Off the wire
Posted: July 31, 2014 at 2:59 a.m.
Davis checks out San Antonio
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis confirmed a published report of a visit with San Antonio officials, but the extent of his interest in relocating his franchise to Texas is not known. Davis, reached by phone, said he was in San Antonio with close friend and former Raider Cliff Branch, who was being inducted into a local hall of fame. "Former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some city officials while I was in town," Davis said. "I have nothing further to discuss on the topic." According to a report in the San Antonio Express-News, Davis met with Cisneros, then-mayor Julian Castro, City Manager Sheryl Sculley and the president of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Following the initial report, Sculley issued the following memo to the city council, according to the Express-News: "I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff. Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence. The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders." The Alamodome could serve as a temporary home until a new stadium is built. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters at the team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif., that he "didn't make much" of the report. Dallas is a 274-mile drive from San Antonio. The Cowboys have trained in San Antonio and consider it their market. A move would require approval from 24 of the 32 NFL owners. League spokesman Greg Aiello said "we have received no applications from any of our teams to relocate at this point, so there is nothing to respond to."
Indians deal Masterson
The Cleveland Indians traded the disappointing Justin Masterson on Wednesday to the St. Louis Cardinals, a deal that will allow Cleveland to get something in return for the right-hander who was in his final year under contract. In exchange for Masterson, who was scheduled to come off the disabled list later this week, the Indians got outfielder James Ramsey. A first-round pick by the Cardinals (No. 23 overall) in 2012, Ramsey has spent this season at Class AA Springfield, where he batted .300 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI. Masterson has underperformed this season. He started Cleveland's opener but failed to live up to expectations following a 14-10 season and after he turned down a contract extension from the club during spring training. Masterson is 4-6 with a 5.51 ERA in 19 starts this season and has had a noticeable loss in velocity. In five starts before being placed on the DL with right knee inflammation, he allowed 19 runs and 27 hits in 18 innings.
• The Los Angeles Dodgers have completed their trade with the Chicago Cubs, sending minor-league pitcher Jonathan Martinez to Chicago and optioning infielder Darwin Barney to Class AAA Albuquerque. Barney was acquired by the Dodgers in Monday's trade and he was sent down Wednesday. The Gold Glove winner in 2012 played second base, third base and shortstop in five seasons with the Cubs, but they cut him loose after he hit .230 with 16 RBI in 72 games this season. Martinez, a 20-year-old right-hander, was 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 19 starts for Class A Great Lakes this season. He was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent in May 2011 out of Venezuela.
• Houston Astros reliever Josh Zeid will have season-ending surgery to address pain in both feet. Zeid was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of the pain on the balls of his feet. After tests Tuesday, the decision was made to have surgery on the right foot Aug. 6. He'll have surgery on the other foot six weeks later. "You never want to take time away from your team or not give your team the best chance to win," Zeid said. "But at the same time this could become a recurring problem every year for the next 10 or 15 years if that's how long I get to play." Zeid has a 6.97 ERA in 23 appearances. The team said the recovery is expected to take three months. Astros Manager Bo Porter said surgery now would "allow him to go through all the recovery and get ready for spring training next year."
Riley disappointed in LeBron
Miami Heat President Pat Riley is speaking out at length for the first time since LeBron James left the franchise, saying that he wants the team "to be as good as it's ever been" going forward. Riley spoke with reporters Wednesday after the team completed the signing of Chris Bosh to a $118 million, five-year contract. Riley expressed disappointment that James returned to Cleveland, and revealed that he was working under the premise during free agency that the four-time MVP would be staying in Miami. But even with James leaving, Riley insists that the Heat will continue being competitive. Riley says he told James before free agency that he would be telling other players that the Heat expected him back, and that James never told him to think otherwise.
Japan's Kei Nishikori won his opening match on the pre-U.S. Open hard-court circuit, beating Sam Querrey 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the second round Wednesday of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. The fourth-seeded Nishikori, who received a first-round bye, was playing for the first time since losing in Wimbledon's fourth round July 1. Nishikori's next opponent is Lukas Lacko of Slovakia. Two seeded men lost when Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic beat No. 8 Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-4, and Donald Young of the United States eliminated No. 17 Julien Benneteau of France 6-4, 6-3. In women's action, Kristina Mladenovic of France beat American qualifier Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-4, and Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan stopped playing against Kurumi Nara of Japan because of a right elbow injury.
• Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tune-ups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. The second-ranked Nadal plays left-handed, but uses a two-handed backhand. Nadal's manager Benito Perez-Barbadillo said the Spaniard was hurt in practice on his home island of Mallorca while getting ready for the North American hard-court circuit. Perez-Barbadillo said that doctors determined Wednesday that Nadal will need to wear a cast on his wrist for two to three weeks and the initial prognosis is for him to be able to return to action at the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 25. But doctors will keep tabs on the injury, including with MRI exams, and then decide when Nadal can play again. The Toronto tournament begins Monday, and the Cincinnati tournament starts Aug. 11. Nadal won both of those events last year (when the Canadian tournament was held in Montreal).
Ives to move to Earnhardt
Greg Ives will return to Hendrick Motorsports next season as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ives was race engineer for Jimmie Johnson's record five consecutive championships. He moved to JR Motorsports in 2013 for his first crew chief job, with Regan Smith in the Nationwide Series. Ives was moved to rookie Chase Elliott's pit stand this season. He has five Nationwide victories, including three with points leader Elliott. Hendrick has been on a search for a crew chief for NASCAR's most popular driver all season. Steve Letarte announced in January he was stepping down at the end of the year to take an analyst position with NBC Sports. Earnhardt and Letarte opened the season with a Daytona 500 victory. Earnhardt is ranked second in the Sprint Cup standings.
Sports on 07/31/2014