Angels made 8-year offer to free agent Teixeira



The Los Angeles Angels made an eight-year offer to first baseman Mark Teixeira during the winter meetings last week in Las Vegas. Angels spokesman Tim Mead told the Associated Press late Friday that no financial details were being revealed about the offer to the free agent, who is being sought by several teams, including the Orioles. The Baltimore Sun has reported that the Orioles are one of four teams believed to be bidding on Teixeira and have a seven-year offer on the table worth between $140 million and $150 million, according to an industry source. The Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox also have expressed interest in Teixeira, 28, who grew up in Severna Park and played at Mount St. Joseph. The Sun reported that it is believed the Nationals have extended the biggest bid, an eight-year deal worth at least $160 million. Teixeira hit .308 with 33 home runs and 108 RBIs while playing for the Angels and Atlanta Braves last season.

Indians: : Kerry Wood is the team's new closer. The former Cubs star finalized a two-year, $20.5 million contract yesterday, a deal that includes a 2011 option that could become guaranteed. Wood gets $10 million next year and $10.5 million in 2010. The $11 million option would vest if Wood finishes 55 games in either of the next two years.


Mets: : Francisco Rodriguez has a message for the Phillies and the rest of the National League East. "Of course we're going to be the team to beat," he said from Venezuela during a conference call. Four days after agreeing to a three-year, $37 million contract, the closer was confident New York will put consecutive September collapses behind it and overtake World Series champion Philadelphia.

Nationals: : Outfielder Ryan Langerhans and infielder Pete Orr were among 13 players who agreed to minor league contracts with Washington. Each of the 13 players received an invitation to spring training. The other players were: infielders former Oriole Freddie Bynum, Brad Eldred, Joel Guzman and Matt Whitney; outfielders Jorge Padilla and Mike Vento; right-handers Bobby Brownlie, Preston Larrison, J.D. Martin and Ryan Wagner; and left-hander Justin Jones.

Et cetera: : Right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth and the Royals completed a two-year, $9.25 million contract. ... The Rockies and left-handed reliever Alan Embree agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2010.

Iowa State's Chizik hired to coach Auburn

col. football

Auburn hired Iowa State's Gene Chizik as its coach, turning to a former defensive coordinator who helped the Tigers forge a perfect season but has won five games in two years as a head coach. Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said Chizik told him that he was accepting the job at Auburn. Chizik will succeed Tommy Tuberville, who resigned after 10 seasons with an 85-40 record. An Auburn spokesman said no announcement was scheduled, but Chizik is expected to be introduced as the new coach tomorrow. Chizik, 46, is 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State after successful stints running the defenses at Auburn and Texas. He coached the nation's top scoring defense on a 2004 Auburn team that went 13-0 in his third and final season with the Tigers before he took the same job at Texas.

Southern California: : John Morton, the Trojans' passing coordinator, was hired as the offensive coordinator. He replaces Steve Sarkisian, who was hired this month as coach for Washington.

Division II: : Ted Schlafke threw for two touchdowns to lead Minnesota Duluth (15-0) to its first national title with a 21-14 win in Florence, Ala., over Northwest Missouri State (13-2), which lost in the championship game for the fourth consecutive season.


Division III: : Nate Kmic became college football's all-time rushing leader, gaining 310 yards and scoring three touchdowns to lead Mount Union (14-0) to a 45-24 win over Wheaton (11-3) in the NCAA semifinals in Alliance, Ohio. Kmic has 7,986 career yards, 24 more than Danny Woodhead had for Chadron State from 2004 to 2007. ... Jeff Donovan threw for three touchdowns to lead defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater (13-1) to a 39-13 victory over Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-2) in Belton, Texas, for a spot in the national title game Saturday in Salem, Va.

Football Championship Subdivision: : Eric Ward threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Joe Stewart with 14 seconds left to give Richmond (12-3) a 21-20 victory over Northern Iowa (12-3) in Cedar Falls, sending the Spiders to the national title game Friday in Chattanooga, Tenn. ... Cole Bergquist threw three touchdown passes as Montana (14-1) won, 35-27, over James Madison (12-2) late Friday in Harrisonburg, Va., in the semifinals.

Saints' Bush won't play until MRI is checked


Running back Reggie Bush's left knee needs further examination before he will be allowed back on the field for either of the New Orleans Saints' final two games. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews will look at images from Bush's latest magnetic resonance imaging, and coach Sean Payton said the team expects to have the results by early this week. Bush was hurt when he was pushed out of bounds in the first half of the Saints' 27-24 loss to the Bears on Thursday night in Chicago. Payton also said he has advised offensive coordinator Doug Marrone to leave for his new job as Syracuse's new coach immediately.

Giants: : Wide receiver Plaxico Burress attended a charity fundraiser for the homeless at a New York City nightclub two weeks after accidentally shooting himself in the right thigh. Burress arrived at Kevin Powell's 8th Annual Holiday Party and Clothing Drive at the Madison nightclub about 8:45 p.m. Friday with his wife, Tiffany, and son, Elijah. Burress declined to discuss the Nov. 29 shooting at the Latin Quarter nightclub that led to criminal possession of a weapon charges and his suspension for the rest of the season.


Cowboys: : Two days before the team's biggest game of the season - tonight against the Giants - wide receiver Terrell Owens instructed tight end Jason Witten not to speak to him, The Dallas Morning News reported, citing anonymous sources. The incident, in which Witten was rebuffed by Owens while attempting to speak with him about a pass route, happened during Friday's practice. It came after coach Wade Phillips said a team meeting "set everything straight."

Et cetera: : The 49ers put wide receiver Arnaz Battle on injured reserve with a sprained foot. The team also signed running back Thomas Clayton from the practice squad, another indication that running back Frank Gore (ankle) probably won't play today against the Dolphins. ... The Patriots signed offensive lineman Dan Connolly from the practice squad and put linebacker Pierre Woods (jaw) on injured reserve.

Goalie Varlamov wins in debut for Capitals

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Mikael Nylander scored with 3:32 left in the third period, and Simeon Varlamov stopped 32 shots in his NHL debut to help the Washington Capitals beat the host Montreal Canadiens, 2-1. Nylander put a shot from behind the goal line into the net off goalie Jaroslav Halak's pad. Nicklas Backstrom gave Washington a 1-0 lead with his 10th goal on a power play midway through the first. Patrice Brisebois tied it in the second for Montreal. Varlamov was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Golf:: Annika Sorenstam shot a 3-over-par 75, hurting her chances of ending a stellar career by winning the Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates for a third straight time. Sorenstam held a one-shot lead going into the third round but had four bogeys and one birdie to fall to sixth, four shots behind leader Anja Monke of Germany. Monke shot a 68 for a 9-under 207 total. Sorenstam plans to retire after the tournament.


Horse racing: : Broadway Producer powered to a three-length victory over his Maryland-bred rivals in the $50,000 Jennings Handicap at Laurel Park. Dale Beckner rode the 5-year-old for Belmont Park-based trainer John Terranova. It was Beckner's first time aboard Broadway Producer, who won in 1 minute, 43.73 seconds on the main track. P V Lightening finish second and Easy Red was third, seven lengths behind the runner-up.

More horse racing: : Laragh led all the way in winning the $438,500 Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., by one length over Wynning Ride. Laragh, ridden by Edgar Prado, covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.96.

Swimming: : Nikolay Skvortsov of Russia, Amaury Leveaux of France and Sanja Jovanovic of Croatia set world records at the European short-course championships in Rijeka, Croatia. Skvortsov won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:50.60, Leveaux won the 100 freestyle in 44.94, and Jovanovic clocked 26.23 in the 50 backstroke.