Red Sox offer Ortiz $13.3M, one-year deal
BOSTON — The Red Sox made a qualifying offer of a $13.3 million, one-year contract to designated hitter David Ortiz, which would entitle Boston to an extra draft pick if he leaves as a free agent.
The team has been negotiating with Ortiz on a two-year deal. He has until Nov. 9 to accept the $13.3 million deal.
Boston did not make qualifying offers Friday to right-handers Aaron Cook, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Vicente Padilla; first baseman James Loney; and outfielders Scott Podsednik and Cody Ross.
Ortiz batted .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs while missing almost half the season with games due to a strained right Achilles tendon.
NHL cancels Winter Classic at Big House
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The NHL has put one of its signature events on ice.
The Winter Classic, scheduled between Detroit and Toronto for Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium, became the latest casualty of the league’s lockout.
“The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today’s decision unavoidable,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Friday. “We simply are out of time. We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events.”
Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall was bummed out, too. He was looking forward to facing the Maple Leafs in a matchup of two Original Six teams in the home of college football’s winningest team.
“It’s obviously very sad,” Kronwall told The Associated Press. “The Winter Classic is one of the highlights of the year, and this is something everyone has been looking to because playing at the Big House would’ve been something very special.”
Don Fehr, the players’ union executive director, called the decision “unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners’ implementation of the lockout itself.”
Miami facing tough choice on postseason
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami has the inside track to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division title and the program’s first berth in the league’s championship game, where a spot in the Orange Bowl would be at stake.
Thing is, it’s unclear if the Hurricanes would even accept such a prize.
Being atop the Coastal Division this late in the season is both thrilling and thorny for Miami, which is expected to soon decide whether to self-impose a postseason ban for the second straight year, a move that would be related to the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Hurricanes’ compliance practices.
Such a decision would be an attempt to lessen the impact of whatever sanctions ultimately get imposed against Miami. Those sanctions are likely to be handed down early next year, based on the expectation that the Hurricanes will receive their notice of allegations — in essence, the end of the investigation phase and start of the penalty phase — from the NCAA in the next few weeks.
“You have to be very careful and think through all the ramifications,” acting Miami athletic director Blake James told The Associated Press on Friday.
The NCAA has long taken into account when schools self-impose penalties prior to any hearings before the committee on infractions.
Conte fined $21K for hit on Panthers WR LaFell
NEW YORK — Bears safety Chris Conte has been fined $21,000 by the NFL for striking Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell in the head and neck area when LaFell was defenseless.
Conte made the hit in Chicago’s 23-22 victory over Carolina last Sunday. The league announced the fine Friday, and Conte has appealed.
Fined $15,750 were Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour, Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty, Jets linebacker Marcus Dowtin and Titans rookie defensive tackle Mike Martin.
Seymour was docked for roughing Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, hitting him after a pass was thrown and knocking Cassel to the ground. Canty was fined for striking Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo with the crown of his helmet.
Dowtin’s hit to the head area of Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore got him fined and Martin used his helmet to strike Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck in the shoulder.
Fined $10,000 was Dolphins rookie tackle Jonathan Martin for clipping against the Jets.
Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen and Tampa Bay tackle Donald Penn were fined $7,875 each for pulling one another’s face masks.
WADA backs sanctions in Lance Armstrong case
MONTREAL — The World Anti-Doping Agency accepted the decision that stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, saying Friday it was the “right and proper sanction” for the disgraced American cyclist.
Last week, the International Cycling Union also accepted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s sanctions, wiping Armstrong’s name from the Tour winner’s list, banning him for life and asking him to return millions of dollars in prize money.
WADA had 21 days to decide whether to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the Montreal-based agency announced Friday it would not appeal.
“This case has resulted in a right and proper sanction for the athlete … and has served as a revelation to the world of sport. For this USADA must be applauded,” WADA President John Fahey said in a statement.
WADA also said it was waiting with “considerable interest” for details of UCI’s proposed independent inquiry into the cycling body’s handling of the Armstrong case.
“Only with the necessary independence and terms of reference will the inquiry be able to properly address the systemic culture of doping that was allowed to develop in cycling during this time,” Fahey said.