NEW YORK — Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended two games without pay by the NBA for throwing a ball at an official during a game.
Stu Jackson, the NBA’s executive vice president for basketball operations, announced the suspension Monday, one day after Rondo received two technical fouls and was ejected late in the third quarter of Boston’s 96-81 loss at the Detroit Pistons.
Rondo was upset that a foul wasn’t called with about 3:00 left in the quarter and tossed the ball at referee Sean Wright. He followed that with a verbal barrage directed at Wright and was ejected from a game for the first time in his professional career.
“You’re always disappointed when that happens,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “You should never put yourself in front of the team. But it’s an emotional game. We can all agree that it was a pretty bad foul and a clear foul that wasn’t called. At the time, we were getting our butts kicked and the frustration was high and it’s a human game. I can guarantee you five seconds, 30 seconds after it happened, I guarantee you Rondo wished he could take it back.”
Rondo will miss Monday night’s game at Dallas and Wednesday’s matchup with Oklahoma City.
Rivers didn’t seem surprised that the suspension was for two games.
“They told us early to don’t prepare for him playing tonight. When they said that, I felt it meant multiple, otherwise they would have said one game.”
Manny Ramirez, Athletics reach deal
PHOENIX — Manny Ramirez and the Oakland Athletics have reached agreement on a minor league contract.
The A’s announced the deal Monday. Ramirez is expected to report to spring training by the end of the week.
The 12-time All-Star is due to serve a 50-game suspension for his second positive drug test before he can play for the A’s. Barring rainouts, his first game could be May 30 — on his 40th birthday.
Ramirez ranks 14th on the career list with 555 home runs. This would be the 20th major league season for Ramirez, a career .312 hitter with 1,831 RBIs.
Former top pick Oden has microfracture surgery
PORTLAND, Ore. — There appears to be no end in sight for Greg Oden and his troublesome knees.
The Portland Trail Blazers said Monday that a procedure to clear debris out of Oden’s left knee resulted in another microfracture surgery. Oden had the surgery in Vail, Colo. It was originally expected to be an arthroscopic procedure to clean out the 7-foot center’s knee, but the surgeon determined there was additional damage.
The former No.1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft has now had two microfracture surgeries on his left knee, and one on his right. He has also undergone surgery for a fractured left kneecap.
The Blazers say Oden will not play this season.
“It’s hard to put into words the heartbreak for everyone involved, but especially for Greg. He’s a young man who has experienced a great number of physical challenges in his playing career and today is yet another significant setback for him,” Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said in a prepared statement. “We have a lot of empathy for Greg and his family during this difficult time.”
Oden, who has not played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009, has appeared in 82 career games for the Blazers, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Ibanez agrees to $1.1M deal with Yanks
NEW YORK — A day after trading A.J. Burnett, the New York Yankees used some of the salary they saved to add Raul Ibanez as their left-handed designated hitter.
Ibanez and the Yankees agreed to a $1.1 million, one-year contract, a person familiar the negotiations said Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical. It includes $2.9 million in performance bonuses.
“He’s a guy that’s hit right-handers very well over his career, can still play the outfield,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, without confirming the agreement. “Has been a productive player if you look over the last 10 years.”
Ibanez is a 39-year-old outfielder who played with Philadelphia the last three seasons and hit .245 last year with 20 homers and 84 RBIs.
With a swing that seems tailored to the short right-field at Yankee Stadium, Ibanez is expected to be the Yankees’ primary designated hitter against right-handed starting pitchers. New York decided on him over Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, who also are free agents.
The agreement came one day after the Yankees traded Burnett to Pittsburgh, a deal in which the Pirates pay $5 million of the pitcher’s salary this year and $8 million in 2013.
New York also has an offer out to re-sign backup INF Eric Chavez.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy has indefinite extension
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy has received what general manager Dan O’Dowd calls an “indefinite” contract extension.
O’Dowd made the announcement during Tracy’s media session following Monday afternoon’s opening spring training workout. He says there was only a handshake — no formal paperwork or press release. Tracy’s previous contract took him through this season, so he eventually must sign a new deal.
The 56-year-old manager says he would like to one day retire with the Rockies.
Tracy was called into a meeting last week with front office members at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Tracy is 230-210 since taking over as manager in late May 2009, when he won NL Manager of the Year honors after leading Colorado to a 74-42 record and the NL wild card.
Chiefs, Routt reach 3-yr, $19.6M deal
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs agreed to terms on a $19.6 million, three-year deal with cornerback Stanford Routt on Monday, which should help Kansas City absorb the potential loss of Brandon Carr.
The deal includes a $4 million signing bonus and $6 million the first season, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the contract were not announced.
Routt is still owed $5 million next month from the Raiders, who released him after the first year of a $54.4 million, five-year deal. The $11 million Routt will make in 2012 puts him among the three highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL.
“We are excited that we were able to come to terms with Stanford,” general manager Scott Pioli said. “He is a talented player, and as we have said in the past, we are always looking to add competition at every position year-round. Stanford’s experience and level of play will make him a solid addition to our defense.”
Routt spent several days in Kansas City before choosing the Chiefs over competing offers from Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston, New Orleans, Minnesota and Tennessee.
His signing makes it easier for the Chiefs to deal with losing Carr, who has been a stalwart opposite his good pal Brandon Flowers in the secondary. The Chiefs are now likely to use the franchise tag on wide receiver Dwayne Bowe rather than using it to keep the defensive backfield together.
Carr has started all 64 games in his four seasons with the Chiefs.