Digest for 02-12-14


COMMUNITY

Registration open for ‘Thin Mint Sprint 5K’

Registration is now open for the “Thin Mint Sprint 5K” and the “Tag-a-long Trot 1K” hosted by the Girl Scouts Diamonds.

The event will take place from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 15, at Saracen Landing Regional Park.

The entry fee is $15 for Girl Scout Members and $20 for non-members. There is also a group rate of $75 for a team of five.

For more information, contact Misti McCollum at mmccollum@girlscoutsdiamonds.org or at 1-800-632-6894.

Baseball clinic a go regardless of weather

The PRO-DAY Professional Baseball Clinic scheduled for Saturday at Taylor Field will go on as previously scheduled regardless of the weather.

The clinic, run by former Arkansas-Monticello coach Jeff Gross, will take place in two parts. Eight- to 12-year-olds will receive their instruction from 9-11:30 a.m., while 13- to 18-year-olds will receive their’s from 12:15-3 p.m.

The cost of the camp is $50 and players are recommended to register online, either through prodaybaseball.com or by emailing prodaybaseball@yahoo.com to reserve a spot.

LOCAL

UAM-NWOSU baseball series pushed back

MONTICELLO — The Arkansas-Monticello baseball team’s weekend series at Northwest Oklahoma State has been pushed back a day.

The three-game set in Alva, Okla., originally set for Friday and Saturday will now be played Saturday and Sunday.

A Saturday doubleheader is set to start at 1 p.m. with a single game Sunday beginning at noon.

STATE

Razorbacks’ spring game set for April 26

FAYETTEVILLE — The date for Arkansas’ annual Red-White Spring game has been announced.

The game, which wraps up the Razorbacks’ spring practices, will be held April 26 at 1 p.m. and air on Cox Sports Television.

The game will be played at Reynolds Razorback Stadium and is free to attend.

Last year, a record crowd of 51,088 witnessed Bret Bielema’s first spring game.

Portis lands third SEC freshman of week honor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Arkansas freshman Bobby Portis started his 19th birthday in style on Monday morning when he was named the SEC Freshman of the Week by the league office for the third time this season.

Portis’ third SEC weekly honor comes on the heels of a 35-point performance last Wednesday in a win over Alabama in which he broke the 20-year Arkansas freshman scoring record held by Scott Thurman. The 6-foot-10 freshman accounted for 29 of the team’s first 35 points, becoming the 43rd Razorback and just the fifth freshman to score 30 points in a game while also adding a team-high nine rebounds and season-best six blocks.

A native of Little Rock, Portis’ three SEC Freshman of the Week accolades are tied for the most by a Razorback, equaling the total by current Houston Rocket Patrick Beverley in the 2006-07 campaign. Portis is also tied with LSU freshman Jordan Mickey for the most weekly honors this season.

Over the 2-0 week for the Razorbacks that also included a road win at Vanderbilt, Portis averaged 21.5 points, seven rebounds and three blocks while hitting 17-of-25 from the field. Portis led Arkansas on the boards both games and has done so it five straight and seven of the last eight. Arkansas is 6-1 when Portis leads the way in scoring and 8-4 when he is tops on the glass.

Portis is the only Arkansas player to start all 23 games this season, leading the team in both scoring (13.1) and rebounding (6.6), figures that rank 22nd and 11th in the SEC, respectively.

REGIONAL

Ryan named Astros executive advisor

HOUSTON — The Houston Astros named Nolan Ryan the club’s executive advisor on Tuesday.

The Hall of Fame hurler spent nine of his record 27 seasons in the majors with Houston.

Ryan will primarily serve as an advisor to his son and president of business operations Reid Ryan, Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow.

Nolan Ryan served as chief executive officer of the Texas Rangers from 2008 until retiring on Oct. 31, 2013.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Nolan as part of our organization,” Crane commented. “We will use his experience, expertise and knowledge to improve the Astros in all areas. He will be an integral part of our management team. Nolan wants to be a part of our success moving forward.”

Upon retiring as a player in 1993, Nolan Ryan joined the Rangers front office before returning to the Astros as a special assistant to the general manager in 2004 where he remained until 2008.

Grizzlies blow big lead, still beat Wizards

MEMPHIS — Nick Calathes and Marc Gasol each had 18 points and seven rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies edged the Washington Wizards by a 92-89 score at FedExForum.

Calathes added six assists while going 8-of-12 from the field in another solid fill-in start for the injured Mike Conley, while Gasol came through with a key late basket to help the Grizzlies prevail in a game in which they squandered a 16-point third-quarter lead.

Zach Randolph donated 13 points and 10 rebounds to the victory.

The Wizards were dealt a third loss in four games despite a career-high 37-point effort from Bradley Beal. Nene finished with 17 points, but All-Star John Wall managed just five on 2-of-10 shooting.

NATIONAL

Banner, Lombardi out in Cleveland

BEREA, OH — The Cleveland Browns restructured their front office on Tuesday, promoting Ray Farmer to general manager and announcing that CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months.

Farmer replaces Mike Lombardi and will immediately take the over the team’s football operations and lead the Browns during free agency and the draft. Additionally, the team announced that president Alec Scheiner will continue in charge of the organization’s business operations.

The major shakeup comes just a few weeks after the Browns hired Mike Pettine as their head coach.

Banner, who previously worked in Philadelphia, became the team’s CEO in late October 2012.

Lombardi was hired by the Browns in January 2013 after working as an NFL Network analyst.

Tanaka introduced at Yankee Stadium

BRONX, N.Y. — The stage belonged to Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday as the prized right-hander was introduced in the largest press conference the Yankees have held since Hideki Matusi’s at Times Square in 2003.

“Hello, my name is Masahiro Tanaka,” the newest Yankee said after putting on his No. 19 jersey. “I’m very happy to be a Yankee.”

The Yankees inked the 25-year-old Japanese star to a seven-year, $155 million contract last month despite having never pitched in an MLB game. Tanaka recently received his visa, guaranteeing he will report to spring training on time.

Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan’s Pacific League. He led Rakuten to it’s first Japan Series title.

Tanaka will likely serve as the third starter in New York’s rotation behind lefty C.C. Sabathia and fellow-Japanese hurler Hiroki Kuroda.