David Ortiz finalized a $26 million, two-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. He also responded to charges made by fired manager Bobby Valentine.

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Ortiz finalizes contract, talks

about ex-manager Valentine

David Ortiz, the face of the Red Sox franchise since helping Boston end an 86-year World Series drought in 2004, finalized a $26 million, two-year contract Monday, a deal that could be worth up to $30 million if he avoids another significant Achilles tendon injury next year.

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“After the season, we identified a lot of things we wanted to do this offseason,” Boston general manager Ben Cherington said. “The most important one was to get David signed. This is a very important first step to our offseason.”

“Big Papi” Ortiz, 36, would like to help the team build from a last-place AL East finish and 69-93 record, Boston’s poorest since 1966.

The Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine after one season. In an interview with NBC Sports Network less than three weeks later, Valentine said Ortiz “decided not to play anymore” in late August because the team was out of the race.

Ortiz told ESPNDeportes.com soreness from the Achilles tendon was the only reason he sat out.

“Stopping me was the decision of the doctors, management, the manager and me,” he said. “The team doctor recommended that I stop playing to not make the situation worse for the tendon.”

Ortiz said he ignored a text message Valentine sent after the NBC Sports Network interview.

“He sent me a text message trying to tell me that it was the media trying to change things. I did not respond to the message and I said to myself, this guy must have some mental issues or needs medicine or something. I said, I am dealing with someone crazy and I am not going to drive myself crazy, so it is better if I leave it alone.”

At the news conference, Ortiz told media: “About the Bobby situation, I try to not add too much. You guys know it was something that made me feel uncomfortable. You guys know I’ve been here the last 10 years and know how I go about my business.”

Cardinals promote Mabry

The Cardinals have promoted John Mabry to hitting coach as the replacement for Mark McGwire, who told St. Louis officials he won’t return after three seasons — and reportedly is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mabry, 42, was St. Louis’ assistant hitting coach last season. He played for the Mariners in 1999, 2000 and 2003, appearing in 199 games and hitting .237 for Seattle.

Players honor Cabrera

Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera, the American League Triple Crown winner, was voted player of the year by fellow major-leaguers.


Labor talks to resume Tuesday

The league and the players’ association stuck to their word and made quick plans to get back to the bargaining table.

After weekend negotiations, the sides agreed Monday — the 51st day of the lockout — to resume talks Tuesday in New York. Both sides said the latest discussions were positive.

College football

Phillips to coach last 2 games

Kentucky officials said fired coach Joker Phillips will be on the sideline for the final two games. The Wildcats (1-9) have lost eight in a row.

Phillips, 49, is 12-23 in three seasons at Kentucky.

Season ends for Boise St. player

Mike Atkinson, Boise State senior nose tackle, will miss the rest of the season after tearing a knee ligament in Saturday’s 21-19 loss to San Diego State.

Horse racing

Mare is sold for $10 million

Havre de Grace, a 5-year-old mare who was retired from racing in April because of an ankle injury, sold for $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale in Lexington, Ky. It was the highest sale price for a horse since 2008.

The 2011 North American Horse of the Year was bought by Mandy Pope of Whisper Hill Farm.


• Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Andy Murray of Britain won Group A tennis matches at the eight-player ATP finals in London.

Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 and Murray defeated Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Craig Levein‘s three-year run as Scotland’s soccer manager ended when he was fired after the team’s poor start to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. The Scots (0-2-2) are last in Group A with two points.

• Olympic road-race champion Alexandre Vinokourov is under investigation for allegedly bribing a rival to fix a race, as fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping affair threatens to claim another of cycling’s biggest names.

The International Cycling Union pledged to open its own probe into revived allegations the London Games gold medalist from Kazakhstan paid off his opponent in a two-man breakaway, Alexandr Kolobnev, to ensure victory in the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic.

Vinokourov allegedly paid Kolobnev nearly $200,000. Vinokourov has denied the fix allegations.

Martha Karolyi, 70, coordinator of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, delegated some of her responsibilities.

Valeri Liukin will become elite athlete developmental coordinator, responsible for identifying and nurturing future talent.

Steve Rybacki becomes director of elite athlete programs, in charge of administrative duties.

Jim Flick, a golf instructor for more than 50 years whose clients included Jack Nicklaus upon joining the 50-and-older Champions Tour, died of pancreatic cancer, family members said. He was 82.

Flick taught golf in 23 countries and directed programs such as Golf Digest’s Schools and ESPN Golf Schools. He was director of instruction at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., for 20 years and wrote several books.

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