Headlines from around the world in sports
CORRECTS NAME OF MAN AT LEFT TO KENNY DICHTER, CEO OF WHEELS UP, INSTEAD OF ACTOR STEVE SCHIRRIPA - Kenny Dichter, CEO of Wheels Up, left, and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson pose for a photograph together as they attend an NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, in New York. Dallas won 110-108. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper meets with the media at NFL football training camp on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Philadelphia. Cooper has been fined by the team for making a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert that was caught on video, leading him to say he's "ashamed and disgusted" with himself. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, Yong Kim) THE EVENING BULLETIN OUT, TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES
Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Greinke leaves with calf injury; Crawford sits with tight quad
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke left his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday after throwing just four pitches because of a mild right calf strain.
Greinke, Los Angeles’s No. 2 starter, was making his first spring start after saying he had “zero interest” in making the trip for the Dodgers’ two regular-season games in Sydney, Australia, March 22-23 against Arizona.
Outfielder Carl Crawford didn’t even make it into the game, sitting because of tightness in his right quadriceps. Crawford wasn’t scheduled to play today against the Chicago White Sox and is unlikely to participate in any running drills until the leg feels better.
He was sidelined for 30 games last season because of an injury to his left hamstring.
Rangers don’t plan for Super Bowl QB to get at-bat
SURPRISE, Ariz. – The Texas Rangers have no plans to put Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson at the plate.
Manager Ron Washington said it’s not a good idea to let Wilson hit in an exhibition game. Washington said Wilson hasn’t seen any pitches and that it’s too risky to have him bat.
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback is set to be at spring training on Monday and the former minor league second baseman might take part in infield drills. Washington said he wants Wilson to just enjoy his day at the ballpark.
Mets: MRI on Niese’s shoulder shows no major problems
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The New York Mets said an MRI on pitcher Jon Niese’s ailing left shoulder did not show any major problems.
Projected to be the Mets’ opening-day starter, Niese had been scratched from his opening exhibition start, against Houston next Tuesday, and replaced by Zack Wheeler.
“There’s no shoulder problems at all,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “He’s got some weakness in his scap (scapula) area that is minor. They think in a few days he’ll be back and ready to go. It was very, very good news.”
Eagles agree to deals with receiver Cooper, center Kelce
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a five-year contract with wide receiver Riley Cooper and a seven-year deal with center Jason Kelce.
Cooper would’ve become a free agent next month after a breakout season in which he set career highs in receptions (47), yards receiving (835) and touchdowns (eight). Kelce was signed through 2016, and the new deal adds four years to his contract. He was part of an offensive line that helped the Eagles lead the NFL in rushing while setting a franchise record for points (442).
Kings’ Cousins suspended one game for punching opponent
NEW YORK – The NBA suspended Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for one game and fined him $20,000 for punching an opposing player and verbally abusing an official in a game earlier this week.
Cousins punched Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter of the Kings’ 129-103 loss on Tuesday night in Sacramento.
He has been fined for verbally abusing a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following an ejection with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter.
Kings complete contract buyout with guard Fredette
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento Kings and guard Jimmer Fredette completed a buyout of his contract yesterday, clearing the way for the former BYU sensation to become a free agent.
Fredette was drafted 10th overall in 2011 after dazzling at BYU, where he won the Associated Press’s player of the year award after leading the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game. But “Jimmermania” never took shape in Sacramento like the Kings had hoped, and the franchise’s instability didn’t help his cause.
Fredette is averaging 5.9 points and 11.3 minutes this season. He’s shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 49.3 percent from 3-point range.
James says firing from Fox Sports was ‘sucker punch’
DALLAS – Craig James said Fox Sports hit him with a “sucker punch” – inviting him to join a regional college football show, then firing him and telling the media he was too polarizing for TV.
The longtime broadcaster and SMU star accused Fox of discriminating against him due to his views opposing gay marriage, which he stated during a failed campaign two years ago for U.S. Senate.
James said then that gay people would “have to answer to the Lord for their actions.”
James told the Associated Press he wants to hold Fox accountable for violating his religious freedom. The network dismissed him after one appearance and said the decision to hire him “was not properly vetted.”
McIlroy takes one-shot lead at Honda Classic
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes yesterday for a 7-under 63 to take the lead after one round of the Honda Classic.
It was quite a turnaround for McIlroy, who last year was 7 over through eight holes of the second round when he walked off PGA National out of frustration. He looked more like the free-wheeling kid who won this tournament two years ago to rise to No. 1 in the world.
He was one shot ahead of Russell Henley, who birdied five of his opening six holes before cooling.
Tiger Woods, playing for the first time in a month, was eight shots behind after a 71.
Federer, Djokovic to meet in Dubai Championships semis
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – While top-seeded Novak Djokovic had a rest day when opponent Mikhail Youzhny became ill and withdrew from their quarterfinal yesterday, Roger Federer had to play his way into their semifinal date at the Dubai Championships.
The fourth-seeded Federer, who has won this title five times, won his 40th match at the Dubai Championships with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.
The other semifinal will feature third-seeded Tomas Berdych against seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany. Berdych fought past fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 6-3, while Kohlschreiber beat Malik Jazirivictory, 6-2, 6-3.