Ichiro Suzuki is guaranteed US$44 million in his four-year contract with the Seattle Mariners and can make an additional US$1.25 million in performance bonuses. \nSuzuki avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to the deal Thursday, keeping the All-Star right fielder and American League MVP at the top of manager Bob Melvin's lineup. \n"He clearly was very happy, and he doesn't show emotion much," said Suzuki's agent, Tony Attanasio. "His attitude was one of satisfaction and elation. The club clearly demonstrated to him that they do like him, they appreciate him and they really wanted to keep him around." \nSuzuki gets a US$6 million signing bonus, US$5 million in 2004 and annual salaries of US$11 million in the final three seasons, according to contract details obtained by AP. \nIn the first three years, he would earn bonuses of US$50,000 for 400 plate appearances, and US$100,000 each for 500 and 600 plate appearances. In 2007, he would get US$100,000 for 400 plate appearances and US$200,000 each for 500 and 600 plate appearances. His contract also calls for housing allowances of US$28,000 in 2004, US$29,000 in 2005, US$30,000 in 2006 and US$31,000 in 2007. Suzuki also gets an interpreter, personal trainer, ground transportation during spring training and the regular season, and four round-trip first-class plane tickets from Japan to Seattle twice every year. \nGeneral manager Bill Bavasi said the difficulty in crafting a contract was finding a way to measure the 30-year-old Suzuki against other players because he does so many things differently -- and much better, in many cases -- than his peers. \nSuzuki was the AL's MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2001. He has won Gold Gloves in each of his three major league seasons. \n"He misses nothing," Melvin said. "He's constantly working to make himself a better player. He does everything very, very well." \nThe Mariners avoided Saturday night's deadline to formally offer a 2004 contract to Suzuki, which would have made him eligible for salary arbitration. To do otherwise would have appeared unfavorable in Japanese culture, sending a message that club officials were unable to determine his value. \n"In the culture of Ichiro and others like him, it's something disconcerting for someone other than the club to determine his worth," Attanasio said. \n"He's really happy going back to Japan and only having one press conference to answer that question."
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very