Headlines from around the world in sports
Keith Urban performs during an NFL Kickoff event on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, in Baltimore, to celebrate the opening NFL football game of the season between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, pits his car during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Baltimore auto race on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
NEW YORK – New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was suspended without pay for five regular-season games by the NBA yesterday for violating the anti-drug program.
Smith, coming off offseason surgery on his left knee, will sit out the first five games for which he is eligible and physically able to play. Smith had patella tendon surgery and arthroscopy that will keep him from joining the Knicks when they open training camp late this month.
Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season and helped shoot the Knicks into the playoffs before struggling in the postseason. He averaged 18.1 points during the regular season.
Braun calling fans to apologize for PED use
MILWAUKEE – Suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun is personally calling fans and offering an apology for using performance-enhancing drugs, the team said yesterday.
“It was his idea,” said Rick Schlesinger, the Brewers’ chief operating officer. “He came to us and said he wanted to call fans,” including season ticket holders, partial season ticket holders and individual buyers.
The Brewers turned over a list of several dozen random names, Schlesinger said.
“He said he wanted to call everybody on the list,” Schlesinger added.
After Braun started making calls Thursday, the Brewers began to hear from some of the fans he called, according to Tyler Barnes, the Brewers vice president of communications.
“They were appreciative of the outreach. The vast majority were appreciative of it. We think it’s a nice gesture on Ryan’s part. We realize some are going to be grateful and others are going to be a little more hesitant,” Barnes said.
Keselowski wins race at Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. – Brad Keselowski passed Brian Scott on a restart with 11 laps to go last night and pulled away after another restart with six laps remaining to go to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond.
Keselowski has five victories and a runner-up finish in his last six series starts.
Scott, seeking his first victory in 134 starts in the series, led the first 239 laps before Keselowski made the outside groove work for him, finally overtaking Scott on his way to his 25th career victory in the series and the 19th in a row for a Cup Series regular at Richmond.
Scott’s team protested that Keselowski jumped the last restart, but to no avail.
Scott was second, followed by Regan Smith, Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne.
Whitt to replace Stremme at Swan
RICHMOND, Va. – Swan Racing has hired Cole Whitt to drive the No. 30 Toyota for five Sprint Cup races this season beginning next week at Chicago.
Whitt will replace David Stremme in the car at Chicago, Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega and Phoenix. Swan Racing did not name a replacement driver for the remainder of the schedule.
Stremme has been the driver since team owner Brandon Davis purchased the team a year ago and has driven every race this year except the Daytona 500.
He’s led just one lap this season, his best finish was 12th at Talladega and he’s 31st in points.
Whitt has driven 11 Nationwide races this year for TriStar Motorsports with two top-10 finishes. He ran a full season in 2012 for JR Motorsports and was seventh in the final standings.