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Thursday, November 15, 2012

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The Union

SPORTS Affeldt, Giants complete $18 million, 3-year deal BY JANIE MCCAULEY AP Baseball Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — Jeremy Affeldt wanted it some job security — and the reliable reliever got it. The left-hander and the World Series champion San Francisco Giants completed an $18 million, three-year contract Wednesday. Bobby Evans, the team’s vice president of baseball operations, said the deal had been finalized to keep Affeldt in the Bay Area. “We are so happy to be back with our San Francisco family,” said Affeldt, in San Francisco

for his physical and meetings. The 33-year-old Affeldt went 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 67 appearances covering 63 1-3 innings this season for the Giants. When the season ended, he publicly said he wanted to stay but would not accept a one-year deal because he wanted to provide some stability for his family — he has a wife and three young sons. Affeldt also was a key member of the bullpen during the club’s 2010 run to the franchise’s first championship since 1954. “I’m glad it got done,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He is such a key swing guy who can

be used in the sixth inning on. That was an important sign for us. I’m excited to have the crazy left-hander back. He’s getting

General manager Brian Sabean called re-signing Affeldt one of his top offseason priorities. Affeldt lives on the

“That was an important sign for us. I’m excited to have the crazy left-hander back.” — GIANTS MANAGER BRUCE BOCHY, on team’s deal with reliever Jeremy Affeldt better with age, his stuff, his command. He is a more complete pitcher now than when we got him. He’s doing what you want your players to do: keep getting better.”

West Coast in his hometown of Spokane, Wash., so re-signing with the Giants was appealing from that standpoint as well. “It’s great to retain such a big piece to our bullpen puzzle,”

■■ GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

All Hawks down

Barnes, Warriors hold off visiting Atlanta squad for win BY ANTONIO GONZALEZ AP Sports Writer

OAKLAND — Rookie Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, making a pair of critical free throws in the final minute to help the Golden State Warriors hold off the shorthanded Atlanta Hawks 92-88 on Wednesday night. David Lee added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Stephen Curry scored 12 to put the Warriors ahead by 13 points early in the fourth quarter. The Hawks hacked that lead to two but Barnes and Jarrett Jack each made a pair of free throws to seal Golden State’s victory. Lou Williams scored 18 points, including three straight 3-pointers that whittled the Warriors’ lead to a basket with 11.2 seconds remaining. Josh Smith added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which had Al Horford and Devin Harris out because of a stomach illness. The way the Warriors’ defense finished was enough to make coach Mark Jackson sick. Williams made the second of his three consecutive 3s to bring Atlanta within 90-85 with 21.8 seconds left. Curry, who had made a layup over Smith on the previous possession, missed a 3-pointer that Barnes tracked down. Barnes, drafted seventh overall out of North Carolina, was fouled and made both free throws. He had not had more than 14 points or five rebounds in his first seven games. Williams made another 3-pointer to slice Golden State’s lead to 90-88. Jack, who finished with nine points and four rebounds, was fouled and swished both free throws to secure the victory. Atlanta has had multiple players get sick during its West Coast trip. The latest bug sidelined Horford and Harris. Zaza Pachulia started at center in

AP photo

IN OVER HIS HEAD: Warriors’ Carl Landry scores against the Hawks Wednesday in Oakland. Horford’s place, and even he had to overcome a setback. Pachulia was cut above his right eye in the first quarter, with blood dripping down the side of his face. He received stitches in the locker room and returned.

■■ COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Needing 2 TDs, Ball hopes to reach mark at home

BY NANCY ARMOUR AP National Writer

MADISON, Wis. — Montee Ball is in charge of the entertainment for Wisconsin’s senior day. Needing just two touchdowns to become the all-time leader in major college football, the Badgers running back would like nothing more than to get the record Saturday when Wisconsin (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) hosts unbeaten Ohio State in Ball’s final game at Camp Randall Stadium. “It’s going to be extra special to do it at home — if it happens,” he said. “It’d be ideal to break a record like that on home turf, in front of our fans.” Ball has 77 career touchdowns after running for three scores against Indiana last weekend. That’s two more than 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, and one less than current FBS record holder Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio). “It’s pretty exciting. We take pride in that and having him be able to

have the opportunity to break the record,” receiver Jared Abbrederis said. “It’s been awesome watching him.” Making Ball’s run all the more impressive is that he didn’t even become a starter — heck, a regular contributor — until midway through his sophomore season. Still, the career record seemed like a given after last year, when he scored 39 touchdowns to match Barry Sanders’ long-standing singleseason mark. The Heisman finalist would need only 18 TDs to pass Prentice, and he’d averaged almost three per game in his previous 20 games. Then Ball was attacked by several men as he walked home Aug. 1 after a night out with friends. He was knocked to the ground and kicked in the head and chest, leaving him unconscious and with a concussion. The injuries sidelined him during training camp, and Ball — and the Badgers — continued to feel the effects as their season got off to a rocky start.

With the Hawks hurting on the inside, the Warriors went to work. Lee led the charge by going at Atlanta’s depleted front line and allowed Golden State to play inside-out. He had 14

points and seven rebounds in the first half to help the Warriors take a 54-46 lead. Golden State withstood several shots from Atlanta before hanging on. The Hawks started the third quarter on a 7-1 run to trim the Warriors’ lead to two. Ivan Johnson then inadvertently elbowed Warriors second-round pick Draymond Green in the face while going for a rebound late in the quarter. Green stayed down for a couple of minutes until walking gingerly to the locker room, with Johnson patting him on the chest on the way off the court. The team said X-rays on the right side of Green’s jaw came back negative. He later returned. In the meantime, another rookie helped the Warriors create some separation. Barnes ignited an 18-7 spurt the lasted through the opening minute of the fourth quarter to put Golden State ahead 7360. He threw down a putback dunk that brought roaring fans to their feet, including Warriors owner Joe Lacob sitting in his usual courtside spot, and mixed in a turnaround jumper and a driving layup. Atlanta closed within two on Williams’ 3-pointer in the final minute but never got closer. NOTES: The Warriors honored former coach Don Nelson at halftime for his Hall of Fame induction in September. The 72-year-old Nelson, who has an NBA-record 1,335 wins, said he has no plans to get involved in basketball again and is enjoying retirement at his home in Maui, Hawaii. ... The Hawks have added more hand sanitizer in the locker room and separated infected players from others because of the stomach illness that has swept through part of the team. ... Warriors C Andrew Bogut will rehab his surgically repaired left ankle in the Los Angeles area during the team’s three-game road trip starting Friday in Minnesota.

Sabean said. He has spent the past four of his 11 major league seasons with San Francisco, going 10-9 with a 2.73 ERA in 237 1-3 innings and 184 outings. Affeldt dealt with two bizarre, non-baseball injuries the past two seasons. In late April, he sprained his right knee and went on the disabled list after he reached out to catch his son, Walker, as the 60-pound 4-year-old jumped off the couch to hug his arriving father. On Sept. 8, 2011, the pitcher sliced his non-throwing hand nearly to the artery while

separating frozen hamburgers during an outdoor barbecue with his family on an off-day. The paring knife he was using pushed through a hamburger patty and deep into his hand. Affeldt came within a millimeter of an artery and underwent surgery about eight hours after the injury to repair nerve damage in his pinkie. “Those are fluke injuries,” Bochy said. “These guys have to live their lives. We let these guys live their normal lives — that’s the way it should be. We’re all occasionally going to have them, and he has a knack for the good ones.”

■■ SACRAMENTO KINGS

Players’ union to appeal Cousins’ 2-game suspension BY ANTONIO GONZALEZ AP Sports Writer

The NBA players’ association is continuing its appeal on behalf of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins even after he has served his suspension. The league suspended Cousins two games for confronting San Antonio announcer Sean Elliott in a “hostile manner.” The exchange followed the Spurs’ 97-86 victory in Sacramento on Friday night. Cousins sat out losses at the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and at home against Portland on Tuesday. He can’t get the games back but is hoping to recoup his pay for each game missed. He lost about $70,500 of his $3.9 million annual salary. “Based on the accounts we have heard to date of the incident, we believe that a two-game suspension is excessive and unwarranted,” the union said in a statement Wednesday. “We recognize the Commissioner’s desire to discourage confrontations between players and members of the media, but he needs to exercise more subtlety and discretion in ascertaining and examining the specific facts and circumstances before handing down such heavy-handed discipline.” In a statement through his agent, John Greig, Cousins expressed remorse for his role in the incident. “Despite believing the penalty (is) unwarranted, I want to apologize to the Sacramento Kings, our fans and especially to my coaches and teammates for this distraction of our goals,” Cousins said. “As a leader of the team, I have to make the best decisions so my teammates can count on me. I am committed to continued growth and being the best player I can be.” Cousins’ behavior has been well documented going back to

high school and his one season at Kentucky. He has mixed in dramatic and astonishing plays with outbursts against players, coaches, trainers and referees. Cousins clashed often last season with Kings coach Paul Westphal, who was fired after a 2-5 start, which also came after he released a statement criticizing Cousins’ commitment to the team and excusing him for a game. After a workout over the summer in Las Vegas with

“We recognize the commissioner’s desire to discourage confrontations between the players and members of the media, but he needs to exercise more subtlety and discretion…” — PLAYERS UNION, in a statement the U.S. select team, which helped Team USA prepare for the London Olympics, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Cousins “has some growing up to do.” Cousins has since said he was just playing hard and that rubbed some the wrong way. The 22-year-old Cousins is averaging 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season. Sacramento is 2-6, the worst record in the Western Conference. Cousins, who was drafted fifth overall in 2010, will return when the Kings host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

■■ OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Melvin will welcome back Bartolo Colon BY JANIE MCCAULEY AP Baseball Writer

OAKLAND — Bartolo Colon will be welcomed back to the Oakland Athletics with no hard feelings — at least by newly crowned AL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin. Melvin said Wednesday he is “thrilled” the right-hander will return to the club next year after his 2012 season ended with a 50-game suspension Aug. 22 for testing positive for testosterone. Colon received a $3 million, one-year contract Nov. 3, though he still has five games remaining on his suspension when the 2013 season starts. While the new deal includes incentives for starts and innings, he also has potential bonuses for relief appearances — though Melvin said Colon would prepare as a starter and will be “embraced” by the reigning AL West champions. “He’s gone through his penalty,” Melvin said. “It’s one thing

AP photo

TITLE TIME: Athletics manager Bob Melvin celebrates after his team clinched the American League West title with a win over the Rangers Oct. 3 in Oakland. if it’s a guy who might be a little bit of a bad guy, but his is a true gentleman, a great guy who just made a mistake. He’ll be embraced back here again. He was very important for us. Guys like that can kind of get lost in the shuffle when they’re not here and you get to the postseason, but he

was a key guy for us, he really was.” The former Cy Young winner went 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts for Oakland last season, his 15th in the majors. A’s general manager Billy Beane said finding a veteran pitcher to be part of a young rotation — and for

the financial value — Colon was the perfect fit. Melvin said he last spoke to Colon about three weeks after the suspension began, and they will talk again before the start of spring training in February. “I don’t need to talk to Bart. I will call him at some point in time,” Melvin said. “I got very close to him, and we had a nice conversation and he was very remorseful when all that went down. I think in the back of his mind he was hoping this situation would arise for him again, and it did.” A’s assistant general manager David Forst said Wednesday the team remains in contact with shortstop Stephen Drew. Oakland declined to pick up their half of a $10 million mutual option late last month. Drew is seeking a long-term deal. “We’re still in touch,” Forst said. “We’re looking to do something at that position, and he’s still an option.”

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