Players are warned to curb trash talk
The NFL has warned players to cut out the trash talk, specifically when it threatens other players.
“ Ray Anderson reminded players that comments of a physically threatening nature are always taken into account in evaluating discipline for any illegal physical contact on the field,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said Saturday.
Anderson, the NFL executive vice president of football operations, is the league’s chief disciplinarian. He told teams, including all eight remaining in the playoffs, basically to watch it.
In Honolulu, Stuart Appleby finished with three straight birdies to tie Shigeki Maruyama for the lead at the Sony Open. It set up a long final round in which just about everyone is in the game.
Because the opening round was washed out, Sunday will feature a 36-hole final.
Maruyama holed out from the bunker to the right of the par-3 seventh late in his round and shot another 65. Appleby had a strong finish for the second straight day and shot 66. They were at 10-under-par 130.
Free-agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth, 34, has agreed to a oneyear, $3.25 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The deal includes a club option for 2012. He went 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 60 games for the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves last year. . . .
Catcher Geovany Soto has agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Chicago Cubs — and in so doing he avoided arbitration. Soto, the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year, batted .280 with 17 homers and 53 RBI. . . .
The St. Louis Cardinals and reliever Kyle McClellan avoided arbitration after they agreed on a one-year contract worth $1,375,000.
The 26-year-old right-hander appeared in 68 games in a setup role last season. He was 1-4 with a career-best 2.27 ERA and two saves. He made $425,000. . . .
The Philadelphia Phillies have avoided arbitration with outfielder Ben Francisco, agreeing to a one-year, $1,175,000 contract. Francisco hit .268 with six homers and 28 RBI in 88 games last season. . . .
The Oakland Athletics and reliever Brad Ziegler have agreed to a one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration. He went 3-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 64 relief appearances last year.
Manchester City hung on to beat Wolverhampton, 4-3, and move past Manchester United for the English Premier League lead. After Kolo Toure canceled out Nenad Milijas’s opener for Wolves, City went ahead 4-1 in the second half through Carlos
Tevez’s double and Yaya Toure’s
strike. But Kevin Doyle and Ronald Zubar struck back to give City a scare.
Meantime, defending champion Chelsea beat Blackburn to end a two-match winless streak and Arsenal compounded West Ham’s woes.
City went a point ahead of United, which plays the first of three games in hand at Tottenham on Sunday.
Tottenham was dislodged from fourth place— temporarily at least — when Chelsea beat Blackburn, 2-0. Arsenal remains third after a 3-0 victory at West Ham. Hammers Manager Avram
Grant is facing an uncertain future with the team now that it is rock bottom in the standings.
Also, West Bromwich moved four points clear of the relegation zone by beating Blackpool, 3-2, to end a run of six successive defeats.
Bolton was consigned to its fifth consecutive away defeat as Stoke won, 2-0, and Andrew
Johnson’s late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for Fulham at Wigan. . . . American midfielder Maurice Edu scored his first goal of the Scottish Premier League season as Rangers routed Hamilton, 4-0. Edu, a substitute, sealed the Rangers’ win in the 82nd minute.
All-American safety Mark
Barron said he’ll be back for his senior season at Alabama, which had already lost three star juniors.
The junior made the announcement on the final day for underclassmen to enter the NFL draft. Barron led the Crimson Tide with 75 tackles and had three interceptions despite missing the team’s Capital One Bowl victory over Michigan State with a torn pectoral muscle he injured against Auburn.
In Melbourne, Australia,
Lleyton Hewitt defeated Gael Monfils of France 7-5, 6-3, in the final of the Kooyong Classic, a traditional warmup tournament for the Australian Open.
The 29-year-oldHewitt took a 4-1 lead after breakingMonfils’s serve twice.
He was serving for the set at 5-3 but Monfils fought back, forcingHewitt to four set points in the 12th game.
Klaus Kroell of Austria defeated Swiss veteran Didier Cuche to win the classic World Cup downhill race on the Lauberhorn in Wengen, Switzerland.
American Bode Miller was eighth. Kroell finished in 2 minutes 31.28 seconds on the tour’s longest track, edging Cuche by 0.14 seconds.
Fulham's Clint Dempsey gestures during his team’s 1-1 tie against host Wigan in the English Premier League.