Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief
December 15, 2012, 7:39 am
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Stars from several different sports took to Twitter to try and cope with the school shooting in Connecticut, and the NFL asked each of its teams to observe a moment of silence before this weekend's games to pay respect to the victims.

A man killed his mother at home and then opened fire inside an elementary school, slaying 26 people, including 20 children. The 20-year-old killer, carrying two handguns, then committed suicide at the school.

From the full slate of NBA games to high school and college football finals, there were moments of silences at sporting events of all sizes. The overhead videoboard at the Barclays Center showed a candle and the town seal of Newtown as the Nets and Pistons paused for reflection before their game in Brooklyn.

Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant wrote ``Newtown CT'' on both shoes for the Thunder's 113-103 victory over Sacramento.

HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) Anticipating a possible antitrust suit, the NHL brought its labor fight against hockey players to federal court.

The league filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court in New York, seeking to establish that its now 90-day lockout is legal. In a separate move, the NHL filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the players' association has bargained in bad faith.

The NHL said it believes the union's executive board is seeking authorization to give up its collective bargaining rights, a necessary step before players could file an antitrust lawsuit. The moves were made after the sides held a bargaining teleconference, following two days of talks that included federal mediators.

Players' association special counsel Steve Fehr, meanwhile, declined to comment on the lawsuits or to confirm the union's plans regarding a so-called disclaimer of interest.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees were hit with an $18.9 million luxury tax by Major League Baseball, the 10th consecutive year they will pay a penalty for their spending.

The team finished with a $222.5 million payroll for purposes of the tax, according to figures sent to teams and obtained by The Associated Press.

Following its payroll-shedding trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer, Boston finished just $47,177 under the $178 million threshold. The Los Angeles Angels wound up at $176.7 million and Philadelphia at $174.5 million.

Figures include average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades and $10.8 million per team in benefits.

DETROIT (AP) - Right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract with the Tigers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Sanchez was a part of Detroit's four-man rotation that led the franchise to World Series this year. He had a 1.77 ERA in 20 1-3 innings over three postseason starts, but was 1-2 because Detroit was shut out in each of his losses.

NEW YORK (AP) - Kevin Youkilis and the Yankees finalized their $12 million, one-year contract, giving New York a third baseman for the first half of next season while Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery.

The deal with the three-time All-Star had been agreed to Tuesday, pending a physical.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Jon Vilma urged a federal judge to reject NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's motion to dismiss the defamation lawsuit filed against him by the Saints linebacker.

Vilma's request to U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan argues Goodell acted with ``reckless disregard for the truth'' when basing initial allegations about Vilma upon one fired Saints assistant, Mike Cerullo, whose testimony has been inconsistent and challenged by other witnesses in the NFL's bounty probe of the Saints.

The motion centers on Goodell's public comments that Vilma held up $10,000 cash in a team meeting in 2010, offering it to anyone who knocked Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner out of a playoff game. During recent NFL appeal hearings in the bounty case, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams testified he never saw any money.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Giants will play a critical game this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons without their leading rusher.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that Ahmad Bradshaw will not play Sunday due to lingering knee and foot problems.

Bradshaw, who has 869 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, has played through injury before. But the sprained knee the six-year veteran suffered Sunday in the 52-27 win over New Orleans did not recover in time for him to practice this week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Kliff Kingsbury was formally introduced as the new head coach at Texas Tech, where he starred as the quarterback of some of Mike Leach's high-flying offenses.

The former offensive coordinator at Houston and, most recently, Texas A&M, said those jobs were purely business.

Kingsbury, a mentor to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel this year and the first in a string of record-setting Red Raiders quarterbacks, was hired Wednesday to succeed Tommy Tuberville, who left unexpectedly for Cincinnati less than a week ago after logging three losing Big 12 seasons in West Texas.

The 33-year-old Kingsbury has never been a head coach. He's the youngest head coach of a BCS school and the second-youngest in the Football Bowl Subdivision behind Toledo's Matt Campbell.

Kingsbury has a four-year deal that averages $2 million a year.

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Open tennis tournament is moving the women's final to Sunday and men's final to Monday in 2013, building in a day of rest ahead of each title match for the first time.

The U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the Grand Slam event played in New York, announced the changes- but only for next year. A decision about 2014 and beyond probably will come after the 2013 tournament, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said.

Rain forced the USTA to postpone the men's final from its scheduled Sunday slot to Monday each of the past five years.