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Sports briefs for June 20, 2014

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Detroit manager Ausmus facing backlash over tasteless comment

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus found himself embroiled in the first major controversy of his rookie managerial career when he made a tasteless joke during his postgame media session on Wednesday. Ausmus answered a question about his demeanor coming to the ballpark during the team’s recent slide. He then responded to a follow-up question on what he does when he gets home by saying, “I beat my wife.”

Ausmus immediately realized he made a mistake and apologized, but the remark set off a firestorm on social media and sports talk radio as well as angering groups that target domestic abuse. There were even those who felt he should be fired.

Neither the team nor the league announced any type of reprimand or punishment.

“In today’s world, that’s pretty standard,” Ausmus said Thursday morning of the blowback. “Truth is, I wasn’t trying to trivialize and marginalize the problem of domestic abuse or minimize how awful it is. People in this business know I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone or offend anyone and if I did, I’m truly sorry for that because that’s not what I was trying to do.”

Ausmus also had some explaining to do when he got home.

“I talked my wife and daughters about it,” he said. “My daughters are on Twitter all the time, so they see (the reaction). It hasn’t been a fun 12 hours. I didn’t sleep well.”

Woods will return to competitive golf next week

Tiger Woods, out since late March after having back surgery, will return to competitive golf at next week’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, the former world number one said on Friday.

Woods said he expected to be rusty but was excited to be returning.

“I’ve just started to hit full shots but it’s time to take the next step,” Woods said on his Facebook page. “I will be a bit rusty but I want to play myself back into competitive shape. Excited for the challenge ahead.”

The June 26-29 PGA Tour event is hosted by Woods and benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.

“I think everyone’s surprised it’s next week because I don’t think anyone had a clue, but he knows his body better than anybody,” two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen told Golf Channel.

MLB officials misinterpreted collision rule

Major League Baseball admitted that it incorrectly interpreted the new home-plate collision rule when it overturned an “out” call Wednesday in a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.

The visiting Reds had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning when umpires ruled that Pirates pitcher Stolmy Pimentel’s throw to catcher Russell Martin was in time to force out Cincinnati’s Devin Mesoraco at home.

The call was overturned after officials reviewed the play. Mesoraco was ruled safe because Martin was considered to have illegally blocked the plate with his foot.

The Reds went on to win 11-4.

After the game, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle called MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre to discuss the play. Thursday, Torre said in a statement that replay officials did not properly interpret the rule that governs force plays at the plate.

Rodriguez drop suit against Yankees’ doctor

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against team doctor Chris Ahmad on Friday.

Rodriguez, who was suspended the entire season because of the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal, will make a comeback attempt with the Yankees next season.

“He has full intentions on playing in 2015,” Rodriguez’s spokesman Ron Berkowitz said, according to CBSSports.com.

The Yankees have not commented.

Rodriguez also dropped lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the players union several months ago that were related to his suspension.

“All legal matters have been resolved,” Berkowitz said.

Rodriguez had filed a lawsuit against Ahmad related to his hip injuries.

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