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Headlines from around the world in sports

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to Matt Flynn (10) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to Matt Flynn (10) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


MLB intends to ban plate collisions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Major League Baseball plans to eliminate home plate collisions, possibly as soon as next season but no later than by 2015.

New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement yesterday at the winter meetings. Player safety and concern over concussions were major factors in the decision.

Alderson said wording of the rules change will be presented to owners for approval at their Jan. 16 meeting in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

Approval of the players’ union is needed for the rules change to be effective for 2014.


Seattle agrees to 1-year deal with Hart

SEATTLE — Corey Hart and the Seattle Mariners reached agreement on a one-year contract yesterday, putting another slugger in a lineup that’s already added Robinson Cano this offseason.

The outfielder-first baseman confirmed he had agreed to the deal in a text message to the Associated Press. The deal is still pending what should be a closely monitored physical after Hart missed all of last season following surgery on his right knee.

Hart did not play in 2013 because of a right knee surgery in January 2013 after a meniscus tear and joint damage was discovered.

His last season in 2012 was one of the best in his career. Hart hit .270 with 30 homers and 83 RBI with Milwaukee. Hart also had 35 doubles in 2012 and posted an on-base plus slugging percentage of above .800 in each season between 2010-12.


OF Davis and Tigers agree to 2-year deal

DETROIT – Outfielder Rajai Davis and the Detroit Tigers agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $9-10 million.

The 33-year-old Davis spent the last three seasons with Toronto and hit .260 this year with six homers, 24 RBI and 45 steals in 331 at-bats. He made $2.5 million.

The right-handed swinging Davis would join an outfield with Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. He could platoon with lefty Andy Dirks.


Oakland deals LHP Blevins to Nationals for OF Burns

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Oakland sent left-hander Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for minor league outfielder Billy Burns yesterday, the Athletics’ fifth trade in 10 days.

Blevins was 5-0 with a 3.15 ERA in a career-high 67 games this year and has a 13-6 record with a 3.30 ERA in 281 big league games over seven seasons, all with the Athletics.

The 24-year-old Burns hit .315 with 37 RBI and 74 steals this year for Class A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. He was selected Washington’s minor league player of the year.


Pirates sign RHP Morton to 3-year contract

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract.

The 30-year-old Morton went 7-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts for the Pirates in 2013. The deal includes a 2017 club option for $9.5 million.

Morton missed most of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 while recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery. His return bolstered a rotation that propelled the Pirates to 94 wins and the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 21 years.


Welker ruled out against Chargers with concussion

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – As expected, Coach John Fox has officially ruled out Wes Welker for Denver’s game against San Diego tonight because of a concussion.

The NFL’s protocol for concussed players would have allowed Welker only to participate in light practice today and only if he had passed baseline cognitive tests earlier in the week.

For competitive purposes, Fox had been coy about Welker’s status during the week, other than to say the receiver’s health was the team’s top priority.


Rodgers practices, still not cleared for game at Dallas

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers took some first-team snaps in practice yesterday, though the Packers quarterback still hasn’t been cleared to play in a game.

If that stands through the rest of week, backup Matt Flynn is back in for Rodgers when Green Bay visits the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a game critical to both teams’ playoff hopes.

Rodgers has been sidelined since fracturing his left collarbone in a loss Nov. 4 to the Bears.


Vikings: Peterson not ready for practice yet

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson shed the walking boot on his sprained right foot, but he’s not ready for practice.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson probably won’t practice until tomorrow at the earliest. The Vikings host Philadelphia on Sunday, and Peterson’s status is in question.

Frazier said he’s more optimistic about backup Toby Gerhart’s condition, but he likely won’t practice until tomorrow because of a hamstring injury.

Sprint Cup

Dillon to bring No. 3 back to Sprint Cup Series

CONCORD, N.C. – The late Dale Earnhardt’s famed No. 3 will be back on track in the elite Sprint Cup Series next season with Austin Dillon using the number.

The move has been long anticipated after car owner Richard Childress allowed his grandson to use the No. 3 as he’s moved through NASCAR’s ranks.

The number has not been used since Earnhardt’s death in the 2001 season-opening Daytona 500. The car was rebranded to No. 29 for Kevin Harvick following Earnhardt’s fatal accident.

Dillon won the Truck Series championship in 2011 driving the No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing and the Nationwide title this year in the same number.


Vonn to skip St. Moritz, return on Dec. 21

PARK CITY, Utah – The U.S. Ski Team said Lindsey Vonn will skip this weekend’s World Cup races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and is planning to compete in a downhill on Dec. 21 at Val d’Isere, France.

Vonn returned to racing last week at Lake Louise, Alberta, 10 months after tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a bone in that leg during a crash at the world championships.

She finished 40th in her season debut Friday, a downhill, then 11th in another downhill Saturday, and fifth in a super-G on Sunday.


Revolution’s Reis retires, takes job with Galaxy

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is retiring after a 16-year career to become the goalie coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Reis, who spent the past 11 seasons with the Revolution, is a four-time league all-star. He played for the Galaxy from 1998 to 2002 and helped the club win its first MLS Cup in 2002.

He’s coming off a strong season with a 7-0-4 record for New England. But he played in just 12 games because of physical problems and the Boston Marathon bombing in which his father-in-law was severely injured.

He’s fourth in MLS history among goalkeepers in games, fifth in wins and saves and sixth in shutouts.

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