Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 9


Woods' mother-in-law released from Florida hospital

Tiger Woods' mother-in-law collapsed at his home and was rushed to a hospital early Tuesday, touching off the second media frenzy in two weeks surrounding the pro golfer's carefully guarded private life.

Barbro Holmberg was taken by ambulance to Health Central Hospital in Ocoee, Fla., with stomach pains after a 911 call from Woods' house. Holmberg, a Swedish politician, was released about 11 hours later and returned to Woods' mansion, hospital spokesman Dan Yates said.

In a recording of the 911 call obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, a panicking woman tells the dispatcher that her mother has collapsed. "Hurry up," the woman says as a child can be heard crying in the background. "She collapsed in the bathroom. What do I do?"

A few seconds later, the woman said her mother was breathing normally and talking and didn't appear to be hurt from her fall. The caller wasn't identified.

Holmberg, 57, arrived in the United States a few days ago, Yates said, just as Elin Nordegren grappled with fallout from the crash and Woods revelation that he had extramarital "transgressions."

■ Now that John Daly has his weight problem sorted out, he figures a movie about his up-and-down career — and life — might not be far behind. Daly, who has lost 115 pounds, entertained a news conference Tuesday with his cinematic plans based on a new book he would write himself. "I just saw Matt Damon, how he swung a golf club, and I thought if I ever made a movie, I want him to be me," Daly said. "The tough part is who would play me at 290 pounds. Now Kevin James, he's my bud, but he'd be good."

Lee Westwood has been selected the European Tour's golfer of the year for 2009. The 36-year-old Englishman was given the award for the third time in his career after a consistent season. He won the Dubai World Championship and finished at the top of the European money list. He also won the award in 1998 and 2000.


Gammons leaves ESPN for MLB Network

Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN after 20 years to become an analyst for MLB Network. Gammons will offer commentary for breaking news and big events such as the post-season, winter meetings, amateur draft and trade deadline. He will appear on the network's news shows as well as develop short documentary-style pieces. He also will write regularly for MLB.com, becoming part of its new columnist Web site. "To be involved with people whose network is devoted to baseball, and baseball only, is something I look forward to with excitement," Gammons said in a statement Tuesday.

■ The Atlanta Braves' surplus of closers forced the team to part ways with outfielder Ryan Church on Tuesday. Church was designated for assignment by the Braves to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for reliever Rafael Soriano, who made a surprise decision to accept salary arbitration late Monday. The Braves last week signed closer Billy Wagner and set-up man Takashi Saito.

■ New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia will be presented the Warren Spahn Award at a gala Jan. 26 in Oklahoma City. Sabathia was chosen as the recipient of the award, given annually to baseball's top left-handed pitcher, after winning a tiebreaker with former Lexington Legend Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros. Sabathia has won the award each of the last three years.

Chone Figgins finalized his $36 million, four-year contract with Seattle on Tuesday, a deal that includes a vesting option for 2014 that could make it worth $45 million. Figgins, however, might not necessarily replace free-agent slugger Adrian Beltre at third base. "He's open to playing anywhere in the infield," General Manager Jack Zduriencik said. "There's still some moving parts here."

Randy Johnson is still weighing his decision about whether to pitch again in 2010 or retire after 22 major-league seasons. Agent Alan Nero said he expects to know in the coming weeks whether the 46-year-old Johnson will return for another year.

■ A Wisconsin appeals court upheld a restraining order that bans a woman from attending Major League Baseball games where Bob Uecker is announcing. A court commissioner issued the four-year injunction against Ann Ladd of Prospect Heights, Ill., after Uecker complained that the woman harassed and stalked him for years.


Portis out for year; career might be over

The season is over for Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis. Doctors have yet to clear him from a concussion he suffered a month ago, and he sounded like a player with a very opened-ended future.

"I think I'll get well," Portis said on his weekly radio appearance on ESPN980. "I have to put the time into rehabbing and continuing to do what the doctors say but, at the same time, to have the opportunity to play for eight years and play and compete and not miss many games ... if it's my time and I look back today, I think I had a great career. No one wants to finish on an injury but, at the same, time I enjoyed it, and I would love to come back."

Portis has struggled with vision problems and dizziness since he was hurt in a helmet-to-helmet hit against Atlanta on Nov. 8.

■ Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said Tuesday that he isn't certain whether he will be back this season. Polamalu's latest injury, to his posterior cruciate ligament, was initially expected to be less severe than the anterior cruciate ligament injury that kept him out of the Steelers' second through fifth games. Polamalu hasn't been cleared to practice, much less play.

■ The chip-shot miss against the Saints has cost Washington kicker Shaun Suisham his job. Suisham, the most accurate kicker in franchise history, was cut Tuesday by the Redskins, who replaced him with Graham Gano from the United Football League.

■ Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, two to Jermichael Finley, as the Ravens struggled in coverage without star safety Ed Reed in Baltimore's 27-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. Reed sat out with hip and ankle injuries, missing an ugly, flag-filled contest that saw the teams combine for 310 penalty yards, tied for second-most in NFL history.


Jamaica's Powell says Bolt can be beat

Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell says he can catch countryman and world's fastest man Usain Bolt when the two face off next year. "Usain is the target right now, and I'm shooting at him," Powell told reporters Tuesday in Singapore while promoting next year's Youth Olympic Games. "I know that I can do it." Powell, who has run a personal best of 9.72 seconds in the 100 meters, will square off against Bolt and American Tyson Gay in the IAAF Diamond League, a new circuit for the top-tier of track and field starting in 2010.

Burress applies for work furlough

Former Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress wants to get a break from prison, but prosecutors said Tuesday they probably will try to block his bid for work release because he hasn't served enough time. The former New York Giant applied for a work furlough — which would let him spend some portion of his time at home — on Nov. 25, about two months into his two-year sentence for carrying an unlicensed gun that went off and wounded him at a Manhattan nightclub. State prison-system officials are expected to decide on his request next month.

The last word

An NBA Development League team will refund the ticket prices to the thousands of fans who went to a Utah Flash game and expected Michael Jordan to play in a charity exhibition at halftime.

A Jordan lookalike instead was introduced to face former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell in a promotional fiasco that will cost Flash owner Brandt Andersen. Andersen said he made a legitimate offer to get Jordan to the Flash's home opener but took it too far by sending the Jordan lookalike around town Monday, Andersen said:

"We're the first ones to say it was not in good taste in the end. It just kind of blew up in our faces. We just didn't execute it well."