December 17, 2009 in Sports

In brief: Woods voted top athlete of the decade

From Staff And Wire Reports
Associated Press photo

Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant is fouled as he drives to the basket in the first half of an overtime win over Milwaukee.
(Full-size photo)

Even after a shocking sex scandal that tarnished Tiger Woods, it was tough to ignore what he achieved on the golf course.

He won 64 times around the world, including 12 majors, and hoisted a trophy on every continent golf is played. He lost only one time with the lead going into the final round. His 56 PGA Tour victories in one incomparable decade were more than anyone except four of golf’s greatest players won in their careers.

Woods was selected Wednesday as the Athlete of the Decade by members of the Associated Press in a vote that was more about 10 years of performance than nearly three weeks of salacious headlines.

Woods received 56 of the 142 votes cast.

Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France six times this decade, finished second with 33 votes. He was followed by Roger Federer, who won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other man, with 25 votes.

Red Sox sign Lackey, Cameron to deals

Major League Baseball: Pitcher John Lackey has finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, while outfielder Mike Cameron signed a two-year deal reportedly worth $7 million to $8 million per season.

Lackey, the top pitcher in the free-agent market, has a 102-71 regular-season record with a 3.81 ERA in eight seasons, all with the Angels.

Cameron batted .250 with 24 homers and 70 RBIs for Milwaukee last year.

Angels land Matsui: Hideki Matsui and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a $6 million, one-year contract, bringing the World Series MVP and two-time All-Star to the A.L. West power.

Matsui hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBIs last season for the New York Yankees.

•Hawkins, Brewers finalize deal: The Milwaukee Brewers finalized their $7.5 million, two-year contract with right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins, a deal agreed to at the winter meetings last week.

•Buck stops in Toronto: The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with catcher John Buck and a minor league deal with reliever Lance Broadway.

Orioles, Gonzalez reach deal: Left-hander Mike Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles reached a preliminary agreement on a $12 million, two-year contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Burleson could be done for season

NFL: Nate Burleson has a high ankle sprain and may not play again this season for the Seattle Seahawks.

Coach Jim Mora said the team has a decision to make on what they want to do with him over the final three games of the season.

•Frye gets nod for Raiders: Charlie Frye will start at quarterback over former starter JaMarcus Russell when the Oakland Raiders visit the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Frye replaces Bruce Gradkowski, who was injured in Sunday’s loss to Washington.

•Sanchez returns to practice: New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s status for the team’s game against Atlanta remained uncertain after he returned to practice for the first time since spraining his right knee.

•Holmgren leaves Cleveland: Mike Holmgren left Cleveland after an extended stay without accepting a job to become boss of the Browns.

It appears Holmgren is weighing his options. He wants to talk to the Seahawks about coming back following GM Tim Ruskell’s recent resignation.

Bryant’s shot lifts Lakers over Bucks

NBA: Kobe Bryant hit a 15-footer as time expired and scored the game’s final seven points to lift the visiting Los Angeles Lakers to a 107-106 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

•Nowitzki sparks Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki had 35 points and 11 rebounds, and the visiting Dallas Mavericks spoiled the debut of Kevin Durant’s new bright orange sneakers and beat the Okla- homa City Thunder 100-86.

•Russian closer to owning Nets: A Russian billionaire has moved a step closer to becoming the NBA’s first non-North American owner.

Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings and the company that owns the Nets announced they had completed their agreement to create a partnership that would own the NBA team and develop the Atlantic Yards project in New York.

Jones takes over reins at Cincinnati

Miscellany: Cincinnati went right back to Central Michigan for its next football coach.

Butch Jones was hired to replace Brian Kelly, who came from Central Michigan three years ago and built the Bearcats program into national prominence before leaving for Notre Dame last week.

California’s Best will miss bowl: California star tailback Jahvid Best will not play in the Poinsettia Bowl as he continues his recovery from a frightening fall and concussion that sidelined him last month.

•San Jose State hires MacIntyre: San Jose State has hired Duke defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre, 44, to replace Dick Tomey as football coach.

•Renault will stay in Formula One: Renault is staying in Formula One racing after agreeing to sell a “large stake” in the team to a private investment firm to keep the cars on the grid in 2010.

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