Friday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on May 18, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Updated Saturday, May 18 at 2:01 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson announced to screaming throngs of Kings fans that the deal to sell the NBA franchise to a group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive has been signed.

The announcement at a City Hall rally brings to an end nearly five months of maneuvering by Johnson to secure a new ownership group, convince the council to commit to building a new downtown arena, and to show the NBA that the capitol city of the most populous state in the nation has the fan base to make the venture successful.

Earlier this week, NBA owners rejected a bid to move the franchise to Seattle. Investor Chris Hansen, whose agreement to buy the team from the Maloof family and move them to the Pacific Northwest shocked the city in January, fought to acquire the team to the bitter end. He even negotiated to buy a minority share when it became clear the league opposed relocation.

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SWIMMING

Is Michael Phelps planning a comeback?

A report from WBBH, an NBC television affiliate in Fort Myers, Fla., said Phelps will return to swimming with an eye toward competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The three-paragraph story on the station's Web site was posted by news anchor Peter Busch, who is the son of Frank Busch, director of the U.S. national swim team.

"The greatest Olympian of all time isn't hanging up his swimsuit, after all," the report said, without citing any sources.

Phelps went on Twitter to downplay the report, but he didn't specifically deny it either.

"Why do I keep getting texts about coming back?" he wrote. "Do (people) really believe everything they hear or read? There are (too) many (people) in the world that think they have a 'story.'"

Busch followed with a tweet that said he felt "very confident with my info. Guess we'll see."

Phelps has said repeatedly his swimming career was over after winning 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall, both totals far more than any other Olympian. He retired at the age of 27 immediately after last summer's London Games.

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GOLF

Ken Venturi, who overcame dehydration to win the 1964 U.S. Open and spent 35 years in the booth for CBS Sports, died. He was 82.

His son, Matt Venturi, said he died in a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Venturi had been hospitalized the last two months for a spinal infection, pneumonia, and then an intestinal infection that he could no longer fight.

Venturi died 11 days after he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He couldn't make it to the induction. His sons, Matt and Tim, accepted on his behalf after an emotional tribute by Jim Nantz, who worked alongside Venturi at CBS.

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PRO FOOTBALL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Bills defensive end Mario Williams isn't any closer to getting back his $785,000 diamond engagement ring from his former fiancee, Erin Marzouki.

And Marzouki's attorney, Tony Buzbee, upped the ante by releasing a series of text messages he said were between his client and Williams that indicate how despondent the player was over their breakup in November. Without going into detail, Buzbee said in an email that a court-encouraged effort to mediate the dispute was unsuccessful in Houston earlier in the day.

Accusing Williams of experiencing "dramatic mood swings" throughout the engagement, Buzbee also released an exchange of texts between the two he said he copied off his client's phone. It's a conversation dated as occurring between 4:51 and 8:26 p.m. Central Time on Nov. 11, and includes a break between 5:03-8:02 p.m.

During the exchange, Williams wrote: "No money in the world should leave me with suicidal thoughts."

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets running back Mike Goodson is facing drug and weapons charges after he was found in a car with an acquaintance early Friday morning on Interstate 80 in New Jersey.

According to state police, Goodson was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 31-year-old Garant Evans of Roselle. After receiving a 911 call from a tow-truck driver at about 3:15 a.m., police found them stopped in the left-center lane of Interstate 80 west in Denville, about 25 miles west of New York City.

State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman said both men were charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and weapons offenses stemming from a 45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, that included a hollow-point bullet, found in the vehicle. Grossman wouldn't say whether either man was the registered owner of the gun. Evans also was charged with DWI, several traffic violations and possession of a weapon with a prior felony.

Goodson was evaluated at a hospital in Denville and released into police custody, Grossman said.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season after the league announced he violated the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Irvin will be eligible to participate in all offseason activities and preseason practices and games, but will be suspended without pay for the opening four games at Carolina, home for San Francisco and Jacksonville and at Houston. Irvin will be eligible to return to Seattle's active roster on Sept. 30 following the Seahawks' Week 4 game against the Texans, but only after losing a quarter of his salary for the season.

Irvin, the Seahawks' first-round pick in the 2012 draft, was scheduled to make $814,645 in base salary for the 2013 season.

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SOCCER

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurgen Klinsmann envisions Landon Donovan returning to the U.S. national team. He's just not sure when.

Back with the Los Angeles Galaxy following a four-month sabbatical, Donovan was bypassed for the American roster for three World Cup qualifiers next month. Klinsmann won't commit to recalling the 31-year-old midfielder for a pair of qualifiers in September. Donovan might be selected for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, when most of the Americans with European clubs will be given time off from the national team.

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BASEBALL

HOUSTON (AP) — Reid Ryan has been introduced as the new president of the Houston Astros.

Ryan, the eldest son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, was the CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, which owns the Triple-A Round Rock Express and Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. The 41-year-old Reid Ryan helped create the Express, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers and the Hooks, an Astros' affiliate.

His father played for the Astros from 1980-88 and spent four years beginning in 2004 as a special assistant to the general manager in Houston before joining the front office of the Texas Rangers. His famous dad and former Astros great Craig Biggio were on hand Friday for the announcement.

The younger Ryan takes over the position that was left vacant when George Postolos resigned on Monday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left trapezius muscle in his upper back.

General manager Brian Cashman said New York is playing it safe with its 40-year-old left-hander, who becomes the Yankees' 13th player to go on the DL this year. Vidal Nuno was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will move into a rotation already missing Ivan Nova.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook has received another elbow treatment, the Associated Press has learned, perhaps pushing back his return.

The right-hander is on the 15-day disabled list with elbow inflammation and had been scheduled to throw Friday. He told the AP he had an injection to his elbow a day earlier. General manager John Mozeliak texted the AP that the timetable had not yet been changed. Mozeliak added he expected to have a better grasp of the situation on Sunday or Monday.

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HOCKEY

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said Friday that the organization strongly disagrees with the NHL's decision to suspend forward Raffi Torres for a hit that knocked out Los Angeles forward Jarret Stoll.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety sharply disagreed while suspending Torres on Thursday for the rest of the second-round series. It is the fourth career suspension for Torres, who is considered a repeat offender in dangerous hits under the league's collective bargaining agreement.

Stoll was bent forward while trying to play a bouncing puck when Torres approached him from the side for a violent hit in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Stoll's head snapped back violently before he fell forward onto the ice.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Anze Kopitar won't allow a puck to the face to keep him out of the Los Angeles Kings' title defense.

Kopitar returned to practice at the Kings' training complex on Friday, and he's ready to play in Game 3 on Saturday night at the Shark Tank after surviving a scary moment in the third period of Game 2 against the San Jose Sharks.

Kopitar missed only a few minutes of the Kings' 4-3 victory Thursday night after a shot by teammate Dustin Brown hit him in the left side of his face above his upper lip.

NEW YORK (AP) — Joel Quenneville, Bruce Boudreau and Paul MacLean are finalists for the Jack Adams Award, given to the head coach who has contributed most to his team's success.

The NHL announced the nominees on Friday. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup final.

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WRESTLING

USA Wrestling says that Iran has pulled out of a dual meet set for Sunday in Los Angeles.

The organization said that the Iranian Wrestling Federation told them the team's schedule has changed and that it has returned to Iran. No further reasons were given for Iran's departure. USA Wrestling says it will instead host Russian and Canadian teams Sunday in a "United 4 Wrestling" event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

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