Sportshorts for Monday, Dec. 23, 2013


Rangers bust
bank for Choo

Free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has agreed to a $130 million, 7-year contract with the Texas Rangers.

The deal comes a month after Texas acquired slugging first baseman Prince Fielder in a trade with Detroit for second baseman Ian Kinsler, the Rangers’ primary leadoff hitter.

Choo was Cincinnati’s leadoff hitter for 143 games last season, when he had a .423 on-base percentage with 20 stolen bases and 21 home runs.


Broken foot
sidelines Lopez

Center Brook Lopez has broken a bone in his right foot again, leaving the Brooklyn Nets without their leading scorer as they try to turn around a disappointing season.

The team said Saturday that Lopez was hurt during its 121-120 overtime loss at Philadelphia on Friday. The Nets said they would issue another update next week after consultation with their doctors.

Lopez is averaging 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 17 games. He has missed nine games with a sprained left ankle.


Ryan tells team he’s going to be fired

Jets coach Rex Ryan said in a team meeting Saturday that word on the street is he will be fired after the season.

Ryan, who became Jets coach in 2009, has guided a young team to a 6-8 record so far this season.


Penn State lowers O’Brien’s buyout cost

Penn State amended the contract of football coach Bill O’Brien last summer to lower the amount of his NFL buyout and make it easier for him to take a pro job, and it could be reduced even further.

The amended contract, which reduced the buyout from $19.33 million in 2012 to $6.48 million this year, is another signal that O’Brien may return to the NFL.


Crawford could return soon

Antti Raanta will start in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks today, but consider the countdown on for Corey Crawford’s presumed reclaiming of the net.

Crawford skated before the Hawks practiced at the United Center on Sunday, and the expectation is that he will return to practice following a 3-day holiday break. From there, coach Joel Quenneville will begin the evaluation process in earnest.


Penn State beats Badgers for title

SEATTLE – There was determination behind the two straight aces Micha Hancock served to set up Penn State’s four-set victory over scrappy Wisconsin.

Hancock’s second ace paved the way for Deja McClendon’s match point, a soft hit over the net that fell unanswered, and the second-seeded Nittany Lions defeated the Badgers 3-1 Saturday night to win the NCAA championship.

Ariel Scott had 21 kills and Katie Slay added 14 in the 25-19, 26-24, 20-25, 25-23 victory. It was Penn State’s sixth NCAA volleyball championship and the team’s first since a historic run of four straight from 2007-2010.