MLB All-Star second baseman Howie Kendrick agreed yesterday to a $33.5 million, four-year contract with the Angels, passing up a chance to hit the free agent market after next season. The 28-year-old batted .285 with a career-best 18 homers and 63 RBIs in 140 games last year . . . The family of the late Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew, is in talks with other investors about making a joint bid to buy the Dodgers out of bankruptcy. The family’s investments are not directly tied to the operation of The Walt Disney Co. itself . . . Toronto has finalized a $4 million, one-year contract with lefthander Darren Oliver, with a $3 million team option for 2013. The 41-year-old former Red Sox reliever spent the last two seasons with the AL champion Rangers, going 5-5 with two saves and a 2.29 ERA in 51 innings last year. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated infielder Mark Teahen for assignment . . . San Francisco minor league catcher Drew Stiner was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a banned amphetamine.
Messi is player of the year . . . again
Lionel Messi became the first to win the FIFA player of the year award three years in a row. The Barcelona and Argentina forward received the FIFA Ballon d’Or award, beating club teammate Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. “It’s a huge honor,’’ the 24-year-old Messi said after accepting the trophy from retired Brazilian great Ronaldo. Messi’s coach, Pep Guardiola, was honored as men’s coach of the year. Among the women, Homare Sawa, who led Japan to the World Cup, ended Brazilian forward Marta’s five-year reign as the top player. American Abby Wambach was a finalist . . . Wambach and Marta say they haven’t committed to play in the US for the coming season.
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UMass’ Barbee signs deal with Auburn
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Colleges Former player and assistant coach at UMass Tony Barbee has signed a contract as Auburn’s basketball coach, more than 21 months after his hiring by the Tigers. The deal is worth $1.5 million annually and goes through June 30, 2017 . . . Morgan State basketball coach Todd Bozeman was suspended indefinitely without pay after being involved in a physical altercation with one of his players during a victory at South Carolina State Saturday night. Bozeman is accused of punching senior guard Larry Bastfield during the game. The extent of the contact between Bozeman and Bastfield is being reviewed. “It’s definitely overblown,’’ Bozeman told the Associated Press. “I didn’t hit him.’’ . . . A person with knowledge of the situation said former Auburn tailback Michael Dyer is transferring to Arkansas State. Dyer, the offensive MVP of the national championship game as a freshman last season, was the first Auburn tailback to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. Coach Gene Chizik suspended him indefinitely before the Chick-fil-A Bowl for violating unspecified team rules . . . Georgia senior cornerback and return specialist Brandon Boykin won the 2011 Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. The award is given out by the Louisville Sports Commission . . . In the USCHO.com Men’s College Hockey Poll, Boston College held pat at the fourth spot and Boston University moved from No. 10 to No. 6, one spot ahead of Merrimack, which fell a spot. UMass-Lowell leaped a spot to No. 11 . . . In the D3hoops.com poll, Middlebury remained the top-ranked team with 23 first-place votes, while MIT and Amherst each moved up a spot to No. 3 and No. 5, respectively. Rhode Island College jumped from No. 24 to No. 20, and Western Connecticut broke into the rankings at No. 23 . . . Boston College will replace the artificial surface of Alumni Stadium with a custom-designed AstroTurf surface this spring.
Mavericks are honored at White House
President Obama welcomed the Dallas Mavericks to the White House seven months after they beat Miami in the NBA Finals . . . Atlanta forward Marvin Williams will miss at least two games, including last night’s game at New Jersey, because of a sprained left ankle he suffered in Saturday’s win over Chicago . . . Dallas recalled 7-foot forward Yi Jianlian from its D-League team, and he is scheduled to join the team for its game tonight at Detroit.
Former Jet Alosi’s trip ends up in UCLA
Sal Alosi, the former New York Jets assistant coach who resigned last year after tripping an opposing player on the sideline, has been hired by new UCLA coach Jim Mora to be the Bruins’ strength and conditioning coordinator . . . The New York City Marathon will be shown on live national television for the first time in nearly 20 years as part of a five-year partnership with ABC and ESPN, marathon officials and WABC-TV/ESPN announced . . . US Open champion Sam Stosur lost to Francesca Schiavone, 6-2, 6-4, in the first round of the Sydney International. Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki beat Dominkia Cibulkova, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals.