Weekend Sports In Brief
DETROIT (AP) Lions owner William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford, died at 88.
Ford Motor Co. said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home in Grosse Pointe, Mich. Ford helped steer the family business for more than five decades. He bought one of his own, the NFL franchise in the Motor City, a half-century ago.
He served as an employee and board member of the automaker for more than half of its 100-year history.
Ford was regarded as a dignified man by the select few who seemed to know him well. To the masses in Detroit, he was simply the owner of the Lions who struggled to achieve success on the field despite showing his passion for winning by spending money on free agents, coaches, executives and facilities.
PHOENIX (AP) – Running back Rashard Mendenhall is retiring from the NFL at the age of 26.
Agent Mike McCartney confirmed via Twitter on Sunday that Mendenhall had decided to end his playing career after six NFL seasons, all but one of them with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Jets cut ties with Antonio Cromartie, their top cornerback, on Sunday and saved millions of dollars under their salary cap.
Cromartie was entering the final season of his four-year deal and was scheduled to cost the Jets’ cap $14.98 million this season, including a $5 million roster bonus that would have kicked in later this month.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings took another of their priority free agents off the market before it opens, agreeing to terms on a five-year contract with defensive end Everson Griffen that features $20 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $42.5 million.
A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the details to The Associated Press on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Vikings haven’t announced the deal. The NFL free-agent signing period starts Tuesday.
The Vikings also agreed to terms on a one-year contract with middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, according to another person with direct knowledge of that deal who spoke to the AP on Sunday on condition of anonymity because the Vikings haven’t confirmed the agreement. Brinkley played for the Arizona Cardinals last season.
Two days ago, the Vikings reached a two-year deal with quarterback Matt Cassel worth as much as $10 million.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Sam Shields agreed to re-sign with the Packers, keeping one of the top free-agent cornerbacks off the market this offseason.
Shields’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the four-year NFL veteran agreed to a four-year, $39 million deal with a $12.5 million signing bonus. Shields on his Twitter account Saturday posted that ”he was happy to be back with my family.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Brad Keselowski surged ahead on the final lap when Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of fuel, claiming a dramatic victory in the NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
When Earnhardt’s Chevy slowed in the final miles, Keselowski roared past in his Penske Ford for the first weekend sweep of his career. He followed up Saturday’s Nationwide Series victory with his first Vegas Cup win.
DORAL, Fla. (AP) – Hideki Matsuyama of Japan apologized Saturday to Ian Poulter and other two players behind him for damaging the 13th green at Doral with his putter in the second round and walking off the green without repairing it.
Poulter brought the matter to light with a series of tweets in which he called Matsuyama an ”idiot.”
DORAL, Fla. (AP) – Patrick Reed won the Cadillac Championship for this third PGA Tour title in seven months, and this was a big one.
Dressed in a red shirt he always wears on Sunday – with Tiger Woods in the group ahead of him – Reed made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 at Doral to pull away early. He played the 18th conservatively and made bogey for an even-par 72 and a one-shot victory over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson of Wales.
At 23, Reed became the youngest winner of a World Golf Championship.
Woods, with his best chance this year to win a tournament, said his back flared up after an awkward shot out of the bunker on the sixth hole. He failed to make a birdie in the final round for the first time in his PGA Tour career, and his 78 was his worst Sunday score ever.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Frustrated in his big fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Canelo Alvarez found a much easier target in Alfredo Angulo.
Alvarez battered a game but outclassed Angulo on Saturday night before stopping him with an uppercut that prompted referee Tony Weeks to move in at 47 seconds of the 10th round.
The fight was in marked contrast to the last bout for Alvarez, who was dominated by Mayweather in the richest fight ever. But while Mayweather was the master of defense, Angulo was there to be hit all night long.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota legislator’s tweet about the NBA has prompted hundreds of responses, with many on social media calling it racist.
State Rep. Pat Garofalo sent a tweet Sunday that read: ”Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.”
DALLAS (AP) – Mike Modano’s No. 9 was retired by the Dallas Stars.
The guy who made hockey cool in Dallas was joined on the ice at the end of a 50-minute ceremony by five of the biggest names in pro sports in the area, including former Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, and Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.
The 43-year-old Modano played his first 20 seasons with the Stars franchise in Minnesota and Dallas. The team moved south in 1993.
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) – The Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League say 20-year-old center Terry Trafford has been missing from the team for six days.
The Saginaw News says Trafford was last seen Monday at the Dow Event Center, the team’s home arena.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s Justin Kamplain, Jay Shaw and Geoffrey Bramblett combined to throw the school’s first nine-inning no-hitter since 1942 as the Crimson Tide defeated Mississippi Valley State 7-0 Saturday.
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – Oregon State’s Jace Fry pitched the fifth no-hitter in school history, striking out a career-high 10 in a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday.
ARE, Sweden (AP) – American Mikaela Shiffrin retained her World Cup slalom title on Saturday, adding to her Sochi Olympics gold medal in the discipline just five days before her 19th birthday.
Shiffrin led from start to finish, as she did at the Sochi Games two weeks ago. Shiffrin now has Olympic and world championship gold medals and two World Cup titles in her specialty event.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
LONDON (AP) – Alexander Gustafsson handed Jimi Manuwa his first MMA defeat in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card at Saturday night at O2 Arena.
Gustafsson controlled the first round after getting top position on a throw, and came out much more forcefully in the second, buckling Manuwa with a Muay Thai knee, and finishing him off with strikes on the ground.
TRACK AND FIELD
SOPOT, Poland (AP) – The United States set a world record in the 4×400 meters relay at the world indoor championships on Sunday.
In the last event of the three-day championships, Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III, and Calvin Smith Jr. got the baton around in a time of 3 minutes, 2.13 seconds, slashing .70 off the 15-year-old mark set by another U.S. relay team at the 1999 world indoors.
Britain took silver and Jamaica bronze.
SOPOT, Poland (AP) – Ashton Eaton successfully defended his heptathlon world indoor championship title, but a world record eluded the American by just 1.18 seconds over the closing 1,000 meters.
Instead of celebrating his continued dominance in multi-event competitions, the Olympic and world outdoor decathlon champion slammed his fists on the railing in disgust for having missed out on the world record on Saturday.
Dominating the two-day, seven-event competition from the opening 60 meters, Eaton finished the closing 1,000 in 2 minutes, 34.72 seconds for a total of 6,632 points. The record stands at 6,645.
MANTES-LA-JOLIE, France (AP) – Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni overcame a sore knee to win the first stage of the Paris-Nice race in a sprint finish Sunday.
Bouhanni needed treatment from the race doctor several times for cuts to his left knee after falling during the stage.