Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief

baseball

qualifying offers go out

NEW YORK — Mets 2B Daniel Murphy and Astros OF Colby Rasmus were among a record 20 major-league free agents who received $15.8 million qualifying offers before Friday's deadline. Other offers included top pitchers such as Zack Greinke (Dodgers), Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) and John Lackey (Cardinals), and hitters such as OF Jason Heyward (Cardinals) and 1B Chris Davis (Orioles).

Players have until Nov. 13 to accept. In three previous offseasons of the current collective bargaining agreement, none of the 34 qualifying offers was taken.

Murphy, 30, homered in a record six straight postseason games but slumped in the World Series, hitting .150 and making key errors. Rasmus hit .238 with 25 homers and 61 RBIs, then batted .412 in the postseason with four homers and six RBIs.

Among others who received offers: Orioles C Matt Wieters, Dodgers 2B Howie Kendrick, Royals OF Alex Gordon and Cubs OF Dexter Fowler.

soccer

Dempsey left off U.S. roster

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann left veteran forward Clint Dempsey off the U.S. national soccer team roster for the first two 2018 World Cup qualifiers this month. "I want to give the younger strikers a chance to prove themselves, and this is a good stage to do it," Klinsmann said. "I communicated with Clint about it, and it's all fine." Dempsey, 32, has appeared in three World Cups and is second in the U.S. record books with 48 international goals, nine behind Landon Donovan. The forwards on the 23-man roster are veteran Jozy Altidore, emerging prospects Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood, MLS journeyman Alan Gordon, 34, and Stanford junior Jordan Morris. The Americans begin group play in CONCACAF's semifinal round Nov. 13 against St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The second match is Nov. 17 at Trinidad and Tobago.

MORE SOCCER: Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter, 79, was treated for a medical issue at a Zurich hospital but was expected to be released shortly, his lawyer said. An adviser to Blatter, Klaus Stoehkler, said the incident was related to stress and that Blatter was "quite fine." … The MLS fined Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo and two staff members undisclosed amounts for inappropriate conduct directed at game officials.

tENNIS

Djokovic battles into semifinal

Novak Djokovic saved set points in both sets to remain on course for his third straight Paris Masters title , beating fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8) in a quarterfinal. The top-ranked Serb plays No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, who overcame an early break of serve and saved two set points in each tiebreaker to beat seventh-seeded Rafael Nadal 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (9-7) for only the third time in their 16 career meetings. Second-seeded Andy Murray and No. 8 David Ferrer meet in the other semifinal. Murray beat 10th-seeded Richard Gasquet 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-3 to achieve his best match record in a single season, 67-11. Ferrer beat 13th-seeded American John Isner 6-3, 6-7 (8-6), 6-1 after failing to serve out the match at 5-3, 40-15 up in the second set.

ET CETERA

stadium restoration: A northern New Jersey stadium that once played host to legendary Negro Leagues baseball players and was recently named a national historic landmark is getting a boost for its restoration efforts. The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that 83-year-old Hinchliffe Stadium will receive a $300,000 grant.

Times wires

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