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Report: Ramirez wants to return to bigs

September 23, 2011

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Baseball
Manny Ramirez will formally ask to be reinstated to Major League Baseball, ESPNdeportes.com reported. Ramirez, 39, found out he could not play winter ball in the Dominican Republic because he is on MLB’s inactive list. He was suspended 100 games in April for a second violation of MLB’s drug policy, and said he would serve his punishment. “I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team,’’ Ramirez said. “I already informed [agent] Scott Boras of my decision to return and begin the process.’’ Ramirez cannot serve his suspension until he signs with a major league club . . . Lance Berkman agreed to a $12 million contract with St. Louis, giving the Cardinals a valuable bat for 2012. Signing Berkman, 35, provides a potential backup plan for the Cardinals if first baseman Albert Pujols leaves as a free agent. General manager John Mozeliak said Berkman’s contract left the Cardinals flexibility to get a deal done with Pujols . . . Marlins closer Leo Nunez has been playing under an assumed name, and the issue prompted him to return to his native Dominican Republic, two people familiar with his immigration status said. One person said his real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and he’s 29, a year older than listed in the team media guide. The Marlins placed Nunez on MLB’s restricted list, and he isn’t expected to pitch in the final week of the season.

Boxing
Azerbaijan allegedly has paid to win Amateur boxing’s ruling body will investigate allegations that millions have been paid to guarantee that the country of Azerbaijan wins two gold medals at next year’s London Olympics. The International Amateur Boxing Association will look into the allegations made by BBC TV’s “Newsnight’’ that money from Azerbaijan was paid to World Series Boxing, a franchised league supported by AIBA, which organizes boxing at the Olympics. “We welcome the inquiry by the AIBA and we have asked the BBC to provide evidence . . . we take every allegation very seriously,’’ IOC president Jacques Rogge said at a news conference after a sports seminar in Beijing. The report comes just days before the world championships get underway Monday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Basketball
Smith, Catchings lead Fever past Dream Tangela Smith scored 25 points to lead the Indiana Fever to an 82-74 victory over the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals in Indianapolis. Tamika Catchings, announced as the WNBA’s most valuable player earlier in the day, added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Fever . . . Seimone Augustus had 21 points and seven assists to lead the Minnesota Lynx to a 95-67 victory over the Phoenix Mercury in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in Minneapolis . . . Two men wanted in the shooting death of a New York City high school star have been arrested in South Carolina and will head to New York to face charges. Robert Cartagena and Tyshawn Brockington, both 21, waived extradition. The US Marshals Service said the men fled New York as investigators focused on them in the Sunday shooting of 18-year-old Tayshana Murphy . . . NBA veteran and former UMass star Marcus Camby, 37, is free on bond after police in suburban Houston arrested him on a charge of marijuana possession . . . San Diego prosecutors are reviewing allegations by a man claiming that Kobe Bryant injured him in a scuffle at a Carmel Valley (Calif.) church.

miscellany
Sacramone, Raisman make US team Massachusetts natives and Brestyan’s clubmates Alicia Sacramone of Winchester and Alexandra Raisman of Needham, who both won team silver medals last year, are the only veterans on the US women’s gymnastics team for next month’s world championships in Tokyo. Sacramone, 23, the sole Olympian on the seven-member roster, will make her fifth trip to the global meet, where she has won nine medals, three gold. Raisman, 17, will make her second appearance . . . The Carolina Hurricanes gave president/GM Jim Rutherford a four-year contract extension . . . Flyers forward Jody Shelley was suspended for the first five games of the regular season for his hit on Toronto’s Darryl Boyce. Calgary forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was banned for the first game of the regular season . . . The fall schedule at Suffolk Downs will include higher purses, two additional four-day race weeks, and the Oct. 22 running of the $100,000 Robert M. O’Malley Sprint Stakes.