Sports Briefs for April 14, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN
Posted April 14, 2013, at 8:40 p.m.

Steelers match Patriots’ offer to Sanders

The Pittsburgh Steelers retained wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders by matching the New England Patriots’ one-year, $2.5 million offer to the restricted free agent.

The Steelers had until Sunday to match the Patriots’ offer or receive a third-round draft pick as compensation.

Sanders was a third-round pick in 2010 and has started eight of 40 regular-season games. He has 94 career receptions for 1,290 yards and five touchdowns, and set career highs last season with 44 catches for 626 yards and one touchdown.

His role in Pittsburgh’s offense figures to increase next season with Mike Wallace leaving for the Miami Dolphins as a free agent.

Burke: Next stop NBA

To the surprise of no one, Michigan all-everything guard Trey Burke he will forgo his final two years at Ann Arbor and make himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

Burke had contemplated turning pro after his freshman year with the Wolverines. At that time he was projected as a second-round pick.

The decision to return paid off for the Ohio native and for the Wolverines’ basketball program.

Burke is now projected as a top-pick 10 pick and the Wolverines played for the national title for the first time in more than 20 years.

During his sophomore season, Burke averaged 18.6 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game leading Michigan to a 31-8 record in 2012-13, equaling the most wins in school history.

Quentin drops appeal, begins suspension

San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin dropped his appeal and began serving his eight-game suspension on Sunday when the Padres faced the Colorado Rockies.

That means Quentin will miss a three-game series in Los Angeles with the Dodgers that starts Monday, avoiding a rematch between the two teams.

Major League Baseball apparently expedited Quentin’s appeal of his punishment after he charged the mound Thursday night in a brawl that left Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke with a broken collarbone. There were concerns before the start of Monday’s series in Los Angeles about retaliation and an escalation of the bad blood between the teams over the incident on the field.

Greinke, who hit Quentin with a pitch in the seventh inning, had surgery on Saturday to repair his left collarbone and will miss eight weeks.

Bengals, LB Harrison near deal

The Cincinnati Bengals are working on a deal to sign former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison that could be finalized this week, according to multiple reports Sunday.

Harrison and former Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby came to Cincinnati last week to visit with Bengals officials. The team is trying to fill a linebacker spot left by Manny Lawson, a starter last year who signed with the Buffalo Bills during the offseason.

Last month, the 34-year-old Harrison refused to take a pay cut requested by the Steelers and was waived. He is due to make $6.57 million in 2013. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Steelers are not interested in re-signing him.

Baseball, softball merge, seek Olympic return

BERLIN — The governing bodies of baseball and softball have merged in a bid to win back their spot on the Olympic program, the heads of the federations said on Sunday.

The newly named World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will campaign for a return to the Olympic programme at the 2020 Games as a single sport. The International Olympic Committee will pick one sport to be included in the 2020 program at its meeting in September.

Seven other sports — wushu, squash, karate, wakeboarding, sports climbing, roller sports and wrestling — are also vying for Olympic inclusion.

The IOC’s executive board voted to drop wrestling from the list of core sports for the 2020 Games, forcing it to join seven other candidate sports seeking one spot in a revamped program.

Helmet maker responsible in injury suit

A Colorado jury awarded $11.5 million to a partially paralyzed high school football player who sued helmet manufacturer Riddell, school administrators and coaches, the Denver Post reported.

The jury found Riddell responsible for $3.1 million of the judgment awarded to Rhett Ridolfi, who sustained a serious head injury during a football practice in August 2008.

The jury in Las Animas County determined that Riddell was negligent in failing to warn people about concussion dangers while wearing its helmets.

The injury left Ridolfi paralyzed on the left side of his body and severely brain damaged.

Warriors’ Jack fined $25,000

Golden State Warriors guard Jarrett Jack was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Sunday for “verbal abuse” of an official.

At the end of the Warriors’ 118-116 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, several Warriors players, including Jack, were upset over the officiating late in the game. The Lakers shot 50 free throws, while the Warriors attempted just 16.

Conor Jackson retires

Conor Jackson, who was nine games into his season for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, told team officials on Sunday that he is retiring from baseball, MASN.com reported.

The 30-year-old Jackson was the final cut on the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training roster, and there was reason to believe he’d get back into the majors sometime this season.

In 2008, Jackson hit .300 with 12 homers for the Arizona Diamonbacks. He was diagnosed in 2009 with Valley Fever, a fungal disease caused by spores in the soil.

Jackson spent last season at Triple-A Charlotte, where he batting .277. The Orioles signed Jackson to a minor league contract on Dec. 5.

Marlins’ Kearns hospitalized with heart issue

Miami Marlins right fielder Austin Kearns, scheduled to start Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, was hospitalized Sunday morning with an irregular heartbeat and scratched from the lineup, the team announced.

No other details were immediately available on the cause of Kearns’ elevated heart rate.

Justin Ruggiano started in Kearns’ place.

Kearns, 32, has struggled at the plate to start the season, going 0 for 10 with three walks.

Reliever Gregg signs with Cubs

The Chicago Cubs signed veteran reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor-league contract, the team announced Sunday.

Gregg will report to the team’s complex in Mesa, Ariz., for extended spring training.

The Los Angeles Dodgers released the 34-year-old Gregg on April 3. He had a 0.82 ERA with five strikeouts and no walks while pitching 11 innings during spring training.

Gregg spent last season with the Baltimore Orioles. posting a 3-2 record in 43 2/3 innings with a 4.95 ERA.

Nationals place Ramos on DL

The Washington Nationals placed catcher Wilson Ramos on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring that he suffered Saturday while running on a groundout, the team announced Sunday.

Ramos, 25, who played in only 25 games last year because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was hitting .300 with two homers in the first two weeks of the season.

Kurt Suzuki is expected to take over behind the plate while Ramos is out.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/04/14/sports/sports-briefs-for-april-14-2013/ printed on July 29, 2014