Cubs, Vitters beat deadline
The Chicago Cubs and first-round pick Josh Vitters just beat theclock Wednesday, announcing a deal less than a minute before MajorLeague Baseball's 11 p.m. CDT deadline for all 2007 draft picksexcluding college seniors to sign.
Vitters received a $3.7 million signing bonus. A third basemanfrom Cypress High School (Calif.), he was ranked as the top pure highschool hitter by Baseball America.
Under a new baseball rule, the sides had until Wednesday to agreeon a contract. After that, draft picks would not be allowed to signwith the clubs that selected them in the June draft. Many unsignedplayers could go back into next year's draft pool.
Offerman suspended after wild outburst
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman wassuspended indefinitely Wednesday, a day after he went wild in theminors and hit the opposing pitcher and catcher with his bat.
Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault -the catcher sustained a concussion and the pitcher had a brokenfinger. Offerman posted $10,000 bond and was due in BridgeportSuperior Court on Aug. 23.
The independent Atlantic League said it will announce a decisionon the 38-year-old Offerman by the end of the week.
Out of the majors since playing for the New York Mets in 2005,Offerman homered in the first inning Tuesday night for the LongIsland Ducks. The next inning, he was hit by a pitch from BridgeportBluefish starter Matt Beech and charged the mound with his bat.
Vick would face year in prison in plea deal
NORFOLK, Va. - Federal prosecutors have offered Atlanta Falconsquarterback Michael Vick a plea deal that would recommend he serve atleast one year in prison on a felony dogfighting conspiracy charge,according to two sources familiar with the discussions.
Vick has until 9 a.m. Friday to accept the offer or could faceadditional charges when a grand jury convenes next week in U.S.District Court in Richmond, one of the sources said.
Kennedy out 6 weeks
MILWAUKEE - St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Adam Kennedy hadarthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee onTuesday and will miss a minimum of six weeks.
Rays ink No. 1 Price
BOSTON - Top pick David Price and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays agreedto an $11.25 million, six-year contract with the hard-throwing left-handed pitcher Wednesday.
Little E loses No. 8
ORLANDO, Fla. - The 'Free No. 8' placards likely will be even morenumerous at NASCAR tracks now, displayed by fans outraged that theirfavorite driver won't carry his favorite number next year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have to leave the number 8 behind him whenhe leaves Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of this season, according toofficials of his new team, Hendrick Motorsports.
Girl nabs swordfish
ORLANDO, Fla. - Drifting in the dark after midnight, about 16miles off Boynton Beach, a crew couldn't have imagined what was instore for it.
Cocoa Beach, Fla., resident Ashley Spalding, 14, with Capts. BradSpalding, Mitch Johnson, Ralph Turner and Karl Mullinax, along withNicole Wellington, headed out of Lake Worth Inlet for someswordfishing. At roughly 12:30, a swordfish hit the squid. Afternearly a two-hour fight, the younger Spalding finally had conqueredthe 155.8-pound fish. After research, the catch is an InternationalGame Fish Association junior female world record.
Carpenter joins Hall
DENVER - Bobby Carpenter, the first American-born player to score50 goals in an NHL season, will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hallof Fame in October. The newest class of members that includes goalieJohn Vanbiesbrouck, forward Aaron Broten and former Michigan Techcoach John MacInnes was revealed Wednesday by USA Hockey.
D-Backs cut Kim
PHOENIX - Arizona parted ways with Byung-Hyun Kim again Wednesdayfollowing two awful starts by the right-hander since the teamacquired him.
MLB pushes for China
TORONTO - With Asia on the minds of baseball officials, thesport's chief operating officer still wants to push ahead withexhibition games in China next year in addition to opening theregular season at the Tokyo Dome.
The players'association granted management another postponement inthe deadline for the 2008 draft schedule, which already had beenpushed back from June 30 to Aug. 15.