Digest for 06-18-14


LOCAL

Hunter not in lineup

DETROIT — Pine Bluff native Torii Hunter missed Tuesday’s home game against Kansas City after leaving Monday’s game with a hamstring injury, according to reports.

It was not reported how long Hunter would be out.

Hunter made headlines last week when he joked about LeBron James’ cramps during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on “Jim Rome on Showtime,” saying he managed to continue “making love” to his wife after his leg cramped.

STATE

Former Hog Fisher signs with Marlins

FAYETTEVILLE — Former University of Arkansas All-SEC infielder Eric Fisher has signed a professional contract with the Miami Marlins.

Fisher was selected in the 17th round by the Marlins and was one of six Razorbacks taken in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He joins Brian Anderson who signed with the Marlins and Chris Oliver who inked with the Philadelphia Phillies as the only Arkansas players to sign professional contracts.

He was immediately assigned to the Single A affiliate Batavia Muckdogs in New York and joins a team that is 3-1 on the year in the New York-Penn League Pinckney.

A native of Spring, Texas, Fisher became one of the top power hitters in the Southeastern Conference during the 2014 season, recording nine home runs, 45 runs batted in and a .268 batting average. He tallied 15 multi-hit games during the year and added a team-best 12 multi-RBI games.

Fisher ended the year with a 10-game reached base streak after earning second team All-SEC honors at first base and making an appearance on the All-Defensive Team.

He had a power stretch of four home runs in a five-game span midway through the season, launching three home runs in a three-game set at No. 8 LSU, before returning home and leading Arkansas to a series opening victory over No. 11 Vanderbilt with a three-run blast in the first inning.

REGIONAL

Fitzpatrick named Texans’ starter

HOUSTON — New Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien kicked off an eventful first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp by tabbing Ryan Fitzpatrick as his starting quarterback.

Fitzpatrick, Houston’s most experienced option under center with 77 career starts under his belt, didn’t have his No. 1 receiver to throw do as he took snaps on Tuesday, however, Andre Johnson was not present as the Texans began workouts as the Pro Bowl wideout continues his offseason battle with the team.

Johnson’s absence was not a surprise, as he also skipped the Texans’ voluntary spring workouts while publicly questioning his role with the organization. Turning 33 in July and entering his 12th NFL season, the seven-time Pro Bowl selection is believed to be angling for a trade to a contender and unwilling to be part of another rebuilding process in Houston.

O’Brien’s decision to elevate Fitzpatrick to the starter’s role was also expected. After trading Matt Schaub to Oakland in March, the Texans didn’t take a quarterback in this year’s NFL draft until choosing Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage in the fourth round.

Fitzpatrick started nine games in place of an injured Jake Locker while with Tennessee last season and threw for 2,454 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions over 11 contests overall. The 10th-year veteran was released by the Titans in March, then quickly signed to a two-year contract by the Texans.

Ragin’ Cajuns give Hudspeth new deal

LAFAYETTE, La. — The University of Louisiana announced head football coach Mark Hudspeth has come to terms on a new six-year contract that will run through the 2019 season.

Hudspeth, who will be paid a base salary of $950,000 per year plus incentives, has compiled a 27-12 record over his first three seasons as coach at the school. That includes leading the Ragin’ Cajuns to a Sun Belt Conference title and three consecutive wins in the New Orleans Bowl.

The Ragin’ Cajuns have finished 9-4 in each of the last two seasons, including a win over East Carolina in the 2012 New Orleans Bowl and a triumph over Tulane last year.

“The new contract is a show of faith between the university and Coach Hudspeth in that both sides agree the football program is headed in the right direction,” athletics director Scott Farmer said. “Since his arrival on campus, Coach Hudspeth’s personality, work ethic and presence in the community have transformed our football program into a consistent winner, and have led to record attendance at Cajun Field. We could not have done this without the tremendous support of our fans.”

NATIONAL

Niners’ Davis no-show at mini camp

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is holding out of mini-camp.

Davis has two years left on a five-year extension he signed in 2010 and now feels like he deserves more.

In a piece he wrote for SI.com’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, Davis feels he is worth more money.

“In 2010 I signed a five-year, $37 million contract extension with $23 million guaranteed,” said Davis. “It was the biggest contract for a tight end in league history. Four years later, and I’m playing at a higher level than I was then, which brings me to why I’m holding out. It’s all about getting paid what you deserve. It’s not that complicated. I want the 49ers to win the Super Bowl, and I want to be on the field this summer working toward that goal, but I have to worry about my future first.

“Most of my teammates and many players in the NFL understand that. A few don’t. Behind closed doors, they’ll say they’re all about the team and would run through a brick wall for the organization. But when you look closer, they’re doing things to contradict themselves. I can’t listen to anyone but my family and my advisors, because those are the people who are going to be there when football inevitably dumps me.”

Davis had 52 receptions for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. Since entering the league in 2006, he has 397 catches for 5,201 yards and 53 scores.

Penn State AD Joyner to retire

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. — Penn State athletic director David Joyner, who took over in the midst of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse case, is resigning.

Joyner has requested a retirement date of Aug. 1, the university announced Tuesday.

He was on the Penn State board of trustees when he took over the department as acting athletic director in November 2011. Joyner became the full-time AD in January 2013.

Joyner, who wrestled and played football at Penn State and earned two degrees from the school, replaced Mark Sherburne, who had been serving as acting AD since Tim Curley stepped down in the wake of charges filed against him in the Sandusky case.

Joyner’s term will end less than three months after Rodney Erickson retired as university president on May 11.