Wednesday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 2:03 AM

BASEBALL

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — J.A. Happ feels fortunate.

Less than 24 hours after he was hit on the head by a line drive and carted off the field, the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher was back at Tropicana Field on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old said he had a skull fracture behind his left ear that doctors believe will heal on its own, as well as a sore right knee that he tweaked when he dropped to the ground Tuesday night.

Otherwise, he felt pretty good after his release from Bayfront Medical Center. He does not have a concussion.

"I feel really fortunate," Happ said after limping into a room at Tropicana Field for a news conference and climbing a couple steps to sit down behind a table.

Happ, who was put on the 15-day disabled list, had a brief conversation with Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings, who hit the line drive that caught Happ squarely on the left side of the head. Happ shook hands with several teammates outside the Blue Jays clubhouse while assuring each one: "I'm fine."

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SOCCER

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Alex Ferguson is retiring at the end of the season, bringing a close to a trophy-filled career of more than 26 years at Manchester United that established him as the most successful coach in British football history.

"The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly," the 71-year-old Scotsman said in a statement on Wednesday. "It is the right time."

Everton manager David Moyes, a fellow Scot from Glasgow, is the front-runner to replace Ferguson. During 11 years at Everton, Moyes has overseen impressive results on a limited budget and enjoyed a long-standing friendship with Ferguson.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Family and friends honored the memory of a Utah soccer referee at an emotional funeral service Wednesday evening just hours after the teenager who punched him and put him in a coma was charged with homicide by assault.

After an afternoon wake at a community center, a group of men carried a wooden casket containing Ricardo Portillo in silence about a quarter mile to a nearby Catholic church. There, about 200 people — most wearing white shirts — listened to a funeral service conducted in Spanish.

Earlier Wednesday, the teenager who police say punched Portillo was charged with homicide by assault, a count issued when an attack unintentionally causes death.

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PRO FOOTBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Three-time All-Pro Ronde Barber is retiring after a 16-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that included a Super Bowl title and five Pro Bowl appearances.

The Bucs announced that the 38-year-old twin brother of former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber will not return to play on a defense overhauled since the end of last season. Tampa Bay acquired Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson and second-round draft pick Johnthan Banks for its secondary.

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III's knee is still feeling fine. His ability to turn a room upside down is better than ever.

The Washington Redskins quarterback made an appearance — and quite an impact — at a luncheon for the American Cancer Society. He raised $33,000 in a matter of minutes, more than half of the $60,000 tallied during the auction portion of the fundraiser.

The crowning moment came when a man from Texas paid $15,000 for a pair of pink cleats worn by Griffin in a game last season.

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BASEBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay will have arthroscopic surgery to repair a bone spur in his right shoulder.

Halladay will undergo a procedure in his right shoulder to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and remove a bone spur. He also has some fraying of the labrum.

Halladay hadn't decided on which doctor will perform the surgery, but said he expects to have the operation next week to give himself the best chance of returning this season.

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PRO BASKETBALL

DENVER (AP) — George Karl was named the NBA's Coach of the Year for leading the Denver Nuggets to a team-record 57 wins this season.

Karl got 62 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

Golden State eliminated the Nuggets 92-88 in Game 6 last Thursday night.

It's the first time Karl has won the award in 25 seasons. He joins Doug Moe as the only Denver coaches to earn the honor.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol will get ultrasonic treatment on both knees in an attempt to regenerate his tendons.

The team says Gasol will have a procedure Thursday that's intended to improve the health of his patellar tendons by removing scar tissue with ultrasonic energy. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Steven Yoon of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group.

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PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for a fifth time.

Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks also are finalists for the award given annually to the NHL's top goaltender.

Lundqvist won it last year.

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GOLF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour for exposing him to "public humiliation and ridicule" during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer antler spray that ended last week when the tour dropped its case against him.

The lawsuit was a surprise, and so was the timing — the day before The Players Championship, the flagship event on the PGA Tour held on its home course where Singh has honed his game for the last two decades.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Maurice Taylor and Louis Bullock are eager to reconnect with Michigan.

In their first interviews about the Ed Martin booster scandal, both former players told The Associated Press they hope to re-establish a relationship with the university now that a decade-long dissociation ordered by the NCAA has ended.

Taylor and Bullock said they both regret choices they made as young men that ended up staining the school and stunting the basketball program.

What about Chris Webber? The public may have to wait for him to publish his book. But as of Wednesday, Webber, Taylor and Bullock all have the option of renewing their relationship with the Wolverines.

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AUTO RACING

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — A NASCAR appeals panel sided with Joe Gibbs Racing and eased some of the penalties imposed for having an illegal part in Matt Kenseth's race-winning engine at Kansas last month.

NASCAR punished JGR after discovering during a post-race inspection that one of eight connecting rods in the engine at the April 21 race did not meet the minimum weight requirement. The part was too light by 3 grams, less than the weight of an envelope.

JGR did not dispute the part was illegal, but argued the penalties were too severe because it leases its engines from Toyota Racing Development and is not permitted to touch anything inside of them. Toyota accepted responsibility and insisted one light rod did not give Kenseth a performance advantage.

The three-member National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel agreed and dramatically reduced almost every penalty.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR chief executive Brian France said in court documents that his former wife spent a "staggering" amount of his fortune on her family and friends. Megan France said her former husband spent little time with their two children and became verbally abusive when he didn't get his way.

Voluminous court documents unsealed Wednesday revealed new details about the couple's bitter second divorce, years after the contentious 2008 breakup. France's lawyers had fought for years to keep the records confidential.

France married the Charlotte woman twice and they divorced twice. Their first marriage lasted from 2001 to 2004. They married again in 2005 and the second divorce was finalized in 2008.

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