White Sox agree to deal with No. 3 pick Rodon
CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago White Sox have reached a deal with left-hander Carlos Rodon on a minor league contract that includes a signing bonus of $6,582,000.
The deal with Rodon, the No. 3 pick in the draft, was announced on Friday. It well above his slot value of $5,721,500 and more than the $6 million bonus Miami gave the No. 2 selection, high school pitcher Tyler Kolek.
Rodon, 21, was a first-team, all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a junior with North Carolina State this past season after he went 6-7 with a 2.01 ERA. He ranked ninth in the nation with 117 strikeouts and held opponents to a.229 average in 14 starts.
White Sox general manager Rich Hahn says he sees him as a "premium front end starter," and there is a chance Rodon could be called up to the majors this season.
49ers WR Bruce Ellington focused on NFL career
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) - Gone are the days when Bruce Ellington would rush from a basketball workout with South Carolina teammates to a football meeting room to learn the complex schemes of coach Steve Spurrier. Ellington's only focus is the San Francisco 49ers and making an impact on the NFL.
Ellington hosted a youth camp Friday at his high school with his older cousin, Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington.
The younger Ellington played three sports at Berkeley High, running track along with starring in basketball and football. Yet when he signed to play with the Gamecocks, Ellington said his future was in basketball. That lasted one season before the football bug caught up with him once more.
Ellington was South Carolina's leading receiver last year before he left early for the NFL draft.
LeBron James says he's returning to Cavaliers
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James tells Sports Illustrated, that he's decided to go home. It's a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.
James told SI: "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now."
He spent his first seven NBA seasons in Cleveland. In four years with the Heat, he went to the NBA Finals four times, winning two championships. And now heads back to Cleveland to see if he can finally deliver on his promise of winning a crown for that title-starved city.
James is from Akron, Ohio, not far from Cleveland.
TICKY BURDEN-HEART DISEASE
Ex-Knick Ticky Burden has rare heart disease
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former New York Knicks guard Luther "Ticky" Burden has a rare heart disease and is being treated at a Manhattan hospital.
The 61-year-old Burden has ATTR amyloidosis, a disease that causes the body's immune system to produce abnormal forms of antibodies. Dr. Mathew Maurer is treating Burden and says the ex-player has been "ravaged."
A fundraiser is to be held in Burden's hometown of Albany on July 25.
Burden starred in college at Utah and signed with the Virginia Squires of the ABA in 1975. He joined the Knicks the following year when the league merged with the NBA. He was a reserve for two seasons before retiring.
He was later linked to a bank robbery on Long Island and served two years in prison.
Roczen dominating motocross midway through
With defending champion Ryan Villopoto unable to race the outdoor season, the list of contenders figured to come down to Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Chad Reed.
Ken Roczen has turned those expectations upside down.
Racing in the 450cc class for the time this year, the 20-year-old German has dominated AMA motocross through the midpoint of the season.
Roczen finished a surprising third in Supercross earlier this year and took what he learned there outdoors. He's won four of the six races so far and six of 12 motos, finishing no worse than third.
He enters this weekend's race in Mechanicsville, Maryland, with a 26-point lead over KTM teammate Ryan Dungey.
Reds put 2B Phillips on DL, add to bullpen
The Reds have put second baseman Brandon Phillips on the 15-day disabled list following surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb that is expected to sideline him about six weeks.
Phillips hurt his thumb while sliding on an attempted catch Wednesday. The Reds already are missing first baseman Joey Votto. He is on the disabled list indefinitely with a sprained muscle above his left knee.
Cincinnati on Friday also bolstered its bullpen for the start of a weekend series with Pittsburgh, calling up right-handed relievers Carlos Contreras and Curtis Partch. Contreras was optioned to Triple-A Louisville on Thursday and brought back a day later. Partch is in his third stint with the Reds.
Catcher Tucker Barnhart was optioned to Louisville.
Cruising to victory: Phelps easily beats Lochte in 100 fly with impressive time at UGa meet
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) 7/8- Michael Phelps has won the 100-meter butterfly at the Bulldog Grand Slam, easily beating rival Ryan Lochte.
Phelps touched Friday night with an impressive time of 51.67 seconds, the third-fastest time in the world this year. Lochte was a distant second in 53.08.
This is the final tuneup for Phelps and Lochte before next month's national championships in Irvine, California. Both are in the midst of comebacks - Phelps returning to the pool after retiring, Lochte coming back from a knee injury that has limited him to only one other meet this season.
Results from the national championships and the Pan Pacific Championships, which will be held in Australia later in August, will determine the U.S. team for the 2015 world championships.
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