Off the wire

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

TOUR DE FRANCE Sa­gan grabs 3rd stage

Peter Sa­gan, shak­ing off an equip­ment glitch, bagged his eighth ca­reer Tour de France stage vic­tory on Mon­day with an im­pres­sive dis­play of power and quick-think­ing on a short, sharp fi­nal up­hill dash to the fin­ish line in Longwy, France. Geraint Thomas of Team Sky re­tained the yel­low jersey he’s held since the open­ing stage in Ger­many, as the race swung into France, to the for­mer steel town of Longwy. Team Sky team­mates Thomas and three­time cham­pion Chris Froome got through Stage 3 un­scathed. Aus­tralian rider Richie Porte, a con­tender for over­all vic­tory, pow­ered away from the pack in the first stages of the climb. But Sa­gan was watch­ing closely be­hind him and never let Porte get too far ahead. Sa­gan seemed to be cruis­ing to vic­tory un­til his right foot slipped out of his pedal in the last few hun­dred feet. “I said to my­self, ‘What’s hap­pen­ing?’ ” the Slo­vak star of the Ger­man Bora-Hans­grohe team said. But he clipped his foot back into place and held off Michael Matthews, an Aus­tralian with Sun­web, and Dan Martin, an Ir­ish­man with Quick­step. Porte fin­ished the stage in the same group as Froome and Thomas — two sec­onds be­hind Sa­gan and other rid­ers who went all out for the stage vic­tory.


Fox sports exec fired

Jamie Horowitz, who over­saw pro­gram­ming and dig­i­tal news oper­a­tions for Fox Sports, was abruptly fired Mon­day af­ter two years on the job. Fox Sports Pres­i­dent Eric Shanks, in an email to em­ploy­ees an­nounc­ing Horowitz’s exit, al­luded to a ques­tion of con­duct. Fox Sports is an arm of me­dia mag­nate Ru­pert Mur­doch’s 21st Cen­tury Fox. Pa­tri­cia L. Gaser, an at­tor­ney for Horowitz, said the ac­cu­sa­tions were false. Horowitz, who joined Fox Sports Na­tional Net­works in May 2015 and served as pres­i­dent, re­ori­ented much of the pro­gram­ming to talk per­son­al­i­ties, in­clud­ing Skip Bayless, and away from news­gath­er­ing. Be­fore mov­ing to Fox, Horowitz had a brief ten­ure with NBC’s To­day. He was with ESPN from 2006 to 2014 and with NBC Sports from 2000 to 2006. In his email, Shanks said he will take on Horowitz’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, in­clud­ing pro­gram­ming, mar­ket­ing and sched­ul­ing for chan­nels FS1 and FS2, un­til a re­place­ment is hired.


Terry goes to As­ton Villa

For­mer Chelsea cap­tain John Terry signed a one-year deal with sec­ond-di­vi­sion club As­ton Villa on Mon­day, three days af­ter end­ing a 22-year association with the Lon­don club. Terry, 36, made more than 700 ap­pear­ances for Chelsea — most of them as cap­tain. He said his affin­ity for the club made him turn down of­fers from other Pre­mier League teams, so he wouldn’t have to play against his for­mer club.

HOCKEY Stars sign Radulov

Alexan­der Radulov on Mon­day be­came the rich­est player in a re­strained NHL free-agent mar­ket by sign­ing a $31.25 mil­lion, five-year deal with the Dal­las Stars. Radulov, a 30-year-old winger, left the Cana­di­ens for a con­tract that’s worth al­most $5 mil­lion more than Kevin Shat­tenkirk’s with the New York Rangers and ties Karl Alzner’s with Mon­treal for the long­est signed by an un­re­stricted free agent this off­sea­son. Radulov and Ales Hem­sky, 33, traded places on Day 3 of free agency. Hem­sky signed a $1 mil­lion, one-year deal with Mon­treal. The Cana­di­ens made a last­ditch at­tempt to match the Stars’ of­fer to Radulov, who de­cided not to re­nege on his ver­bal agree­ment. Hem­sky could be a bar­gain move for the Cana­di­ens as they at­tempt to re­place Radulov’s pro­duc­tion of 18 goals and 36 as­sists. Hem­sky missed a ma­jor­ity of last sea­son af­ter in­jur­ing his hip at the World Cup of Hockey and un­der­go­ing surgery, some­thing that con­trib­uted to the Stars miss­ing the play­offs.


Ex-NFL punter Ru­nager dies

Max Ru­nager, the for­mer NFL punter who helped the San Fran­cisco 49ers win the Su­per Bowl fol­low­ing the 1984 sea­son, has died. He was 61. The 49ers an­nounced Ru­nager’s death Sun­day, and The Times and Demo­crat of Orangeburg re­ported he was found dead Fri­day in his car in a park­ing lot in South Carolina. No foul play is sus­pected. Ru­nager played 11 sea­sons in the NFL af­ter be­ing drafted out of South Carolina by Philadel­phia in the eighth round in 1979. He spent his first five years with the Ea­gles, los­ing the Su­per Bowl af­ter the 1980 sea­son be­fore join­ing San Fran­cisco in 1984. Ru­nager fin­ished his ca­reer with 661 ca­reer punts and a 40.2 yards-per-punt av­er­age.


Monk signs with Hornets

The Char­lotte Hornets have signed first-round draft pick Malik Monk (Ben­tonville, Lepanto), the 11th choice in the NBA draft. Con­tract terms were not im­me­di­ately avail­able Mon­day. Monk, the SEC’s player of the year, av­er­aged 19.8 points, 2.5 re­bounds and 2.3 as­sists as a fresh­man at Ken­tucky. Monk is not par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Hornets’ sum­mer league games be­cause of an an­kle in­jury. He was hurt dur­ing work­outs be­fore the NBA draft.

Lak­ers ink Ball, 2 oth­ers

The Los An­ge­les Lak­ers have signed first-round draft picks Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart. Ball is ex­pected to make $33.4 mil­lion over four years in his con­tract slot as the sec­ond over­all pick. Ball led the na­tion in as­sists dur­ing his only sea­son at UCLA. Kuzma is a power for­ward cho­sen with the 27th over­all se­lec­tion. The Lak­ers ac­quired the pick in a draft­night trade with Brook­lyn. Hart was se­lected by the Jazz with the 30th over­all pick and traded to Los An­ge­les. He was the Big East’s player of the year at Vil­lanova last sea­son.

Bar­bosa’s op­tion de­clined

The Phoenix Suns de­clined a team op­tion on guard Le­an­dro Bar­bosa on Mon­day, sav­ing the team $3.5 mil­lion in salary cap space. Bar­bosa, 34, had a $4 mil­lion con­tract for next sea­son, with $500,000 guar­an­teed. Bar­bosa’s en­tire con­tract would have been picked up if he was on the ros­ter past Mon­day. Bar­bosa av­er­aged 6.3 points and shot 43 per­cent, in­clud­ing 35.7 per­cent from three-point range, in 67 games last sea­son dur­ing his sec­ond stint with Phoenix. Bar­bosa has av­er­aged 10.6 points in 14 NBA sea­sons that in­cluded stops in Toronto, In­di­ana and Golden State.

Billups says no to Cavs

Chauncey Billups with­drew his name from con­sid­er­a­tion to be the next gen­eral man­ager for the Cleve­land Cava­liers. The for­mer All-Star guard had been in dis­cus­sions with Cava­liers owner Dan Gil­bert about join­ing the Eastern Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons, but Billups said the “tim­ing just isn’t right.” The Cavs have been look­ing for a gen­eral man­ager since David Grif­fin parted with the club just be­fore the draft. Grif­fin helped guide Cleve­land to three con­sec­u­tive Fi­nals ap­pear­ances but could not re­solve is­sues with Gil­bert, who has yet to give a con­tract ex­ten­sion to any of the four GMs who have worked for him since 2005. Billups, 40, does not have any front-of­fice ex­pe­ri­ence, but his solid rep­u­ta­tion at­tracted him to Gil­bert, who has known him since he played for the Pis­tons. It is be­lieved Gil­bert asked Billups to be the pres­i­dent of bas­ket­ball oper­a­tions. Billups re­leased a state­ment to ESPN on his de­ci­sion. He’s an an­a­lyst for the net­work.


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