Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

BASEBALL

Hideki Irabu found dead

The Japanese baseball fraternity was shocked and saddened by yesterday’s news that former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead in a Los Angeles suburb after an apparent suicide. Before going to the major leagues, Irabu was one of the most dominant pitchers in Japanese Professional Baseball. “He was an outstanding pitcher on his best days and a horrible one on his worst days,” said Robert Whiting, author of several books on Japanese baseball. “A real puzzle. He seemed to have a lot of anger inside him, which perhaps came from his rather unusual childhood.” Irabu’s father was a US serviceman who left Japan after Hideki was born without leaving a forwarding address. His mother was an Okinawan who remarried a restaurateur from Osaka, who raised Hideki.

GOLF

Woods to return at Firestone

Tiger Woods is finally set to get back to golf next week at the Bridgestone Invitational, ending an 11-week break to heal injuries to his left leg. It marks the third-longest layoff of his career, but this time Woods returns with as much uncertainty about his future as ever. Along with questions about the strength of his left knee and Achilles’ tendon, Woods embarks on his latest comeback with a new caddie and without guarantees he will be eligible for more than two weeks. Woods has plunged to world No. 21 and has gone more than 20 months since his last win.

FOOTBALL

Flurry of NFL trades

The New England Patriots acquired Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco in a couple of big moves on Thursday among a flurry of trades by NFL teams seeking to make up for time lost in the labor lockout. Reggie Bush moved from New Orleans to Miami and the Kevin Kolb saga ended as expected, with a trade from Philadelphia to Arizona. Day 3 of the compressed, post-lockout offseason also included more contract agreements and plenty of cuts, which teams were finally allowed to start announcing. Among the players getting released were Vince Young by Tennessee, Nate Clements by San Francisco and Jake Delhomme by Cleveland. In the first dramatic example of how the new labor deal’s rookie salary system will affect elite players, No. 2 overall draft pick Von Miller got US$21 million guaranteed over four years from Denver.

ICE HOCKEY

Canucks keep Hansen

The Vancouver Canucks have avoided arbitration with Jannik Hansen by signing the Danish right wing to an extension contract, the team said on Thursday. Drafted by the Canucks in 2004, the 25-year-old signed a new three year deal. Financial terms were not announced. Hansen, 25, had career highs for assists (20), points (29) and games played (82) during the Canucks’ Western Conference title season.

ICE HOCKEY

Islanders acquire Rolston

The New York Islanders have acquired center Brian Rolston and a conditional draft pick for next year from the New Jersey Devils for right wing Trent Hunter, the teams said on Thursday. The 38-year-old Rolston, a 2007 All-Star who has spent the past three seasons with the Devils, collected 14 goals and 34 points in 65 games last season.

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