Wednesday's Sports In Brief

AP - Sports

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Clayton Kershaw agreed Wednesday to a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The deal makes the two-time Cy Young Award winner baseball's first player with a $30 million average salary.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced.

Kershaw receives the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of $180 million set by Justin Verlander last March for his seven-year contract with Detroit.

NEW YORK (AP) - A Major League Baseball Players Association lawyer says Alex Rodriguez wanted the union to pursue ''extraordinary remedies'' outside of arbitration to stop attempts to discipline the New York Yankees third baseman.

Attorney Daniel Engelstein made the comment as he urged that two Rodriguez lawsuits in Manhattan federal court be combined into a single case. The court did not immediately decide.

NEW YORK (AP) - New baseball union head Tony Clark says players won't agree to terminating contracts as part of discipline for drug violations.

Clark took over as executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association following Michael Weiner's death in November and expects talks on possible changes to the drug agreement to start before spring training.

Clark also anticipated players will agree before the upcoming season to ban home plate collisions and to allow expanded instant replay, which also requires a deal between Major League Baseball and the umpires' union.

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) - The head of the committee that developed Major League Baseball's plan to expand instant replay is optimistic the system will be in place this season, even though owners and unions for players and umpires have yet to approve.

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz expects the system will need three years of use to resolve problems that develop.

The plan would give managers the right to challenge most calls except balls and strikes, with one challenge allowed in the first six innings and two from the seventh inning on. A successful challenge would not count against the limits.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, limited to 17 games last season due to injuries, says he will probably start on-field work Monday.

Jeter, at his Turn 2 Foundation golf classic, said his offseason has been going well and he's ''looking forward to getting out there.''

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A person familiar with the decision says Charlie Manuel has agreed to return to the Philadelphia Phillies, accepting a position offered to him the day he was fired as manager.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced the move.

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TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Soaked with sweat and clinging desperately for survival, Maria Sharapova was only a point from victory when Australian Open organizers finally decided that the searing heat was extreme enough to suspend matches.

The four-time major winner was serving at 5-4 in the third set, 2 hours, 38 minutes into her second-round match against No. 44-ranked Karin Knapp on Thursday. But the reprieve wouldn't apply to the pair on Rod Laver Arena, because the long-delayed Extreme Heat Policy only kicks in at the end of sets in progress. It took another 50 minutes before Sharapova converted her fourth match point for a grueling 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 win.

The temperature was 102 degrees when Sharapova's match started at just after 11 a.m. local time and increased to almost 109 degrees by the time she finished during the third straight day of a heat wave in sweltering Melbourne. At 3 hours, 28 minutes, it was the longest women's match so far in the tournament.

Seeded winners included No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 6 Roger Federer and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the men's bracket and No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki in the women's.

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PRO FOOTBALL

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed practice because of illness and his right shoulder.

Brady said last week that he had a cold. Then he led the Patriots to a 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC playoff game on a rainy Saturday night. Earlier in the season, he was listed on the injury report with the shoulder condition but usually practiced with it.

Backup Ryan Mallett did double duty in preparation for Sunday's AFC championship game at the Denver Broncos. He was the quarterback for the offense and also emulated Denver quarterback Peyton Manning for the defense.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Vikings announced on Twitter that they had hired Mike Zimmer for their top coaching job.

''I'm extremely excited to bring a championship to the state of Minnesota and to the great fan base of the Vikings,'' Zimmer said in a video posted on the team's Twitter account. ''I can't wait to get to work.''

NEW YORK (AP) - Terry McAulay will be the referee at the Super Bowl, marking the third time he has worked the NFL title game.

The rest of his seven-man crew on Feb. 2 will be umpire Carl Paganelli, head linesman Jim Mello, line judge Tom Symonette, field judge Scott Steenson, side judge Dave Wyant and back judge Steve Freeman.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say the wife of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill left a rifle in the back of a rental SUV in South Florida earlier this month.

The Broward Sheriff's Office reported that Lauren Tannehill rented a Nissan Rogue from EZ Rental Car at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport the afternoon of Jan. 4. She returned about two hours later to swap the Rogue for a different car, but authorities say she left behind an LMT AR-15, which was secured in a case.

No charges are expected to be filed.

DALLAS (AP) - A toxicologist testified that Josh Brent's blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit the night of a crash that killed a teammate.

Justin Schwane said that a man the size of the former Dallas Cowboys player would have had to have 17 drinks to reach that level.

The testimony came in the third day of Brent's trial on an intoxication manslaughter charge in the December 2012 crash that killed Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown.

MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Dolphins hired Bill Lazor as their new offensive coordinator.

Miami is hoping he can click with Ryan Tannehill the way he did with Nick Foles as quarterbacks coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin did not practice Wednesday because of the concussion he sustained in the NFC divisional playoff game.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Harvin was meeting with doctors and had no other updates on Harvin's status for Sunday's NFC championship game against San Francisco.

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PRO BASKETBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) - Greg Oden played in his first NBA regular-season game in more than four years, coming off the bench in the second quarter of the Miami Heat's 114-97 loss to the Washington Wizards.

He finished with six points and two rebounds in eight minutes.

Oden's last appearance in a regular-season game was Dec. 5, 2009, when he fractured his left kneecap playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft also missed what would have been his rookie year because of a right knee injury. He has had three microfracture surgeries on his knees.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Boston Celtics sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors as part of a three-team trade.

The Warriors sent guard Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat as part of the deal. The Heat moved center Joel Anthony and two draft picks and cash considerations to the Celtics in a move that creates financial flexibility for the two-time defending NBA champions.

ATLANTA (AP) - Authorities say former NBA player Javaris Crittenton was among more than a dozen people arrested amid a metro Atlanta drug trafficking probe.

Crittenton's attorney, Brian Steel, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution his client is innocent, adding they'll ''fight any and every false allegation'' against Crittenton.

Crittenton was out on bond awaiting trial on murder charges in the August 2011 shooting death of an Atlanta woman.

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A judge ruled that former executive director Billy Hunter's suit against the NBA players' association for breach of contract can continue, but dismissed most of his claims against Derek Fisher and all of them against a publicist who used to work with the Oklahoma City guard.

Hunter contends he had a valid contract when he was ousted last February and is owed the more than $10.5 million.

The ruling in Los Angeles Superior Court allowed that part of the suit to remain, but threw out 12 of the 14 claims against Fisher.

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OLYMPICS

Lindsey Vonn announced on her Facebook page that she had surgery on her right knee.

The knee injury has prevented the reigning Olympic downhill champion from competing in the Sochi Games next month.

The 29-year-old Vonn posted that her surgery was ''successful!'' She also attached a picture with her new puppy, Leo.

ROME (AP) - A senior Italian IOC member criticized the United States for including openly gay athletes in its official delegation for next month's Sochi Olympics.

''It's absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have (been established),'' Mario Pescante said at an Italian Olympic Committee meeting in Milan on Wednesday, in comments widely reported by Italian media. ''The games should not be an occasion and a stage to promote rights that sports supports daily.''

The Italian Olympic Committee would not confirm or deny Pescante's comments, but his speech was reported by the Gazzetta dello Sport and the ANSA news agency.

The 75-year-old Pescante told The Associated Press by telephone that ''I just wanted to make the point not to let politics interfere with the Olympics.''

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BOXING

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says his next opponent will be decided within a week. One thing's for sure, it's not Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather Jr., who arrived in South Africa on Wednesday, named Britain's Amir Khan and Argentina's Marcos Maidana as contenders for his next bout in Las Vegas on May 3 but said ''we don't know. We will know within the next seven days.''

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AUTO RACING

ANTOFAGASTA, Chile (AP) - Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel closed the gap on Dakar Rally leader Nani Roma to just two minutes after another all-out attack on the 10th stage along the Chilean coast.

A day after slicing more than 11 minutes off Roma's overall lead, Peterhansel cut off another 10 to practically lie on Roma's bumper, setting up a thrilling finish with 684 miles and three days to go in the world's toughest rally.

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