Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was back at the airport in Boston yesterday as part of the team's announcement of a new partnership - but not with Mark Teixeira. Epstein flew back from Texas, where he, team owner John Henry and president Larry Lucchino met Thursday with the free-agent first baseman and his agent, Scott Boras. Henry said after hearing about "other offers" to Teixeira, the Red Sox "are not going to be a factor" in acquiring him. Just 15 hours after Henry sent that e-mail, Epstein and Boston manager Terry Francona did not speak at a news conference at Logan Airport. Another team official announced that JetBlue was the official airline of the Red Sox. Henry did not respond to an e-mail from the Associated Press yesterday asking whether the Red Sox might get back in the bidding for Teixeira, a Severna Park native whom the Orioles and other teams are pursuing.
Braves: : Team president John Schuerholz has vowed to never again do business with Rafael Furcal's agents, whom Schuerholz accused in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of conducting "despicable" dealings with the team. Schuerholz and general manager Frank Wren were quoted as saying the Wasserman Media Group negotiated dishonestly by taking the team's signed terms of agreement sheet for Furcal to the Dodgers, who then reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday to re-sign the shortstop. The three-year contract, worth at least $30 million, was finalized yesterday. ... Pinch-hit specialist Greg Norton and the Braves agreed to a one-year, $800,000 contract.
Yankees: : Ace left-hander CC Sabathia will receive $9.5 million from the team before he throws his first official pitch in pinstripes. His seven-year, $161 million contract includes a $9 million signing bonus, according to details obtained by the AP. By the time the Yankees open against the Orioles on April 6 at Camden Yards, he already will have received $6 million of that bonus plus $3.5 million of next year's salary.
Obituaries:: Dock Ellis, a pitcher best remembered for his flamboyance and social activism as a member of the great Pirates teams of the 1970s, died yesterday of a liver ailment in California, his former agent, Tom Reich, told ESPN.com. Ellis was 63. ... Nick Willhite, a hard-throwing left-hander for the Dodgers in the 1960s, died Sunday in Alpine, Utah, of cancer, his son Monty said. He was 67.
Et cetera:: Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has decided not to participate for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. ... Angels outfielder Juan Rivera decided to stay with the team, agreeing to a three-year, $12.75 million contract. ... The Marlins and right-hander Josh Johnson agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million contract. ... Outfielder Jody Gerut agreed with the Padres on a one-year contract worth $1,775,000.
Syracuse's Devendorf to miss at least 2 games
Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf must perform 40 hours of community service and be reinstated by the university before he can play after being accused of hitting a female student. Devendorf can petition to be readmitted for the spring semester that starts Jan. 12 if he completes the community service, the University Appeals Board ruled. University officials said Devendorf could be readmitted before the start of classes if he completes the community service. That means he will miss at least the game at Memphis tonight and Coppin State at home Monday but could return for the Big East opener against Seton Hall on Dec. 30. The junior, averaging nearly 14 points, is the second-leading scorer for the No. 11 Orange.
More Syracuse: : Point guard Jonny Flynn (hip) did not practice, and his status was listed as a game-time decision for tonight's game at No. 23 Memphis.
Mississippi: : Point guard Chris Warren is out for the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee in the last minute of a loss to No. 9 Louisville on Thursday. The sophomore was averaging 19.6 points.
Et cetera: : Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against UCLA junior forward Nikola Dragovic, who was arrested on suspicion of pushing his former live-in girlfriend to the ground during a dispute. ... Kentucky forward Ramon Harris returned to practice after missing more than two weeks with a sore neck and back.
Ex-NASCAR official 'needed closure'
The former official who filed a $225 million racial discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit against NASCAR is very pleased with her settlement and looking forward to moving on, her attorney said. Mauricia Grant reached a confidential settlement with NASCAR after 12 hours of mediation this month in New York. The session was suggested by U.S. District Court Judge Deborah A. Batts after the first court appearance in what was expected to be a battle between the sides that could last years. "She'd been out of work a long time. We thought it was in the best interest of our client not to drag this out two to three years," said Benedict P. Morelli of New York-based Morelli Ratner PC. "She needed closure." Settlement terms were confidential, and neither side admitted liability or wrongdoing.
NHL:: Washington Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore came off injured reserve, and Simeon Varlamov, 20, was assigned back to American Hockey League affiliate Hershey after winning his first two NHL starts. Theodore injured his hip last week and returned to practice Wednesday.
College football: : Eric Ward caught a touchdown pass and threw for a touchdown, and Richmond (13-3) won, 24-7, over Montana (14-1) in Chattanooga, Tenn., for its first Football Championship Subdivision national title.
More college football: : Hawaii resolved its financial dispute with former coach June Jones, now the coach at Southern Methodist, over the early termination of his contract. Under the agreement, the June Jones Foundation donated $100,010 to a scholarship fund at the school. ... New Syracuse coach Doug Marrone introduced Rob Spence as his offensive coordinator. Spence has held that job at Clemson, Toledo, Louisiana Tech and Hofstra. ... Southern California guard Jeff Byers had his request for a sixth year of eligibility approved by the NCAA, allowing him to return to the Trojans next season. Byers missed two seasons with injuries. ... Alabama will play Virginia Tech on Sept. 5 in the Georgia Dome in the 2009 opener for both.
Golf: : Jim Furyk shot a 1-under-par 71 for a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Furyk was at 5-under 139, two shots ahead of Anthony Kim (70), Camilo Villegas (67) and K.J. Choi (71). ... Seve Ballesteros returned to his home in northern Spain to begin chemotherapy treatment after recent surgery on a brain tumor.
Soccer:: National team goalkeeper Tim Howard was selected as U.S. soccer Male Athlete of the Year, and midfielder Carli Lloyd was picked as the top female athlete.
Speedskating:: Defending champions Apolo Anton Ohno and Katherine Reutter opened the U.S. Short Track Championships in St. Louis with victories. Ohno won the men's 1,500 meters in 2 minutes, 23.927 seconds, and Reutter won the women's 1,500 in 2:23.446.