College Blog Blog Network

Astros sign pitcher Nelson Figueroa to one-year deal

12.01.10 at 9:02 pm ET
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The Astros signed right-handed pitcher Nelson Figueroa to a one-year deal worth $900,000, including incentives, The Associated Press reports. The 35-year-old Figueroa’s deal avoids arbitration, which was announced on Wednesday. Figueroa, a Brandeis University product, has played for six MLB teams in his career with 137 appearances.

Figueroa was claimed off waivers by the Astros in July. He pitched in 18 games for the club, and in 10 starts earned a 5-3 record with a 3.22 ERA. He also pitched for the Phillies in 2010 and was 7-4 with a 3.29 ERA for the season.

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Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia respects Yankees free agent SS Derek Jeter’s contract demands

12.01.10 at 5:03 pm ET
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With Derek Jeter reportedly seeking six years and upwards of $22 million annually from the Yankees, the 11-time All Star’s name has been in the news recently for having excessive demands. Another AL East infielder, and someone who’s seen quite a bit of Jeter over his career, doesn’t see what the big deal is.

“I think he’s earned the right,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said on WEEI’s “The Big Show” on Wednesday. “He’s a free agent, and he can ask for or demand whatever he wants. He’s done a lot of great things. He’s won five World Series. ‘€¦ That’s just a part of being a free agent.”

Last season, Jeter hit .270 with 10 homers and 67 RBI.

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ESPN to feature new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team in 2011

12.01.10 at 4:11 pm ET
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The start of the 2011 baseball season will feature a new Sunday Night Baseball team, after ESPN did not renew the contracts of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. announced on Wednesday that the new team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine will take over the booth on Sunday nights next season.

Miller and Morgan had been the voices on Sunday Night Baseball for the past 21 seasons. The new team, according to ESPN Executive Vice President of Production Norby Williamson, will make for a “dynamic Sunday Night team.”

Shulman and Hershiser both worked on Sunday Night Baseball last season; Shulman with ESPN Radio and other ESPN TV games, and Hershiser with SNB TV games as well. Valentine was an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight, and will be in the booth for the first time.

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Miami Heat up security as LeBron James returns to Cleveland

12.01.10 at 4:11 pm ET
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The Heat have decided not to release the team’s travel plans for its trip to Cleveland, when the Heat take on the Cavaliers on Thursday night, reports.

Typically the team releases its travel plans, hotel location and pregame workout plans for the team’s media to select outlets during away games. However, a team spokesman said on Wednesday that the team will not reveal those plans in LeBron James‘ homecoming of sorts to Cleveland.

This game will mark the first return to the city James left in July in favor of South Beach and the Heat. According to ESPN, James and his teammates are expecting a hostile environment at the Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday.

“I think it’s going to be tough,” James told ESPN. “But I’m there to win a basketball game, and I understand how passionate fans are about sports. So I’m ready for whatever response I’m going to get.”

The league has taken additional security measures in preparation for the game.  

Read More: Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Rumor Mill

Cam Newton among three finalists for Walter Camp Award

12.01.10 at 4:10 pm ET
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Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, in the wake of NCAA recruiting allegations that were deemed relevant, but not enough to keep Newton from playing in the SEC title game, was announced as a finalist for the Walter Camp Award, The Associated Press reports.

The Walter Camp Award is given annually to the nation’s best player, as voted upon by Football Bowl Subdivision coaches and Sports Information Directors.

Joining Newton as other semifinalists for the award are Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Oregon running back LaMichael James. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9.

Newton has thrown for 2,254 yards and 24 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,336 yards and 18 touchdowns. James is the nation’s leading rusher, averaging almost 155 yards per game. Luck has thrown for 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Read More: Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, LaMichael James, Rumor Mill

University of Miami targeting Jon Gruden, but Donald Trump wants Mike Leach

12.01.10 at 4:10 pm ET
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After firing coach Randy Shannon on Saturday, the University of Miami plans to speak with current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden today about filling the vacant coaching position, reports. The Associated Press cited an anonymous source on Sunday in reporting that Gruden is on the top of Miami’s list to fill the position.

Gruden has coached the NFL’s Buccaneers and Raiders, and has partnered with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

However, according to USA Today, Donald Trump wants Miami to hire former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to the position. This isn’t the first time that Trump has backed Leach, either. He vied for the hiring of Leach in 2006 after Larry Coker left – the year the university hired Shannon. Trump sent messages to Donna Shalala, the university president, saying that Leach should be the replacement.

Miami has not issued a timetable for the hiring of a coach and said that names of candidates will not be released until a hire has been made.

Read More: Donald Trump, Jon Gruden, mike leach, Rumor Mill

NCAA rules Auburn quarterback Cam Newton eligible to play in SEC title game

12.01.10 at 2:05 pm ET
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The NCAA has ruled that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is eligible to play in the SEC title game this weekend, The Associated Press reported. Newton has been cleared despite the fact that the NCAA evidenced that his father did violate rules by shopping his son to other schools.

On Tuesday, Auburn declared that Newton was ineligible after the college sports governing body ruled a violation of his amateur status did occur. Auburn sent a request to the league that he be reinstated.

Newton has been cleared to play by the league without any conditions. The NCAA released its findings in a statement on Wednesday.

The Tigers play South Carolina in the SEC title game this Saturday. Auburn can clinch a guaranteed spot in the BCS National Championship Game with a win over the Gamecocks.

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Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa likely will miss 2-3 weeks

12.01.10 at 11:28 am ET
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Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa likely will miss 2-3 weeks because of a lower-body injury. Hossa was injured in a collision with teammate Nick Boynton during Monday’s practice and had to be helped off the ice. He also missed five games earlier this season with an upper-body injury. Hossa is fourth on the team with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists). As a replacement, the Blackhawks recalled forward Jeremy Morin from the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

“Things happen like that,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday of the collision. “It can happen away from the game, too, so it’s all part of it. You deal with it. It’s an opportunity for Morin to come up and hopefully he can take advantage of the chance and the challenge. We’ll just go from there.” Morin, 19, made his NHL debut Nov. 6 against the Thrashers. He leads the IceHogs with six goals.

Read More: Jeremy Morin, Joel Quenneville, Marian Hossa, Nick Boynton

Carl Crawford looking for eight years?

12.01.10 at 10:47 am ET
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The Red Sox have been working hard to sign one of two elite free agent outfielders, Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth, and according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, if they are successful, the new contract stands a good chance of becoming the largest free agent deal this ownership group has made.

Silverman says indications are that Crawford is asking clubs to sign him to at least an eight-year deal, while Werth is seeking at least six years, and that each player will likely wind up with a deal including an average annual value worth between $16 million and $19 million. This means that a Werth or Crawford deal should top the five-year, $82.5 million deal ($16.5 million per season) the Red Sox signed starter John Lackey to last offseason. J.D. Drew currently has the largest free agent deal this ownership group has given a position player, for five years at $14 million a year.

Crawford would be 37 at the end of an eight-year deal in 2018, and Werth would be 37 at the end of a six-year deal in 2016. Other teams reportedly interested in the outfielders are the Angels, Tigers and Rangers.

Read More: Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Rumor Mill,

NBA suspends Bobcats G Stephen Jackson one game

12.01.10 at 10:42 am ET
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The NBA announced on Tuesday that the league will suspended Bobcats guard Stephen Jackson for one game without pay for verbally abusing referee Eli Roe and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection from Saturday’s loss to the Bucks. The suspension, to be served Wednesday when the Bobcats visit the Hornets, will cost Jackson about $103,000 based on his $8.45 million salary this season.

Jackson, who is averaging a team-best 18.1 points, received consecutive technicals by Roe midway through the first quarter against the Bucks as he complained of being held and grabbed. Teammates Gerald Wallace and Nazr Mohammed had to usher Jackson off the court. Earlier last month, Jackson received a fine of $50,000 for verbally abusing officials after a loss at the Pistons. He has been called for six technical fouls this season, not counting one that was later rescinded, which ties him with the Magic’s Dwight Howard for most in the NBA.

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