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Penny headed for Giants’ rotation

September 1, 2009

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Ex-Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny and the Giants agreed to a minor league contract last night. Penny cleared waivers after he was released by Boston last week. Because he reached a deal with San Francisco before midnight, he is eligible for postseason play. Penny, 31, who went 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA with the Sox, is expected to pitch tomorrow against the Phillies once the Giants make a roster move . . . Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s rehab has been shut down again after he experienced more numbness in his right arm and he may need season-ending surgery.

Dodgers deal for Thome and Garland
The Dodgers bolstered their roster for a playoff push, acquiring White Sox slugger Jim Thome and Diamondbacks righthander Jon Garland just before the midnight deadline, making both players eligible for postseason play. Both deals were for players to be named . . . Additionally, ESPN reported the White Sox, who have fallen out of playoff contention after disastrous trips to Boston and New York, were shopping outfielder Jermaine Dye and reliever Scott Linebrink as well as Thome . . . The Royals extended general manager Dayton Moore’s contract through 2014.

Yao could return; Rubio staying in Spain
Yao Ming’s return from foot surgery might come sooner than expected. In an interview with ESPN, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said Yao could return at some point in the 2009-10 season and the team no longer feels his broken left foot is a career-threatening injury . . . Point guard Ricky Rubio will be staying in Spain for the next two seasons instead of coming to play for the Timberwolves this fall. Yahoo Sports and ESPN cited anonymous sources that say Rubio’s Spanish team has traded him to Regal FC Barcelona. The Timberwolves selected Rubio, 18, with the fifth pick in the June draft. New president of basketball operations David Kahn was aware Rubio was under contract with DKV Joventut for the next two years. But he made three trips to Spain in hopes of negotiating down an $8 million buyout that would allow Rubio to join the Timberwolves this season . . . Oscar Robertson and coach Pete Newell will be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in Spain this month for leading the US to the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The late Kay Yow, who led the US women to the 1988 Olympic title, also will be enshrined.

Michigan coach denies breaking rules
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said his program has abided by NCAA rules, despite allegations from anonymous players who said the team has practiced far beyond the time allowed. “We know the rules and we follow the rules,’’ an emotional Rodriguez told reporters in Ann Arbor . . . UCLA will wait to determine whether the wildfires in the Los Angeles hills will cause postponement of the football season opener against San Diego State Saturday at the Rose Bowl . . . Former University of Miami quarterback Cannon Smith will transfer to Memphis, according to a report in the Miami Herald . . . Former UMass hockey coach Jack Canniff died Saturday after a long battle with several health issues. His teams won 120 games from 1967-79.

Nicklaus to join Palmer at Masters
Six-time champion Jack Nicklaus, 69, will join four-time champion Arnold Palmer, 79, as an honorary starter for next year’s Masters . . . US Amateur quarterfinalist Peter Uihlein and Cameron Tringale are the final two amateur players selected to the US Walker Cup team. The biennial competition, pitting an American team against a team representing Great Britain and Ireland, will take place Sept. 12-13 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

Kelly sacked as head of players’ union
Paul Kelly was sacked as executive director of the NHL Players Association less than two years after he got the job. The NHLPA didn’t give a reason, saying that after a review of the “overall operation of the NHLPA, it was decided that Paul Kelly should no longer continue to serve as executive director.’’ Ian Penny was named Kelly’s interim replacement . . . Emma Laaksonen scored on a power play 2:10 into the third period to lift Finland to a 3-2 upset of the United States in the opening game of the women’s Canada Cup. Gigi Marvin and Natalie Darwitz scored to give the Americans a two-goal lead after the first period. But goalie Noora Raty made 49 saves to preserve the win.

Liukin declines to compete at worlds
Nastia Liukin has withdrawn her name from consideration for the world gymnastics championships, saying she hasn’t had enough time to train. Liukin, only the third US woman to win the Olympic title, has been in high demand for appearances and commercial opportunities since the Beijing Olympics . . . World record-holder Usain Bolt will run the 200 meters at the IAAF world athletics final next month in Monaco. The Jamaican sprinter shattered world records in the 100 and 200 meters at the world championships earlier this month . . . US Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper won the 100-meter hurdles in 12.67 seconds at the Zagreb (Croatia) Grand Prix and Americans Darvis Patton (9.94) and Mike Rodgers (9.97) went 1-2 in the men’s 100.

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