NHL labor talks resume
NHL labor negotiations resumed yesterday, with mediators rejoining the talks at an undisclosed location in an effort to save the season. The Canadian Press on Tuesday reported the restart of bargaining between the league and union, citing unidentified people on both sides of the dispute. US federal mediators Scot Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney are to return to the process. At the end of last month, mediators left the negotiations after two days. Tuesday marked the 87th day of the lockout. Yesterday’s session was the first meeting since the sides blamed each other after talks broke off last week. Until then, they appeared to be making progress during three days in New York in which they exchanged proposals. Union executive director Donald Fehr maintains there are agreements on almost all the important issues. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule on Monday, canceling games through Dec. 30.
Lone fan in media spotlight
A Udinese fan has become the center of Italian media attention as the only away supporter to witness his team’s 2-0 victory at UC Sampdoria in Serie A on Monday. Arrigo Brovedani says he did not expect to find many other fans in the 4,134-seater away sector on a cold night, but was stunned to discover he was completely alone. Brovedani was even jokingly invited to warm up by Udinese captain Antonio di Natale following his lone cries of “Come on Udinese.” He was given coffee by stadium stewards and a Sampdoria shirt by the home side’s directors. The home fans also invited him to drink with them after the game. Udinese dedicated the win to Brovedani and they have invited him to the match against US Citta di Palermo on Saturday.
Indians trade Choo Shin-soo
The Cleveland Indians traded outfielder Choo Shin-soo to the Cincinnati Reds and acquired prized pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal completed on Tuesday. Center fielder Drew Stubbs was sent from Cincinnati to Cleveland as part of the nine-player swap. In addition to Stubbs, the Indians received Bauer, the No. 3 pick in last year’s draft, as well as pitchers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks. Cleveland shipped Choo, infielder Jason Donald and about US$3.5 million to the Reds, while sending left-handed reliever Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson to Arizona. The Diamondbacks also received shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati. Choo, who has been Cleveland’s primary right fielder since 2006, is to play center and bat leadoff for Cincinnati. “It was very difficult giving up home-grown talent, but we think Choo can fill the missing parts in our lineup, both offensively and defensively,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement.
Yankees to sign Youkilis
The New York Yankees have dipped into Boston’s former talent pool once again, signing Kevin Youkilis to a one-year US$12 million contract, the New York Daily News reported on Tuesday. Youkilis, who turns 34 in March, will join New York as their starting third baseman. He replaces All-Star Alex Rodriguez, who is out until at least midseason due to left-hip surgery. The Yankees had not officially announced the deal because Youkilis must first pass a physical exam. He finished last season with the Chicago White Sox. Youkilis split last season between the Red Sox and White Sox. He was traded to Chicago on June 24.