Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman broke bones above his left eye and nose when he was hit by a line drive Wednesday night, the latest frightening injury to a pitcher struck in the head by a batted ball.
Chapman was undergoing further testing at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, where he was set to spend the night for observation, according to a statement from the Reds.
The hard-throwing left-hander was struck by Salvador Perez’s liner with two outs in the sixth inning – the pitch was clocked at 99 mph. Chapman crumbled to the ground, face down, his legs flailing. The ball caromed into the third base dugout. Medical personnel, including Royals Dr. Vincent Key, rushed onto the field. Blood could be seen on the mound.
First-year manager Bryan Price said Chapman was conscious and talking as he was taken off the field during Cincinnati’s spring training game against the Kansas City Royals.
The exhibition was called after an 8-minute delay with Kansas City leading 6-3.
SYDNEY (AP) – Right-hander Zach Lee, who is 1-0 in one start with a 5.79 ERA in two games in spring training, will be the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday against Team Australia in the first exhibition baseball game at the revamped Sydney Cricket Ground.
SYDNEY (AP) – Top prospect Archie Bradley will get the start for the Arizona Diamondbacks against Team Australia in an exhibition game Friday with a potential spot in the starting rotation following a serious injury to Patrick Corbin.
NEW YORK (AP) – Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and the New York Knicks opened the Phil Jackson era by beating the Indiana Pacers 92-86 for their season-high seventh straight victory.
With their new team president watching from a midcourt seat, the Knicks dominated the first half, then pulled away after the Eastern Conference leaders finally got untracked in the second half.
Fans stood to cheer Jackson in the first quarter and were on their feet again in the final minute to watch the Knicks beat the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
BOSTON (AP) – LeBron James sat out Miami’s game against Boston with back spasms.
His absence against the Celtics came a day after he scored 43 points in the Heat’s 100-96 win at Cleveland. He had 25 points in the first quarter when he made 10 of 11 shots and five 3-pointers.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said his son’s surgery to remove a thyroid tumor went as planned, and the coach later flew back from Iowa City to Dayton to lead the Hawkeyes in the NCAA tournament.
McCaffery said his son Patrick was in ”good spirits” after Wednesday morning’s operation.
Doctors will continue with tests in the coming days to determine further treatment for Patrick, who turns 14 on Thursday.
The Hawkeyes lost to Tennessee 78-65.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Police confirmed that they are investigating an allegation that two Providence College basketball players sexually assaulted another student on campus in November.
Providence police Maj. David Lapatin told The Associated Press that the complaint was filed about two weeks ago by a female student against two men who were on the basketball team at the time of the assault. He would not name the players, but a defense lawyer says unsubstantiated sex assault allegations were made against players Rodney Bullock and Brandon Austin when they were suspended from playing in games in the fall.
NEW YORK (AP) – NFL owners likely will consider expanding the playoffs by two teams, beginning in 2015, when they hold their spring meetings in Orlando next week, but a vote on the subject is uncertain.
A groundswell for raising the number of playoff qualifiers to seven in each conference figures to get plenty of support from the 32 owners.
The current format of four division winners and two wild-card teams has existed since 2002, when Houston joined the league as an expansion team, bringing the membership to 32.
Also on the agenda will be alterations to extra points, changing who oversees video replay reviews, and further clamping down on the use of racial slurs by players during games.
PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona authorities say they won’t seek to extradite former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper on rape charges until his sexual assault case in California is resolved, but Sharper isn’t waiting for officials in Arizona to act.
Sharper’s lawyers asked a court in Phoenix to hold a hearing to determine whether their client can be granted bail in Arizona, arguing that the former player is being deprived of due-process in not getting such a hearing.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Eric Winston was elected president of the NFL Players Association on Wednesday, three years after he was active for the union during the lockout.
The 30-year-old offensive lineman was the Arizona Cardinals’ starting right tackle last season, his eighth in the league. He is currently a free agent.
NEW YORK (AP) – Former NFL player Troy Vincent has been promoted to executive vice president of football operations for the league.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Manchester United still has a chance to win a trophy in David Moyes’ tumult-filled first season as Alex Ferguson’s successor.
Robin van Persie scored a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Olympiakos that advanced United into the Champions League quarterfinals on 3-2 aggregate.
Borussia Dortmund lost 2-1 at home to Zenit St. Petersburg in the night’s other match but advanced on 5-4 aggregate.
American defender Steve Cherundolo, nicknamed ”Mayor of Hannover” during a 15-year career that saw him play for just one club and rise to become Hannover’s captain, is retiring because of persistent knee injuries.
Cherundolo said Wednesday that several knee injuries in the last 15 months made it impossible to continue playing and that he was becoming assistant coach of Hannover’s under-23 team.
Rich Peverley was released from an Ohio hospital after having surgery to correct an abnormal heart rhythm, just more than a week after the Dallas Stars forward collapsed on the bench during a game.
Stars general manager Jim Nill said Peverley was released from the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday. The surgery was Monday.
Peverley, who is out for the season, is expected to return Thursday to Dallas. He will be monitored closely and may require further treatment.
TORONTO (AP) – Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger was ”stable, conscious and alert,” according to the team, after his head hit the boards on a hit from Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn.
Ranger, who left the ice on a stretcher, was taken to the hospital for what the team called a ”precautionary assessment.” Toronto announced the update on Ranger’s condition on its Twitter account.
BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Lauren Davis defeated Zhang Shuai of China 6-2, 6-3 at the Sony Open, and former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro withdrew with a left wrist injury.