To Johan Santana and the Mets, this was a most pleasant spring sight. The lefty ace returned to the mound for his first game against major league hitters in 18 months and pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday as a Mets split squad beat the Cardinals, 8-6, at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Santana walked his first batter on five pitches. But a single marked the only other runner against Santana, who threw 17 of 29 pitches for strikes, mostly around 87-88 miles per hour on the radar gun, topping out at 90 m.p.h . . . Phil Hughes knew without being told that his physical conditioning had to improve. Hughes reached 93 m.p.h. with his fastball in his first outing of spring training, allowing two runs and four hits in the Yankees’ 7-4 loss to the Pirates in Bradenton. Before the game, Joe Girardi detailed his unhappiness with Hughes’s physique last season . . . Infielder Carlos Guillen, a three-time All-Star and veteran of 14 major league seasons with Seattle and Detroit, retired. He was in the Mariners’ spring training camp as a non-roster invitee . . . The Pirates and All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen agreed to a six-year, $51.5 million deal through 2017 with an option for 2018.
Penguins’ Crosby cleared for contact
Sidney Crosby’s head is clear. The superstar’s return, however, remains murky. The Penguins captain participated in his first full practice since concussion-like symptoms resurfaced in December and there is growing optimism he’ll be back before the playoffs begin next month. Crosby insists there is still no timetable on when he’ll be cleared to play in a game . . . The NHL fined Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson $2,500 for slashing Florida’s Sean Bergenheim during a game over the weekend. Karlsson received a minor penalty.
Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and freshmen Austin Rivers of Duke and teammates Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis of Kentucky are among the 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award given to the nation’s top men’s college player. Sullinger is the only finalist returning from last year. Guard Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, and forwards Kidd-Gilchrist and Davis are the only freshmen on the list . . . Joe B. Hall, who played under Adolph Rupp at Kentucky in the late-1940s, succeeded him after spending seven years as Rupp’s assistant, and won nearly 300 games for the Wildcats, is in the 10-member class that will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in November. The rest of the class includes Patrick Ewing of Georgetown, Earl Monroe from Winston-Salem State and Willis Reed of Grambling, Kansas star Clyde Lovellette, North Carolina’s Phil Fordand Wyoming’s Kenny Sailors. Dave Robbins, who won more than 700 games at Virginia Union, joins Hall as the two coaches to be inducted, along with businessmen Jim Host and Joe Dean . . . Top Stanford associate head coach and former longtime Santa Clara coach Dick Davey, 69, is retiring after the season . . . Stanford senior Nnemkadi Ogwumike earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, while the Cardinal’s Tara VanDerveer is Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
Krzyzewskimum on coaching ’16 team
Mike Krzyzewski is only thinking about this year, not about a potential third Olympics as US men’s basketball coach. Clearing up the confusion created when Cleveland rookie Kyrie Irving said he “found out’’ Krzyzewski planned to lead the US again in 2016, the Duke coach said he is focused only on the remainder of this year’s responsibilities . . . The British government has rejected advice from the Olympic team’s top doctor that athletes should not shake hands at the London Games to avoid germs that could make them sick. Government health advisers seemed perplexed by the guidelines, which Olympic hopefuls derided as “rude’’ and “pointless.’’ Athletes will be able to greet the 10,000 visiting Olympians and hundreds of dignitaries with handshakes. They’ll just have to make sure they wash thoroughly later.
Ishikawa gets exemption to Masters
Ryo Ishikawa, a 20-year-old from Japan, received a special invitation to the Masters for the second time. The Masters historically invites international players to expand the major’s global reach. Ishikawa has won nine times on the Japan Golf Tour . . . The Revolution signed forward Blake Brettschneider, and midfielders Alec Purdie and Michael Roach. No other contract details were released . . . The Bulls said veteran guard Richard Hamilton is day to day because of a bruised and mildly-sprained right shoulder . . . The Lakers’ win over the Heat drew the most viewers for a non-Christmas regular-season NBA game on ABC. Sunday’s broadcast was watched by more than 7 million people, equaling a Celtics-Lakers matchup last year as ABC’s highest-rated non-Christmas regular-season game with a 4.3 rating . . . Louis “Skip’’ ReVille, an ex-coach and teacher in South Carolina, has been indicted on 22 felony counts of molesting boys, and a prosecutor said. The Citadel faces no criminal liability for not reporting an abuse allegation from the man’s stint as a counselor at the military school’s former summer camp. An ex-camper alleged in 2007 he was molested by ReVille at the summer camp in 2002.