trouble, beating Italian Andreas Seppi, 6-1, 6-3, while fourth-seeded Roger Federer shook off a slow start in a 6-4, 6-1 win against Czech player Lukas Rosol.

The second-seeded Djokovic won his second-round opener in 45 minutes and has yet to be tested this week. He next faces Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

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