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Sports

Ankiel to play center for Royals

Injury-prone Guillen to become designated hitter

January 26, 2010

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— The Kansas City Royals are reshaping their entire outfield and making Jose Guillen their full-time designated hitter.

While introducing newcomer Rick Ankiel on Monday, general manager Dayton Moore said the injury-prone Guillen would be replaced in right field by David DeJesus, last year’s left fielder. Ankiel will play center, and Scott Podsednik, another newcomer, will be in left.

The Royals opened last year with Coco Crisp in center field, but he got hurt, and the position mostly belonged to Mitch Maier after that.

“We feel that right now, going into spring training, this is the best way to position our outfield defense,” Moore said. “These three guys are all capable of playing center field. We felt Rick’s best use is to put him in center field at this time.”

Guillen is slated to make $13 million this season. He was bothered by leg injuries much of last year and has been a streaky, spotty hitter since signing a $36 million free-agent contract two years ago.

Ankiel agreed to a free-agent contract last week after a novel career in St. Louis, where he came up as a pitcher but converted to the outfield in 2006. He was doing well until running into an outfield wall last May, and his production declined.

“That was tough,” he said. “Just coming back was a long process, getting over the stiffness and soreness. I think I probably tried to come back and do some things I probably wasn’t capable of doing.”

He was carted off the field, but gave the crowd a thumbs-up sign and was put on the disabled list on May 7. He returned on May 24 against the Royals but hit just .231 for the year, with 38 RBIs and 11 home runs in 372 at-bats. In 2008, he hit .264 with 71 RBIs and 25 home runs in 413 at-bats.

MLB

Guillen: No Thome

Chicago — White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told veteran slugger Jim Thome he won’t be asked to rejoin the team as a designated hitter.

Thome, who played three-plus seasons with the White Sox before he was traded to the Dodgers on Aug. 31, was interested in returning to Chicago.

Tennis

Henin advances to semis

Melbourne, Australia — Former No. 1-ranked Justine Henin reached the semifinals in her Grand Slam comeback, beating Nadia Petrova, 7-6 (3), 7-5, today to take out the last seeded player in her half of the Australian Open draw.

Henin, unranked and playing on a wild-card entry at Melbourne Park, next will play Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie, who beat Russia’s Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-3 to equal her Chinese record for the best run at a major.

Henin went down a break in the second set before finding the range with her powerful groundstrokes and winning seven of the next nine games to finish off No. 19-seeded Petrova.

NBA

2nd Wizard pleads guilty

Washington — Washington Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge Monday, explaining he had a pistol because he feared teammate Gilbert Arenas would shoot him or blow up his car after the two argued over a card game.

The hearing marked the first time authorities confirmed Crittenton was the other player involved in the confrontation with Arenas, who pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to a felony gun charge.

Bulls trade for Brown

Chicago — The New Orleans Hornets have traded starting shooting guard Devin Brown to the Chicago Bulls for backup 7-foot center Aaron Gray.

NFL

Brady: No surgery needed

Boston — Tom Brady said Monday he won’t need surgery for rib and finger injuries that bothered him for much of the season.

The New England Patriots quarterback described his ailments as “just bumps and bruises” that all players deal with.

Vikings DT might retire

Eden Prairie, Minn. — Brett Favre isn’t the only star player who could retire from the Minnesota Vikings.

Defensive tackle Pat Williams said Monday he’s “50-50” on whether he’ll return for the final year of his contract. At 37, Williams is the second-oldest player on the team behind the 40-year-old Favre.

Romo, Jenkins added

Irving, Texas — Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is going to his third Pro Bowl, while Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins will go for the first time.

The Cowboys announced Monday that Romo and Jenkins had been added to the NFC roster as injury replacements. Dallas has seven players going to Sunday’s game in Miami.

In other Pro Bowl additions:

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has earned his sixth trip to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for the Saints’ Drew Brees.

He’s Susan Lucci no more. London Fletcher is finally going to the Pro Bowl. The Washington Redskins middle linebacker has been promoted to the NFC roster because Jonathan Vilma is going to the Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning.

Five Jets coaches let go

Florham Park, N.J. — New York Jets coach Rex Ryan says five assistant coaches will not be back with the team next season, including assistant quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.

Ryan said Monday that the contracts of DeFilippo, assistant defensive backs coach Doug Plank, special-teams assistant Kevin O’Dea, pass-rush specialist Chuck Smith and defensive quality control coach Brian Smith had expired and would not be extended.

College football

Record money from bowls

Washington — The five college football conferences that don’t get automatic bids to the Bowl Championship Series will receive a record $24 million from this year’s bowl games, according to BCS figures obtained Monday by the Associated Press.

BU’s Griffin ‘feeling good’

Waco, Texas — Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin says his surgically repaired right knee is “feeling good” and that he’s running again.

Griffin had surgery on his right knee in mid-October to repair a torn ACL. He said Monday that he expects to be ready for the start of the 2010 season, but plans to wear a brace as a precaution. He will be limited in spring practice and likely won’t participate in contact drills.

‘Noles aide inks deal

Tallahassee, Fla. — New Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has agreed to a three-year deal with the school that guarantees him $400,000 a year.

The contract also allows Stoops to collect postseason bonuses based on his existing $205,000 base salary. Boosters will pay the additional $195,000 to Stoops, who signed a contract dated Sunday.

College basketball

Michigan reinstates guard

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Michigan coach John Beilein has reinstated guard Manny Harris after a weekend suspension for an incident at practice.

Beilein made the announcement Monday, a day before the team hosts No. 5 Michigan State.

Creighton guard suspended

Omaha, Neb. — Creighton has indefinitely suspended guard P’Allen Stinnett.

Coach Dana Altman said in a statement Monday that the Bluejays’ second-leading scorer is being disciplined for “conduct not acceptable to the team.” Altman declined to comment further.

UConn matches record

Connecticut is No. 1 in the Associated Press women’s basketball poll for the 36th straight week, matching Louisiana Tech (1980-82) for the longest run atop the Top 25. The Huskies again were the unanimous choice as the top team, receiving 40 first-place votes from a national media panel Monday.

Stanford remained No. 2, while Notre Dame moved back up to third.

Golf

Haas wins Hope Classic

La Quinta, Calif. — Bill Haas made a short birdie putt on the 18th hole to earn his first PGA Tour victory at the Bob Hope Classic, beating Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Bubba Watson by one stroke with an 8-under 64.

Haas was the last of three co-leaders to play the 18th, and an outstanding approach shot allowed him to two-putt his way to a 30-under 330 finish Monday.

Kuchar and South Africa’s Clark both had birdie chances on the par-5 18th at the Arnold Palmer Private course, but both missed their putts.

Comments

lelopaul 4 years, 10 months ago

Getting Guillien out of the outfield is a good move. He's a liability out there.

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