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Victorino, Inge get final All-Star spots

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Associated Press
July 10, 2009
— Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino and Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge have been elected by fans to Tuesday’s All-Star game in record-shattering voting exclusively on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, and the individual club sites.

Victorino received 15.6 million votes and was followed by San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval, Arizona’s Mark Reynolds, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and Washington’s Cristian Guzman.


Inge got 11.8 million ballots, finishing ahead of Texas’ Ian Kinsler, the Los Angeles Angels’ Chone Figgins, Tampa Bays’ Carlos Pena and Toronto’s Adam Lind.


“To all the fans across the country, mahalo for your support,” said Victorino, a native of Hawaii. “I am so honored and appreciative of the passion that everyone has shown to make this dream come true, especially with the number of votes cast. It’s just unbelievable.”


The Phillies went all-out to get Victorino selected to his first All-Star game. He went door-to-door in South Philadelphia with Mayor Michael A. Nutter to campaign for votes on Monday. Three fans in their early 20s won a radio station promotion and sat in the press box lounge for 52 straight hours clicking nonstop on their computers for their favorite player. Fans in the ballpark and people listening to the game on radio or watching on television were constantly reminded to “Vote for Shane.”


Athletics to retire Henderson’s number


OAKLAND, Calif.—Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson is getting his due from the Oakland Athletics.


The A’s will retire Henderson’s No. 24 jersey during a pregame ceremony Aug. 1, deemed “Rickey Henderson Day” by the club in tribute of the career leader in runs scored and stolen bases.


Henderson, 50, spent the majority of his 25 big league seasons — and some of his best years — with Oakland, which selected him the fourth round of the 1976 amateur draft.


Henderson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 26. He will be the fifth Oakland player to have his number retired, joining pitchers Catfish Hunter (No. 27), Rollie Fingers (34) and Dennis Eckersley (43), and outfielder Reggie Jackson (9).


Stackhouse, Marion key four-team deal


DALLAS—The way Jerry Stackhouse’s contract was structured, the Dallas Mavericks knew they could parlay him into a key player for next season. As it turned out, a lot of teams benefited.


The Mavericks, Raptors, Grizzlies and Magic combined in a massive swap Thursday that included eight players, a draft pick and stacks of cash. The deal sent Shawn Marion to Dallas, Stackhouse to Memphis and helped seal the transaction that moved Hedo Turkoglu from Orlando to Toronto.


Among the other pieces: Forward Kris Humphries, center Nathan Jawai and cash went from Toronto to Dallas; guard Greg Buckner moves from Memphis to Dallas; and swingmen Antoine Wright and Devean George go from Dallas to Toronto.


Memphis also received a second-round pick and cash from Toronto and cash from Dallas. The Mavericks and Raptors both also sent cash to Orlando.


Trail Blazer change ‘want list’


PORTLAND, Ore.—After losing out on Hedo Turkoglu, the Portland Trail Blazers are considering Paul Millsap.


Turkoglu, who helped Orlando to the NBA finals, arrived in Portland last week to speak with the Blazers before negotiations were abruptly cut off. He has since been acquired by the Toronto Raptors.


“We got to a point where we both felt comfortable,” Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard told reporters on Thursday. “But here’s what I do know and that is if it wasn’t right for him, then it isn’t right for us.”


Pritchard said the Blazers are still actively seeking players who could improve the team. Portland is $7.7 million under the salary cap for the 2009-10 season.


n Rasheed Wallace says he is a Boston Celtic because he feels the team gives him the best chance to win another championship.


The four-time All-Star, who became a free agent after last season with the Detroit Pistons, took a reported three-year contract with the Celtics. Wallace, who won a title with Detroit in 2004, said Thursday that he felt the Celtics were a good fit for him. Boston won the NBA title in 2008.


Charlotte still hopes for football team


CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The timing could hardly be worse for Charlotte to be leading a major fundraiser—seeking to raise $20 million so the school can start a football program.


Unemployment is more than 11 percent in this city so reliant on the financial industry. Numerous construction projects have stalled or been scrapped. Housing prices have plummeted and discretionary spending slashed.


Yet athletic director Judy Rose managed to smile Thursday as she discussed efforts to end Charlotte’s distinction of being one of the largest schools in the nation without football.


“I can’t say that I’ve had real good nights’ sleep since August. But I am optimistic,” Rose said. “We’ve got to get to the right folks, the right companies. It’s our job to sell this.”


So far the effort has come up woefully short. The initial deadline for selling 5,000 permanent seat licenses came with only 1,600 sold. It led chancellor Philip Dubois to tell the board of trustees the program start date of 2013 may be delayed.


The trustees will revisit the issue in September.


Sakic ends 20-year NHL career


DENVER—Stoic Joe Sakic finally cracked, allowing for a rare show of emotion.


Delivering a speech that had kept him up most of the night fretting, the longtime Colorado Avalanche captain broke down, his voice betraying him as he stared into a room packed with family, friends and teammates — even the governor of the state.


Sakic officially hung up his skates Thursday, ending his standout 20-year career. Try as he might, he simply couldn’t get through his prepared speech without choking up.


“So many great memories,” Sakic said, fighting back tears.


The pride of Burnaby, British Columbia, Sakic had hoped to play one more season, possibly culminating his career by suiting up for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.


His body simply wouldn’t allow it.


LPGA commissioner on hot seat


BETHLEHEM, Pa.—LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens reportedly is on the way out as leader of the tour after calls for her resignation by key players.


Golf Digest and GolfWeek Magazine reported on their Web sites Thursday that the embattled commissioner will be replaced.


Golf Digest cites multiple sources saying Bivens’s four-year tenure could end as soon as next week.


Bivens has 18 months left on a three-year contract extension signed in 2008. Citing a source in tournament management, Golf Digest reported that a general agreement on financial terms was reached with Bivens late Wednesday.



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