Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 25, 2013

Sports in Brief: 11/25/2013


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Farmland 5K set for Dec. 7

TRAVERSE CITY — The Farmland 5K European Style Cross Country Challenge is being held Saturday, Dec. 7.

Held on private farmland, the event features a special course that includes knee-high barries like straw bales, fallen logs, wood fence and stone fence.

A bike race called the Free For All has been added this year, which includes four laps (approximately eight miles) of racing for fat bikes, cyclocross and mountain bikes.

A combined winner also will be named for any competitor who elects to take part in the running and bike races.

For more information visit http://www.xcchallengetcruns.com.

Peralta, Cardinals reach 4-year deal

ST. LOUIS — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed on a four-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because there was no official announcement. The two-time All-Star needed to pass a physical to complete the contract.

Other media outlets had first reported the deal.

The 31-year-old Peralta was suspended 50 games last season for his involvement in the Biogenesis drug scandal. He returned to the Detroit Tigers at the end of the season, but he became expendable because the team had traded for young shortstop Jose Iglesias.

St. Louis went to the World Series last month and lost in six games to Boston. Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso are generally good fielders, but were light hitters.

Weiner’s funeral draws Selig, A-Rod

PARAMUS, N.J. — Michael Weiner’s funeral drew baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, adversaries who both attended to honor the union leader during a 35-minute service Sunday.

Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas, David Cone, Bobby Bonilla, Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, incoming union head Tony Clark and former union head Donald Fehr were among the hundreds who crowded into Sunday’s service at Robert Schoem’s Memorial Chapel.

“If anybody would like to sit on the floor in front of the pews, that is fine,” Rabbi Mary Zamore said. “As you know, Mike Weiner was known for informality. We will respect that by just all squishing together.”

Weiner died Thursday at age 51, less than four years after taking over as union head from Fehr. He was eulogized by his wife, Diane Margolin, as people sniffled and cried. Some wore Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers in his honor.

“I’ve been thinking about how to address you on this occasion since August of ‘12 when an aggressive cancerous tumor invaded Mike’s brain,” she said. “I imagined this day would be far, far off, but I knew it was coming.”

Selig sat in the third row of the chapel and did not appear to cross paths with Rodriguez, who is seeking to overturn a 211-game suspension issued last summer. Rodriguez has been critical of Selig, and lawyers for the Yankees star have taken issue with statements Weiner made in August, when he said he recommended a negotiated settlement for a certain length that he claimed Major League Baseball did not offer.

In an eight-minute eulogy, Margolin said Weiner and his family felt honored by friends in the past 15 months by “a whirlwind of award ceremonies and parties that some of us came to call Tumorfest 2013.”

“Shortly after his cancer diagnosis, Mike told me he was not afraid of death. He wasn’t rushing it, but he was not afraid,” she said. “His living the past 15 months without fear made all the difference, made everything possible.”

Weiner is survived by his wife and daughters Margie, Grace and Sally.

“He clearly did not want us to be saddened by his diagnosis or what his illness did to him,” his wife said. “He wanted us to dine, dance and play ball, stay on track with our lives, go to school, go to work, carry on. And by doing so now, we will honor Mike’s life.”

Weiner was buried at Cedar Park Cemetery.

Pacquiao reverses decline, defeats Rios

MACAU — Manny Pacquiao reversed the decline in his boxing career and provided some desperately needed inspiration to the disaster-stricken Philippines with an authoritative victory over Brandon Rios on Sunday.

Pacquiao entered the fight coming off successive defeats, having spent a year out of the ring and with his own trainer publicly declaring he should retire unless he convincingly beat Rios.

In addition, Pacquiao carried the burden of being the favorite son of the Philippines and the man the nation looked to as a source of joy and hope in the wake of deadly Typhoon Haiyan.

Thousands of fans watched the fight on screens set up in the plaza of Tacloban, the Philippine city hit worst by the Nov. 9 disaster that killed more than 5,000 people and left huge numbers of the population homeless.

If Pacquiao felt pressure, he didn’t show it in the ring at The Venetian casino in Macau, putting on a vintage display of his trademark combinations to wear down a gallant Rios and take a unanimous decision, claiming the WBO international welterweight title.

The judges scored it 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 119-109.