SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

Fri, Nov 30, 2012 - Page 18

ICE HOCKEY

Sheahan plays ‘Tinky Winky’

Riley Sheahan, the Red Wings’ top pick in the 2010 NHL draft, was reportedly wearing a purple Teletubbies costume when he was pulled over on a drink driving charge in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A copy of the arrest report obtained by Michigan news Web site MLive.com showed that a breathalyzer test indicated the 20-year-old Canadian had a blood-alcohol content of 0.30 when he was stopped for driving the wrong way on Oct. 29. That is almost four times the legal limit. MLive reported that Sheahan was also carrying the identification of Brendan Smith, another Detroit prospect who is expected to join the team. Sheahan was also charged with providing police with false information. Sheahan pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Nov. 6. The purple costume on the Teletubbies children program belongs to Tinky Winky.

BASEBALL

Pettitte back with Yankees

Andy Pettitte is to return for another season with the New York Yankees after the 40-year-old left-hander signed a one-year deal, Major League Baseball’s American League East champions said on Wednesday. The deal is worth about US$12 million, according to a report on the team’s Web site. Pettitte, a five-time World Series winner with the Yankees, went 5-4 with a 2.87 earned run average (ERA) this year after ending a one-year retirement to rejoin the club. He missed nearly three months on the disabled list with a fractured left ankle suffered on a batted ball, but returned in September for three regular season starts, holding opponents scoreless in two of them, and pitched in the playoffs. Pettitte, who also pitched three seasons for the Houston Astros, has a career record of 245-142 with a 3.86 ERA and has won a major league record 19 times in the postseason.

TENNIS

Mardy Fish ‘improving’

The US’ Mardy Fish is to miss the Australian Open in January as he continues to recover from health issues related to heart surgery, his agent said on Wednesday. The 30-year-old, who had an operation in May to correct a form of arrhythmia in his heart, is “improving” and plans to return to the ATP Tour in February at the SAP Open in San Jose, California. “The good news is that Mardy’s health is improving and he is back on the court, slowly getting back into his regular workouts,” Fish’s agent, John Tobias, said in an e-mail as he confirmed Fish’s comeback date. Fish has not played since the US Open in September, when he was forced to pull out before his fourth-round match against Roger Federer because of heart palpitations. Fish began the year ranked eighth, but has fallen to 27th after an interrupted season. He is still the third-ranked US player and with very few ranking points to defend in the first two months of next year, he is likely to return to the Tour inside the world’s top 32.

BASEBALL

Upton goes to Braves

Outfielder B.J. Upton, one of the year’s most prized free agents, has agreed to terms with the Atlanta Braves on a five-year, US$75 million deal, the Atlanta Constitution reported on Wednesday. The deal with the former Tampa Bay Rays center-fielder, which would be the largest free-agent contract ever given by the Braves franchise, was pending a physical, the newspaper said. Upton, 28, had spent his entire career with the Rays, who took him with the second overall pick of the 2002 amateur draft. The slick fielding, right-handed hitting outfielder had a .246 batting average with a career-high 28 home runs and 31 stolen bases last season.

SOCCER

Chievo crash out of cup

AC Chievo Verona are out of the Italian Cup but Bologna, Atalanta BC and ACF Fiorentina disposed of lower league opposition on Wednesday to book their spots in the last 16. Chievo were shocked 1-0 at home thanks to Fabio Lucioni’s 60th minute winner for Reggina Calcio, who will now face more illustrious competition in AC Milan. A 35th minute strike from Cristian Pasquto was enough for Bologna to overcome Serie B side Livorno and book a tie against Serie A title contenders SSC Napoli. Atalanta went down to a 31st minute goal by Denis Tonucci at home to second division AC Cesena, but leveled thanks to Manuel Parra 10 minutes later. Giuseppe De Luca put the Bergamo side ahead just after the hour and Parra sealed the win with his second in the 82nd minute to secure a last-16 encounter away to AS Roma. Fiorentina continued their purple patch, which has seen them climb to third in Serie A, with a 2-0 win over second division SS Juve Stabia thanks to second-half goals from Haris Seferovic and Ahmed Hegazi. La Viola will now play Udinese.

SOCCER

Lyon win to go top

Bafetimbi Gomis scored a hat-trick as Olympique Lyonnais thrashed Olympique de Marseille 4-1 to climb above Paris Saint-Germain to the top of the French league on Wednesday. Steed Malbranque was the other scorer for the visitors before Loic Remy grabbed a 77th-minute consolation for Marseille, who had Rod Fanni dismissed late on. Also, Montpellier Herault and LOSC Lille Metropole progressed to the semi-finals of the French League Cup by beating OGC Nice 3-2 and SC Bastia 3-0, respectively. Saint-Etienne advanced to the last four on Tuesday by beating PSG on penalties.

TENNIS

Serena named player of year

Serena Williams has been named WTA Tour Player of the Year for the fourth time after winning Wimbledon, the US Open and Olympic gold in a stunning summer of success. The American started the year poorly but back-to-back tournament wins in Charleston and Madrid in April and May marked a remarkable change in fortunes. Williams went on to win 48 of 50 matches, landing the Wimbledon and US Open titles and taking gold in London where she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the final. She then finished the year by winning the WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul although she remained ranked third in the world behind Victoria Azarenka and Sharapova. After her win in Turkey she said: “I’ve always said if I’m playing well and doing everything right, it’s really difficult to beat me. I still believe that, which is great that I can still kind of play that way. I feel like there are always ways for me to improve, but I think it’s a true statement, without trying to sound really full of myself or anything.”

RUGBY UNION

Laporte staying at Toulon

Bernard Laporte, the former French national coach and sports minister, is staying on as manager of Top 14 side Toulon for a further two years, he announced yesterday. Laporte initially signed a two-year contract in September last year and is to put pen to paper to an extension which will keep him at Toulon until June 2015. “I really want to do this,” Laporte said. “We are going through an interesting period and the aim is to establish this club among the elite of French rugby. That means being up among the leaders every year, For the past 10 years it has been Toulouse and Clermont who have been up there. Now we want to be up there with them.”