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O's Sign Pearce to 1-Year Deal


Baltimore Orioles/MLB(BALTIMORE) -- Baltimore Orioles agreed with Steve Pearce on a one-year, $3.7 million deal Friday, avoiding salary arbitration.

The 32-year-old Pearce played in 102 games for the O's last season, hitting .293 with 21 home runs, 49 RBIs and a .373 on-base percentage.

Before the two sides came to a compromise, Pearce had asked for $5.4 million while the Orioles offered $2 million.

Alejandro De Aza, Zach Britton and Miguel Gonzalez are the three remaining Orioles in arbitration.

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Alexi Ogando Signs Deal with Red Sox


Robert Binder/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Free-agent reliever Alexi Ogando agreed with the Boston Red Sox on a one-year contract Friday.

According to USA Today, Ogando will receive $1.5 million guaranteed, with incentives the deal could reach up to $3 million.

The 6-foot-4 Ogando has spent all five of his major league seasons with the Texas Rangers. During that time he has been used as a starter and a reliever.

The past couple of seasons Ogando has been dealing with right shoulder and elbow problems that last year limited him to pitching just 25 innings.

The 31-year-old Ogando has been effective when healthy. For his career he's pitched 406 innings, compiling a 28-16 record, 3.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 325 strikeouts. He made the All-Star team as a starter in 2011.

The Red Sox designated left-handed pitcher Drake Britton for assignment to make room for Ogando on the 40-man roster.

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Cousins Replaces Bryant in All-Star Game


Sacramento Kings/NBA(NEW YORK) -- Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been selected to take the place of Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant at the 2015 All-Star Game, league commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday.

Cousins will make his first All-Star appearance and becomes the first King since 2004 to be selected as an All-Star.

"Honestly, I really didn't expect myself to make it," Cousins said. "I mean, the West was so tough this year and there are so many talented guys in the West. But the crazy thing is, me and Dame (Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard) were texting after the results came out and I was telling him, 'Man, you know you're going to make this team, like, it's nothing.' It's just kind of crazy how things worked out."

Cousins is fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.8 points per game) and third in rebounding (12.3 rebounds per game).

The NBA All-Star Game takes place at Madison Square Garden on Sunday Feb. 15.

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Tiger Shoots Worst Round of Career, Misses Cut


Jason Merritt/Getty Images(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- Tiger Woods shot a professional worst 82 during second round play at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday.

Woods missed the cut and failed to break 80 for just the second time in his professional career.

"We all have days like this," Woods. "Unfortunately, mine was in a public forum, a public setting. We all have days like this. We take the good with the bad, and the thing is even on bad days like this, just keep fighting, because on the good days you've got to keep fighting, as well."

Woods had six bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey Friday.

This was Woods' first event of 2015. He is expected to play at next week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 1/30/15


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Philadelphia 76ers 103 (10-37) - Minnesota Timberwolves 94 (8-38)

Atlanta Hawks 105 (39-8) - Portland Trail Blazers 99 (32-15)

Cleveland Cavaliers 101 (28-20) - Sacramento Kings 90 (16-29)

Houston Rockets 93 (33-14) - Boston Celtics 87 (16-29)

Toronto Raptors 127 (32-15) - Brooklyn Nets 122 (18-28)

Dallas Mavericks 93 (31-17) - Miami Heat 72 (20-26) 

New Orleans Pelicans 108 (25-22) - Los Angeles Clippers 103 (31-15)

Utah Jazz 110 (17-30) - Golden State Warriors 100 (36-8)

NHL: St. Louis Blues 3  (31-13-4, 66pts) - Carolina Hurricanes 2  (17-25-6, 40pts)

Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (28-13-8, 64pts) - New Jersey Devils 1 (18-22-9, 45pts) - Overtime

Colorado Avalanche 3 (21-18-11, 53pts) - Nashville Predators 0 (31-11-6, 68pts)

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Roger Goodell Discusses Deflate-Gate


Christian Petersen/Getty Images (PHOENIX) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed 'Deflate-Gate' for the first time since news came out after the AFC Championship game that 11 of the 12 footballs that the Patriots used were under the league standard of 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch on Friday.

Goodell has let the investigation take place and said that an announcement would be after Ted Wells has come to a conclusion.

"It has been a tough year," Goodell said. "It's been a tough year on me personally. It's been a year of what I would say is humility and learning. We obviously as an organization have gone through adversity, but more importantly, adversity for me. It's an opportunity for us to get better. ... We've all done a lot of soul searching starting with yours truly."

"We don't know enough in this case to know who is responsible or if there was an infraction," he added.

The NFL has been under a microscope since the Ray Rice elevator incident when he knocked out his then fiancee in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"This is my job," Goodell said when asked if he would apologize to the Patriots if they weren't found guilty of deflating any of the 11 footballs. "This is my responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. I represent 32 teams. All of us want to make sure the rules are being followed."

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Both Super Bowl Coaches Not Worried About the Past


NFL Media(PHOENIX) -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held a joint press conference on Friday as the two teams near closer to Super Bowl 49 on Sunday.

"This is about an opportunity at this time to be special this year," Belichick said. "We care about what happens on Sunday.  It's really nothing about anything that has happened [in the past]."

Seattle had the fortune of being in this position last year and Carroll said his team did everything they had to do in order to be ready for kickoff on Sunday.

"We've had a great two weeks," Carroll said. "Everybody's in good shape for us, we're ready to go."

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will be the youngest quarterback to play twice in the big game since Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"That has nothing to do with what is going on," Carroll said of Wilson.

The 'Legion of Boom' will be one of the toughest defenses that the Patriots will face all year. "They're strong in every area," Belichick said. "It's been a huge challenge, it's a tough team to prepare for."

"Each of us has a job to do," Belichick said of their team slogan, Do your job. "That's kind of the backbone of our organization."

Brady is seeking his fourth Super Bowl ring that will put him in the elite company of Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

"As a sixth rounder he's showed it isn't where you start, it's where you finish," Carroll said of Brady. 

New England is hoping to avoid losing a third straight Super Bowl. 

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NFL: Fewer Concussions Suffered in 2014 Season


NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) -- The NFL announced that concussions were down during the 2014 season as well as other injury findings.

According to the league, the number of recorded concussions dropped 25 percent during the regular season.

"Players are changing the way they're tackling," NFL Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy Jeff Miller said. "They're changing the way they play the game."

There were 111 concussions in games during the 2014 regular season. That number was down from 148 in 2013 and 173 in 2012. That equates to a 36 percent drop over that three-year span.

"It would have been nice if we had started this in 1930, but we didn't," said San Francisco 49ers chairman John York, who leads the owners' health and safety committee. "And as things came to our attention, we took more interest in looking at these questions."

Miller also went on to say that the drop in concussions has not resulted in more knee injuries.

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Top QB Recruit Kyler Murray Sticking with Texas A&M


Banana Stock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Texas A&M football fans and coaches can breathe a sigh of relief as Kyler Murray, the Gatorade National Player of the Year as well as the No. 1-ranked quarterback, has decided to commit to Texas A&M.

Murray was considering other options, and even visited with the Texas Longhorns last week, but decided College Station was the best fit for him.

"Texas A&M is where my heart is at," Murray said late Thursday night. "Coach [Charlie] Strong and Texas is a great opportunity, but I felt that A&M was the place for me. Not because of my dad having played there, but just the right place for me."

"It went well," Murray said when asked about a recent meeting with Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. "All my questions were answered. I just can't wait to get this all over with and get back to playing ball."

Murray was ranked 13th overall in the ESPN 300. As the starting quarterback at Allen High, Murray won his third straight state championship in Texas' highest classification in December.

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Bucks Sign Forward Kenyon Martin for the Rest of the Season


Christopher Trottman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Milwaukee Bucks are keeping Kenyon Martin around. The team announced they've signed the veteran forward through the rest of the season.

Martin had originally signed a 10-day contract with the team.

Now in his 15th NBA season, the 37-year-old Martin has added a big boost to the young Bucks. While his impact may not be felt on the stat-sheet, he's provided some much-needed veteran leadership to the team. He's also added solid front court depth after the injury to rookie Jabari Parker and the suspension of Larry Sanders.

Martin also has a connection with head coach Jason Kidd. The two were teammates when the New Jersey Nets made two back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. They also reunited when they both played for the New York Knicks during the 2012-2013 season.

A former number one overall pick, Martin has averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. In nine games this season, Martin is averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

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