In Brief | Nation and World


Craig, Cardinals reach $31M, five-year deal

JUPITER, Fla. — Allen Craig, coming off a breakout season with the St. Louis Cardinals, agreed Friday to a $31 million, five-year contract that could be worth $43 million over six seasons.

Craig gets $1.75 million this year, $2.75 million in 2014, $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017. The Cardinals have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.

The 28-year-old Craig would have been eligible for salary arbitration next winter and for free agency after the 2016 World Series.

He has 150 RBIs in 238 big league games and was sixth in the NL last season with a .307 average. He had 22 home runs and 92 RBIs despite not playing his first game until May 1 following offseason surgery on his right knee.

Craig is a career .300 hitter and became the Cardinals’ primary first baseman last year after Lance Berkman got hurt. Craig also made 30 starts in the outfield.

Craig had a big postseason for the Cardinals’ championship team in 2011 while playing with the knee injury, hitting three homers in the World Series and making a leaping catch at the left-field wall to rob the Rangers’ Nelson Cruz of a homer in Game 7. He had three go-ahead RBIs in the Series against Texas to tie a major league redord held by Kiki Cuyler (1925) and Hank Greenberg (1945), including an eighth-inning drive that fueled the first of two comebacks in a 10-9, 11-inning Game 6 victory.

Creditors claim bankrupt Smith dumped $2M

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Creditors are trying to block former Arkansas coach John L. Smith from liquidating $40.7 million in debt, saying he moved several properties and more than $2 million from his holdings prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Federal bankruptcy court filings by Smith’s creditors say he cashed $1 million in certificates of deposit in 2008, and he is “unable to explain the current location of the funds.” The documents also allege that in 2008 and 2009, Smith transferred $1.16 million to his wife, son and daughter-in-law. Most of that sum, $975,000, went to the Diana Smith Trust, which is named for Smith’s wife.

Smith has said Kentucky real estate investments that went sour led to his financial troubles. He disclosed to The Associated Press last summer that he expected to file for bankruptcy protection and hoped his financial woes wouldn’t be a distraction during the season as he took over for the fired Bobby Petrino. The Razorbacks struggled under Smith, and he was let go after the season.

Ducks re-sign Getzlaf to eight-year deal

Ryan Getzlaf figured he couldn’t find anything in free agency that he didn’t already have with Anaheim.

The Ducks re-signed their captain to an eight-year, $66 million contract on Friday, keeping the playmaking center with his only NHL team through the 2020-21 season.

Getzlaf could have been an unrestricted free agent this summer along with Corey Perry, the former NHL MVP and his longtime linemate. Instead, Getzlaf and Ducks general manager Bob Murray agreed to the longest contract extension allowed under the new collective bargaining agreement.

The 27-year-old Getzlaf has 499 points in 534 games with Anaheim, establishing himself as one of the NHL’s top playmakers and the third-leading scorer in Ducks history. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and became Anaheim’s captain in 2010.

Blackhawks’ record streak ends in 6-2 loss

DENVER — The Chicago Blackhawks’ record for the best start in NHL history is over at 24 games after a 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

Playing their third game in four nights, the Blackhawks finally were beaten in regulation after going 21-0-3. They went through the first half of the lockout-shortened schedule earning a point in every game.

Their string of 30 games without a regulation loss dating back to last season also was snapped.

LA expresses interest in hosting 2024 Olympics

Los Angeles wants to host its third Summer Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic Committee has received a letter from the host of the 1932 and 1984 Games, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa putting America’s second biggest city in the running to host the 2024 Games.

The USOC is deciding whether to bid for the 2024 Games and recently sent a letter to 35 of America’s largest cities to gauge interest. In the letter, Villaraigosa says Los Angeles has “enthusiastic interest” in pursuing a bid.

Ex-skater accuses Gabel of rape when she was 15

A second former U.S. speedskater has made sexual abuse accusations against Olympic medalist and former U.S. Speedskating president Andy Gabel, saying he raped her when she was 15.

Nikki Meyer spoke Friday in an interview with The Associated Press. She was known as Nikki Ziegelmeyer when she skated short track for the U.S. in the 1992 and ‘94 Olympics. She won a relay silver medal at the Albertville Games and a bronze in the same event at Lillehammer.

Gabel, a four-time Olympian who won a silver medal in Lillehammer, was accused last week by former speedskater Bridie Farrell, who said she also was 15 when he had a sexual relationship with her. He was 33 at the time.

By wire sources