Bobby Abreu’s $16 million option for next season was exercised Friday by the New York Yankees. The 33-year-old right fielder overcame a slow start to hit .283 with 16 homers and 101 RBIs this year, when he finished second in the AL behind teammate Alex Rodriguez with 123 runs. Abreau has reached 100 RBIs in five consecutive seasons.
Tim Wakefield’s $4 million option was exercised Friday by the Boston Red Sox after the knuckleballer missed the World Series because of inflammation behind his right shoulder. The World Series champions also exercised a $3.85 million option on right-hander Julian Tavarez, announced catcher Kevin Cash had declined an outright assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket and elected to become a free agent, and…
Colts doctors have told Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison he can play against New England, and he hopes to. Whether he actually makes it on the field is up to coach Tony Dungy. Harrison missed all three practices this week because of a bruised left knee, and Dungy said Harrison and several others are expected to be game-time decisions for the contest between the NFL’s final two unbeaten teams.
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has been cleared to play after recovering from the left knee and left shoulder surgeries he had in May. Miami coach Pat Riley didn’t put a timetable on Wade’s return to the lineup. In the announcement before Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Riley said Wade has been practicing, but without making any contact.
The Seattle SuperSonics’ new owner told the NBA on Friday he plans to move the team to Oklahoma City. Clay Bennett had set a Wednesday deadline for having a plan to replace KeyArena, which he says is outdated. He and the city are in a dispute about the arena lease. He has until March 1 to file for relocation with the NBA if he wants the team to play the 2008-09 season anywhere besides Seattle.
Tracy McGrady said he didn’t hold a grudge against Utah for last season’s opening-round loss in the playoffs. But what he said and how he played were quite different. McGrady scored 47 points and the Rockets beat the Jazz 106-95 Thursday night, earning a little revenge for last season’s playoffs, when Houston won the first two games but lost the series.
Raja Bell had just guarded Kevin Durant for most of the night. His postgame reward: Ice on both knees as a trainer stretched his tired legs on a training table. “He’s a long … ,” the Suns defensive whiz said of Durant, chuckling while still on his back getting stretched Thursday night. Amare Stoudemire, playing for the third time since knee surgery a month ago, had 23 points and 11 rebounds as…
For three days, the Miami Heat worked on defending plays the Detroit Pistons love to call for Tayshaun Prince. Didn’t matter. Prince weaved his way to a career-high 34 points, matched a career best with 12 rebounds, and the Pistons pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Heat 91-80 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.
Guard Beno Udrih signed with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, potentially filling a hole in the club’s lineup while Mike Bibby is out with a thumb injury. Udrih, who won two NBA championship rings with the San Antonio Spurs, was waived Monday by the Minnesota Timberwolves after they acquired him in a trade with San Antonio earlier in the day.
Al Jefferson could have waited until next summer to sign a contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In fact, that was what his agent advised him to do, hoping that a big season and his status as a restricted free agent would have brought the 22-year-old power forward the highest contract allowable under league rules.
Kobe Bryant won’t be joining the Chicago Bulls anytime soon. General manager John Paxson basically squashed the notion that the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar will wind up in Chicago, saying the teams were never on the verge of a deal and talks were over for now. “There’s not a deal done,” he said Thursday.
Practice had long since ended Thursday, and Charlotte Bobcats forward Emeka Okafor was still on the court, playing a competitive, rotating one-on-one competition with three teammates. The first draft pick in franchise history was laughing and joking as sweat soaked through his jersey. There was little evidence that just hours earlier Okafor had turned down a contract offer from the Bobcats, meaning…