ESPN GamePlan not available for Maine’s playoff football game
The University of Maine’s Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal against Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. Saturday won’t be available on the ESPN Game Plan pay-per-view package. It will only be available on Internet-only ESPN3.
J.D. Hamilton, NCAA media coordinator for the FCS playoffs, said only last week’s playoff games were available on ESPN Game Plan (in addition to ESPN3).
In order to watch on ESPN3, viewers need to subscribe to Time Warner Cable with an ESPN network and have Internet service. The Internet service doesn’t have to be furnished by Time Warner.
Crosby to miss 2 games after colliding with Kunitz
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby’s will miss the next two games as a precaution following a collision with teammate Chris Kunitz in Monday night’s loss to Boston.
General manager Ray Shero said Wednesday the former MVP wasn’t “feeling 100 percent” after inadvertently running into Kunitz in the third period and will sit out Thursday’s game in Philadelphia and Saturday’s visit to the New York Islanders.
Crosby and Kunitz were skating near center ice when they ran into each other. Both players were slow to get up and took their time making their way to the bench. Crosby later returned to the game, playing over 21 minutes while being held scoreless in a 3-1 defeat.
The 24-year-old Crosby downplayed the incident after the game but did not skate on Tuesday.
“I don’t know what I hit my knee on, if it was his leg or, yeah, just kind of a bit of a stinger,” he said. “Nothing major.”
Shero says Crosby visited with his medical team on Wednesday and showed no recurrence of the concussion-like symptoms that sidelined him for more than 10 months this year.
“He saw Dr. Micky Collins of UPMC today and took an ImPACT test, which showed no problems,” Shero said. “However, we all think it’s best that he sits out the next two games as a precaution.”
The 2007 MVP has two goals and 10 assists in eight games since his return. He could be available when the Penguins host Detroit next Tuesday.
Dodgers get more time to file bankruptcy plan
WILMINGTON, Del. — The Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports are squaring off over the team’s plan to sell the media rights to future games.
A bankruptcy judge began hearing arguments and testimony Wednesday on the Dodgers’ request to approve a sale process for the media rights to games starting in 2014.
Fox, whose Prime Ticket subsidiary owns the current television contract with the Dodgers, argues that the proposed media rights sale would violate its exclusive negotiating rights.
But a financial adviser for the Dodgers testified that Fox would retain many of its rights under the existing contract, although on a shortened timetable.
The Dodgers’ bankruptcy plan is based on a settlement with Major League Baseball that calls for a sale of the team, Dodger Stadium, and the future television rights.
Yankees win right to negotiate with Japanese SS
DALLAS — The New York Yankees have won negotiating rights to shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of the Seibu Lions in Japan’s Pacific League.
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday the Yankees had the highest bid in the posting process. New York has 30 days to reach an agreement with Nakajima and will pay the posting fee only if an agreement is reached. The posting fee for the 29-year-old is about $2 million.
Pirates sign LHP Bedard, OF McLouth
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with veteran left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard and outfielder Nate McLouth.
The 32-year-old Bedard was 5-9 with 3.62 ERA in 24 starts for Seattle and Boston last season after missing 2010 because of shoulder problems.
McLouth spent four-plus seasons with the Pirates before being traded to Atlanta in 2009. The 30-year-old struggled with the Braves, hitting .198 in 2010 and .228 in 2011.
Bedard could step in immediately at the top of Pittsburgh’s rotation while McLouth could provide depth in a crowded outfield.
The Pirates had earlier Wednesday signed free agent catcher Jose Morales to a minor league deal.
The switch-hitter hit .267 for Colorado last season before breaking his right thumb June 15 and not playing again.
Rockies trade closer Huston Street to Padres
DALLAS — The Colorado Rockies have sent closer Huston Street and cash to the San Diego Padres.
The Rockies get a player to be named and cash in the trade announced Wednesday at baseball’s winter meetings.
The 28-year-old Street had 29 saves in 33 chances for Colorado in 2011. He was 1-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 62 games.
The right-hander has 178 saves in seven seasons with Colorado and the Oakland Athletics.
Street is the second closer to get traded this week. The Chicago White Sox sent Sergio Santos to Toronto on Tuesday.
Ex-Hockey coach pleads guilty to sexual assault
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James has pleaded guilty to sexual assaults involving two of his former players, including NHL star Theoren Fleury.
The move marks another chapter in what has become one of Canadian hockey’s darkest stories.
James entered the plea in a Winnipeg courtroom Wednesday via video link from Montreal.
The disgraced coach was originally facing nine charges of sexual assault involving three players spanning 1979 to 1994, but only pleaded guilty to charges involving two. The names of the two other players are protected under a court-ordered publication ban.
James, who has been out on bail for almost a year and living in Montreal, will appear in Winnipeg in February to be sentenced.
He has already served a 3 1/2-year prison sentence for abusing other former players he coached, including former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy.
The most recent charges came after Fleury published an autobiography in which he described the abuse he suffered.
Stars’ Fistric gets 3-game ban for hit on Islander
DALLAS — Dallas Stars defenseman Mark Fistric has been suspended for three games by the NHL for a hit that left Nino Niederreiter of the New York Islanders with a concussion.
NHL senior vice president Brendan Shanahan said Wednesday that Fistric was punished for leaving his feet during a strong check after Niederreiter took a pass and skated through center ice. Shanahan said Niederreiter suffered a concussion.
No penalty was called on the play during the first period of the Islanders’ 5-4 victory against the Stars on Saturday night in Dallas.
Fistric will be out starting Thursday night at San Jose. He’s eligible to return Dec. 15 when the Stars play the Islanders again in New York.
The league said Fistric would forfeit $16,216 in salary.
Ala county revokes pistol permit for NFL’s McClain
DECATUR, Ala. — An Alabama county is revoking a pistol permit for NFL linebacker Rolando McClain following his arrest on assault and firearms charges there.
The Decatur Daily (http://bit.ly/vhifzt ) reports that Morgan County Chief Deputy Mike Corley says the charges against McClain mean his permit is invalid.
The Oakland Raider and former Alabama football star renewed his state pistol permit on Nov. 30, the same day he was allegedly involved in confrontation that led to his arrest.
Police say he fired a gun by a man’s head and is charged with assault, discharging a weapon in the city and other misdemeanor offenses.
A defense lawyer denies that McClain fired a gun, and he predicts the player will be acquitted. McClain’s trial is set for Jan. 24 in Decatur municipal court.
School ends game after racial slur complaints
McMINNVILLE, Tenn. — Warren County High School was fined $500 by Tennessee’s preps sports sanctioning body after the boys basketball coach pulled his team from a game when his players complained of hearing racial slurs directed toward them.
Coach Malcolm Montgomery told Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association officials he removed his team from the Friday night game because the players from opponent Van Buren County High School were making racial slurs. Attempts to reach Montgomery by phone were unsuccessful.
TSSAA bylaws say a school will be fined $500 if a team is removed from competition. The school received notice of the fine Tuesday.
TSSAA Assistant Executive Director Matthew Gillespie says officials from the organization could not corroborate Montgomery’s claim after meeting with representatives from both schools and felt nothing more could be done.