From AP REPORTS
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Former AL MVP Justin Morneau received the most lucrative contract in Minnesota Twins history, an $80 million, six-year deal announced along with a $24 million, three-year agreement for right fielder Michael Cuddyer.
The Twins, who have explored trading two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, announced the agreements at the start of their TwinsFest. General manager Bill Smith said the two deals do not affect any other players.
The Twins, with a core of Morneau, Cuddyer and catcher Joe Mauer to carry them into their new ballpark in 2010, have reached agreement with all of their arbitration-eligible players. Morneau agreed to a $7.4 million, one-year contract last week, but both sides wanted to go longer.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — City officials said they will consider a 90-day agreement that gives them exclusive negotiating rights with the Cincinnati Reds about relocating the team’s spring training base to Arizona.
The Reds’ current spring training home is in Sarasota, Fla., where county officials this week put off a decision on providing $18 million for a proposed $41 million upgrade of Ed Smith Stadium.
Goodyear City Council is scheduled to meet Monday to vote on the negotiating agreement with the Reds. During the 90-day period, the city would be prohibited from talking to other clubs and the Reds could not talk to other cities, said Goodyear city spokeswoman Paula Ilardo.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tiger Woods made short work of the easier North course at Torrey Pines, leaving everyone else long odds of catching him at the Buick Invitational.
Woods finished with a 7-under 65 to match his best start ever at Torrey Pines, building a four-shot lead over alternate Kevin Streelman as he tries to win this event for the fourth straight year.
Woods, making his first start of the season, had a 12-under 132 total.
Streelman, a 29-year-old rookie who made it through all three stages of Q-school, was third alternate Thursday morning and was not expecting to play until someone tapped him on the shoulder to say he had four minutes to get to the tee when Matthew Goggin withdrew. Streelman followed his opening 67 with a 69 on the tougher South Course, which will host the U.S. Open this summer, and will be in the final group with Woods.
Joining them will be Stewart Cink, who shot a 69 on the South and was another shot back at 7-under 137.
Phil Mickelson, also making his first start of the year, was 1 under after a 73 on the South Course.
KAHUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Gil Morgan had two eagles in a four-hole stretch on his way to a 7-under 65 and the first-round lead in the Turtle Bay Championship.
Morris Hatalsky capped the round with consecutive birdies and was two strokes behind Morgan in the Champions Tour's first full-field event of the year.
Four rookies were among the group at 68, including John Cook, seeking his second victory in his fourth start on the 50-and-over circuit. He was joined by fellow rookies Fulton Allem, Bernhard Langer and Phil Blackmar.
Tom Kite, Jim Thorpe and Donnie Hammond also were at 68.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Sweden's Johan Edfors birdied four of his last five holes for a 6-under 66 and a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Qatar Masters.
Edfors had a 9-under 135 total. England's Lee Westwood (70) and South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (67) were tied for second.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A man who sold a female pit bull to Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation and attended some of the fights avoided prison time because he cooperated with investigators and did not physically harm any of the dogs.
Oscar Allen was sentenced to three years probation and fined $500 for his limited involvement in the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting ring that operated out of Vick's 15-acre spread in rural Surry County.
Vick, the suspended star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, was sentenced in December to 23 months in federal prison. Three co-defendants also have been sentenced to prison terms.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California freshman O.J. Mayo violated an NCAA rule by accepting free tickets from Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony to an NBA game, but his punishment won't include missing games.
University officials said they have been informed by the NCAA that Mayo committed a violation and must contribute $460 — the total value of the two tickets — to a charitable organization. USC said in a release the NCAA restored Mayo’s eligibility after he and his family donated the money, making him available for Saturday’s game against Oregon.
Mayo received the tickets from Anthony to Monday night’s game between the Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Mayo, averaging a team-leading 19.7 points and 4.6 rebounds, said Anthony made the offer of tickets at a party he hosted Sunday night.
BOSTON (AP) — Olympic and world heptathlon champion Carolina Kluft is using the Boston Indoor Games to help decide which events she will enter in the Beijing Games.
Despite an Olympic gold, three World Championships, a European-record 7,032 points and a 19-0 record since 2001, the Swedish star says the heptathlon might not be in her future.
Right now that means Kluft, who turns 25 on Feb. 2, will compete in the long jump at the Boston Indoor Games.
Kluft said her feelings about the heptathlon changed after the World Championships in Osaka, where she won her third title.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN WOMEN’S FINAL
MELBOURNE, Australia — A year after being on the wrong end of one of the most-lopsided losses in a Grand Slam final, Maria Sharapova wrapped up her third major title with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Ana Ivanovic on Saturday. By John Pye.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady was nowhere to be found by reporters and cameraman waiting eagerly for the star quarterback, with or without his famous boot.
His teammates are certain where to find him on Feb. 3 — on a Super Bowl field for the fourth time and leading the New England Patriots against the New York Giants. By Howard Ulman. Moved previously for AMs.
Steve Nash sank seven of the Suns’ season-high 17 3-pointers to lead Phoenix over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then he said it was all about the defense.