In Brief | Nation and World


Cubs, Chicago close to Wrigley renovation deal

CHICAGO — Fans of the lovable losers have something to look forward to, after all.

The city of Chicago and the Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs are close to agreement on a $500 million overhaul of Wrigley Field, two people with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal, first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, was not yet finished and they were not authorized to publicly discuss it.

The agreement is expected to include $300 million in renovations at Wrigley, more night games, a parking lot and a $200 million hotel nearby, the people said. They said the team would pick up the entire tab to renovate Wrigley, ending a negotiating process that at times was about as ugly as the way the team has been playing in recent years. It is expected to be completed by Monday, when the Cubs have their home opener for the 2013 season.

49ers’ Davis gets five-year extension

SAN FRANCISCO — Right tackle Anthony Davis signed a five-year contract extension Friday with the 49ers, further solidifying a young offensive line that made major strides last season for Super Bowl runner-up San Francisco.

The deal is worth more than $37 million, with $17 million guaranteed.

The 23-year-old tackle has started 16 games in each of his first three years. He helped the 49ers win consecutive NFC West titles and reach the Super Bowl last season, a 34-31 loss to Baltimore.

Raiders waive LB Rolando McClain

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders waived linebacker Rolando McClain on Friday, less than three years after drafting him eighth overall to be the centerpiece of their defense.

McClain was mostly a disappointment in Oakland. He struggled during his first two years and then clashed with coach Dennis Allen and his staff last season.

McClain had his role significantly reduced last season, was suspended for two games for conduct detrimental to the team, and did not play the final five games of the season.

Williams sisters win their way into semis

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Top-ranked Serena Williams ended a long and successful day for the Williams family as she and sister Venus both won twice Friday to reach the Family Circle Cup semifinals and set up their first sibling showdown since 2009.

Serena won her 13th straight match by defeating sixth-seeded Lucie Safarova, 6-4, 6-1. Earlier, she topped two-time NCAA doubles champ Mallory Burdette in a third-round match moved due to Thursday’s 7 ½-hour rain delay.

Venus also had double duty, rallying past Varvara Lepchenko in three sets before ousting 18-year-old Madison Keys later on Billie Jean King Court.

Jimmie Johnson wins pole at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Jimmie Johnson knew he had a fast car the minute he pulled it onto the track at Martinsville Speedway.

The seven-time winner on NASCAR’s shortest, trickiest track backed it up in qualifying with a track record.

Johnson made his fastest lap around the 0.526-mile oval at 98.400 mph Friday, leading a parade of six drivers who broke Tony Stewart’s track record speed of 98.083 mph. It is Johnson’s 30th career pole and third in 23 starts at Martinsville.

Guerrero, Willis sign with Ducks

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — Former AL MVP Vladimir Guerrero and Dontrelle Willis will be trying to revive their careers with the Long Island Ducks.

The independent Atlantic League team announced the agreement with Willis on Friday, a day after adding Guerrero.

A 31-year-old left-hander, Willis was 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds in 2011 and 0-3 with a 8.53 ERA last year in three starts and one relief appearance for Baltimore’s Triple-A team at Norfolk. The two-time All-Star has a 72-69 record and 4.17 ERA in nine major league seasons.

The 38-year-old Guerrero, a nine-time All-Star and 2004 AL MVP, has not played in the major leagues since 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles. The outfielder has a .318 average with 449 home runs and 1,496 RBIs in 16 big league seasons.

Wambach scores 155th goal as U.S. ties Germany

BERLIN — Abby Wambach scored her 155th international goal, moving within three of tying Mia Hamm’s record, and the U.S. women’s team wasted a two-goal lead in a 3-3 exhibition tie against Germany on Friday night in Offenbach.

Playing on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Americans extended their unbeaten streak to 30 games.

Wambach put the U.S. ahead in the 47th minute off a cross from Megan Rapinoe, who doubled the lead when she sent a half-volley inside the far post in the 58th.

Germany, second to the U.S. in the FIFA rankings, got a goal from Kim Kulig in the 53rd. Lauren Cheney put a header in the goal three minutes later, but it was disallowed for offside, and Alex Morgan gave the Americans a 3-1 lead in the 71st from Lauren Cheney’s deep cross.

Celia Okoyino da Mbabi converted a penalty kick in the 85th and Anja Mittag tied it two minutes later. Morgan’s header was saved off the goal line by Verena Faisst in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Agent: Lions agree to terms with K Akers

DETROIT — The Detroit Lions have added kicker David Akers one day after Jason Hanson retired.

Akers’ agent, Jerrold Colton, confirmed Friday that he and the Lions agreed to terms. Colton declined to give details.

The Lions didn’t have to look long to find someone to replace Hanson, who retired Thursday, ending his 21-year career in Detroit.

Ohio State F Thomas to enter NBA draft

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Forward Deshaun Thomas will forego his final season of eligibility at Ohio State and will enter the NBA draft.

Thomas finishes his Buckeyes career ninth on the school’s all-time scoring list. He averaged 19.8 points and 5.9 rebounds this season as the Buckeyes landed in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State went 29-8 this season. In three years, Thomas helped lead the Buckeyes to 94 victories, three NCAA tournament appearances and a Final Four appearance in 2012.

Rays’ Niemann put on 15-day disabled list

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have put right-hander Jeff Niemann on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness in his pitching shoulder.

The move was retroactive to March 28 and announced before Friday night’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

Niemann has yet to appear in a game this season. He competed for the fifth spot in the starting rotation during spring training and was moved to the bullpen after Roberto Hernandez won the job.

Right-hander Brandon Gomes was recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill the roster opening.

Massaquoi agrees to deal with Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars and receiver Mohamed Massaquoi have agreed to terms on a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old Massaquoi spent the last four seasons in Cleveland, catching 118 passes for 1,745 yards and seven touchdowns. He has averaged 14.8 yards a catch in his career.

He had 17 receptions for 254 yards in nine games last season while dealing with hamstring and knee injuries. He also endured multiple concussions during his four years with the Browns.

Querrey tops Troicki, US ties Serbia 1-1

BOISE, Idaho — Sam Querrey helped the United States tie Serbia at 1 in their Davis Cup quarterfinal with a 7-6 (1), 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Viktor Troicki on Friday.

In the first match, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic took care of 23rd-ranked John Isner 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-5 at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

From wire sources