McCarthy mows down Redsin first game back from injury
Amanda McCarthy was a nervous wreck in the stands. Her husband was as calm as could be on the mound.
Brandon McCarthy methodically struck out four in two innings in his first game since a horrific head injury, an impressive return that overshadowed all else in the Diamondbacks' 14-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
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McCarthy, signed to a two-year deal by the Diamondbacks as a free agent, gave up one run on three hits. He had not taken the mound in a game since Sept. 5 when he was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Angels' Erick Aybar while pitching for Oakland. McCarthy sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture.
Reds ace Johnny Cueto, in his first start since he was injured early in last year's playoffs, went two innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits with a strikeout and a walk.
"I was pretty nervous. I was kind of getting shaky," Amanda McCarthy said. "I'm not a very nervous person in general when he pitches, but obviously this is a unique situation."
Then she watched her husband strike out Billy Hamilton, Joey Votto and Ryan Ludwick in the first inning. The only blemish came when rookie center fielder Adam Eaton got a late break on Denis Phipps' deep fly ball leading off the second and it went for a triple. Neftali Soto brought Phipps home with a sacrifice fly, then Jack Hannahan was caught looking for McCarthy's fourth strikeout.
McCarthy said he felt no more nervous than he did approaching any other spring training opener. He said he refuses to dwell on the injury, except when he is asked about it. "I would assume it becomes less of a hot issue, less questions about it, or at least they'll kind of thin out, which is a good thing," he said.
As for his pitching, McCarthy said, "I felt my rhythm was good, my game pace was good, all the things I'd like to have even later in spring I felt were good."
Said Amanda: "He was awesome. Did he strike out like a million?"
QB Smith reportedly on way to Chiefs
Alex Smith quietly stayed behind the scenes after losing his job and watched from the sideline as San Francisco returned to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years. Yet the No. 1 overall draft pick from 2005 did make one thing known: The veteran quarterback still considers himself a starter.
He hoped to get that chance again. Now, he appears to have it.
The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly agreed to acquire Smith from the 49ers in the first major acquisition since Andy Reid took over as the team's new coach in early January.
The 49ers will reportedly get a second-round pick in April's draft, No. 34 overall, and a conditional pick in the 2014 draft.
Moving Smith was hardly unexpected. He realized it once Colin Kaepernick emerged as a capable starter over the season's final two months. With Smith now headed for Kansas City, Matt Cassel is likely headed out of town. And Reid will enter his first draft as Chiefs coach in April no longer needing to search for a quarterback.
The Chiefs' problems at quarterback were the single biggest reason they went 2-14 last season and secured the No. 1 pick in the draft for the first time in franchise history.
Hornets' Davis has shoulder sprain
New Orleans Hornets rookie forward and former Kentucky star Anthony Davis has a left shoulder sprain and did not play Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
Davis hurt his shoulder in a collision with Brooklyn's Brook Lopez under the basket late in the third quarter of New Orleans' 101-97 loss to the Nets. Team officials said Davis was available to return, but Coach Monty Williams elected not to put him back in, and team officials say Davis did not travel to Oklahoma City.
■ Rasheed Wallace, 38, one of the oldest Knicks on a team filled with veterans, will have season-ending surgery on his injured left foot, the team announced Wednesday. Wallace is expected to be out for eight weeks. It is unclear if Wallace would be able to play in the post-season. Wallace sustained what was originally called a stress fracture in his foot Dec. 13, and has not played since.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Pistorius' lawyers reveal substance
Oscar Pistorius' representatives named the substance found in his bedroom after the shooting death of his girlfriend as Testis compositum on Wednesday and said it is an herbal remedy used "in aid of muscle recovery."
A product called Testis compositum is also marketed online in both oral and injectable forms as a testosterone booster and a sexual enhancer. Pistorius' lawyers, through his public relations firm, did not give details as to whether the product they named was the same one marketed in the U.S. as a sexual enhancer with pig testicles, pig heart and pig embryo among its ingredients.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said its science department had been made aware of the substance and that it wasn't banned.
■ A company representing Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has filed a lawsuit to stop the sale of T-shirts using his "Johnny Football" nickname.
Shane Hinckley, Texas A&M assistant vice president of business development, said the school has sent more than 60 cease-and-desist letters concerning Manziel and has removed more than 900 items off eBay. The university is not part of the suit against Vaughan.
■ Four Alabama players facing charges of robbery and fradulent use of a credit card after a campus attack on two students Feb. 11 are not with the program or enrolled in school.
Coach Nick Saban announced Wednesday the disassociation of defensive back Eddie Williams, running back Brent Calloway, defensive lineman D.J. Pettway and Tyler Hayes with the team. The four had been suspended indefinitely by Saban.
■ Former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw has been indicted in Atlanta on charges stemming from a November 2012 shooting. Holdsclaw, 35, is charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with former Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, who told police she was Holdsclaw's ex-girlfriend.
Johnson, Lowe's sign for 2 more years
Jimmie Johnson's second Daytona 500 victory came with another big prize — a two-year contract extension from sponsor Lowe's.
Lowe's Companies Inc. said Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., it has re-upped with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2015 NASCAR season. Lowe's and Hendrick first teamed in 2001 when Johnson was hired to drive for the new No. 48 team. Now in its 12th season, it's the most successful team over the last decade in NASCAR. Johnson has won a series-best 61 races since his 2002 rookie year, has five Sprint Cup titles and has never finished lower than sixth in the standings.
■ Ai Miyazato withdrew from the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore on Wednesday as a precaution after she was hurt in a weekend auto accident. The former No. 1 is still battling whiplash.
The last word
From Jeff Gordon's shout-out to the fans to Ozzy Osbourne's unintelligible lyrics, the celebrities who took over the job of singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game at Cubs games have fallen out of favor. Actor Joe Mantegna, a Chicago native and lifelong Cubs fan, said he agrees with the change, saying there is something wrong with some "Jose Schmo who won an Oscar, is from Canada and hates baseball" singing the song.