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Sports briefs for June 23, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Flames vow to have flooded arena ready for season

Despite the bottom eight rows of Scotiabank Saddledome being submerged in water after the recent flooding in Calgary, Alberta, the Flames are moving ahead with plans for the building to be ready in time to start 2013-14 NHL season in October.

The flood that swept through Calgary and forced the evaluation of approximately 100,000 people deposited million of gallons of water on the arena floor and created a “total loss at the event level,” Flames president Ken King said.

Restoration of the 30-year-old arena is set to begin as soon as floodwaters recede.

“We cleared some of our event level, but not all of it,” King said. “We are ready to go. Our executive group met (Saturday) morning and went through a number of tasks. We’re ordering everything, including hockey equipment, right now.

“It’s very difficult to describe millions, millions gallons of water sitting (inside the Saddledome).”

Teen grazed by bullet after Heat’s win

A Florida teenager was hit by a stray bullet in south Florida during the celebration after the Miami Heat’s NBA championship victory on Thursday night.

Brandon Reid, 15, was struck under the ear by a gunshot that came through a sliding glass door while visiting his mother in Miramar, Fla.

Reid, who lives in Atlanta, said in a interview with reporters on Saturday that he thought a rock had hit him. His doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Police believe the bullet came from celebratory gunfire in south Florida prompted by the championship.

The Heat won their second consecutive title, beating the San Antonio Spurs in the seventh game of the NBA Finals in Miami.

Verlander unavailable for All-Star duty

Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander likely will be sitting out the All-Star Game this year.

Verlander, who started for the American League All-Star last year, is scheduled to pitch for the Tigers the Sunday before the All-Star Game and won’t be ready to pitch in the July 16 game at Citi Field in New York, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Sunday.

Leyland also is the manager of the AL All-Star team.

With the midsummer classic three weeks away, there are no guarantees that Verlander will be named to the team. But he has made it the past four years and five of the past six. In last year’s game in Kansas City, Verlander gave up five earned runs and and four hits in the first inning.

Teammate Max Scherzer, who has an 11-0 record, is considered a strong candidate to get the American League start on the mound.

Rivera prefers closing to starting All-Star Game

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera doesn’t like the talk he’s hearing about being named the starting pitcher for the annual All-Star Game next month.

There is speculation that manager Jim Leyland will make Rivera, who is retiring at the end of this season, the starter for the July 16 game at Citi Field in New York as a tribute to the future Hall of Famer. Some fan groups are even lobbying for it.

Rivera said Sunday that he prefers his normal closer role. He has four saves in the All-Star Game during his career and a major-league record 634 saves during the regular season.

“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” Rivera told ESPN NewYork.com. “And the reason why I say that is it’s not what I do. What I do is close the games, I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and honor, but I’m not contemplating it.”

Rivera’s 26 saves this season are tied for the major-league lead with Baltimore Orioles closer Jim Johnson and Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Jason Grilli. The 43-year-old Rivera has a 1.61 ERA and has blown just one blown save.

Referee admits to mistake with Italy goal

RIO DE JANEIRO — A referee has admitted to making a mistake in awarding Italy’s second goal during their 4-2 defeat to Brazil at the Confederations Cup, FIFA said on Sunday.

Giorgio Chiellini’s goal was allowed to stand even though referee Ravshan Irmatov appeared to have blown for a penalty in Italy’s favour seconds earlier. Brazil angrily protested the goal, which made the score 3-2 to Brazil and brought Italy back into the match.

The Uzbek official later confirmed he had whistled for a penalty, FIFA said.

“He admitted he made a mistake with regards to the incident penalty-goal,” FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola told reporters.

“(It was) a technical mistake, he has also admitted that, once you blow the whistle you have stopped play, you cannot give the advantage.

Gay runs year’s fastest 200 to set up Bolt showdown

Tyson Gay rocketed to the year’s fastest 200 meters, clocking 19.74 seconds at the U.S. trials on Sunday to set up a double sprint clash with Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt at August’s world championships.

The big win by Gay came two days after he ran a world-leading 9.75 seconds to win the 100 meters at the U.S. meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

Collegian Isiah Young took second place in the 200 at 19.86 with Curtis Mitchell third at 19.99.

The victory ensured Bolt and Gay, barring injury, will be in both the 100 and 200 meters at the Aug. 10-18 championships in Moscow.

Bolt won the 100 at the Jamaican championships in Kingston this weekend. He has a wild card bye in the 200 meters.

Orioles’ Roberts close to going on rehab assignment

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts could begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday at Triple-A Norfolk, MLB.com reported Sunday.

Roberts has intensified his workouts under the supervision of the Orioles’ training staff as he recovers from right hamstring surgery. He took batting practice with the team in Toronto during the weekend and engaged in various running drills on the bases before Sunday’s game.

“He looked pretty good,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

The plan is for Roberts to work out Monday in Baltimore before the Orioles begin a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians and, barring any setbacks, go to Norfolk for the rehab stint of unspecified length.

The injury-plagued Roberts, 35, has played in just three games this season, going 5-for-12 with one RBI, one run scored and one stolen base. Since the start of the 2010 season, injuries have restricted the two-time All-Star to 118 games.

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