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Selig to retire in January 2015

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he plans to retire in January 2015.

The 79-year-old Selig has repeatedly said since 2003 that his retirement was imminent, but yesterday marked the first time he issued a formal statement.

He said he will announce a transition plan shortly that will include a reorganization of central baseball management.

Selig bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970 and moved the team to Milwaukee. He was part of the group that forced Fay Vincent’s resignation.

Selig took over as acting commissioner on Sept. 9, 1992, in his role as chairman of the executive council. He repeatedly said he would not take the job full time but was formally elected commissioner July 9, 1998. He agreed to new contracts in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012.


Rivera may make first outfield appearance in Houston

NEW YORK – Mariano Rivera may make a debut on his final weekend before retirement: as a center fielder.

The 43-year-old closer, in his 19th and final big league season, has said he’d like to play the outfield.

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said he’s thinking about allowing Rivera to do it this weekend, when the Yankees finish their season with a three-game series at the Houston Astros.

Says Girardi: “In my mind, thinking that he’s going to want to pitch, it would be a situation that I might bring him in (in) the eighth to play the outfield and close him out in the ninth if we have that opportunity.”


Brewers’ Gomez, Braves’ Johnson suspended 1 game

NEW YORK – The Brewers’ Carlos Gomez and the Braves’ Reed Johnson have each been suspended one game after a benches-clearing argument between their teams.

Both were also fined an undisclosed amount yesterday.

In the top of the first inning Wednesday in Atlanta, Gomez homered off Paul Maholm, still furious the Braves starter hit him with a pitch three months earlier.

Gomez stood in the batter’s box watching the ball, stared at Maholm, and flipped his bat. Gomez was yelling at Maholm as he slowly trotted up the first base line. Gomez then began jawing with first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Gomez touched second and third without incident before catcher Brian McCann stood in the third base line about 20 feet from home plate and stopped him.

The benches emptied, and Gomez was ejected for shoving Johnson, a reserve outfielder. Freeman and reserve catcher Gerald Laird were also ejected.


Twitter, NFL reach deal to show football videos

NEW YORK – The NFL struck a deal to show game highlights and other video content on Twitter ahead of the short messaging service’s initial public offering of stock.

The deal is part of Twitter’s “Amplify” program, which lets TV broadcasters show ad-supported video clips in users’ Twitter feeds.

The NFL and Twitter said the deal will let football fans interact with NFL video content created specifically for Twitter – on computers, tablets or mobile devices. The league said content will include highlights from in-game highlights from NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and clips from other regular season and postseason games.

There will also be news, analysis fantasy football advice and other content.


Indianapolis to host IndyCar road race in May

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are adding an IndyCar road race to the May schedule.

The official announcement came yesterday after the board of directors meeting.

It marks the first time the historic Brickyard will hold two IndyCar races during the month of May, which has traditionally been reserved only for practice, qualifying and the Indianapolis 500.

The road race will be held the first weekend of May, while the 500 will be run May 25, the traditional Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

The board also said the road course will be renovated during the fall and spring to create more passing zones and better views for fans. More details will be announced next week.


Portland Pirates to play home games in Lewiston

LEWISTON, Maine – The Portland Pirates hockey team won’t be playing in Portland this season.

Managing owner and CEO Brian Petrovek announced yesterday that the team will play its entire 38-game home schedule at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, about 40 miles north of Portland.

Petrovek said the team is going to Lewiston because it can’t resolve a dispute with the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on terms of a new lease. He said the team will proceed with litigation to be able to play there in the future.

The Pirates are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes.


Venus advances to semis at Pan Pacific Open

Venus Williams beat Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3, yesterday to advance to the Pan Pacific Open semifinals for the first time.

Williams, whose previous best in Tokyo was the quarterfinals in 2004, broke Bouchard with a forehand down the line to go up 5-2 in the third set and held on to win the match that lasted three hours at Ariake Colosseum.

Williams will face Petra Kvitova in the semifinals. The seventh-seeded Czech beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-4, 6-1.

Also, fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, to set up a semifinal with fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany, who ousted second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, 6-4, 6-4.

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