Veterans Committee picks Cardinals' Herzog, umpire Harvey
Whitey Herzog spent a good, long time stewing about a blown call in the 1985 World Series. So in a strange way, perhaps this fits: He's going into the Hall of Fame, standing next to an umpire. Herzog and prominent crew chief Doug Harvey got the call Monday, elected to the Hall by the Veterans Committee. Herzog was a single vote short in his previous try, and might have made it sooner with another crown on his résumé. But he was forever linked to Don Denkinger after the ump's infamous miss in Game 6.
"No, I'm not bitter at Denkinger," Herzog said Monday. "He's a good guy, he knows he made a mistake, and he's a human being."
As for Harvey, Herzog joked: "I don't know why he should get in. Doug kicked me out of more games than any other umpire."
Among those who came close this year was former players' union head Marvin Miller. He fell two votes short.
Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez and Barry Larkin are eligible for the first time in Hall voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Those results will be announced Jan. 6.
■ Smooth-fielding shortstop Adam Everett decided to stay with the Detroit Tigers, agreeing Monday to a $1.55 million, one-year contract. Everett hit .238 with three homers and 44 RBI for Detroit this year, his ninth season in the majors.
■ Roy Halladay, Curtis Granderson and Kentuckian Dan Uggla were some of the big names being dangled as baseball's annual winter meetings opened Monday. But there were just two minor deals made to start the four-day session. Washington acquired right-handed reliever Brian Bruney from the Yankees for a player to be named, and Texas got left-hander Clay Rapada from Detroit for a player to be named or cash.
Nuggets spoil Iverson's return to Philly
Allen Iverson and the 76ers' reunion tour kicked off with a fantastic opening act. A full house, video tribute and hundreds of No. 3 jerseys in the crowd. Iverson kissed the 76ers logo, danced with his teammates and bowed to his adoring fans. All they need to do now is work on the finish. Fans came for No. 3 and stayed for Philadelphia's 10th straight loss.
Chauncey Billups scored 31 points and Carmelo Anthony had 14 to help the Denver Nuggets spoil Iverson's return to Philadelphia with a 93-83 win over the 76ers on Monday night.
"I just felt like I was back home," said Iverson, who scored 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting and had six assists. "It was deja vu. Just a real good feeling. The fans made it hard on me because they made me more nervous than I already was."
Denver scored the first 14 points of the fourth quarter to rally for its fourth straight win. Iverson's old team improved to 16-5; his new-again team fell to 5-16.
Thunder 104, Warriors 88: Kevin Durant scored 28 points, rookie James Harden added a career-high 26 and host Oklahoma City capitalized on a brief blowup by Corey Maggette to pull away. The Thunder led by one when Maggette drew two technical fouls for arguing with official Derek Richardson late in the third quarter. Durant hit both free throws that followed, and Russell Westbrook added two more from the initial foul. Between Maggette's ejection and the end of the third quarter, the Thunder outscored Golden State 16-5 to take control. Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 31 points but also picked up a technical and committed nine turnovers.
■ Two people with knowledge of the team's plans say the New York Knicks will travel to Italy next fall and play at least one exhibition game in Milan.
■ A VH1 reality series that promises an inside look at the lives of NBA players' wives and girlfriends is set to air early next year. VH1 said Monday that Basketball Wives will show the upside of the women's lives — big homes, designer clothes and jewelry — and the drawbacks, including worries about whether their husbands are being faithful on roadtrips. Shaquille O'Neal's wife, Shaunie, will be featured and is an executive producer. Others taking part are Eric Williams' wife, Jennifer, and Mesha O'Neal, married to Jermaine O'Neal.
Report: Patrick reaches NASCAR deal
Part of the plans Danica Patrick has to enter NASCAR will finally be revealed Tuesday. Patrick, whose flirtation with NASCAR has been the subject of speculation for months, has signed a contract with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports to run a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series, beginning next season, The Charlotte Observer and ThatsRacin.com reported. However, exactly what that schedule includes remains unclear. Sources said no specific number of races — or even her first Nationwide race — will be announced on Tuesday.
Two Kentuckians finish LPGA Q-school
Kentuckian Leah Wigger finished tied for ninth at the LPGA's qualifying tournament, earning her tour card for next year. Wigger shot an even round on Monday putting her at 4-under for the tournament. Former UK golfer Mallory Blackwelder, daughter of UK coach and former LPGA golfer Myra Blackwelder, finished tied for 38th at 4-over. That result earns Blackwelder conditional status, which means she will have to play qualifying rounds for some events. Blackwelder is headed to Spain this week for the European LPGA Q-school. Duke star Amanda Blumenherst won the event in Florida, closing with a 4-under 68 to finish at 9-under.
■ Even after making double-bogey on the final hole, Troy Merritt shot a 3-under 69 on Monday to win the PGA Tour qualifying tournament, finishing the six-round event at 22 under. The top 25 finishers in the evnent earned cards on the PGA Tour for 2010. Among the notables who did not qualify out of Q-school were major champions David Duval, Todd Hamilton and Shaun Micheel.
■ A Florida trooper who suspected Tiger Woods was driving under the influence sought a subpoena for the golfer's blood results from the hospital he was taken to after crashing his SUV, but prosecutors rejected the petition for insufficient information, according to a police report released Monday. A witness, who wasn't identified in the report, told trooper Joshua Evans that Woods had been drinking alcohol. The same witness said Woods had been prescribed Ambien and Vicodin.
■ Seve Ballesteros, who is still recovering for a brain tumor, is among 32 former British Open champions invited to play four holes on the Old Course at St. Andrews the day before next year's 150th anniversary tournament.
Red Wings' McCarty retires after 15 years
Darren McCarty, a veteran of 15 NHL seasons who won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, officially announced his retirement Monday. The 37-year-old McCarty appeared in 758 games overall, recording 127 goals, 288 points and 1,477 penalty minutes. He scored the Cup-winning goal in the 1997 finals against Philadelphia to end Detroit's 42-year title drought. He also helped the Red Wings hoist the Cup in 1998, 2002 and '08.
■ A collision at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas injured a jockey and forced officials to euthanize two horses. Officials said Monday's collision injured 54-year-old jockey Tim Doocy, who was scheduled for surgery after an early diagnosis indicated fractures to his ankle, knee and hand. Doocy was aboard The ATM, a 2-year-old colt, when the horse collided with a pony ridden by outrider Chisum Ewing. The accident occurred as Doocy's mount was pulling up from a workout.
The last word
Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson will get to visit Dallas' new stadium this weekend, but he won't soon forget the old Texas Stadium, where he lost a pair of $26,000 diamond earrings as a rookie in 2006. Asked Monday if anyone ever found them, Tomlinson said:
"I never heard anything about them. I'm pretty sure someone found them. The grounds crew, I guarantee you, found them. Merry Christmas."