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AP source: Yanks thinking of not making $6M payment to A-Rod

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Yankees are thinking about not making a $6 million payment to Alex Rodriguez if he hits six home runs and ties Willie Mays at 660 for fourth place on the career list.

Rodriguez signed a $275 million, 10-year contract with the team in December 2007 and a separate marketing agreement that called for $6 million payments for up to five milestone accomplishments designated by the Yankees. Each payment is due within 15 days of designation and is in exchange for rights such as using Rodriguez's name and image in selling licensed goods.

At the time of the marketing agreement, those accomplishments were contemplated to be tying the home run totals of Mays, Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and breaking Bonds' major league record.

Rodriguez returns to the team next month after a season-long drug suspension and has three seasons and $61 million in guaranteed money remaining in his contract.

New York's thought process on the $6 million payment, first reported by the Daily News, was described to The Associated Press on Monday by a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized. The Yankees are thinking of letting any accomplishment pass without declaring it a milestone.

A failure to declare a milestone and make a payment likely would trigger a grievance on Rodriguez's behalf by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Barring a settlement, the case would be heard by an arbitrator.

Rodriguez's spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, declined comment.

A-Rod met last week with Rob Manfred, who headed the investigation of the Biogenesis of the America clinic that led to the player's suspension for violation of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.

"Occasionally when players have an issue, they have asked me for advice, come to see me, wanted to talk to me about something," Manfred said Monday. "I don't put a particular significance on this meeting. It was one of those things. A player wanted to come in. We had a brief meeting."

Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, turns 40 in July, and the Yankees have said they plan to shift him from third base to designated hitter.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:36:00 +0000
Hope Solo could be left off US World Cup roster

Goalkeeper Hope Solo faces the possibility of being left off the American roster for this year's Women's World Cup if she fails to complete tasks set for her by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which may include alcohol counseling.

The 33-year-old was suspended for 30 days last Wednesday for what the U.S. Soccer Federation called "an incident that occurred during the current WNT training camp" in Carson, California.

Asked whether she could be omitted from the team's World Cup roster, USSF President Sunil Gulati said Monday: "Look, that's possible. We hope that's not the case. We hope she's making progress and joins the team. That's certainly the goal, hers and ours."

Jerramy Stevens, Solo's husband, was driving a team vehicle when he was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence, a person familiar with the details of the arrest told The Associated Press last week. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they could not discuss the case publicly.

Solo was ordered to refrain from drinking alcohol last June after she was arrested on domestic violence charges at her sister's home in Kirkland, Washington. The charge was dropped this month.

Speaking on a conference call with U.S. coach Jill Ellis, Gulati said he had to speak carefully because of the involvement of "health-related issues." Asked whether Solo had been asked to undergo alcohol counseling, Gulati said "I think neither of us denied or confirmed that."

"She's been given time to deal with some issues, and we think that in this period she'll certainly start that process, and we'll evaluate," he said.

Gulati said the length of the suspension was determined during conversations he had with Ellis and USSF Secretary General Dan Flynn.

"Thirty days seemed to be the appropriate suspension under our rules and given the circumstances," he said. "So there are a number of things that Hope is being asked to do in that 30 days. We're not going to get into the specifics of that. And then we'll evaluate where things stand at the end of that period and make the decision going forward."

Solo will miss exhibition games at France (Feb. 8) and at England (Feb. 13). She could return for the Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal in March.

"The situation warranted a consequence, and we thought it was reasonable," Ellis said. "This is important for us to be able to focus the players that we have on these games and then allow Hope some time to sort of reflect on some things. So I think as far as the specifics, like Sunil said, we're not going to get into those, but Hope and I had some very good conversations and I'm optimistic about moving forward."

Ellis said forward Alex Morgan was "fully integrated back into this training camp" reinjuring her left ankle Oct. 17 during a game against Guatemala at the CONCACAF Women's Championship. Morgan, who has 49 goals in 77 international appearances, was sidelined for seven months after injuring the same ankle during training in October 2013.

"She's coming along great. We're very excited about where she is," Ellis said.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 05:09:00 +0000
Visitation, memorial service set for Hall of Famer Banks

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Cubs say a public visitation and memorial service for Hall of Fame slugger Ernie Banks will be held Friday and Saturday in the city.

The visitation is scheduled for noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, with the memorial service at 10 a.m. Saturday at Chicago's Fourth Presbyterian Church. Limited public seating will be available.

Banks died Friday at 83 after a heart attack, according to an attorney representing his family. Known as "Mr. Cub," Banks is remembered as much for his boundless enthusiasm despite playing on mostly losing teams as his 512 home runs and two MVP awards.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 00:46:00 +0000
Coach K gets 1,000th win as No. 5 Duke tops St. John's 77-68

NEW YORK (AP) Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men's coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John's in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Tyus Jones scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (17-2) went on an 18-2 run down the stretch to put Krzyzewski in four figures on his first try.

Jahlil Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds, combining with Jones and Quinn Cook (17 points) to fuel the decisive spurt after Duke trailed by 10 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

When the final horn sounded, Blue Devils players engulfed Krzyzewski in front of their bench, and he received a bear hug from assistant Jeff Capel. Players were given T-shirts that read "1,000 and Kounting."

Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:44:00 +0000
AP Source: Browns WR Josh Gordon fails another drug test

CLEVELAND (AP) Josh Gordon's troubles have deepened. He may be out of chances - and time.

The wide receiver for the Browns has failed yet another drug test, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Sunday. Gordon, who has twice been suspended by the NFL for drug violations, could be banned for one year, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the testing.

ESPN, citing anonymous sources, first reported Gordon's failed test.

Cleveland's patience with Gordon has been pushed to its limits.

"Clearly we are very disappointed to hear the latest report regarding Josh," a Browns spokesman said Sunday in a release. "At this point, due to the confidential nature of the NFL's substance-abuse policy, we have not been made aware by the league of a failed test. We are in the process of gathering more information and will provide further comment at the appropriate time."

Agent Drew Rosenhaus said he could not comment on his client's situation. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined comment.

"I keep in touch with Josh a lot," Browns cornerback Joe Haden said Sunday night at the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. "He's actually renting my spot right now back in Cleveland. But I don't know about that. I'll find out about that in a little bit.

"I don't really know what the situation is, but I'm going to figure it out."

Gordon's latest misstep could lead to the team releasing the talented 23-year-old.

A Pro Bowl selection in 2013, he was suspended 10 games last season because he tested positive for marijuana. He returned for five games but failed to deliver the spark the Browns had hoped. He was then suspended by the Browns for violating team rules before the Dec. 28 season finale at Baltimore.

Gordon had missed the team's walk-through the previous day, and following the season coach Mike Pettine revealed that Gordon had been guilty of multiple violations during the season.

Gordon missed the first two games in 2013 but still led the league with 1,646 yards receiving and emerged as the one of the league's top playmakers.

Last year, he received a one-year suspension that was reduced to 10 games after the league and Player's Association revised its drug policies.

A second-round pick in the 2012 supplemental draft, Gordon signed a four-year contract worth $5.3 million as a rookie. He figured to cash in with a bigger contract following his monster '13 season, but Gordon's legal issues - he was arrested for drunken driving during his suspension last season - have clouded a bright future.

Gordon failed several drug tests while in college, but the Browns couldn't ignore his talent and gave up a second-round pick to select him three years ago. It seemed like an ingenious move when he was shredding defensive backfields, but now Gordon's days as a pro could be over.

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AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi and AP freelance writer Mike Cranston contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:42:00 +0000

 

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