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Archive for Friday, July 31, 2009

Boxing legend’s death ruled suicide

July 31, 2009

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BOXING

Gatti’s death ruled suicide

Rio De Janeiro — Boxer Arturo Gatti’s death was ruled a suicide by police Thursday, and his wife, once suspected of killing the former champion, was released from jail.

Lead investigator Paulo Alberes told the Associated Press authorities decided Gatti killed himself on July 11 while at a seaside resort in northeastern Brazil.

When asked if police had determined the case was a suicide, Alberes said “yes.”

The boxer’s wife, 23-year-old Amanda Rodrigues, said in a phone interview as she walked out of jail she thinks Gatti may have killed himself because he was afraid she was going to leave him after the pair had a violent disagreement in public the night before his death.

A day after the 37-year-old Gatti was found dead, police said that Rodrigues had strangled him with her purse strap as he drunkenly slept.

GOLF

Norman shares Senior lead

Carmel, Ind. — Greg Norman looked like his old self Thursday in the first round of the U.S. Senior Open.

There were the trademark drives, the string of birdies and those customary big crowds following his every move. He even rekindled an image he’d rather forget: a last-hole struggle.

Norman birdied four straight holes on the front nine, but a bogey on the final hole left him in a four-way tie with Joey Sindelar, Dan Forsman and amateur Tim Jackson at 6-under 66. Andy Bean and Fulton Allem are both one shot back at 67.

The suddenly rejuvenated Tom Watson delivered on his promise of playing conservatively because of an illness that limited him to just one practice round. Watson, who lost the British Open in a playoff two weeks ago, finished Thursday with a 1-under 71. Jackson broke the record for low score by an amateur at this tournament.

Woods opens with 71

Grand Blanc Township, Mich. — Tiger Woods shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday at the Buick Open, his first tournament since missing the cut at the British Open.

He finished the first round eight shots back of leader Steve Lowery. If Woods fails to break 70 in the second round this morning, he will put himself in danger of missing cuts in consecutive tournaments for the first time as a pro.

Lowery took advantage of perfect conditions in the morning by tying a course record with a 29 on the front nine and finishing 9-under 63.

John Senden also did, making five straight birdies in the morning and finishing with nine to end up only a shot off the lead. Y.E. Yang, James Nitties, Vaughn Taylor and Brian Vranesh were two strokes back with 65s.

Gal leads Women’s British

Lytham St. Annes, England — Sandra Gal shot a 3-under 69 to grab the lead after the first round of the Women’s British Open. She finished a shot ahead of Angela Stanford and Song-Hee Kim, who each posted a 70 earlier.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Hawaii coach apologizes

Honolulu — Hawaii coach Greg McMackin apologized Thursday for making a derogatory remark while describing Notre Dame’s chant during a dinner banquet leading up to last year’s Hawaii Bowl.

McMackin used the gay slur during a media briefing at the Western Athletic Conference football preview in Salt Lake City.

Spurrier regrets uproar

Blythewood, S.C. — Steve Spurrier has more regrets over his All-Southeastern Conference ballot: That he took his omission of Florida’s Tim Tebow from the first team so seriously and that he involved one of his most trusted staffers. The South Carolina coach said Thursday he made way too big a deal of not voting for the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at the Southeastern Conference’s annual media gathering.

BASEBALL

Cubs acquire Gorzelanny

Chicago — The Chicago Cubs have left-handed pitchers Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a five-player trade. Gorzelanny, a Kansas University product who was 14-10 with a 3.88 earned-run average for Pittsburgh in 2007, has spent most of this year at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Locked in a tight race atop the NL Central, the Cubs sent right-handers Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio and minor-league infielder Josh Harrison to the Pirates on Thursday for Grabow and Gorzelanny.

Grabow, a top situational lefty, is 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA in 45 appearances.

The 26-year-old Hart was traded minutes after pitching Chicago to a 12-3 victory over Houston on Thursday. He is 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA in eight games, including four starts.

Dodgers deal for Sherrill

Baltimore — Looking to add a big arm to their bullpen, the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers reached an agreement Thursday to acquire former All-Star closer George Sherrill from the Baltimore Orioles. The rebuilding Orioles would receive third baseman Josh Bell and right-hander Steve Johnson, both of whom were at Double-A Chattanooga. The deal won’t become finalized until all three players pass physicals.

Royals acquire Anderson

Baltimore — The Kansas City Royals have acquired outfielder Josh Anderson from the Detroit Tigers for cash.

The trade was announced Thursday before Kansas City played the finale of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

The 26-year-old Anderson hit .242 with 16 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 74 games with Detroit this year. He was designated for assignment by the Tigers on July 24 when Carlos Guillen was activated from the disabled list.

Anderson is a career .283 hitter with three homers and 39 RBIs with Houston, Atlanta and Detroit. He is expected to join the Royals today in Tampa, Fla.

SWIMMING

Records keep falling

Rome — Michael Phelps was sitting in the stands. It didn’t matter. Seven more world records on the fifth night of the world swimming championships pushed the total to 29, sending Rome right on past last summer’s Beijing Olympics that were thought to be the limit of speed in the pool.

With Phelps cheering him on, Ryan Lochte got things rolling by breaking Phelps’ mark in the 200-meter individual medley. The Chinese women finished it off, eclipsing the 800-freestyle relay mark by more than two seconds, with the Americans also breaking the previous record but only getting silver.

More than half of the 13 races held Thursday night, including semifinals and finals, produced world records. They were falling so fast, the crowd barely had time to cheer before another mark dropped.

OLYMPICS

USOC close to deal

Colorado Springs, Colo. — The U.S. Olympic Committee moved closer to keeping its headquarters in Colorado Springs on Thursday when the board signed off on revised terms of a deal with the city.

TENNIS

Serena reaches quarters

Stanford, Calif. — Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Premier Bank of the West Classic, beating Hungary’s Melinda Czink, 6-3, 7-6 (7). Williams, seeded first and ranked No. 2, has won nine straight matches and 13 of 14.

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