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Baseball

Mariners grab two from Cubs

The Mariners have traded recently acquired reliever Aaron Heilman to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Ronny Cedeno and left-hander Garrett Olson (above).

Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said Wednesday that Cedeno will compete for a job at second base and shortstop, prodding incumbents Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt.

Cedeno, who turns 26 next week, hit .269 in 99 games for Chicago last season while playing five positions. He made his major league debut with Chicago in 2005.

Heilman came to Seattle on Dec. 10 in the three-team trade that sent closer J.J. Putz to the New York Mets. Heilman, 30, went 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA and three saves in 78 games last year with the Mets, blowing five of eight save chances.

Soccer

Sounders open at home vs. N.Y.

The Seattle Sounders FC’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer will begin with three of the first four games at home.

MLS announced that after Seattle hosts New York at Qwest Field on March 19 for the league’s opener, it will host Real Salt Lake nine days later. The Sounders’ only road game in the season’s first four weeks is April 4 at Toronto FC.

Coach Sigi Schmid will meet his former team, the league champion Columbus Crew, for the first time on May 30 in Seattle. The 30-game schedule ends on Oct. 24 when FC Dallas visits.

Basketball

Sampson says NCAA is wrong

Kelvin Sampson has no intention of coaching college basketball anytime soon, even if the NCAA lets him.

Sampson, now an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, confirmed that he has appealed the NCAA’s punishment from an infractions case leveled against him when he was coaching Indiana University.

“Because I think they were wrong,” he told a small group of reporters. “They were wrong in every way. If I didn’t think they were wrong, I wouldn’t have appealed.”

It’s the first time Sampson has spoken at length about the NCAA’s ruling, issued just before Thanksgiving.

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