Piniella signs deal with Giants to work as special assistant
Lou Piniella is staying right in the baseball mix. The longtime manager said Wednesday he has agreed to a one-year contract with the Giants to work as a special assistant for the World Series champions. Sweet Lou will report to General Manager Brian Sabean.
"I took a little consulting job with the Giants," Piniella said. "It's a done deal. I look forward to it. Brian and I are good friends. Whatever Brian needs me to do."
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Sabean confirmed Piniella's hiring Wednesday afternoon once the contract was completed. Piniella, 67, retired as a manager during the 2010 season with the Cubs to return home to Tampa, Fla., and help his ailing mother, 91-year-old Margaret. He was with her Wednesday at a hospital after she underwent a procedure.
Piniella is 14th with 1,835 regular-season wins while managing the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs. Piniella said he will scout American League teams in Florida during spring training and attend Rays games at Tropicana Field.
■ Wrigley Field has been damaged by a severe storm that caused tiles to fall from the top of the press box at the 97-year-old ballpark. Emergency Management spokesman Roderick Drew said high winds from the snowstorm battering Chicago on Tuesday night sent the tiles flying. Two streets near the Cubs' famous stadium were closed to cars and pedestrians.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Clemens OKs lawyer's Pettitte connection
Former pitcher Roger Clemens told a federal judge Wednesday that he waives any conflict of interest that might arise from his lead criminal defense attorney briefly representing his former-teammate-turned-accuser Andy Pettitte. In December 2007, Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin briefly advised both players just before the release of a report alleging they used performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens denies the allegation. Pettitte admitted he used human growth hormone and claimed Clemens admitted privately he did, too. Pettitte is expected to testify against Clemens during a trial scheduled for this summer on charges that Clemens lied about the drug use during a congressional hearing.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ended the 10-minute hearing by raising another point he said he felt he should put on the record: a brief discussion about Clemens that the judge had with former All-Star outfielder Ken Griffey Sr. Walton said he and Griffey grew up playing ball together and met up a couple months ago. Walton said Griffey told the judge Clemens is a "good guy." Walton said he quickly cut off the conversation by telling Griffey he couldn't talk about the case. Walton said Wednesday he wanted to let the attorneys know, in case they had any concerns about his presiding.
Hardin joked, "Are we allowed to say, 'Amen?' "
Ex-USC QB Mustain faces drug charges
Los Angeles police say former Southern California backup quarterback Mitch Mustain was arrested on suspicion of selling prescription drugs. LAPD spokesman Bruce Borihanh said Mustain, 22, was arrested Tuesday night by narcotics officers in the San Fernando Valley. Mustain was booked on $30,000 bail. No other details of the arrest have been released. Mustain became a backup quarterback for the Trojans after transferring to USC from Arkansas in 2007. He started in last season's game against Notre Dame and is preparing for the NFL Draft.
Ohio St. recruit accused of fondling girl
Ohio State football recruit Chris Carter was arrested Tuesday on a sexual-imposition allegation after a complaint that he fondled a girl while pretending to measure her for an ROTC uniform. Police are investigating whether he might have fondled as many as eight girls. Carter's attorney refutes the charges and said his client is innocent. Carter, a 6-foot-4, 325-pound senior offensive lineman at John F. Kennedy High School in Cleveland, was expected to sign with the Buckeyes on Wednesday, the first day recruits were able to sign Division I letters of intent to play football.
A 15-year-old girl told Cleveland police on Tuesday that Carter, 18, came to one of her classes and asked her to go with him, then told her he needed to measure her for an ROTC uniform and took her to a room behind the school's auditorium.
"Once inside the room, (Carter) asked the victim to take off her sweatshirt and shirt so he could take her measurements," the police report said. "He cut off the lights ... and stated 'I need you to take your bra off.' The arrested male than put his arms under her arms from behind and attempted to pull her bra up."
The girl told police she refused and left the room, then reported the incident to school officials who contacted police. According to police, Carter told them that he had fondled other girls under the pretext of measuring them. The girl had said he had a book in which he wrote down measurements. Police said Carter provided the book, and it revealed as many as eight victims. He spent Tuesday night in Cleveland City Jail and was released Wednesday pending further investigation.
Feds go after Internet broadcast pirates
Federal authorities on Wednesday moved to short-circuit 10 Web sites accused of streaming a large menu of live TV broadcasts, including NFL games and pay-per-view events produced by World Wrestling Entertainment. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were executing warrants based on a federal court order unsealed Wednesday in New York. The warrants direct Internet domain gatekeepers to disrupt the sites while the agents try to identify operators and charge them with copyright infringement. The crackdown was intended "to send a clear message to Web site operators who mistakenly believe it's worth the risk to take copyrighted programming and portray it as their own," ICE Director John T. Morton said in a statement.
On Wednesday, a notice on one of the sites, Channelsurfing.net, told users that it was "seized today by homeland security." It also had a link for a news story about the case. A reader commented: "Somebody please tell me where I can watch today's Laker game."
Iowa's Ferentz admits mistakes
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz admitted mistakes Wednesday in his handling of the hospitalization of 13 players with a rare muscle disorder, but he said their workouts were safe and he remains puzzled about the cause. Ferentz said he could have delayed an out-of-state recruiting trip and visited the players in the hospital a day earlier last week. He said he also erred in thinking his presence at the hospital after he returned would be calming to parents, some of whom were upset. Ferentz addressed the news media for the first time one week after the university announced 13 players were affected by rhabdomyolysis, which causes muscle fibers to be released into the bloodstream and can cause kidney damage. The players spent several days getting treatment and were released between Friday and Sunday.
A university investigation into what caused the ailment is under way, and Ferentz said he looked forward to the findings. That investigation is expected to be wrapped up in 90 days. Ferentz said the workouts in question would not be repeated.
■ Former Florida coach Urban Meyer has severed financial ties with the Gators to avoid NCAA recruiting violations. Meyer had remained on Florida's payroll since resigning in December. He signed a deal with ESPN earlier this week to become a college football analyst, and his job discussing potential recruits during a national signing day telecast Wednesday would have been an NCAA violation.
Weather expected to delay Phoenix Open
Frozen turf wiped out the pro-am round at the Phoenix Open, and frost was expected to lead to long delays before play Thursday and Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz. The temperature was in the high 20s early Wednesday morning when players started arriving at TPC Scottsdale and only 35 around 11 a.m., when the pro-am was called off to prevent damage to the frozen putting surfaces.
The last word
Basketball star Diana Taurasi declared her innocence after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Turkey:
"Only thing that I'm guilty of is taking too many jump shots."