Alex Rodriguez's grievance hearing ends

Alex Rodriguez's grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension ended Thursday after 12 days of sessions, a day after the New York Yankees third baseman angrily walked out and decided not to testify in his own defense.

Rodriguez's lawyers returned to Major League Baseball's office for what turned out to be the final day of the proceeding in front of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. By the end of the day, both sides had rested their cases, a person familiar with the proceeding told the Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

The next step is for the sides to submit briefs to Horowitz, which will complete the record. The arbitrator then will decide whether to sustain or alter the suspension given to Rodriguez by MLB on Aug. 5 for alleged violations of baseball's drug policy and labor agreement.


The Angels were a year and $8 million short in their bid to retain free-agent left-hander Jason Vargas, who signed a four-year, $32-million deal with the Kansas City Royals.

The Angels, according to a person familiar with negotiations, offered Vargas a three-year deal for about $24 million but were not willing to guarantee a fourth year to a pitcher who turns 31 in February and is coming off a 9-8 season in which he missed two months because of a blood clot in his left armpit.

The Angels did not make a $14.1-million qualifying offer to Vargas, who has a 51-58 career record and 4.30 earned run average over eight seasons, so they will not receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

General Manager Jerry Dipoto is casting a wide net in trade talks in hopes of acquiring younger, cost-controlled starting pitchers.

—Mike DiGiovanna


Baffert is cleared in horses' deaths

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has been cleared by the California Horse Racing Board of any wrongdoing in the sudden deaths of seven of his horses that were stabled at Hollywood Park in Barn 61 between 2011 and 2013.

A CHRB report said an investigation failed to identify "a definitive explanation for the highly unusual sudden death clustering."

The report said, "There is no evidence whatsoever that CHRB rules or regulations have been violated or any improper activity played a part in the sudden deaths."

Baffert said via his Twitter account, "I'm gratified that CHRB completed its investigation & found there was no wrongdoing. My focus will always be on the best care for my horses."

—Eric Sondheimer


The Atlanta Dream hired former Lakers star Michael Cooper as head coach, hoping he can lead the team to a WNBA title after three winless trips to the finals.

The 57-year-old Cooper won five titles as a defensive stopper for the Lakers during the "Showtime" era, and he followed up his playing career by guiding the WNBA's Sparks to titles as a coach in 2001 and 2002.


Morgan Hoffman took the first-round lead in the Pebble Beach Invitational, shooting a seven-under-par 65 at Spyglass Hill.

In its 42nd year, the Invitational is the only event in which players from the PGA, LPGA, Champions and Tours compete against each other for the same purse.


In her pro debut on the LPGA Tour, Lydia Ko overcame an early double bogey with three birdies on the back nine for a one-under 71 in the LPGA Titleholders at Naples, Fla. The 16-year-old New Zealander already has won two LPGA Tour events. She does not officially become a member until next year.

Sandra Gal started much differently. She birdied her opening six holes, and then rallied late with two more birdies for an eight-under 64 and a two-shot lead.


A late charge gave England's Matthew Nixon an eight-under 64 and a one-shot lead after the first round of the South African Open at Johannesburg, the start of the 2014 European Tour season.


Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman announced his retirement after 17 years in Major League Soccer.

Hartman spent the majority of his career with the Galaxy from 1997-2006, winning the MLS Cup in 2002 and 2005.

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