Manziel, Te’o, Klein named three Heisman finalists
NEW YORK – Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas quarterback Collin Klein are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Manziel is the favorite to win college football’s most famous player of the award when it is presented Saturday night in New York.
He would be the first freshman to win the Heisman and the first Texas A&M player since halfback John David Crow won the school’s only Heisman in 1957.
Te’o is trying to become the first defense-only player to win a Heisman and the eighth player from Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have had seven Heisman winners, tied for the most, but none since Tim Brown in 1987.
Klein, a former prep football and basketball star at Loveland, would be the first player from Kansas State to win the Heisman.
Protective hat liners proposed for pitchers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Big league pitchers could experiment with protective hat liners next season, hoping they can absorb the shock of batted balls such as the ones that struck Brandon McCarthy and Doug Fister in the head.
Major League Baseball medical director Dr. Gary Green presented ideas to executives, physicians and trainers at the winter meetings this week. Among the prototypes being studied is headgear made of Kevlar, the high-impact material used by the military and law enforcement and NFL players for body armor.
The liners, weighing perhaps five ounces or less, would go under a pitcher’s cap and help protect against line drives that often travel over 100 mph.
Kruk joins ESPN lineup for Sunday night baseball
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – John Kruk is following Bobby Valentine and Terry Francona into ESPN’s Sunday night baseball booth.
A member of ESPN’s studio team since 2004, the three-time All-Star will be announced Monday as the new partner of Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser, giving ESPN a different trio for the third consecutive season after 21 consecutive years with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. Buster Olney remains as the crew’s reporter.
Shulman and Hershiser were in the Sunday night booth in 2011 along with Valentine, who left to become manager of the Red Sox and was replaced by Francona, Boston’s manager from 2004-11. Francona departed ESPN in October to become Cleveland’s manager.
Barehanded catcher among Hall of Fame selections
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O’Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White were elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday for their excellence through the first half of the 20th century.
The trio was picked by the Hall’s pre-integration panel – part of what was known as the Veterans Committee – and gave the shrine exactly 300 members.
Induction ceremonies will be held July 28 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
They will be honored along with anyone chosen in January in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Utah takes a long shot at the 2026 Winter Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah officials announced plans Monday for a longshot bid for another Winter Olympics, saying they already have the venues in place and have left behind the taint of scandal from the 2002 games.
The bid for 2026 is contingent on the U.S. Olympic Committee deciding it will endorse a city for those games. Utah announced the bid far in advance to scare off any competitors, Reno-Tahoe among them.
Herbert said 40 percent of U.S. winter athletes train in Utah, and that the state was looking into adding housing to the Utah Olympic Park, the ski jumping and sliding venue.