Sports briefs, Sept. 30

Posted Sept. 30, 2011, at 11:55 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 01, 2011, at 12:57 a.m.

Oxford sets date for 2012 TD Bank 250

The 39th annual TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway will be held on Sunday, July 22, 2012.

The race will again be held during an off-weekend for the Sprint Cup series.

Since 2004, when owner Bill Ryan began holding the race on a weekend without a Sprint Cup race, Ryan has landed several Sprint Cup drivers for the race including defending 250 champ Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, who also took the checkered flag in 2008.

Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch are among the others who have raced in the 250 since 2004.

All six are currently in the Chase for the Sprint Cup points championship.

Brewers to start Greinke in Game 2 of NLDS

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers will start Zack Greinke in Sunday’s Game 2 of the NL division series.

Greinke will be pitching on three days’ rest for the second straight turn.

With the Brewers trying to nail down home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, Greinke pitched six innings and got the win in Wednesday’s season finale against Pittsburgh. Greinke’s previous start came Sept. 24 against Florida.

The decision to start Greinke on short rest allows Milwaukee to start Shaun Marcum in Game 3 at Arizona. Marcum was 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA at home and 8-3 with a 2.21 ERA on the road this season.

Yovani Gallardo will pitch Game 1 on Saturday.

Plan for Wade, James to play FIU game completed

MIAMI — The idea was hatched a couple weeks ago when LeBron James was among a small group reaching out to Isiah Thomas about the possibility of hosting a star-studded charity game at Florida International as a way to connect with fans during the NBA lockout.

A deal was soon struck, and at least for one night, the NBA — along with the biggest Heat stars — will play again in Miami.

Plans were finalized Friday for an charity game that will feature James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and a host of other standouts on Oct. 8 at FIU — the school where Thomas, the Basketball Hall of Famer, is a coach.

Tickets go on sale Monday and organizers expect the game should sell out quickly, with a crowd of just under 5,000 expected. FIU officials said proceeds will go toward Mary’s Court Foundation, a charity established in honor of Thomas’ late mother, Mary Thomas.

The game is “gonna be crazy,” Wade wrote on Twitter, adding that he and James will be on different teams.

The list of other players expected to attend includes Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, John Wall and Heat guard Mario Chalmers. Some details about the game were released early this week, but it took several more days for certain logistics to be settled and paperwork to be signed.

“I said yes and before you know it, more people wanted to play,” Thomas said. “When LeBron and Wade and those guys get together on something, it goes to show you how quickly it can come together.”

Thomas said he was “overwhelmed” that the game will benefit the charity bearing his mother’s name, an idea he said the players involved in organizing the event came up with on their own.

“When they said that to me, I cried,” Thomas said. “My mom was the NBA mom. Not only did she look out for other moms in the NBA, she tried to help all people. The fact that these guys appreciate things she did, hell, I didn’t even know they knew.”

Some NBA players have played in a handful of exhibitions during the offseason, such as Durant delighting huge crowds at New York’s famed Rucker Park and James and Anthony headlining a game last weekend at The Palestra in Philadelphia. On Saturday, Wade — who hasn’t played in a truly competitive game since the NBA finals — and James are among many stars expected at a game Paul is hosting in North Carolina.

And it’s possible the game at FIU might have more star power than any other exhibition this offseason.

“I’m going to enjoy the moment,” Thomas said. “It really is kind of overwhelming.”

South Florida has been a training hotbed for NBA players throughout the offseason, with Stoudemire and Joe Johnson among those training regularly at FIU and many other players getting into games and working out nearby at the University of Miami.

EGR hires John Probst as technical director

CONCORD, N.C. — John Probst was hired Friday as technical director to oversee all engineering for the NASCAR operation at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Probst will work closely with team competition director Steve Hmiel (pronounced Meal). Probst previously spent five years with Team Red Bull as technical director of their two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation.

Probst worked for more than a decade at Ford Motor Company, predominantly in their motor sports division. He also held posts at Ford Electronics Racing and Jackie Stewart’s Formula One program.

“You owe it to your team, partners and the fans to bring in good people whenever you have the opportunity,” owner Chip Ganassi said. “So when John became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him on board.”

Santos gets new deal with White Sox

CHICAGO — White Sox closer Sergio Santos has agreed to an $8.25-million, three-year contract that includes three club options.

The 28-year-old Santos went 4-5 with 30 saves and a 3.55 ERA in 63 appearances this season. He made a major league-record 25 straight scoreless appearances on the road to start the season from April 2-August 30.

The White Sox announced the deal on Friday.

Santos will receive $1 million next season, $2.75 million in 2013 and $3.75 million in 2014. The options are for $6 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $8.75 million the following season.

Santos also gets $750,000 if the White Sox decline any of the three options.

Chicago acquired Santos in a trade with San Francisco in 2009.

LA Kings sign Trent Hunter to 1-year deal

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Trent Hunter to a one-year deal.

The Kings announced the deal Friday for Hunter, the longtime New York Islanders forward.

Hunter spent parts of the last nine seasons with the Islanders, scoring 229 points in 459 career games. He missed most of last season after surgery on his injured left knee, playing in just 17 games.

The Islanders traded Hunter in July to the New Jersey Devils, who waived him four days later. Hunter joined the Kings on a tryout contract two weeks ago, impressing coach Terry Murray in his bid to earn a roster spot as a depth forward.

Hunter has scored 99 career goals.

SEC watchdog finds no merit to Cuban’s claims

WASHINGTON — A watchdog report says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has no grounds to claim that Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys engaged in misconduct in an insider trading case against him.

The SEC’s inspector general’s office says in a report issued Friday there wasn’t enough evidence to support Cuban’s claims. They include allegations that agency attorneys notified him of possible civil charges before their investigation was complete.

The SEC filed charges against him in November 2008, accusing him of avoiding a $750,000 loss in 2004 by selling shares of Internet search company Mamma.com after receiving confidential information about a private stock offering.

Cuban has fought the SEC charges and sued the commission in May 2009. Last September, a federal appeals court revived the SEC’s lawsuit against the billionaire.

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