World Series MVP Renteria agrees to deal with Reds
World Series MVP Edgar Renteria has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, who were looking for a veteran shortstop to replace Orlando Cabrera. The Reds also agreed to a one-year contract with Fred Lewis, a left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield positions and bat leadoff.
The 35-year-old Renteria became a free agent after the Giants declined his $9.5 million contract option. His tiebreaking three-run homer off Cliff Lee helped the Giants win the World Series. He was hurt most of the season, spending three stints on the disabled list.
Lewis batted .262 with Toronto last season, leading the club with 17 steals. His 31 doubles were third-most by an AL leadoff hitter.
"These two players address a couple of needs we had identified for our club," Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty said. "Edgar is a veteran middle infielder who we expect to have a positive influence on our younger players, and he is a proven winner. Fred gives us a left handed bat capable of playing all three outfield positions, with speed and a lot of experience leading off."
■ Slugger Carlos Gonzalez finalized a seven-year, $80.5 million deal with the Colorado Rockies. The outfielder's publicist released a statement in his native Venezuela saying the deal will be signed Tuesday in Denver, where a news conference was announced by the Rockies.
Gonzalez had a breakout season in 2010, winning a Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove. The 25-year-old won the NL batting title with a .336 average and also hit 34 homers and drove in 117 runs despite batting leadoff for 44 games early in the year.
■ Infielder Jason Bartlett and the San Diego Padres agreed to an $11 million, two-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Acquired last month from Tampa Bay, Bartlett hit .254 last year with 27 doubles, three triples, four homers and 47 RBI.
UK moves up to 16th in rankings
Fresh off a victory over then-No. 17 Illinois and Northern Illinois in its season opener, Kentucky's gymnastics team moved up eight spots to 16th in the latest GymInfo rankings. Senior Andrea Mitchell scored a 9.95 Saturday to claim the highest floor exercise score in the country this season. Fellow senior Jasmine Minion, who scored a 9.925 on floor Saturday, is tied for second in the nation.
"This team has worked hard to get prepared for the season and I think that moving up in the rankings is a sign of that hard work paying off," assistant coach Heather Hite said. "However, we know that it is a long season and there are still improvements that need to be made."
Rockets stop Celtics' late rally
Aaron Brooks scored 24 points, hitting a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left after Boston cut a 12-point deficit to four and the Houston Rockets held on for a 108-102 road victory over the Celtics. The Rockets snapped a five-game losing streak despite playing without leading scorer Kevin Martin. Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson came off the bench to contribute 10 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) had eight points and three rebounds for Houston. Ex-Cat Rajon Rondo had 12 assists and nine points for Boston.
■ Stephen Jackson scored 27 points and the Charlotte Bobcats stayed hot under new coach Paul Silas with a 96-82 victory over the listless Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night in a game played in a nearly empty arena because of a snowstorm. A crowd of about 1,000 fans braved the treacherous roads that shut down much of the city to watch the Bobcats move to 5-2 since Larry Brown was fired.
Marquette routs No. 9 Notre Dame
Dwight Buycks scored a career-high 21 points and Marquette made 15 of its 21 three-point attempts in a 79-57 upset of No. 9 Notre Dame on Monday night in Milwaukee. Buycks hit all five of his three-point attempts and Jae Crowder added 18 points for Marquette (12-5, 3-1 Big East). The Big East's player of the week, Ben Hansbrough, had nine points and the Fighting Irish shot 39.6 percent overall, including 3-for-16 from three-point range.
■ Josh Terry, a Henderson County graduate, scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Austin Peay to a 71-61 win at Tennessee-Martin. Tyshwan Edmondson (University Heights) added 12 points and four rebounds for the Governors.
Messi repeats as FIFA's top player
Lionel Messi won his second straight FIFA player of the year award, with his mesmerizing play for Barcelona outweighing a disappointing World Cup. The Argentine forward beat out Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta for the renamed FIFA Golden Ball Award, which merged the FIFA player of the year with France Football's Golden Ball. Messi became the first repeat winner since Ronaldinho in 2004 and 2005. Messi received 22.65 percent of the votes cast by national team coaches and captains plus selected reporters. Iniesta followed with 17.36 percent and Xavi received 16.48 per cent to finish third for the second straight year.
Jose Mourinho was voted men's coach of the year after leading Inter Milan to the European Champions League title, Brazilian forward Marta was selected women's player of the year for the fifth straight time and Germany's Silvia Neid earned women's coach of the year honors.
Former AFL player of year Gilchrist dies
Cookie Gilchrist, one of the American Football League's first marquee players whose ferocious running style drew comparisons to that of the great Jim Brown, died of cancer Monday. He was 75.
Carlton Chester "Cookie" Gilchrist joined the Bills of the AFL in 1962 and spent three seasons there. He was the league's player of the year in 1962, when he had 1,096 yards rushing and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. In 1964, Mr. Gilchrist and quarterback Jack Kemp led the Bills to their first of two straight AFL championships.
Before joining the Bills he spent six years in the Canadian Football League, where he is regarded as one of its top two-way players.
Cornerback Booker Edgerson, a former Bills teammate, said Mr. Gilchrist was "just as good and maybe even better" than Brown. Edgerson noted that Gilchrist also starred at linebacker in the CFL and wanted to play the position in Buffalo. "Yeah, he was tough," Edgerson said. "If they would've allowed him to play linebacker, he would've kicked a lot of butt."
Mr. Gilchrist led the AFL in yards rushing for three straight seasons (1963-65) and touchdowns (1962-64). His most notable game came in Buffalo's 45-14 win over the New York Jets in 1963. He set a then pro football record with 243 yards rushing and became only the fourth player to score five touchdowns — one short of the record set by Ernie Nevers. After Buffalo, Mr. Gilchrist spent two seasons with Denver and one with Miami.
The last word
New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan says this weekend's playoff matchup against the New England Patriots "is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan." Belichick's response:
"I might have a little quickness on him. He probably has a little strength and power on me."