Indians sign pitcher
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Free agent reliever Matt Belisle has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians and would get a $1.5 million, one-year deal if added to the 40-man big league roster.
The 37-year-old right-hander would be able to earn an additional $1.75 million in performance bonuses based on games as part of the agreement announced Sunday: $100,000 for 20, $150,000 for 25 and each additional five through 55, and $200,000 apiece for 60, 65 and 70.
Belisle was 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA and in 62 appearances for Minnesota last year, converting nine of 11 save chances after Brandon Kintzler was traded. The Indians have at least one open spot in their bullpen after Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith became free agents and left.
Belisle is 51-57 with 14 saves and a 4.19 ERA in 660 appearances over 14 major league seasons. Belisle began his career with Atlanta and also has pitched for Cincinnati and Colorado. He led the NL with 80 appearances for the Rockies in 2012.
The Indians also claimed righty reliever Ben Taylor off waivers from Boston. Right-hander Cody Anderson was put on the 60-day disabled list to make room.
The 25-year-old Taylor made his major league debut last season, going 0-1 with one save and a 5.19 ERA in 14 games for Boston. He missed almost all of June with elbow inflammation and missed most of August with a side strain.
Wrong-way move costs skier
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Austrian cross-country skier Teresa Stadlober was well on her way to a silver medal at the Pyeongchang Games.
Then came a mental hiccup that cost her a spot on the podium but earned her a place in Olympic history.
With 7 kilometers left in Sunday’s 30-kilometer race, the 25-year-old Stadlober inexplicably veered right on a downhill slope while the rest of the skiers went left. By the time she had corrected her course, she had fallen from second place to eighth.
Her medal hopes had vanished.
“I don’t know, I really don’t know,” said an embarrassed Stadlober, who ended up in ninth place. “I took the wrong way — and I did this twice. The second time I wasn’t sure anymore. I had a blackout. I don’t know why I took the wrong way.”
Austrian sports director Markus Gandler said he believes Stadlober, trailing far behind eventual champion Marit Bjoergen, simply took her eyes off the track for a moment and lost her orientation.
“For us, it’s unbelievable,” Gandler said. “On this downhill there are two sides, the right course and the left course. The right course is the first loop and the left course in the second loop. The second loop is going into the finish area.”
Then he smiled wryly and said: “The left would have been the better one.”
Charlotte Kalla of Sweden said she had no problems with the markings on the course at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Center, but added “there are a lot of things to be aware of.”
“It’s sad for her,” Kalla said. “I didn’t know about it until I got to the mixed zone.”
Stadlober said it would have been better for her if the course would have been marked in colors, but she refused to blame the setup.
“You have to know the course,” she said, still upset about missing out on a medal at her first Olympics.
“I’m really sad and disappointed that it has happened today because I had a really good day,” Stadlober said. “My shape is good. I know in classic I can make a good race and I also had really good skis. Before I took the wrong way I thought I could fight for a medal.”
She had her father to pick her up, though. After the race, he greeted her at the finish line with a huge hug.
“I cried,” she said. “He just said, ‘It was not your day today.’ But when you want to win a medal you have to know the track.”
NHRA great John Force crashes
CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force and Jonnie Lindberg collided at the NHRA’s Arizona Nationals on Sunday.
The 68-year-old Force escaped serious injury and was released Sunday night from Chandler Regional Hospital.
After the 16-time Funny Car season champion’s wreck, daughter Courtney went on to win the event.
“This was a great day for John Force Racing,” John Force said in a team release. “Brittany came back from a crash at Pomona and won first round and Courtney won Funny Car for Advance Auto Parts. My struggles continue, but I’m a big boy, I’ll fix it.”
The crash happened two weeks after one of Force’s daughters, reigning Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, was hospitalized following a hard crash at the season opener in Pomona, California. Brittany Force was back in the car this weekend in Arizona.
Force’s engine exploded at the finish line, sending him veering across the right lane in front of Lindberg and hard into a retaining wall. The hit lifted his rear tires off the ground, and they landed on Lindberg’s canopy. The parachutes from both cars got tangled at that point, and Lindberg’s car dragged Force’s back across the track and into the left wall.
It was the second time in two events that Force blew an engine in elimination rounds.
In 2007, Force was seriously injured at Texas Motorplex when his car crossed the finish line, blew a tire, crossed into the opposite lane and collided with Kenny Bernstein’s car.
Lindberg exited his mangled dragster under his own power.
“I got up and walked away,” Lindberg said. “I felt good and the doctors came to my trailer to check me out and told me that I’m good.”
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