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Sports briefs for March 19, 2014

By Staff and Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Trot Nixon to help Sea Dogs celebrate ‘04 Sox crown

PORTLAND — Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon will be at Hadlock Field at 6 p.m. Monday, April 28 when the Portland Sea Dogs take on the Reading Fightin Phils.

Nixon’s appearance is part of the Sea Dogs celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Red Sox 2004 World Championship.

Nixon will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and will be available to sign free autographs on photos provided by the Portland Sea Dogs for fans from 6-7 p.m.

Nixon had a 12 year major league career including 10 seasons with the Red Sox, where he was a key member of the 2004 World Series Championship team.

Those seeking ticket info may go online at www.seadogs.com or call 207-879-9500.

34th Battle of Maine Martial Arts set Saturday

WINSLOW — Huard’s Martial Arts School will host the 34th Annual Battle of Maine Martial Arts Championships on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sukee Arena.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“Throughout the years, Battle of Maine has raised more than $45,000 to benefit healthcare for the children of our region throughout Maine,” said Kelly Pearson, director of EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “We are extremely grateful to again be the beneficiary of such a wonderful event.”

The day-long event will feature karate, chanbara, weapons and fighting competitions for juniors and adults, including physically-challenged classes.

Spectator tickets are available for $10.

Leafs’ Ranger carted off, taken to hospital

TORONTO — Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger, who was hit from behind with an elbow by Tampa Bay Lighting forward Alex Killorn, was carted off on a stretcher during Wednesday night’s game.

Ranger was taken to a local hospital for precautionary assessment, the team said. He is stable, conscious and alert.

With four seconds remaining in the first period, Ranger turned at the last second prior to the hit from Killorn. Ranger remained down on the ice for several minutes.

Killorn was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding.

Angels minor leaguer suspended for 50 games

Luis Pena, a minor league pitcher in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization, was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Pena, who is on the Angels’ Dominican Summer League roster, failed a test for metabolites of Boldenone. The suspension will take effect once the Dominican season begins.

Titans release longtime kicker Bironas

After nine seasons with the Tennessee Titans, kicker Rob Bironas was released by the team on Wednesday.

Bironas is the second leading scorer in Oilers/Titans franchise history with 1,032 points, ranking behind only Al Del Greco, and his 85.7 career field goal percentage ranks fourth in NFL history.

The 36-year-old Bironas was due a base salary of $2.875 million in 2014.

A former Pro Bowl selection, Bironas converted 25 of 29 field goal attempts in 2013. But a career-low 61.1-yard average on kickoffs concerned the team, The Tennesseean reported.

A possible replacement for Bironas is 25-year-old Maikon Bonani, who was with the Titans in training camp last year.

Phils’ Rollins brushes aside trade talk

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins responded rather defiantly to a report that indicated the team might listen to trade offers for the veteran.

ESPN The Magazine reported that the Phillies might be interested in going in a different direction at the position and would be willing to shop the 35-year-old Rollins, who says he is not anticipating a deal.

“Because I can’t be traded,” Rollins told MLB.com on Wednesday. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t care which way it is tried to be twisted or said, or if it is exactly how it was said, or even if it was said, I can’t be traded. It doesn’t matter. If I was tradeable it may have weight because that means I could be moving soon. But I am not tradeable and so it doesn’t matter.”

Rollins told CSNPhilly.com that he will not waive his no-trade cause. He also has the right to veto any trade.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. disputed the report that Rollins, who has been with the Phillies since 1996, is on the market.


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