National Sports Briefs
McALLEN, Texas ó During three years in the low minors, John Odom never really made a name for himself.
That sure changed this week ó he’s the guy who was traded for a bunch of bats.
“I don’t really care,” he said Friday. “It’ll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues.”
For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.
“They just wanted some bats, good bats ó maple bats,” Broncos general manager Jose Melendez said.
According to the Prairie Sticks Web site, their maple bats retail for $69 each, discounted to $65.50 for purchases of six to 11 bats.
“It will be interesting to see what 10 bats gets us,” Melendez said.
FORT WORTH, Texas ó Phil Mickelson is carrying five different wedges in his bag at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. He’s used every one of them ó very effectively.
Along with his putter.
Mickelson had 11 one-putts and converted all six sand saves in a 2-under 68 in the second round Friday to take the lead at 7-under 133. The world’s No. 2-ranked player led Matt Kuchar (64), Brian Gay (65) and Johnson Wagner (71) by one stroke.
“It was probably the best putting round I’ve had all year,” said Mickelson, who needed only 25 putts.
– CORNING, N.Y. ó Dina Ammaccapane, who had six birdies and three bogeys, shot her second straight 69 Friday to gain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Corning Classic.
– ROCHESTER, N.Y. ó Closing with a 25-foot putt for birdie, Tom Purtzer put a dent in Oak Hill Country Club’s stingy reputation to take the lead after the second round of the 69th Senior PGA Championship on Friday.
Purtzer, a five-time PGA Tour winner, shot a 3-under 67 to go to even-par 140 for the tournament. That put him one up on Jay Haas, the first-round leader, who shot a 2-over 72, and Massy Kuramoto, who finished the day with a round of 2-under.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. ó University of Memphis guard Antonio Anderson has withdrawn from the 2008 NBA Draft and is returning to school for his final season of eligibility.
LAS VEGAS ó A Clark County prosecutor says Charles Barkley is off the legal hook and the case on his $400,000 gambling debt is closed.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Bernie Zadrowski said on Friday that the retired NBA star sent a $40,000 check to pay statutory and bad check processing fees.
Earlier this week, Barkley paid $400,000 to Wynn Las Vegas after the resort filed a May 14 civil complaint in Nevada state court. It alleged Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last Oct. 18 and 19.
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