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Sports briefs, Dec. 29, 2011

From wire reports

White Sox, Danks agree to 5-year, $65 million deal

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox and starting pitcher John Danks have agreed on a five-year, $65 million contract through 2016.

The deal was announced Thursday.

Danks will earn $8 million next season, and $14.25 million in each of the final four years of the contract.

A 15-game winner in 2010, Danks slumped last season and was 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA.

The 26-year-old left-hander reportedly was on the trade market, but now, it appears the White Sox might try to rebuild with him after ace Mark Buehrle signed with the Miami Marlins. Danks would have been eligible for free agency after next season.

IRS sues Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner over tax refund

NEW YORK — The Internal Revenue Service is suing New York Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner over what it calls an “erroneous” tax refund of more than $670,000.

The suit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Tampa, Fla.

The dispute dates to the 2001 tax year and involves a refund the IRS paid in 2009. The IRS says the refund claim was filed too late and has sued Steinbrenner and his wife, Christina, to recover $670,493.78.

Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion says Steinbrenner’s representatives hadn’t received any prior notices regarding the matter from the IRS.

Adrian Peterson’s knee surgery set for Friday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has scheduled surgery to repair his left knee.

Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation Friday in Alabama, six days after Peterson tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee while being tackled in a game against the Washington Redskins.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson will be back in Minnesota on Monday for the team’s season-ending meetings. His rehabilitation work will be done in Minnesota and his home state of Texas.

Peterson was on crutches Thursday when he entered the locker room, but he didn’t speak to reporters. He finished the season with 970 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing in 12 games.

The Vikings have said they expect him to be ready for next year’s opener.

NASCAR’s Kahne sorry for breastfeeding comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne has apologized for comments he made on his Twitter account about public breastfeeding.

According to multiple media reports, Kahne posted messages on his account that he saw a mother breastfeeding a child in a supermarket, calling it “nasty” and saying he didn’t “feel like shopping any more or eating.”

Reports say Kahne then sent a crude reply message to a Twitter user who took issue with his comments.

After apparently deleting the offending posts from his Twitter feed, Kahne posted an apology on his Facebook page Wednesday, saying it wasn’t his intention “to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breastfeeding children. I want to make that clear.”

Kahne said he respects the mother’s right to feed her child “whenever and wherever she pleases.”

Kahne also posted a personal reply to the user he’d insulted.

“I wanted to apologize for saying what I said to you yesterday,” Kahne wrote. “It was out of line.”

Jordan engaged to model Yvette Prieto

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Jordan is engaged to longtime girlfriend Yvette Prieto, a Cuban-American model he’s been dating for three years.

Publicist Estee Portnoy confirmed the news, first reported by WCNC in Charlotte, on Thursday.

The Bobcats owner got engaged over the Christmas weekend. No wedding date has been set.

This will be Jordan’s second marriage. He married Juanita Vanoy in September 1989, and they divorced in 2006. They have two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine.

Donald, Tseng, Lehman win golf writers’ awards

HOUSTON — Luke Donald is the overwhelming choice as male player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America.

Donald, who won four times around the world and became the first player to win the money title on the PGA Tour and the European Tour in the same season, won 88 percent of the vote to easily beat Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Rory McIlroy.

Yani Tseng received 94 percent of the vote as the female player of the year after winning 12 times worldwide, including two majors. Tom Lehman was voted senior player of the year.

They will be honored at the GWAA annual awards dinner April 4 in Augusta, Ga.

Ex-official says FIFA traded TV rights for support

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner says he was awarded World Cup television rights for as little as $1 in return for helping Sepp Blatter in elections for the presidency of world football’s ruling body.

Warner says in a statement Thursday that FIFA gave him the 1998 World Cup rights in Trinidad & Tobago for $1 after helping Blatter win a “brutal” campaign to become FIFA president.

Warner claims he was sold the rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups after helping Blatter get re-elected in 2002, and also bought rights for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments.

Warner resigned from FIFA in June to avoid investigation of his role in arranging payments for Caribbean voters during Mohamed bin Hammam’s election challenge to Blatter.

Lindros ready for Classic return to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Eric Lindros is ready to return to Philadelphia.

For 11 years, the final image of Lindros in a Flyers jersey was him curled in a fetal position, knocked cold after a brutal shoulder-to-jaw check on the open ice from New Jersey’s Scott Stevens.

Lindros had a bitter falling out with former general manager Bobby Clarke and was traded to the New York Rangers 15 months after his final game.

Now, Lindros and the Flyers seemingly have repaired their dysfunctional relationship and hope to put the past to rest when he takes the ice in front of a sold-out crowd of 44,000 fans in Saturday’s Winter Classic alumni game.

Lindros will play for the Flyers organization for the first time since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals in May 2000.

Frazier: ‘Job security has never been an issue’

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Leslie Frazier says his job security “has never been an issue” despite a dismal record for the Minnesota Vikings in his first full season as head coach.

The Vikings are 3-12 entering their final game, on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Frazier was asked by reporters Thursday whether he’s been assured by team owners he’ll be back for 2012. He said he hasn’t, but he also said he has had no reason to question his future because of how supportive his bosses have been, how much they talk about the future, and how confident he is in his plan for helping rebuild the Vikings into a playoff contender.

Frazier was the interim coach for the last six games of last season after Brad Childress was fired.

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