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POSTED April 17, 2012 12:47 a.m.


• Zito gets rare chance to play with rock band Train
: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Barry Zito and Matt Cain accepted the mic from Train lead singer Patrick Monahan and belted out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as a couple of thousand fans cheered and sang right along.

On Sunday night, these two mega-millionaire pitchers took a different stage, performing with Train during the rock band’s sixth and final date in San Francisco.

Train reached out to Zito and asked him to take part Sunday night at The Fillmore — and he wasn’t going to pass up that chance. The left-hander joined Monahan and Co. late in their set for the group’s popular song “Save Me San Francisco,” playing the guitar and singing. Then, Monahan invited Cain to come down and Zito stayed in for one more song as they led everyone in “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

• Longtime A’s instructor Ron Plaza dies at 77
: OAKLAND (AP) — Ron Plaza, the minor league roving instructor for the Oakland Athletics who spent more than six decades in pro ball, has died. He was 77.

The team said Plaza died Sunday night in St. Petersburg, Fla. He recently had a series of small strokes and was being treated at a rehabilitation nursing home.

Plaza was entering his 30th season as Oakland’s minor league roving instructor and his 61st in professional baseball as a player, coach and manager. Plaza played in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league system as an infielder for 12 years.

He joined the A’s organization in 1983 after 14 years with the Cincinnati Reds, where he served as a minor league roving instructor for eight seasons and on the major league coaching staff for six.


• Raiders re-sign S Matt Giordano
: ALAMEDA (AP) — The Oakland Raiders have re-signed safety Matt Giordano to a free-agent contract.

The team announced the move Monday.

Giordano played 15 games for Oakland last season. He led the team with five interceptions and added 66 tackles and one sack.

The 29-year-old Giordano has history with the Raiders new hierarchy. He played one season in Green Bay, where new general manager Reggie McKenzie worked in the personnel department and spent 2010 in New Orleans with Oakland coach Dennis Allen serving as defensive backs coach.

Giordano played his first four seasons with Indianapolis, winning the Super Bowl after the 2006 season. He has eight interceptions in his seven-year career.


• San Jose State names Tuite interim AD
: SAN JOSE. (AP) — San Jose State has hired Marie Tuite as interim athletic director after AD Tom Bowen left to take the same job at Memphis.

School president Mo Qayoumi made the announcement Monday and said a search for a permanent athletic director will begin this summer.

Tuite joined San Jose State two years ago and served as deputy director for internal operations and chief operating officer. She has previously worked at California and Washington and is a former field hockey and basketball player at Central Michigan.

Bowen helped San Jose State dramatically improved its NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores and balanced the athletic department budget in his tenure. The school also added women’s track as a 17th intercollegiate sport, starting in 2013.


• Wizards season ends; likely last one in Bismarck
: BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — What is likely the final season for the Dakota Wizards in Bismarck has ended.

The Bakersfield Jam beat the Wizards 93-91 Sunday to sweep the first-round series in the NBA Development League playoffs. The Wizards close the season 29-22.

The Wizards are likely to move to Santa Cruz, Calif. City leaders there are to vote early next month on spending $2.5 million on a 3,200-seat arena for the Wizards, a team that was bought last year by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are based in Oakland, about 70 miles north of Santa Cruz.

The Wizards have played in Bismarck for nearly two decades. Veteran point guard Maurice Baker tells The Bismarck Tribune that he thinks Bismarck fans

• Ogwumike taken No. 1 by Sparks in WNBA draft
: BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Stanford star Nnemkadi Ogwumike was selected with the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday.

Ogwumike helped guide the Cardinal to the Final Four during all four of her seasons at the school, including this year’s loss to eventual champion Baylor. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 22.5 points and 10.2 rebounds this past season.

The Sparks finished with the fourth worst record in the league at 15-19 but won the draft lottery in November. Los Angeles also had the top pick in 2008 and selected Tennessee star Candace Parker, who went on to win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in her first season.

The defending champion Minnesota Lynx selected USC point guard Jacki Gemelos with the 31st overall pick in the second round. Gemelos, who starred at St. Mary’s of Stockton in her prep career, is recovering from a fourth ACL tear and will not play this season.

The WNBA season begins May 18, with training camps opening April 29.

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