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Sports briefs for Jan. 27, 2014

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Red Wings activate goalie Howard from IR

The Detroit Red Wings activated goaltender Jimmy Howard from injured reserve Monday.

To make room for Howard on the roster, the team assigned goalie Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids of the AHL.

Howard, 29, a former University of Maine standout, left the Red Wings’ Jan. 20 game against the St. Louis Blues in the second period with knee pain. He also missed about three weeks in December with a knee injury.

In the past week, Howard had fluid drained from the knee. He is expected to return Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Howard is 9-12-8 this season with a 2.64 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.

Zambrano apologizes for starting brawl

Carlos Zambrano, who last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2012, apologized through a Venezuelan newspaper for starting a brawl during Venezuela’s winter league series final on Saturday.

His apology was reported on Monday by El Nacional newspaper, according to Associated Press.

The fight occurred in the third game of the series. After Zambranos’ Navegantes del Magallanes teammate Ezequiel Carrera was hit by a pitch, Zambrano punched Caribes de Anzoategui pitcher Mayckol Guiape.

That initiated a brawl involving both teams.

Zambrano called it a “very embarrassing incident,” according to the Associated Press account of the El Nacional report.

He asked for the forgiveness of Venezuelans.

The Venezuelan League of Professional Baseball is investigating.

Ravens name Kubiak offensive coordinator

The Baltimore Ravens hired former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator, the team announced during a press conference on Monday.

The Ravens also hired Rick Dennison as quarterbacks coach. Dennison was Kubiak’s offensive coordinator with the Texans.

Kubiak wanted to bring Dennison with him to Baltimore before he was hired. They both met with the Ravens in Baltimore on Sunday.

“It gives me a chance to be part of a championship organization,” Kubiak said.

Kubiak replaces Jim Caldwell, who was recently hired by the Detroit Lions as their head coach.

Kubiak was fired by the Texans in December. Houston ended up a league-worst 2-14.

Florida, SDSU climb into AP top five

Arizona and Syracuse stayed on top of the Associated Press top 25 poll for the eighth straight week, and Florida and San Diego State made it into the top five.

No. 1 Arizona (20-0) received 63 first-place votes Monday while No. 2 Syracuse (19-0) picked up the two remaining votes.

Florida jumped from sixth to No. 3. Wichita State (21-0), the only other undefeated Division I team, climbed from fifth to No. 4. San Diego moved up two spots to No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10 were Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Villanova and Michigan. The Wolverines jumped from 21st to No. 10 after beating Michigan State. The Spartans fell from third.

No. 20 Creighton made it back into the poll after dropping out for a week. No. 25 Texas is ranked for the first time since the 2010-11 season after beating three straight ranked opponents for the first time in school history.

Linehan hired as Cowboys’ play-caller

Former Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was hired as the Dallas Cowboys offensive play-caller, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

Lineman met with Cowboys officials and coaches on Monday about a possible position on the staff, and apparently he will be the one calling the plays for the Cowboys next season.

It is unclear what Linehan’s title will be, because Bill Callahan, who called the plays this past season, is the Cowboys offensive coordinator. Rapoport reported the Cowboys will not let Callahan out of his contract even though Linehan has been hired.

Linehan was the Lions’ offensive coordinator from 2009 through 2013. He also was offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings.

Linehan would be the Cowboys’ third play-caller in three years. Head coach Jason Garrett called the plays in 2012, before Callahan was given that duty in 2013.


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