Sports briefs

Published: Thursday, Dec. 30 2010 11:26 p.m. MST

Killebrew diagnosed with cancer

MINNEAPOLIS — Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew says he has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Killebrew released a statement through the Minnesota Twins on Thursday saying that he is receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

The 74-year-old calls his condition "very serious," but says he expects to make a full recovery.

Killebrew hit 573 home runs and made 11 All-Star appearances during his 22-year career spent mostly with the Washington Senators and Twins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 and was fifth on the career home run list when he retired in 1975.

Killebrew currently ranks 11th on the homer list.

Jets fined $100,000 for tripping

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets are paying for their sideline shenanigans.

The team was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for violating league rules when assistant coach Sal Alosi ordered players to form a sideline wall, then tripped Miami's Nolan Carroll during a punt return earlier this month.

The discipline was in response to the actions of Alosi, the Jets' strength and conditioning coach, and comments made by special teams coach Mike Westhoff, who accused other teams of employing similar sideline wall tactics.

Alosi "placed players in a prohibited area on the sideline to impede an opposing team's special teams players and gain a competitive advantage," according to a statement by the league. The NFL called it "a competitive violation as well as a dangerous tactic."

Finalists for year's top sportswriters named

SALISBURY, N.C. — The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association has named finalists for Utah Sportscaster and Sportswriter of the Year.

The 2010 finalists for sportscaster include Rick Aaron (KSTU, Ch. 13), Dana Greene (KTVX, Ch. 4) and Wesley Ruff (KTVX, Ch. 4). Finalists for Utah Sports Writer of the Year include Dirk Facer and Brad Rock of the Deseret News, as well as Kurt Kragthorpe and Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune.

The NSSA hosts an awards weekend each spring that honors a Sportscaster of the Year and Sportswriter of the Year from each state, as well as a National Sportscaster and Sportswriter of the Year. A Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place at this time as well.

Little League extends composite bat ban

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Little League Baseball has extended a ban on composite bats to all its divisions effective immediately.

The moratorium announced Thursday is based on league-commissioned research from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.

Composite bats have metal shells enclosing woven fibers inside the barrels. Critics say the bats are dangerous because balls fly off them at high speeds and can injure fielders. Supporters say they are lighter and easier to handle.

— Deseret News staff and wire reports

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