Thomas: No sympathy for steroids-tainted stars
CHICAGO — Retired Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas says he feels even better about his career after watching steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens fail to gain entry to the Hall of Fame.
The Big Hurt also believes he should make it on his first try next year.
Thomas said Saturday that “watching all the nonsense unfold” makes him feel “prouder” of his career.
Bonds, Sosa and Clemens were denied in their first year of eligibility amid suspicions by some voters that their accomplishments were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs. Mark McGwire, 10th on the career home run list, received 16.9 percent of the vote on his seventh try, far short of the 75 percent needed for election.
Davis-White match US record with 5th dance title
OMAHA, Neb. — Add another title to Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s impressive collection.
Davis and White won their fifth straight ice dance crown at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Saturday, matching a record held by four other couples. As the audience stood and cheered, Davis knelt close to the ice for several seconds, her head bowed.
The Olympic silver medalists and 2011 world champions had such a big lead after the short dance they had to do little more but step on the ice to win. But they did so much more than that with their dramatic and powerful routine to “Notre Dame de Paris,” setting personal bests for both overall score (197.44 points) and free dance (118.42).
They finished more than 20 points ahead — yes, you read that right — of Madison Chock and Evan Bates (175.91). Maia and Alex Shibutani were docked a point for an extended lift and finished third (174.21).
Nats 2B Espinosa says he had torn rotator cuff
WASHINGTON — Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa says he played with a torn rotator cuff in his left, nonthrowing, shoulder late last season.
The switch-hitter decided not to have offseason surgery and instead rehab the injury. He spoke to reporters Saturday at a Nationals fan festival.
Espinosa was hurt when he dived for a ball in a game in early September. On Sept. 17, Espinosa got a cortisone shot to relieve the pain. The next day, he said he had a bone bruise in his shoulder socket.
He hit .247 with 17 homers, 56 RBIs and 189 strikeouts for the NL East champions in 2012. But over the team’s last 20 regular-season games, Espinosa batted only .188. Then he was 1 for 15 in Washington’s division series loss to St. Louis.
Djokovic, Federer, Azarenka to play Indian Wells
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Four-time winner Roger Federer and top-ranked Victoria Azarenka will defend their titles at the BNP Paribas Open in March, with the deep fields also including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova.
The tournament runs March 4-17.
Federer, Djokovic and Nadal have combined to win eight of the last nine men’s titles in the desert. Also entered are Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. It could be a big early test for Nadal, who plans to return from a seven-month layoff Feb. 4.
On the women’s side, the field includes Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki and American Sloane Stephens, who upset Serena Williams at the Australian Open.
Twellman, Sanneh eligible for US Soccer Hall
CHICAGO — Forward Taylor Twellman and defender Tony Sanneh are among five first-time eligible players on the ballot for the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.
Twellman, now a broadcaster for ESPN, scored 101 league goals for Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution from 2002-09 and retired after a series of concussions. He had six goals in 30 international appearances. Sanneh made 43 appearances for the U.S. national team, and his cross led to Brian McBride’s goal in the 3-2 upset of Portugal at the 2002 World Cup.
Also eligible for the first time on the ballot announced Friday are current D.C. United coach Ben Olsen, a former midfielder who was MLS Rookie of the Year; and midfielders Wade Barrett and Angela Hucles.
Among the 22 players on the ballot, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Roy Lassiter and Tisha Venturini-Hoch are in their final year of eligibility.
Wood wins Qatar Masters with eagle at 18th
DOHA, Qatar — Chris Wood eagled the 18th hole to win the Qatar Masters for his first European Tour victory Saturday, overtaking Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee, who finished a shot back.
The 142nd-ranked Englishman shot 200 yards to the green with a 6-iron and watched the ball roll to within 12 feet. Wood calmly sank the putt to finish the final round at 3-under 69 for an overall 18-under 270. Garcia and Coetzee had looked set for at least a two-man playoff after both birdied the last hole.
“Winning on the European Tour is not easy,” said Wood, who earned a victory in his 115th tour event. “It was a nice way to finish. It feels good to pick up the trophy. I’ve been waiting patiently for my turn and fortunately it came today,”
Wood came into the final day with a three-shot lead over former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, Simon Khan and Alexander Noren.
Paris wins World Cup downhill, Ligety misses gate
KITZBUEHEL, Austria — Dominik Paris of Italy won the classic World Cup downhill in Kitzbuehel on Saturday, while American Ted Ligety missed a gate and failed to finish. Paris came down the two-mile Streif course in 1 minute, 57.56 seconds, followed by world downhill champion Erik Guay of Canada 0.13 behind and Hannes Reichelt of Austria in third.
Paris, who also won in Bormio in December, and teammate Christof Innerhofer share four downhill victories this season, a record for the Italian team.
Ligety failed to finish, meaning he’s out of the combined event that includes the slalom today.
E.J. Manuel leads South to Senior Bowl win, 21-16
MOBILE, Ala. — Florida State’s E.J. Manuel passed for a touchdown and rushed for another on the South’s first two drives in a 21-16 victory over the North in the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
Manuel and running backs Stepfan Taylor and Mike James combined to put the game for senior NFL prospects away on the South’s final drive. Stanford’s Taylor carried five times for 32 yards and caught a 6-yard pass from Manuel.
By wire sources