Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor, Piscataquis Country Club in Guilford and Whitetail Golf Course in Charleston have all set their openings for this week.
Kebo will open Thursday at 9 a.m. The green fee is $25. The golf course came through the winter in great shape. The grounds crew has been hard at work on preparing the course for opening day, as well as completing some course improvement projects. Visit www.kebovalleyclub.com or call 288-3000, ext.1, for information on new membership rates.
Under new owners Ken and Sharon Martin, Whitetail will also open Thursday at 7 a.m., walking only. Carts may be available by the weekend. Weekday rates are $13 for nine holes walking and $18 for 18 holes. Riding carts are $7 per person more on weekdays. Weekends are $17 for nine holes and $23 for 18 holes for walkers, $27 for nine holes and $35 for 18 holes with cart when dry. Weekdays after 5 p.m. are $20 with cart unlimited play. The mini putting course is $5 per person. For more info, call 285-7730.
Piscataquis will open Saturday at 9 a.m. and riding carts will be available. Call 270-0990 for more information.
Reds’ Votto agrees to 12-year contract
CINCINNATI — Joey Votto got the big payday by staying in a small market, agreeing to a 12-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday that is the longest guaranteed contract in major league history.
The deal adds 10 years to his previous contract and includes a club option for 2024.
After watching NL Central rivals St. Louis and Milwaukee lose their first basemen to big deals in bigger markets, the Reds secured their 2010 National League MVP for more than $200 million, easily eclipsing the package that Ken Griffey Jr. got to return home in 2000 as the largest in Reds’ history.
“It’s hard to compete with the bigger markets,” manager Dusty Baker said before a workout at Great American Ball Park. “You see those guys who have left — they couldn’t come up with a deal — and they go to bigger markets like New York, L.A., Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Anaheim.
“It means a lot not only for the franchise but also for the city. It means kids can grow up emulating him and pretending to be Joey Votto.”
Albert Pujols helped St. Louis win the World Series, then got a $240 million, 10-year deal from the Angels in December. Prince Fielder led Milwaukee to the division title, but left for a $214 million, nine-year contract with the Tigers.
Votto was offered a long-term deal in 2010, but chose a $38 million, three-year contract through 2013. The 28-year-old first baseman gets base salaries of $9.5 million this year and $17 million in 2013.
With the additional 10 years, Votto’s contract tops the 11 guaranteed seasons Colorado gave Todd Helton in 2001.
Votto is the cornerstone of an offense that is one of the most productive in the National League, playing in one of its most homer-friendly ballparks. Votto batted .324 with 37 homers and 113 RBIs in 2010, and followed that by batting .309 with 29 homers, 103 RBIs and a career-high 40 doubles last year.
Judge says Reebok can’t sell NY Tebow items
NEW YORK — A judge on Wednesday rejected Reebok’s bid to overturn his ban on its sale of Tim Tebow New York Jets jerseys, saying the public can wait a few weeks for Nike Tebow jerseys to show up in stores.
U.S. District Judge Kevin P. Castel said Nike Inc. had shown a “probability of success” in its quest to permanently halt Reebok sales of Tebow jerseys and T-shirts during a daylong hearing that follows the filing of a lawsuit last week. Castel temporarily blocked Reebok from selling 6,000 Tebow-Jets jerseys and 25,000 T-shirts a week ago.
Reebok International Ltd. argued for the ban to be lifted Wednesday, saying it had found evidence that the Canton, Mass.-based company, an Adidas AG subsidiary, was within its rights to create the jerseys and T-shirts even though its agreement with the National Football League Players Inc. to use players’ names and numbers had expired at the end of February. Its 10-year NFL licensing deal for players’ apparel expired at the end of March, when Nike began its own five-year deal.
Julian Friedman, a lawyer for Reebok, told Castel that Reebok is permitted to sell leftover apparel for two months after the NFL licensing agreement expired and should be allowed to sell the Tebow Jets merchandise until the end of May.
Randolph Foster, a Nike lawyer, showed the judge that Tebow-Jets shirts made by Nike were already on store shelves when he displayed one he had obtained during a lunch break.
The judge’s ruling continued the ban he imposed after Nike sued Reebok last week, days after Tebow was traded from Denver to New York. The trade came just as Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike was preparing to take over the NFL’s merchandising contract from Reebok.
After the hearing, Friedman declined to comment about Reebok’s next move.
Indians place Grady Sizemore on 60-day DL
CLEVELAND — The Indians have placed oft-injured center fielder Grady Sizemore on the 60-day disabled list and finalized their roster for opening day.
Sizemore, who underwent back surgery last month, will not be eligible to come off the DL until June 3. He has been in Cleveland doing his rehab. General manager Chris Antonetti said the three-time All-Star has been working on his stability and mobility and will resume baseball activities “in a couple weeks.”
Sizemore re-signed with the Indians as a free agent this winter. He injured his back while fielding ground balls early in spring training.
The Indians also purchased the contracts of infielder Jose Lopez and reliever Dan Wheeler from Triple-A Columbus. The club placed lefthander David Huff on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring and designated outfielder Thomas Neal for assignment.
AP source: Niese, Mets agree to $25.5M deal
NEW YORK — Jonathon Niese can afford his own nose jobs in the future.
In the Mets’ first major move since resolving the lawsuit by the trustee in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, the team agreed with Niese on a $25.5 million, five-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal had not yet been announced. The contract includes club options for 2017 at $10 million and 2018 at $10.5 million.
The deal came a day before the Mets’ opener against Atlanta at Citi Field.
All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran, then with the Mets, offered last summer to pay for Niese to have surgery to correct a deviated septum. Niese had the operation in October and said last month that he’s been breathing easier now that the right nostril is no longer blocked. Niese said Beltran had paid the $10,000 bill.
A 25-year-old lefthander, Niese was 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA last season. He had agreed in March to a one-year contract paying $519,550 in the major leagues and would have been eligible for free agency after the season.
Lebedev knocks out Cox in Moscow
MOSCOW — Denis Lebedev retained his interim WBA cruiserweight title Wednesday by knocking out challenger Shawn Cox of Barbados in the second round at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall.
The 32-year-old Russian earned his 18th career knockout and improved to 25-1.
Cheered on by the home crowd, Lebedev unloaded a series of lefts and rights in the first round and continued to dominate in the second.
Four heavy lefts almost sent Cox into the ropes, and Lebedev then finished him off with a hook to the head that sent the challenger to the canvas, unable to get up.
Lebedev took a left to the chin in the first round, but his victory never seemed in doubt after that.
It was Lebedev’s third straight victory in Moscow. The Russian knocked out Roy Jones Jr. last May and beat James Toney in November.
His only career loss was a controversial points loss against Marco Huck in a title bout in Germany in 2010.
Green Bay brings Borseth back as women’s coach
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Women’s basketball Kevin Borseth is leaving Michigan to return to Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Borseth will be introduced in a news conference in Green Bay on Thursday. He will replace Matt Bollant, who recently left for Illinois.
It’s a surprising return for Borseth, who spent the past five seasons as the head coach at Michigan after leaving Green Bay. The Wolverines announced Borseth’s resignation Wednesday.
Borseth coached the Phoenix from 1998-2007, leading them to the postseason in all nine seasons, including seven trips to the NCAA tournament. Borseth was 216-62 at Green Bay.