Report: Reds agree to contract with ex-Phillies closer Madson
Free-agent closer Ryan Madson and the Cincinnati Reds reached an oral agreement on an $8.5 million, one-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. Madson saved 32 games in 34 chances last year for NL East champion Philadelphia. CBSSports.com was the first to report the right-hander's agreement with Cincinnati.
The contract is subject to a written agreement and a physical, according to the person who spoke Tuesday night to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.
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Madson replaces Francisco Cordero as the closer in Cincinnati. Cordero remains a free agent after the Reds declined a $12 million option, choosing instead to pay him a $1 million buyout.
Madson nearly re-signed with the Phillies, but a $44 million, four-year deal collapsed in November and days later Philadelphia reached a $50 million, four-year contract with closer Jonathan Papelbon.
In 491 career games, including 18 starts, Madson is 47-30 with a 3.59 ERA and 52 saves. The lanky Madson allowed only two home runs and 16 walks in 602⁄3 innings last season.
■ Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants agreed to a two-year contract worth about $8.3 million after he became one of the team's most reliable starters and an unlikely All-Star last season. The 34-year-old right-hander, who had been eligible for arbitration, set a career high for wins while going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA in 30 games, 28 starts.
■ Baseball's owners are expected to offer Bud Selig a contract to stay on as commissioner another two years during meetings on Thursday, a deal that would keep him in office until after he turns 80.
Jets hire Sparano to be O-coordinator
The future of Mark Sanchez and the Jets' offense is now in Tony Sparano's hands. The Jets hired the former Miami Dolphins coach as their offensive coordinator Wednesday to replace Brian Schottenheimer and take over an offense that struggled mightily this season as New York failed to make the playoffs. The team announced the hiring just more than 12 hours after announcing that Schottenheimer told the Jets he wouldn't return next season despite having two years left on his contract. Schottenheimer, the son of former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer, was highly criticized for the Jets' inconsistencies as they ranked 25th overall in offense. He also took a lot of the blame for Sanchez not progressing as expected in his third year.
■ Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will be away indefinitely as he and his family deal with the loss of his son Michael, whose body was recovered from an icy Wisconsin river on Monday. Packers Coach Mike McCarthy, calling it a "punch in the heart," said he and the rest of his offensive assistant coaches are dividing up Philbin's responsibilities and will continue to do so as long as they need to. McCarthy says Philbin is with his family, "where he's supposed to be." Preliminary autopsy results show Michael Philbin drowned.
■ The Indianapolis Colts hired Eagles executive Ryan Grigson as their new general manager Wednesday. The 39-year-old Grigson has spent the past nine years with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he was named director of player personnel in 2010 after four years as college scouting director. Colts owner Jim Irsay last week fired vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris, the Colts' GM, after a 2-14 season.
■ A person familiar with Super Bowl entertainment plans says Kelly Clarkson will sing the national anthem before the NFL championship game at Indianapolis on Feb. 5. Since becoming the first winner of American Idol a decade ago, Clarkson has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and had more than a half-dozen singles reach the top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Glover withdraws from tournament
Lucas Glover has withdrawn from the Sony Open with a sprained right knee that still is not strong enough for him to play golf. Glover injured his knee when he took an awkward spill off a paddle board upon arriving on Maui for the season-opening Tournament of Champions. He withdrew from that tournament, but thought he might be able to play the Sony Open because Waialae is a relatively flat course and easier to walk.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Indiana Senate bill seeks 1-class tourney
The Indiana High School Athletics Association opposes a state Senate proposal aimed at forcing a return of the state's single-class basketball tournament. The Senate's education committee scheduled a hearing Wednesday afternoon on a bill that includes the tourney proposal, along with provisions that would block school districts from starting their academic year before Labor Day and require the teaching of cursive writing. IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox says the current four-class system for basketball tournaments in place since 1998 promotes fairness. That decision upended more than 80 years of tourney tradition that was celebrated in the 1986 movie Hoosiers. Some legislators failed in the 1990s to force at least a voter referendum on the tournament. The House in 2005 passed a resolution seeking the single-class tournament's return.
Rome leaving ESPN for CBS
Sports talk show host Jim Rome is leaving ESPN for CBS's networks. He will host a half-hour weekday show on cable channel CBS Sports Network called Rome starting in April. CBS said Wednesday that he would also have a sports and entertainment series on Showtime beginning late this year. Rome will contribute to CBS's coverage of the NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open tennis. His combative style may be best known for a confrontation with NFL quarterback Jim Everett in 1994. After Rome repeatedly called him "Chris" — in reference to women's tennis star Chris Evert — on a live ESPN2 broadcast, Everett flipped over a table and knocked Rome out of his seat. Rome will continue to host his nationally syndicated radio show.
Canadian critical day after accident
Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was in critical condition Wednesday, a day after she was airlifted from the mountains of Utah to a Salt Lake City hospital with injuries after a training accident in the superpipe. The nature of Burke's injuries has not been disclosed. In a statement released by Burke's publicist, a doctor at University of Utah hospital says Burke "sustained serious injuries and remains intubated and sedated in critical condition." Chris Nelson, assistant vice president for public affairs at the hospital, said Burke had surgery Wednesday afternoon. Robert Foxford, doctor for the Canadian freestyle team, said it was his understanding Burke had been placed in an induced coma. The 29-year-old Burke is widely considered the foremost pioneer for her main sport of freestyle halfpipe. She lobbied aggressively to have it included in the Olympics, where it will debut in 2014.
The last word
Chris Chase of Yahoo.com, on CBS hosts James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason taking a collective Tebow elbow after the Broncos' playoff victory:
"You don't want to know what they'd have done if Roethlisberger had won."