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Molly Huscroft

Reports Say C.C. Sabathia Will Opt Out of Yankee Contract

Sabathia to decide if he wants to be a free agent tonight

The New York Yankees’ reported offer to star pitcher C.C. Sabathia won’t be enough to keep him from opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent.

SI.com reported Sunday evening that Sabathia will walk away from the final four years of his contract and the $92 million that comes with it in his Yankees contract. The seven-year, $161 million deal Sabathia signed with the Yankees after the 2008 season allowed him to opt out after three years.

Multiple media sources have reported that the Yankees already pitched a proposal to Sabathia, although no figures have been released.

Once he officially opts out, Sabathia will be the best available pitcher on the free-agent market. He has a 59-23 record in three seasons with the Yankees and was the staff anchor in 2009 when New York won the World Series.

This year’s free agents include 2011 World Series star Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson and Mark Buehrle.

Reports speculate that clubs such as the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays will be contenders for Sabathia.

Decisions on club and player options must be made by the end of Monday. Free agents can start signing with teams Thursday.

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Eva Amurri Marries Kyle Martino

Susan Sarandon’s actress daughter marries former MLS star

Susan Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amurri, tied the knot this weekend with former MLS soccer player Kyle Martino. The actress and the soccer commentator were married in historic Charleston, S.C.

The wedding was hosted by Amurri’s Oscar-winning mother, Sarandon, and Tim Robbins – who helped raise Amurri during his 21-year-long relationship with her mother. The weekend was filled with festivities including a scavenger hunt, cocktail party and casual oyster roast and barbecue rehearsal dinner.

The ceremony was officiated by Sister Helen Prejean – about whom the movie “Dead Man Walking,” starring Sarandon and winning her an Oscar, was made. The ceremony was followed by a black-tie celebration of dinner and dancing and guests reportedly toasted with Perrier Jouet Champagne.

Amurri, 26, wore a dressed made by designer Lela Rose. Sarandon’s dress was also designed by Rose. The groom, 30, wore a Brioni tux.

The pair, who became engaged in December, chose the historic city because the Martino’s parents currently live there.

For more information, go here.

Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa Retires Days after World Series Victory

Tony La Russa retires after 33 seasons of managing

Just three days after the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series at Busch Stadium, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa announced that he is retiring and will not return next season.

The 67-year-old manager, only days after winning his third World Championship ring, announced Monday that he would retire after 33 seasons of managing in the major leagues, the last 16 with the Cardinals. He is leaving the game with 2,728 wins, third on the all-time list and only 35 shy of John McGraw at the No. 2 spot.

La Russa told ownership in August that he intended to retire at the end of the season. During Sunday’s championship rally, La Russa re-affirmed his plan to owner Dill DeWitt, Jr.

“It’s just time to do something else, and I knew it,” La Russa said at the news conference. La Russa said that a long, painful bout with Shingles earlier this year did not affect his decision. According to the New York Daily News, he choked up during the news conference when he talked about his wife, Elaine, and daughters, Devon and Bianca. During his 16 years in St. Louis, La Russa has spent the summers alone in St. Louis with his family in California.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he had “15-20 meetings” with La Russa during the playoffs about his job situation. “It’s tough to swallow,” Mozeliak said. “I have to admire how he never wavered.”

Mozeliak said he already has formed a search committee to find La Russa’s replacement.

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Director Peter Jackson Tries to Help Ex-Death Row Inmate

“Hobbit” director flies Damien Echols to New Zealand to work on pardon

Director Peter Jackson said Friday that he was working with a high-profile former American death row inmate in the hopes of getting the man a complete pardon.

Jackson said that after receiving an exemption to New Zealand law, he allowed Damien Echols to visit him. Echols was part of a group named the West Memphis Three that was convicted of killing three young boys in Arkansas in 1993. All three men were released in August after pleading guilty to lesser charges. All men insist they are innocent.

Jackson stood with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at a news conference Friday at the North Island set where Jackson is filming a two-part version of “The Lord of the Rings” prequel, “The Hobbit.” The director said that he had gone through the same process open to everyone in applying for an exemption to immigration laws.

“There are all sorts of emotive headlines about Damien Echols, killer, coming to New Zealand, but the reality is that Damien Echols is an innocent man who has spent 18 years incarcerated in a tiny cell,” Jackson said.

Jackson told reporter he and his partner Fran Walsh had worked for seven or eight years to try and help free Echols, the Associated Press reported. Jackson assured that Echols was not taking part in work on “The Hobbit.”

Echols, one of the highest-profile death row inmates to be released in the U.S., has received national attention because of his case. He has had three HBO documentaries made about his case and has had the aide of several celebrities, including Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder.

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Matt Barnes and Gloria Govan Split

LA Lakers forward splits from “Basketball Wives” star; rumored to be dating Eva Longoria

Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes has announced that he has split with his fiancée, reality star Gloria Govan.

Barnes, 31, and Govan, who stars on the reality show “Basketball Wives,” are throwing in the towel after a series of ups and downs, including a delayed wedding and domestic violence charges, according to the Los Angeles Times. The couple has two sons together.

Barnes released a statement Wednesday, in which he wrote, “I’d like to address the rumors surrounding mine and Gloria’s relationship. We have reached the difficult decision of ending our relationship and will be going our separate ways at this time. We will work together to raise our sons and wish each other only the best.”

In September, Barnes was arrested in Sacramento, Calif. on charges of domestic violence, allegedly in part for keeping Govan from using a telephone. A day after his arrest, Govan told the media the entire incident was a misunderstanding.

Barnes has recently been rumored to be dating Eva Longoria, a rumor shot down by the actress herself. “Matt Barnes and I are not dating! We are doing a charity event together for Padres and Athletes vs. Cancer,” the “Desperate Housewives” actress wrote on her Who Say account.

Barnes and Govan have also turned to the internet to expose their feelings. During a Twitter exchange with a fan, a person suggested Barnes should marry Govan or someone else will. Barnes responded, “He can have her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Meanwhile, Govan retweeted the following message on Saturday, “If someone is dumb enough to walk away, be smart enough to let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you.”

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Minnesota Viking Chris Cook Faces Assault Charges

Vikings suspend defensive back without pay after felony charges

The Minnesota Vikings suspended defensive back Chris Cook Tuesday after he was charged with felony domestic assault.

The Vikings released a statement Tuesday night. “Today’s allegations against Chris Cook are very disturbing and disappointing,” the statement read. “At this time, he is suspended without pay from the team while we continue to gather information regarding the situation. We will have no further comment at this time.”

The charges stem from an alleged incident early Saturday morning at Cook’s Eden Prairie town home. Prosecutors say when officers arrived they found a woman sitting on the living room floor crying and hold the side of her head. Investigators say her nose was also bleeding.

The woman told police that after discovering she had had contact with an ex-boyfriend, Cook threw her on a bed, jumped on top of her and grabbed her throat. She also claims Cook threw her against a wall before choking her a second time.

Officers noticed marks on her neck and hemorrhaging in her eye that were consistent with strangulation.

Cook tweeted about the incident soon after his release. The first tweet read, “There’s always two sides to a story!” Cook is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

If found guilty, Chris Cook faces up to a year in prison and $5,000 in fines.

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28 Dead After Listeria Outbreak in Cantaloupe

Colorado cantaloupes issue warning after multi-state listeria outbreak

The outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe is claiming more lives as federal health authorities report new deaths in Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that there are now 28 deaths connected to the outbreak in a dozen states. The CDC said 133 people have been sickened in 26 states, including those who died.
Listeriosis is a rare and serious illness that mostly affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and those with weak or comprised immune systems, according to ABC News. A person who comes down with it usual experiences fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and confusion.

While the tainted Colorado cantaloupes have been taken off of the shelves, the symptoms of listeria can take up to two months to appear. Federal officials says they plan to monitor the outbreak until November at least.

Deaths have also been reported in Indiana, Louisian, Maryland, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo., recalled cantaloupes Sept. 14.

The FDA released a statement Tuesday noting that it is working closely with the CDC state officials to investigate the outbreak.

For more information, go here.

"Joe the Plumber" Running for Congress

“Plumber” running for Congress in Ohio’s 9th District

“Joe the Plumber” of 2008 presidential campaign fame, announced Tuesday evening that he is running for Congress.

Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher said he will make the bid as a Republican in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, a seat that is currently held by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). Wurzelbacher made his announcement at a Hungarian restaurant in Toledo.

“Politicians keep laying politics with our lives. I’m sick and tired of it. I thought long and hard about running and why I would do it,” said Wurzelbacher, according to a video of his announcement on YouTube, “I’m not the kind of plumber who uses duct tape.”

Wurzelbacher intends to take advantage of the fame he gained after the media captured him confronting then-candidate Barack Obama on the 2008 presidential campaign. Wurzelbacher is running as a Republican because he would not stand a chance at winning as a Democrat, he said.

The race will be closely watched, not just because of “Joe the Plumber,” but because incumbent Kaptur will be fighting Rep. Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic primary, as he lost his seat due to redistricting.

For more information, go here.

Casey Anthony Jurors' Names Released

Jury that acquitted Anthony included medical workers, teachers

The names of the 12 jurors who acquitted Casey Anthony in the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, have been made public.

Jurors were either unavailable or did not want to talk to the media Tuesday when a judge released their names, just three months after Anthony’s acquittal. According to MSNBC, Anthony and the jurors have received death threats and angry messages posted online since the verdict. Many people across the country thought the juror let a guilty woman go free.

Judge Belvin Perry delayed the release of the names as a “cooling off period,” because the high-profile case drew large swells of anger from the public. When he made his decision, Perry noted the crowds that had gathered outside of the courthouse holding signs that read “Arrest the Jury,” and “Somewhere a Village is Missing 12 Idiots,” the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Of the jurors, five are married, four are single, two are divorced and one is of unknown status. Of the alternates, three are married, one is widowed and one is single. Six of the main jurors and three of the alternates are parents.

Of the main jurors, seven are women and five are men. Bay News 9 reports one juror has already fled the state for fear of her safety. The jurors’ names are published on the website of Bay News 9.  

For more information, go here.

Amy Winehouse Died Drinking Too Much Alcohol, Coroner Says

Coroner says the singer had five times the legal limit of alcohol in her system

A British coroner announced Amy Winehouse died as the unintended consequence of consuming too much alcohol.

According to USA Today, coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of “death by misadventure,” saying the singer died of accidental alcohol poisoning. “The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death,” Greenaway said.

Winehouse, who fought drug and alcohol problems for several years, was discovered dead in her bed at her London home on July 23 at age 27. An initial autopsy proved to be inconclusive, although it found no traces of illegal drugs in her system.

Pathologist Suhal Baithun informed reporters that Winehouse the level of alcohol in her blood was more than five times over the legal drunk-driving limit. Winehouse’s doctor, Dr. Christina Romete, said that the singer had started drinking after a long period of abstinence in the days before her death. Romete, who saw Winehouse the night before she died, said the singer had not talked about suicide.

Winehouse family spokesperson Chris Goodman said it was a relief for the family to find out what actually happened to Amy.

For more information, go here.