Wednesday's Sports in Brief

Wednesday's Sports in Brief
October 25, 2012, 8:05 am
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Pablo Sandoval and Barry Zito took star turns in getting the World Series off to a rollicking start.

Sandoval hit three home runs and joined Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only boppers to do it in the Series, and the San Francisco Giants jolted Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers 8-3 on Wednesday night in Game 1.

Left off the 2010 World Series roster by the champion Giants, Zito shut out the Tigers until Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera's RBI single in the sixth. The Giants won for the 14th straight time with Zito starting.

NEW YORK (AP) - Yankees manager Joe Girardi says he expects Alex Rodriguez to be his everyday third baseman next season despite benching the slugger several times during the postseason.

As for the rest of New York's lineup for 2013, Girardi is less certain.

Ace CC Sabathia is going to have his left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews. Several key players are headed for free agency and Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are two aging stars dealing with major injuries.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Islanders finally have a new home and it's in Brooklyn, the borough that is suddenly a hot bed of pro sports 54 years after baseball's Dodgers headed west.

``It's a new place and it's only 35 minutes away by train,'' team owner Charles Wang said at a news conference Wednesday. ``Come and join us and see hockey.''

After seven months of negotiations, and offers to move the team out of New York, Wang announced that the Islanders will relocate about 25 miles west once their lease expires at Nassau Coliseum after the 2014-15 season.

Since the day the Islanders entered the NHL in 1972, the Coliseum in Uniondale has been the place for them. It's where they grabbed the hockey spotlight, outshined the big, bad Rangers, and won the Stanley Cup four straight times from 1980-83.

But on Wednesday, the future became all about Brooklyn.

NEW YORK (AP) - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says it looks as if a full-82 game schedule ``is not going to be a reality,'' as the lockout nears its seventh week.

Speaking at a news conference announcing the New York Islanders' move from Nassau Coliseum to Brooklyn's Barclays Center in 2015, Bettman seemed resigned to looking at a shortened season with the NHL and the players' association still at odds after months of negotiations.

Bettman stated, in making the NHL's most recent offer, that a deal needed to be in place by Thursday for the season to begin Nov. 2 and allow for each team to play a full 82-game slate. With no negotiations scheduled, reaching a deal in one day appears very unlikely.

PRO FOOTBALL

The players' union and the four players suspended in the Saints' bounties case filed motions to have former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue removed from hearing their appeals.

They asked in U.S. District Court in New Orleans that Tagliabue recuse himself because of a conflict of interest, and also asked for a neutral arbitrator to be appointed by the court.

The NFL said it would oppose Tagliabue stepping aside.

NEW YORK (AP) - NFL great Lawrence Taylor, reliving a night to forget, admitted that he paid for sex with a ``very, very pretty'' prostitute in 2010 but denied accusations that he ignored obvious signs she was a teen runaway in distress.

Taylor, 53, told a Manhattan jury at a civil trial that he had a history of hiring women for ``company'' when on the road but didn't expect them to automatically have sex with him.

``I still like the chase,'' Taylor testified. But he added, ``I like to stack the odds in my favor. ... I don't like to work too hard.''

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns starting linebacker Scott Fujita will be placed on injured reserve with a neck injury, ending his stormy season - and perhaps his football career.

Fujita, one four players suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, was inactive the past two games. He last started on Oct. 7 in a game against the New York Giants.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Mario Williams is not expected to miss any games after the Buffalo Bills high-priced defensive end had what the team called ``a procedure'' to relieve discomfort in his injured left wrist.

Coach Chan Gailey provided the update, saying he expects Williams to return to practice next week once the Bills return from their bye weekend off. Gailey, was otherwise, very short on specifics in sharing any other details regarding the status of the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.

NEW YORK (AP) - There will be more pink visible on the field during the Dolphins-Jets game this weekend.

The NFL announced that officials will be using pink penalty flags for Sunday's game after an 11-year-old wrote Commissioner Roger Goodell with the suggestion.

In support of breast cancer awareness, pink has been highly visible this month, from coaches' caps to players' wristbands and cleats, and even officials' whistles. Dante Cano, a fifth-grader from Marlboro, N.J., then offered the idea of pink penalty flags. The NFL agreed and invited Cano and his family to MetLife Stadium; they will present the penalty flags to the officials before the game.

CYCLING

NEW YORK (AP) - Lance Armstrong's results erased from the record books will likely include his 868th-place finish at the 2006 New York City Marathon.

Marathon organizer New York Road Runners said in a statement Wednesday it expected to wipe out his times once any potential appeals play out, since the race follows USADA rulings.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad injured his right shoulder during practice.

A team spokesman said Muhammad was scheduled to undergo an MRI in the evening, and would be reevaluated on Thursday.

PRO BASKETBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are sitting out of the Los Angeles Lakers' preseason game against the Clippers, who are giving Chris Paul a rest on Wednesday night.

Bryant has a strained and bruised right foot, while Paul was hit accidentally by a teammate in practice.

Coach Mike Brown says he wanted to rest Howard, who was recovering from general soreness after his Lakers debut on Sunday.

Brown says Bryant won't play in San Diego against the Kings on Thursday night, when the Lakers conclude their preseason schedule. Bryant missed an exhibition game earlier this month to rest a sore right shoulder.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, helped off the field and taken to a hospital during Saturday's game, says he is fine and will be ready to go against Penn State.

OBITUARY

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - Jeff Blatnick, who overcame cancer to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympics and went on to a career as a sports commentator and motivational speaker, died Wednesday in New York state at age 55.

Officials at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y., said he died there of heart failure.

Blatnick was a high school state champion in suburban Albany in the mid-1970s and was a two-time Division II National champion and three-time Division II All-American at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

SOCCER

PARIS (AP) - Powerhouse clubs Real Madrid, AC Milan, Manchester City and Arsenal lost Champions League games, while Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 2-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb.

Nine-time European champion Real Madrid lost 2-1 at Borussia Dortmund; seven-time champion Milan's woeful season continued with a 1-0 loss at Malaga; City blew a 1-0 lead on the way to a 3-1 loss at Ajax; and Arsenal was humbled in a 2-0 home loss to German club Schalke.

TENNIS

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) - Roger Federer edged Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals of his hometown Swiss Indoors tournament.

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) - John Isner of the United States lost to David Goffin 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 in the second round at the Valencia Open.