In Brief | Nation and World


Injured USC QB Barkley won’t play in Sun Bowl

EL PASO, Texas —Matt Barkley came to Southern California as a hot-shot recruit, seemingly destined to be the Trojans’ next star quarterback. For the most part he delivered on that promise during a record-breaking four-year run as USC’s starter.

Barkley, though, won’t get to give a grand finale.

He won’t play in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on New Year’s Eve because of a lingering injury to his right shoulder. Doctors didn’t clear him to play, coach Lane Kiffin said.

“It’s a tough day,” Barkley said. “As you heard from Coach Kiffin I won’t be playing on the 31st. I’ve worked as hard as I could to get back for this game, but nature’s not allowing it and the doctors aren’t allowing it, which is the most important thing. They’re looking out for my best interest, and I trust their judgment in how things have turned out.

Kiffin said Max Wittek will start. The redshirt freshman will be making his second career start.

“I’m still here for the guys and still trying to help Max and even Cody (Kessler), if he needs to play — to help those guys get ready and with the game plan. I’m trying to be here as much as I can for this team to finish strong.”

Barkley’s throwing shoulder was injured during USC’s second-to-last game against UCLA and he didn’t play in the season-finale against Notre Dame. Wittek started the game and the Trojans lost to the Fighting Irish to fall to 7-5 on the season.

“I know he wanted to play,” Kiffin said. “He wanted to finish on a good note. He’s not been hurt very much in his four years here, but unfortunately when he has he’s missed some really big games.”

Barkley was a celebrated prospect from southern California— he went to the same high school as Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart — who grew up dreaming of playing for USC.

Hideki Matsui retires from baseball after 10-year MLB career

NEW YORK — Free agent slugger Hideki Matsui has retired from professional baseball, saying he is no longer able to perform at the level that earned him a World Series MVP with the New York Yankees and three Central League MVPs in Japan.

Matsui announced his retirement Thursday at a news conference in New York that was conducted only in Japanese and broadcast live in his home country.

Nicknamed Godzilla, the 38-year-old Matsui batted .282 with 175 homers and 760 RBIs for the Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays. Before joining the Yankees in 2003, Matsui played 10 seasons for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

Always cool under pressure, Matsui hit a grand slam in his first game at Yankee Stadium and had six RBIs in his finale with the Yankees — Game 6 of the 2009 World Series.

Murray loses to Tipsarevic in Abu Dhabi tourney

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Andy Murray’s 2013 season got off to a shaky start Thursday with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament.

Two early breaks in each set helped Tipsarevic dispatch the third-ranked Murray. The Serb next faces Nicolas Almagro, a late replacement for Rafael Nadal who pulled out of the tournament with a stomach bug.

“It’s not every day that you get to play a Grand Slam champion and an Olympic gold medalist,” said Tipsarevic, who is ranked No. 9. “I know it’s an early-season tournament but I can tell you that the six of us take this very seriously.”

“I knew I could beat Andy as I have beaten him before,” he added. “He’s a totally different animal now as he won a Grand Slam and Olympic gold so beating him here has given me confidence. Both of us have very similar games so it’s great to come out on top.”

In Thursday’s other match, fifth-ranked David Ferrer defeated sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal against top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who won the tournament last year. Ferrer easily won the first set after jumping to a 5-0 lead. He broke serve early in the second.

Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk pleads guilty to DUI

JOLIET, Ill. — Hall of Fame baseball catcher Carlton Fisk pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge, two months after police found him asleep in his pickup truck in a suburban Chicago cornfield.

Fisk, 64, was sentenced to one year of court supervision and must pay $1,250 in court costs. He also must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and counseling.

Fisk’s attorney, Stephen White, said in Will County court that Fisk wanted to accept responsibility for what he did.

“He stepped up to the plate,” White said.

New Lenox police found Fisk unconscious in the truck on Oct. 22 and said there was an open bottle of vodka on the floor. New Lenox is about 35 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.

Fisk became part of an unforgettable baseball moment while playing for the Boston Red Sox when he belted a 12th-inning home run that won Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. He played 11 seasons with the Red Sox and 13 with the Chicago White Sox.

Source: Panthers’ Cam Newton fined for abusive conduct

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A person familiar with the penalty says the NFL has fined Panthers quarterback Cam Newton $21,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t announced the fine.

Newton shouted at and bumped referee Jerome Boger in the fourth quarter of Carolina’s penalty-plagued 17-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Newton apologized after the game, saying “the words that I said during the game were very disrespectful and I apologized to (Boger) during the game, but I’m going public and apologizing again. It was something in the heat of the moment.”

Boger said he didn’t feel the bump was enough to warrant an ejection because it “wasn’t of a malicious nature.”

From wire sources