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Wednesday
Oct262011

Twins Decline Option on Closer Joe Nathan

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The Minnesota Twins all-time saves leader may be looking for a new team this off-season. Twins officials announced that the team will not pick up Nathan's 2012 option, saving the team $10.5 million. Nathan's final year of his contract will be bought out for $2 million as opposed to paying him $12.5 million.

Back in 2009, Nathan was one of the most dominant closers in baseball: he had 47 saves to go along with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. However, Nathan needed Tommy John ligament replacement surgery for his elbow the following off-season and as result, he rode the bench for the entire 2010 season.

The 36-year old Nathan worked his way back in a year's time, and returned to the Twins bullpen as their closer for the 2011 season. Despite Nathan's return to the Twins, he struggled mightily his first month back and finished the year with 14 saves to go along with a 4.84 ERA, his highest since 2000.

Even though the team did not pick up his option, Twins General Manager Bill Smith acknowledged he would not rule out bringing back Nathan, but at a reduced price.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Formula 1 Racing Headed to New Jersey

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW JERSEY) -- Formula 1 racing is headed to the Garden State.  On Tuesday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that the state will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix of America in 2013.

The event will take place in Port Imperial in Weehawken and West New York starting in June of 2013.

"The three-day event will bring very positive economic activity to the region, while giving fans of the sport in our region and around the world an exciting, new venue to experience Formula 1 racing," said Christie.

The races are expected to bring in hundreds of millions in economic development over the life of the 10-year agreement. Over 100,000 people are expected to attend each race.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

John Lackey Will Undergo Tommy John Surgery 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Boston Red Sox pitcher John Lackey will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2012 season.

New Red Sox GM Ben Cherington made the announcement on Tuesday during his introductory press conference.  This is the latest blow to the Red Sox, who've faced reports that Lackey and fellow starting pitchers Josh Beckett and Jon Lester drank beer, played video games, and ate fried chicken during their non-pitching days.

Lackey just completed the second year of his five-year $82.5 million contract.  He went 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA in 28 starts in 2011.

There was no announcement regarding when he will have the surgery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

No NFL Teams Attend Owens' Workout

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(CALABASAS, Calif.) -- Free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens on Tuesday worked out for the first time since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and undergoing surgery in early April.

The only problem for T.O. was there were no NFL team scouts in attendance.  His workout was aired on the NFL Network and ESPN.  The 37-year-old Pro Bowler received throws from Casey Hansen, who played quarterback at Norfolk State and has had stints with teams in the Arena Football League.

"It's not a problem, I feel confident, guys put me in a situation to be here today to show people with hard work you can come back from anything.  I don't need all 32 teams out there regardless if there were none here, I just need one," Owens told ESPN when asked about no teams attending the workout.

During the workouts Owens caught passes and ran drills but did not attempt a 40-yard dash.  His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he was planning to send the tape out to all 32 NFL teams.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Colts Coach Caldwell: 'The Effort Was Good'

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Indianapolis Colts are 0-7 on the season and coming off one of their worst losses in franchise history, a 62-7 defeat against the New Orleans Saints.  While the score may indicate otherwise, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell thought his team played hard.

"I think the effort was good," Caldwell told reporters during his weekly press conference.  "Our performance was certainly not good.  We're all disappointed and frustrated, but we just did not play well."

The Colts head to Tennessee to face the Titans on Sunday.  Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has missed the entire season after undergoing neck surgery.  While there are two other winless teams in the NFL -- the Rams and Dolphins -- the Colts are certainly in the running to land the first pick in next year's NFL draft.  The team with the worst record at the end of the season receives the top pick.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Will More NBA Games Be Canceled?

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Daily News reports NBA Commissioner David Stern, who has already canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, is set to cancel another two weeks, eliminating all games through November 28.

Talks between NBA owners and locked-out players broke down last week after both sides could not agree on how to split all basketball-related income. 

The regular season was scheduled to start November 1.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Cubs Officially Introduce Epstein as Team President

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Theo Epstein was introduced today as the new president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs.

Epstein, who spent the last ten seasons in the Red Sox's front office, helped deliver two World Series titles to Boston and hopes to do the same with a team that has not won the Fall Classic since 1908.

The Cubs finished the 2011 season with 71-91 record, and Epstein knows success will not come overnight.

"Over time, and together, we will build a solid foundation that delivers sustained success for the Cubs," Epstein told reporters during his introductory press conference.

That foundation, Esptein believes, begins with strong scouting and player development.  Epstein also plans to meet with Cubs manager Mike Quade in the coming days.

Epstein thanked the Red Sox and their fans for their support over the years, and said he was pleased Cubs fans welcomed him with open arms.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Rangers Top Cardinals 4-2 in Game 5 of World Series; Take 3-2 Series Lead

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- Can you hear me now? Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa might be asking that after a phone call may have cost his team a World Series title.

With the game tied at 2 in the eighth inning, Rangers catcher Mike Napoli hit a go-ahead RBI double off Cardinals reliever Mark Rzepczynski to take a 4-2 lead. The problem though was that Rzepczynski was never supposed to face the red-hot Napoli in the first place. La Russa earlier had called bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist because he wanted pitcher Jason Motte to face Napoli. Lilliquist thought he heard "Lynn," as in relief pitcher Matt Lynn. Lynn was not supposed to pitch that night, and with Motte not ready to go into the game, La Russa was forced to keep Rzepczynski in -- and the team paid for it.

When asked about the miscommuniation between he and the bullpen, La Russa blamed the incident on crowd noise.

"I mean, it's loud down there and sometimes you call down there and you have to wait until the crowd and a guy gets up late. I mean, this is not unusual," La Russa said.

Regardless of how or why it happened, the Rangers are now just one win away from their first World Series title in franchise history. Game 6 will be played Wednesday night in St. Louis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Jaguars Defeat Ravens on 'Monday Night Football'

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- If your a fan of offense, then Monday night's matchup between the Jaguars and the Ravens wasn't for you.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had only 205 total yards of offense, but it was good enough to upset the heavily favored Baltimore Ravens 12-7. Jacksonville rode the leg of kicker Josh Scobee, who hit four field goals, including three from over 50 yards -- tying an NFL record -- and that was all the team needed. With the win, Jaguars rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who was the 10th overall pick in this past year's draft, won his first NFL game.

As bad as the Jaguars offense was, they looked like the New England Patriots compared to the Ravens offense. The Ravens could only manage 146 total yards on offense, and the Jaguars didn't allow the Ravens to get a first down until the 5:26 mark of the third quarter. The lone offensive bright spot for the Ravens was a five-yard Anquan Boldin touchdown reception with 2:02 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

With the win, the Jaguars improved to 2-5 on the season, while the Ravens fell to 4-2.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Phillies Decline Options on Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge

L Redkoles/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA, Pa.) -- The Philadelphia Phillies announced that they will not pick up the options on pitchers Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge.

In doing so, the team will save $25 million. Oswalt received a $2 million buyout as opposed to $16 million next season, while Lidge got a $1.5 million buyout instead of $12.5 next season. As a result, both veteran pitchers will be eligible for free agency.

This past season, Oswalt went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts for the team while also dealing with a back injury. He was acquired during the 2010 season in a trade with the Houston Astros.

Lidge went 0-2 with a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances this season with the Phillies. Lidge, who was also acquired in a trade from the Houston Astros before the 2008 season, spent four seasons with the Phils, going 3-11 with a 3.73 ERA and 100 saves. He was a key component in the Phillies 2008 World Series team, saving 41 games in 41 opportunities in the regular season and 7 games in 7 opportunities in the playoffs.

Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did not rule out bringing either player back to the team next season.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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