Mapping out her Olympics preparation after a three-race test, Lindsey Vonn will skip this weekend's World Cup stop at St. Moritz, Switzerland, and is planning to return to the circuit in a downhill at Val d'Isere, France, on Dec. 21.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles make the headlines for the Kansas City Chiefs and rightfully so. The quarterback and running back are the biggest names on one of the NFL's surprise teams.
Major League Baseball's rules committee has approved a ban on home plate collisions in a bid to improve player safety. The change, announced at MLB's winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, could take effect as early as next season if the Major League Players Association approves it. Otherwise, MLB can unilaterally enforce the change in 2015. MLB vice president of baseball operations and New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said several issues had prompted the change.
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A principal at an investment advisory firm that did business with the National Basketball Association's players union was found guilty on Wednesday of obstructing a grand jury investigating those dealings. Carolyn Kaufman of Prim Capital Corp was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan of perjury, obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors accused Kaufman, 72, of lying to a grand jury about a forged $3 million contract between Prim and the union, which at the time was being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor. The verdict came a month after Prim founder Joseph Lombardo, also 72, admitted to defrauding the union and pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
(Reuters) - The Washington Redskins have benched quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season to safeguard the reigning rookie of the year from injury, the team said on Wednesday. The struggling Redskins (3-10), who reached the playoffs last season, have three games left in the 2013 National Football League campaign (NFL), starting with Sunday's road contest against the Atlanta Falcons. Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan expressed concern about the welfare of Griffin behind an offensive line that has allowed 24 sacks in the last five games. "He's getting hit too many times," said Shanahan, who added he had consulted with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen before making the decision.
The Washington Redskins, languishing in last place in the NFL's weak NFC East division, will not play quarterback Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season. Embattled Redskins coach Mike Shanahan confirmed the move on Wednesday, two days after saying he wanted to be sure the team's star goes into the off-season healthy. Griffin, in his second year in the NFL, made a quick recovery from major knee surgery performed last January, but has struggled for much of the 2013 season. Kirk Cousins will start for the rest of the season with veteran Rex Grossman as backup.
Dec 11 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the European Tour Nelson Mandela Championship at the par-70 course on Wednesday in Durban holesplayed rounds -8 Daniel Brooks (Britain) 18 62 -7 Francois Calmels (France) 18 63 -6 Edouard Dubois (France) 18 64 Romain Wattel (France) 18 64 -5 Joel Sjoeholm (Sweden) 18 65 Ryan Cairns (Zimbabwe) 18 65 -4 Adrien Saddier (France) 18 66 Estanislao Goya (Argentina) 18 66 Jaco Ahlers (South Africa) 18 66 Victor Riu (France) 18 66 -3 Phillip Archer (Britain) 18 67 Bradford Vaughan (South Africa) 18 67 Tjaart Van der Walt (South Africa) 18 67 Matthew Carvell ...
By Narae Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - Olympic champion Yang Hak-seon, who vaulted South Korea gymnastics into the limelight by winning gold at the 2012 London Games, has flipped out at plans by Hanyang University to disband its gymnastics team, fearing it could harm the sport's growth. "It is a total misunderstanding," a university official said.
Anaheim (United States) (AFP) - The Anaheim Angels have acquired Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Tyler Skaggs and Chicago White Sox lefthander Hector Santiago in a three-team Major League Baseball deal on Tuesday.
(Reuters) - The Arizona Diamondbacks have beefed up their batting by acquiring former All-Star outfielder Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in a three-team trade also involving the Chicago White Sox, the Diamondbacks said on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Trumbo, who has blasted 95 home runs during his first three full seasons in the majors, will join the Diamondbacks along with two players to be named later, one from the Angels and the other from the White Sox. Trumbo, an All-Star in 2012, hit .234 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs for the Angels this year.
By Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jason Day has been torn between golfing joy and personal grief over the past two months but he believes the experience has strengthened his resolve and character as he aims to build on a "good year" in 2014. Despite just days earlier having lost eight relatives who were killed in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, he went on to win the World Cup of Golf by two strokes at Royal Melbourne, along with the team title in partnership with Adam Scott. "It would have been the easiest thing for me to just go ahead and pull out of the tournament with what had been going on ... but I really wanted to play with Adam and try to win the World Cup, and we achieved that which was great." Day, whose only PGA Tour victory came at the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, was especially delighted to clinch a fifth World Cup team title for Australia, their first since Peter Fowler and Wayne Grady triumphed in 1989. "To bring it back to Australia, playing in front of the home crowd, and then winning it on one of the most well-known Australian golf courses was very special," said Day, who is known for his attacking strategy and explosive shot-making.
New England Patriots all-star tight end Rob Gronkowski is likely out for the remainder of the season after suffering a right knee injury, the NFL team announced. New England placed the 24-year-old Gronkowski on injured reserve list on Monday after the American reportedly tore his ACL and MCL in his knee. He was hurt in the third quarter of Sunday's wild 27-26 comeback win over Cleveland after catching a pass from quarterback Tom Brady. Gronkowski was hit in the right knee by Browns defensive back T.J. Ward on the play.
(Reuters) - Chicago quarterback Josh McCown made a strong case to become the team's permanent starter after he dominated Dallas in a 45-28 win on Monday that vaulted the Bears into joint first place in the NFC North. Making his fourth straight start in place of the injured Jay Cutler, McCown warmed up the home crowd in freezing conditions by passing for 348 yards, four touchdowns and running for another score. His latest output helped Chicago (7-6) tie with Detroit (7-6) in the divisional race. "I thought (McCown) played an excellent game." Matt Forte rushed for 99 yards and added 73 receiving yards and a score for the Bears in a shootout victory that did not include a turnover by either team.
Josh McCown threw for 349 yards and Matt Forte gained 175 yards and a touchdown to lead the Chicago Bears to a 45-28 win over Dallas. McCown, who was making his fourth consecutive start in place of Jay Cutler, on Monday threw four touchdown passes and ran for another in frigid conditions at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bears improved to 7-6 and snapped a two-game National Football League losing skid.
Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa were elected to the Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame on Monday under the expansion era ballot. The three managers will be officially inducted into Cooperstown in July, 2014. Torre is the most well known of the three managers to be enshrined and now serves as the executive vice president for baseball operations for Major League Baseball. They rank in the top five in manager wins, with well over 2,000 each on their resumes.
Roy Halladay, who had a reputation as a dominant hard-working starting pitcher, retired Monday after signing a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay pitched the last four years of his brilliant career with the Philadelphia Phillies.
(Reuters) - Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay announced his retirement from Major League Baseball (MLB) on Monday after signing a ceremonial one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his first big league team. The former Blue Jays ace, one of only five MLB pitchers to win the Cy Young Award as the season's top pitcher in both the American League and National League, began his 16-year career with Toronto and compiled a 203-105 record.
(Reuters) - Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, who each rank in the top five on Major League Baseball's all-time list for wins as managers, have been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, it was announced on Monday. The three managers were each named on all 16 ballots cast by the Expansion Era Committee, which had also considered nine other former players, executives and contributors to the game. Cox, La Russa and Torre will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2014 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting, which will be announced on January 8. Cox, a four-time Manager of the Year, skippered the Braves and Blue Jays for 29 seasons, leading his teams to 15 first-place finishes in their division.
(Reuters) - New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the rest of the season after tests on Monday showed he had a torn ligaments in his right knee during Sunday's win against the Browns, official website nfl.com reported. Gronkowski, one of the most dynamic tight ends in the National Football League, will be placed on season-ending injured reserve and undergo additional tests to check for further damage, the website said. The loss of Gronkowski is a big blow to the offense of the Patriots, the AFC East leaders who improved to 10-3 with their 27-26 come from behind victory over Cleveland and are in the hunt for the second seed position in the conference playoffs. Two-time Pro Bowler Gronkowski, 24, was injured after he caught a third-quarter pass from quarterback Tom Brady and was downed on a diving tackle by Browns defensive back T.J. Ward, whose helmet appeared to hit Gronkowski directly on the knee.
(Adds cricket changes) * Top three soccer leagues postponed * Golf tournament in Durban moved By Nick Said CAPE TOWN, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Weekend matches in the top three tiers of South African soccer have been postponed, while a European Tour golf event and a cricket tour match will start a day earlier as the country prepares for the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela. The South African Football Association (SAFA) said they had taken the step due to the high number of stadia that are to be used for memorial services for Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95. "It has been decided that all Premier Division, National First Division (NFD) and NFD Qualification Competition fixtures scheduled up to and including December 15, 2013 are postponed," SAFA said in a statement on Monday. The Premier Soccer League confirmed the news, citing "logistical challenges" faced by clubs.
By Jahmal Corner LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kobe Bryant's long awaited return to the basketball court began as a wild celebration on Sunday, but ended as a quiet reminder that the rusty All Star has more work ahead to get back to his brilliant best. Bryant made his anticipated season debut in front of a frenzied Staples Center crowd, showing small hints of old form but mostly looking out of sorts as the Lakers were defeated by the Toronto Raptors 106-94. The Lakers all-time leading scorer made just two of nine shots and conceded that Sunday's return was just the first of many hurdles to come.
Kobe Bryant's made his much-anticipated season debut, finishing with nine points in his first game in eight months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Bryant also had eight rebounds and four assists as the Los Angeles Lakers lost 106-94 to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
(Reuters) - Drew Brees torched Carolina's much-vaunted defense with four touchdown passes as the New Orleans Saints routed the Panthers 31-13 to regain control of the NFC South on Sunday. A week after throwing for just 147 yards in a loss to Seattle, Brees picked the Panthers apart in a dominant performance that saw him pass for 313 yards. "I love this offense and I love what (coach) Sean Payton has put together," Brees told reporters. We've shared the joy of a world championship, and now we're attempting to make another run at it." The victory gave New Orleans (10-3) a one-game lead over Carolina (9-4) in the division with the two teams scheduled to meet again on December 22.
The Philadelphia Eagles scored four fourth quarter touchdowns, rallying in a snowstorm to beat the Detroit Lions 34-20 as wintry weather wreaked havoc on several NFL games. LeSean McCoy rushed the ball 29 times for a franchise-record 217 yards and scored two of the Eagles' fourth-quarter touchdowns in snowy conditions at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. McCoy broke Steve Van Buren's record of 205 yards set in 1949. With the blizzard-like conditions hampering NFL offenses Sunday, a number of teams turned to their running games and the Eagles were no exception.
Denver Broncos Matt Prater kicked a record 64-yard field goal on the final play of the first half of an National Football League game against the Tennessee Titans. Sunday's goal kick broke the previous record of 63 yards shared by Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and David Akers (2011). Prater, 29, had a previous career best of 59 yards.
By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - A wintry wonderland of games featured in National Football League action on Sunday with snow impacting several contests, while the Denver Broncos reached the playoffs and the Indianapolis Colts claimed the AFC South title. In more conventional settings, the Broncos (11-2) charged past the Tennessee Titans (5-8) 51-28 to clinch a playoff berth and hand the Colts the AFC South division title. Indianapolis (8-5) claimed their crown despite losing 42-28 to the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (9-4).
By Mark Lamport-Stokes THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Zach Johnson prides himself on his competitive spirit and he came up with the goods in triumphant style after going head-to-head with Tiger Woods at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on Sunday. Having twice finished second to tournament host Woods in the elite limited-field event at Sherwood Country Club, Johnson reversed that position as he safely parred the first extra hole before Woods surprisingly lipped out from five feet to bogey.
By Mark Lamport-Stokes THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Tournament host Tiger Woods was denied a sixth win of the year in sensational fashion when he lost the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in a playoff with Zach Johnson at Sherwood Country Club on Sunday. Johnson, who had twice finished second to fellow American Woods at this elite limited-field event, sealed victory with a rock-solid par at the 18th, the first extra hole, where Woods lipped out with a five-footer to bogey.
By Mark Lamport-Stokes THOUSAND OAKS, California, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Zach Johnson prides himself on his competitive spirit and he came up with the goods in triumphant style after going head-to-head with Tiger Woods at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on Sunday. Having twice finished second to tournament host Woods in the elite limited-field event at Sherwood Country Club, Johnson reversed that position as he safely parred the first extra hole before Woods surprisingly lipped out from five feet to bogey.
* Woods misses five-foot par putt to lose playoff * Falls short in bid for sixth World Challenge title (Adds further quotes, detail) By Mark Lamport-Stokes THOUSAND OAKS, California, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Tournament host Tiger Woods was denied a sixth win of the year in sensational fashion when he lost the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in a playoff with Zach Johnson at Sherwood Country Club on Sunday. Johnson, who had twice finished second to fellow American Woods at this elite limited-field event, sealed victory with a rock-solid par at the 18th, the first extra hole, where Woods lipped out with a five-footer to bogey.
Thousand Oaks (United States) (AFP) - Zach Johnson salvaged a stunning par at the 72nd hole then edged world number one Tiger Woods at the first playoff hole to win the $3.5 million World Challenge. Woods came up with an impressive par save from a greenside bunker at the 72nd to cap a two-under 70 that left him tied with Johnson on 13-under 275.