Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids. The slugger who first broke the hallowed home run record of 61 with 70 in 1998 has finally admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. McGwire had been out of the public eye since his March 2005 appearance before a Congressional hearing on steroids in baseball when he said he wasn't going to talk about the past. He was hired as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals last October and on Monday released a statement through the team, detailing years of steroid use during his playing career. A portion of that time frame was during the 1998 season, when he and Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa helped revive baseball with the historic chase of Roger Maris' home run record. McGwire cited his new position with the St. Louis organization as cause for the admission. The statement included a timeline for the use including the 1989/1990 offseason, 1993 and "on occasion throughout the nineties, including during the 1998 season." McGwire added he wished he had never touched steroids and that it was foolish and a mistake, saying "I wish I had never played during the steroid era."
The Texas Rangers made it official on Monday and signed free agent slugger Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it includes a mutual option for the 2011 season. Guerrero, who turns 35 years old in February, spent the past six years with the AL West rival Angels. He appeared in just 100 games last year and played only two in the outfield, missing the first month of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, but hit .295 with 15 homers and 50 runs batted in. In 1,850 career games with the Angels and Montreal Expos, Guerrero has hit 407 homers with 1,318 RBI while batting .321 with a robust .386 on-base percentage. Guerrero, the 2004 AL MVP in his first season with the Angels, has driven in over 100 runs nine times in his career. He is also a career .394 hitter at Rangers Ballpark.
The Cincinnati Reds won the free agent bidding war for pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who had been sought after by several major league clubs following his defection from Cuba. The 22-year-old Chapman, who has had his fastball clocked at 100 m.p.h., signed a six-year deal that's worth $30 million, according to a report on the team's website. Chapman, who donned a No. 54 Reds jersey during the press conference, pitched for Cuba in the most recent World Baseball Classic. The lefty was 0-1 with a 5.68 earned run average in two starts.
Future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Greg Maddux was named as an assistant to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry on Monday. Maddux spent the first seven years of his playing career in Chicago and had another stint with the club from 2004-06 before retiring from baseball after the 2008 season. The four-time Cy Young Award winner will now be assisting the Cubs coaching staffs at major league and minor league spring training, assisting in the development of Cubs minor leaguers during the regular season and helping Hendry and the baseball operations department in talent evaluation.
The Pete Carroll saga has come to a head with the Seahawks officially announcing the former USC coach as the team's next head coach. It was widely reported that the Seahawks coveted Carroll after firing Jim Mora Jr. last Friday. Mora went 5-11 in his only season in Seattle. Carroll spent nine sublime seasons at Southern California, where he won an unprecedented seven consecutive Pac-10 titles and two national championships, sharing the 2003 crown with LSU before an undisputed No. 1 ranking the following year. The move marks a return to the professional ranks for Carroll, who compiled a a 33-31 record in four seasons as an NFL head coach with the New York Jets and New England. His leaving the Trojans' program comes amid investigations into NCAA rules violations, one including star running back Joe McKnight, who missed the Emerald Bowl due to questions into whether he violated NCAA rules for driving a Land Rover owned by an area businessman. Another continuing investigation involves former star running back Reggie Bush, who reportedly met with NCAA officials recently regarding extra benefits given to him while in school.
The Cleveland Browns named Tom Heckert as the team's general manager on Monday. Heckert spent the last nine seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, including the previous four as general manager. Before that, the 42-year-old spent 10 years in the personnel department of the Miami Dolphins. This is the first big signing for new Browns president Mike Holmgren, who announced last Thursday that head coach Eric Mangini will return for the 2010 season. The Browns also named Bryan Wiedmeier as executive vice president of business operations. Heckert, who was under contract with Philadelphia through 2011, brings a very successful resume to Cleveland. During his 17-year stay in the NFL, the teams with which he has been associated have experienced 16 winning seasons, won eight division titles and made 13 postseason trips, including five NFC Championship game appearances (2001-04, 2008 seasons) in addition to representing the NFC at Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 season.
Veteran forward Jamie Langenbrunner on Monday was named captain of the United States Olympic hockey team for the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Langenbrunner also wears the captain's 'C' for the New Jersey Devils. The 34-year-old Cloquet, Minnesota, native has 222 goals and 363 assists in 927 career games with Dallas and New Jersey. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, having captured the trophy in 1999 with the Stars and 2003 as a member of the Devils. Langenbrunner's teammate in New Jersey, forward Zach Parise, Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown, Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski will serve as alternate captains.
Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter Michael Redd has torn the ACL and MCL ligaments in his left knee to end his season prematurely for a second straight year. Redd had an MRI exam earlier Monday that confirmed the injury, suffered in Sunday's loss to the Lakers. Surgery will be scheduled at a date not yet determined. On January 24 of last season, Redd suffered the exact same injury and had surgery a little over a month later. The 30-year-old was limited to just 33 games last season and had missed almost the equivalent of a month in 2009-10 while battling soreness in the knee stemming from a strained left patella tendon. Redd was averaging 11.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists over 27.3 minutes in 18 games this season.
Former South Florida head football coach Jim Leavitt said Monday that he will fight for his job after being fired last Friday in the wake of allegations that he grabbed walk-on sophomore Joel Miller by the throat and hit him twice in the face at halftime of a November 21 game against Louisville. Leavitt has strongly denied the accusations and spoke to the media with attorneys by his side Monday, saying he is "not going to back down because I know what I am saying is right." The investigation began in mid-December after the incident was reported by a website, which cited Miller's father and the player's high school coach in its original story. Miller, himself, later indicated that the allegations were exaggerated.
Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain will skip his senior season and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. McClain announced his intentions to go pro at a press conference Monday and is considered among the top defenders entering April's draft. McClain anchored a stout Crimson Tide defense that ranked second in the country this season en route to a BCS national championship victory over Texas and an unblemished 14-0 ledger. The 2009 Butkus Award winner as the nation's top linebacker and first-team All-American, McClain led the team in tackles with 105 and tackles for loss with 14 1/2 while adding four sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap and offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey have each decided to enter the NFL Draft. Dunlap led the Gators with nine sacks in 2009 and finished his three-year collegiate career tied for 10th on the school's all-time sack list with 19 1/2. He was suspended for the SEC Championship Game against Alabama after a DUI arrest, but was reinstated for the Sugar Bowl. Pouncey, meanwhile, started 40 games in three seasons and was the winner of the 2009 Rimington Trophy as the top center in the nation.
Georgia Tech announced on Monday that Jonathan Dwyer, Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett will forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft. Dwyer, the 2008 ACC Player of the Year, rushed for 1,395 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and finished his career fifth in Georgia Tech history in all-purpose yards (3,966) and second in overall touchdowns (36). Morgan was named 2009 ACC Player of the Year after logging 12 1/2 sacks and 18 1/2 tackles-for-loss from his defensive end position last season. He finished with 19 1/2 career sacks. Burnett had 14 career interceptions in three seasons at Georgia Tech, missing the school record by two. The safety also had 235 career tackles. Georgia Tech, coming off an ACC title, also announced last Friday that wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is entering his name in the NFL Draft.
Texas is the top-ranked men's basketball team in the nation for the first time, as the Associated Press released its latest poll on Monday. The Longhorns (15-0) are one of just two unbeaten teams in the county after both Kansas and Purdue lost over the weekend. Texas moved up from No. 2 after Kansas lost on Sunday to Tennessee. The Jayhawks had been No. 1 since the preseason. With 56 first-place votes and a total of 1,616 points from a nationwide media panel, Texas is just 47 points ahead of fellow unbeaten Kentucky. The Wildcats (16-0) received the other nine first-place votes and 1,569 points to move up from third to second. Kansas dropped to third, ahead of Villanova, Syracuse and Purdue.
Wisconsin junior forward Jon Leuer suffered a broken bone in his left wrist during Saturday's victory over Purdue and will be sidelined indefinitely, the school announced Monday. Leuer, who started every game for the 13-3 Badgers this year, will have surgery on Tuesday and no timetable has been set for his return. The injury occurred in the first half of Saturday's 73-66 victory over the Boilermakers, though Leuer played 38 minutes and contributed 10 rebounds and four points on 2-of-15 shooting. Leuer is averaging 15.4 points and leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game.
DePaul has fired head basketball coach Jerry Wainwright just 15 games into his fifth season at the helm. The Blue Demons are off to a 7-8 start, but are 0-3 in Big East play. DePaul was winless in 18 conference games last season. Assistant coach Tracy Webster will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season. Wainwright compiled a record of 59-80 during his tenure with DePaul. He has a coaching mark of 245-224 in a career that also includes time at North Carolina-Wilmington and Richmond.
Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein agreed to a contract extension through the 2015-16 season on Monday. The new deal will pay Beilein $1.9 million by the 2013-14 season. The Wolverines are 8-7 this season, Beilein's third at the helm. He took over for Tommy Amaker following the 2006-07 season and led Michigan back to the NCAA Tournament last year with a 21-14 record.