A’s McCarthy alert after surgery on skull fracture
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy was in stable condition in the critical care unit of a Bay Area hospital on Thursday, a day after having surgery for a skull fracture and brain contusion caused by a line drive.
McCarthy was hit in the right side of the head Wednesday by a line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels. He was knocked down by the shot and hit his head on the ground.
The 29-year-old McCarthy eventually walked off the field under his own power and was taken to the hospital for further tests and observation.
A CT scan after the accident showed McCarthy had an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture. McCarthy was transferred to another hospital and had a second CT scan. He then underwent two hours of surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure in his head.
A CT scan taken Thursday showed improvement from the previous scans and McCarthy is currently resting in the hospital.
The A’s did not give a timetable for how long McCarthy will be out.
NHL labor negotiations could resume soon
NEW YORK — While the NHL and the players’ association stay away from the negotiating table, discussions have taken place behind the scenes in an effort to restart talks as a lockout deadline looms.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr have discussed procedural details that could soon lead to a continuation of negotiations that broke off last week — perhaps as early as this week.
The current collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association expires on Sept. 15, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said he will impose a lockout then if a new deal hasn’t been reached.
“From our perspective, there has been a sense of urgency all summer,” Daly said in an email to The Associated Press, “but, obviously, it becomes more real as we get closer to September 15 with no meaningful progress being made.”
The first NHL preseason games are scheduled to begin Sept. 19, with the regular season slated to open on Oct. 11 with four games.
The NHL canceled the entire 2004-05 season and playoffs before the current deal with the union was finally hammered out in July 2005.
Minnesota readies for beer sales at stadium
MINNEAPOLIS — Fans will be able to drink beer and wine at Minnesota’s first home football game of the year at TCF Bank Stadium this weekend.
Saturday’s Gophers game against New Hampshire will mark the first time alcohol will be sold at an athletic event on the University of Minnesota campus.
Associate Athletics Director Scott Ellison says officials are ready to let beer into the 2-year-old stadium, but admits they’re not sure how long customers will have to wait.
Minnesota Public Radio News ( http://bit.ly/Nf1QJc ) reports there will be only two areas to buy alcohol: the stadium’s west plaza and an overflow area outside of Gate A.
Beer and wine will go on sale an hour before kickoff and end right after halftime. Officials expect to sell about 7,000 drinks on game day.
Newman signs 1-year extension with Stewart-Haas
RICHMOND, Va. — Ryan Newman confirmed Thursday he has signed a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing for next season.
Newman is in the final year of the deal he signed in 2009. The extension is a one-year agreement, and he said he took a cut in pay just as nearly every driver has of late.
“I think in general everybody out there right now has taken a pay cut,” Newman said. “No different than the cost of a seat in the grandstands is down. It all correlates.”
SHR is searching for heavy sponsorship for next year after taking two big hits this summer. The U.S. Army, primary sponsor of Newman’s car, said earlier this summer it isn’t returning to NASCAR next season, and Office Depot said Sunday it won’t be back as co-primary of Tony Stewart’s car.
Newman said he isn’t aware of any signed sponsors for next season on his No. 39 Chevrolet.
Tennessee stepping up game-day recycling efforts
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Drivers heading to Tennessee home football games this season will receive separate recycling and trash bags when they enter the parking lot as part of the university’s attempts to increase recycling.
Volunteers will distribute a blue bag for recycling and a clear bag for trash to every vehicle that enters the lot. The bags also will be available at other tailgating locations on campus. Aluminum and steel cans, glass bottles, plastic cups and bottles, newspapers and cardboard should go in the blue bags.
Fans should tie their bags and leave them near their vehicles so crews can pick them up after the opening kickoff.
School officials hope to recycle 15 tons of material each home game. Last season, the school recycled about 10 tons of material per home game.
Oregon pushes for random drug testing
EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon is implementing random drug testing of all its athletes, following a media report earlier this year that estimated from 40 to 60 percent of the football team smoked marijuana.
Oregon’s previous drug policy allowed for testing when there was reasonable suspicion. A recent decision by the general counsel gives temporary permission for random testing effective this month. The policy still faces a public hearing in early October.
ESPN The Magazine’s April report was based on interviews with 19 current or former Oregon players and officials, and it accompanied a larger piece that looked at marijuana use among college football players nationwide.
In July, Oregon’s athletic department proposed the changes to strengthen its drug policy. Under it, student-athletes will be subject to random tests year-round, even in the summer. A number system will identify athletes for testing.
The random tests have not begun, according to university officials.
Oregon has not changed its penalties for positive tests.
Jets top Patriots in highest average price for tix
NEW YORK — The New York Jets are tops in the NFL — in average ticket prices.
Team Marketing Report released its Fan Cost Index on Thursday, with the Jets having the highest average for non-premium tickets at $117.94. They beat out their AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots, by 10 cents.
The Jets lowered some ticket prices for this year, but the total remains much higher than the league average, which is $78.38 — a 2.5 percent increase from last season. The Chicago Bears had the highest increase in average ticket prices at 9.2 percent, and rank fourth in the NFL at $110.91 per ticket.
The Super Bowl champion Giants are third at $111.69.
The Cleveland Browns have the lowest average per ticket at $54.20.