Nationals

Tuesday's Sports in Brief

Tuesday's Sports in Brief

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) Stepfan Taylor rushed for 89 yards and an early touchdown, Kevin Hogan passed for 123 yards, and No. 8 Stanford won its first Rose Bowl since 1972, beating Wisconsin 20-14 on Tuesday night.

Usua Amanam made the decisive interception near midfield with 2:30 to play as the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (12-2) ended their four-decade drought in the Rose Bowl.

The Big Ten champion Badgers (8-6) lost the Rose Bowl in heartbreaking fashion for the third consecutive season. Montee Ball rushed for 100 yards and his FBS-record 83rd touchdown, but Wisconsin managed only 82 yards after halftime.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Behind huge interceptions early and late, Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl and snapped college football's longest postseason losing streak.

The Wildcats (10-3) earned their first bowl win since 1949, ending a nine-game losing skid that was tied for the longest in NCAA history. They also celebrated double-digit victories for the first time since the 1995 Rose Bowl season.

Quentin Williams returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game and Nick Vanhoose set up a late touchdown with a 39-yard interception return. Those plays were the difference in a back-and-forth game that featured more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (six).

MIAMI (AP) - No. 13 Florida State stuffed No. 16 Northern Illinois' all-purpose threat Jordan Lynch for most of the game to win the Orange Bowl 31-10.

Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor, voted the game's outstanding player, ran for a career-high 134 yards and two scores in only five carries for Florida State. Senior EJ Manuel threw for 291 yards.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Aaron Murray threw five touchdown passes to set a Georgia bowl record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the sixth-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 23 Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Connor Shaw led No. 11 South Carolina to the brink of victory and Dylan Thompson carried the Gamecocks over the hump in the Outback Bowl.

Thompson came off the bench to throw a 32-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left, enabling South Carolina (11-2) to tie a school record for victories with a 33-28 win over No. 19 Michigan.

DALLAS (AP) - Clint Chelf threw three of Oklahoma State's five touchdown passes and the Cowboys shook off a disappointing Big 12 finish by dominating Purdue 58-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL has kicked the ball back to the players' association in the form of another counteroffer as the sides play pingpong in the search for labor peace.

The proposal was presented in a 30-minute meeting that was long delayed as the league worked on its response to the union's counteroffer Monday. The NHL started this latest round of talks with a contract offer late last week.

After reviewing the document later Tuesday night, Fehr planned to get back in touch with the NHL on Wednesday morning and expected to meet with the league for a third straight day.

PRO FOOTBALL

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals officially have begun their coaching search with a formal interview of defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

The interview conducted by team president Michael Bidwill was the first in the team's search for a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired Monday after six seasons on the job.

The team has reached out to Andy Reid but had not scheduled an interview. Reid was fired Monday after 14 seasons as head coach in Philadelphia.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Charles Woodson has been cleared to play again, and the Green Bay Packers are counting on the defensive back to provide a lift in Saturday night's playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers signed kicker Billy Cundiff on Tuesday to compete with struggling veteran David Akers.

PRO BASKETBALL

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Nuggets took advantage of the Los Angeles Clippers' shooting woes, getting 17 points from Danilo Gallinari in a 92-78 victory that snapped the Clippers' franchise-record, 17-game winning streak.

BASEBALL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - David Price got a hefty raise for winning the AL Cy Young Award.

A person with knowledge of the deal said that the three-time All-Star and the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year contract worth just over $10 million, avoiding arbitration.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not yet made a formal announcement. Price earned $4.35 million last season, when he went 20-5 with an American League-low 2.56 ERA.

SOCCER

LONDON (AP) - First-place Manchester United and second-place Manchester City began the new year with emphatic victories in the Premier League.

United cruised to a 4-0 win at Wigan for its second straight shutout. City treated its home fans to a 3-0 decision over Stoke.

SKIING

VAL MUSTAIR, Switzerland (AP) - Kikkan Randall of the United States and Finn Haagen Krogh of Norway won cross-country races at the Tour de Ski.

Randall finished more than 50 meters ahead of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway. Another Norwegian, Heidi Weng, was third.

MUNICH (AP) - Felix Neureuther of Germany rode the support of the home crowd Tuesday to win a World Cup parallel slalom.

None of the three Americans - Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin and Julia Mancuso - made it past the quarterfinals at Olympic Park.

TENNIS

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) - Maria Sharapova withdrew from the Brisbane International because of an injured right collarbone that left her unable to serve. She said she didn't want to aggravate the injury with the Australian Open two weeks away.

Also out was 2011 champion Petra Kvitova, who lost 6-4, 7-5 to Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a season-opening tournament that has proved rough for many of the top players.

Serena Williams had no such problems. She carried her relentless winning form into 2013, reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at night over No. 44-ranked Alize Cornet.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Top-seeded David Ferrer rallied to defeat German qualifier Dustin Brown 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round of the Qatar Open.

CHENNAI, India (AP) - Matthias Bachinger of Germany upset 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 at the Chennai Open.

PERTH, Australia (AP) - The United States rallied past France 2-1 Tuesday, with John Isner and Venus Williams capturing the decisive mixed doubles to win a second straight series at the Hopman Cup.

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Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

Ryan Zimmerman’s return to the Nationals is finally happening

If Ryan Zimmerman did not return to the Nationals, he at least would have a future teaching how not to negotiate.

Zimmerman openly drove down his bargaining leverage for almost a year before signing a one-year deal on Friday to return to the only professional team he’s known, a source confirmed. The deal is reported at $2 million.

Throughout the season, Zimmerman openly discussed his interest in returning and understanding it would be at a low rate. As if his stance wasn’t already clear, Zimmerman explained at a screening of the Nationals’ championship video he would return or play more golf.

“So, we’ll be good to go,” Zimmerman said.

It’s baseball for now. Zimmerman rejoins the defending World Series champions to play his 16th season. He’s a 35-year-old platoon player this season. Zimmerman’s money and legacy have been established. He’s back in the fold to pursue another title. 

And he makes an already old Nationals team older. Zimmerman turns 36 years old the day after the 2020 regular season ends. Howie Kendrick will be 37 years old by midseason. Asdrúbal Cabrera is 34 years old. Eric Thames is 33 years old. Will Harris is 35, Daniel Hudson 32, Sean Doolittle 33, Max Scherzer 35, Kurt Suzuki 36. Yan Gomes will be 33 just after the All-Star break. 

Zimmerman will share first base with Thames and, occasionally, Howie Kendrick. They provide an intriguing splits-based platoon. Thames hits right-handers well -- 23 of his 25 2019 home runs came against them, as did much of his opportunity in Milwaukee -- and Zimmerman has a .917 career OPS against left-handed pitchers. Zimmerman is the much better defender.

He’s back because he -- and the Nationals -- believe Zimmerman’s production remains directly tied to his health. His September and postseason work showed Zimmerman’s bat speed remains intact. He is quietly one of the better defensive first baseman in the league. They think they can protect him. Overall, the Nationals are so comfortable with an expanse of older players because they plan to shield them with limited usage. Also, Josh Donaldson went to Minnesota, clearing the cash and providing a need for Zimmerman. 

Kendrick, Cabrera and Starlin Castro can play various infield spots. Thames and Zimmerman will reduce the other’s role, as well as pinch-hit when not starting. Davey Martinez has options. He also has the challenge of rotating players. One thing on his side: older players know they are just that. Grousing about playing time should not be an issue with the group, the majority of which played as role players last year on the way to a World Series title. 

One other thing to note about Zimmerman: he’s 30 home runs short of 300. Can he get there with another two years on the field? He has at least one more to add to his total, assuring his driver has another lonely summer.

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Alex Ovechkin named to NHL's All-Decade first team for 2010-19

Alex Ovechkin named to NHL's All-Decade first team for 2010-19

Alex Ovechkin once again was named to one of the NHL's All-Decade teams.

This go-around, Ovechkin was named to the first-team for the All-Decade Team spanning 2010-2019. 

During those 10 seasons, there was no one that totaled more than Ovi's 437 goals. Only two others had more than his 730 points.

Through our eyes, we saw him mature from a unique superstar to a once-in-a-generation athlete. Ovechkin won his first Stanley Cup in the decade after years of heartbreak and dominant Capitals teams that could never escape the second round. 

Now, he's a mere eight goals away from reaching 700 and further etching his name in the fabric of the sport. 

He is joined with fellow forward Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks. Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, Drew Doughty of the Kings and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Golden Knights rounded out the six-player first team. 

NHL ALL-DECADE FIRST TEAM

Alex Ovechkin - F - Capitals
Patrick Kane - F - Blackhawks
Sidney Crosby - C - Penguins
Duncan Keith - D - Blackhawks
Drew Doughty - D - Kings
Marc-Andre Fleury - G- Golden Knights

NHL ALL-DECADE SECOND TEAM

Evgeni Malkin - F - Penguins
Patrice Bergeron - F - Bruins
Steven Stamkos - F - Lightning
Erik Karlsson - D - Sharks
Zdeno Chara - D - Bruins
Henrik Lundqvist - G - Rangers

The Great 8 was also named to the All-Decade team in 2000-10. Only Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby, named to the second team for the last decade, received the recognition last decade as well. 

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