Third man arrested in Pro Bowl player brawl
HONOLULU — Honolulu Police have arrested a third man in connection with a brawl at a nightclub that left Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams unable to play in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
Williams required stitches to his head after the brawl last week at Honolulu’s M Nightclub.
Hawaii News Now reports that 25-year-old John Blayne Stancil, of Waimanalo, turned himself in at the Kailua police substation on Monday night. He was booked on two counts of third-degree assault.
Police earlier arrested 40-year-old Michael Butendah, of Kaneohe, and M Nightclub part-owner Michael Miske, Jr. Both have been charged with assault. Police say Miske hit Williams over the head with what investigators say was “a dangerous instrument.”
Miske is free after posting $250,000 bail. He is scheduled to make a court appearance Monday.
49ers’ Culliver apologizes for anti-gay remarks
NEW ORLEANS — San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday for anti-gay comments he made to a comedian during Super Bowl media day, saying “that’s not what I feel in my heart.”
“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments,” Culliver said during an hour-long media session. “Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation.”
He said he would welcome a gay teammate to the 49ers, a reversal of his remarks to Artie Lange two days earlier during an interview at the Superdome.
He added that he realized his comments were especially offensive to many people in San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is home to a large gay community.
During the interview with Lange, Culliver responded to questions by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any gay players, and if they did those players should leave.
Rainbows picked to finish sixth in Big West
HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii baseball team has been picked by coaches to finish sixth in the Rainbows’ inaugural year in the Big West Conference.
Cal State Fullerton got all but one of the first-place votes to repeat as champs of the 10-team league.
The Rainbows were just one point behind the fifth-place pick, California-Santa Barbara.
Hawaii returns 15 players for coach Mike Trapasso. The Rainbows, who play their annual alumni game Feb. 9, open the season by hosting No. 15 Oregon in the first of a four-game set Feb. 15.
Hawaii was a member of the Western Athletic Conference for the past 33 years.
Pirates avoid arbitration with Walker, McDonald
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to terms on 2013 contracts with second baseman Neil Walker and right-handed pitcher James McDonald on Thursday, avoiding arbitration.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Walker hit .280 with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs in 129 games last season but missed significant time because of a back injury. The 27-year-old Pittsburgh native made $500,000 in 2012 and was arbitration eligible for the first time this winter.
The 28-year-old McDonald went 12-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 2012 but struggled for most of the second half. McDonald made $502,500 last year. He is expected to be the team’s third starter in 2013 behind A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez.
Reds agree to deals with Heisey and Simon
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Chris Heisey and right-hander Alfredo Simon, avoiding arbitration.
Heisey will make $1,325,000 and Simon will earn $890,000. The deals were announced by the Reds on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Heisey batted .265 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 120 games for the Reds last season. It was a considerable drop-off for Heisey: In 2011, his second year in the majors, he also appeared in 120 games but hit 18 homers in 68 fewer at-bats.
Simon, 31, went 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 36 relief appearances in his first year with the Reds after parts of four seasons in Baltimore.
NFC East champion Redskins raise ticket prices
ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins are raising general admission ticket prices for the first time in seven years.
The team announced Thursday that most of the seats will increase in price no more than 10 percent.
The announcement gave no specific details. It did say that the team’s ticket prices “remain among the most affordable in the NFC East” — which consists of only four teams.
That’s not all that’s going up. The Redskins say it’ll cost $40 to park at home games for the 2013 season.
The Redskins are coming off their first NFC East title since 1999, buoyed by the success of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Indians sign right-handed pitcher Matt Capps
CLEVELAND — The Indians have signed free agent pitcher Matt Capps to a minor-league contract.
Capps’ deal includes a non-roster invitation to spring training camp. The 29-year-old has 138 career saves in 444 appearances for Pittsburgh, Washington and Minnesota. He opened last season closing for the Twins and had 14 saves in his first 15 chances. But Capps was slowed by shoulder inflammation and pitched just four innings after June 15.
The Twins declined their $6 million contract option on Capps for 2013, instead paying him a $250,000 buyout.
Capps was the winning pitcher for the National League in the 2010 All-Star game. That season, he had a career-high 42 saves and a 2.47 ERA in 74 games for the Nationals and Twins.
He has recorded at least 14 saves each of the past six seasons.
Feds: $13.6M in phony sports goods confiscated
NEW ORLEANS — Investigators have confiscated more than $13.6 million worth of phony sports merchandise over the past five months and expect to seize more in New Orleans during Super Bowl week, a federal law-enforcement official said Thursday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said authorities also have shut down more than 300 websites selling counterfeit goods as part of an enforcement effort dubbed “Operation Red Zone.” The operation targeted international shipments of jerseys, hats and other souvenirs entering the U.S. for sale by stores, flea markets and street vendors.
And evidence has cropped up that even the Mexican drug cartels are getting involved in the counterfeit NFL black market trade because they can make quick money by selling fake jerseys in flea markets and parking lots, said Kevin Abar, assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico.
Mark Grace sentenced to jail in Arizona DUI case
PHOENIX — Former Arizona Diamondbacks television analyst Mark Grace has been sentenced to four months in jail under a work-release program.
The 48-year-old former first baseman with the Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs pleaded guilty Thursday to felony endangerment and misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol.
Grace was arrested last August in Scottsdale — his second drunken driving arrest in 15 months — and could have faced more than three years in prison. He had pleaded not guilty in October to four felony counts of aggravated DUI and was scheduled to go on trial March 19.
The Diamondbacks fired him as their analyst after the August arrest but later invited him to participate in a fantasy camp.
A Maricopa County Superior Court spokesman says the jail sentence begins Feb. 10.
Grace must also serve two years of probation.
Morita knocks out top-seeded Ivanovic in Thailand
PATTAYA, Thailand — Ayumi Morita of Japan knocked top-seed Ana Ivanovic out of the Pattaya Open on Thursday, beating the Serb 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
After Wednesday was rained out, Morita completed her win over Ivanovic in a match suspended in the third set Tuesday.
Morita returned later to beat Kimiko Date-Krumm 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 for a place in the quarterfinals.
Defending champion Daniela Hantuchova retired from her match, while trailing Nina Bratchikova of Russia 6-2, 3-0 in the second round.
Maria Kirilenko, Sorana Cirstea, Sabine Lisicki, Elena Vesnina, Anastasija Sevastova and Marina Erakovic also reached the quarterfinals.
From wire sources