Monday's Sports in Brief

Monday's Sports in Brief

BALTIMORE (AP) Rookie Wei-Yin Chen outpitched 40-year-old Andy Pettitte, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 Monday night to even their AL division series at one game apiece.

Chris Davis drove in two runs for the Orioles, who used the same formula that got them into the postseason for the first time in 15 years: a magnificent bullpen and an ability to win tight games. Baltimore was 29-9 in one-run decisions during the regular season and 74-0 when leading after seven innings.

Major league saves leader Jim Johnson, roughed up for five runs in a Game 1 loss, pitched a perfect ninth to close it out. Game 3 of the best-of-five series will be held at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The defending World Series champions St. Louis Cardinals tied their NL division series with Washington at one game apiece by doing what they do best - forgetting about what happened the day before and concentrating on the game at hand. They lost the division series and NLCS openers last year, and look how that turned out.

Carlos Beltran hit the last two of the Cardinals' four homers and St. Louis chased an ineffective Jordan Zimmermann early in a 12-4 rout of the Nationals on Monday.

Daniel Descalso and Allen Craig also went deep to help the Cardinals build a big lead that compensated for a two-inning start from an ailing Jaime Garcia. Craig hit his fifth career postseason homer and scored three times.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Thanks to Arian Foster, the Houston Texans are still undefeated - but they nearly let this one slip away.

Foster ran for 152 yards and a touchdown, and the Texans are 5-0 for the first time and defeated the New York Jets (2-3) for the first time in team history, hanging on for a 23-17 victory Monday night.

With a chance to lead the Jets on a winning drive, Mark Sanchez was intercepted by Kareem Jackson on a pass that tipped off the hands of Jeff Cumberland with 1:51 remaining.

The Texans joined the Atlanta Falcons as the NFL's only teams without a loss.

GENEVA (AP) - Lindsey Vonn wants to challenge the men's downhill skiers in a World Cup race next month, though her wish still needs the support of the United States team and Alpine skiing's governing body.

The U.S. ski federation said Monday that it had not had a ``formal discussion'' about the possibility of its star racer challenging the men Nov. 24 in Lake Louise, Alberta.

Vonn, the women's Olympic downhill champion, has written the International Ski Federation to ask whether she can make the historic start at a venue where she has earned nine of her 26 World Cup downhill victories. The Canadian course - often dubbed ``Lake Lindsey'' for her dominance there - stages women's races, including two downhills, the following weekend.

FIS can't make a decision on Vonn until the U.S. ski team makes a formal request to let her enter.

DETROIT (AP) - The health of Alex Karras, the former defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions, has deteriorated.

The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported the former All-Pro lineman and actor has been given only a few days to live because of recent kidney failure.

The 77-year-old Karras has been suffering from dementia. He is among the many former NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries. Detroit drafted him 10th overall out of Iowa in 1958 and he was a standout for 12 seasons.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Fever will head back to Connecticut thanks to Shavonte Zellous' last-second basket.

Zellous' jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining lifted the Fever over the Connecticut Sun 78-76 in Game 2 of the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night.

Now the Fever will play the decisive game in Connecticut on Thursday with a trip to the WNBA finals on the line. Indiana is winless in three playoff games in Connecticut, including a 76-64 loss in Game 1.

Katie Douglas scored 24 points, including seven of the Fever's last 11, and Tamika Catchings added 21.

Kara Lawson led the Sun with 18 points, Asjha Jones added 17 points and 10 rebounds and reigning league MVP Tina Charles had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Sun.

The Sun's Allison Hightower tied the game on a baseline runner with 12.5 seconds left. She was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw.

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) - Jerry Sandusky is about to hear what sentence the judge will impose for his conviction on dozens of counts of child sexual abuse.

Judge John Cleland will hand down a sentence Tuesday that even lawyers for the former Penn State assistant coach say is likely to send Sandusky to prison for the rest of his life.

He's convicted of 45 counts involving 10 victims over 15 years. He met most if not all of the boys through a charity for at-risk youth he founded in 1977.

The 68-year-old Sandusky maintains his innocence and plans to appeal.

Eight of the victims testified, describing a range of abuse that included grooming, fondling, oral sex and anal sex. Eight lawyers are currently representing 20 people who have sued or are potential civil claimants.

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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Washington Wizards

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

USA Today Sports

Orioles round out starting pitching rotation, finalize 4-year contract with Alex Cobb

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Cobb's comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with the Baltimore Orioles.

"They used the AL East and the success I've had in it to their advantage," the 30-year-old right-hander said Wednesday after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. "They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be."

Cobb gets $14 million in each of the first three seasons and $15 million in 2021, and he would earn a $500,000 bonus in each year he pitches 180 innings. Baltimore will defer $6.5 million from this year's salary and $4.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He gets $2 million of the deferred money on Nov. 30, 2022, and $1.8 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2023-32. If he doesn't pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, an additional $5.25 million of the final's year salary would get deferred, payable $1.75 million annually on Nov. 30 from 2033-35.


Cobb has a full no-trade this year, then can list 10 teams from 2019-21 that he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

He had spent his entire six-season big league career with Tampa Bay and was the last big-name starting pitcher available in a slow-moving free agent market. He joined Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman, who were signed last month, in a revamped rotation that includes holdovers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman.

Cobb was 12-10 with a 3.66 ERA in 29 starts last season. He pitched 179 1/3 innings in his first full year back after missing nearly two seasons because of Tommy John surgery.

He had turned down the Rays' $17.4 million qualifying offer in November, and Baltimore pursued him from the start of free agency.

"They didn't stop bothering me the whole offseason," Cobb said. "They were very persistent, and I think that you notice that confidence they have in you just by the way they speak to you and the questions you ask and not questioning anything that's gone on. Everyone's got flaws that they come with and potential things you could really harp on that might not be your strong suit, but they never went down that avenue. They always told me how much they like certain aspects of what I do on and off the field, and just kept repeating how well I fit in here."


Cobb is 48-35 with a 3.50 in six big league seasons. Baltimore will lose its third-highest draft pick, currently No. 51, and the Rays get an extra selection after the first round as compensation.

Jose Mesa Jr. was designated for assignment Wednesday to clear a roster spot.

Baltimore opens on March 29 at home against Minnesota, but Cobb won't be ready to pitch then. He has agreed to be optioned to a minor league affiliate to help build up innings.

"I'm going to be pushing it as quick as I can," Cobb said. "That's going to be up to them. They've invested in me for a four-year period and as much as we know how much every game matters even early in April, we're going to have to look out for the overall future of this whole thing and whole contract and whatever they determine to be the way to protect me and my feedback from the bullpens I'm going to be throwing here in the next few days will probably determine the timeline."