Ex-Boston pitcher Boyd says he used cocaine before games
Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd says he probably pitched under the influence of cocaine "at every ballpark" during his 10-year career.
"There wasn't one ballpark that I probably didn't stay up all night, until 4 or 5 in the morning, and the same thing is in your system," Boyd said in an interview with Jon Miller of WBZ radio in Boston. "It ain't like you had time to go and do it while you were in the game, which I have (done) that."
Boyd was 78-77 with a 4.04 ERA in his career. In eight seasons with the Red Sox, from 1982-89, he was 60-56.
"Some of the best games that I've ever, ever pitched in the major leagues, I stayed up all night. I'd say two-thirds of them," he said Wednesday, "and if I had went to bed, I would have won 150 ballgames in the time span that I played."
Boyd also said he was a victim of "bigotry" during his career. The right-hander, now 52, said not all of his teammates supported him, but veterans like Dwight Evans, Bill Buckner and Don Baylor did.
An autobiography of Boyd, They Call Me Oil Can: My Life in Baseball, is scheduled for release in June.
Rangers, slugger Cruz reach deal
Two-time defending AL champion Texas avoided arbitration with one of its core players, agreeing Thursday to a $16 million, two-year contract with AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz. In last year's ALCS against Detroit, Cruz had six home runs and 13 RBI, both major-league records for a postseason series. That included the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history.
Mathies named to midseason watch list
Kentucky junior guard A'dia Mathies was among 20 players named to the U.S. Basketball Writers' Association Midseason Watch list Thursday. This is the first season the USBWA has created such a list for the Women's National Player of the Year award. Mathies leads the seventh-ranked Wildcats in scoring, steals and three-point percentage. Also on the list is former Lexington Catholic star and Notre Dame guard Natalie Novosel.
Armstrong relieved investigation is over
Lance Armstrong says he's relieved by the end of a nearly two-year federal investigation into doping allegations against him, and that he always remained confident he would not be charged. "It's not a pleasant experience," Armstrong said Thursday in his first interview since prosecutors closed their investigation. The federal government's decision should put a stop to any allegations or rumors about performance-enhancing drug use during his career, Armstrong said. "It's over," he said. "I'm moving on."
■ Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France champion, was stripped of his third-place finish in the 2005 race for "intensive involvement" in blood doping linked to the Operation Puerto case. The 38-year-old German also was banned from the sport for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Packers raising ticket prices
The Green Bay Packers are raising prices between $3 and $5 per ticket for the 2012 season. Tickets in Lambeau Field's end-zone sections will increase $3 to $72 per game, tickets from the 20-yard line to the end zone will increase $4 to $80, and tickets between the 20s will increase $5 to $92. Suite tickets also will increase $5 to $92. "Our goal each year is to be at the league average in terms of our ticket prices," Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said. "This increase maintains our position near the league average." The team's season-ticket waiting list stands at approximately 96,000.
Report: Ohio State needs ethics office
Consultants are recommending that Ohio State hire a vice president to oversee a new office and committee that would monitor ethics and rules compliance across the university system. The suggestion presented in a report Thursday to the university's board of trustees is a response to the school's football memorabilia scandal in which players sold football memorabilia or traded them for tattoos. The report also recommends the university ensure that employees are appropriately trained, develop a risk-assessment methodology and monitor risks.
Lexington woman honored
Meghan Shader, a 22-year-old player based in Lexington, has been named one of five finalists for the U.S. Polo Association's prestigious Equus & Co. Award, which goes to the person who has shown the most commitment to the sport and its growth in the United States. Shader served as assistant polo instructor for Lexington Polo Club and was an all-star in the 2011 USPA Southeast Regional Intercollegiate Championship with the University of Kentucky.
Cassill gets ride for Daytona 500
Landon Cassill has a job for the Daytona 500 for the first time in his career. Cassill said Thursday he's been hired to drive for a team that purchased assets and last year's points from the now defunct Red Bull Racing team. Cassill will drive the No. 83 Toyota, he said, and the points Brian Vickers earned in that car last year guarantee Cassill a spot in the first five races of the season. Cassill said he has a deal with the new team to drive all year.
The last word
Washington Wizards Coach Randy Wittman knew of Jeremy Lin long before the New York Knicks guard scored 23 points against the Wizards on Wednesday night. Wittman's son Ryan played against Lin when Ryan was at Cornell and Lin was at Harvard. Ryan sent his father a sarcastic message during Wednesday's game:
"He told me that they did a much better job guarding him than we did tonight. I already had that text message before the game was over. Makes Dad feel good."