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Braves Agree on One-Year Deal with Outfielder Jonny Gomes

Braves Agree on One-Year Deal with Outfielder Jonny Gomes

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Atlanta Braves have signed veteran free agent outfielder Jonny Gomes to a one-year deal.

ESPN.com reports the deal is worth $4 million.

The 34-year-old Gomes spent last season with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. In 112 games, Gomes hit .234 with six home runs and 37 RBIs.

During his 12-year career, Gomes has hit .244 with 155 home runs and 500 RBIs with the Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, Athletics, and Red Sox.

Gomes is expected to be in a platoon in left field with Zoilo Almonte. The rest of the outfield will be made up of Nick Markakis and B.J. Upton.

The Braves have remade their outfield this offseason. They traded outfielder Justin Upton to the San Diego Padres and Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals.

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ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Francisco 49ers signed Eric Mangini to a three-year contract as their new defensive coordinator, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.Mangini served as the 49ers tight ends coach last season, but has experience coaching defenses. He served as the New England Patriots' defensive backs coach from 2000 to 2004 before becoming their defensive coordinator in 2005.Mangini takes over for Vic Fangio, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.Mangini also has five years' experience as a NFL head coach. He spent three seasons with the New York Jets and two with the Cleveland Browns, compiling a 33-47 record while making one playoff appearance.

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Seahawks’ Lane Doesn’t Think Gronkowski’s “That Good”

Seahawks’ Lane Doesn’t Think Gronkowski’s “That Good”

Elsa/Getty Images(RENTON, Wash.) -- Many people would probably tell you that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the main reasons the Patriots have been so successful this season, but Seattle Seahawks starting nickleback Jeremy Lane isn't one of them."I actually don't think he's that good," Lane said. "He's OK. He does have a big body. But from what I've seen on tape, he doesn't like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won't catch that many balls."Gronkowski finished this season with 82 catches, 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, but Lane believes if he hits Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage, the 6-foot-6, 265 pound All-Pro will have problems being productive."It's definitely an issue with him from watching tape," said Lane.The 24-year-old Lane has played in seven games for the Seahawks this season, compiling 23 tackles, three passes defended and one forced fumble.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/22/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/22/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Chicago Bulls 104 (28-16) – San Antonio Spurs 81 (27-17)

Utah Jazz 101 (15-28) – Milwaukee Bucks 99 (21-21)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (2) Virginia 57 (18-0) – Georgia Tech 28 (9-9)

(8) Notre Dame 85 (18-2) – Virginia Tech 60 (8-10)

DePaul 64 (11-9) – (24) Seton Hall 60 (13-5)

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L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Has Torn Rotator Cuff

L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Has Torn Rotator Cuff

Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Lakers star Kobe Bryant has a tear in his right rotator cuff, the team announced on Thursday. The 16-time All-Star will return to Los Angeles from San Antonio and be examined by team doctors on Friday.

The 36-year-old Bryant injured his shoulder during the second half of the Lakers' 96-80 loss to the Pelicans Wednesday night in New Orleans when he went for a two-handed slam dunk.

In 35 games this season, Bryant is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Last season, he played in just six games because of injuries to his knee and Achilles.

Bryant has won five NBA championships during his 19-year career with the Lakers.

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Jeff Gordon Set to Retire from Full-Time Racing After 2015

Jeff Gordon Set to Retire from Full-Time Racing After 2015

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jeff Gordon will retire as a full-time driver following the 2015 season, he announced on Thursday.

Gordon has raced in the Sprint Cup series for 22 years and made the announcement at the No. 24 team at Hendrick Motorsports' headquarters.

"As a race car driver, much of what I've done throughout my life has been based on following my instincts and trying to make good decisions," Gordon said in a release. "I thought long and hard about my future this past year and during the offseason, and I've decided 2015 will be the last time I compete for a championship.

"I won't use the 'R-word' because I plan to stay extremely busy in the years ahead, and there's always the possibility I'll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that," he added

"I don't foresee a day when I'll ever step away from racing. I'm a fan of all forms of motor sports, but particularly NASCAR. We have a tremendous product, and I'm passionate about the business and its future success," Gordon continued. "As an equity owner in Hendrick Motorsports, I'm a partner with Rick [Hendrick] and will remain heavily involved with the company for many years to come."

Gordon has four Sprint Cup titles and 92 wins during his career. He sits in third in all-time victories behind Hall of Famer Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105).

Hendrick, the team's owner, reacted to the news in a statement: "There's simply no way to quantify Jeff's impact. He's one of the biggest sports stars of a generation, and his contributions to the success and growth of NASCAR are unsurpassed."

NASCAR's Sprint Cup season kicks off on Sunday Feb. 22 at the Daytona 500.

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Deflate-gate: Patriots Coach Says He Has ‘No Explanation’ for Under-Inflated Balls

Deflate-gate: Patriots Coach Says He Has ‘No Explanation’ for Under-Inflated Balls

Leon Halip/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Thursday that he was "shocked" when he heard that the NFL found 11 of 12 footballs deflated that were used in their 45-7 AFC Championship game win over the Colts on Sunday.

Belichick said that the organization is still cooperating with the NFL as the investigation continues.

"When I came in Monday morning I was shocked to learn of the news reports about the footballs," Belichick said.  "I had no knowledge whatsoever of the situation until Monday morning."

"I would say I've learned a lot more about this process than I knew or talked about it in the last 40 years," Belichick continued.  

Belichick said that when the team practices, he makes sure that they play with the worst footballs.

"We never use the condition of the footballs as an excuse," Belichick said.  "We play with whatever or kick with whatever we have to use and that's the way it is."

Belichick said that the team would take the steps to avoid footballs being below the NFL standard.

Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.

"The National Football league is investigating the situation," Belichick said.  "We have cooperated fully, quickly, and completely with every request they have made."

The Patriots are preparing for a Super Bowl showdown with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. 

Chicago Bears equipment manager Tony Medlin will organize the football process for the Super Bowl.

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U.S. Soccer Suspends Hope Solo for 30 Days

U.S. Soccer Suspends Hope Solo for 30 Days

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. Soccer suspended U.S. women's national team goalie Hope Solo for 30 days Wednesday.U.S. Soccer made the decision based on a situation that happened during training camp but would not specify what happened. The gossip site TMZ is reporting, however, that the penalty came from her allegedly "belligerent" behavior towards cops during Monday morning's DUI arrest of her ex-NFL player husband Jerramy Stevens in California.

Solo has been released from camp, and the suspension is effective immediately."During our current National Team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates," U.S. women's soccer coach Jill Ellis said in a statement. "We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team."After the 30 days are up, if Ellis and U.S. soccer agree, Solo is eligible to be reinstated.The team is currently training for June's World Cup.

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Adam Gase Takes Over as Bears’ Offensive Coordinator

Adam Gase Takes Over as Bears’ Offensive Coordinator

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Adam Gase will take the job as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, the team announced Wednesday.ESPN reports Gase signed a three-year contract.The 36-year-old Gase is reunited with Bears head coach John Fox, with whom he spent the past four seasons in Denver -- the last two as Fox's offensive coordinator.Over the past two regular seasons, Gase commandeered a Broncos offense that led the NFL in scoring offense (34 points per game) and total offense (430.1 yards per game). He was also in charge when the Broncos set an NFL record by scoring 606 points in 2013.Gase now takes over a Bears offense that, despite having weapons such as Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, ranked 23rd in scoring offense last season.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/21/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/21/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers 106 (23-20) – Utah Jazz 92 (14-28)

Charlotte Hornets 78 (18-25) – Miami Heat 76 (18-24)

New York Knicks 98 (7-36) – Philadelphia 76ers 91 (8-34)

Atlanta Hawks 110 (35-8) – Indiana Pacers 91 (15-29)

Detroit Pistons 128 (17-26) – Orlando Magic 118 (15-30)

Memphis Grizzlies 92 (30-12) – Toronto Raptors 86 (27-15)

Dallas Mavericks 98 (30-13) – Minnesota Timberwolves 75 (7-34)

New Orleans Pelicans 96 (21-21) – Los Angeles Lakers 80 (12-31)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (14) Wichita State 76 (17-2) – Missouri State 53 (8-11)

(15) North Carolina 87 (15-4) – Wake Forest 71 (9-10)

(20) Northern Iowa 66 (17-2) – Indiana State 60 (9-10)

(21) Baylor 81 (14-4) – Huston-Tillotson 61

NHL:  Ottawa Senators 4 (19-18-9; 47pts) – Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (22-23-3; 47pts)

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Report: Brewers Sign LHP Dontrelle Willis

Report: Brewers Sign LHP Dontrelle Willis

iStockphoto(MILWAUKEE) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have signed left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to ESPN.

The 33-year-old last appeared in the major leagues in 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds, where he went 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA. He struck out 57 batters and walked 37 in 75 2-3 innings of work.

Willis made his big league debut in 2003 with the Florida Marlins, compiling a record of 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA. He won the National League Rookie of the Year award and was named to the NL All-Star team.

In 2005, Willis finished second to St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter in the NL Cy Young Award voting after going 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA. He also recorded seven complete games, five of them shutouts.

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Max Scherzer Ready to Contend in Washington

Max Scherzer Ready to Contend in Washington

David Banks/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Max Scherzer is ready to be one of the guys in the Nationals' loaded pitching rotation.

Washington introduced Scherzer on Wednesday after he signed a seven-year deal.

"It was jaw-dropping," Scherzer said of the $210 million deal.  "You just can't even fathom it sometimes."

"You work so hard to put yourself in this position," Scherzer continued. "It's all about winning, but I don't play this game for money, but at the same time when you have an offer like that, it just makes you go, wow."

The 2013 A.L. Cy Young Award winner will join a rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez."It's pretty easy, and it's one: winning," Scherzer said. "When you look at the near-term and long-term, this is an organization you want to be a part of."

The righthander was 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA last season. He struck out 252 batters.

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Yovani Gallardo Excited to Be Back in Texas

Yovani Gallardo Excited to Be Back in Texas

Jason Wise/MLB Photos via Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- The Texas Rangers introduced pitcher Yovani Gallardo on Wednesday after they acquired him in a trade with the Brewers on Tuesday.

Texas gave up three prospects for Gallardo, who grew up watching the Rangers as a kid.

"Feels great," Gallardo said. "Living in Forth Worth all my life, it's definitely a dream to have the opportunity to play for a team like the Rangers."

Gallardo, 28, has an 89-64 career record over eight seasons, with a 3.69 ERA.

"It might be a little bit different," Gallardo said regarding adjusting to the American League batters.  "I'm still going to go out there and do the same things I've been doing in the National League."

"I'm sure I'm going to have to make some type of adjustment," Gallardo continued.  "That's part of the job, I'm looking forward to taking on that challenge."

Gallardo will be part of a pitching rotation that features Yu Darvish.

"You want to have the ball going out there with a guy that is that kind of pitcher," Gallardo said of Darvish.

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Jets Introduce Todd Bowles

Jets Introduce Todd Bowles

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Todd Bowles era in New York has begun.

Bowles was introduced on Wednesday by the Jets, and he understands that in the end it comes down to winning.

"We're going to be a tough team, intelligent team, do things the right way," Bowles said.  "Going forward we're going to everything we can to use all our resources, we're going to try and build a championship team here and that's my only job."

Bowles comes over from the Arizona Cardinals, where he served as defensive coordinator for the past two seasons. Previously, he served in the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 and was the assistant head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2008-2011. Bowles was also the interim head coach of the Dolphins for the final three games of the 2011 season.

"I'm just going to be myself," Bowles said when asked of how he'll handle the New York media.  "I'll deal with the media as they talk to me I'll talk to them."

"I'm open, honest, upfront," Bowles continued.  "I grew up here, I understand the media."

Bowles, 51, is New Jersey native who grew up in Elizabeth and attended Temple University. He played 8 seasons in the NFL: seven with the Washington Redskins (1986-1990, 1992-93) and one with the San Francisco 49ers (1991).

Bowles understands that there will have to be a culture change in the locker room coming off the Rex Ryan era.

"We have to get to some of the players and we got to teach them our culture," Bowles said.  "Not that the other culture was bad, but it didn't win.  Our culture is going to try and instill different things in them from a winning organization."

Bowles said he'd also evaluate all the players on the staff, including quarterback Geno Smith, once all the coaches are in place.

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Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated

Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs during Sunday’s AFC Championship game under-inflated, ESPN reports, citing league sources.

The NFL's spokesman declined to address the report.“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.According to ESPN’s report, the footballs used by the Patriots were reportedly under-inflated by two pounds per square inch. Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.A deflated ball could be easier for the quarterback to grip in bad weather, like in Sunday's rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. New England won the game 45-7.Each team provides 12 new Wilson Official NFL footballs for referees to check before games, with additional balls available for backup or at the away team’s discretion. The minimum disciplinary action for tampering of a football is a fine of $25,000, according to the NFL’s game operations manual.The controversy around “deflate-gate” has taken attention away from the Super Bowl, which features the Patriots playing against the Seattle Seahawks.

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Astros Sign Colby Rasmus

Astros Sign Colby Rasmus

Major League Baseball(HOUSTON, Tx.) -- The Houston Astros have added outfielder Colby Rasums into the mix to add a bit of power to their lineup.

The Astros signed Rasmus to a one-year, $8 million deal, Tuesday.

Rasmus, 28, is a talented, yet inconsistent batter.  Last season with the Blue Jays, Rasmus batted .225 with 18 home runs in 376 plate appearances. He also missed 58 games due to a hamstring injury.

After the Astros traded Dexter Fowler to the Chicago Cubs on Monday, the Astros needed an outfielder and Rasmus seemed like a natural fit. Right-handed batter Jake Marisnick will likely platoon with Rasmus once the season gets under way.

On January 14, the Astros also acquired catcher/outfield Evan Gattis from the Atlanta Braves.

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Report: MLB Proposes Shorter Inning Breaks

Report: MLB Proposes Shorter Inning Breaks

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Major League Baseball is seeking to shorten the length of games.

The MLB has submitted a proposal that would require pitchers to, "finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the end of all between-inning commercial breaks," according to ESPN's Jayson Stark. Hitters would also be required to be ready sooner as well.

Complaints have increased over the past decade over the length of games, as game times have consistently been over three hours. In the same period of time, ratings have seen a consistent decline.

"The average time of a Major League Baseball game this year was 12 minutes longer than just four years ago," Stark said. "So they are looking for ways to pick up the pace."

Before any changes will be made, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player's Association will explore other measures to speed up games. Pitch clocks will be installed at Double-A and Triple-A parks as a trial study, but will not be used in Major League parks. 

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New York Jets Hire Chan Gailey to Run Offense

New York Jets Hire Chan Gailey to Run Offense

Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images

(FLORHAM PARK, N.J.) -- The New York Jets are overhauling their team. Tuesday, the Jets have officially hired Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator.

Gailey, 63, most recently served as head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2010 through 2012.  The offensive-minded coach formerly led the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Dallas Cowboys.  He was also the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

"He understands football and is a very good communicator and teacher with players," said former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher to NewYorkJets.com. "He understands the strengths of players and puts players in positions where they will succeed."

Gailey joins newly hired head coach Todd Bowles as the Jets try to rebound from a 4-12 season.  Bowles took the head position after serving as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

"Chan has been a head coach as well and the other thing I think he gives Todd is a voice of reason." Cowher said. "A guy that Todd can go to about the numerous amount of elements of being a head coach that are going to be new to Todd."

Former players have great respect for Gailey, both as a coach and a professional. Bills running back C.J. Spiller, an impending free agent, told the New York Daily News he believed it would be a "perfect match" to re-join Gailey and that "he’s going to treat you like you’re a grown man. He’s going to give you respect."

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Scoreboard Roundup – 1/20/15

Scoreboard Roundup – 1/20/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder 94 (21-20) – Miami Heat 86 (18-23)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (9) Iowa State 77 (14-3) – Kansas St. 71 (11-8)

Davidson 77 (13-4) – (22) Dayton 60 (15-3)

NHL:  New York Rangers 3 (27-13-4; 58pts) – Ottawa Senators 2 (18-18-9; 45pts)

Edmonton Oilers 5 (12-26-9; 33pts) – Washington Capitals 4 (24-13-9; 57pts) SO

Detroit Red Wings 5 (27-11-9; 63pts) – Minnesota Wild 4 (20-20-6; 46pts) SO

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 (30-14-4; 64pts) – Vancouver Canucks 1 (26-16-3; 55pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 3 (19-22-7; 45pts) – Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (26-12-7; 59pts) OT

Montreal Canadiens 2 (29-13-3; 61pts) – Nashville Predators 1 (30-10-5; 65pts) OT

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Lions Will Part Ways with Center Dominic Raiola

Lions Will Part Ways with Center Dominic RaiolaScott Boehm(NEW YORK) -- The Detroit Lions are parting ways with one of the longest tenured players in franchise history as the team has informed center Dominic Raiola he will not return for the 2015 season. Raiola has spent his entire 14-year career w...

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