Headlines from around the world in sports
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks back to the dugout after striking out against Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez in sixth inning during Game 1 of the American League baseball championship series Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Kansas head coach Bill Self, back, watches Tarik Black shoot free throws during the team's shoot-around Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. With KU's big man Joel Embiid out of the lineup with a back injury, it will be up to Black to pick up the slack, when the Jayhawks open Big 12 Tournament play Thursday afternoon. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Rich Sugg)
MLB’s Torre lectures Ortiz on behavior
NEW YORK – Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre said he doesn’t agree with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz about official scorers.
Ortiz was upset Wednesday when his hard grounder was ruled an error on Minnesota first baseman Joe Mauer instead of a hit. When the inning ended at Fenway Park, Ortiz glared and waved his arms toward official scorer Bob Ellis.
After Boston won, Ortiz suggested that scoring decisions should tilt toward the home team.
Torre, the MLB executive vice president for baseball operations, says not everyone will agree with official scorers.
“But everyone in our game deserves respect. I hope that David will meet that standard going forward, because I don’t share the same views that he expressed,” Torre said in a statement.
“Official scorers should never give any benefit of the doubt to the home team,” he said.
Rodriguez drops lawsuit against Yankees team doctor
NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez’s lawyer said his client dropped a lawsuit against a New York Yankees team doctor. It had been a lingering piece of Rodriguez’s legal fight over his baseball career.
Attorney Alan Ripka said yesterday that Rodriguez withdrew his suit against Dr. Christopher Ahmad to eliminate distractions as the third baseman anticipates returning to baseball after his season-long suspension.
Ahmad’s lawyer Peter Crean said the orthopedic surgeon is very pleased Rodriguez dropped the case.
Rodriguez’s suit had said he kept playing and worsened a left hip injury because Ahmad didn’t tell him an October 2012 MRI showed a joint tear. Crean says Ahmad provided appropriate care.
In February, Rodriguez withdrew two lawsuits against Major League Baseball over its investigation into whether he used banned, performance-enhancing drugs. He’s denied it.
Pirates take Grilli out of closer role
CHICAGO – Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle decided to remove Jason Grilli from the closer role.
Grilli allowed a tying homer to Devin Mesoraco in the ninth inning of Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Cincinnati. He has blown four save opportunities this season after converting 33 of 35 chances a year ago.
Speaking before yesterday’s game at the Cubs, Hurdle said Mark Melancon will close for now. He also said he could use Tony Watson in save opportunities.
Grilli is 0-2 with 11 saves and a 4.34 ERA in 20 games this year. Hurdle said Grilli is “all about doing what’s best for the club and getting better. We’ll definitely need him as the season plays out.”
Melancon is 1-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 10 saves this season.
Braves place Floyd on DL with broken elbow
WASHINGTON – The Atlanta Braves placed Gavin Floyd on the 15-day disabled list after the right-hander broke a bone in his elbow.
The Braves made the move yesterday. The team also recalled left-hander Ryan Buchter from Triple-A Gwinnett.
Floyd broke the olecranon – the bony tip of the ulna that sticks out behind the elbow – as he made the first pitch of the seventh inning in Thursday night’s 3-0 win over the Washington Nationals.
Floyd returned to Atlanta yesterday to be examined by team doctors.
Kansas’s Embiid has surgery on right foot
Top prospect Joel Embiid had two screws placed in his right foot during surgery yesterday to repair a stress fracture that could cause him to fall in next week’s NBA draft.
Dr. Richard Ferkel says in a statement that the surgery on the navicular bone went well and he is confident Embiid will be able to return to the court after “appropriate healing.” Ferkel did not put a timetable on the recovery, but it is expected to be a long process.
Embiid was widely considered one of the top three prospects in the draft and a serious candidate to be chosen No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. But the injury could turn some teams away from the versatile big man from Kansas.
Cavaliers agree with Blatt for coaching job
CLEVELAND – A person familiar with the negotiations said the Cavaliers reached an agreement to make David Blatt their new coach.
Blatt, a highly successful international coach in Israel, emerged as the leading candidate in recent days, and the sides reached contract terms yesterday, said the person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting during its search.
This will be the first NBA job for Blatt, who spent the past 20 years developing into one of Europe’s top coaches. He recently resigned from Euroleague champion Maccabi Tel Aviv to pursue his dream of coaching in basketball’s top professional league. Now the 55-year-old will take over the Cavs, who are on their third coach in three years and own the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s draft.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported Blatt’s deal.
Blackhawks to face Capitals on New Year’s
WASHINGTON – A person familiar with the NHL’s plans said the Chicago Blackhawks will be the Washington Capitals’ opponent when the Winter Classic comes to D.C. on Jan. 1.
The person yesterday spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not announced the schedule for the upcoming season.
The NHL awarded the game to Washington in September. This year’s Classic was played at Michigan Stadium.
The league has been considering three venues in the Washington area: Nationals Park, RFK Stadium and FedEx Field. Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has said he would prefer to play the game in D.C., which would rule out FedEx Field in the Maryland suburbs.
The Blackhawks have played in the New Year’s Day game once before, having hosted it at Wrigley Field in 2009.
Biffle still working on extension with Roush
SONOMA, Calif. – Greg Biffle said he’s still working on a new contract to stay at Roush Fenway Racing despite reports he’s already signed an extension.
Biffle said yesterday he’s talked to other teams in the garage, but he was presently negotiating with Roush, the only team he’s driven for since his 1998 rookie season in the Truck Series. He won the Truck Series championship in 2000 and added a Nationwide Series title in 2002.
Biffle has maintained all year his priority is not to leave the organization. Roush President Steve Newmark tweeted yesterday the team hopes to have some news soon to announce on Biffle’s No. 16 team “but nothing to report yet.”
Ilonen leads Irish Open by two shots
CORK, Ireland – Mikko Ilonen opened a two-stroke lead in the Irish Open, while Rory McIlroy missed the cut by a shot yesterday at Fota Island.
Ilonen had a 3-under 68 to reach 10 under. He opened with a course-record 64 on Thursday.
The 34-year-old Finn birdied his opening hole, followed with eight straight pars, then had four birdies and two bogeys on the back nine.
“I wanted to at least get to 10-under par and I did that,” Ilonen said. “It wasn’t as easy today and I didn’t hit the ball that well but I putted well and it was good enough.”
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (66), England’s Robert Rock (66) and France’s Romain Wattel (65) were tied for second at 8 under, and three-time major champion Padraig Harrington (67) was 6 under.
The loss of McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, was a blow to event organizers. He followed his opening 74 with a 69 to miss the cut for the second straight year in the national open.
McIlroy had a double bogey on par-5 fourth after his tee shot clipped a tree and ricocheted out of bounds and over the fence into the adjoining Fota Island Wildlife Park.
“I’ll be back next year and try and do better,” McIlroy said.
Langley leads Travelers Championship
CROMWELL, Conn. – Scott Langley took the second-round lead in the Travelers Championship yesterday, following his opening 64 with a 65 to reach 11 under 129.
Winless in two seasons on the PGA Tour, the 25-year-old Langley had eight birdies, a double bogey and a bogey in the second round at TPC River Highlands.
Michael Putnam, Harris English and K.J. Choi were a stroke back. Putnam shot 63, the best round of the day. English had a 64, and Choi shot 65.
Patrick Rodgers, the former Stanford star making his pro debut, was 5 under after a 69. Cameron Wilson, Rodgers’s college teammate who also was making his pro debut, missed the cut with rounds of 73 and 75.
Defending champion Ken Duke was 3 under after a 72.
Lehman takes Champions Tour lead
GLENVIEW, Ill. – Tom Lehman birdied four straight holes and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead yesterday in the Champions Tour’s Encompass Championship.
Finishing on the front nine, Lehman birdied Nos. 4-7 and closed with two pars at North Shore Country Club. The 55-year-old Minnesotan nearly holed out for an eagle on the par-5 sixth, leaving a 6-inch putt, and ran in a 15-footer on the par-3 seventh. He won the last of his seven Champions Tour titles in 2012.
Doug Garwood and England’s Roger Chapman were a stroke back at 66, and Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, Jeff Sluman, Michael Allen, Bart Bryant, Kirk Triplett and John Inman shot 67.
Chapman made four straight birdies early in his round, then birdied the 11th and 14th holes en route to his best round of the season. Garwood, a playoff loser this month in the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa, chipped in from the rough on the 13th for one of his eight birdies.
Colin Montgomerie, the Senior PGA Championship winner in his last tour start, had a 69.