A-Rod Trenton bound after simulated game
TAMPA, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez will start a second minor league injury rehabilitation assignment on Friday at Double-A Trenton, hoping to return to the New York Yankees before any suspension by Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez played a simulated game Thursday at the team’s spring training home, and New York said he will play for Trenton against Reading for two games through Saturday.
With the Yankees at San Diego on Sunday, there is little chance the team will tell him fly across the country after a night game for a day game in California.
If he’s not suspended by then, the three-time MVP could rejoin New York for its series opener Monday at the Chicago White Sox. However, it appears MLB will suspend Rodriguez by then for ties to Biogenesis of America, a closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Four years ago Rodriguez admitted using PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03, but he repeatedly has denied using them since.
Sensitivity training set for Eagles WR Cooper
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles are setting up Riley Cooper with sensitivity training after the wide receiver was caught on video making a racial slur.
“In meeting with Riley yesterday, we decided together that his next step will be to seek outside assistance to help him fully understand the impact of his words and actions,” the team said in a statement Thursday. “He needs to reflect. As an organization, we will provide the resources he needs to do so.”
Cooper apologized profusely Wednesday after a video of him using the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert last month surfaced on the Internet. The Eagles immediately fined him, and the league plans no further discipline.
“I know Riley made a heinous mistake,” coach Chip Kelly said. “I was appalled by it. I was actually shocked by it because since I’ve been here since April, that’s not the Riley Cooper I know. He accepted responsibility for it and he has to live with it, but I hope at some point in time we’ll have a chance to move on from it.
“But right now I don’t think it’s going to be something that’s going to go away very quickly.”
Brees amazed by reaction to takeout tip
METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees says he’s amazed his $3 tip on a $74 takeout order last month has become a talking point on national television and the Internet.
The quarterback was in the locker room at Saints headquarters Thursday morning when he noticed a discussion on a network morning show about tipping on takeout orders, referencing a photograph of his takeout receipt that was circulated online.
Brees said he figures the person who initially photographed the receipt did so innocently because he visits the San Diego-area restaurant regularly and poses for photos with staff.
The quarterback said he was disappointed “that it actually got spun and perceived as — you immediately jump to the conclusion that he stiffed a waiter or waitress. That’s the part that bothers me.”
Brees responded to the blog himself on the social media site Twitter, writing, “In case anyone still cares about this report: I tipped $3 on a takeout order. Had we sat down it would have been 20% (plus).”
Arizona catcher Montero headed to 15-day DL
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Arizona Diamondbacks have put catcher Miguel Montero on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
Arizona announced the move before Thursday’s makeup game at Texas.
Right-hander Zeke Spruill was recalled from Triple-A Reno, and the Diamondbacks selected the contract of catcher Tuffy Gosewisch from Reno. Right-hander Chaz Roe was optioned to Reno.
Left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, acquired from San Diego in a trade Wednesday, joined the Diamondbacks.
Montero’s move to the DL was retroactive to Monday, the day after he hit his third homer in his past seven games. He had missed three straight games before that with a stiff back.
Closer Brad Lidge officially retires as a Phillie
PHILADELPHIA — Brad Lidge, who was perfect as a closer during Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series championship season, formally retired as a member of the Phillies on Thursday.
Lidge hasn’t pitched in the majors since last June with the Washington Nationals. He spent four years with Philadelphia from 2008-11, saving 100 games in that span.
“That game and that postseason will forever stand out for me,” Lidge said about striking out Tampa Bay’s Eric Hinske in the World Series clincher. “That memory is still really vivid for me.”
Lidge was 41-for-41 in the regular season and 7-for-7 in the postseason when the Phillies won the second World Series title in franchise history. The 36-year-old righty was a two-time All-Star during 11 seasons with Houston, Philadelphia and Washington.
He had 225 career saves and 18 more in the postseason.
Radwanska beats Jankovic at Carlsbad
CARLSBAD, Calif. — Poland’s Ursula Radwanska took advantage of Jelena Jankovic’s poor serving for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory Thursday in the second round of the Southern California Open.
The sixth-seeded Jankovic, from Serbia, had seven double faults and was successful on only 59 percent of her first serves as Radwanska advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. It is just the fourth time this season Radwanska has reached the quarters.
Radwanska, ranked No. 39, has five top-20 wins this season after defeating the 16th-ranked Jankovic.
Wild-card entrant Virginie Razzano of France also advanced with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over eighth-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. Razzano, who beat two-time Grand Slam singles champ Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in the first round, will face third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
Radwanska’s sister, Agnieszka, moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. Radwanska, the No. 2 seed, will face fifth-seeded Sam Stosur in the next round.
Hantuchova, who is teaming with former top-ranked singles player Martina Hingis in doubles, has lost to Radwanska in this tournament three of the past four years.
Del Potro tops Harrison at Citi Open
WASHINGTON — Even before Ryan Harrison broke his racket by spiking it on the Citi Open court or screamed “Oh, my God!” in exasperation, top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro was feeling pretty good about the way things were going Thursday.
Playing his first match since losing a record-setting Wimbledon semifinal on a bum left knee nearly a month ago, del Potro began a potentially long day at the hard-court tuneup for the U.S. Open with a quick 6-1, 7-5 victory over Harrison, an American ranked 107th.
Two-time Citi Open champion del Potro said his knee felt fine; he wasn’t wearing any sort of wrap the way he did at the All England Club after hyperextending it on a fall during a match. The Argentine, who is No. 7 in the ATP rankings, hadn’t competed since July 5, when he was eliminated in five sets by No. 1 Novak Djokovic in 4 hours, 43 minutes, the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history.
Two other Americans joined Harrison on the way out Thursday with exits against highly seeded men: Jack Sock lost to No. 2 Kei Nishikori of Japan 7-5, 6-2, while Tim Smyczek was beaten by No. 3 Tommy Haas of Germany 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in a match suspended Wednesday after the opening game of the final set.
In the afternoon’s biggest surprise, Marinko Matosevic of Australia beat No. 4 Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (7).
Haase tops Verdasco to reach Kitzbuehel semifinals
KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Two-time defending champion Robin Haase reached the semifinals of the bet-at-home Cup on Thursday by defeating third-seeded Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The Dutchman will play eighth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain. Juan Monaco of Argentina takes on Albert Montanes of Spain in the other semifinal.
After winning in 2011 and ‘12, Haase is now 12-0 at the event. He beat Granollers on a third-set tiebreaker in the quarterfinals in Gstaad a week ago.
Former NBA player Craig Ehlo jailed in Washington
SPOKANE, Wash. — Authorities say former NBA player and Eastern Washington University coach Craig Ehlo has been arrested in Spokane, Wash., in a domestic violence case.
The Spokesman-Review reports Ehlo was booked into jail Thursday morning on suspicion of first-degree reckless burning, domestic violence. The charge is a felony.
No additional details on the case were released. The 51-year-old recently coached at Eastern Washington University and resigned July 11.
Ehlo played at Washington State University from 1981 to 1983 and was drafted into the NBA by the Houston Rockets. He played for 14 seasons with the Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Seattle SuperSonics.
Ehlo also worked as a television analyst for the Sonics and Gonzaga.
From wire sources