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Archive for Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gonzalez tapped All-Pro

January 10, 2009

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— A changing of the guard — and tackles and running backs and receivers — saw 15 first-timers make the Associated Press 2008 NFL All-Pro team announced Friday.

One constant, however, was Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez, who made his fifth All-Pro team.

While such standbys as three-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning and six-time All-Pro Ray Lewis made the squad, there was plenty of room for newcomers. Ten of the 14 offensive players and five of the 13 on defense had never been All-Pros.

And there was room for one unanimous selection by a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL: safety Ed Reed, Lewis’ teammate in Baltimore.

“He has a tremendous feel for the game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Reed, who made his third All-Pro squad.

Reed was joined in the secondary by Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, making his second All-Pro squad, and two of the newcomers: cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan of Tennessee and Nnamdi Osumagha of Oakland.

Other first-timers on defense were Pittsburgh outside linebacker James Harrison, the AP Defensive Player of the Year; end Justin Tuck of the New York Giants; and inside linebacker Jon Beason of Carolina.

The slew of new All-Pros on offense included running backs Michael Turner of Atlanta and Adrian Peterson of Minnesota; fullback Je’Ron McClain of Baltimore; wideouts Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona and Andre Johnson of Houston; tackles Michael Roos of Tennessee and Jordan Gross of Carolina; guard Chris Snee of the Giants; place-kicker Stephen Gostkowski of New England; and kick returner Leon Washington of the New York Jets.

There were six repeaters from last year’s team: Reed, Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware; defensive tackles Albert Haynesworth of Tennessee and Kevin Williams of Minnesota; defensive end Jared Allen of Minnesota, who was with the Chiefs in 2007; and Vikings guard Steve Hutchinson.

Titans center Kevin Mawae was chosen for the third time. Punter Shane Lechler of Oakland made his fourth team.

NFL

Titans center ruled out

Nashville, Tenn. — All-Pro center Kevin Mawae won’t play in the Tennessee Titans’ AFC divisional playoff game with the Baltimore Ravens today. Mawae has not practiced since hurting his right elbow Dec. 21. The team issued its final injury report Friday and listed Mawae as out. That means second-year lineman Leroy Harris will start his second straight game and his first playoff game.

L.T. listed as doubtful

San Diego — LaDainian Tomlinson was officially listed as doubtful by the San Diego Chargers on Friday, two days before they play at Pittsburgh in the AFC divisional playoffs.

Tomlinson himself said he was doubtful two days earlier, and there’s a growing expectation that the 2006 NFL MVP won’t play due to a detached tendon in his groin.

Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates (ankle) is listed as questionable, and kicker Nate Kaeding (groin, ankle) is probable. Tomlinson and Gates missed practice all week. Kaeding missed practice Thursday and Friday after spraining his ankle in practice on Wednesday.

BASEBALL

Royals sign Bloomquist

Kansas City, Mo. — Utilityman Willie Bloomquist agreed Friday to a $3.1 million, two-year contract.

Kansas City also agreed to a $1.3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Kyle Davies, who had been eligible for salary arbitration.

The 31-year-old Bloomquist spent all seven of his big-league seasons with the Seattle Mariners. He has a .263 career batting average and has made at least 10 starts at every position except pitcher and catcher.

Davies went 9-7 last season with a 4.06 earned-run average in 21 starts for Kansas City. The 25-year-old right-hander was 4-1 in September with a 2.27 ERA.

Dodgers, Estes agree

Los Angeles — Pitcher Shawn Estes has agreed to terms of a minor-league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that could be worth as much as $1.55 million. The 35-year-old left-hander had a 2-3 record with a 4.74 ERA in nine games for San Diego last season.

Ex-Pirates pitcher dies

Morgantown, W.Va. — Dave Roberts, a left-handed pitcher who played for the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates during a 13-year career in the majors, died of lung cancer Friday. He was 64. Roberts died at his home in Short Gap, according to his wife, Carol, and stepdaughter Kristy Rogan.

Penny deal finalized

Boston — The Boston Red Sox have finalized a one-year contract with pitcher Brad Penny, a deal worth about $5 million. The 30-year-old Penny is a two-time All-Star who struggled with injuries to his shoulder and side last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He went 6-9 with a 6.27 ERA.

Mets, Redding agree

New York — The New York Mets moved to add a pitcher while still negotiating with higher-profile free agents, reaching a preliminary agreement with Tim Redding on a $2.25 million, one-year contract.

A right-hander who turns 31 next month, Redding was 10-11 with a 4.95 ERA last season for the Washington Nationals — the only 10-game winner on the team.

GOLF

Ogilvy leads in Hawaii

Kapalua, Hawaii — Geoff Ogilvy three-putted his last two holes Friday, which ended his impressive streak without a bogey, but didn’t cost him the lead in the Mercedes-Benz Championship. Flawless over the first 34 holes, Ogilvy stumbled home to a 5-under 68 on a gorgeous and generous day for scoring, giving him a one-shot lead over D.J. Trahan going into the weekend of the PGA Tour’s season-opener at Kapalua. Ogilvy was at 11-under 135, still in the lead but losing a chance to separate himself from the field.

TENNIS

Murray defeats Federer

Doha, Qatar — Defending champion Andy Murray beat Roger Federer, 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2, on Friday to reach the final of the Qatar Open, his fourth straight win over the former top-ranked player. Murray, who improved his career record against Federer to 5-2 in tour matches, will face Andy Roddick in today’s final. Roddick reached the final by defeating Gael Monfils, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3.

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