Other Sports

      === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Friday, December 19 ===
                 === Braves send Justin Upton to San Diego ===
 San  Diego,  CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The  San Diego Padres continued what has
 been   a  whirlwind  week  with  Friday's  acquisition  of  two-time  All-Star
 outfielder Justin Upton from the Atlanta Braves.
 Upton,  a National League Silver Slugger Award recipient in 2014, heads to the
 new-look  Padres  along with  minor league pitcher  Aaron Northcraft, with the
 Braves receiving a package of four prospects for the impending free agent.
 San  Diego  sent pitcher  Max Fried,  the team's first-round  pick in the 2012
 draft,  to Atlanta along with infielders Dustin Peterson and Jace Peterson and
 outfielder Mallex Smith.
 Upton, who drove in a career-best 102 runs while belting 29 homers and hitting
 .270 last season, joins fellow new acquisitions Matt Kemp and Wil Myers in San
 Diego's  overhauled  outfield. Kemp  was officially obtained  from the NL West
 rival  Los  Angeles Dodgers on  Thursday, with the 2013  AL Rookie of the Year
 Myers  coming over from Tampa Bay as part of a three-team, 11-player swap that
 was finalized earlier Friday.
 Padres  first-year general manager A.J. Preller pulled off another trade for a
 hitter  on Thursday,  landing  catcher  Derek Norris  from  Oakland for  young
 pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez.
 The  first  overall pick  in the 2005  draft, Upton spent  his first six major
 league  seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being dealt to Atlanta --
 where he played alongside his brother, B.J. --- prior to the start of the 2013
 Upton  has  averaged 25 homers  and 80  RBI since 2009  and owns a .274 career
 average,  while  his 10 long  balls at Petco  Park are tied  for the most by a
 visiting player in the stadium's history.
 Those  numbers should bring a boost to a Padres' offense that was the worst in
 the  majors  last season, placing  last in  runs scored (535), batting average
 (.226) and on-base percentage (.292).
 Fried,  the  seventh overall  pick of  the 2012  MLB Draft,  figures to be the
 centerpiece  of  the deal  from the Braves'  standpoint. The 20-year-old lefty
 entered  last season rated as the No. 53 overall prospect by Baseball America,
 though  he pitched just 10 2/3 innings before undergoing Tommy John surgery in
 Jace Peterson hit .307 with 24 doubles over 86 games between Double and Triple
 A  last  season, but went  just 6-for-53  at the plate  with the Padres in his
 first taste of the majors.
 Dustin  Peterson,  a second-round selection  of San  Diego in 2013, spent last
 season  at Low  Class A Fort Wayne and  hit .233 with 10 homers, 79 RBI and 31
 doubles in 126 games.
 Smith  is best known for his speed, having led the minors with 88 stolen bases
 while  splitting last  season between Fort Wayne and High-A Lake Elsinore. The
 21-year-old combined to hit .310 with five homers and 31 RBI over 120 games.
 Northcraft  posted a  7-3 record with a  2.88 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) with
 Double-A  Mississippi,  but  struggled  in  a  climb  up  the  ladder.  In  13
 appearances (12 starts) with Triple-A Gwinnett, the right-hander went 0-7 with
 a 6.54 ERA.
                   === Dodgers complete trade for Rollins ===
 Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia
 Phillies  have  finalized their  agreed-upon trade  that sends former National
 League MVP Jimmy Rollins to the West Coast for a pair of minor league pitching
 Rollins,  the 2007 NL MVP and the Phillies' all-time hits leader, heads to Los
 Angeles  in  exchange  for  right-hander  Zach Eflin  and  lefty  Tom  Windle.
 Philadelphia is also sending the Dodgers an undisclosed amount of cash to help
 cover Rollins' $11 million salary for this coming season.
 The  two teams have  had the parameters of the deal in place since last week's
 Winter  Meetings, but  it was held up  because of a delay in the trade between
 the Dodgers and San Diego involving slugger Matt Kemp.
 Eflin,  a Padres farmhand, was part of the package Los Angeles received in the
 Kemp  deal, which  was finally  completed  Thursday after  an issue  regarding
 Kemp's physical was resolved.
 Rollins  turned 36  years  old last  month but  remains  a capable  all-around
 shortstop.  The three-time All-Star hit 17 home runs and stole 28 bases in 138
 games last season, finishing the year with a .243 average and 55 RBI.
 The California native had spent his entire professional career in the Phillies
 organization.  Rollins was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the
 1996  MLB Draft  and  made his  big  league  debut in  September  of 2000.  He
 proceeded to start the next 14 Opening Days for the franchise, developing into
 a  cornerstone of  a Phillies team that  won five straight NL East titles from
 2007-11 and captured the 2008 World Series.
 Rollins  amassed  2,306 hits and a  franchise-record 479 doubles in a Phillies
 uniform,  and also ranks second in team annals in games played (2,090), extra-
 base  hits (806), stolen bases (453) and total bases (3,655). He also won four
 Gold Gloves for his work at shortstop, most recently in 2011.
 "Jimmy  is both  an iconic player and person  whom I have had the great joy of
 watching  grow up  in this game and this city," Phillies general manager Ruben
 Amaro  stated. "His  contributions to  the franchise  and to  Philadelphia are
 unparalleled  and I wish  him the best in Los Angeles. This transaction is one
 that I believe benefits both Jimmy and the Phillies."
 The  Dodgers were  in the  market for  a shortstop  after 2014  starter Hanley
 Ramirez signed with Boston as a free agent.
 Eflin,  20,  is coming  off a solid  season in the  Class A California League,
 going  10-7  with a  3.80 ERA in  24 starts for  Lake Elsinore. A supplemental
 first  round selection of the Padres in 2012, he led the Midwest League with a
 2.73 ERA in his first full pro season in 2013.
 Windle, a second-round pick of the Dodgers in the 2013 draft, went 12-8 with a
 4.26 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) for Rancho Cucamonga in the Cal League.
       === Padres pick up Myers from Rays in 11-player deal with Nats ===
 San  Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Padres continued to reshape
 their roster Friday, acquiring outfielder Wil Myers from the Tampa Bay Rays as
 part of an 11-player trade that also involved the Washington Nationals.
 The Padres picked up Myers, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year, along
 with  catcher  Ryan Hanigan and  minor league  pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose
 Castillo from the Rays.
 Tampa  Bay received  catcher  Rene  Rivera, minor  league  first baseman  Jake
 Bauers  and pitcher  Burch Smith from the Padres, as well as outfielder Steven
 Souza  and pitcher  Travis Ott  from Washington.  The Nationals  will pick  up
 pitcher  Joe  Ross and a player  to be named  later, said to be shortstop Trea
 Turner, from the Padres.
 Myers, who just turned 24 years old, is the centerpiece of the trade.
 The  Rays acquired Myers from Kansas City prior to the 2013 season in the deal
 that sent pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.
 Myers,  in 88  games as  a rookie,  batted .293  while hitting  13 homers  and
 driving  in  53 runs to  help Tampa Bay  to a wild  card berth. A wrist injury
 slowed  him  down in  2014, when  he played just  87 games  and hit six homers
 with 35 RBI and batted only .222.
 Hanigan  hit just  .218 in 84 games  last season, his first in Tampa Bay after
 playing  the  first seven years  of his  career in Cincinnati. The 34-year-old
 veteran,  who has  played more  than 100  games in  a season  just once,  is a
 career. 256 hitter with 25 homers and 172 RBI in 558 games.
 The  Padres  have been  busy since  the start of  last week's Winter Meetings,
 signing  pitcher Brandon  Morrow while adding outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher
 Derek Norris in trades with the Dodgers and Athletics, respectively. San Diego
 is  also set  to acquire outfielder Justin  Upton from Atlanta in a trade that
 has yet to be announced officially.
 Tampa  Bay has also  undergone a major shakeup since the departures of head of
 baseball  operations  Andrew Friedman and  manager Joe Maddon. Matt Silverman,
 Friedman's replacement, had already traded pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Joel
 Peralta, as well as outfielder Matt Joyce and infielder Sean Rodriguez, before
 this latest deal.
 "This  is a  baseball  trade, and  one  we  believe will  make  our club  more
 competitive  both for  2015 and beyond," said Silverman in a statement Friday.
 "Trading Wil Myers was not an easy decision, but we are very excited about the
 talent coming back our way, and this deal has potential to improve our team on
 both sides of the ball."
 The  Rays, who  also released veteran catcher Jose Molina this offseason, will
 hope  Rivera can  help behind the plate. The 31-year-old native of Puerto Rico
 played  in a career-high 103 games last season with the Padres and batted .252
 with 11 homers and 44 RBI.
 Burch appeared in 10 games in 2013, including seven starts, and was 1-3 with a
 6.44  ERA.  He missed most  of last year with  a forearm injury. Bauers played
 at   Single-A   in  2014.  Ott  was   also  a  Class-A  player  last  year  in
 Washington's organization, while Souza could be the key piece for the Rays.
 Souza  was the  International League's  top  player in  2014 for  Washington's
 Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, batting .350 with 18 homers and 75 RBI in just
 96  games. The 25-year-old  played in 21 games for the Nationals last year and
 hit  two  homers in  23  at-bats,  while also  making  a  tremendous catch  to
 preserve Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter on the final day of the season.
 The  Nationals  will pick up a  former first-round pick in Ross, a 21-year-old
 right-hander  who has  not pitched  above Double-A  since he  was chosen  25th
 overall in 2011.
 Turner  can't  officially be traded  until next  June, as league rules mandate
 that  a  draft pick cannot be  dealt until a  full year after he was selected.
 The  13th  overall pick last  June, he could  be Washington's shortstop of the
 future with Ian Desmond set to be a free agent after next season.
        === Report: Padres to deal Hanigan to BoSox for Middlebrooks ===
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Diego Padres are apparently not done trading.
 According  to  Yahoo! Sports,  the Padres  are nearing a  deal that would send
 recently  acquired catcher  Ryan Hanigan to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for
 third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
 The  Padres  picked up  Hanigan from Tampa  Bay as part  of the 11-player deal
 officially  announced  Friday that  also  landed  them outfielder  Wil  Myers.
 However,  San  Diego had  already added  another catcher  in Derek Norris from
 Oakland on Thursday to make Hanigan trade bait.
 Middlebrooks  became expendable  in  Boston  after the  Red  Sox signed  Pablo
 Sandoval  as  a free agent earlier  this offseason. The Padres were reportedly
 also in the running for Sandoval.
 Hanigan  hit just  .218 in 84 games  last season, his first in Tampa Bay after
 playing  the  first seven years  of his  career in Cincinnati. The 34-year-old
 veteran,  who has  played more  than 100  games in  a season  just once,  is a
 career. 256 hitter with 25 homers and 172 RBI in 558 games.
 Middlebrooks  was  projected to be Boston's  future third baseman after a 2012
 season  in  which he batted  .288 with 15  homers and 54 RBI  in 75 games as a
 rookie.  He  struggled in 2013,  hitting .227 with 17  homers in 94 games, and
 last  year hit  just  .191 in  63  games  as he  split  time between  Triple-A
 Pawtucket and Boston.
               === Yankees ship Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi ===
 Bronx,  NY  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The New York  Yankees have acquired pitcher
 Nathan  Eovaldi from  Miami as  part  of a  five-player trade  that will  send
 veteran infielder Martin Prado to the Marlins.
 First baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones and minor league pitcher Domingo German
 will  also go to  the Yankees in the deal, with the Marlins to receive pitcher
 David Phelps and cash considerations from New York as well.
 The  move greatly  changes the  composition of  the Yankees  roster. Eovaldi's
 addition presumably lessens the chances of New York pursuing Max Scherzer, the
 top  free agent  pitcher left on the market, while Prado's departure opens the
 door for prospects Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela to take over at second base.
 Jones,  a left-handed bat  with 115 home runs over the past six seasons, could
 be used in a platoon with the recently reinstated Alex Rodriguez at designated
 hitter while spelling an injury-prone Mark Teixeira at first base.
 Eovaldi,  who  turns 25 in  February, adds  a durable power  arm to a New York
 rotation  in which  three key members -- Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Ivan
 Nova  --  missed significant time  with injuries last season. The right-hander
 logged  199  2/3 innings  over 33 starts  with the Marlins  in 2014, though he
 allowed  the  most hits (223) in  the National League and struggled greatly in
 the season's second half.
 In  14 starts after  the All-Star break, Eovaldi went 1-10 with a 5.51 ERA and
 permitted hitters to bat .310.
 Though  the Yankees have been perceived as a front-runner for Scherzer, who is
 reportedly  seeking a $200 million contract, general manager Brian Cashman and
 team  president Randy Levine have both publicly stated in recent days that the
 club does not intend to sign the 2013 AL Cy Young winner.
 Prado  provides  a still-young Miami roster  with a solid veteran presence who
 will  likely play third  base in his return to the National League, with Casey
 McGehee shifting to first to replace Jones.
 A  .291 career hitter  over nine seasons in the majors, Prado batted .316 with
 seven homers in 37 games with the Yankees after being obtained from Arizona at
 the July 31 trade deadline. The versatile 31-year-old previously hit over .300
 four times in a five-year span with the Atlanta Braves from 2008-12.
 Phelps was shuttled between the rotation and the bullpen during his three-year
 stint  with the Yankees, with the right-hander compiling a 15-14 record with a
 4.21 ERA in 87 appearances (40 starts) over that span.
 Jones  batted  .246 with 15  homers and  53 RBI in  146 games last season, his
 first  with the  Marlins after spending the previous five with Pittsburgh. The
 33-year-old  belted  a career-best  27 homers  with 86 RBI  for the Pirates in
 German,  22, was rated as the No. 8 overall prospect in the Marlins' system by
 MLB.com. The Dominican native posted a 9-3 record with a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts
 for Greensboro of the Low Class-A South Atlantic League in 2014.
                  === Royals sign Alex Rios to 1-year deal ===
 Kansas   City,  MO   (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The  Kansas  City  Royals  signed
 outfielder Alex Rios to a one-year deal on Friday.
 Rios,  who became  a free  agent after  Texas declined  his $13.5 million club
 option  in  October, will make $11  million next season, according to multiple
 The  33-year-old  compiled a .280 batting  average with four home runs, 54 RBI
 and  a .311 on-base percentage over 131 games last season, his second with the
 Rios,  who was  an All-Star in 2006 and  2007, has hit for a career average of
 .278  with 165  homers, 762 RBI and  244 stolen bases in 1,586 games across 11
 seasons with the Blue Jays, White Sox and Rangers.
 Kansas  City had been looking for an outfielder due to right fielder Nori Aoki
 becoming a free agent and with Josh Willingham retiring.
                       === Cubs add Motte to bullpen ===
 Chicago,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The Chicago Cubs  and pitcher Jason Motte
 agreed to terms on a one-year contract Friday.
 Terms  of the deal  were not disclosed, but the Chicago Tribune reported it to
 be worth $4.5 million.
 Motte  was the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals before undergoing Tommy John
 surgery  during the 2013 season. He returned last year and was 1-0 with a 4.68
 earned run average in 29 games.
 The 32-year-old right-hander owns a career record of 18-13 with 54 saves and a
 3.03  ERA in 311  relief appearances -- all with St. Louis -- from 2008-14. He
 has 290 strikeouts in 285 innings pitched.
 Motte  helped the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series championship, closing out
 Game 7 against Texas to cap a postseason in which he produced five saves and a
 2.19 ERA in 12 games.
 In  2012, Motte  tied for the National  League lead with 42 saves and posted a
 record  of  4-5 with a 2.75  ERA in 67 games.  He developed an elbow injury in
 spring  training  the following year  and eventually underwent surgery in May,
 forcing him to miss the entire 2013 season.
 The  Cubs will  likely employ  Motte as  a setup  man for  Hector Rondon,  who
 notched 29 saves last season.
                  === Angels get 2B Giavotella from Royals ===
 Anaheim,  CA (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The Los  Angeles  Angels acquired  second
 baseman  Johnny Giavotella  from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for right-
 handed pitcher Brian Broderick Friday.
 Giavotella, 27, is a career .238 hitter in 125 games over four seasons with 20
 doubles, five triples and four home runs.
 He  spent  most of  2014 with Triple-A  Omaha (PCL) where  he batted .308, hit
 seven  home  runs and  stole 20  bases. In seven  career minor league seasons,
 Giavotella owns a .305 batting average.
 The   28-year-old  Broderick   never  appeared  in  a  game  with  the  Angels
 organization. He made 60 relief appearances with Sugar Land in the independent
 Atlantic League in 2014.
 Broderick  last appeared  in the majors in 2011. In 11 relief appearances with
 the  Washington  Nationals, he posted  a 6.57 ERA in  12 1/3 innings with four
 strikeouts and three walks.
                  === Giants retain Peavy with 2-year deal ===
 (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The  San Francisco  Giants  have apparently  re-signed
 right-hander Jake Peavy to a two-year contract.
 Although  the Giants have  yet to confirm the deal, the pact is believed to be
 worth $24 million and contains a full no-trade clause.
 Peavy  started last season with Boston, but was dealt to San Francisco in late
 July  after going 1-9  with a 4.72 ERA in 20 outings for the Red Sox. However,
 he flourished with the Giants, as he was 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 12 starts.
 The  33-year-old hurler also made four starts for the Giants in the postseason
 and  was  1-2 with a 6.19  ERA. He tossed 5  2/3 scoreless innings in his NLDS
 start  versus  Washington, but his  season ended on a  sour note, as he lasted
 just 1 1/3 innings in a Game 6 World Series loss to the Kansas City Royals.
 A  National League Cy Young Award winner with the San Diego Padres in 2007 and
 a  three-time All-Star, Peavy  is 139-111 with a 3.53 ERA over 13 seasons with
 the Padres, Chicago White Sox, Red Sox and Giants.
                        === Pirates sign Corey Hart ===
 Pittsburgh,  PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed first
 baseman/outfielder Corey Hart to a one-year contract.
 Financial terms were not disclosed.
 Hart  played 68  games for  Seattle last  year after  missing the  2013 season
 recovering  from  knee surgery. He  hit just .203 with  six homers and 21 runs
 batted in for the Mariners.
 The  32-year-old veteran  spent  his first  nine big  league  seasons with  NL
 Central  rival Milwaukee and has a career .271 average with 160 homers and 529
 RBI  in 1,013 games. His best season was 2010, when he belted 31 home runs and
 knocked in 102 runs for the Brewers.
 To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated right-handed
 pitcher Preston Guilmet for assignment.
                        === A's part ways with Punto ===
 Oakland,  CA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The  Oakland  Athletics released  veteran
 infielder Nick Punto on Friday in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
 The  A's  needed to make room  on the 40-man  for pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J.
 Alvarez,  both  of whom  were acquired  from the San  Diego Padres Thursday in
 exchange for All-Star catcher Derek Norris.
 Punto  signed a  one-year contract with Oakland last offseason that included a
 2015  option that vested  due to time spent on the active roster. The 37-year-
 old  journeyman hit a career-low .207 in 73 games, however, with two home runs
 and 14 RBI.
 The  14-year  major leaguer owns  a .245 average  over 1,163 career games with
 Philadelphia,  Minnesota,  St. Louis,  Boston,  the  Los Angeles  Dodgers  and
                      === Orioles add reliever Wright ===
 Baltimore,  MD  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Baltimore Orioles have signed left-
 handed  reliever Wesley  Wright to  a  one-year contract,  the team  announced
 A  seven-year major  league veteran, Wright spent last season with the Chicago
 Cubs  and pitched  in 58 games, going  0-3 with a 3.17 earned run average. The
 29-year-old  was granted free  agency after the Cubs opted not to tender him a
 contract earlier this month.
 Wright, who has made 360 appearances in the majors and held lefty hitters to a
 .238  average for  his  career, joins  a Baltimore  bullpen  that lost  fellow
 southpaw Andrew Miller to the rival Yankees in free agency.
 Initially  breaking into the majors with Houston in 2008, Wright pitched five-
 plus  seasons  with the  Astros before being  dealt to Tampa  Bay in August of
 2013.  He owns a  10-18 lifetime record with a 4.17 ERA and has struck out 290
 over 299 2/3 career innings.
                    === Yankees pick up Germen from Mets ===
 Bronx,  NY  (SportsNetwork.com) -  The New York  Yankees have acquired pitcher
 Gonzalez Germen from the New York Mets in exchange for cash considerations.
 Germen  appeared in 25 games out of the bullpen last year for the Mets and did
 not  record  a decision  while pitching to  a 4.75 earned  run average. He was
 designated for assignment by the Mets on Monday.
 The 27-year-old right-hander owns a career record of 1-2 with a 4.31 ERA in 54
 games over two seasons, both with the Mets.
 It's  the  15th trade  all-time and the  first in 10  years between New York's
 baseball  rivals.  The last came in  December 2004 when the clubs swapped Mike
 Stanton for Felix Heredia.
 Reliever  Preston Claiborne  was designated  for assignment  to make  room for
 German on the Yankees' 40-man roster.
 Claiborne pitched in 44 games as a rookie with the Yankees in 2013, then split
 last  season  between the majors and  minors. The right-hander went 3-2 with a
 3.79 ERA over 62 career appearances over the past two years.
                  === Cash fills out Rays' coaching staff ===
 Tampa,  FL  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Tampa Bay Rays finalized their coaching
 staff  for the 2015  season on Friday, naming Tom Foley as bench coach for new
 manager Kevin Cash.
 Foley  had  spent the past  13 seasons as the  Rays' third base coach. Charlie
 Montoyo will take over as third base coach and former Rays star Rocco Baldelli
 will be the club's new first base coach.
 George Hendrick, who had been the first base coach, has accepted a role as the
 special advisor to baseball operations.
 The  remainder of the coaching staff will remain intact, as Jim Hickey returns
 for  a ninth season  as pitching coach and Derek Shelton enters his sixth year
 as  hitting coach. Stan Boroski will remain the bullpen coach and Jamie Nelson
 will stay on as major league coach.
 "I  feel very  fortunate to  have  inherited a  staff that  is both  respected
 throughout  baseball  and knowledgeable of  our players and the culture," said
 Cash  in a statement  Friday. "I am thrilled to have Tom as our bench coach. I
 have  great  respect for the  role he has played  in the organization from its
 inception  and  will lean  on him  for his experience  and judgment. In adding
 Charlie  and Rocco,  we have  two men  who combined  have more  than 30  years
 invested  in  this  organization  at  many different  levels  and  have  great
 familiarity  with our players. Both have meant a great deal to the Rays, and I
 am grateful they will be joining Jim, Derek, Jamie and Stan for what I feel is
 a great team."
 Cash was named the Rays' new manager earlier this month, replacing Joe Maddon,
 who  stepped  down in  October after baseball  operations head Andrew Friedman
 also left. Friedman went to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Maddon quickly found a
 home as the skipper of the Chicago Cubs.
                   === Selig named Commissioner Emeritus ===
 New  York, NY  (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball has given Bud Selig
 the title of Commissioner Emeritus.
 Selig's retirement will become official on Jan. 25, the date Rob Manfred takes
 over as baseball's new commissioner.
 In his next role, Selig will advise Manfred and assist with special projects.
 "I  greatly  appreciate the opportunity to  stay connected to the game in this
 new  capacity,"  said Selig in  a statement. "I will  be proud to stand behind
 Rob's  vision for the  future and to assist in any ways that he asks. Baseball
 is  the  greatest game in  the world,  and I look  forward to seeing our sport
 flourish under Rob's leadership."
 Manfred  was elected to the position by a unanimous vote among baseball owners
 in August and agreed to a five-year contract in November.
 "Commissioner Selig has had an unparalleled career of decorated service to the
 national  pastime, and  this role  will  allow the  game to  benefit from  his
 unmatched institutional knowledge, experience and relationships," said Manfred
 in  a statement  Friday. "I  could  not ask  for  a finer  mentor during  this
 transition process, and I am grateful that commissioner Selig will continue to
 be available to me as a resource."
 Selig  will  have spent 22  years as the  sport's commissioner. He assumed the
 leadership  post in September 1992, initially on an acting basis following the
 resignation of Fay Vincent, and was given permanent duties in 1998.
                 === Cowboys' Murray questionable for Sunday ===
 Irving,  TX  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Dallas Cowboys running  back and the NFL's
 leading  rusher  DeMarco Murray  is  questionable  to  play in  Sunday's  game
 against the Indianapolis Colts due to a broken left hand.
 Murray,  who was  limited in practice the last two day after not participating
 in Wednesday's session, underwent surgery Monday on his fractured left hand.
 The  26-year-old was  hurt  late  in Sunday's  game  against the  Philadelphia
 Eagles.  He ran  for 81 yards with  two touchdowns in the 38-27 victory, which
 lifted  Dallas  into first  place in the  NFC East.  If he is  able to go, the
 workhorse back will have to gut it out with a cast on his left hand.
 Murray has 1,687 yards on the ground and also leads the league with 11 rushing
 Joseph Randle will start if Murray can't go.
 In  addition, right  tackle Doug Free (ankle) is doubtful and right guard Zack
 Martin (ankle) is questionable.
                       === Newton probable for Sunday ===
 Charlotte,  NC (SportsNetwork.com)  - The  Carolina Panthers  have listed  Cam
 Newton  as  probable for Sunday's  game against  Cleveland, one day after head
 coach Ron Rivera said it was likely that his starting quarterback would return
 to action.
 Newton  sat out  last  week's game  against Tampa  Bay  while recovering  from
 injuries sustained in a car accident on Dec. 9. He took the majority of first-
 team  reps  during  Thursday's  practice, however,  after  which  Rivera  told
 reporters that Newton was "on target" to start against the Browns.
 Derek  Anderson filled  in for Newton last  week, throwing for 277 yards and a
 touchdown  to help the Panthers to an important 19-17 win over the Buccaneers.
 The  result kept  Carolina (5-8-1) right behind first-place New Orleans in the
 NFC South entering the season's final two weeks.
 Running back DeAngelo Williams' status for Sunday's matchup is less certain as
 he  continues to  mend from a broken hand  that has kept him out of the team's
 last two games.
 Williams  has practiced  the entire  week on  a limited  basis and  was termed
 questionable  on  the final  injury report, though  Rivera indicated on Friday
 that  he isn't  optimistic about the veteran back's chances of suiting up this
 Guard  Amini Silatolu  (knee) and linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle) also have been
 declared questionable.
                 === Chargers' Mathews, Allen out vs. 49ers ===
 San  Diego,  CA (SportsNetwork.com) -  The San  Diego Chargers will be without
 running  back Ryan  Mathews and wide receiver Keenan Allen for Saturday's game
 in San Francisco.
 Mathews  didn't practice  for the second consecutive week with an ankle injury
 that will keep him out of a second game in a row.
 Allen also missed practice with a broken collarbone and an injured ankle.
 Punter  Mike Scifres  (shoulder) remains  out while  tight end  Ladarius Green
 (concussion/ankle)  and defensive tackle Corey Liuget (ankle) are questionable
 to play.
 Quarterback Philip Rivers (chest/back) and nose tackle Ryan Carrethers (elbow)
 are good to go.
               === Seahawks ink Avril to four-year extension ===
 Renton,  WA (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Seattle Seahawks continue to take steps
 towards keeping their outstanding defense intact, with the reigning Super Bowl
 champions signing pass rusher Cliff Avril to a four-year extension on Friday.
 The  move  comes just one  day after the  Seahawks announced an agreement with
 linebacker  K.J. Wright on a four-year, $27 million extension. Both Wright and
 Avril were slated to become unrestricted free agents at season's end.
 According  to  NFL.com, Avril's new deal  is worth $28.5 million and continues
 $16 million in guarantees.
 Avril  signed a two-year  contract with the Seahawks in March of 2013 and made
 an  impact  in his first  season with the club,  notching eight sacks and five
 forced  fumbles  over 15 regular-season games.  The veteran end has recorded 4
 1/2 sacks and 20 tackles while starting all 14 contests this season.
 "Cliff has been instrumental in what we've been building on the defensive side
 of  the ball and we are excited that he?ll be with us for another four years,"
 said  Seahawks general  manager John Schneider. "He has been relentless in his
 approach  to the  game and  his  passion for  winning is  contagious. This  is
 another great day for the Seahawks and the 12s."
 Avril  spent his first five NFL seasons with Detroit prior to signing with the
 Seahawks.  The  28-year-old amassed  career bests  of 11  sacks and six forced
 fumbles  with  the Lions  in 2011,  then registered 9  1/2 sacks the following
             === Falcons list Jones as questionable for Sunday ===
 Flowery  Branch, GA  (SportsNetwork.com) - Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio
 Jones  again sat out practice Friday because of a hip injury and was listed as
 questionable for Sunday's game against New Orleans.
 Jones was hurt in the fourth quarter of a game two weeks ago against Green Bay
 and  missed  last Sunday's contest  against Pittsburgh.  He has been unable to
 practice since suffering the injury.
 The  former Alabama  star has 93 receptions for 1,428 yards and six touchdowns
 this  season.  He was leading  the NFL  in receiving yards before Pittsburgh's
 Antonio Brown surpassed him last week.
 Safety  William Moore, who  also sat out last week with a right foot injury he
 suffered in the Green Bay game, was a limited participant in practice the past
 two days and is also questionable for Sunday.
 The  Falcons enter the  contest one game behind the Saints for the lead in the
 NFC  South  and a win  Sunday would give them  a tiebreaker advantage over New
 Orleans with a sweep of the season series.
                 === Colts' Hilton to be game-time decision ===
 Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Indianapolis Colts have listed T.Y.
 Hilton  as  questionable for Sunday's  game against the Dallas Cowboys, though
 the  prospects  of the team having  its star receiver available appear iffy at
 Hilton,  whose  1,345 receiving yards rank  fourth in the NFL this season, sat
 out  for  a third  straight practice  on Friday  due to  a hamstring injury he
 sustained during last week's win over the Houston Texans.
 Colts  head  coach Chuck Pagano  said that  Hilton's status for this weekend's
 contest will not be determined until Sunday morning.
 Cornerback  Vontae  Davis, who tweaked his  groin in Sunday's victory, also is
 considered  questionable to face the Cowboys -- though he was able to put in a
 second consecutive limited practice on Friday.
 The  Colts  definitely will  be without starting  right tackle Gosder Cherilus
 (groin)  as  well as  guard Hugh  Thornton, who  has not  played since Week 12
 because of a sprained knee.
            === Vikings LB Barr out for season with knee surgery ===
 Eden  Prairie, MN  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Minnesota Vikings  rookie linebacker
 Anthony  Barr  will undergo knee  surgery and miss the  final two games of the
 season due, the team said Friday.
 Barr  missed  Minnesota's last two  games with a left  knee injury that he had
 been  battling  for a  few weeks. He  is expected to  be ready for Minnesota's
 offseason workouts.
 The  UCLA product was  the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft. Barr finished
 with  70 tackles,  four sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries,
 including  one  he returned for  a touchdown in overtime  to beat Tampa Bay in
 Week 8.
          === Cards' Stanton doubtful, Mathieu probable for Sunday ===
 Tempe,  AZ (SportsNetwork.com)  - Arizona  Cardinals quarterback  Drew Stanton
 is doubtful, while safety Tyrann Mathieu is probable to play in Sunday night's
 NFC West showdown against the Seattle Seahawks.
 Stanton partially tore ligaments in his knee during last Thursday's 12-6 win
 over the St. Louis Rams. He practiced for the first time since the injury
 Thursday on a limited basis, but did not go during Friday's session.
 Stanton was starting in place of the injured Carson Palmer, who is out for the
 season with a torn knee ligament suffered in early November. Ryan Lindley took
 over for Stanton against the Rams.
 Lindley  and Logan  Thomas are currently the remaining healthy quarterbacks on
 the Cardinals' roster.
 Mathieu has missed the last two games with a broken left thumb. He was limited
 in practice Wednesday and Thursday, but was a full participant Friday. He will
 wear a cast if he can go, which is likely.
 The  Cardinals can  clinch the NFC West and homefield advantage throughout the
 NFC playoffs with a win Sunday night.
 The Cardinals currently lead the NFC West by one game.
                 === Redskins' Moss fined $22K for outburst ===
 (SportsNetwork.com) - Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss was fined
 $22,050  by the NFL for an outburst directed at officials that got him ejected
 from Sunday's game against the Giants.
 An  NFL spokesman  confirmed Friday that Moss was fined for using "abusive and
 insulting"  language toward  officials after a Washington touchdown at the end
 of the first half was overturned following a replay review.
 Officials  ruled  Redskins quarterback Robert  Griffin III had lost control of
 the ball before it crossed the goal line.
 Moss was seen yelling and pointing at officials near the sideline as the teams
 left the field at halftime, drawing an ejection and an unsportsmanlike conduct
 penalty enforced on the second-half kickoff.
 The  Giants took advantage, recovering an onside kick in Redskins territory to
 set up a field goal. They won the game 24-13.
                   === Redskins' Meriweather placed on IR ===
 Ashburn,   VA   (SportsNetwork.com)  -   Washington  Redskins  safety  Brandon
 Meriweather  was placed  on injured reserve Friday, ending his season due to a
 toe injury.
 The  30-year-old  defensive back missed  the last  two games after suffering a
 sprained toe on Nov. 30 against Indianapolis.
 On  the season,  Meriweather  has 55  tackles, three  sacks  and three  forced
 fumbles in his third season with Washington and eighth in the NFL.
 In  a corresponding roster move, Washington added linebacker Steve Beauharnais
 in advance of Saturday's game against Philadelphia.
 Beauharnais  has already  appeared in  two  games with  Washington this  year,
 collecting  four  tackles in losses to  Indianapolis and St. Louis. The former
 seventh-round  pick from  Rutgers also played in two games with New England in
                  === Flyers G Mason to miss next 2 games ===
 Philadelphia,  PA  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve
 Mason left a Friday practice session with an upper-body injury and is expected
 to miss his club's back-to-back games in Toronto and Winnipeg this weekend.
 Mason,  who made  31 saves  in  Thursday's 2-1  shootout loss  to the  Florida
 Panthers,  appeared to suffer some kind of spasm, which was severe enough that
 he had to be taken off the ice by team personnel.
 Timing  of this  injury to the Philly  starter could not have been worse, with
 the  Flyers  about  to  embark  on  an  eight-game  holiday  road  trip  mired
 in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division at 11-14-6.
 Mason  has gone  just 6-10-5 this season, but holds a goals-against average of
 2.49 and .921 save percentage.
 Though  the club has not made it official, it is expected that Rob Zepp -- the
 starting  netminder for  the Lehigh  Valley  Phantoms in  the AHL  -- will  be
 recalled to back up Ray Emery.
              === Islanders activate Boychuk, Hamonic from IR ===
 Uniondale,   NY   (SportsNetwork.com)   -   The  New   York   Islanders   have
 activated  defensemen  Johnny Boychuk and  Travis Hamonic from injured reserve
 ahead of Friday night's road contest against the Detroit Red Wings.
 "They  are good  in all areas [including  the] penalty kill and they can bring
 heavy shots in the offense zone as well," noted Islanders captain John Tavares
 of his returning teammates. "They are very mobile guys that play a physical
 game.  Those aren't easy defensemen to play against or to find. They are a big
 part of our team, so it's nice to have him back."
 Boychuk,  acquired  from Boston in  early October, picked  up two goals and 12
 assists  in 21  games this season before an undisclosed upper-body injury kept
 him out of action for the last nine contests.
 Hamonic,  who  has collected three goals  and three assists in 21 appearances,
 last suited up on Dec. 2. He was also felled by an upper-body issue.
 Both players are the club's lone right-handed shooting blueliners.
               === Canadiens' Pacioretty day-to-day after hit ===
 Brossard,  QC  (SportsNetwork.com) - Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty
 did  not practice Friday, a day after he left a game against Anaheim following
 a hard check into the boards.
 Canadiens  coach Michel  Therrien said Pacioretty was day-to-day with what the
 teams says is an upper-body injury.
 Pacioretty  was  several feet from  the boards in the  Ducks zone and had just
 released  a pass when he was hit from behind Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner
 on Thursday night.
 The  check sent  Pacioretty flying into the  glass, with his head or neck area
 appearing to strike first.
 He  skated slowly off  the ice with 15:40 left in the period and didn't return
 to the game.
 Stoner  was not whistled  for a penalty on the play, but drew a fighting major
 minutes later following a tussle with Canadiens forward Brandon Prust.
 Pacioretty leads Montreal with 25 points on 13 goals and 12 assists.
 The Canadiens lost Thursday's game 2-1 and host Ottawa on Saturday.
                        === Rangers extend G Talbot ===
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com)  - The  New York  Rangers have given backup
 goaltender Cam Talbot a contract extension.
 Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 Talbot  has appeared  in  seven games  this  season as  the  backup to  Henrik
 Lundqvist  and has posted a record of 2-3-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average,
 two  shutouts and a .921 save percentage. He is the only netminder this season
 with six or fewer starts to post two shutouts.
 The  27-year-old Ontario  native registered  shutouts in  back-to-back starts,
 blanking  Philadelphia  on Nov.  19 and  turning the  trick against the Flyers
 again  nine  days later. He  has the fourth-longest  shutout streak in the NHL
 this season at 159:48.
 In  28 career NHL games over two seasons, Talbot has a record of 14-9-2 with a
 1.80 GAA, five shutouts and a .936 save percentage.
              === Olympian Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI ===
 Baltimore,  MD (SportsNetwork.com)  - Olympic  swimming legend  Michael Phelps
 entered  a  guilty plea  to a  drunk driving  charge on  Friday in a Baltimore
 courtroom and received a one-year suspended sentence.
 Phelps was arrested Sept. 30.
 After  entering the  guilty plea Friday, Phelps  told the judge he made a "bad
 mistake"  and  was looking toward  his future.  He entered a treatment program
 after his arrest.
 Phelps, who was suspended by USA Swimming for six months following his arrest,
 will remain on probation for 18 months.
 According  to  the Maryland Transportation  Authority, Phelps was charged with
 DUI,  excessive  speed and crossing double  lane lines within the Fort McHenry
 Tunnel on I-95 in Baltimore.
 The  MDTA report said Phelps was driving a 2014 white Land Rover at a speed of
 84  miles per hour in a 45-mph zone. An officer pulled the vehicle over beyond
 the  tunnel's toll  plaza  and Phelps  failed to  perform  the standard  field
 sobriety tests. He was cooperative throughout the process.
 This  was Phelps'  second arrest on DUI-related charges, with the first coming
 in 2004 for which he also received 18 months' probation and a $250 fine.
 Phelps has won a record 18 Olympic gold medals and 22 overall.
                 === Tennessee State's Reed gets extension ===
 Nashville,  TN  (SportsNetwork.com) - Tennessee  State football coach Rod Reed
 agreed in principle to a contract extension Friday.
 The  school  said details of the  contract's length and Reed's salary would be
 "ironed out at a later date."
 Reed,  who has coached at Tennessee State since 2003, took over the program in
 December 2009 after James Webster Jr. resigned and is 32-27 in five seasons at
 the helm.
 The  former Tennessee State linebacker has led the Tigers to three consecutive
 non-losing  seasons,  including a 6-6 mark  this year. It's the first time the
 program has finished .500 or better three seasons in a row since 1984-86.
 Reed said in a statement he was "very thankful" the school showed a commitment
 to him.
 "Leaving  TSU  would have been tough  to do because  I feel like there is more
 left to be accomplished," he said.
           === Ferris State's Vander Laan wins Harlon Hill Trophy ===
 Florence,  AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ferris State quarterback Jason Vander Laan
 has  been awarded the Harlon Hill Trophy honoring the nation's top Division II
 football player.
 Vander  Laan  received the honor  after putting together an outstanding junior
 campaign  in which  the  Chicago-area native  rushed for  1,466  yards and  20
 touchdowns and added 2,381 yards and 30 touchdowns through the air.
 His  efforts  enabled Ferris  State to  lead Division II  in total offense and
 produce an 11-0 record during the regular season.
 Vander  Laan,  the first player  from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic
 Conference  to win  the award since current Detroit Lions tailback Joique Bell
 in 2009, edged out Henderson State quarterback Kevin Rodgers in the balloting.
 Vander Laan received a total of 152 points, with Rodgers collecting 143.
               === Lions introduce Tedford as new head coach ===
 Vancouver,  BC  (SportsNetwork.com)  -  The British  Columbia  Lions  formally
 introduced Jeff Tedford as head coach on Friday.
 Tedford  takes  over for  Mike Benevides,  who was  let go  on Nov. 20 despite
 compiling a 33-21 record over the last three seasons.
 "Jeff  has competed  on football's biggest stages and achieved great success,"
 said  Lions  VP of  football operations  and general  manager Wally Buono. "It
 speaks  volumes  about our organization and  our league that a coach of Jeff's
 stature and appeal has chosen the Lions as his next great challenge."
 The  53-year-old Tedford  last prowled  the  sidelines for  the University  of
 California,  compiling a 50-45 record over 11 seasons from 2002-12. He led the
 Golden Bears to eight bowl berths and five bowl wins in that span.
 A  Fresno State product  who played in the CFL from 1983-1988 as a quarterback
 with  Hamilton,  Calgary, Saskatchewan and  Winnipeg, Tedford is reunited with
 Buono  whom he worked with and under in Calgary as an offensive assistant from
 1989 to 1991.
 "We've  always loved Vancouver,  my wife and I. This is a quality of life that
 is  important  to us.  My wife is  Canadian, my kids  were born here," Tedford
 said.  "Joining the  Lions today is the  beginning of a new chapter and I look
 forward to the challenge of bringing a championship to BC."
 12/19 19:44:18 ET

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