Ex-Butler stars Mack, Hayward ready for season to start
Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward are great friends, but they've seen enough of each other.
The two ex-Butler stars practiced together at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday morning, putting in some of their final work before the end of the NBA lockout. Though they have enjoyed working out on their old home court, they are ready for meaningful games. The season is expected to start on Christmas Day.
"I'm just excited to get back to work," Hayward said. "Especially with high schoolers and college guys playing basketball, you watch it on TV, it makes you want to play."
Hayward and Mack, who also starred at Bryan Station, helped Butler reach the national title game in 2010, and Mack helped the Bulldogs reach the national finals again in 2011. Hayward averaged 5.4 points per game and shot 47 percent from three-point range as a rookie for the Utah Jazz last season. Mack, a point guard, was a second-round draft pick by the Washington Wizards in 2011.
Both played in the Indy Pro-Am league over the summer. Mack also spent some time practicing with friends in his home state of Kentucky. For the past several weeks, Hayward and Mack have been partners.
"We play a lot of one-on-one games," Mack said. "It helps my game playing against someone bigger, and it helps his game playing against someone smaller. We're always pushing each other."
Mack left school early to enter the draft and is happy he'll have a chance to make the most of that decision.
"I'm blessed," Mack said. "I'm glad I was able to get through this lockout without an injury. This is an opportunity, especially with me not having a contract already. I'm just really excited to get out there."
Mack appreciated the rare time away from basketball.
"The past few years, I've been doing USA stuff, LeBron camps, and in high school, I was always gone with AAU, so to have this break was kind of good to spend some time with my family," he said.
The challenge was to stay on task while facing the uncertainty.
"At one point we thought we were going, then we weren't, then we were going," Hayward said.
The condensed schedule could include some instances of games on three straight nights. It'll be a bigger adjustment for Mack, who hasn't faced a grueling NBA schedule.
"It's going to be tough," he said. "You just got to make sure you're doing all the proper things off the court, taking care of your body, eating healthy and just try to stay focused throughout the entire season."
Report: Valentine to manage Red Sox
When Bobby Valentine became manager of the New York Mets in 1996, he immediately set about igniting their competition with the New York Yankees. It has been nine years since Valentine last managed in Major League Baseball, but another rivalry with the Yankees is about to get a jolt. Valentine has been hired by the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees' chief divisional rival, to be their manager, a source told The New York Times.
While Valentine was in Japan on a charity tour this week, the new Red Sox general manager, Ben Cherington, extended an offer, and there was very little negotiation involved, the source said. Valentine agreed and is expected back in the United States on Wednesday, with a news conference likely to be held in the next few days in Boston.
Valentine, 61, brings with him the experience of more than 3,000 games managed for the Texas Rangers, the Mets and the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. He took the Mets to the World Series in 2000, losing to the Yankees in five games, and won the Japan Series with the Marines in 2005. Since leaving Japan after the 2009 season, he had been working as an analyst for ESPN.
The Red Sox needed a new manager after Terry Francona left in the wake of a historic collapse in September, when the Red Sox were eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the season after holding a nine-game lead in the final month.
Maddux joins brother with Rangers
Greg Maddux is leaving the Chicago Cubs to join the Texas Rangers, reuniting him with his brother Mike. The Rangers said Tuesday that Greg Maddux will become a special assistant to the general manager, the same role he held with the Cubs the last two seasons.
When asked what drew him to the Rangers, Greg Maddux responded: "Probably the majority of it was my brother." He also said it was very attractive to work with Hall of Fame pitcher and Rangers President Nolan Ryan.
Mike Maddux has been the Rangers' pitching coach for the last three seasons. He interviewed to become manager of the Cubs before Dale Sveum was hired this month.
Greg Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, will be an instructor at major- and minor-league spring training and will visit farm teams during the season.
"I like being around the game at the highest level possible," he said. "I will be another set of eyes. I will try to use the experiences I've had in the game and just pass those down to the players and coaches, just try to help out any way possible."
Broxton, Royals agree to one-year deal
Reliever Jonathan Broxton and the Kansas City Royals agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract that guarantees the right-hander $4 million, solidifying one of the big league's youngest bullpens and providing a setup man for closer Joakim Soria.
Kansas City was willing to take a chance on Broxton despite his being limited to just 14 games for the Dodgers last season because of elbow trouble. A two-time All-Star, the 27-year-old Broxton made $7 million last season as part of an $11 million, two-year deal.
Dustin Johnson undergoes knee surgery
Dustin Johnson had surgery Tuesday in Jupiter, Fla., to repair cartilage in his right knee. He is expected to be out of competition until sometime in January. Johnson won The Barclays in August to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 1999 to win in each of his first four years on the PGA Tour straight out of college. He has five career wins. Johnson is expected to be on crutches for a week, then resume chipping and putting. He should be at full speed by the end of December before returning to golf.
Lexington's Kiefer wins gold in Germany
Fencing for just the second time at a Cadet European Cup, 15-year-old foil fencer Axel Kiefer won gold in Halle, Germany, this past Sunday. Kiefer, a freshman at Paul Dunbar, was 12-0 in both rounds of pool play Saturday to earn the third seed for the final round. Kiefer defeated Hungary's Daniel Dosa 15-11 in the semifinals and Poland's Bartosz Cegielski 15-8 in the finals.
French apprentice jockey dies after fall
The French Jockeys Association said a 21-year-old apprentice jockey died after falling during a race. Benjamin Boutin was riding Game Of Legs in an apprentices' race at Argentan in Normandy on Saturday when he fell after being accidentally blocked by another rider.
The last word
Quarterback Dan Orlovsky and linebacker Ernie Sims, who suffered through the Detroit Lions' 0-16 season in 2008, can make NFL infamy by doing it a second time with the Indianapolis Colts. Orlovsky told The Indianapolis Star of his experience in Detroit:
"I'm not saying you hang your hat on going 1-15, but you're not making history."