Thursday's Sports In Brief

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 29, 2013 at 4:05 am •  Published: March 29, 2013
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Rodriguez's Yankees are on track to have the highest payroll on opening day for the 15th straight year, climbing above the Los Angeles Dodgers to a projected $228 million with this week's acquisition of Vernon Wells.

With teams due to set opening-day rosters Sunday, the Yankees' payroll will be nearly 10 times the spending of the Astros, who have shrunk their payroll to about $25 million.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The brains behind two of the last three World Series titles plan to stick together for at least another four seasons.

The San Francisco Giants extended the contracts of general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy through the 2016 season Thursday night, bringing even more stability to a franchise that has counted on continuity during its recent run of success. Both had previous deals set to expire after this summer before the Giants exercised their 2014 options in December.

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Pitcher Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to $97.5 million, five-year contract covering 2014-18 that raises his guaranteed income to $109.5 million over the next six seasons.

Wainwright had been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series. He gets $12 million this year under his previous deal, and the new agreement pays him $19.5 million in each of the following five years.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Late Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller is being honored by Major League Baseball with an annual award named for him.

The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award will be given each year to a major leaguer and Hall of Famer who displays good character, assists those less fortunate, supports U.S. servicemen and women and conducts himself with dignity on and off the field. The U.S. Navy will give a companion award to one service member.

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HOCKEY

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins' perfect march through March is turning into a flat-out sprint. And the latest addition to their star-studded lineup — Jarome Iginla — isn't even due in town until the weekend.

The streaking Penguins raced past the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 for their 14th straight win. At the rate Sidney Crosby and company are going, the NHL record of 17 consecutive victories set by Pittsburgh 20 years ago is well within reach.

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SYRACUSE SCANDAL:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Fired Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has filed the initial paperwork in a defamation lawsuit against ESPN for reporting two former ball boys' claims that the longtime coach sexually abused them.

A yearlong federal investigation that followed accusations that Fine abused team ball boys ended with no charges. Fine was Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim's assistant for 35 seasons.

ESPN reported the allegations on Nov. 17, 2011. Fine was fired 10 days later when a third man made similar claims.

In the court paperwork, Fine indicated he'll sue for defamation and seek undefined damages. The "summons with notice" was filed Nov. 15, 2012, in state Supreme Court in Onondaga County and sat unreported until Thursday, when The Associated Press asked the court clerk for a copy.

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PRO FOOTBALL:

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Osi Umenyiora is looking for another ring with the Atlanta Falcons.

The free-agent defensive end signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract with Atlanta. Umenyiora, who won two Super Bowl championships in his 10 years with the New York Giants, says the Falcons are "probably the most talented team I've seen in my life."

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PISTORIUS:

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius could compete at this year's world championships after a South African judge eased his bail restrictions and ruled that the athlete, who faces a murder trial for the shooting death of his girlfriend, can travel overseas to run.

The international athletics body said that if Pistorius qualifies, it had no objections to him running — an event that could eclipse the stir last year when he became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics. Pistorius' agent told The Associated Press soon after the ruling that the world championships in Moscow in August could be a possibility if the runner wanted to return to the track on his carbon fiber blades.

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AUTO RACING:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Mark Martin will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing while Denny Hamlin recovers from a fractured vertebra in his lower back.

Martin's first start in the No. 11 Toyota will be next week at Martinsville Speedway, where he wasn't scheduled to race. Brian Vickers had already been tabbed to drive Martin's car for Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville.

Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races while he heals. JGR didn't specify how long Martin will be in the car, but the fifth race is at Talladega, a track Martin has opted to skip the last few years.

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