Angels drop out of bidding for Teixeira



The Los Angeles Angels have dropped out of the bidding for free agent Mark Teixeira, according to Angels spokesman Tim Mead, who yesterday confirmed a report by FoxSports that the Angels are moving in a new direction. The Angels were believed to be offering an eight-year deal worth between $160 million and $165 million. The decision was characterized as final, so it differs slightly from the announcement by the Boston Red Sox last week that they are not "a factor" in the negotiations. The Orioles, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees and Red Sox are believed to still be in the running for the slugging first baseman. The Orioles have made a seven-year offer to the Severna Park native for up to $150 million. Teixeira batted a combined .308 with 33 home runs and 121 RBIs last season with the Atlanta Braves and Angels.



Obituary:: Carlos Manuel Santiago, a star infielder in the Negro leagues during the 1940s, died yesterday. He was 82. He died of heart failure at his home in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, son Carlos Manuel Santiago Feliciano said.

Mavericks rout Wizards, who tie worst-start mark


Jason Terry scored 25 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 23 to help the Dallas Mavericks send the host Washington Wizards to their sixth straight loss, 97-86. Washington matched a 42-year-old franchise record for worst start - the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets also started 4-21. The win was Dallas' 13th in 17, even though the Mavericks made only five of 30 three-point tries. Dallas' Jason Kidd had 11 assists - six in the final 6:05. "The something that was going on was Jason Kidd," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "It was beautiful." Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 22 points, Caron Butler had 18 and Mike James added 17. "Most of our losses have come down the stretch and not communicating enough or playing team ball," Jamison said. "Once again tonight it was the same scenario." After Caron Butler hit a three-pointer to cut Dallas' lead to 81-76 with 6:22 to play, Terry made two field goals and Devean George had a dunk to put the Mavericks ahead 87-76 with 5:09 left.

Celtics equal team record with 18th straight win

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Rajon Rondo scored 18 of his 26 points in the third quarter to help the Boston Celtics tie a franchise record with their 18th consecutive win, beating the visiting New York Knicks, 124-105. The win improved Boston's record to 26-2, matching the NBA mark for the best start by a team with two losses. The Knicks lost their fourth straight. ... Celtics forward Glen Davis was injured in an automobile accident as he drove to the arena before the game. Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said Davis suffered a concussion and whiplash and was taken to a hospital. The Celtics said after the game that Davis had been released. Twiss said he did not know how long Davis would be sidelined.

Cavaliers 102, Thunder 91: : LeBron James scored 31 points and Mo Williams added 20 as Cleveland finished a four-game road trip with a win over Oklahoma City in the teams' first meeting. Kevin Durant scored 26 points for the Thunder.


Hawks 85, Pistons 78: : Mike Bibby scored a season-high 27 points to lead host Atlanta past Detroit, which swept the four-game series between the teams last season.

Suns 108, Nuggets 101: : Steve Nash scored eight straight points in the final three minutes late Saturday and Phoenix beat Denver for the eighth straight time at home. The Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) was held to 10 points.

Birdie on last hole lifts Singh to Chevron title

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Three months after winning the FedEx Cup, Vijay Singh padded his most lucrative year in golf by making a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 5-under-par 67 and a one-shot victory in the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Age has never slowed Singh, 45, and rust doesn't appear to be much of an issue, either. Singh had not competed in stroke play since Sept. 28 at the Tour Championship, where he wrapped up the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize. Singh ran off three straight birdies early on the back nine at Sherwood Country Club, then holed a 10-footer on the final hole to beat Steve Stricker (68) by one stroke. Singh won $1.35 million, pushing his earnings for the year to more than $18 million. That includes the $10 million bonus from the FedEx Cup and the $6.6 million on the PGA Tour to win the money title for the third time in six years. "Very unexpected," said Singh, who finished at 11-under 277 and won Tiger Woods' charity event for the first time. "I was just hanging in there. I figured if I shot 67 or 68, I would be right there with a chance." Anthony Kim, the 54-hole leader, had a 73 and tied for third with Hunter Mahan (68).

More golf:: Fifteen players who otherwise wouldn't have made next year's Masters field will by virtue of finishing in the top 50 in the world ranking. The players are Richard Sterne, Rory McIlroy, Lin Wen-Tang, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Shingo Kayatama, Graeme McDowell, Rory Sabbatini, Jeev Milkha Singh, Aaron Baddeley, Oliver Wilson, Soren Hansen and Soren Kjeldsen.


NHL:: With almost two weeks remaining, Penguins star Sidney Crosby surpassed Jaromir Jagr's record for the most votes received by a player in NHL All-Star Game fan balloting. At noon yesterday, Crosby passed the 1,020,736-vote mark that Jagr set in 2000 while with Pittsburgh. Crosby's Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin was also poised to top the record - as of the moment Crosby passed Jagr, Malkin was within 19,000 votes of doing the same. Through Jan. 2, fans can vote online to select the starting lineups for the All-Star Game, set for Jan. 25 in Montreal.

More NHL:: Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, who missed most of last season with a concussion, was released from Massachusetts General Hospital after being diagnosed with another concussion. "There is no timetable for his return to the ice," Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement. Bergeron was injured in the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Speedskating:: Apolo Anton Ohno won two more individual events at the U.S. Short Track Speedskating Championships in Chesterfield, Mo., to capture his eighth straight national title. Ohno won the 1,000 and 3,000 meters (in 1 minute, 28.586 seconds and 4:52.034, respectively) to win the overall title with 4,140 points - nearly 300 more than second-place J.R. Celski. Katherine Reutter also swept the final two individual events (in 1:32.885 and 5:08.676) to jump ahead of Kimberly Derrick and win her second consecutive national title. Reutter finished with 3,860 points, and Derrick had 3,640.

Swimming:: Aschwin Wildeboer broke the men's 100-meter backstroke world record at the Spanish short-course championships in Madrid. The Spaniard's time of 49.20 seconds was 0.13 of a second faster than the mark set by Stanislav Donets of Russia last week in Rijeka, Croatia.

Soccer:: Wayne Rooney scored late in the second half to lead Manchester United to a 1-0 win over Ecuador's Liga de Quito in Yokohama, Japan, in the final of the Club World Cup. Manchester United became the first English club to win the cup in its current format.