In Brief | Nation and World
Barry Bonds seeks dismissal of felony conviction
SAN FRANCISCO — A lawyer for Barry Bonds has urged a federal appeals court to toss out the slugger’s obstruction of justice conviction.
Dennis Riordan argued Wednesday before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Bonds’ was never specifically charged with the crime he was convicted of. A jury in April 2011 found Bonds guilty of obstruction for saying he was a “celebrity child” when asked about injecting steroids.
That particular exchange wasn’t included in the indictment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Merry Chan argued that the indictment charged Bonds generally with obstruction and allowed jurors to convict him if they determined any of his testimony was designed to mislead.
The three-judge panel was not expected to rule Wednesday.
Yanks C Cervelli says he consulted with Biogenesis
TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli says he consulted with Biogenesis of America LLC after a foot injury, but did not receive any treatment from the facility.
Cervelli said a recommendation to visit the clinic did not come from another player or an agent. He declined to name the person who gave the recommendation.
“I checked with doctors, people, and somebody recommended me to Biogenesis,” Cervelli said Wednesday before New York’s first spring training workout for pitchers and catchers. “I went there for, maybe, suggestions, and that’s it. I walked away with nothing. No (therapy). I just went there, talked, and that’s it.”
The Miami New Times reported last month that Cervelli’s teammate, Alex Rodriguez, bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances in recent years from Biogenesis, a now-closed clinic in Coral Cables near the three-time AL MVP’s offseason home.
Cervelli said he had not talked about Biogenesis with Rodriguez.
Sick Granger not coming back for Pacers yet
INDIANAPOLIS — Danny Granger’s return to Indiana’s lineup has been delayed by an illness.
Indiana was hoping to have Granger on Wednesday night against Charlotte, but coach Frank Vogel said after the team’s Wednesday morning shootaround that Granger stayed home with flulike symptoms. Vogel says Granger’s left knee responded well to the most demanding practice he’s had since being diagnosed with patellar tendinosis in November, though even if he was feeling well he may not have played.
Granger hasn’t played yet this season, and Vogel says he’s not “quite ready” to return. The team hopes to have him back after the All-Star break.
Power forward David West also missed Wednesday’s shootaround with a scratched left eye. Vogel says he will be a game-time decision. He was hurt in Monday’s loss to Brooklyn.
Yankees acquire RHP Shawn Kelley from Mariners
NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have added depth to their bullpen, acquiring right-hander Shawn Kelley from the Seattle Mariners for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte.
The teams announced the trade Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old Kelley went 2-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 47 appearances for Seattle last season and figures to fill a middle-relief role with the Yankees. He was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Feb. 7 when the club signed catcher Kelly Shoppach.
About a week earlier, Kelley and the Mariners agreed to a $935,000, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Kelley is 10-9 with a 3.52 ERA in four big league seasons, all with Seattle.
Almonte, 23, batted .276 with four homers, 25 RBIs and 30 steals in 78 games for Double-A Trenton last season.
USC fires baseball coach for NCAA violations
LOS ANGELES — Southern California has fired baseball coach Frank Cruz for violating NCAA rules regarding limits on practice time and organized team activities.
Trojans athletic director Pat Haden announced Wednesday that Cruz has been dismissed and that the school has self-imposed a reduction in the number of practice hours for the baseball team this season and next.
“Adhering to all NCAA rules is paramount for each one of our coaches, student-athletes and staff members,” Haden said. “Those who knowingly break NCAA rules are subject to termination.”
USC has alerted the NCAA and Pac-12 of the infraction and the university-imposed actions. Cruz was 48-63 in two seasons with the Trojans.
Frazier reaches deal with Vikings thru 2014
MINNEAPOLIS — After leading the Vikings to a surprising playoff berth last season, Leslie Frazier has reached an agreement that will keep him in Minnesota at least through 2014.
The two sides agreed to the deal this week, two people with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The team was expected to announce the agreement on Friday.
Frazier was entering the final year of his deal, and talks of an extension started to become an issue publicly as the Vikings mounted a stunning December run to the playoffs. Stuck at 6-6 and without injured receiver Percy Harvin, the Vikings rode Adrian Peterson to four straight victories, including a thriller over Green Bay in the regular-season finale to thrust them into the postseason. They lost to the Packers the next week in the wild card round.
Federer cruises into second round in Rotterdam
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Defending champion Roger Federer cruised into the second round of the ABN AMRO tournament on Wednesday, beating Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-1.
Federer, a two-time winner at the indoor hard court tournament, had taken a two-week break after losing a five-set semifinal to Andy Murray at the Australian Open.
In Wednesday’s final match, Grigor Dimitrov beat Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.
Earlier, Gilles Simon beat Italian qualifier Matteo Viola 6-3, 6-1 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals, and fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau joined him after a 6-1, 6-3 win over Victor Hanescu.
Azarenka into third round in Qatar; Stephens out
DOHA, Qatar — Fresh off winning a second consecutive Australian Open, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka breezed into the third round of the Qatar Open with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Romina Oprandi on Wednesday.
The defending champion was joined by fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki. Radwanska beat Australian qualifier Anastasia Rodionova 6-3, 6-2, and Wozniacki downed Sorana Cirstea of Romania 7-6 (7), 6-0.
American Sloane Stephens, who upset Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals, lost to Klara Zakopalova 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).
Nalbandian begins Brazil Open with three-set victory
SAO PAULO — Argentina’s David Nalbandian beat Chilean qualifier Jorge Aguilar 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in a difficult first-round match at the Brazil Open on Wednesday.
Nalbandian had 11 aces and broke serve four times to beat Aguilar in 2 hours, 12 minutes in the indoor clay-court tournament.
Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, who won his first ATP title by beating Rafael Nadal last week in Chile, retired because of nausea and fatigue while trailing Paul Capdeville of Chile 7-6 (5), 0-6, 0-3.
Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo retired with a right ankle injury after losing the first set 7-6 (6) to Joao Souza. The Brazilian will face Nadal in the second round on Thursday.
Nadal had a bye in the first round but opened the doubles tournament with a victory alongside Nalbandian on Tuesday.
In a second-round match, Argentina’s Martin Alund beat fourth-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4).
Isner powers past Pospisil in SAP Open
SAN JOSE, Calif. — John Isner powered his way into the quarterfinals of the SAP Open on Wednesday night, pounding 14 aces in a 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3 victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.
The hard-serving American overcame a shaky second set, held off two break points in the third set with aces and finished off Pospisil behind some pretty passing shots.
By wire sources