In Brief | Nation and World


Police: Cowboys player didn’t seem drunk at first

DALLAS — Police said Wednesday that Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jay Ratliff didn’t seem drunk after they pulled him over this week before arresting him for driving while intoxicated.

Ratliff didn’t immediately give off the smell of alcohol or look drunk after a late-night accident Tuesday in Grapevine, about 20 miles northwest of Dallas, according to search warrant paperwork released Wednesday. He was arrested after failing a field sobriety test.

The 31-year-old Ratliff “seemed to be moving around quite well given the wreck,” but police officer Eric Barch wrote in a search warrant affidavit that he wanted to investigate further because the accident happened shortly after midnight, when wrecks can often involve an intoxicated driver. People in good physical shape like Ratliff can also hide how intoxicated they are, Barch said.

Barch spoke to Ratliff a second time and noticed a “moderate odor” of alcohol on his breath, the affidavit says. Ratliff’s eyes were also bloodshot and watery, Barch said.

Ratliff said he was driving home from Arlington and was following directions on his navigation system when the crash occurred.

While in jail, Ratliff told police that earlier injuries might have prevented him from passing the walk and turn, and the stand on one leg portions of the test, Barch wrote in the affidavit.

“Ratliff did not appear to have any difficulty in moving around the crash scene, and I did not suspect any injuries as he told me he was uninjured initially,” he said.

After Ratliff failed the test, he was arrested and taken to city jail. He has since been released on bond.

Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple declined comment.

Raiders hire Sparano as offensive line coach

ALAMEDA, Calif. —The Oakland Raiders have hired Tony Sparano as an assistant head coach who will work with the offensive line.

Sparano comes to the Raiders after one season as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets, who had one of the NFL’s worst offenses. The Jets ranked 30th of 32 teams in overall offense and averaged 17.5 points per game.

The hiring was announced Wednesday by head coach Dennis Allen.

Sparano, who will be entering his 30th year coaching, was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins for four years before being fired.

Reds to host first All-Star game at Great American Ballpark

CINCINNATI — The Reds started a countdown to a 2015 All-Star game on Wednesday by breaking out the bunting and bursting into a standing ovation.

A few of them also started to dream about playing in it.

Commissioner Bud Selig awarded the midsummer game to Cincinnati on Wednesday, rewarding years of persistence by Reds owner Bob Castellini. The city hasn’t hosted an All-Star game since 1988, when the Reds played at Riverfront Stadium.

The Reds lobbied hard for years to get the game.

It’ll be the fifth time that the game is played in Cincinnati, which was the stage for one of the most memorable All-Star moments. Pete Rose bowled over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to win the 1970 game at Riverfront Stadium.

Braves’ McCann aiming to be ready for Opening Day

ATLANTA — Brian McCann would like to be behind the plate on opening day and beat the projections which have him missing the start of the season.

Even so, the Braves catcher realizes he must be cautious in his return from major surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

McCann said Wednesday “things are ramping up” midway through his six-month rehabilitation schedule. He began throwing last week and started running two weeks ago.

After making six straight All-Star teams, McCann struggled last season as he tried to play through the injury. He hit only .230, easily a career low and almost 50 points below his career average.

McCann is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the season. He said his goal is to convince team doctors in spring training otherwise.

Browns say “premature” to name Weeden starting QB

BEREA, Ohio — Norv Turner will call plays for the Browns’ next season. It’s not yet certain who will run them.

First-year Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Wednesday that “it’s premature” to name Brandon Weeden as Cleveland’s starting quarterback in 2013.

At a press conference to introduce Turner, San Diego’s former coach as his offensive coordinator, Chudzinski would not commit to Weeden, who had an uneven rookie season after he was drafted in the first round last year.

Chudzinski is keeping his options open, which doesn’t mean he’s opposed to Weeden keeping his job.

But Chudzinski wasn’t involved in the process to select Weeden and it only makes sense that he will do his own evaluation before making decisions on any players. Cleveland could opt to sign a quarterback in free agency, draft another one — they pick sixth overall — stick with Weeden or promote backup Colt McCoy.

Motte, Cardinals agree to $12 million, 2-year deal

ST. LOUIS — Reliever Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

The 30-year-old right-hander had a career-high 42 saves in 49 chances last year, when he was 4-5 with a 2.75 ERA. He made $2 million.

Motte is 17-13 with a 2.87 ERA and 54 saves since his major league debut in 2008. He will be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

He gets a $1 million signing bonus, payable within 30 days of the contract’s approval by Major League Baseball, and salaries of $4 million this year and $7 million in 2014. For 2014 only, Motte can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses: $250,000 each for 50 and 60 games finished.

St. Louis announced the deal on Tuesday.

Rockies, Herrera agree to $900,000 deal for 2013

DENVER — Infielder Jonathan Herrera and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a one-year, $900,000 contract on Wednesday, avoiding arbitration.

Herrera hit .262 with nine doubles, three homers, 12 RBIs and 29 runs in 86 games last season, when he was dogged by injuries. He missed a total of 39 games while on the DL, first with a strained right hamstring and then a left wrist infection.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan has spent his entire career with the Rockies after signing with them as a non-drafted free agent in 2002.

In 294 career major league games, he’s hit .259 with seven homers and 50 RBIs.

From wire sources