Major League Baseball signings - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Major League Baseball signings

TENNIS

Top-seeded Roger Federer, third-seeded Novak Djokovic and No. 6 seed Nikolay Davydenko were straight-set winners in third-round action at the 2010 Australian Open on Saturday. Federer, seeking his 16th major title, defeated 31st-seeded Spaniard Albert Montanes, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, while Djokovic, who titled here two years ago, pasted Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. Davydenko needed just one-hour, 49-minutes to get by 30th-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco. The Russian will next face No. 9 seed Fernando Verdasco, who was ahead 6-1 before Austrian Stefan Koubek retired from their match. Aussie crowd favorite Lleyton Hewitt also advanced when Marcos Baghdatis retired in the second set and will next meet Federer in a marquee fourth-round match Monday.

On the women's side, top-ranked Serena Williams and sixth-seeded sister Venus were third-round winners Saturday. The defending champion Serena won easily over 32nd-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-3 in a little over an hour and 20 minutes. Next up for the younger Williams is native Australian No. 13 seed Samantha Stosur, who made short work of Italian Alberta Brianti in a 6-4, 6-1 victory. Venus, meanwhile, didn't find it quite so easy against another Aussie in Casey Dellacqua, who pushed the American to a tiebreaker in the second set before finally succumbing in a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) defeat. Other top 10 seeded winners Saturday were Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva.

NFL

Minnesota Vikings all-purpose threat Percy Harvin missed practice again Friday because of migraine headaches and is listed as questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against New Orleans. Harvin, the team's second-leading receiver and top kickoff return man, was at practice Wednesday, but missed Thursday's workout because of the issue. He wasn't even at the team's facility on Friday. Harvin has dealt with the migraine issue during the season and it forced him to miss a game back on December 13. The rookie out of Florida had 60 catches for 790 yards with six touchdowns during the season and averaged 27.5 yards with two scores on kickoff returns. Defensive end Ray Edwards (knee), defensive back Benny Sapp (ankle) and defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are also questionable.

New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey missed practice for a third consecutive day on Friday and is listed as questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings. Shockey suffered a knee injury during last week's divisional playoff victory over Arizona. The Miami- Florida product had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals. The 6-foot-5, 251-pounder caught 48 passes for 569 yards and three scores during the season. Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring) is also questionable for Sunday's contest after missing practice the entire week. Wide receiver Robert Meachem (ankle), safety Darren Sharper (knee), defensive end Bobby McCray (back) and center Jonathan Goodwin (knee) are all listed as probable.

BASEBALL

The New York Mets have acquired veteran outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for right- handed reliever Brian Stokes. It was reported earlier that the Angels will be paying a good portion of the $23 million remaining on the five-year, $50 million deal Matthews signed prior to the start of the 2007 season. Matthews, at one time one of the best defensive players in the game, appeared in 103 games last season for the Halos and hit .250 with four home runs and 50 runs batted in. He played two games for the Mets in 2002 and will help fill a void in center field, as Carlos Beltran is likely to miss at least the first month of the season recovering from knee surgery.

The San Francisco Giants kept catcher Bengie Molina in the fold, signing him to a one-year deal on Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Molina batted .265 with a career-high 20 homers and 80 runs batted in last season. He reached the 80-RBI mark in each of his three years with the Giants. After eight seasons with the Angels, which included a World Series title in 2002, Molina spent 2006 with Toronto before signing a three-year deal with the Giants prior to the 2007 campaign. Molina is a career .276 hitter with 139 homers and 675 runs batted in over 12 big league seasons.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The University of Wisconsin announced Friday it has extended the contract of head football coach Bret Bielema through January 31, 2015. Bielema was given a five-year contract in February 2007, just after he completed his first year as Badgers head coach. He was the team's defensive coordinator, and took over the program after Barry Alvarez retired and became the school's athletic director. Wisconsin went 10-3 this past season, with a win over Miami-Florida in the Champs Sports Bowl. Bielema's teams have gone 38-14 in his four seasons as the head coach, with a 20-12 mark in the Big Ten.

GOLF

Bubba Watson fired a 10-under 62 on Friday to move to 16-under 128 and atop the leaderboard after the second round of the weather-plagued Bob Hope Classic. The second round of the PGA Tour's only five-round event was finally completed Friday amid serious weather problems in the California desert. There was no golf on Thursday as inclement weather postponed all action, and the start of the second round Friday was delayed, so the golfers went out in twosomes off split tees on all four courses in the rotation. With all of the delays and postponements, tournament officials believe a Monday finish will be in order.

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