Off the wire
Rose signs with Cavs
Free agent Derrick Rose agreed Monday to sign with Cleveland, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Rose, a former NBA MVP who has battled knee injuries, will get a one-year contract at the veteran’s minimum of $2.1 million, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the agreement. The deal is expected to be finalized and announced today. Rose, 28, played for the New York Knicks last season and averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists. Rose’s role with the Cavs is still to be determined. He could be used as a backup or even start depending on what the team does with All-Star Kyrie Irving, who recently asked for a trade.
Cavs name Altman GM
The Cavaliers named 34-yearold Koby Altman their full-time general manager on Monday. Altman has been serving as Cleveland’s interim GM this summer after David Griffin parted ways with the club. Altman came to Cleveland in 2012 and was promoted to Griffin’s assistant last summer after the Cavs won the championship. He will be the fifth GM for owner Dan Gilbert since 2005. Altman enters a volatile situation. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving recently asked to be traded and LeBron James is heading into his final season under contract.
MOTOR SPORTS Earnhardt moves to booth
Dale Earnhardt Jr., voted by fans as NASCAR’s most popular driver for 14 consecutive years, will move from behind the steering wheel to behind the microphone in 2018. He will be an analyst for all the Monster Energy Cup races on NBC’s schedule, which begins with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. “This is probably the first real job I’ve had in 20 years,” Earnhardt said during a conference call shortly after NBC made the announcement on Monday. Earnhardt, 42, announced his retirement from full-time Cup racing in April, officially entering a nebulous retirement phase of his life, and accelerated by concussion issues that have come into play in recent years that factored heavily into the decision. He missed half of the 2016 season because of those concussion-related health issues, but was hooked on a career path away from the car when he did a couple of guest stints in the booth for FOX and NBC, both NASCAR broadcast partners. He described it as an “adrenaline rush” on Monday.
Testing new Indy cars
A new generation of cars, featuring a sleeker design, higher-performance technology and fewer body parts, will be seen publicly and tested for the first time today on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5mile oval. A second testing session is scheduled for Wednesday. Twotime Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya and Spain’s Oriol Servia will drive this week. IndyCar series officials also will hold tests Aug. 1 at Iowa, Aug. 10 at Mid-Ohio and Sept. 26 at Sebring. Changes include smaller, lower wings, weight shifted to the front of the car, more downforce from underneath the car and reduced costs for teams because the kits will be used from 2018-2020. Manufacturers also will be able to conduct tests before teams receive the kits — one for superspeedway ovals, the other for all other race courses — in November. Teams are scheduled to begin testing in January.
Victory lifts Kahne
One day after 19-year-old William Byron won his third Xfinity Series race in less than a month, Kasey Kahne overcame heat, muscle cramps and a grueling, crash-marred, six-hour marathon Cup race to earn his first victory in almost three years. It might take an even bigger effort to keep his job with Hendrick Motorsports. There’s been speculation for weeks about Kahne’s future at Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne posted three top-10 finishes in the first 19 races and his primary sponsor, Great Clips, already announcing it would not be back next season, it appeared Kahne, 37, was on his way out. Kahne responded with maybe the gutsiest performance of his career. The victory gives Kahne a ticket to the playoffs and more chances to impress the owner. Byron looks like another rising star in Hendrick’s garage. With three wins in five weeks, he’s already showing he might ready to make the jump to the Cup series. “Puts him in the Chase, in the playoffs. We’re excited about that,” Hendrick said. “I hope this turns the corner. The team’s had a lot of bad luck.”
COLLEGE FOOTBALL Big Ten TV deal worth $2.6B
Big Ten formally announced its new six-year partnership with ESPN and Fox Sports, a deal worth a reported $2.64 billion that industry analysts view as a victory for the league. News of the agreement got out more than a year ago, but Commissioner Jim Delany delayed the unveiling until Monday. Fox Sports gets the first pick each year and — no surprise — the network has selected the Ohio State-Michigan game in 2017 (Fox also gets the annual conference championship game). Big Ten football now has broadcast partners in ESPN, Fox Sports and Big Ten Network. CBS will continue to have media rights to basketball games.
BASEBALL ‘Pudge’: No fudging in book
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, unequivocally denies ever using steroids in his new book, They Call Me Pudge. “I never took steroids,” Rodriguez writes in the first chapter titled Hall of Fame and Clearing the Air. “Let’s make that as crystal clear as possible — I never took steroids. If anyone says differently, they are lying.” The book, which he cowrote with Jeff Sullivan, will be released on Aug. 1 but it’s already available for purchase online. Rodriguez lost 25 pounds before the 2005 season, which was right after Jose Canseco’s book Juiced had been released. Canseco claims in the book that he personally injected steroids via hypodermic needle into his Rangers teammates Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Rodriguez after being traded to Texas in 1992. Rodriguez says he lost the weight because of an intense training program his longtime personal trainer Edgar Diaz had him on and also on a lack of appetite while going through a divorce with his first wife Maribel. Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star and 1999 AL MVP. He’ll be inducted in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines.
NHL Islanders sign Pelech
The New York Islanders, who protected defenseman Adam Pelech in the expansion draft, locked down the 22-year-old until 2021, signing him to a four-year deal, with an annual average of $1.6 million. Injuries have limited Pelech to 53 career games, but he showed enough in 2016-2017 — 3 goals and 7 assists in 44 games last year — for the Islanders to commit money to him.
Pens commit to Dumoulin
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin and the team agreed to a six-year deal on Monday that will run through the 2022-2023 season and will pay him an average of $4.1 million per year. Dumoulin, 25, had three goals and 11 assists during Pittsburgh’s run to the Cup this spring and hasn’t missed a playoff game during the team’s sprint to back-to-back titles.
Predators, Watson agree
The Nashville Predators have signed forward Austin Watson to a three-year, $3.3 million deal keeping him under contract through 2019-2020. Watson, 25, will earn $1 million this season, $1.1 million in 2018-19 and $1.2 million in the third year. Watson had a career high with five goals and seven assists in 77 games this past season. Watson scored four goals and had nine points in 22 playoff games helping Nashville reach the Stanley Cup Final.
and New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose signed a one-year, $2.1 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.