Ex-Brave to join Brewers’ bullpen
The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a one-year, $2.25 million deal with free-agent left-handed relief pitcher Mike Gonzalez, according to a Fox Sports report.
Gonzalez, a 34-year-old former Atlanta Brave, had a 3.03 ERA in 47 appearances with the Washington Nationals in 2012.
He held left-handed batters to a .179 average last season.
British cyclist, sailor knighted
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Olympic champion sailor Ben Ainslie were honored with knighthoods by Queen Elizabeth II in her New Year list.
Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, and won the Olympic time trial 11 days later in the London Games.
Ainslie’s won his fourth consecutive gold medal to become the most successful Olympic sailor ever.
The pair headed a special, Olympic-heavy honors list that contains all of Britain’s gold medalists as well as coaches and top officials.
Sebastian Coe, who masterminded the smooth running of the games as chairman of the London organizing committee, was awarded a Companion of Honour – a title given to no more than 65 people at one time. Tennis player Andy Murray was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Richardson wins long-track title
In Kearns, Utah, Heather Richardson won the women’s 500 meters with the fastest time in the world this year Friday at the U.S. Long Track Championships, while Mitch Whitmore took the men’s sprint title on the second day of competition.
Richardson set a national record of 37.51 seconds in her first race, then lowered it to 37.34 in her second 500, giving her a combined time of 74.850 and the title at the Utah Olympic Oval.
Brittany Bowe finished second with a combined time of 76.370. Lauren Cholewinski was third with a combined time of 74.040.
• In Semmering, Austria, Anna Fenninger, of Austria, had two near-perfect runs to win a World Cup giant slalom Friday, while second-place Tina Maze, of Slovenia, extended her lead in the overall standings.
Fenninger posted the fastest time in both runs on the Panorama course and finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 13.09 seconds to beat Maze by 1.10 in difficult conditions because of snowfall. American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin finished eighth.
Ferguson fires back at critics
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson hit back at criticism of his on-field confrontation with a Premier League referee, saying the incident has been “overplayed.”
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew suggested Ferguson could have been punished for approaching referee Mike Dean after Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Newcastle, after a dubious goal was awarded to the visitors.
Ferguson says Friday he was “demonstrative but ... not out of order,” adding “it is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world – not Newcastle, a wee club in the north east.”
Ferguson, who escaped punishment for the incident, also criticized Pardew as “the worst at haranguing referees.”
However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shared Pardew’s view, saying Friday “should you behave like that? No… you have to be punished.”