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Cubs extend Hendry's contract for four years

October 21, 2008|Dylan Hernandez; Steve Springer; Lance Pugmire; Pete Thomas | Staff and Wire Reports

General Manager Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs agreed Monday to a four-year contract extension through the 2012 season, a deal that would expire well after new owners are expected to take over the club.

"The timing, let's face it, it's an odd situation. The team is for sale and has been for sale for some time," said Craig Kenney, the Cubs' chairman.

The move came after the Cubs' best regular season in decades. Kenney said Tribune owner Sam Zell, who has the Cubs up for sale, signed off on Hendry's new deal.

"We think it's a really good long-term decision to keep the baseball side of our organization together," Kenney said. "It was an easy discussion. I did walk Sam through it a few days ago and he saw it the same way. We think this is one of the strengths of our organization and not that different than an attractive option for a player."

Hendry said two of his priorities would be re-signing free-agent pitchers Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood.

Backup shortstop Angel Berroa had his $5.5-million option for 2009 declined by the Dodgers. The Kansas City Royals, who traded Berroa to the Dodgers in June, are on the hook for $500,000 to buy out the option.

Berroa hasn't accrued enough major league service time to become a free agent and remains under the Dodgers' control. But he'll probably be let go because the collective bargaining agreement forbids clubs from tendering contracts that cut players' salaries from the previous season by more than 20%.

Berroa earned $4.75 million in 2008, meaning the Dodgers would be forced to pay him at least $3.8 million if they tender him a contract.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Sunday's night telecast of the seventh game of the American League Championship Series on TBS had a 7.9 rating, the highest for any baseball game this season on any network.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox attracted 13.4 million viewers, not only the most for any baseball game this season, but also for any baseball game in cable history.

Tampa Bay was also on "Sunday Night Football" on NBC, its Buccaneers going head to head with the Rays. The NFL game, matching Tampa Bay against Seattle, had a 7.2 rating.

-- Steve Springer

Mark Ellis, 31, who had right shoulder surgery last month, and the Oakland Athletics agreed to a two-year contract that guarantees the second baseman about $11 million and gives the A's an option for the 2011 season. . . . Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell had arthroscopic surgery to repair a tear and fix a bone spur in his right hip. . . . Joe Kerrigan, a former pitching coach with the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos, will succeed Jeff Andrews in the same job with the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Paul Williams to fight in Ontario

World welterweight champion Paul Williams will fight next month in Ontario for the International Boxing Federation junior-middleweight belt held by 38-year-old Verno Phillips.

Phillips, who'll be 39 on fight night, Nov. 29, at the new Citizens Business Bank Arena, has held a junior-middleweight title three times.

Williams (35-1, 26 knockouts) is coming off two early knockout victories, one to recapture his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt and another at middleweight.

Also on the card, Riverside's Chris Arreola (25-0, 22 KOs) will fight North American Boxing Federation heavyweight champion Travis Walker (28-1-1), and Olympian Shawn Estrada of Los Angeles will make his professional debut, promoter Dan Goossen announced.

-- Lance Pugmire


Utah's Williams to sit out opener

Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who was injured in an exhibition game two days ago, is out for at least two weeks because of a sprained ankle. If Williams is out only two weeks, he could be back for the season's third game.


New Jersey's Holik is out

New Jersey Devils center Bobby Holik will be sidelined three to four weeks because of a broken pinkie. He was injured Saturday night in Washington and is scheduled for surgery today, General Manager and President Lou Lamoriello said Monday.

Alabama's 6-foot-5, 365-pound nose guard Terrence Cody will be out for at least two games because of a knee injury. Cody, who is referred to as "Mt. Cody" because of his size, will be replaced by 6-1, 305-pound Josh Chapman for Saturday's game at Tennessee.

Mast Track will miss the Breeders' Cup because of a small crack in his foot, trainer Bobby Frankel announced. Mast Track was pre-entered in Saturday's Dirt Mile and Classic, and Frankel had been leaning toward the latter.

Well Armed has been confirmed as a starter for the Dirt Mile.

-- Pete Thomas

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