LINCECUM PASSES PHYSICAL, SIGNS CONTRACT: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum has passed his physical and officially signed his $40.5 million, two-year contract.
The two sides reached a verbal agreement on the deal on Tuesday and the Giants said Lincecum signed the contract Friday after taking his physical.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $18 million this year and $22 million in 2013.
Lincecum had asked for a near-record $21.5 million in salary arbitration and had been offered $17 million by the Giants. He remains eligible for free agency following the 2013 season.
Lincecum was plagued by poor run support last season and went 13-14 with a 2.74 ERA last year for his first losing record.
SELIG EXPECTS EXPANDED PLAYOFFS TO START THIS YEAR: NEW YORK (AP) — Commissioner Bud Selig expects baseball to expand its playoffs this season.
Players and owners have already agreed to add an additional wild-card team in each league, but are still deciding whether it would take effect this year or in 2013. Selig said there are scheduling issues to be worked out — once they are, the new 10-team format would begin with a one-game playoff.
HUNTER PENCE, PHILLIES AGREE TO $10.4 MILLION DEAL: PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Right fielder Hunter Pence and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed Friday to a $10.4 million, one-year contract.
The deal was at the midpoint between the $11.8 million he had asked for in arbitration last week and the $9 million the Phillies had offered. He can earn additional award bonuses.
Pence hit .314 with 22 homers and a career-high 97 RBIs for Houston and Philadelphia last season, when he made $6.9 million. He was acquired from the Astros on July 29.
A two-time All-Star, Pence has a .292 average, 114 homers and 412 RBIs in five seasons with Houston and Philadelphia.
NO SID? NO PROBLEM: PLENTY OF NHL STARS IN OTTAWA: OTTAWA (AP) — Three first overall NHL draft picks. The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. And don't forget Pavel Datsyuk, the consistent Detroit Red Wings forward.
Datsyuk is so admired by his colleagues that many regard him as one of the game's best all-around players.
Add it up and there just might be enough bona fide talent attending the NHL's All-Star festivities in Ottawa to overcome the absence of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, and capture the imaginations of the young, old and even most casual fans searching for a distraction on a light sports weekend.
"All I know is that we're missing some really good hockey players, but there's a lot of good hockey players in this league," Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said Friday.
"Even when there's a few missing, there's always a bunch of them that can step in and do just as well. As far as who's going to emerge as a star player ... I'm not very good when it comes to guessing, so I'm certainly not going to throw out a name."
There's plenty to choose from as Team Daniel Alfredsson takes on Team Zdeno Chara in the skills competition Saturday and All-Star game Sunday.
DAVIS-WHITE WIN SHORT DANCE AT US CHAMPIONSHIPS: SAN JOSE (AP) — Meryl Davis and Charlie White are on a different level than their American competitors.
Heck, they're lapping the rest of the world, too.
The first Americans to win a world title in ice dance took a comfortable lead at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday, and their score of 76.89 in the short dance is sure to get the world's attention. Not only was it four-plus points ahead of Maia and Alex Shibutani, last year's U.S. runners-up and the surprise bronze medalists at the world championships, but it's well ahead of what the best of the rest has been able to do, too.
WHITE SOX GM FEELS SON'S PAIN AFTER 49ERS' LOSS: CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox general manager Ken Williams is still feeling his son's pain.
Kyle Williams of the San Francisco 49ers muffed one punt and fumbled another in last Sunday's NFC championship game as the New York Giants earned a berth in the Super Bowl. His fumble in overtime set up Lawrence Tynes' winning field goal in New York's 20-17 victory.
"As a father, it was absolutely awful. Even if it weren't my kid, I'd still feel bad for what happened," Ken Williams said Friday night at the White Sox winter festival.
Kyle Williams not only stood up and answered reporters' questions about his mistakes, but was subjected to hateful, hurtful, even threatening comments via social media.
"Through it all, the young man has shown me exactly who I thought he was, which is a man of character, a strong-minded, tough son of a gun," Ken Williams said. "He's hurting right now ... Believe me, I'm not happy with some of the death threats and some of the things that are unfortunately part of our culture. I wish it weren't that way, but I have first-hand knowledge of it being that way.
"He grew up in a household where he knew exactly what to expect. He stood up in front of more media than I've ever stood in front of and told them exactly what he felt, and took responsibility. How can a father be anything but proud?"
US WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM QUALIFIES FOR OLYMPICS: VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — In the end, what matters is that the U.S. women's soccer team is going to the Olympics. What the players won't soon forget is how hard they had to work get there.
The Americans booked their way to London on Friday night with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, a game more suspenseful than most anyone expected.
Tobin Heath scored in the 16th minute to give U.S. all the scoring it needed, and goals by Carli Lloyd (72nd) and Alex Morgan (89th) put the game away late.