Durant makes $1M tornado pledge
MINNEAPOLIS — Oklahoma City isn’t just a place where Thunder star Kevin Durant lives these days. It’s home.
So as he watched the horrifying images Monday as a tornado ripped through suburban Moore, the emotions came bubbling to the surface and so did the need to help. Durant pledged $1 million for tornado relief through his foundation on Tuesday, eager to help a devastated area begin to rebuild.
“As the day went on and I saw the footage and the casualties and the houses being blown away, it was tough to see,” said Durant, who was in Minneapolis to watch longtime friend Monica Wright play a preseason game for the Minnesota Lynx. “I call Oklahoma City my home. I go through Moore all the time. It’s unfortunate. We’re going to come together as a city like we always do and we’re going to bounce back.”
Charles Woodson signs with Raiders
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Free agent defensive back Charles Woodson has signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders to return to his original team.
Woodson signed the deal Tuesday night at the team’s facility. Woodson was greeted Tuesday afternoon by about 100 adoring fans urging him to return to Oakland after leaving as a free agent for Green Bay seven years ago. Agent Carl Poston said Woodson’s deal includes a $700,000 signing bonus and could be worth as much as $4.3 million in 2013.
Woodson spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Raiders after being selected with the fourth overall pick in 1998. He signed with Green Bay following the 2005 season and helped the Packers win a Super Bowl title five years later before being released by the team in February.
Woodson previously met this offseason with San Francisco and Denver, among other teams.
Jordan: Bobcats changing name to Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Jordan wants to “bring the buzz back” to Charlotte.
The Bobcats owner said at a press conference Tuesday evening he’s changing his team’s name to the Charlotte Hornets beginning in 2014-15.
Jordan said he submitted an application to the NBA board of governors earlier Tuesday informing them of his decision and is optimistic the board will approve the name change when they convene in July.
“Let’s bring the buzz back, and bring that energy back on the basketball court and make this city proud again,” Jordan said.
Charlotte will remain the Bobcats next season, but if all goes as planned Jordan anticipates his team will become the Hornets the following season.
Murray out of French Open due to back injury
LONDON — Andy Murray withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday because of a chronic back injury and will now focus on preparing for the start of the grass-court season next month.
The U.S. Open champion met with specialists this week after being forced to pull out of his second-match against Marcel Granollers of Spain at the Italian Open last Wednesday because of the long-standing complaint.
“It’s a really tough decision and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking medical advice I am not fit to compete,” Murray said in a statement. “Apologies to the organizers and thanks to everyone for the messages of support. Now my complete focus is on getting back on the court as soon as possible.”
The French Open, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, starts Sunday.
Yankees, Man City to co-own MLS team
NEW YORK — Hoping their baseball success will translate to titles in another sport, the Yankees are combining with English power Manchester City to own a Major League Soccer expansion team in New York that will start play in 2015.
The team, the 20th in a league that has doubled in size in two decades, will be called New York City Football Club. It has less than two years to find a temporary home while also focusing on where it wants to build a permanent stadium.
Manchester City, owned by Sheik Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, will be the controlling owner. The Yankees were approached about investing last week and will have an interest of 20 percent to 25 percent, a person familiar with the deal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because that detail wasn’t announced.
The expansion fee for the new team is $100 million. It will compete for attention and dollars with 10 other professional big league clubs in the New York market.
Vogelsong headed to Giants’ DL
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants put Ryan Vogelsong on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday and prepared to be without their right-hander for two months in yet another challenge for their struggling starting rotation.
Vogelsong had surgery Tuesday morning at Stanford, one day after breaking his pitching hand while at the plate. The expected recovery time is 4-6 weeks, but Vogelsong likely would need a rehab assignment before re-joining the Giants.
X-rays revealed he broke two bones in his right pinkie area and also dislocated a knuckle that couldn’t be immediately popped back into place by the medical staff, Vogelsong said. He was hurt on a fifth-inning swing when he chased an inside fastball from Craig Stammen during an 8-0 victory against the Washington Nationals.
Vogelsong won 14 games last season and was a 13-game winner in his comeback year in 2011.
White Sox scratch Sale from Wednesday’s start
CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have scratched Chris Sale from Wednesday’s start against the Boston Red Sox because of a mild tendinitis in his left shoulder.
Sale was scheduled to pitch against the unbeaten Clay Buchholz. Hector Santiago will start in his place.
The White Sox say they expect Sale to make his next scheduled start against the Cubs on Tuesday. The left-hander is 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA and has thrown 23 consecutive scoreless innings.
Davydenko loses in first round in Duesseldorf
DUESSELDORF, Germany — Nikolay Davydenko lost his fourth straight match Tuesday, falling 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to lucky loser Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia in the first round of the Power Horse Cup.
From wire sources