Friday's Sports In Brief

The Associated PressJuly 12, 2014 

PRO BASKETBALL

CLEVELAND (AP) — If LeBron James was going to win another NBA title, heal broken hearts and continue building his legacy, he knew there was only one place to go. To Ohio. Home.

Four years after he left for Miami, a widely criticized departure that damaged his image and crushed a long-suffering city's championship hopes, James is coming back to play for the Cavaliers to try and end Cleveland's half-century title drought. He's returning to his basketball roots, to the people who know him best, to make good on a promise.

James made the announcement with a powerful essay written for Sports Illustrated. His decision ended two weeks of speculation with the entire league waiting on his move. When he finally made it, Cleveland was his choice over re-signing with the Heat.

UNDATED (AP) — Chris Bosh said countless times in recent weeks that he did not want to leave Miami. Not even LeBron James' departure changed his mind.

And shortly after the Heat took a King-sized hit, their future started coming together.

Bosh is staying in Miami, agreeing Friday to a five-year contract that will be worth about $118 million, said two people familiar with the deal. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side had confirmed it publicly.

SOCCER

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona reached agreement with Liverpool on the transfer of Luis Suarez, giving the troubled striker a chance to rehabilitate his image when his latest biting ban is over.

Suarez will travel to Barcelona next week for a medical and to sign a five-year contract.

The Uruguay international is prevented from any involvement in football until the end of October after being handed a four-month suspension by FIFA for biting an Italian opponent at the World Cup in Brazil.

BASEBALL

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort says he's sorry for his testy reactions to disgruntled fans, including telling one of them that maybe Denver doesn't deserve a Major League Baseball team anymore.

In a statement released by the club, Monfort said he has no intention of moving the team and formally apologized for his prickly email replies. In a series of responses to fans unhappy with the bad baseball they've been witnessing, Monfort suggested they not come out to Coors Field if they're that mad and suggested that Denver might not deserve a team.

BALTIMORE (AP) — The New York Yankees obtained left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis from the Oakland Athletics for a player to be named and cash.

The 33-year-old Francis was claimed off waivers by the A's from Cincinnati on May 18 and went 0-1 with his first career save and a 6.08 ERA in nine relief appearances with Oakland. He was designated for assignment July 3 when Eric O'Flaherty was reinstated from the disabled list.

Francis is 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 games this season and 70-80 with a 4.95 ERA in his career with Colorado, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Oakland.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox reached a deal with left-hander Carlos Rodon, the No. 3 pick in the draft, on a minor league contract that includes a signing bonus of $6,582,000.

The deal with Rodon, out of North Carolina State, is well above his slot value of $5,721,500 and more than the $6 million bonus Miami gave the No. 2 selection, high school pitcher Tyler Kolek.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of marijuana possession in the town of Grapevine in northeast Tarrant County.

Soto, 31, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana under two ounces according to Sgt. Robert Eberling of the Grapevine Police Department. He was released on $500 bail. Soto has not played this season after injuring his left knee in March.

SWIMMING

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly at the Bulldog Grand Slam, easily beating rival Ryan Lochte.

Phelps touched with an impressive time of 51.67 seconds, the third-fastest time in the world this year. Lochte was a distant second in 53.08. This is the final tuneup for Phelps and Lochte before next month's national championships in Irvine, California. Both are in the midst of comebacks — Phelps returning to the pool after retiring, Lochte coming back from a knee injury that has limited him to only one other meet this season.

PRO FOOTBALL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL suspended Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Spencer Nealy for the first four games of next season for violating rules against performance-enhancing drugs.

Nealy will not be paid during his suspension, but he is eligible to participate in all practices, offseason programs and preseason games. Nealy was a member of the Vikings' practice squad for six weeks last season. If he makes the team, he will be eligible for the Vikings' active roster on Sept. 29.

Nealy said he took a supplement with a banned stimulant.

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