Friday Sports in Brief
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Former major league players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash in Venezuela caused by highway bandits who then robbed them, officials said Friday.
The 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died late Thursday when their SUV crashed as it tried to veer around an object on the road, Yaracuy state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia said on his Twitter account. Officials said some bandits place or throw objects on highways to force vehicles to stop or crash so they can rob the occupants.
Heredia said four people have been detained after being found with property of the athletes.
Valbuena and Castillo were teammates on the Cardenales de Lara team in the Venezuelan winter league and were returning from a game in the capital when the crash occurred en route to the city of Barquisimeto.
Third baseman Carlos Rivero was in the car and survived, according to the website beisbolplay.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Patrick Corbin put on his No. 46 Washington Nationals jersey as rotation-mates Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg looked on from the front row at the news conference to introduce the lefty starter with the $140 million, six-year contract.
The Nationals announced the addition of free-agent Corbin on Friday, the latest in a flurry of offseason moves by general manager Mike Rizzo.
One of the team’s other recent acquisitions, catcher Yan Gomes, and long-time first baseman Ryan Zimmerman were also at Nationals Park for the announcement.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Now that he is with the St. Louis Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt is not thinking beyond 2019 season.
The six-time All-Star was acquired from Arizona this week and will earn $14.5 million in the final season of a seven-year deal that will pay $46 million, including a $1 million assignment bonus for the trade. If he doesn’t sign a new contract, he would be among the top free agents next offseason.
“Try not to have any distractions, so anything like that won’t be on my mind,” Goldschmidt said at his introductory news conference Friday. “I think the biggest thing is I’m excited to be here, excited to be part of this team and organization and just focused on getting ready for spring training and opening day and the season and trying to help us win.”
St. Louis has a history of acquiring sluggers and signing them to long-term contracts, such as Mark McGwire and Matt Holliday.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Free agent pitcher Garrett Richards and the San Diego Padres have finalized a $15.5 million, two-year contract.
Richards will earn $7 million next year and $8.5 million in 2020 as part of the deal announced Friday. He can earn an additional $2.5 million annually in performance bonuses: $250,000 for each start from 21 through 30.
Richards was 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA last season for the Los Angeles Angels before reconstructive surgery in July. The 30-year-old right-hander was 45-38 with a 3.54 ERA with the Angels since 2011.
MABANK, Texas (AP) — Former two-time All-Pro linebacker Isiah Robertson was killed when the limousine he was driving skidded on a rain-slicked curve on a dark, rural East Texas highway and was hit by two other vehicles.
The Texas Department of Public Safety reports the crash happened about 10 p.m. Thursday. A DPS statement says the limousine Robertson was driving entered the curve at an unsafe speed for the rainy conditions. It veered off the road and skidded sideways before coming to a stop partially on the road. A pickup truck following behind hit the limo, knocking the limo into the southbound lane where it was slammed by an oncoming car.
Robertson, a 69-year-old Garland resident, was taken to an Athens hospital 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, where he died. The truck driver was treated for minor injuries and discharged. The other car driver was unhurt.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears removed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from their injury list Friday, clearing the way for a start Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams.
Coach Matt Nagy said there should be no limitations on Trubisky, who missed the last two games with a right shoulder injury.
Chase Daniel led the Bears to a 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day and Daniel was the quarterback again last Sunday in a 30-27 loss to the New York Giants.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.
The league announced the suspension Friday, a few hours after the Jets completed their last full practice before leaving for Buffalo to play the Bills on Sunday.
The suspension begins immediately, meaning Lee will sit out the team’s final four games of the season.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Matthew Dellavedova has returned to the Cavaliers, who look nothing like they did when he left.
Cleveland acquired the scrappy guard on Friday in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, who also parted with forward John Henson and two draft picks in 2021 for guard George Hill and forward Sam Dekker. The Bucks sent Dekker to the Washington Wizards for forward Jason Smith.
The Cavs are receiving Milwaukee’s 2021 first- and second-round picks as well as a 2022 second-round pick from the Wizards.
Nicknamed “Delly,” Dellavedova helped the Cavs win an NBA title in 2016 and is a huge fan favorite.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Warriors center Damian Jones underwent surgery for a torn left pectoral muscle.
Golden State said Friday that Jones had the procedure Wednesday in Chicago, performed by Dr. Benjamin Domb. Jones is expected to begin the rehab process in six weeks with a timetable to be determined based on his progress.
CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Morgan has been named U.S. Soccer’s Player of the Year for a second time after leading the national team with 18 goals in 19 games and helping it earn a spot in the World Cup next year in France.
Defender Tierna Davidson, who started in her first nine national team appearances, was named Young Player of the Year, U.S. Soccer announced Friday. The 19-year-old’s college season at Stanford was cut short when she broke her ankle in September.
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech hired Temple coach Geoff Collins on Friday, choosing a Georgia native with a background in defense to replace Paul Johnson as the Yellow Jackets coach.
Collins, 47, is a former Florida and Mississippi State defensive coordinator and Georgia Tech assistant who was 15-10 in two seasons at Temple.
Before his time at Florida (2015-16) and Mississippi State (2011-14), Collins was a graduate assistant and tight ends coach at Georgia Tech under coach George O’Leary from 1999-2001. He returned to serve as recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech under coach Chan Gailey in 2006.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Liberty has hired former Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze to lead its football program.
Freeze will replace Turner Gill, who resigned after his seventh season to spend more time with his ailing wife. The Flames finished 6-6 this season, their first competing at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, and were 47-35 under Gill.
Freeze, 49, spent five years at Mississippi and led the Rebels to a 39-25 record and four bowl games. He resigned in the summer of 2017 amid a scandal in which school officials discovered he used a university-issued cellphone to call escort services.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas running back Pooka Williams was suspended by the Jayhawks on Friday after his arrest on suspicion of domestic battery, the same day the star freshman was chosen Big 12 newcomer of the year.
Williams, whose given name is Anthony Ray Williams, was involved in a physical confrontation at a Lawrence apartment complex Thursday, university police said in a statement. The woman reported minor injuries, and the incident report indicates that she sustained injuries from bodily force.
Williams was interviewed later Thursday and arrested at the university public safety office. He was due in court later Friday, and his case has been forwarded to the Douglas County District Attorney.
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut will retire the numbers of former basketball stars Ray Allen and Rebecca Lobo.
The numbers 34 and 50 will become the first retired by the school during a ceremony in March. The university says it’s an honor reserved for Hall of Famers.
Lobo led the UConn women’s team to a 35-0 record and the first of 11 national championships in 1995. She wore No. 50 and finished her career with 2,133 points, 1,268 rebounds and 396 blocked shots. She played seven seasons in the WNBA.
Allen was a first-team All-American in 1996. He scored 1,922 points at UConn and led the men to an 89-13 record during his three years in Storrs. He went on to play 18 seasons in the NBA, becoming the most prolific 3-point shooter in league history.
NEW YORK (AP) — St. John’s will honor the late Hall of Fame basketball writer Jim O’Connell of The Associated Press with a patch on game uniforms Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
O’Connell, an alumnus, was a fixture covering sports at the Garden. He died in July at 64.
St. John’s players will wear a red patch featuring his nickname “Oc” for the Holiday Festival game against Princeton. The Garden also will place a permanent plaque at his workspace in the media room.
O’Connell had been the AP’s national college basketball writer since 1987. He was a former president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In 2002, he was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Award.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tim Rossovich, a consensus All-America defensive end at Southern California who played in the NFL before going on to an acting career, has died. He was 72.
Rossovich died Thursday in Sacramento after a long illness, the school said Friday.
Rossovich played at USC from 1965-67 and appeared in two Rose Bowls. He was co-captain of the 1967 team that won the national championship. Rossovich was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
He was selected with the 14th pick of the 1968 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and played linebacker for them from 1968-71, getting named to the 1969 Pro Bowl. He also played for the San Diego Chargers in 1972-73 and Houston Oilers in 1976.
Rossovich also played for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League in 1974 and ’75.
After his football career ended, Rossovich spent two decades as an actor and stuntman. At USC, he roomed with actor Tom Selleck, on whose hit “Magnum, P.I.” Rossovich later appeared.