Kuo signs Dodgers deal
Taiwanese left-handed relief pitcher Kuo Hong-chih has agreed to a one-year Major League Baseball contract worth US$2.725 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team said on Wednesday. The move means the club and Kuo will avoid having their contract dispute settled through arbitration. Kuo could make an extra US$675,000 with various incentive bonuses. Kuo, who made US$975,000 last season, had sought US$3.075 million while the Dodgers had been offering only US$2.55 million. He led Major League Baseball last season with a 1.20 earned-run average over 56 games, setting a Dodgers team record in the process. He had 73 strikeouts and 18 walks in 60 innings with opposing batters hitting only .139. Kuo went 3-2, earned a trip to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and took over as the closing relief pitcher for the Dodgers after Jonathan Broxton slumped.
Goal celebration goes wrong
A Brazilian goalkeeper who injured his knee while celebrating a goal he scored with a 90th-minute header will be sidelined for at least six months. Tests on Wednesday showed that Serie B Sport Recife’s goalkeeper Saulo, who was playing because regular starter Magrao was injured, will need surgery because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Saulo left his area Monday to give his team a 2-1 victory over Vitoria with a header from a corner, but he badly twisted his right knee as he sprinted behind the goal toward cheering fans. He dropped to the ground in pain as his teammates ran toward him to celebrate, and had to leave the match on a stretcher.
Henson quits Saracens
The tortured saga of Gavin Henson’s career took another twist on Wednesday when the Wales center asked to be released immediately from his contract with English Premiership club Saracens. French media said Henson was likely to sign for Toulon until the end of the season. Henson, 29, joined the north London club at the end of last year having demanded to be released from his contract with the Ospreys following a long period of inactivity caused by injury and off-field issues. He played his first competitive game in 18 months for Saracens on Dec. 26, sparking speculation that the supremely gifted back, who played a major role in Wales’s Six Nations Grand Slams of 2005 and 2008, could make an instant return to the national team for this year’s tournament. However, Saracens issued a statement on Wednesday saying he had asked to be released. “Gavin Henson has asked to be released from his contract with Saracens with immediate effect. The club has agreed to this request,” club chairman Nigel Wray said.
Amateurs win again
Amateur team Chambery continued their extraordinary French Cup run on Wednesday, defeating Sochaux 2-1 to knock out a Ligue 1 side for the third match running and progress to the quarter-finals. The visitors went in front in the 21st minute, but fifth-division Chambery, who beat Brest and Monaco in the previous rounds, rallied with two second-half goals. Fabien Tissot-Rosset, who installs kitchens for a living, equalized just after the hour with a volley from a free kick and Aissa Yahia Bey, a sports educator, grabbed the winner midway through the second period with a powerful 30m strike. “It’s magnificent, extraordinary!” defender Stephane Roux cried. “The crowd ... it’s amazing. Tomorrow I’m telling my boss I’m sick, I’m going to party.” Roux works as a delivery man.