Jaguars release UMaine grad Montell Owens
The National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars have released veteran running back Montell Owens, the club announced Thursday.
Owens, a two-time Pro Bowler in special teams, played in 104 games with the Jaguars over the past seven seasons after earning a roster spot as a rookie free agent in 2006, according to the release. He holds the franchise record for career special teams tackles with 118. His career totals include 56 rushes for 292 yards and three touchdowns along with 12 receptions for 132 yards.
Owens attended the University of Maine in Orono. During his senior season, in 2005, head football coach Jack Cosgrove characterized Owens as having “the ability to be very productive and very much a charismatic kind of leader for us as a tailback.”
Halladay could return this year after surgery
PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies hope to have Roy Halladay back in their rotation before the end of the 2013 season.
But a day after Halladay had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, team doctor Michael Ciccotti expressed cautious optimism regarding the veteran pitcher’s return. Although he said it was “very possible” that Halladay could pitch again this season, Ciccotti acknowledged on Thursday that the 36-year-old right-hander has a long summer of recovery and rehab ahead.
The Phillies are hopeful he can begin a throwing program in six to eight weeks.
Halladay decided to pursue surgery after his 2013 season went awry, culminating with an ugly 14-2 loss to the Miami Marlins on May 5 when he allowed nine earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.
A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Halladay was 2-4 with an 8.65 ERA in seven starts this season. Dating to the beginning of last season, when Halladay also experienced shoulder issues, he is 13-12 with a 5.24 ERA in his last 32 starts.
Ex-NFL player Chad Johnson wanted by police
Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson is wanted by authorities in Florida for violating multiple terms of his probation, according to an NFL.com report.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant May 7 because Johnson failed to meet with probation specialists on Feb. 15 and March 15, and also didn’t show proof of enrollment and completion of the “Batterers Intervention Program.”
Johnson received probation after being accused of head-butting his then-wife, “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozada, during an argument in August in the driveway of their home. The fight started when Lozada found a receipt for condoms in the couple’s car, according to the police report.
Arrested Aug. 11 and charged with domestic battery, Johnson pleaded no contest and received one year probation.
Johnson, 35, spent 11 years in the league, mostly with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Miami Dolphins released him after his August arrest, and no team picked him up.
Retired McClain leaves door open for comeback
One day after the Baltimore Ravens announced that Rolando McClain retired from the NFL at age 23, the linebacker said he hopes to play again in the future.
McClain, who was signed by the Ravens in April after three seasons with the Oakland Raiders, declared in a statement released Thursday that he’s walking away from the game now to get his life in order.
His troubles off the field have included three arrests since 2011. He also was suspended by the Raiders for two games last season for conduct detrimental to the team.
“Clearly, my decision to retire has raised some questions,” he said. “Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided at this time it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together.
“Beyond that, I’m not sure what the future holds for me, including football. This was entirely my decision and the Ravens have been very supportive during this process. I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and wish them the best of luck in the future. God willing, maybe I’ll play for them one day.”
ESPN wins exclusive U.S. Open tennis rights in 11-year deal
Walt Disney’s ESPN sports juggernaut said it signed an 11-year contract to exclusively show all rounds of the U.S. Open tennis tournament on its channels in North and South America, giving it coverage of the sport’s four major tournaments.
The new rights for full U.S. Open coverage take effect starting in 2015, the network said in a statement on Thursday.
ESPN already airs all rounds of Wimbledon, including the finals, and much of the Australian Open, including its championship rounds, according to an ESPN spokesman.
The ESPN cable channel carries some rounds of the French Open, although Comcast Corp’s NBC carries the finals.
In a separate statement, Canada’s BCE Inc said its English- and French-language sports channels would have exclusive Canadian rights to the tournament, also for 11 years.
The U.S. Open tournament finals, and weekend play, has been carried by CBS since 1968. ESPN began televising 100 hours of early-round and second-week matches in 2009.
Ex-driver Trickle, 71, dies in apparent suicide
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Richard “Dick” Trickle died Thursday at the age of 71 from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Trickle called authorities to tell them “there would be a dead body and it would be his,” according to reports citing the Lincoln County Communications Center.
The Charlotte Observer first reported that Lincoln County (North Carolina) deputies found Trickle dead next to his pickup truck around noon. The truck was parked at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City.
Trickle made 303 Cup starts from 1970-2002 with 36 top-10 finishes and 15 top fives.
Rays place Price on 15-day DL
Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left triceps injury. It’s the first stint on the disabled list in Price’s career.
Left-hander Alex Torres was recalled from Triple-A to fill Price’s roster spot. Torres, 25, was 2-2 with a 2.39 ERA, 49 strikeouts, 14 walks and a .190 opponents’ batting average in seven starts this season and is a veteran of eight minor-league seasons.
Price, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, exited his Wednesday night start against the Boston Red Sox due to discomfort in his left triceps.
He came out in the third inning after David Ortiz’s run-scoring single gave Boston a 2-0 lead. Manager Joe Maddon and a trainer spoke with Price on the mound before reliever Jamey Wright came on take replace the starter. Two more runs ended up being charged to Price, and the Red Sox went on to score eight runs in the inning.
Price is off to a rough start this season. If the Red Sox hold on to their big lead, Price would have a 1-4 record, and his ERA rose to 5.24.
Price has allowed seven or more hits six times in his first nine starts this year. Last year, he went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA in 31 starts.