Headlines from around the world in sports
Martin to replace injured Hamlin in No. 11
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mark Martin will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing while Denny Hamlin recovers from a fractured verterbra in his lower back.
Martin’s first start in the No. 11 Toyota will be next week at Martinsville Speedway, where he wasn’t scheduled to race. Brian Vickers had already been tabbed to drive Martin’s car for Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville.
Martin has driven one other time for JGR, in the Nationwide Series last year at Las Vegas.
Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races while he heals. JGR did not specify how long Martin will be in the car, but the fifth race is at Talladega, a track Martin has opted to skip the last few years.
Mets say Santana likely will miss season again
NEW YORK – The New York Mets said Johan Santana has injured his left shoulder again and likely will need surgery and miss the 2013 season.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner missed the 2011 season following shoulder surgery in September 2010, then returned last year and pitched the first no-hitter in the team’s history. He hasn’t pitched in an exhibition game this year because of arm weakness.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday that an MRI in New York a day earlier showed a “probable” re-tear of Santana’s left shoulder capsule.
Tigers without set closer after demoting Rondon
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Detroit Tigers optioned rookie reliever Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo, leaving the AL champions without an announced closer as they prepare for Monday’s opener at Minnesota.
Rondon went 2-1 with a 5.84 ERA in 13 spring training games with nine walks and 19 strikeouts in 121∕3 innings.
Manager Jim Leyland said yesterday that any of his seven relievers could be used to close games early in the season.
Wainwright, Cardinals finalize $97.5M deal
JUPITER, Fla. – Pitcher Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to $97.5 million, five-year contract covering 2014-18 that raises his guaranteed income to $109.5 million over the next six seasons.
A 31-year-old right-hander, Wainwright was 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last year after missing the Cardinals’ World Series championship season in 2011 because of elbow surgery.
Stoudemire: Rehab going well, unsure of playoffs
NEW YORK – Amare Stoudemire said his recovery from right knee surgery is going “a little bit ahead of schedule,” though he isn’t sure if he can return to the New York Knicks for the first round of the playoffs.
Stoudemire had surgery to clean up and remove tissue from the knee about 2½ weeks ago and the Knicks said his expected recovery time would be about six weeks. The playoffs open the weekend of April 20.
Pacers’ Granger having season-ending knee surgery
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers said Danny Granger will have left knee surgery and miss the rest of the season, leaving them without one of their best offensive players for the postseason.
Granger’s injury-plagued season will be cut short after just five games. The team said yesterday the decision was made after talks among Granger, the Pacers medical staff and Dr. James Andrews, the noted sports physician.
TRACK AND FIELD
Pistorius allowed to leave South Africa, with conditions
PRETORIA, South Africa – International athletics body the IAAF said Oscar Pistorius would be allowed to run at this year’s world championships if he qualifies after the double-amputee runner was cleared by a court to leave South Africa to compete in track meets.
The Olympic athlete had appealed against some of his bail conditions, and a judge ruled yesterday that Pistorius can travel outside of South Africa to run, but with certain conditions. Pistorius is charged with murder in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
IAAF spokesman Yannis Nikolau said in a statement that there would be no objection from the world body to Pistorius competing at the worlds, saying “on the basis of the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ principle he would be free to run.”
Ex-Syracuse coach Fine plans to sue ESPN
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Fired Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine filed the initial paperwork in a defamation lawsuit against ESPN for reporting sex abuse claims against him.
A yearlong federal investigation that followed accusations that Fine abused team ball boys ended with no charges. Fine was Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim’s assistant for 35 seasons.
ESPN reported allegations of sexual abuse by two former ball boys on Nov. 17, 2011. Fine was fired soon after when a third man made similar claims.
Fine said he’ll sue for defamation and seek undefined damages. He filed a “summons with notice” Nov. 15, 2012, in state Supreme Court in Onondaga County.
Sharapova reaches Key Biscayne final for 5th time
KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Maria Sharapova swept the first 10 points yesterday, then hardly let up from there. If she can keep it going for one more round, she’ll finally have that elusive Sony Open title.
The four-time runner-up advanced to another Key Biscayne final by beating Jelena Jankovic, 6-2, 6-1.
With a victory tomorrow, the No. 3-seeded Sharapova would plug one of the few holes in her resume. She completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open last year but has never won the tournament near downtown Miami.
Sharapova will face the winner of last night’s match between five-time champion Serena Williams and defending champ Agnieszka Radwanska.
Andy Murray, the 2009 champion and runner-up last year, advanced to the semifinals by beating No. 9 Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-3. Murray’s opponent tonight will be the winner of the match last night between No. 4 Tomas Berdych and No. 8 Richard Gasquet.
No. 3 David Ferrer will play 34-year-old Tommy Haas in the other semifinal.