In Brief

BASEBALL

Padres agree to one-year deal
with Hawpe to play first base

The San Diego Padres have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Brad Hawpe to play first base, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.

The deal is pending Hawpe passing a physical exam.

Hawpe will replace three-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez, who was traded to the Boston Red Sox earlier this month. Hawpe has mostly been an outfielder in seven big league seasons, with a handful of starts at first base. He was released by Colorado in August and signed by Tampa Bay.

Hawpe hit a combined .245 with nine homers and 44 RBIs last year. He was an All-Star in 2009 with Colorado, hitting .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBIs.

Also: Right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco signed a three-year, $26.5 million contract with the Florida Marlins.

Nolasco is expected to earn $6 million in 2011, $9 million in 2012 and $11.5 in 2013. He made $3.8 million last season, when he went 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA.

The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed minor league left-hander Aaron Thompson off waivers and designated left-hander Wil Ledezma for assignment to create a roster spot.

Thompson was left unprotected by the Washington Nationals, who acquired him from Florida for first baseman Nick Johnson in 2009. Thompson, who made 26 starts at Double-A Harrisburg last season, was a first-round pick by the Marlins in 2005.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Michigan coach Rodriguez
refuses to lobby to keep job

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon might ask Rich Rodriguez why he should keep his job in a private conversation soon after the Gator Bowl.

Publicly, Rodriguez doesn’t want to say what his answer would be.

“It would sound like I’m lobbying,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve got a great job and we’re looking forward to finishing it.”

Brandon might not give Rodriguez that chance with three years left on his six-season contract that pays him about $2.5 million annually.

The first-year AD has steadfastly stuck by his plan to evaluate Rodriguez after the season, which closes against No. 21 Mississippi State on New Year’s Day.

Brandon has refused to waver from that plan while speculation swirls that he’s going to fire Rodriguez and try to hire Stanford coach and former Wolverines quarterback Jim Harbaugh to lead college football’s winningest program.

MISCELLANEOUS

Mississippi State suspends
basketball players in fight

The two Mississippi State players caught on camera fighting in the stands of the Diamond Head Classic have been suspended indefinitely and sent home from Hawaii.

Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey, who are roommates, were involved in a fistfight after the Bulldogs’ game with San Diego in Honolulu on Thursday night. The altercation lasted for several minutes before being broken up by teammates and coaches.

“I’m very sorry for this incident,” Sidney said in a statement released by the university. “I had no intention of this ever happening. I apologize for embarrassing my family, all the Mississippi State fans, my teammates and coaches.”

Mississippi State faces St. Mary’s on Wednesday at the Orleans Arena.

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin sent out a tweet saying, “The actions that took place in Hawaii were embarrassing to all of us who love Mississippi State. This behavior will not be tolerated.”

It’s the latest in a string of issues for Sidney. The NCAA ruled in March he had to repay $11,800 in improper benefits and sit out the remainder of the 2010 season and nine more games this season.

ESPN hired former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown as an analyst.

Brown, who was fired in June after the Cavs lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals, will begin his TV stint today for the New York-Chicago telecast on ESPN 3D, the network said. Brown also will contribute as an ESPN studio analyst throughout the season.

Brown was the most successful coach in Cavaliers’ history. He went 314-177 in five seasons and was the league’s coach of the year in 2009. But Cleveland’s failure to win a title despite having the league’s best record and LeBron James the past two seasons led to Brown’s dismissal.

David Fay announced he is retiring from the U.S. Golf Association, his two decades as executive director marked by a steady push for golf’s return to the Olympics and for the U.S. Open to be held on golf courses that anyone could play at a reasonable price.

Fay’s announcement was somewhat of a surprise, although he turned 60 two months ago. He joined the USGA in 1978 and became its sixth executive director in 1989, serving under 12 presidents.

Mike Butz, the deputy executive director since 1995, will take over Jan. 1 until a national search is conducted to find Fay’s replacement.

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