Commissioner Bud Selig yesterday had his contract extended two years though the 2014 season. Selig, 78, has held the position since 1992, first as acting commissioner before becoming commissioner in 1998. If he stays until September of 2016, he would surpass Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1920-44) as the longest-serving baseball commissioner. After owners approved the extension, Selig said he was “very humbled by the request to stay on.’’ Selig had talked of retiring in recent years, but received requests from owners who wanted him to stay. “In the end, doing what’s in the best interest of baseball - if this many people believe that and feel that - is something that I felt I should do.’’ He is also “very hopeful’’ another wild-card team from each league is added this season. MLB and the players’ union must agree by March 1 whether to add the round for 2012. Selig also said MLB is working “at a rather quick pace’’ to resolve the proposed move of the Oakland Athletics to a proposed ballpark in San Jose . . . Owners deferred a vote on the proposed transfer of the Padres from John Moores to Jeff Moorad, saying they needed more financial information . . . First baseman/outfielder Luke Scott has moved from Baltimore to Tampa Bay, agreeing to a one-year, $5 million contract that includes a $6 million club option for 2013 or a $1 million buyout. He figures to be the Rays’ primary designated hitter. Scott, 33, batted .220 with nine homers and 22 RBIs before undergoing season-ending surgery in July to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The acquisition likely also means Johnny Damon won’t return for a second season with the Rays . . . Rangers president Nolan Ryan said he’s confident of signing Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish by the Wednesday deadline . . . Outfielder Carlos Gomez and lefthander Manny Parra agreed to one-year deals with Milwaukee, avoiding salary arbitration. Gomez’s deal is worth $1,962,500, and Parra will get the same $1.2 million salary he made last season, which he missed with back and elbow injuries.
Hawks’ All-Star Horford out 4 months
Atlanta’s All-Star center Al Horford will miss at least three months after tearing the left pectoral muscle in his shoulder in Wednesday night’s loss at Indiana, the team announced. The injury will likely require surgery, keeping the two-time All-Star out as long as four months, which would take his rehab deep into the playoffs. Horford, 25, was averaging 12.4 points, 7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks to go with the NBA’s eighth-best shooting percentage (.553) . . . Golden State center Kwame Brown is expected to miss at least three months after tearing his pectoralis major, the large chest muscle that attaches to his right shoulder, in the Warriors’ win over Miami. He will have surgery in the next few days. Brown signed a $7 million, one-year deal with the Warriors in December . . . Minnesota forward Michael Beasley (sprained right foot) and guard J.J. Barea (sprained left ankle) will miss this weekend’s games with injuries and could miss several more.
Defending champion Li Na reached the Sydney International final with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova, ending the Czech’s bid to become No. 1 before the Australian Open. Kvitova needed to win the Sydney International to replace Caroline Wozniacki atop the rankings when they’re updated Monday, and the Wimbledon champion was on track when she led by a set and a break before Li rallied. Li will play today against third-ranked Victoria Azarenka, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. In the men’s quarterfinals, 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis beat top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4. He will play Julien Benneteau, who beat Alex Bogomolov Jr., 6-2, 6-4. Also, Denis Istomin beat third-seeded Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), to set up a semifinal against Jarkko Nieminen, who had a 6-3, 6-3 win over Bobby Reynolds . . . Qualifier Mona Barthel beat defending champion and Australian native Jarmila Gajdosova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, to move into the semifinals at the Hobart (Australia) International . . . Defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters and runner-up Li are in the same quarter of the Australian Open draw. Top-seeded Wozniacki is also in the same half, while the other half features Serena Williams, Vera Zvonereva, Maria Sharapova, and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic could meet Andy Murray and Roger Federer could face Rafael Nadal in two marquee semifinals based on the draw.
Freestyle skier Burke remains critical
Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke remained in critical condition after a successful operation to repair a tear to an artery that caused bleeding in her brain. Doctors put her into a coma to relieve stress on her brain after the four-time Winter X Games halfpipe champion injured herself while practicing in Park City, Utah . . . In Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, Lindsey Vonn led the opening training session for a World Cup downhill run with a time of 1 minute and 33.42 seconds, showing she has recovered from the stomach illness that slowed her last week . . . Either Foxborough or Landover, Md., will host an exhibition game between the United States and Brazil May 30 or 31, Brazilian soccer’s governing body announced . . . The preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League will be eliminated for the 2012-13 season, and the group phase will expand from 16 teams to 24, CONCACAF said.