Digest for 01-24-14


Cowboys sign kicker Bailey to extension

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have signed kicker Dan Bailey to a contract extension through the 2020 season.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bailey has converted 89-of-98 field goal tries and all 123 extra-point attempts in three seasons. He joined the Cowboys as a free agent following the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Oklahoma State product has connected on eight game-winning kicks, the most in team history. His 90.8 percent field-goal conversion rate is tops in club annals.


Report: Brewers, Garza come to terms

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly agreed to terms with right-hander Matt Garza to a four-year contract.

FoxSports.com was first to report the pact, which is believed to be worth $52 million and is pending a physical.

The Brewers confirmed on their Twitter feed that negotiations with the free agent hurler have taken place, though the team denied that a deal had been struck.

“Despite media reports, negotiations between the #Brewers and Matt Garza are ongoing, but there is no deal yet,” said the statement.

The top starting pitcher left on the market after Masahiro Tanaka signed with the New York Yankees on Wednesday, Garza was 10-6 with a 3.82 ERA and 136 strikeouts over 155 1/3 innings in 24 combined starts between the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers last season.

Garza opened the year with the Cubs before being dealt to the Rangers near the July 31 deadline.

The 30-year-old hurler, who only made 18 starts in 2012 and has spent time on the disabled list in each of the last three seasons, now joins a Milwaukee rotation that includes Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta.

Originally a first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins, Garza is 67-67 lifetime with a 3.84 ERA over eight seasons with the Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Cubs and Rangers.

USA Basketball selects national team pool

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former Olympic gold medal winners LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are among the 28 players USA Basketball has selected for its men’s national team pool for 2014-16.

The team will compete in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball this summer and will end with the 2016 Rio Olympics.

James and Anthony will be joined by nine other members of the 2012 London Olympic gold medal winners: Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.

Also on the initial roster are Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bradley Beal, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Paul George, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Korver, David Lee, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson.

Players can be added to the pool.

Mike Krzyzewski will once again serve as the head coach and he will be joined by assistants Jim Boeheim, Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams.

Maddux, LaRussa going into Hall logo-less

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Greg Maddux and Tony LaRussa will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer without a logo on their cap.

The Hall of Fame announced the cap selections that will appear on the plaques for the six members of the class of 2014 on Thursday, with both Maddux and LaRussa feeling it was best to not choose one city over another.

Maddux played 23 seasons in the majors — 11 with the Atlanta Braves, 10 with the Chicago Cubs, two with the Los Angeles Dodgers and two with the San Diego Padres.

He is best known for his time with the Braves and Cubs. He recorded 194 of his 355 career wins with the Braves and 133 with the Cubs. He was also the National League Cy Young winner four times with the Braves and once with the Cubs.

LaRussa could’ve chosen the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics or St. Louis Cardinals. He won one World Series title with the A’s and two with the Cardinals.

Rays agree to deal with closer Balfour

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a two-year deal with closer Grant Balfour on Thursday.

The pact, which was first reported by Fox Sports, is expected to pay the former Oakland closer $12 million over two years.

Balfour, of course, reached an agreement on an apparent 2-year, $15 million deal with Baltimore earlier this offseason, but they backed out of deal due to issues with his throwing shoulder.

Balfour, who missed the entire 2006 season recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum recorded a career-high 38 saves for the A’s last season and went 1-3 with a 2.59 earned run average in 65 relief appearances.

Over three seasons in Oakland, the 35-year-old right-hander went 9-7 with a 2.53 ERA while racking up 64 of his 72 career saves. he also appeared in at least 62 games in each of those seasons.

The Australian-born Balfour owns a career 28-17 record with a 3.27 ERA and 514 strikeouts in 463 games with one start over 10 seasons with Minnesota, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and Oakland.

Balfour was 14-7 with a 3.33 ERA in four seasons with the Rays from 2007-10.

Vikings star RB Peterson has surgery

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had successful surgery Thursday to repair his adductor muscle.

Peterson is expected to make a full recovery in six weeks.

Dr.William Myers performed the surgery, which also included a compartmental release, in Philadelphia.

Peterson carried the ball 279 times for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games this season. He missed the final two games with hamstring and foot injuries.


Wawrinka bests Berdych to reach first Grand Slam final

MELBOURNE, Australia — Swiss slugger Stan Wawrinka upended big Czech Tomas Berdych on Thursday to reach the men’s final at the 2014 Australian Open.

The eighth-seeded Wawrinka, playing in his 36th Grand Slam event, landed in his first career major final by taking out the seventh-seeded Berdych in 6-3, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) fashion at Melbourne Park.

Wawrinka’s opponent in Sunday’s lucrative finale will be world No. 1 Rafael Nadal or fellow Swiss, sixth-seeded former top-ranked great Roger Federer.

Wawrinka and Berdych, both playing in their maiden Aussie Open semis, battled through four air-tight sets on Day 11 of the fortnight, and Wawrinka set himself up with triple match point in the fourth-set tiebreak.

The Swiss blew his first match point with an untimely double fault, but converted on his second when the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Berdych misfired long on one final forehand return.