News Summaries from The Sports Network - Saturday, December 7th|
Yankees finalize Ellsbury, Kuroda deals
Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees finalized two deals on
Saturday, signing outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year pact and veteran
pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year contract.
Ellsbury's contract is believed to be worth $153 million and includes a club
option for 2021, while Kuroda will reportedly be paid $16 million in 2014.
The 30-year-old Ellsbury finished last season with a league-best 52 stolen
bases, along with nine home runs, 31 doubles, 53 RBI and a .298 average for
the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Ellsbury, who gained his only All-Star selection three seasons ago, a year in
which he finished second in AL MVP voting to Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander,
is a lifetime .297 hitter who has collected 65 homers, 155 doubles, 241 stolen
bases and drove in 314 runs over 715 games with Boston since 2007.
Kuroda was the Yankees best starter for most of last season, going 11-13 with
a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts. However, he lost his final six decisions of the
season and pitched to a 6.56 ERA over his last eight starts.
The 38-year-old has been an innings-eater his entire career, as he has
exceeded 200 innings in each of the past three seasons, including a career-
high 219 2/3 innings in his first Yankees campaign in 2012.
After a prosperous career in Japan, Kuroda came to the Dodgers in
2008 and pitched to a 41-46 mark with a 3.45 ERA in 115 games. In two years
with the Yankees, he's 27-24 with a 3.31 ERA.
Dodgers make it official with Brian Wilson
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers made it official
on Saturday and re-signed pitcher Brian Wilson to a one-year contract with a
player option for 2015.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Los Angeles Times said the deal is
for $10 million in 2014 with the option set at $8.5 million plus incentives
that could also make the 2015 package worth a total of $10 million.
After missing nearly all of the 2012 season with an elbow injury that
eventually required surgery, Wilson signed with the Dodgers last year after
spending his first seven major league seasons with the rival San Francisco
The 31-year-old right-hander appeared in 18 games down the stretch for the
Dodgers and was a valuable bullpen arm for the NL West champions, going 2-1
with a 0.66 ERA. He also pitched six scoreless innings in six postseason
appearances and hasn't allowed an earned run in 17 2/3 career postseason
"After how well Brian pitched down the stretch and in the postseason, we are
very pleased he is returning," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
"He's a proven veteran with a history of success in high-leverage situations."
Wilson led the NL with 48 saves in 2010 and closed out San Francisco's
clinching victory in Game 5 of that year's World Series against the Texas
Rangers. He pitched in just two games with the Giants in 2012 before being
diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
The three-time All-Star has 171 career saves with a record of 22-21 and a 3.10
ERA in 333 career games with the Giants and Dodgers over eight big league
BoSox add Mujica to bullpen
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox have signed pitcher Edward
Mujica to a two-year contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Yahoo! Sports earlier this week
reported the pact to be worth $9.5 million.
Mujica earned 37 saves last season for the St. Louis Cardinals and was an All-
Star for the first time, but struggled toward the end of the campaign and lost
his job to Trevor Rosenthal. Mujica, who was 2-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 65 games
last year, made just two appearances in the postseason and did not pitch in
the World Series against the Red Sox.
The 29-year-old right-hander owns a career mark of 19-19 with a 3.75 ERA and
41 saves in 381 major league games, all but four out of the bullpen, with the
Indians, Padres, Marlins and Cardinals.
Orioles sign Peguero
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Orioles have signed
outfielder Francisco Peguero to a one-year contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Peguero appeared in 18 games for the San Francisco Giants last year and batted
.207 with his first big league home run. He has a .200 average over 35 big
league games in two seasons with the Giants.
The 25-year-old Dominican native is a career .306 hitter in 690 minor league
games over eight seasons.
Houston inks Qualls to 2-year deal
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros signed reliever Chad
Qualls to a two-year contract on Saturday.
The deal also includes a club option for 2016.
"Improving our bullpen is a top priority this offseason," said Astros GM Jeff
Luhnow. "Bringing Chad back to Houston is a big step in that direction."
Qualls finished the 2013 season at 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 66 appearances for
the Miami Marlins.
A 2000 draft pick of the Astros, Qualls made his MLB debut with the franchise
in 2004 and remained there until 2007.
Pitching with eight organizations over his 10-year pro career, Qualls holds a
45-37 record, 3.79 ERA and 51 saves in 663 games.
Ravens activate TE Pitta
Owings Mills, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Baltimore Ravens activated
tight end Dennis Pitta from the injured reserve-designated to return list on
Pitta will be eligible to play his first game of the season against the
Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The four-year veteran suffered a fractured and
dislocated hip in training camp on July 27.
"You always want to see how you're going to respond after getting hit like
that," Pitta said. "It's not something you can simulate in rehab or even in
practice. It will be nice to take that first hit and just see how it feels."
The Brigham Young product caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns
Baltimore has used tight ends Dallas Clark and Ed Dickson in his place. They
have combined for 47 receptions and 554 receiving yards with three touchdowns.
Pitta has caught 102 passes for 1,075 yards and 10 touchdowns in 43 games with
Baltimore released running back Bernard Scott to make room for Pitta on the
Chiefs release WR Hall
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Chiefs released wide
receiver Chad Hall on Saturday.
The club filled the roster spot by promoting tight end Dominique Jones from
the practice squad.
Hall recorded one catch for nine yards in eight games this season.
Jones joined Kansas City's practice squad in late October after playing in six
games, starting two, with Indianapolis earlier in the season. He has three
career receptions for 42 yards in 10 NFL games, all with the Colts.
Boychuk sidelined with back sprain
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk is
expected to be sidelined for a few days after being diagnosed with a sprained
Boychuk was taken off the ice on a stretcher early in the first period of
Thursday's game against Montreal and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli
gave an update on the blueliner's condition Saturday.
Chiarelli said Boychuk would be sidelined for at least three days and up to a
week because of the injury.
Boychuk went into the left-corner boards on Thursday to chase down a puck and
was pushed from behind by Montreal's Max Pacioretty. He hit the boards head
first and collapsed to the ice.
As he was immobilized and placed on the stretcher, Boychuk never lost
consciousness and was taken to Montreal General Hospital. He was able to fly
home with the team later that night.
Pacioretty was issued a boarding minor on the play at 4:28.
Boychuk has averaged a little over 21 minutes of ice time per game this
season, posting one goal and five assists in 27 contests.
Notre Dame headed to the Pinstripe Bowl
South Bend, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Notre Dame has accepted an invitation to
the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
The Fighting Irish finished the season at 8-4 and will face a team from the
American Athletic Conference on Dec. 28 in the Bronx.
It will be Notre Dame's second appearance at the new Yankee Stadium, which
opened in 2009. The Irish came away with a 27-3 win over Army in the first
football game played at the facility in 2010.
"Quite simply, we are thrilled to bring our football program to the New Era
Pinstripe Bowl," said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. "We were privileged to
play in New York City and Yankee Stadium in 2010. The treatment our university
received from the Steinbrenner family, the New York Yankees and the entire
organization was unlike anything we've experienced in my tenure at Notre
Notre Dame will play in a bowl game for the fourth straight year and owns a
15-17 postseason record. The Irish lost to Alabama in last year's BCS National
Marshall headed to Military Bowl
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Marshall accepted a bid to the Military
Bowl shortly after the Thundering Herd's loss to Rice in Saturday's Conference
Marshall dropped to 9-4 following its 41-24 setback to the Owls, who earned a
berth in the Liberty Bowl as the C-USA champion, but won seven of its final
eight regular-season contests and captured the league's East Division with a
"We couldn't be more excited to have the Thundering Herd travel to the
National Capital region," Military Bowl president and executive director Steve
Beck said. "As evidenced on the field this season, Marshall has a terrific
team and we are sure their fans will enjoy our hospitality."
The Thundering Herd will be returning to a bowl game after missing out on one
in 2012. Marshall most recently appeared in the 2011 Beef O'Brady's Bowl in
St. Petersburg, Fla., posting a 20-10 victory over Florida International.
Marshall will face a yet-to-be determined opponent from the Atlantic Coast
Conference in the Dec. 27 Military Bowl, which will be held at Navy-Marine
Corps Stadium in Annapolis, MD. this year after staging the previous five
editions of the event at RFK Stadium in Washington.
Rice (10-3) will take on a team from the Southeastern Conference in the
Liberty Bowl, which will take place on its customary New Year's Eve date in
Johnson's contract extended at Tulane
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tulane rewarded head football coach
Curtis Johnson with a three-year contract extension Saturday after leading the
program to its first bowl bid in 11 years.
The Green Wave went 7-5 overall and 5-3 in Conference USA in Johnson's second
season at the helm, earning a berth in the Dec. 21 New Orleans Bowl opposite
Louisiana. It was Tulane's first winning campaign since 2002, when the school
went 8-5 and captured the inaugural Hawaii Bowl.
Johnson, who spent six years as the wide receivers coach for the NFL's Saints
prior to coming to Tulane, is now under contract through 2020.
"I'm very pleased to announce an extension through 2020 for Coach Johnson,"
said Tulane athletics director Rick Dickson. "He and his staff have quickly
established a winning culture within the Tulane cornerstones of excellence in
scholarship, sport and service. We look forward to working together through
this new era for Tulane football, as we go forward into our bowl game, our new
conference our and new stadium."
The Green Wave went 2-10 in Johnson's first year prior to becoming one of the
most improved teams in FBS this season. Tulane's five conference wins in 2013
were also the school's most since 1998.
Tiger retains 2-stroke World Challenge lead
Thousand Oaks, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tournament host Tiger Woods shot even-
par 72 at blustery Sherwood Country Club on Saturday to retain his 2-stroke
lead heading into the final round of the World Challenge.
Woods, who has won this event five times and most recently in 2011, sits at
11-under-par 205 through 54 holes.
"It's hard, the wind is dancing all over the place," Woods said in a televised
Zach Johnson played alongside Woods and also managed a 72 to remain in second
place at 9-under 207, while Bubba Watson fired a 69 and moved into third place
Matt Kuchar shot 76 and dropped into fourth place at 4-under, one shot ahead
of Webb Simpson, who shot 69 to grab solo fifth.
Defending champion Graeme McDowell (75) and Jason Day (70) share sixth at
On Friday, Woods cruised into the lead with a course-record tying 62, but
scoring proved significantly tougher on Saturday, as light rain in the morning
gave way to swirling winds.
Johnson began the round two strokes behind Woods, but he better managed the
unpredictable conditions in the early going, mixing three birdies and a bogey
during his outward nine to work his way in front by the turn.
Woods converted a tap-in birdie at the second, but he tripped to bogeys at
Nos. 4 and 8 to fall one stroke behind Johnson, whose lead proved short-lived.
At No. 10, Woods rolled home a birdie putt to pull even and Johnson lost
ground from there, going bogey-double bogey from the 11th.
Woods didn't take full advantage, as he bogeyed Nos. 13 and 15, but the world
No. 1 closed strong, nearly notching an eagle at the par-5 16th before tapping
in for birdie, then draining a 10-foot birdie putt at the last to reach 11-
"It's so hard to pull a club," stated Woods. "Zach and I were backing off and
trying to figure out something to hit out there and it's hard."
After a birdie at the 13th and a bogey at the 15th, Johnson also managed to
finish strong, as he matched Woods' birdies at both the 16th and 18th, rolling
home a 20-footer at the last to remain two shots back.
"You've got to commit out here at Sherwood," said Johnson. "There's too many
holes with slope in degrees of yardage that you have to take into account and
swirling winds that you have to pay attention to. But it's pure. The greens
are as good as they come. You get it on line and you'll make it."
NOTES: Woods won here in 2001, 2004, 2006 2007 and 2011. He also owns four
runner-up finishes ... There was a 1-hour frost delay in each of the first two
rounds ... Johnson held a 1-stroke lead after Thursday's first round.
Donaldson remains 3 clear at Nedbank Challenge
Sun City, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Jamie Donaldson carded his second
5-under 67 of the week on Saturday and remained three strokes clear of the
field after three rounds of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Donaldson, a two-time winner on the European Tour, finished 54 holes at 16-
"I've got to go out there tomorrow and play really good golf. This is a tough
field, and a lead in this event doesn't mean much," Donaldson admitted.
Thomas Bjorn shared the low round of the day honors with his 66. That helped
him move into a share of second place at minus-13. He was joined there by Ryan
Moore, who shot 67 in round three.
Sergio Garcia and Thongchai Jaidee matched Bjorn's 66. Garcia and Jaidee stand
alongside Henrik Stenson (69) in fourth at 11-under-par 205 at Gary Player
Donaldson had a steady front nine as he opened with three pars in a row. He
converted back-to-back birdie chances at four and five to move to 13-under.
The Englishman parred each of the next four holes. He followed an up-and-down
birdie on the 10th with kick-in birdie on No. 11, but his lead was down to two
as Bjorn eagled the 10th and birdied the 11th to trim the deficit.
For the third time in his round, Donaldson made back-to-back birdie chances,
this time from the 14th. That extended his lead to four.
Donaldson found rough of the 17th tee, then sand with his second shot. His
third stopped on the back fringe and he took two more to get down. The bogey
trimmed his lead to three, and that's where it ended as the final group all
parred the 18th hole.
"I was in between clubs on the 17th tee. I hit 3-wood and started it at the
traps, when it was driver over the top or 5-wood short. Naturally, that's my
caddy's fault, not mine," Donaldson joked. "It put us in a difficult position,
but in the end it was a good five."
Bjorn had three birdies on the front nine, and picked up three shots on the
first two holes around turn. He played final seven holes in even-par with a
bogey on the 14th and a birdie at the last.
Moore did his scoring in two bunches. After four straight pars to start his
round, he carded three birdies in a 4-hole span from the fifth to jump to
The CIMB Classic winner birdied the 11th, then stuffed his approach at the
13th within two feet and kicked that in to move to 13-under. Moore finished
with five pars in a row.
NOTES: Defending champion Martin Kaymer stumbled to a 2-over 74 and dipped
into a share of 14th at 5-under 211 ... Nineteen of the 30 players in the
field broke par in the third round.
Manley claims 1-stroke lead in Hong Kong
Fanling, Hong Kong (SportsNetwork.com) - Stuart Manley carded a 4-under 66 on
Saturday to claim a 1-stroke lead at the end of three rounds of the Hong Kong
Manley finished 54 holes at Hong Kong Golf Club at 10-under-par 200. He is
searching for his first career victory on the European Tour.
"I've led quite a few times on the Challenge Tour, so hopefully that will put
me in good stead for tomorrow," said Manley. "There will be a few nerves early
on I think, but I'm swinging so well that if I can be committed to the golf
shot I'll be fine and just enjoy it."
Shiv Kapur and Wade Ormsby also shot 66s to share second place at 9-under,
while defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, Steve Webster and Jose Manuel
Lara all carded 5-under 65s to sit in a tie for fourth at 8-under 202.
Joel Sjoholm (65), Prom Meesawat (67) and Alex Cejka (68) occupied seventh
place at 7-under 203.
Jbe Kruger entered the third round with a 1-stroke lead, but quickly lost that
advantage with a bogey at the first to fall to 6-under and into a tie with
Manley, Jaakko Makitalo, Sjoholm and Meesawat.
Kruger bounced back with a birdie at the third to reclaim the outright lead,
but he would eventually be met atop the leaderboard by Manley, Sjoholm and
Sjoholm reached 7-under by capping his bogey-free round with a birdie at the
18th to claim the clubhouse lead.
Manley then lost his share of the lead with a bogey at the sixth before
Webster birdied three straight from the 12th to take his share of first place.
But Manley atoned for his mistake by rolling in a lengthy birdie putt at the
seventh to move back to minus-7 and make it a five-way tie for the lead.
Kruger would fall apart from there, as he bogeyed the ninth to drop a shot off
the pace, and later tripped to a double-bogey 6 at the 11th to fall further
Manley, meanwhile, stuck his tee shot at the par-3 eighth to within inches of
the hole and kicked in that short birdie effort to pull ahead of the pack at
The top of the leaderboard would remain cluttered when Webster recorded his
fourth birdie in a five-hole span at the 16th, Lara birdied three straight
from the 13th and Jimenez posted back-to-back gains at the 13th and 14th to
all join Manley at 8-under.
Manley, however, would again break ahead of the pack with a birdie at the
10th, and then added another birdie at the 13th to move two clear of the field
The Welshman fell back to 9-under with a bogey at the 16th and was joined
there when Kapur and Ormsby both closed their rounds with birdies at the 18th,
but Manley reclaimed sole possession of first with about a 10-foot birdie at
Manley parred the last to hang on to his 1-stroke lead heading into the final
"Pretty much from the first hole onwards, every iron shot was right down the
pin," Manley said. "If it had been a good day on the greens it could have been
a really low round, so it was disappointing not to capitalize. But I feel very
confident the way I'm playing and I'm really excited about tomorrow."
NOTES: Manley's best finish on tour was ninth place at the 2010 Iberdrola Open
Cala Millor Mallorca ... Jimenez, who also won this event in 2005 and 2008,
can join Hsieh Yung-yo as the only four-time winners of this event with a
victory this week ... Roope Kakko recorded a hole-in-one at the second ...
Kruger finished with a 3-over 73 to fall into a share of 21st place at 4-under
206 ... Kapur and Ormsby are also searching for their first career win on the
Phatlum rallies past Lewis to win Dubai crown
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Pornanong Phatlum birdied
the final two holes on Saturday to come from behind and win the Dubai Ladies
Phatlum ended the event at 15-under-par 273 after closing with a 6-under 66.
This was her second win on the Ladies European Tour.
World No. 3 Stacy Lewis led after the second and third rounds, and closed with
a 3-under 69 to end one back at minus-14 on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf
Lewis and Phatlum both birdied the second, and Lewis made it two in a row with
a birdie on the third. Phatlum dropped in back-to-back birdies at seven and
Lewis matched Phatlum's birdie on No. 8 and she pushed her lead back to three
with a birdie at the 10th. Phatlum trimmed the deficit to one as she birdied
the 13th and 14th.
At the par-3 15th, both players stumbled to bogeys as Lewis remained one ahead
with three to play. Lewis parred the last three to end at 14-under par.
Phatlum birdied the final two holes to claim the victory.
Carlota Ciganda managed a 1-under 71 in the final round, and that helped her
take third place at 7-under 281. Diana Luna (73) was alone in fourth at
World No. 4 Shanshan Feng (71), Laura Davies (73) and Louise Larsson (74)
shared fifth place a 3-under-par 285.
Green gains ground at Q-School
Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jaye Marie Green shot 5-under-par 67
on Saturday and extended her lead to nine strokes entering the last round of
the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Green played her fourth round on the Arthur Hills Course at LPGA International
and moved to 25-under-par 263 for the tournament. The field split its first
four rounds on the Arthur Hills Course and the Rees Jones Course.
Mi Rim Lee shot 69 on the Arthur Hills Course and remained in second place at
16-under 272, while Tiffany Joh (68) stayed in third at 14-under and Amy
Anderson (70) held onto fourth at minus-11.
Seon Hwa Lee (70) and Kathleen Ekey (70) share fifth at 10-under, one shot
ahead of Erica Popson (67) and Megan Grehan (70), who are tied for seventh at
The field has been cut to the low 70 players for Sunday's final round on the
Jones Course. The low 45 players at event's end will earn LPGA Tour cards for
2014, with the top 20 receiving exempt status.
Green, who played on the Symetra Tour as a rookie in 2013, has kept the rest
of the field at a comfortable distance since the onset of the event, and
Saturday's round was no different.
The 19-year-old went bogey-free on Saturday, notching back-to-back birdies
from the fifth and another at the eighth to turn in 33. During her inward
stretch, she carded consecutive birdies from the 12th and parred the rest to
enter the ultimate round with a 9-shot advantage.
"I was telling my dad after I shot 10-under on the first day that I wanted to
get to 20-under before Sunday because then I'll have a big cushion," said
Green. "Today, when I got to 25-under I was like, 'Shoot, now I want to get to
30-under.' I'm starting to get a little greedy. But I like having such a
cushion which makes me focus on my game and not so much of the leaderboard."
Mi Rim Lee, coming off her course-record 61, started slowly on Saturday with
bogeys at Nos. 3 and 7. But she bounced back with an eagle at the par-5 eighth
and was flawless the rest of the way, adding birdies at Nos. 14, 15 and 18 to
retain solo second.
NOTES: As an amateur, Green titled at the Sally Championship and finished
second at the Symetra Tour's Daytona Beach Invitational ... Players who make
the cut and do not finish in the top 45 will receive Symetra Tour status.
Sturm defeats Barker for IBF middleweight title
Stuttgart, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Felix Sturm defeated defending
champion Darren Barker in the second round to capture the IBF middleweight
belt on Saturday.
Sturm (39-3-2) knocked down Barker (26-2) twice in the second round, with
Barker's trainer Tony Sims throwing in the towel after the second knockdown.
Barker had gestured to his corner after the second knockdown that he had
problems with his hip, and it was later found out that the hip was dislocated.
Barker had surgery on his hips in 2010, and was out of the ring for over a
year as a result.
Rigondeaux retains titles with UD over Agbeko
Atlantic City, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Guillermo Rigondeaux retained his WBO
and WBA Super Bantamweight belts with a unanimous decision over Joseph Agbeko
on Saturday at Boardwalk Hall.
All three judges scored the fight 120-108 in favor of Rigondeaux (13-0), who
was coming off a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire back in April.
Agbeko (29-5) has dropped three of his last four fights.
Porter beats Alexander for IBF belt
Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Shawn Porter won a unanimous decision over
Devon Alexander on Saturday to take the IBF welterweight belt.
Porter (23-0) came out ahead 116-112 on two scorecards and 115-113 on the
other to win his first title fight.
Alexander (25-2) was defending the title for the first time after taking it
from Randall Bailey on Oct. 20, 2012.
Also at Barclays Center on Saturday night, Paul Malignaggi outpointed Zab
Judah for a 12-round unanimous decision win.
12/08 01:33:03 ET