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Sports briefs for March 10, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Sox shut down Ortiz with inflammation in heels

An MRI revealed that Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is suffering from inflammation in both heels, and as a result will be shut down for five to seven days.

Manager John Farrell indicated the setback probably means Ortiz will not be ready by opening day against the Yankees in New York on April 1.

“We got the MRI results back,” Farrell told the Boston Herald. “It does reveal some inflammation in the bony area of the heel. He’s dealing with that. That’s where the discomfort is being felt. As a result, we’re going to shut him down for a few days here to let that quiet down completely before we start to initiate any kind of baseball activities.”

Ortiz has mainly been having pain in both heels but specifically the right one, which he injured in July.

“We feel like progress is being in made,” Farrell said. “There’s no doubt about that. But he’s dealing with an issue that we’ve got to give it time to clear up.”

The 37-year-old Ortiz batted .318 with 23 homers last year before an Achilles injury first occurred in July.

After first hit, Jeter hopes to play in field soon

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter played in his first spring-training game Saturday as a designated hitter and singled on the first pitch in his first at-bat.

Jeter again will serve as the Yankees’ DH on Monday, and then he’s hoping to get some time at shortstop, possibly this week.

“If that’s what he feels he’s ready to do, then we’ll do it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. “He has a 100 percent clearance from the doctor.”

Jeter spent the offseason recovering from a broken ankle he suffered in October in the American League Championship Series. He received the medical go-ahead on Thursday to play in games but still is working his way back, as evidenced by his jog to first base on the single.

“I played a game. So now it’s just continue to get more and more comfortable. More at-bats. More pitches. More times running on the bases,” Jeter said.

Ryan meets with Rangers’ owners, hasn’t quit yet

After Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan met with team co-owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson Sunday, it appears Ryan will remain the team’s CEO for the time being.

Whether he will remain in that position for the long term is still unclear.

Ryan issued a statement on Sunday, according to CBSSports.com, which read: “Over the last week, Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, and I have been in discussion and met in-person. The conversations have been productive, and we have discussed my role as CEO of the organization. We agreed these discussions will continue as we go forward.

“I am very proud of what the Rangers have accomplished over the last several years, and I believe our preparations for upcoming season are what is important.”

Several media outlets reported Ryan was not pleased with a front office restructuring that reduced Ryan’s power, and it was reported he was considering stepping down.

CBSSports.com reported earlier that Ryan would decide by the end of spring training whether he would quit.

No punishment issued as result of WBC brawl

World Baseball Classic Inc. announced there would be no fines or suspensions as the result of an on-field brawl in the ninth inning of Canada’s 10-3 victory over Mexico.

More punches were thrown than landed in Saturday’s melee in Phoenix, but several players clearly had malicious intent. Seven were ejected and a handful of fights erupted in the announced crowd of 19,581. Not among them were All-Star caliber Major League Baseball participants Justin Morneau, Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was physically restrained by Team Canada first base coach Larry Walker.

“Because at least one club — and potentially both — will not advance to the second round, WBCI has determined that disciplinary measures would not have a meaningful corrective impact,” the statement read. “Thus, discipline will not be imposed beyond today’s seven game ejections.”

The managers said in their postgame press conference that the tiebreaking rule that implements run differential to determine which team advances to the second round was the root of the issue.

Canada’s Rene Tosoni was drilled in the back by a pitch from Mexico’s Arnold Leon, which prompted the fight.

Medical report clears Jarvis Jones ‘to play without restriction’

A medical report that has been sent to NFL teams might allay some fears about Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones’ physical condition. Jones, who has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, has seen his predraft stock plummet in the eyes of some.

Perhaps the top linebacker in this year’s draft, Jones had been pegged as a top-10 pick until teams examined his medical history closer.

“Jarvis Jones’ neck injury is starting to look like it might be a nonissue on draft day, and there is little chance he will fall out of the top 10,” National Football Post reported on Sunday.

The medical report compiled by leading orthopedist Craig Brigham disputes that Jones ever had a significant spinal cord contusion. Brigham concluded, “Jarvis is cleared to play without restriction.”

Jones was diagnosed with spinal stenosis while at Southern Cal in 2009. Doctors at USC did not clear him to play, so he transferred to George where in two years he dominated. This past season, Jones led the nation in sacks with 14.5 and tackles for loss with 24.5.

Brigham’s report said Jones “either had a very mild incident of spinal cord concussion or merely a stinger that has long since resolved.

Kicker Nugent signs 2-year deal to stay with Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals re-signed Kicker Mike Nugent to a two-year contract before he became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, according to a report on the team’s website.

“It’s great to be able to come back to a place where you love going to work every day,” Nugent told Bengals.com. “That obviously means a lot and I really think we’ve got a good thing going with the specialists. We’ve been together a long time and that not only helps us, but it helps the team, too.”

Nugent, 31, made 19 of 23 field goal attempts last season (82.3 percent) but injured his right calf in December and missed the Bengals’ playoff game.

Josh Brown filled in for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs, making 11 of 12 field goal tries (91.7 percent). But Nugent will get his job back next season.

A former New York Jets kicker, Nugent set Bengals records with 132 points and 33 field goals in 2011.

Jazz waive veteran Raja Bell

The Utah Jazz finally ended their unhappy relationship with veteran Raja Bell by releasing Bell on Sunday.

Bell has not been part of the Jazz team at all this season.

He had expressed his displeasure with his role and head coach Tyrone Corbin in the past, so the Jazz tried to buy out his contract or trade him while continuing to pay him.

The sides could never reach an agreement on a buyout, so he was waived. As a result, Bell will receive the full amount of his contract and is eligible to sign with another team once he clears waivers.

If he does sign with another team, he would not be able to play in the playoffs this season.

Bell, 36, averaged 6.4 points for the Jazz last season, when he played in 34 games, including 33 starts.

Ravens wide receiver Boldin refusing pay cut

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin might become a free agent after all.

Boldin previously said he only wants to play for the Ravens and would rather retire than play for another team.

That was before Boldin rejected a Ravens proposal to restructure his contract — reportedly a reduction of $2 million for 2013 — and could become an unrestricted free agent if the Ravens release him.

The 32-year-old is entering the final year of a four-year contract, which pays him $6 million in 2013. His cap number of $7.531 million made him a natural target of management.

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