Antelope Valley Press



Kershaw ‘doing really well’ after shoulder surgery while mulling future pitching plans

LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw said he is recovering well after recent shoulder surgery and has yet to decide where and when to sign his next contract.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is a free agent after signing one-year contracts each of the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I’m excited to get back after the surgery and throw a ball and have it not hurt,” Kershaw said Wednesday night in an interview on KLAC radio’s “Dodger Talk” show.

The 35-year-old lefthander said he and his wife, Ellen, are still “in that process” of deciding his next move. In Game 1 of the NL ivision Series against Arizona, Kershaw retired just one of eight batters and allowed six runs.

“I think the competitor in me doesn’t want it to end the way it did,” he said. “I want to win. I want to win another World Series. I think that all played into it.”

Kershaw said the signing two-time AL MVP Shohei Ohtani in a $700 million, 10-year deal is “great for the Dodgers.”

“It’s just so much money, isn’t it?” Kershaw said. “This is crazy. But I think he is a unique, unique talent. I don’t think there’s anybody like him and once he starts pitching again everybody wants to watch it. You know, I want to watch it.”

Kershaw said his arm was in a sling for three days after his surgery on Nov. 3. He is now doing strengthen­ing exercises.

“I think I’m doing really well,” he said. “I don’t have a lot to compare it to. I’ve never had surgery before, but I really do feel great, all things considered.”

Kershaw is confident he will pitch at some point next summer.

“I feel good about that,” he said.

Former Oregon State quarterbac­k Chiles following coach Smith to Michigan State

Former Oregon State quarterbac­k Aidan Chiles announced Thursday he is following coach Jonathan Smith to Michigan State as a transfer.

Chiles hade his commitment to Michigan State public in a social media post. He played in nine games this season as a freshman backup to DJ Uiagalelei.

The former four-star recruit from California threw for 309 yards and four touchdowns and ran for three scores, getting steady work as a change-of-pace player for the 21st-ranked Beavers (8-4).

Smith left Oregon State to become the head coach at Michigan State on Nov. 25.

Among the other notable transfer commitment­s on Thursday were:

— Former UConn tight end Justin Joly, who led the team with 56 catches for 578 yards, announcing he is joining North Carolina State.

— Former Ohio quarterbac­k Kurtis Rourke, a three-year starter, said he was going to Indiana.

Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka win ITF World Champion awards for 2023

LONDON — Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka were honored as the Internatio­nal Tennis Federation’s 2023 ITF World Champions on Thursday after being the only singles players to reach at least the semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournament­s this season.

Djokovic, who finished at No. 1 in the ATP rankings for a record-extending eighth time, won the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open to raise his major trophy total to a men’s-leading 24 and was the runner-up at Wimbledon. He went 56-7 and led the men’s tour with seven titles.

This is his eighth ITF World Champion award, also a record.

Sabalenka received the honor for the first time after winning the Australian Open for her first Grand Slam title, finishing as the runner-up at the U.S. Open and making it to the semifinals at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Sabalenka made her debut at No. 1 in the WTA rankings in September, before finishing the year at No. 2 behind Iga Swiatek, the WTA Player of the Year.

Other ITF World Champions included Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens in women’s doubles, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in men’s doubles, Diede de Groot in the women’s wheelchair category, Alfie Hewett in the men’s wheelchair category, Niels Vink in the quad wheelchair category, and Alina Korneeva and Joao Fonseca in the juniors categories.

ITF World Champion selections place extra emphasis on Grand Slam events and ITF internatio­nal team competitio­ns.

Set of 6 Messi World Cup shirts sells for $7.8 million at auction in New York

NEW YORK — Six jerseys worn by soccer superstar Lionel Messi during Argentina’s winning run at last year’s World Cup sold Thursday for $7.8 million, the auction house Sotheby’s announced.

The final price for the shirts, each worn during the first half of one of Argentina’s games at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, is the highest price for an item of sports memorabili­a this year, Sotheby’s said.

Argentina defeated France in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw in the World Cup final, winning its third World Cup.

The victory, in which Messi scored two of Argentina’s three goals, represente­d a crowning moment for one of the sport’s greatest-ever players.

“These historic shirts are not only a tangible reminder of one of the most important moments in the history of sports, but are principall­y connected to the pinnacle moment in the career of the most decorated football player in history,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of modern collectibl­es, said in a statement.

The shirts were on display at Sotheby’s New York headquarte­rs during the twoweek online auction that ended Thursday.

No informatio­n on the winning bidder was released.

Sotheby’s said a portion of the auction proceeds would be donated to the UNICAS Project, led by Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital with the support of the Leo Messi Foundation, to help children suffering from rare diseases.

Joe Flacco signs 1-year deal with Browns, QB can earn incentives with playoff run, Super Bowl win

BEREA, Ohio — Joe Flacco’s officially signed and sealed with Cleveland. He’s already delivered.

Flacco got a one-year, $4.05 million contract — loaded with incentives — on Thursday from the Browns, who brought in the veteran quarterbac­k last month while in emergency mode after losing starter Deshaun Watson for the season with a right shoulder injury.

Flacco’s deal means the 38-year-old moves from the practice squad to the active roster. And while it was more procedural than anything, it assures he’ll be with the Browns (8-5) as they try to clinch a playoff spot.

The team elevated Flacco from the practice squad in each of the past two weeks to start games against the Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonvil­le.

While he was on the practice squad, other teams could have signed him, and Flacco wasn’t aware of any trying.

“I wouldn’t have went though, anyway,” he said. “It’s been great here.”

Flacco can earn $75,000 for each win in any of Cleveland’s four remaining regular-season games, a person familiar with the financial terms told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the incentives haven’t been made public. Additional­ly, Flacco can make $250,000 for a wild-card win, $500,000 for a divisional playoff win, $1 million for an AFC title and another $2 million if the Browns win the Super Bowl.

ESPN first reported terms of Flacco’s deal. Rangers sign pitcher Tyler Mahle, who will miss the start of 2024 coming off Tommy John surgery

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers agreed Thursday to a $22 million, two-year contract with the right-hander Tyler Mahle, who likely will miss the start of the season following Tommy John elbow surgery.

Mahle had the operation on May 22 with Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister, a procedure that usually requires a recovery of 12 to 18 months.

The 29-year-old Mahle was 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA in five starts for the Minnesota Twins last season. He has salaries of $5.5 million in 2024 and $16.5 million in 2025, and he can earn additional performanc­e bonuses.

Mahle spent parts of two injury-shortened seasons with Minnesota after he was acquired in a trade with Cincinnati in August 2022.

Since 2020, Mahle is 22-18 with a 3.90 ERA and 424 strikeouts in 374 innings, with 70 starts in 71 appearance­s. He missed the end of 2022 with right shoulder inflammati­on.

Mahle is 33-41 with a 4.30 ERA in 123 career appearance­s, with 122 starts, over seven seasons. The Reds drafted him in the seventh round out of high school in 2013.

Liberty’s Chadwell wins Bryant Award as top coach among Group of Five programs

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Liberty coach Jamey Chadwell has been named the Paul “Bear” Bryant Group of Five coach of the year after guiding the Flames to a 13-0 record and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 in his first season with the team.

Chadwell also is a finalist for the Bryant coach of the year award, which also includes coaches from Power Five conference­s. The others are David Braun (Northweste­rn), Kalen DeBoer (Washington), Eliah Drinkwitz (Missouri), Rhett Lashlee (SMU), Mike Norvell (Florida State), Nick Saban (Alabama) and Steve Sarkisian (Texas).

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