Yankee Posada to retire
Longtime New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was set to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball yesterday after a 17-year career that included four World Series titles, the team said on Monday. Posada, 40, became a free agent after last season and he decided to end his career with the team that drafted him in 1990 rather than pursue a role on another team. The Puerto Rico native was a five-time All-Star and he retires with a .273 batting average, 1,065 runs batted in and 275 home runs in 1,829 games — all with the Yankees. He was also part of the team’s “Core Four” along with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte that helped the team capture five World Series titles from 1996 to 2009. Posada’s playing time slipped last year, the final year of a four-year contract, as he transitioned to being a designated hitter and often found himself out of the lineup. He created controversy when he removed himself from the lineup last May an hour before a game after being dropped to the bottom of the batting order.
Ovechkin suspended for hit
Washington Capitals All-Star forward Alex Ovechkin was suspended for three games for a hit to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek, the NHL said on Monday. Ovechkin, who leads Washington with 20 goals this season, left his feet to deliver a hit on Michalek, who had just moved the puck around the corner boards, in the second period of the Penguins’ 4-3 win on Sunday. No penalty was given on the play. “Ovechkin drives up, launching and recklessly making contact with Michalek’s head,” NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said in a video posted on the league’s Web site. “While we accept Ovechkin’s assertion that he did not intend to hit Michalek in the head, the moment Ovechkin launches himself in the air prior to the hit he becomes responsible for any contact to the head.” It marks the third suspension of Ovechkin’s six-year NHL career.
Ibrahimovic wins award
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been voted the Serie A Player of the Year by his fellow players and the Rossoneri won another award with Massimilliano Allegri winning best coach. The trophies were handed out on Monday at a ceremony and were voted on by more than 5,000 people, made up of players, coaches, referees and journalists. Alongside Ibrahimovic in the team of the year were: Antonio Di Natale, Edinson Cavani, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Thiago Motta/Claudio Marchisio (joint winners), Marek Hamsik, Pablo Armero, Andrea Ranocchia/Alessandro Nesta (joint winners), Thiago Silva and Christian Maggio. England coach Fabio Capello received a special award from a jury of respected journalists. Udinese were voted the Club of the Year, while Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Cannavaro received career prizes.
Bilyaletdinov to join Spartak
Nine-time Russian champions Spartak Moscow have reached agreement with English Premier League side Everton to buy Russian international midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, the club announced on Monday. “Spartak have reached an agreement about Bilyaletdinov’s transfer,” the club said. “He is expected to sign the deal in the near future after undergoing a medical in Moscow.” Bilyaletdinov confirmed he would join Russia’s most successful club after the medical for a fee believed to be about ￡7 million (US$11 million). “The clubs have already reached an agreement,” he told Sport Express.