National briefs: Igarashi promising

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2009

Associated Press
NEW YORK ó Hoping they found their setup man on the other side of the globe, the New York Mets agreed with Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi on a $3 million, two-year contract.
New York thinks Igarashi could fill the role of eighth-inning setup man for Francisco Rodriguez.
With the Mets, Igarashi joins a bullpen that includes durable lefty Pedro Feliciano, and right-handers Brian Stokes, Sean Green and Bobby Parnell.
After missing out on several stars who changed teams recently, New York is still pursuing free-agent left fielder Jason Bay and catcher Bengie Molina.
n Third baseman Garrett Atkins and reliever Mike Gonzalez have reached preliminary agreements with the Baltimore Orioles.
Gonzalez gets a $12 million, two-year contract and Atkins receives a one-year deal that pays him $4 million next season and includes an option for 2011.
MIAMI ó Dwyane Wade had 25 points and seven assists, Michael Beasley added 22 points and Miami was in control throughout a 104-86 victory over Orlando.
Dwight Howard finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic. J.J. Redick had 13 points.
n CHICAGO ó Luol Deng scored 24 points, John Salmons added 20 and the Chicago Bulls rallied from 17 down to beat the New York Knicks 98-89.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. ó PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said golf will survive no matter how long Tiger Woods stays away to sort out his personal life, and that a portrait of “gloom and doom” is misleading.
In the midst of a shocking sex scandal, Woods is taking an indefinite leave from competition to try to save his marriage.
“I want him to come back and play,” Finchem said. “But we are going to be successful in ’10. If Tiger is out for a couple of months or eight months of a year, we’re going to have a successful year. … It won’t be at the same levels without our No. 1 player, there’s no question about that. No sport would be at the same level without its No. 1 player.
“But I think the doom and gloom needs to go away.”
* HOUSTON ó Woods was voted male player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America on by an overwhelming margin over Steve Stricker, with most ballots returned after he became embroiled in a sex scandal.
* LONDON ó If Woods and his Swedish wife get divorced, Elin Nordegren won’t be the only one collecting on the settlement.
British bookmaker William Hill is taking bets on just how much Nordegren will get if she decides to divorce the world’s No. 1 golfer.
As the scandal widens, bettors can get 25-1 odds that Nordegren will receive more than half a billion dollars in a divorce settlement. The odds drop to 6-4 for a settlement under $100 million. William Hill is offering only 1-2 odds that she would get between $100 million and $500 million.
MONTREAL ó Mikko Koivu broke a first-period tie with a power-play goal, and Niklas Backstrom made 30 saves, leading the Wild to a 3-1 victory over Montreal.
* UNIONDALE, N.Y. ó Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots and made coach John Tortorella’s decision to bench a pair of veteran players ó defenseman Wade Redden and forward Ales Kotalik ó look smart as the New York Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
* COLUMBUS, Ohio ó Robert Lang stayed perfect in shootouts this season, scoring the winner to give the Phoenix Coyotes a 2-1 victory over Columbus.
* PHILADELPHIA ó Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby scored in a shootout to give the Pittsburgh Penguins their fourth straight victory, 3-2 over Philadelphia.
* DETROIT ó Jimmy Howard made 30 saves for his first NHL shutout in the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay.
* ATLANTA ó Rich Peverley scored his second goal of the game only 1:16 into overtime, and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 42 shots to help Atlanta beat Dallas 6-5.