Barkley takes TV time out
Retired NBA star Charles Barkley is taking a leave of absence from his TV commentator job in the wake of a suspected drunken driving incident. Turner Sports announced the move on Friday, hours after test results released by police in Arizona showed Barkley had a blood-alcohol level of .149, nearly twice the legal limit of .08, when he was stopped by officers just outside Phoenix, Arizona, on Dec. 31. Barkley, 45, was stopped for running a stop sign at about 1:30am on Dec. 31. He was cited by police and released.
Boozer to rest four weeks
Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and faces at least four weeks of rehabilitation, the National Basketball Association club said on Saturday. Boozer first suffered a strained left quadriceps tendon and a bone bruise on the knee in a victory in November over Milwaukee. The veteran had missed 24-straight games before having the surgery on Friday in Los Angeles. Loose cartilage around his knee joint was removed and the knee was cleaned up.
All-star coaches named
Todd McLellan of the San Jose Sharks and Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins were named as coaches for their respective conferences in the 57th National Hockey League all-star game in Montreal. Julien, who guided Montreal for three seasons from 2002-2006, has led the Bruins to their best start since 1929-1930 as the club posted 64 points in its first 41 games. Boston increased that total to 66 (31-7-4) with its 5-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Named San Jose’s coach on June 12 following a three-year stint as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings, McLellan is just the second first-year coach to lead an all-star team. The 41-year-old McLellan, who has guided the Sharks to a 30-5-5 record, is the first coach in franchise history to win his first four games and lead the club to a 4-0-0 record to start a campaign. The all-star game takes place on Jan. 25 at the Bell Center Arena in Calgary, Canada.
Freeney fined for cursing
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney has been slapped with a US$20,000 fine for a post-game tirade against the officials of his team’s Jan. 3 playoff game. The league’s disciplinary officials said they fined Freeney for “inappropriate comments on officiating” following the Colts’ 23-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers, US media reported on Saturday. Indianapolis was whistled for three defensive penalties during the Chargers’ winning drive. In a postgame interview with Yahoo! Sports, Freeney blasted the officials, saying: “Those were the worst [expletive] calls I’ve seen in a long time.”
Red Sox sign Takashi Saito
Takashi Saito agreed to a one-year deal with Boston on Saturday, giving the Red Sox another veteran arm in their bullpen. Saito, who had 18 saves and a 2.49 ERA last season despite being limited by an elbow injury, became a free agent when the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to offer him a contract by the Dec. 12 deadline. The Japanese right-hander would have been eligible for salary arbitration and a raise from US$2 million if he was tendered a contract. The 38-year-old Saito is 12-7 with 81 saves and a 1.95 ERA in three major league seasons, all with Los Angeles. “He’s done an amazing job since coming over from Japan three years ago,” Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said.