Other Sports

Sports briefs: Dec. 11


Ex-Wildcat Downs agrees to $15 million deal with Angels

The Los Angeles Angels and former Kentucky pitcher Scott Downs agreed to a $15 million, three-year deal Friday.

Downs, one of the top middle relievers on the free-agent market, went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 67 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. The 34-year-old left-hander is 27-28 with 16 saves in 379 games over nine major-league seasons.

Angels General Manager Tony Reagins said Downs "adds tremendous depth to our bullpen."

■ The Mariners finalized a $2.5 million, one-year contract with left-handed slugger Jack Cust to become Seattle's primary designated hitter.

■ Left-hander George Sherrill, who saved 51 games in two seasons with Baltimore before struggling last season with the Dodgers, finalized a $1.2 million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.

■ The Baltimore Orioles reached agreement on a $1.5 million, one-year contract with shortstop Cesar Izturis, who will apparently compete for a utility job behind newcomer J.J. Hardy.

■ Left-hander Scott Olsen agreed to a $550,000, one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes a club option for 2012.


Navratilova hospitalized after climb

Martina Navratilova was hospitalized in Kenya because of fluid accumulation in her lungs after attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The 54-year-old tennis great is expected to recover.

Navratilova was diagnosed with high-altitude pulmonary edema, Dr. David Silverstein, a consultant in cardiology and internal medicine at Nairobi Hospital, said Friday.

"It is potentially dangerous when someone is at high altitude, but once brought down, recovery is quick," he said. "Martina is doing well and will continue to do well."

She is expected to spend two to three days in the hospital, Silverstein said.


Naismith's rules sell for $4 million

A historic document that details the original rules of basketball, written 119 years ago as a winter sport for boys of a Massachusetts YMCA, was sold for more than $4 million on Friday to raise money for charity. James Naismith wrote the 13 rules while a physical education instructor at the Christian association.

The sale price of $4.3 million includes a buyer's premium. The proceeds will benefit the Naismith foundation, which promotes sportsmanship and provides services to underprivileged children around the world. It was purchased by David and Suzanne Booth, who hope to bring the rules to the University of Kansas. He is an alumnus.


Michael leads European Tour opener

South African newcomer Anthony Michael shot a 3-under 69 at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday, extending his lead to two shots in the European Tour's 2011 season opener. Michael finished the second round at 9-under 135 at Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.

Alex Haindl (66) and Dawie van der Walt (70) of South Africa and Robert Rock (70) of England were tied for second. Haindl had two eagles and two birdies to rocket 26 places up the leader board.

British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen missed the cut at 3 over following a second-round 71. Oosthuizen, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 24, opened with a 76 Thursday.

■ Defending champions Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly combined for a 9-under 63, and Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter matched them to share the first-round lead at the Shark Shootout in Naples, Fla. Fred Funk and Kentuckian Kenny Perry were tied for third after 64s at Tiburon Golf Club.

■ Denmark's Iben Tinning, playing in her final Ladies European Tour tournament, was tied for the lead Friday with England's Melissa Reid after the third round of the Dubai Ladies Masters. The 36-year-old Tinning, who will retire after 15 years on the tour, made four birdies en route to a 3-under 69 to pass overnight leader Lydia Hall of England. Michelle Wie, battling a bad back, had a rollercoaster round of 73 to tie for 17th.

Bobby Gates shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take the second-round lead in the Australian PGA, and fellow American John Daly had an 83 to miss the cut on the Coolum layout. Gates, who earned a 2011 PGA Tour card with a 16th-place finish this season on the Nationwide Tour money list, had an 11-under 133 total for a one-stroke lead over China's Liang Wenchong (68) and Australian John Senden (65). Defending champion Robert Allenby (68) was five strokes behind Gates.

Geoff Ogilvy, coming off a victory last week in the Australian Open, shot 69 and was six strokes behind Gates. Daly, who opened with a 71 on Thursday, refused to speak to the media after his round.


Fulham to keep American Dempsey

Fulham will reject any offers for American Clint Dempsey in the January transfer window, manager Mark Hughes said Friday. The 27-year-old forward and midfielder from Texas is Fulham's top scorer this season with six goals, including five in the Premier League. "Clint's very happy here, is enjoying his football and is having an impact for us," Hughes said. "If there are any inquiries about Clint, they'll be getting short shrift."

UEFA chief: Play Qatar's Cup in winter

UEFA president Michel Platini says he's OK with the idea of shifting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter from summer to avoid extreme desert temperatures. Such a change would conflict with the schedules of Europe's major domestic leagues plus the Champions League. Platini said that would be among a number of issues to be addressed. "How much rest time will we give to the players after the World Cup?" he asked. "If we play in January, well, will it be a February off and then we start again in March?"

The last word

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whose nose was broken Sunday in a win over the Baltimore Ravens:

"Mario Lemieux told me I finally look like a hockey player."