Monday’s Sports In Brief
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Alex Rodriguez reported to spring training with the New York Yankees three days ahead of schedule. He spoke for 8 1/2 minutes about his season-long drug suspension.
But on his first day back with the team since September 2013, he never said why he resumed the use of performance-enhancing drugs, never explained what he did and avoided getting into any specifics.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – Adrian Beltre and the Texas Rangers reworked the final two seasons of the third baseman’s $96 million, six-year contract, eliminating the team’s conditional right to void his 2016 salary.
Beltre was due to be paid $18 million this year and $16 million in 2016, but the team had the ability to void 2016 if the four-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner didn’t have at least 586 plate appearances this season. Under the amendment, Beltre is guaranteed $16 million this year and $18 million in 2016.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to miss his second season in a row. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister repaired a labrum tear in Profar’s right shoulder in Texas.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a one-year contract with oft-injured pitcher Dustin McGowan. The right-hander was 5-3 with a 4.17 ERA in eight starts and 45 relief appearances for Toronto last season.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams said the team plans to release him after nine seasons.
Williams told Charlotte television station WBTV that he was informed of the decision in a meeting last week with general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera. Panthers spokesman Steve Drummond confirmed the meeting, but said the team hadn’t released Williams.
Williams is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 6,846 yards, but his production dropped off this past season. Williams, who turns 32 in April, missed 10 games due to injuries and was limited to 219 yards rushing. He did not score a touchdown.
PHOENIX (AP) – After consecutive seasons with double-digit wins, the Arizona Cardinals extended the contracts of coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim.
The new deals put the pair under contract through the 2018 season with a team option for 2019. Under Keim and Arians, the Cardinals went 10-6 in 2013, then 11-5 last season, earning a wild-card playoff berth.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Colts released defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois in a cost-cutting move.
Indianapolis signed Jean Francois to a four-year, $22 million contract in 2013. But the team chose to take the salary-cap savings of nearly $5 million.
Jean Francois started 23 games and had 54 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He played in all five of the team’s playoff games during that span.
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) – Two women who cleaned the home of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez testified at his murder trial that they saw guns stashed in three places in his house before the killing.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. His body was found in an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s home.
MIAMI (AP) – All-Star forward Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat is expected to leave a South Florida hospital in the coming days, another positive development as he continues to recover from blood clots making their way to one of his lungs. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Bosh’s release will be soon, but did not offer a specific timetable.
A University of Louisville police report states former Cardinals guard Chris Jones sent a woman a text last Tuesday threatening to ”smack” her. Hours later, he was suspended from the team.
Jones, 23, was reinstated late last week following the one-game suspension, and then dismissed from the team Sunday. Coach Rick Pitino said Jones was initially suspended for violating team rules. Jones returned to the team after meeting unspecified conditions for reinstatement.
Pitino has not said why Jones was dismissed.
CHICAGO (AP) – Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya will be sidelined for a couple of weeks with an upper-body injury. Oduya was hurt in Sunday’s loss to Boston.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Roger Federer is skipping the Davis Cup this year after leading Switzerland to its first title in 2014.
Federer played the entire Davis Cup season last year, with Switzerland beating France 3-1 in the final. The Davis Cup was the only major competition the 17-time Grand Slam champion had not won.
Federer had little trouble beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-1 in the first round at the Dubai Tennis Championships. The defending champion was playing his first match since his third-round exit at the Australian Open last month.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – Fifth-seeded Leonardo Mayer of Argentina reached the second round of the Argentina Open, defeating Stephane Robert of France 6-0, 6-1.
Rafael Nadal is the No. 1 seed. He plays Wednesday and has a bye into the second round of the clay-court event.
DOHA (AP) – Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka beat Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-3 in the first round of the Qatar Total Open. The Belarusian, who won in 2012 and 2013, was forced to withdraw last year due to a foot inflammation.
MONTMELO, Spain (AP) – McLaren driver Fernando Alonso was recovering after being concussed following a crash in Formula One testing. He was staying in the hospital for further observation.
The Spanish driver escaped serious injury, but was airlifted by helicopter to the hospital for precautionary checks after his McLaren collided with a wall at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit on Sunday.
In a statement, McLaren said Alonso was chatting with family, friends and hospital staff as he recovers ”from the effects of the medication that successfully managed his routine sedation.”