Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief
October 30, 2012, 7:10 am
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The fury of Superstorm Sandy barely laid a glove on sports around the country.

While the storm flooded shore towns in the Northeast, washed away a section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk and shut down transit and school systems, sports emerged practically untouched on a quiet Monday.

Perhaps the biggest dislocation came in the NFL. The league moved its trade deadline back two days to 4 p.m. EDT Thursday because of potential complications from the storm.

Just as a combination of meteorological forces made for a particularly harsh storm, sports was spared Monday by a confluence of elements.

The World Series ended a day earlier. The Monday night football game was in Arizona. Hockey is shut down by labor problems. The NBA does not begin until Tuesday night. College basketball has not yet begun.

BASEBALL

Baseball's business began with the New York Yankees exercising $15 million options on second baseman Robinson Cano and center fielder Curtis Granderson, two of the disappointments in their AL championship series loss to the Detroit Tigers.

Oakland, the surprise AL West champion with a major league-low $59.5 million payroll, exercised a $4.5 million option for closer Grant Balfour and declined its half of a $10 million mutual option for shortstop Stephen Drew, who receives a $1.35 million buyout.

Minnesota declined a $9.25 million option on right-hander Scott Baker, who missed the entire season because of a torn elbow ligament. The Twins are interested in keeping him at a lower salary.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who haven't made the playoffs in three years, declined options on first baseman Juan Rivera ($4 million), right-hander Todd Coffey ($2.5 million) and catcher Matt Treanor ($950,000). Rivera gets a $500,000 buyout, Coffey $300,000 and Treanor $150,000.

NEW YORK (AP) The San Francisco Giants' sweep of the Detroit Tigers set a record low for the World Series' television ratings.

The four games on Fox averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. The previous low was an 8.4 for the 2008 Phillies-Rays and 2010 Giants-Rangers series, which each went five games.

Last year's Cardinals-Rangers World Series went the full seven games and built momentum to average a 10.0/16.

PRO FOOTBALL

Michael Vick remains the starting quarterback in Philadelphia, for now.

Three people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that coach Andy Reid hasn't benched Vick.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because all announcements about the starting lineup come from Reid. The Eagles' headquarters was closed due to Superstorm Sandy, and there was no media availability.

Vick, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, has struggled this season and Philadelphia (3-4) has lost three straight games.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Several corporate sponsors stepped up to help save the San Diego Chargers the embarrassment of having Thursday night's NFL Network game against the Kansas City Chiefs blacked out on local TV.

The NFL Network began showing Thursday night games in 2006 and has never had one blacked out.

The Chargers said the sponsors guaranteed the purchase of enough tickets to lift the blackout, which at one point seemed a certainty. Those tickets will be donated to local military bases and military hospitals.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Colts head coach Chuck Pagano made it back to the team complex for a short staff meeting.

It's the first time Pagano has been back since being diagnosed with a form of leukemia Sept. 26.

Interim coach and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians says he listened to the discussion after doctors cleared Pagano, whose white blood-cell count has increased as he has undergone treatment for the illness. He's scheduled to start a second round of chemotherapy next week.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Star defensive end Mario Williams had surgery on his left wrist and expects to play Sunday when the Buffalo Bills face the Houston Texans.

Williams said in the locker room Monday that the operation in Alabama was done to ``clean up'' his wrist and he can already detect better range of motion in his left hand.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The biggest man on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team got the most votes.

Seven-foot sophomore center Cody Zeller, the main reason Indiana is the preseason No. 1 for the first time in 33 years, was one vote shy of being a unanimous selection for the preseason All-America team.

Zeller, who averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 62.3 percent from the field, received 64 votes from the national media panel which selects the weekly Top 25.

Also on the team were junior forwards Doug McDermott of Creighton and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State and three guards - seniors Isaiah Canaan of Murray State and C.J. McCollum of Lehigh and sophomore Trey Burke of Michigan.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier says running back Marcus Lattimore told him he will be back on the field for the Gamecocks.

Spurrier spoke to a crowd of more than 1,000 players, students and fans who turned out to wish Lattimore a speedy recovery and a happy 21st birthday.

Lattimore dislocated his right knee and severely damaged several ligaments in a horrific injury Saturday against Tennessee.

PRO BASKETBALL

DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Mavericks are moving on without guard Delonte West, and their starting center for Tuesday night's season opener on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers will likely be someone who wasn't even on the roster a week ago.

The Mavericks waived West on Monday, the eve of a second straight season with a major roster makeover. West was part of the first retooling a year ago, and figured to be a valuable role player again before two suspensions in as many weeks for conduct detrimental to the team.

Dallas had to dump West to make room for Eddy Curry, a journeyman center who was picked up last week after San Antonio let him go. Curry likely will get the start against the Lakers because Chris Kaman and backup Brandon Wright are battling injuries.

THE NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Rule-breakers are about to find out just how tough the NCAA is going to be.

After debating changes for more than a year, the board of directors is poised to vote Tuesday on an enforcement proposal that would streamline the infractions process, impose harsher sanctions on the worst violators, expand the current two-tiered penalty structure to four and create a more standard set of penalty guidelines.

PENN STATE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Retired boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard said he cried for Jerry Sandusky's accusers after hearing of the former Penn State assistant football coach's arrest on child sex abuse charges nearly a year ago.

An abuse survivor himself, Leonard spoke at at Penn State's inaugural Child Sexual Abuse Conference, saying he hopes the accusers can draw from his own story and willingness to speak out about a problem that garnered national attention following the Sandusky scandal.

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison earlier this month after being convicted on dozens of criminal counts covering abuse allegations both on and off campus. Eight accusers testified at the June trial.

GOLF

ZHENGZHOU, China (AP) - Rory McIlroy outdueled Tiger Woods in the first one-on-one exhibition match between golf's two biggest names.

McIlroy shot a 5-under 67 to beat Woods by one stroke in an 18-hole match between the two top-ranked golfers at the Jinsha Lake Golf Club in central China.

SOCCER

ZURICH (AP) - Lionel Messi is in the running for a fourth consecutive FIFA world player of the year award.

Twenty-three candidates were announced, and Messi was joined by Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez on the Ballon d'Or shortlist.

Seven players for Spain are in contention after the national team retained its European Championship title in July. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is again the only England player on the list.

Italian players are in the mix for the first time in three years - Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and Juventus players Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon.

TENNIS

PARIS (AP) - Julien Benneteau was among three French winners in the opening round of the Paris Masters, downing Victor Troicki of Serbia 6-4, 7-5 to set up a match against countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.