Mark Teixeira sat down with his wife Dec. 12 to have dinner, his regular Friday "date night" with Leigh at the Vaquero Club in Westlake, Texas. "I'd been asking her for weeks and weeks: 'Where do you want to go? Where do you want me to play?' " he related. "And she said, 'I want you to be happy. I just want you to be happy.' And finally, she said, 'I want you to be a Yankee.' So that's when it was done. And once we got the contract figured out, it was a no-brainer." The free-agent first baseman, who grew up in Severna Park, officially joined the Yankees yesterday, finalizing an eight-year, $180 million deal initially agreed to Dec. 23.
Athletics: : First baseman Jason Giambi and Oakland reached a preliminary agreement, pending a physical, on what is expected to be a one-year contract with an option, sources told the Associated Press. The 2000 American League Most Valuable Player, who will turn 38 tomorrow, spent his first seven seasons with the A's and the next seven with the Yankees.
Suspensions: : Phillies reliever J.C. Romero and Yankees minor league pitcher Sergio Mitre were suspended for the first 50 games of next season after testing positive for a banned substance. Romero earned two wins in Philadelphia's World Series victory over Tampa Bay last season.
Rockies-Cubs: : Colorado bolstered its rotation, acquiring right-hander Jason Marquis from Chicago for reliever Luis Vizcaino. Marquis, 30, was 11-9 with a 4.53 ERA last season. The Rockies also receive cash. Vizcaino was 1-2 with a 5.28 ERA in 43 relief appearances last season.
Et cetera: : Cleveland signed pitcher Carl Pavano to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. ... Reliever Tyler Walker and Seattle agreed to a one-year, $750,000 contract. ... The Phillies agreed to a minor league deal with second baseman Marcus Giles.
Brees top offensive player; V. Jackson arrested
Drew Brees won the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award after nearly setting a passing record for yards. The New Orleans Saints quarterback threw for 5,084 yards, 16 fewer than Dan Marino's 1984 mark and only the second time someone has eclipsed 5,000 passing yards in a season. Brees earned 22 votes in balloting by a panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. The Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning and the Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson tied for second with nine votes each.
Chargers: : Wide receiver Vincent Jackson was arrested early yesterday morning on Route 52 in San Diego on suspicion of drunken driving. Jackson was on probation for a previous DUI arrest, Highway Patrol Officer Brad Baehr said. Jackson just had the first 1,000-yard season of his career, for a team-high 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns.
Colts: : A gun owned by Indianapolis Colts star Marvin Harrison was used in an April shooting, but investigators still can't determine who pulled the trigger, Philadelphia's chief prosecutor said. Five of the six bullet casings found at the North Philadelphia shooting scene came from Harrison's weapon, but investigators have conflicting witness accounts of who fired it, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham said. No charges have been filed in the April 28 shooting, and the investigation remains open.
Hall of Fame: : Former Ravens Rod Woodson and Shannon Sharpe, career sacks leader Bruce Smith and John Randle are among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the only first-year-eligible players to make the final round this year. Joining them will be two contributors: former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Bills owner Ralph Wilson. Four to seven candidates will be elected Jan. 31.
Jockey Club wagering down 22.5 percent
The Maryland Jockey Club ended the 2008 season with average wagering figures down 22.5 percent from 2007. All-sources handle in 2008 totaled $668.1 million as compared with $875.8 million the previous year. Racing 14 fewer days in 2008, the daily handle decreased from nearly $3.8 million to just over $2.9 million. Figures for the 17-week Laurel Park fall meeting were 39 percent lower than a year ago. Numbers for the Laurel Park winter stand (17 percent decrease) and Pimlico Race Course spring stand (16 percent decrease) were also down from the previous year. Preakness day wagering finished at more than $73 million, the fifth largest in the 133-year history of the event. Wagering on thoroughbred racing in the United States fell more than 7 percent in 2008 to $13.67 billion.
NHL:: The Washington Capitals got some payback, beating the visiting Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, in a shootout to avenge the only loss they've had in a month. Jose Theodore made 33 saves and stopped all three shots in the shootout. Nicklas Backstrom scored in the first period for the Capitals, and Viktor Kozlov was the only player in the shootout to find the net. Washington has won seven straight.
College football: : Jeff Jagodzinski interviewed for the New York Jets' coaching job - a meeting that was expected to cost him his head coaching job with Boston College. ESPN.com, citing two people close to the situation, reported that Jagodzinski will not be retained by BC because of the meeting. ... Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is investigating the Bowl Championship Series for a possible violation of federal antitrust laws after the undefeated Utes were left out of the national title game for the second time in five years. ... Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong said race is a reason he hasn't been offered a head coaching job during his 25 years in college football, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Strong, who is black, is married to a white woman. ... Minnesota defensive coordiantor Ted Roof and offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar resigned. Roof will take the same position with Auburn. ... Tarrion Adams rushed for 207 yards and three touchdowns to lead Tulsa (11-3) to a 45-13 win over No. 23 Ball State (12-2) in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
WNBA: : Former Maryland star Vicky Bullett joined the Washington Mystics' coaching staff as an assistant.
Soccer: : D.C. United re-signed midfielder Santino Quaranta (Archbishop Curley).