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Players reportedly wanted A-Rod kicked out of union

Several angry major-league players wanted Alex Rodriguez kicked out of their union after he sued it last week, but staff lawyers told them expulsion was not allowed.

The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrator’s decision suspending the New York Yankees’ third baseman for the 2014 season and postseason.

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Details were first reported Tuesday by Yahoo Sports, which said as many as 40 players and board members participated in the call. One unnamed player told Yahoo Sports the 38-year-old Rodriguez has been targeted for retribution whenever he returns to the field and added, “When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard.”

Rodriguez, who played for the Mariners from 1994 to 2000, agreed to a $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees after the 2007 season. He has been voted American League most valuable player three times.

Phillies have a busy day

The Philadelphia Phillies and left-hander Antonio Bastardo, 28, agreed to a $2 million, one-year deal that avoids an arbitration hearing.

Bastardo was 3-2 with a 2.32 earned-run average and two saves in 48 relief appearances last year before he was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis drug case.

The Phillies also signed former All-Star outfielder Bobby Abreu, 39, and right-hander Chad Gaudin, 30, to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training. Abreu played for the Phillies from 1998 to 2006 and batted .303 in that span.

College athletics

Under Armour, Notre Dame have record apparel deal

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank recalls sleeping in the visiting locker room at Notre Dame Stadium in 1997, invited to a football game by Georgia Tech staff and forced to improvise because he didn’t have a hotel room.

Back then, his company was about a year old and he was excited to see the Yellow Jackets take the field wearing some Under Armour apparel.

On Tuesday, Plank was back at Notre Dame to announce a 10-year apparel deal with the Fighting Irish that athletic director Jack Swarbrick described as the largest deal of its kind in college sports.

ESPN reported the deal was worth $90 million, surpassing the $82 million Adidas AG agreed to pay Michigan in a 10-year contract. Under Armour will supply footwear, apparel and uniforms for all 26 Notre Dame varsity programs.

Swarbrick said the contract includes an option for Notre Dame to take a portion of the cash component from the deal in Under Armour stock.

Adidas, which began providing shoes to Notre Dame in 1997, issued a statement saying it would no longer partner with the school after the 2013-14 academic year.


Freestyle team announced

The U.S. freestyle ski team announced nine moguls and aerials athletes will compete at next month’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Patrick Deneen of Cle Elum is on the moguls team. Deneen, 26, is a 2009 world champion and placed 19th at the 2010 Olympics.

Hannah Kearney, the 2010 Olympic champ, leads the women’s moguls team. The 27-year-old from Norwich, Vt., has won three World Cup events this season.

In women’s aerials, 34-year-old Emily Cook of Belmont, Mass., is on her third Olympic team. She is seeking her first top-10 finish at the Games.


Manchester City romps

Alvaro Negredo scored twice to lead Manchester City over West Ham 3-0 and complete a 9-0 aggregate rout in their English League Cup semifinal.

Manchester City advanced to the March 2 final at Wembley Stadium in London. Sunderland takes a 2-1 lead into Wednesday’s second leg at Manchester United.


• FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke is giving Brazilian organizers until Feb. 18 to show a stadium in Curitiba will be ready in time for the World Cup, which starts in June. Twelve stadiums are scheduled to host World Cup matches.

• Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo, 41, is retiring after 20 seasons in the Canadian Football League. He fought back tears at a news conference.

Calvillo played his last 16 seasons with Montreal and leaves as the CFL’s career leader in yards passing (79,816) and touchdown passes (455). Calvillo helped to win three Grey Cups (in 2002, 2009 and 2010). The five-time All-Star was honored as the league’s outstanding player three times.

Calvillo appeared in seven games last year before suffering a season-ending concussion Aug. 17.

Angela Taylor was named executive vice president and general manager of the WNBA Atlanta Dream.

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