Bourn signs and Swisher leaves
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Michael Bourn, an All-Star center fielder last season with Atlanta, has signed his four-year, $48 million contract with the Indians. The 30-year-old will bat leadoff and play center for new Indians manager Terry Francona, who met with Bourn before the Indians had their first full-squad workout.
Bourn hit .274 last season with nine homers and 57 RBIs. Since 2008, Bourn has led the majors with 257 steals -- 177 more than any Cleveland player over the same span.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Indians first baseman Nick Swisher has left the team's spring training camp following the death of his mother. He is expected to be back with the team on Saturday night.
Swisher will play first base this season for Cleveland, moving to the infield after the team signed free agent Michael Bourn earlier this week. Swisher will also be used as the team's designated hitter, with Mark Reynolds playing first.
Cruz responds to investigation
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Texas slugger Nelson Cruz says it was "shocking" and "depressing" when his name came up in connection to a clinic now at the center of Major League Baseball's latest drug investigation. MLB is investigating Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. The Miami New Times reported last month that it obtained records detailing drug purchases by several players, including Cruz, the 2011 AL championship series MVP.
Bills ink Jackson
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is coming back to Buffalo after re-signing with the Bills. In announcing Jackson's signing, new coach Doug Marrone (MUH'-rohn) ended a month of speculation regarding his plans at quarterback by saying he intends to have returning starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jackson compete for the starting job.
Pack says good-bye to Woodson
UNDATED (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers have released 36-year-old defensive back Charles Woodson. He had two years left on his contract.
Woodson signed a five-year deal before the 2010 season that was worth as much as $55 million. He missed nine games during the 2012 regular season because of a broken right collarbone and played in two postseason games for the Packers.
Woodson was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998.
New OC and Young departs
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Titus Young's stay with the Rams was brief. The wide receiver has been placed on waivers after only a few days in St. Louis. Coach Jeff Fisher says the Rams picked up Young before they had much time to do any background checks. Young was banished three times by the Lions last year because of his behavior, including once for punching teammate Louis Delmas. He recently lashed out at the team on Twitter.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams have hired Tim Walton as defensive coordinator, a position they did not fill last season after Gregg Williams was suspended for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal. Coach Jeff Fisher said in a release that the 41-year-old Walton, the secondary coach the past four seasons with the Detroit Lions, was in the same system the Rams are using.
Vikes to play in the cold
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings are getting a new stadium. That's the good news for the players and fans. The bad news is that for the 2014 and 2015 seasons the team will be playing outdoors at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium. The new facility will be built where the Metrodome is currently located.
The University stadium is about a 10 minute drive from the Metrodome.
Club officials had hoped to only have one season outdoors.
HALL OF FAME-BASKETBALL
Finalists for 2013 announced
HOUSTON (AP) -- Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond are among 12 finalists for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement of the finalists kicked off All-Star Weekend in Houston.
Former Houston Cougars coach Guy Lewis has been chosen as a finalist for the first time since 2003. Current Louisville coach Rick Pitino and former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian also are finalists for the 2013 class.
The others includes former NBA stars Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood and Bernard King, longtime North Carolina women's coach Sylvia Hatchell and five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley. Boston Celtics great Tom Heinsohn, already inducted as a player, is a finalist in the coaching category.
The 2013 class will be announced at the Final Four in April.
Pistorius statement disputes he committed murder
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- A statement from the family of Oscar Pistorius (pihs-TOHR'-ee-uhs) and his management says they dispute the claim that he murdered his girlfriend "in the strongest terms." The statement was issued after the double-amputee Olympian wept in court when prosecutors said they would pursue a charge of premeditated murder against him for the Valentine's Day killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Two of the top Western Conference clubs to meet
UNDATED (AP) -- Two of the top teams in the early goings of the NHL season are facing-off tonight in Chicago. The Blackhawks, who lead the Central Division, are playing host to San Jose of the Pacific Division.
The best and the worst of the Northeast Division are playing against one another tonight. That contest has front-runner Boston playing at Buffalo.
Anaheim leads the Pacific Division by two points over San Jose and tonight the Ducks are in Detroit for a game with the Red Wings.
The rest of the on-ice schedule tonight has the Flyers playing at New Jersey, Winnipeg home to Pittsburgh, the Blues at Calgary, Vancouver at home to Dallas, and Columbus in Los Angeles to face the Kings.
Meetings end on playing in Russia
NEW YORK (AP) -- Two days of talks between the NHL and Olympic officials wrapped up Friday with signs of progress toward a resolution on the issue of having the league send its players to the 2014 Sochi (SOH'-chee) Games. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel met for about 2 1/2 hours after a 90-minute get-together Thursday night. No new talks were scheduled, but the sides are expected to meet again.
UNDATED (AP) -- There are no games being played in the NBA this evening as the All-Star break is underway. This year's game is being played Sunday in Houston with Gregg Popovich of the Spurs and Eric Spoelstra of the Heat calling the shots. The leading vote-getter was Kobe Bryant of the Lakers.
On tap tonight is the Rising Stars game featuring rookie and second-year players.
Georgetown leads the way
CINCINNATI (AP) -- In the lone top-25 game this evening the 15th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas are on the road in Cincinnati for a game with the Bearcats. The Hoyas have won 18 of their 22 games this season.
Round two in progress
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The early second round lead at the PGA's Northern Trust Open is held by South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae at 9-under. He shot a second round 6-under-65 today. John Merrick of the U.S. is a shot back at 8-under while Luke Donald of England is 7-under.
CHAMPIONS-ACE GROUP CLASSIC
Tway takes the top spot
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) -- Bob Tway has the clubhouse lead during the opening round of the Champion Tours ACE Group Classic. He shot a first-round 7-under-65 while Taiwan's Chien Soon Lu shot a 67.
The on-course leader at 10-under is Bernhard Langer, who has completed 16 holes.
The defending champion is Kenny Perry. He put off surgery on his left knee until next week so he could defend his title.
Williams regains No. 1
DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Serena Williams has secured the No. 1 ranking after coming from a set down to beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (kuh-VIHT'-oh-vuh) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the Qatar (GUH'-tur) Open semifinals. The 31-year-old American will become the oldest women's player to be No. 1 in next week's rankings.
Ligety wins again
SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) -- Ted Ligety (LIHG'-eh-tee) has become the first man in 45 years to earn three gold medals at the skiing world championships by winning the giant slalom in dominating style. The American can match French great Jean-Claude Killy (ZHAWN KLAWD KEE'-lee), , who earned four golds in 1968, if he wins the slalom on Sunday.
Defending champion Ligety, who also took the super-G and super-combined titles, built on his large first-run lead to finish in a combined time of 2 minutes, 28.92 seconds, just ahead of Austria's Marcel Hirscher.
Cost of legal fees over $27 million.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State's bill for legal fees, consultants and other costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal stands at more than $27.6 million. An updated figure as of November 2012 was provided this week on a university website. It includes a $13 million price tag for board of trustees communications and the internal investigation into the scandal by former FBI director Louis Freeh (LOO'-ee free).
Freeh's findings released last summer were the subject of renewed scrutiny this week after Joe Paterno's family released an extensive response conducted by its own experts.