Newton impresses; Cobb, Locke both fast at Combine
Cam Newton followed through on his promise to participate in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, and he was impressive. The Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds, which tied Washington's Jake Locker for the third-fastest time among quarterbacks, tied for the best broad jump at 10 feet, 6 inches and had a 35-inch vertical jump.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said the 6-foot-5, 248-pounds Newton performed as expected. "What do I think of Cam Newton? Nothing changed for me," he said. "He's got a big arm, better mechanics than Vince Young or Tim Tebow or any of those other big guys."
Mayock said the biggest questions about Newton weren't answered during physical testing. "He's coming out of a pass offense where it's fairly simple, not a lot of reads," he said. "He didn't have a lot of patience in the pocket, and I'm not hitting him on any of those things because that's what he did to win a national championship. That's what he's supposed to do."
■ Former Kentucky star Randall Cobb improved his time in the 40-yard dash, posting a 4.46 during his workout. Cobb ran a 4.55 at Kentucky's Pro Day last spring.
SI.com analyst Tony Pauline had this to say about Cobb's performance on Sunday: "Cobb looked exceptional in all areas. He showed strong hands, snatching away fastballs thrown by Ryan Mallett and Nathan Enderle. Cobb ran crisp, precise routes and showed an explosive nature to his game."
Former UK running back Derrick Locke ran his 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds. "Locke disappointed no one with his performance," Pauline said. "He ran both two sub-4.4 40s, hitting 4.38 on some watches. He was also fast during the practice session and showed the ability to maintain his speed when asked to change direction or run through the cutback lanes. He's being compared to (the Kansas City Chiefs') Dexter McCluster in some circles.
'Zero issues' for Webb after session
Brandon Webb was back where he wanted to be: throwing off a pitcher's mound. The former NL Cy Young winner, who hasn't pitched in the majors since the 2009 season opener for Arizona because of shoulder surgery, was on the mound for the first time in 10 days. He was a little wild with some of his pitches, but all that really mattered to the right-hander was that he was throwing off a mound for the Texas Rangers and his arm felt good.
"Zero issues. I felt really good," Webb said Sunday. "I threw some changeups. ... I didn't want to stop, so that was good."
After a short bullpen session during the first workout of spring training, the Rangers decided that Webb needed to build up arm strength before getting back on a mound. He worked up to Sunday's session with a program of throwing off flat ground and longer distances under the supervision of pitching coach Mike Maddux.
■ Matt Maloney pitched two scoreless innings in place of Cincinnati's opening-day starter Edinson Volquez and the Reds rallied for two runs in the ninth Sunday to beat the Cleveland Indians 7-6 in the spring exhibition opener for Ohio's teams. Zack Cozart and Corky Miller drove in Cincinnati's runs in the ninth off Alex White.
Volquez couldn't pitch because he has not yet gotten his work visa approved by the U.S. government. The Dominican Republic native stayed back at the team's training facility and pitched two innings to minor leaguers. He has a travel visa but can't perform in games in front of paying customers.
■ Curtis Granderson hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the New York Yankees' 7-3 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. Yankees starter Ivan Nova struck out two over two perfect innings. Phillies starter Joe Blanton threw three hitless innings.
Rock N Roll Heaven wins harness award
Rock N Roll Heaven, who finished his career on a 10-race winning streak, picked up one more victory Sunday night when he was named harness Horse of the Year. Retired to stud after a 3-year-old season in which he won 16 of 21 races, Rock N Roll Heaven got 123 of the 131 votes cast by the U.S. Harness Writers Association for the sport's highest honor. Buck I St Pat and Won The West each got two votes. Four others got one vote.
Rock N Roll Heaven got 127 votes to easily capture Pacer of the Year. His season included wins in the Little Brown Jug and the Breeders Crown. Now standing stud at Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, N.Y., Rock N Roll Heaven was owned by Frank Bellino, trained by Bruce Saunders and driven primarily by Dan Dube.
Trotter of the Year was won by Lucky Chucky, a 3-year-old.
Love has 37 and 23 for Timberwolves
Kevin Love had 37 points and 23 rebounds to extend his NBA-leading double-double streak to 46 games, and the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a seven-game skid with a 126-123 victory at home over the struggling Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
■ Elton Brand and Lou Williams scored 16 points apiece, and the 76ers moved above .500 for the first time this season with a 95-91 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jodie Meeks added 14 points and three assists for Philadelphia.
■ Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points and 13 rebounds, Shawn Marion scored 20 points and the Dallas Mavericks won their sixth straight game, beating the host Toronto Raptors 114-96.
■ Kevin Martin scored 33 points and the Houston Rockets won their fourth straight, 91-89 over the New Orleans Hornets. Chuck Hayes had five points, 11 rebounds and five assists for Houston.
Wagner wins PGA event in playoff
Johnson Wagner won the Mayakoba Golf Classic on Sunday for his second PGA Tour title, beating Spencer Levin with a par on the first hole of a playoff in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
■ Mathew Goggin won the Nationwide Tour's season-opening Panama Championship, shooting a 2-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Alistair Presnell and Darron Stiles.
■ Karrie Webb used four straight birdies on the back nine to surge past Chie Arimura for a one-shot victory at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.
The last word
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle on injury-prone Oakland A's pitcher Rich Harden:
"If you put an arrow pointing to each of his injuries, Harden would look like General Custer."