Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

Sat, Mar 28, 2009 - Page 19

■ BASEBALL

Sabathia to open for Yankees

C.C. Sabathia will have double Opening Day duties for the Yankees, as the big lefty will start the season opener on April 6 in Baltimore and throw the first pitch at the opening of their new stadium 10 days later. New York manager Joe Girardi confirmed to reporters on Thursday that Sabathia, signed to a seven-year, US$161 million free agent contract in the off-season, would be the starting pitcher for both openers. “I’m excited to be able to take the ball the first game of the season and to open up the stadium,” Sabathia said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.” The opener of the Yankees’ new US$1.5 billion home will be against the Cleveland Indians, Sabathia’s original major league team. Before the official opener of their park, the Yankees will play two exhibition games there on April 3 and April 4 against the Chicago Cubs. Girardi has said Wang will pitch on April 3.

■ OLYMPICS

IOC ends torch relays

After a year of embarrassing protests leading up to the Beijing Games, Olympic leaders called on Thursday for an end to international torch relays starting next year in Vancouver. The torch relay turned into a convenient platform for protesters to denounce China’s human rights record. Some of the biggest protests were in London, Paris and San Francisco. In San Francisco, officials were forced to reroute the parade to avoid confrontations. The International Olympic Committee announced the change at its three-day meetings in Denver, Colorado, but said it doesn’t require an adjustment of the contracts for host cities. There was no requirement for cities to take the relays internationally, but in recent years cities have requested such a tour.

■ GOLF

Seve to get more treatment

Seve Ballesteros will undergo a fourth round of chemotherapy following the brain surgery he underwent last year to remove a brain tumor, the Spanish golf star announced on his Web site on Thursday. The 51-year-old, a five-time major winner, has undergone four operations since cancer was discovered in October last year and now he is ready to take more treatment. “After receiving the third round of chemotherapy, the blood analyses confirm that I can go ahead with the fourth round, which will start on Saturday [today],” he said in a statement. “Also, I want you to know that my spirits are still high.”

■ SOCCER

No nightlife brings success

The coach of surprise Turkish league leaders Sivasspor has said their success is partly because of the lack of nightlife in conservative central Turkey. “There is no nightlife in Sivas,” Sivasspor coach Bulent Uygun was quoted as saying on the Hurriyet daily’s Web site. “There are only a few shops where my players can buy drinks, but I’m in contact with the shop owners, so I am informed as soon as one of my players buy drinks and I warn him.” Sivasspor, from the city of Sivas in the icy Anatolian heartland, are top of the Turkish championship with 50 points.

■ GERMANY

Rutten leaves Schalke

German side Schalke 04 said on Thursday that they had parted company with their Dutch coach Fred Rutten. Mike Buskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck, all members of the club’s back-room staff, will take charge of training. Rutten had a contract with Schalke until 2010 having only taken over as trainer last July, but the club are eighth in the table and have been blighted by erratic form.