Other Sports

     === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, April 16th ===
                        === Chris Johnson joins Jets ===
 Florham  Park, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Johnson officially now has a new
 home,  with  the former 2,000-yard rusher  agreeing to terms with the New York
 Jets Wednesday on a reported two-year contract.
 According  to  NFL.com, Johnson's deal carries  a base value of $8 million and
 includes $1 million in incentives.
 Johnson  was  released by  the Tennessee  Titans earlier this  month in a move
 triggered  by  both financial and  production reasons. The three-time Pro Bowl
 honoree was due to earn $8 million in 2014 and averaged a career-low 3.9 yards
 per carry this past season. He also underwent minor knee surgery in January.
 The  28-year-old  became only the  sixth player in  NFL history to eclipse the
 2,000-yard  rushing mark in a season when he racked up 2,006 for the Titans in
 2009, Johnson's second year in the league. He has run for at least 1,000 yards
 in  all six  of his pro seasons,  gaining 1,077 in 2013 while scoring 10 total
 touchdowns (6 rushing, 4 receiving).
 For  his career, the 2008 first-round pick has amassed 7,965 rushing yards and
 50  touchdowns on  the ground  and added  2,003 yards  and eight  TD's on  272
 With  the  Jets, the  speedy Johnson is  expected to serve  as a complement to
 power  back Chris Ivory, who rushed for a career-best 833 yards on 182 carries
 last season.
            === Bucks sold for $550 million, new arena in works ===
 Milwaukee,  WI (SportsNetwork.com)  - Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl has sold
 the  team to  investors Wesley  Edens and  Marc Lasry  for approximately  $550
 The sale still needs approval from the NBA Board of Governors.
 In  addition  to the purchase agreement,  Kohl has pledged a $100 million gift
 for  the development of a new arena for the team. The new owners will keep the
 franchise  in  Milwaukee and will also  contribute at least an additional $100
 million toward the arena project.
 "My  priority  has always  been and will  continue to be  keeping the Bucks in
 Milwaukee,"  said Kohl in a statement Wednesday. "This announcement reinforces
 that  Milwaukee is and will continue to be the home of the Bucks. Wes and Marc
 agree, and they share my commitment to the long-term success of this franchise
 in Milwaukee."
 Lasry  is the CEO  and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group and Edens is the co-
 founder  of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Both have headquarters in New York,
 but both are committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee.
 "We are lifelong basketball fans who are committed to the success of the Bucks
 and  the identity of the team as a part of the city of Milwaukee," the two new
 owners said in a statement. "It is our vision for this franchise to be admired
 both  locally and nationally  for its success on the court, the quality of its
 organization  and  the loyalty of its  fan base. Having each built competitive
 teams   in  the  business  world,  we  will  apply  that  same  intensity  and
 determination  as owners  of the  Milwaukee Bucks.  We are  as passionate  and
 energized  as Bucks  fans  are  about bringing  home  an  NBA championship  to
 Kohl  purchased  the Bucks  in 1985  from Jim Fitzgerald  for $18 million. The
 former  U.S. Senator from Wisconsin had detailed sale discussions with a group
 led by Michael Jordan in 2003, but decided to keep the franchise.
 In December, though, Kohl began a search for additional investors.
 "Today's  announcement signals  the  start  of a  new,  exciting  era for  the
 Milwaukee  Bucks,"  said Kohl. "Now, with  a long-term commitment from the new
 owners  and major components  of the funding in place for a new arena, we need
 to  come together  as  a community  to  develop  plans for  a  new sports  and
 entertainment  facility that  will host more than 200 events a year, including
 Bucks games. I am confident we will do this."
 The  Bucks  entered the  last day of  the regular season  with the NBA's worst
 record at 15-66.
                === Heat begin another title defense Sunday ===
 New  York, NY  (Sports Network)  -  The Miami  Heat's quest  for a  three-peat
 begins Sunday.
 Reigning  MVP  LeBron James and the  second-seeded Heat will begin another NBA
 title  defense  when they  host the Charlotte  Bobcats in Game  1 at 3:30 p.m.
 (et). The Heat swept the season series.
 Miami  is  limping into the  playoffs, dropping five of  its last six games to
 close  the season.  It's a  different script  from a  year ago  when the  Heat
 finished  66-16, which  included a  27-game  winning streak.  They closed  the
 season with eight straight victories in 2013.
 The  Heat,  though, won their  first of two  titles in 2012  as a two seed and
 losing three of four going into the postseason.
 Miami's  main  threat  in  the  East  is  also  struggling  heading  into  the
 postseason. The top-seeded Indiana Pacers, who lost six of their last 10 games
 and will host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. (et), have seen their
 season end at the hands of the Heat the last two seasons.
 Indiana  lost a  hard-fought seven-game series to Miami in last year's Eastern
 Conference  Finals and  fell in  six games  to the  Heat in  the 2012  Eastern
 Conference semifinals.
 The  Hawks secured  the East's  last playoff  spot with  a win  over Miami  on
 The  fourth-seeded Bulls appeared destined to miss the postseason when Derrick
 Rose went down early with another knee injury and the team traded away forward
 Luol  Deng.  But Chicago finished  34-18 since  dealing away Deng, including a
 21-9 mark since the All-Star break. The Bulls will host the Washington Wizards
 on  Sunday at 7 p.m. (et). The John Wall-led Wizards are in the postseason for
 the first time in six years.
 In   the  3-6  matchup  in  the  East,  the  Toronto  Raptors  will  host  the
 Brooklyn  Nets, with  the series beginning on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (et). The
 Raptors are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, while Brooklyn fell
 to  the sixth seed  following its loss at Cleveland. The Nets went 34-17 since
 the start of the new year.
 The  defending Western  Conference champions and top-seeded San Antonio Spurs,
 who  had the NBA's  best record at 62-20, host the Dallas Mavericks to open up
 their playoff slate on Sunday at 1 p.m. (et).
 This  will be the sixth time since 2001 that these in-state rivals have met in
 the postseason. San Antonio won three of the previous series.
 Kevin  Durant's  driving dunk  with 16.5 seconds  remaining Wednesday sent the
 Oklahoma  City Thunder to a regular season-ending 112-111 win over the Detroit
 Pistons,  clinching the second seed. They will face the Memphis Grizzlies, who
 edged Dallas in overtime earlier Wednesday to give them the seventh seed. That
 series begins Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. (et).
 Memphis,  which began  the  season  13-17 while  dealing  with  a plethora  of
 injuries, finished 37-15. The Grizzlies knocked off the Russell Westbrook-less
 Thunder  in the Western Conference semifinals last season before getting swept
 by San Antonio in the West Finals.
 The  third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who set a franchise record in wins for
 a  second straight  season, host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at 3:30
 p.m.  (et). The  Stephen  Curry-led  Warriors are  a  sixth  seed again  after
 knocking off the Denver Nuggets in the first round of last year's playoffs.
 Finally,  in the  4-5 matchup  out  West, the  Houston Rockets  will host  the
 Portland Trail Blazers, who are in the postseason for the first time since the
 2010-11  season.  Houston, which won  the season  series 3-1, host Portland on
 Sunday at 9:30 p.m. (et).
                            === Knicks sign Odom ===
 New  York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Lamar Odom signed with the New York Knicks
 Wednesday,  in time  to play  the  regular-season finale  against the  Toronto
 Odom,  who signed a  deal just for the remainder of this season, hasn't played
 in  the NBA  since the  2012-13 campaign,  when he  started in  two of  the 82
 contests  he participated  in for  the Los  Angeles Clippers.  That season  he
 averaged 4.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
 This  year, Odom  appeared in  two games  for Baskonia  (Spain). His  new deal
 reunites  him with Knicks president Phil Jackson, who coached Odom for several
 seasons while with the Lakers.
 The  34-year-old Odom,  a native of Jamaica, NY, holds career averages of 13.3
 points,  8.4  rebounds and  3.7 assists  in 961  games over  14 years with the
 Clippers, Heat, Lakers and Mavericks.
                    === Jets give Maurice four-year deal ===
 Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms of a
 four-year contract extension with head coach Paul Maurice.
 Financial terms were not disclosed.
 Maurice  took over as head coach on Jan. 12 when Claude Noel was fired and led
 the Jets to a record of 18-12-5 in his 35 games behind the bench.
 Winnipeg still finished the season last in the Central Division with a mark of
 37-35-10.  The Jets have  yet to reach the playoffs in three seasons since the
 franchise relocated from Atlanta after the 2010-11 campaign.
 The  47-year-old Ontario native owns a career NHL coaching mark of 478-469-172
 with Hartford/Carolina (1995-04, 2008-11), Toronto (2006-08) and Winnipeg.
 In  his  first stint with  the Hurricanes,  Maurice led the  club to a pair of
 Southeast Division titles and the 2002 Eastern Conference championship. He had
 two winning seasons in Toronto, but failed to make the playoffs, then took the
 Hurricanes to the  Eastern Conference finals  during his  second go-round with
 the club.
                === Flyers to start Emery in goal for Game 1 ===
 Philadelphia,  PA  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Philadelphia Flyers will go with
 Ray Emery in net for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series against
 the  New York Rangers  on Thursday as Steve Mason continues to recover from an
 upper-body injury.
 Mason was hurt during Saturday's game against Pittsburgh when Penguins forward
 Jayson   Megna  pushed  Philadelphia  defenseman  Andrew  MacDonald  into  the
 netminder  in the crease.  Mason was back on the ice for practice Tuesday, but
 coach  Craig  Berube on Wednesday  said Emery would  get the start against the
 Emery  played just  28 games this season  and posted a record of 9-12-2 with a
 2.96  goals-against average  and a .903 save percentage. He has appeared in 36
 Stanley Cup playoff games and has a record of 20-15 with a 2.57 GAA.
 The  31-year-old native  of Ontario helped backstop the Ottawa Senators to the
 Stanley  Cup Finals in the spring of 2007. He last played in the postseason in
 2011 with the Ducks.
 Mason  was 33-18-7  with a 2.50 GAA  and .917 save percentage in 61 games this
 season.  His  lone playoff experience came  with Columbus in 2009, a four-game
 sweep at the hands of Detroit.
                   === Lightning G Bishop to miss Game 1 ===
 Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Wednesday
 that  goaltender Ben Bishop  will not play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference
 quarterfinals against the Montreal Canadiens.
 Bishop  is still  not ready to go,  having missed the remaining three games of
 the regular season after suffering an apparent wrist injury.
 The  University  of Maine product  exited an Apr. 8  game with the Maple Leafs
 less  than six  minutes in  after he  landed on  his left  wrist diving  for a
 The  27-year-old posted  a  37-14-7 record  in  63 games  this  season with  a
 2.23 goals-against  average and  a .924 save percentage.
 Anders  Lindback, who  stopped 77-of-79 shots since his installment as starter
 in Bishop's absence, will get the call for the series opener.
 Lindback  has participated  in only  one  previous postseason  contest, a  13-
 minute, nine-save stint in 2011 for the Nashville Predators.
              === Andersen gets nod for Ducks' playoff opener ===
 Anaheim,  CA (SportsNetwork.com)  - Anaheim  Ducks head  coach Bruce  Boudreau
 declared  rookie  Frederik Andersen as  the starter  for Wednesday's Game 1 of
 their Western Conference quarterfinal against the Dallas Stars.
 Andersen was tabbed over the more experienced Jonas Hiller, the Ducks' primary
 netminder for the majority of the regular season.
 Hiller struggled badly down the stretch, going 3-4-3 with a 3.34 goals-against
 average  over March  and  April.  He surrendered  seven  goals  in losing  his
 final two starts, then did not play in any of Anaheim's final four games.
 The Ducks won all four of those contests with either Andersen or fellow rookie
 John Gibson between the pipes.
 Andersen,  on the other  hand, has impressed during his brief time in the NHL.
 The  24-year-old Dane  posted a 20-5-0 record  with a 2.29 GAA and a .923 save
 percentage in 28 games this season.
 "We've  played him  in a couple of tough  places. We feel he gives us the best
 chance to win," Boudreau said.
 Boudreau  did not say whether Hiller, who has started 20 career NHL postseason
 games  and registered three shutouts in the playoffs, or Gibson would serve as
 Andersen's backup in the opener. The 20-year-old Gibson shut out Vancouver and
 then  beat San Jose and Colorado in his three starts since being recalled from
 the minors late in the season.
             === UCLA's Anderson, LaVine declare for NBA Draft ===
 Los  Angeles, CA  (SportsNetwork.com) - UCLA sophomore guard Kyle Anderson and
 freshman  guard Zach  LaVine have elected to forego their remaining collegiate
 eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
 Anderson  secured first-team  All-Pac-12  honors and  was  named a  third-team
 All-America  selection as  a sophomore  in 2013-14.  He averaged  closer to  a
 triple-double  than any  player in  the nation,  registering 14.6  points, 8.8
 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.
 "I  want to  thank everyone  at UCLA  for  all they  have done  for me,"  said
 Anderson.  "My two years at UCLA were two of the best years of my life. It was
 a  tough decision  to make  with my  family since  our last  game, but  I have
 decided  to enter my name into the NBA Draft. I will still continue to embrace
 the UCLA community, and I hope they will do the same with me."
 LaVine captured Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors in 2013-14. The 6-foot-5 guard
 from  Seattle  averaged 9.4 points, 2.5  rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for
 the Bruins.
 "I  am excited  to announce that I  will be declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft,"
 said  LaVine.  "I first  and foremost  want to  thank my  family for all their
 support  in helping me  through this journey to achieve my dream of playing in
 the  NBA. I  also want to thank my  coaches, UCLA, my teammates and all of the
 fans. I will forever be proud to call myself a Bruin and will never forget the
 memories  that were made  here. I truly can't wait for this next chapter in my
 life, and again thank everyone for all their support."
 Anderson  became  the first  player in  Pac-12 history to  record at least 200
 rebounds  and  200 assists in the  same season. He finished his sophomore year
 having  logged  527 points, 315  rebounds and 233  assists -- the assist total
 ranking third on the school's single-season list.
 "We are all very happy for Kyle, who has a terrific opportunity to fulfill his
 lifelong dream of playing in the NBA," said UCLA coach Steve Alford. "I know I
 speak  for all of  our coaches and players when I say his efforts here at UCLA
 were  greatly  appreciated. I've  said time  and again that  Kyle was the best
 point guard in the country this past season. He had a tremendous year, helping
 lead us to the Sweet 16 and a Pac-12 Tournament championship. I firmly believe
 Kyle  will  have a long  and productive NBA  career and everyone involved with
 UCLA basketball wishes him the best."
 The  6-foot-9 Anderson  played  in 71  games  (70 starts)  for  UCLA over  two
 seasons,  guiding the Bruins to the 2013 Pac-12 regular-season title, the 2014
 Pac-12  Tournament  championship and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
 He averaged 12.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in two seasons, shooting
 45.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
 LaVine  shot  44.1 percent from the  field and 37.5 percent from 3-point range
 for the Bruins, playing in all 37 games this past season. His 48 3-point field
 goals are the second-most by any freshman in school history.
 "It  has been exciting  to see Zach develop from the time he first set foot on
 campus  at UCLA  to where he is  today," Alford added. "Zach has only begun to
 scratch  the surface of his potential and has an extremely bright future ahead
 of  him. It has  been a pleasure to watch him grow both as a basketball player
 and person this past year, and I look forward to watching Zach play in the NBA
 for many years to come."
 Anderson  and  LaVine helped UCLA  to a 28-9  overall record and the program's
 first  Pac-12  Tournament title and  NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance since
                 === Arizona State's Carson opts for draft ===
 Tempe,  AZ  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Arizona State  guard Jahii Carson announced
 Wednesday  his  intentions to forgo  his final  two seasons of eligibility and
 enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
 The  5-foot-10  Carson was named  the 2013 Pac-12  Co-Freshman of the Year and
 earned  first  team all-conference honors in  each of his two seasons with the
 Sun Devils. The 21-year-old averaged 18.5 points, 4.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds
 over 68 overall games at Arizona State.
 "Jahii  and  I discussed  his decision to  enter the NBA  Draft, and while our
 program  will miss him,  I know he is ready to start his professional career,"
 said  Sun  Devils head coach Herb  Sendek. "Jahii made an incredible impact on
 our  program over  the past two seasons and  was a huge part of the success we
 achieved  as a team. I know I speak for the entire Sun Devils community when I
 say we are wishing Jahii and his family all the best in the future."
                === Kansas State extends Weber through 2019 ===
 Manhattan,   KS   (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Kansas  State  rewarded  head  men's
 basketball  coach  Bruce Weber with  a one-year contract extension through the
 2019 academic year.
 The  additional year  to his current contract secures Weber's services through
 April 30, 2019. Compensation remains the same per an extension signed in April
 2013 and includes a salary of $2.25 million for the additional year during the
 2018-19  season. If Weber  stays through the end of his contract, he will also
 receive a $500,000 retention bonus.
 "A  significant  part of building a  successful program is continuity and this
 type of commitment ensures that we have all the parts necessary to continue to
 build  upon what  we have accomplished the last two seasons," Weber said. "The
 success  we have had  is a direct reflection of the hard work and sacrifice of
 our  players and coaches. I could not be more proud to be associated with them
 and look forward to even more success in the future."
 Weber  has guided  K-State  to a  47-21 overall  record  and consecutive  NCAA
 Tournament  appearances during  his first two seasons at the helm. His 47 wins
 are the most by a head coach in his first two seasons in school history.
 This  past season, Kansas  State went 20-13 and lost to Kentucky in the second
 round of the NCAA Tournament.
 Weber  coached  Illinois for nine years  before being hired by Kansas State on
 March 31, 2012.
                   === USC's Wesley says he will transfer ===
 (SportsNetwork.com) - USC guard Byron Wesley, the Trojans' leading scorer this
 past  season, says  he will  use his  final year  of eligibility  to play  for
 another program.
 "I would like to announce that I have decided to graduate from USC this summer
 and  transfer  for  my  final  year of  college  basketball,"  Wesley  tweeted
 The  6-foot-5 junior  thanked his coaches, teammates and fans and said playing
 at USC "was the opportunity of a lifetime."
 "I will be a Trojan for life & I'm most proud of that!" he wrote.
 Wesley,  who is from nearby Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., averaged 17.8 points and
 6.4 rebounds in 30 games this past season for the Trojans (11-21).
 "We  wish  Byron well and  we thank him for  his valuable contributions to our
 program,"  USC coach  Andy Enfield said in  a statement. "We are happy for him
 that  he will leave  USC with his degree. He had a very productive career here
 and I am sure he will do well wherever his career takes him."
 Wesley  averaged 12.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in three seasons at
                    === Kentucky QB Whitlow to transfer ===
 Lexington,  KY  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Kentucky  coach  Mark Stoops  announced
 Wednesday that quarterback Jalen Whitlow will transfer.
 "We  respect Jalen and his decision as we want the best for him," Stoops said.
 "I  thank Jalen for his contributions to the team during his time at Kentucky.
 I  want  everyone to understand how  hard he has  worked and the effort he has
 given since our staff has been here."
 In  2013, Whitlow started eight games. He completed 98-of-159 passes for 1,033
 yards and five touchdowns.  He also rushed for 457 yards and six scores.
 As  a true freshman  in 2012, Whitlow started seven games and connected on 87-
 of-161 passes for 801 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 206 yards
 and three scores.
 "I  appreciate the  University of  Kentucky and  what the  coaching staff  and
 administration  have  done for me," Whitlow  said. "I also thank the community
 and  the fan support I have received here. I wish the coaches and my teammates
 the best of luck."
                    === Puig issues statement on article ===
 Los  Angeles,  CA (SportsNetwork.com) -  Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel
 Puig  issued a  statement Wednesday  about a  magazine article  describing his
 escape from Cuba to Mexico in 2012.
 In  a story  published Sunday, Los Angeles Magazine detailed how Puig received
 death threats from human traffickers under control of a murderous Mexican drug
 "I'm  aware of the recent articles and news accounts. I understand that people
 are  curious and have  questions, but I will have no comment on this subject,"
 Puig  said  in a statement  through his agent,  Adam Katz. "I'm represented on
 this  matter, and  I'm only focused on being a productive teammate and helping
 the Dodgers win games."
 Puig has reportedly been subjected to a lawsuit that accuses him of wrongfully
 accusing a man of trying to set up a defection.
 According to the magazine, a Miami air-conditioning repairman and recycler who
 was on probation for attempted burglary and possession of a fake ID, agreed to
 pay  smugglers $250,000 to  get Puig out of Cuba. Puig, in return, would agree
 to  give  the man  20 percent of  his future earnings.  Puig allegedly paid 20
 percent  of  his contract value  to the Florida group  that brought him to the
 United States in July 2012, according to a report.
      === Astros designate Harrell for assignment; Springer gets call ===
 Houston,  TX (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Houston Astros have designated pitcher
 Lucas  Harrell  for assignment and  are ready to  bring up top prospect George
 Harrell  made three  starts for Houston this season, including Tuesday against
 Kansas  City, and  is 0-3 with a lofty  9.49 ERA. He has allowed 14 runs -- 13
 earned -- and 19 hits with nine walks in 12 1/3 innings.
 The  28-year-old right-hander  was 6-17 with a 5.86 ERA in 36 games, including
 22 starts, last season and was 11-11 with a 3.76 ERA in 32 starts in 2012.
 Springer,  meanwhile,  was hitting .353  with four doubles, three homers, nine
 runs  batted in  and four stolen bases  in 13 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City
 this season.
 The  24-year-old was  Houston's  top minor  league player  last  year when  he
 combined  to bat .303 with 37 homers, 108 RBI and 45 stolen bases in 135 games
 with Oklahoma City and Double-A Corpus Christi.
 Houston  also  reinstated pitcher Scott  Feldman from the bereavement list and
 optioned outfielder Robbie Grossman to Oklahoma City.
 Feldman  left the  team on  Saturday  after the  death  of his  father and  is
 expected  to start Thursday  against the Royals. He is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.44
 in three starts this season.
 Grossman  was batting just  .125 with six hits in 48 at-bats over 14 games. He
 hit two homers and was tied for the team lead with six runs batted in.
                === Mets bring up Matsuzaka, outright Lannan ===
 Phoenix,  AZ (SportsNetwork.com)  - The New York Mets selected the contract of
 pitcher  Daisuke Matsuzaka from Triple-A Las Vegas and outrighted pitcher John
 Lannan to Las Vegas on Wednesday.
 Matsuzaka was assigned to Las Vegas at the end of Spring Training after Jenrry
 Mejia won the final spot in the starting rotation. He posted a 3-3 record with
 a 4.42 ERA last season in seven starts for the  Mets.
 Lannan  appeared in five  games out of the bullpen this season compiling a 1-0
 record  with  a 15.75 ERA.  He has  allowed three home  runs and seven runs on
 seven hits in four innings of work.
 He  spent  last season with  Philadelphia and went 3-6  with a 5.33 earned run
 average over 14 starts  with the Phillies. The left-hander did not pitch after
 Aug.  14 due  to a  left knee  injury  and also  missed time  with a  strained
                    === Giants activate Affeldt from DL ===
 San  Francisco,  CA (SportsNetwork.com)  - The  San Francisco Giants activated
 pitcher Jeremy Affeldt from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday.
 Affeldt  landed  on the disabled  list prior to Opening  Day due to a sprained
 medial  collateral  ligament in his  right knee. The left-handed reliever went
 1-5 with a 3.74 ERA for the Giants last season in 39 appearances.
 The  Giants optioned outfielder Juan Perez to Triple-A Fresno to make room for
 Affeldt  on  the roster.  Perez failed to  register a hit  in eight games this
               === Pirates' Tabata leaves after hitting wall ===
 Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata
 left Wednesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds after crashing into the wall
 while making a catch.
 Tabata raced back toward the left field wall to make a running catch of Brayan
 Pena's  drive  leading off the  bottom of the fifth  inning. He made a leaping
 grab at the warning track and his momentum carried his shoulder into the wall.
 After  remaining  on the  ground for  a few  moments, Tabata  had his neck and
 shoulder  examined by trainers. He was helped up and walked off gingerly under
 his own power.
             === A's-Mariners postponement rescheduled for May ===
 Oakland,  CA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The Oakland Athletics announced Wednesday
 that  their postponed contest against the Seattle Mariners from earlier in the
 season has been rescheduled.
 That  April  4 game  at O.co Coliseum  was called off  due to unplayable field
 conditions,  after the  region had been pelted with heavy rains for the better
 part of a week.
 It  will be included as the first contest in a traditional doubleheader played
 on May 7.
                === Ankle sprain sends Angels' Calhoun to DL ===
 Anaheim,  CA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The Los Angeles  Angels of Anaheim placed
 Kole  Calhoun  on the 15-day disabled  list prior to Wednesday's game with the
 Oakland  Athletics,  becoming the  team's  second  starting outfielder  to  be
 sidelined in the past week.
 Calhoun  turned his  right ankle after crossing first base while grounding out
 during the 11th inning of Tuesday's 10-9 loss to the A's.
 The  26-year-old  lands on the DL  just seven days after slugger Josh Hamilton
 tore a ligament in his left thumb while diving head-first into first base in a
 game against Seattle.
 Calhoun  hit three home runs with six RBI while batting .250 through the first
 14  games  of this season,  but was on  a 7-for-15 tear  and had three hits --
 including a two-run homer -- on Tuesday.
 Veteran  outfielder  Brennan Boesch  had his  contract purchased from Triple-A
 Salt Lake to fill the available roster spot.
 Boesch,  a .260 hitter with 45 homers and 183 RBI over 403 career major league
 games  with Detroit and  the New York Yankees, was batting .250 with a pair of
 homers and nine RBI in 13 games with Salt Lake. The 29-year-old signed a minor
 league contract with the Angels in January.
             === Mariners send Morrison to DL, promote Franklin ===
 Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Seattle Mariners outfielder Logan Morrison
 was  placed on  the 15-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game against the
 Texas Rangers due to a hamstring strain he sustained earlier in the series.
 Morrison  was  removed from Monday's opener  of the four-game set in the first
 inning  due to the injury, with infielder Nick Franklin recalled from Triple-A
 Tacoma to fill the available roster spot.
 The  26-year-old Morrison, obtained in a trade with Miami over the winter, had
 gotten  off to  a horrendous start to the season, recording only three singles
 in 20 at-bats over eight games.
 Franklin  spent  much of last season  as Seattle's regular second baseman, but
 opened  2014  in the  minors  following  the  club's acquisition  of  All-Star
 Robinson  Cano.  The 23-year-old was  hitting well for Tacoma, going 17-for-43
 (.395) with four home runs and 13 RBI in 11 games.
 In  102 games as  a rookie last year, Franklin hit .225 with 12 homers, 45 RBI
 and six stolen bases.
                      === Mariners' Beavan lands on DL ===
 Arlington,  TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Mariners placed pitcher Blake
 Beavan  on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was
 forced to exit a start against the Texas Rangers.
 Beavan  was pulled prior to the beginning of the bottom of the fifth inning of
 Seattle's  5-0 defeat to the Rangers on Tuesday due to tendinitis in his right
 shoulder.  The 25-year-old Texas native had been recalled from Triple-A Tacoma
 earlier in the day to make his first major league start of the season.
 The  right-hander took the loss in the game after allowing a pair of solo home
 runs and six hits overall through four innings.
 Outfielder  James Jones was recalled from Tacoma to take Beavan's place on the
 25-man roster.
 A  fourth-round pick of the Mariners in 2009, Jones was hitting .310 with four
 RBI in 11 games with the Rainiers this season.
                      === Pak among leaders in Hawaii ===
 Oahu,  HI  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Se  Ri  Pak carded  a  4-under  68 in  windy
 conditions  Wednesday to  grab a share of  the lead after the opening round of
 the LPGA LOTTE Championship.
 Pak  was joined  atop the leaderboard by  fellow South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and
 Hyo-Joo Kim, who is making her seventh LPGA Tour start.
 Ayako  Uehara posted  a 3-under 69 and  is alone in fourth place, while Hawaii
 native Michelle Wie managed a 2-under 70 at Ko Olina Golf Club.
 Wie,  who tied  for 28th last year,  shares fifth place with world No. 1 Inbee
 Park, Ha-Na Jang, amateur So-Young Lee and Amy Anderson.
 Pak  parred her  first three holes from  the 10th, then dropped in a birdie on
 the par-5 13th and followed with three more pars.
 The  World Golf  Hall of Famer birdied the  17th and No. 1 to move to minus-3.
 She  holed  an eagle attempt on  the par-5 fifth to  grab a share of the lead.
 However,  Pak tripped to  a bogey on the eighth and parred the ninth to finish
 at 4-under.
 "First  of all,  it was really windy  out there, a lot windier than last year.
 We didn't have this wind before, but it's just stronger and stronger and never
 did  slow down," said Pak, who shared 28th with Wie last year. "I mean, it was
 really  hard to choose  a club to every hole. Off the tee, off the fairway, on
 the  green,  all day you  just have so  much focus on  the wind because it was
 really blowing hard, you had to adjust for it."
 Ryu,  who played  in the  early wave  while the  other leaders  played in  the
 afternoon  wave, got off  to a fast start with birdies on one and two. After a
 pair of pars, she birdied the fifth.
 The  2011 U.S. Women's  Open champion faltered to a bogey on the par-3 eighth.
 She  parred the  next two  holes  before recovering  that lost  shot when  she
 birdied the par-4 11th.
 Ryu moved to 4-under with a birdie on the par-5 14th and closed with four pars
 in a row to grab the early lead.
 "The  wind  was pretty strong,  so it  was really hard  to play with this much
 strong  wind.  The most  difficult part  was sometimes a  wind gust was super,
 extremely  strong,  so also it  was affecting the  putting," Ryu said. "It was
 really  hard to read  a line. The really good thing is my iron game was really
 Kim  birdied  the 11th  and 17th  to go with  seven pars  on her opening nine.
 Around  the turn, she birdied the first and second to move into the lead at 4-
 She  parred five in a row before a birdie at the eighth moved her into a share
 of  the lead at  minus-5 with Pak. Kim stumbled to a bogey at the last to drop
 back into a 3-way tie for the lead.
 "Except  for the very  final hole here, the putting in general was really good
 for  the day. So  I was really happy with my putting in general except for the
 ninth hole here," Kim stated.
 NOTES:  There were just  four rounds in the 60s versus 22 in the opening round
 last  year ...  2013 winner Suzann Pettersen  is not in the field this week as
 she recovers from a back injury.
              === Players Championship changes playoff format ===
 Ponte  Vedra Beach,  FL  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The  Players Championship  has
 announced  a  change to its  playoff format, switching  from sudden death to a
 three-hole, aggregate score arrangement.
 The plan will go into effect for this year's tournament at the TPC Sawgrass in
 Not surprisingly, the playoff will take place on holes 16, 17 and 18.
 The  par-5  16th is  the greatest risk-reward  hole on the  course and has the
 lowest  stroke average to par, while the par-3 17th is the signature hole with
 the  infamous island  green and  the  par-4 18th  is the  considered the  most
 difficult with the lake stretching the entire left side.
 "Holes  16, 17  and 18  of The  Players Stadium  Course are  perhaps the  most
 dramatic  closing holes in professional golf from a risk-reward standpoint, as
 they  test all  facets of a player's  physical and mental game while under the
 pressure  of  trying to  win such  a significant  championship," said PGA Tour
 commissioner  Tim Finchem  in  a  statement Wednesday.  "Given  the fact  that
 winning  The  Players means you have  defeated the strongest field in golf, we
 felt  an aggregate  playoff that  incorporated these  three holes  was a  more
 appropriate way to determine the champion."
 Should  a tie  remain after the three-hole playoff, sudden death will start at
 the 17th hole. It will then go to 18 and revert back to a rotation of 16-17-18
 until a winner is determined.
 There  have  been  four  playoffs  in  the  40-year  history  of  the  Players
 Championship,  the last coming in 2011 when K.J. Choi defeated David Toms with
 a par on the first extra hole -- the par-3 17th.
 The  Players  Championship joins  the PGA Championship  in using a three-hole,
 aggregate  playoff.  The U.S. Open employs  an 18-hole playoff and the British
 Open  stages  a four-hole, aggregate playoff,  while the Masters and all other
 PGA Tour events utilize the sudden-death formula.
       === Hillwood Country Club to host 2015 Senior Women's Amateur ===
 Far  Hills,  NJ (SportsNetwork.com)  - The United  States Golf Association has
 selected  Hillwood Country  Club in Nashville, Tenn. as host for the 2015 U.S.
 Senior Women's Amateur Championship.
 The  tournament will be  contested Sept. 26-Oct. 1, 2015. It will be the first
 USGA event staged at Hillwood Country Club.
 "The  USGA  is proud to bring  the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship to
 Hillwood  Country  Club," said  Daniel  B.  Burton,  USGA vice  president  and
 chairman  of the championship committee. "In welcoming Hillwood to the fold of
 USGA  host sites, we are confident that it will provide the stern and complete
 test of the players' games found at all of our national championships."
 Dick Wilson designed the course at Hillwood Country Club, which opened in 1957
 under  the direction of architect Bruce Crabtree. Bruce Hepner, of Renaissance
 Golf Design, oversaw renovations in 2003 and 2011.
 Hillwood  has  hosted numerous statewide  events, including the 1963, 1966 and
 1971  Tennessee State  Opens  and  the 1975,  1982  and  2004 Tennessee  State
 The U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship was first conducted in 1962.
 This year's tournament will be conducted Sept. 13-18 at Hollywood Golf Club in
 Deal, N.J. Additionally, Wellesley Country Club in Massachusetts will host the
 2016  championship,  followed by  Waverley Country Club  in Portland, Ore., in
                  === Cure Bowl to match Sun Belt and AAC ===
 Orlando,  FL (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Cure Bowl will be added to the college
 football postseason line-up, starting in December 2015.
 The  Orlando Sports Foundation announced the new contest on Wednesday. It will
 match teams from the Sun Belt Conference and American Athletic Conference.
 Charitable  contributions  are always part of  bowl game revenues, but the new
 game will help to raise money for breast cancer research.
 "The Orlando Sports Foundation is excited about the opportunity to provide the
 student-athletes  of  the  American  Athletic  Conference  and  the  Sun  Belt
 Conference  an opportunity  to play in an NCAA postseason bowl here in Orlando
 and  to give the Breast Cancer Research Foundation a national platform to fund
 cancer  research  at  the  highest  level,"  said  Orlando  Sports  Foundation
 executive director Alan Gooch in a statement Wednesday.
 The  game will be played yearly at the newly renovated Citrus Bowl the weekend
 before the Christmas holiday.
                 === Nadal, Federer advance in Monte Carlo ===
 Roquebrune-Cap-Martin,   France   (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Eight-time  champion
 Rafael  Nadal and  three-time  runner-up Roger  Federer were  a  pair of  easy
 second-round  winners  Wednesday at the  $4 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis
 The top-seeded Nadal blew past Russian qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-1,
 while the fourth-seeded former world No. 1 Federer drilled Czech veteran Radek
 Stepanek 6-1, 6-2 on the red clay at the beautiful Monte Carlo Country Club.
 "I  think  I started  little bit  slow," Nadal said.  "But he [Gabashvili] was
 playing very, very aggressive, hitting very strong, with no mistakes."
 Federer had an even easier time of it on Day 4.
 "I'm  a  bit surprised how well  it went," the 32-year-old said after blitzing
 Federer lost to Nadal in three straight finals here from 2007-09.
 Nadal  lost  to Novak Djokovic in  last year's final, ending his record eight-
 year reign at this event. He's a brilliant 49-2 overall in Monte Carlo.
 The reigning French and U.S. Open champion Nadal and Djokovic  currently  hold
 all  nine  Masters  titles  between  them,  as well  as  the  ATP  World  Tour
 Nadal's third-round opponent will be Italian Andreas Seppi, while Federer will
 take on Czech Lukas Rosol.
 Meanwhile,  third-seeded Australian  Open champ Stan Wawrinka raced past Croat
 Marin  Cilic  6-0,  6-2  in  a mere  45  minutes  and  eighth-seeded  Canadian
 Milos  Raonic came  back to  beat Taipei's  Yen-Hsun Lu  6-7 (4-7),  6-2, 6-1.
 Wawrinka's  third-round opponent will be last week's Houston runner-up Nicolas
 Almagro of Spain.
 In  other  second-round action  involving seeds, No.  10 Italian Fabio Fognini
 topped  Spaniard  Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6  (8-6), 6-4; No. 11 Spaniard Tommy
 Robredo  overcame  Frenchman Julien Benneteau  4-6, 6-0, 6-1; No. 12 Bulgarian
 Grigor  Dimitrov grounded  Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; a No.
 15  Almagro dismissed Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-6 (7-3), 6-3; and hot Spaniard
 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez took out 17th-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1,
 7-5. Garcia-Lopez is fresh off his clay title in Casablanca.
 Also  on  Day 3, Seppi  outlasted Spaniard Pablo  Andujar 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-4,
 Rosol  dismissed French  qualifier Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4 and rising Spaniard
 Pablo  Carreno  Busta defeated  former top-10 Frenchman  Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-6
 (8-6)  at the  first clay  court Masters  event of  the year.  The 22-year-old
 Carreno  Busta  is rewarded  with a match  against the second-seeded defending
 champion  Djokovic,  the former world  No. 1 who  is also a two-time runner-up
 Djokovic  recently  captured back-to-back  Masters titles  in Indian Wells and
 The 2014 Monte Carlo winner will collect $760,000.
                   === Cibulkova wins Kuala Lumpur opener ===
 Kuala  Lumpur,  Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Top  seed Dominika  Cibulkova
 was an easy first-round winner Wednesday at the Malaysian Open tennis event.
 The  diminutive  Australian Open  runner-up blew  past Turkish qualifier Pemra
 Ozgen 6-1, 6-3 in 61 minutes at Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort.
 The  Slovakian Cibulkova's  second-round opponent on Thursday will be Taipei's
 Su-Wei Hsieh, the 2012 Kuala Lumpur champion.
 Meanwhile,   fourth-seeded   Austrian   Patricia  Mayr-Achleitner   got   past
 Montenegro's Danka Kovinic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals.
 In  some other  second-round action  on Day  3, sixth-seeded  Zarina Diyas  of
 Kazakhstan  dropped  Italian qualifier  Giulia  Gatto-Monticone  6-1, 6-4  and
 Poland's Magda Linette drubbed Ukrainian qualifier Lyudmyla Kichenok 6-1, 6-2.
 Also  on  Thursday,  third-seeded  and defending  champion  Karolina  Pliskova
 will  meet Chinese  qualifier Duan  Ying-Ying in  the round  of 16.  The Czech
 Pliskova  beat American  Bethanie  Mattek-Sands in  last  year's Kuala  Lumpur
 This week's titlist will earn $43,000.
          === Roughriders reward QB Durant with contract extension ===
 Regina,   SK   (SportsNetwork.com)  -   The  Saskatchewan  Roughriders  signed
 quarterback Darian Durant to a multi-year contract extension on Wednesday.
 Per club policy, no terms were disclosed.
 In  16 regular-season starts last year, the 31-year-old Durant threw for 4,154
 yards and a CFL-best 31 touchdowns -- the third highest single season total in
 team  history. He was  also named a West Division All-Star for the second time
 in his career.
 Durant  currently ranks  third all-time in franchise passing attempts (2,842),
 completions  (1,745),  passing yards (22,711) and  TDs (125). He has played in
 131  career regular-season  games, starting  87, since  arriving in  Regina in
 The  North  Carolina product is a  two-time Grey Cup champion, having won with
 the Riders as the starting quarterback in 2013 and as a backup to Kerry Joseph
 in 2007.
            === White leaves Northern Colorado for Fresno State ===
 Fresno,  CA  (SportsNetwork.com) - Fresno State  has named Jaime White its new
 women's basketball coach.
 White  spent  the past  eight seasons  as head coach  at Northern Colorado and
 leaves the Bears as the winningest coach in school history with 117 victories.
 "I  am honored to be the next women's basketball coach for the Bulldog program
 that has such an outstanding tradition," said White. "I am thrilled to be back
 in  the Mountain  West and  looking  forward to  being  a part  of the  Fresno
 White has experience in the Mountain West Conference as an assistant with Utah
 from  2001-03  and Wyoming from 2003-06.  She then built the Northern Colorado
 program, helping the school's transition from Division II to Division I.
 In the last four seasons at Northern Colorado, White led the Bears to a record
 of 72-54. She was the 2010-11 Big Sky Coach of the Year.
                      === Lynx send Rodgers to Liberty ===
 Minneapolis,  MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Lynx executed a sign-and-
 trade  deal that sent  guard Sugar Rodgers to the New York Liberty in exchange
 for the right to swap third-round picks in the 2015 WNBA Draft.
 Rodgers  was selected by  the Lynx in the second round of the 2013 WNBA Draft.
 She  played  in 28 games during  her rookie campaign, averaging 1.9 points and
 1.4 rebounds while shooting 31.3 percent from three-point range.
 The  Lynx will  start defending their 2013  title on the road at Washington on
 Friday, May 16.
            === Game On Dude back to defend Charles Town Classic ===
 Charles  Town, WV (SportsNetwork.com) - Leading thoroughbred Game On Dude will
 face  six  rivals Saturday night  in defense of his  crown in the $1.5 million
 Charles Town Classic.
 The  7-year-old gelding, partly  owned by Joe Torre, will start from post 3 in
 the  1 1/8-mile race  with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith again in the saddle.
 Last year he won the event by a half-length over Clubhouse Ride and was second
 in 2011 behind Duke of Mischief.
 Trained  by  Bob Baffert,  Game On Dude  is coming off  a second straight win,
 third overall, in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.
 Game On Dude began 2014 with a fifth-place finish in the San Antonio Stakes at
 Santa  Anita on  Feb.  8. The  San  Antonio was  his first  race  of the  year
 following  consecutive defeats  in the  2013 Breeders'  Cup Classic  and Clark
 The gelding has earned more than $6.1 million with 16 wins in 31 starts.
 Last  year's runner-up  Clubhouse  Ride drew  the rail  post  with Tyler  Baze
 riding.  The  6-year-old chestnut horse lost  by just a half-length to Game On
 Dude in 2013.
 Trained  by  Craig Lewis, Clubhouse Ride  is winless in three starts this year
 and  has  not won since claiming  the Californian last June at Hollywood Park.
 Owned  by Six-S  Racing Stable and Nikolas Petralia, the 6-year-old has earned
 $1,038,882 with four wins in 35 career starts.
 Here  is the field in post position order: Clubhouse Ride, Tyler Baze; Moreno,
 Joel  Rosario;  Game On  Dude, Mike  Smith; Ruler of  Love, Jose Montano; Long
 River,  Irad Ortiz Jr.; Lucy's Bob Boy, Arnaldo Bocachica and Imperative, Kent
 Post time for the Charles Town Classic will be approximately 10:30 p.m. ET.
              === Midnight Hawk tops field for Illinois Derby ===
 Stickney, IL (SportsNetwork.con) - Sunland Derby runner-up Midnight Hawk heads
 a  field of  eight 3-year-olds  for Saturday's  57th edition  of the  $500,000
 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course.
 Trained by Bob Baffert, Midnight Hawk will start the 1 1/8-mile race from post
 3  with Martin Garcia  coming in to ride the gray colt. The colt has 52 points
 for  a place  in the  Kentucky Derby  at  Churchill Downs  on May  3, but  the
 Illinois Derby offers no points.
 Midnight  Hawk, owned in part by Mike Pegram, has finished in the money in all
 his  five career  starts. Along with his second behind stablemate Chitu in the
 Sunland  Derby,  Midnight Hawk  was  runner-up  to  Santa Anita  Derby  winner
 California  Chrome in the San Felipe Stakes in March and third to Candy Boy in
 February's Robert B.Lewis Stakes.
 After breaking his maiden last December in his debut effort, Midnight Hawk won
 the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 11. He has earned $347,000.
 Here  is  the field  from the  rail out:  Dynamic Impact,  Miguel Mena; A Step
 Ahead,  Chris  Emigh; Midnight  Hawk, Martin Garcia;  Irish You Well, Channing
 Hill;  King  Cyrus, Rosie Napravnik;  Emmett Park, Lori Wydick; Global Strike,
 Tim Thornton and Class Leader, James Graham.
 Post time for the Illinois Derby will be approximately 6:42 p.m. ET.
            === Last chance for Derby points in Lexington Stakes ===
 Lexington,  KY  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Just  two  weeks  away from  the  140th
 Kentucky  Derby and  time is  running out  for 3-year-olds  to acquire  enough
 points to gain entry into the opening leg of racing's Triple Crown.
 Saturday's  $200,000  Lexington Stakes at Keeneland  is the last chance to get
 any  points  and 11  3-year-olds have  been entered for  the 1 1/16-mile race.
 The Lexington offers 17 points with 10 going to the winner.
 Trainer Wayne Catalano brings in Solitary Ranger and Poker Player, the top two
 colts  from  the John Battaglia Memorial  at Turfway Park on March 1. Solitary
 Ranger will start from post 2 with Florent Geroux riding and Poker Player will
 break from post 4 with Stewart Elliott getting the mount.
 Owned  by Susan Moulton, Solitary Ranger won the Arlington-Washington Futurity
 last  September  at Arlington Park but  four weeks later finished ninth in the
 Breeders'  Futurity  at Keeneland. He began  2014 with an allowance win before
 claiming the Battaglia and most recently was ninth in Turfway's Spiral Stakes.
 Solitary Ranger has won three of seven starts for $199,763.
 Poker  Player, owned  by Gary and Mary  West, was 10th in the Spiral after his
 second-place  finish in  the  Battaglia. As  a 2-year-old,  the  colt won  the
 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland and was eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
 With two wins in six starts Poker Player has banked $170,600.
 Here  is the  field for  the Lexington  from the  rail out:  Mr Speaker,  Jose
 Lezcano;  Solitary Ranger,  Florent Geroux; Dynamic Impact, Alan Garcia; Poker
 Player,  Stewart Elliott;  Z Lucky, Jon Court; Divine Oath, Javier Castellano;
 Ami's  Holiday, Robby  Albarado; Ride Away, Julien Leparoux; Morning Calm, Joe
 Rocco Jr.; Supermonic, Joel Rosario and Global Strike, Irad Ortiz Jr.
 The Lexington will off with a 5:13 p.m. ET post time.
 04/17 03:11:00 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.