Sports briefs for Oct. 18, 2013

Posted Oct. 18, 2013, at 6:04 p.m.

Olympic golfers safe from alligators, Rio organizers say

RIO DE JANEIRO — Organizers of the first Olympic golf tournament in 112 years say there is little risk of alligator- like creatures slithering onto fairways or greens during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

As many as 6,000 caimans, members of the alligator family, live in sewage-infested lagoons around western Rio, and some have moved into water features built as part of Gil Hanse’s design for Brazil’s first public golf course. The reptiles, much smaller and more docile than crocodiles, are not considered a risk to people, though encroachment on their habitat has meant contact with humans is increasing.

“We’ll have a strategy in place that will minimize any possibility of a player or spectator coming across these,” Anthony Scanlon, executive director of the International Golf Federation, told reporters here Thursday. “The risk is minimal.”

Cuban baseball player agrees to $68M deal

MIAMI — Baseball player Jose Abreu, who left his native Cuba in August, agreed to a six-year, $68 million contract with the Chicago White Sox on Friday, according to several media reports, which would be the largest rookie free-agent contract ever awarded to an international player in Major League Baseball.

Abreu, 26, an all-star first baseman for one of the communist-ruled island’s best teams, was granted residency in Haiti, earning himself lucrative free agency status under the signing rules of Major League Baseball.

Abreu is a former teammate of Los Angeles Dodgers’ rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, who left Cuba in 2012 and signed a seven-year, $42 million contract. Puig made his major league debut on June 3 and had a major impact on the team’s surge into the post-season.

Calls to Abreu’s agents were not immediately returned and the White Sox have yet to make an official announcement. MLB.com, Fox Sports and the Chicago Tribune were among the media reporting the deal.

ALCS Game 5 delivers 5.4 rating

Thursday night’s Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers delivered a 5.4/9 national household rating (8.6 million viewers) on Fox, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That is 23 percent higher than last year’s 4.4/8 (7.1 million viewers) for Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Fox between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

The ALCS won the night’s ratings in male 18-34, male 18-49 and tied for first in adults 18-34 demographics.

MLB announces World Series schedule

Major League Baseball announced the national broadcast schedule for the World Series, which begins next Wednesday at either Boston’s Fenway Park or Detroit’s Comerica Park on FOX.

The 109th World Series will feature either the Red Sox or the Tigers representing the American League and either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League.

The Red Sox lead the American League Championship Series 3-2 over the Tigers. Game 6 is Saturday in Boston on FOX. The game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., but will shift to 8 p.m. if the National League Championship Series ends Friday night. The Cardinals lead the series 3-2.

The first two games of the World Series are in Boston or Detroit Wednesday and Thursday. Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) shift to St. Louis or Los Angeles Oct. 26-28. Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) go back to Boston or Detroit Oct. 30-31. All games are scheduled for 8:07 p.m. except Game 4, which is slated for a 8:15 p.m. first pitch.

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