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Sports briefs for Feb. 13, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Larry Bird’s son arrested at IU

The son of basketball great Larry Bird was arrested Sunday, accused of trying to hit his ex-girlfriend with his car, according to an Indianapolis Star report.

Connor Bird, 21, was arrested at Indiana University, the school’s police chief, Keith Cash, told the paper. He faces multiple preliminary charges, including battery with injury, criminal mischief, intimidation with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana.

No formal charges have been filed.

An attorney for Bird told the paper: “It is a private matter we are hoping to resolve as quickly as possible. We are happy no one was seriously hurt.”

Brewers’ Hart ahead of schedule in rehab

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Corey Hart arrived at spring training on crutches, less than three weeks after having knee surgery with a timetable of mid-to-late May for his return to action

But Wednesday morning, the Brewers right fielder said that his rehab was so far ahead of schedule that he could be back in uniform in late April if all goes well with the rest of his rehab.

“Everything has come faster than they thought it would come,” Hart told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “They tell me I am (ahead of schedule). All my swelling is gone already.

“I have to get an MRI at six weeks (from surgery). If that shows the spot they fixed is healed then I can start regular rehab.”

The 30-year-old, two-time All-Star underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee on Jan. 25. He also had surgery last spring on the same knee, but went on to hit .270 with 30 homers and 83 RBI.

NBA suspend Magic’s Turkoglu

The NBA has suspended Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu without pay for 20 games for violating terms of the league’s anti-drug program after he tested positive for methenolone.

Turkoglu, 33, who is in his 12th NBA season, said in a statement that the violation stemmed from medication given to him by his personal trainer in Turkey, where he spent much of the off-season. His suspension began with Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

“I take full responsibility for anything that goes into my body,” Turkoglu said in the statement released by the team. “This was a complete error in judgment on my part, and I apologize to the Orlando Magic organization, the league, my teammates, and the Magic fans. I know I have let down a lot of people, and I am truly sorry for my mistake.”

Federer warms up for title defence by freezing out Zemlja

ROTTERDAM — Roger Federer struggled to see the ball and felt the conditions at the World Indoor Tournament were a little too warm for his liking but that did not stop the top seed from romping to a 6-3 6-1 win over Slovenian Grega Zemlja in the first round on Wednesday.

Playing his first competitive match for almost three weeks, the Swiss defending champion struggled with his first serve in front of a capacity 10,500 crowd but he still completed victory in 58 minutes.

He won 10 straight points in the first set to take a 4-2 lead and from then on Federer allowed his opponent only two more games to wrap up his 10th straight win in Rotterdam.

“My start wasn’t so well because it was warmer on the court compared the training sessions I had the previous day,” Federer told reporters.

Former Dodger Mike Piazza calls out Vin Scully in book

LOS ANGELES — Mike Piazza has not set foot in Dodger Stadium since his retirement. When the Los Angeles Dodgers offered to honor him with a bobblehead night last season, Piazza declined.

“He doesn’t want to come back because he thinks the fans will boo,” former Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda, the godfather to Piazza’s brother, told the Los Angeles Times last month.

Piazza did himself no favors on that score in his new book, “Long Shot.” In the book, he blames iconic Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully for turning fans against him during the contract stalemate that preceded his trade to the Florida Marlins in 1998.

Piazza, who was eligible for free agency after the 1998 season, said he hoped to stay with the Dodgers but set a deadline of Feb. 15 to reach a new contract. In the book, Piazza wrote that Scully asked him about the deadline in a spring interview.

“He wasn’t happy about it,” Piazza wrote. “And Scully’s voice carried a great deal of authority in Los Angeles.”

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