Associated Press
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig gestures while speaking during a news conference Thursday, April 21, 2011, in New York.

Giants claim closer Bell off waivers

SAN FRANCISCO — San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell has confirmed that the San Francisco Giants have claimed him off waivers, although he is skeptical about whether he will actually end up with the Giants.

The burly right-hander said before Wednesday night's game — coincidentally at San Francisco — that he's planning to "sweat my butt off" when the Padres play at Arizona on Friday.

San Diego has 48 hours from the time Bell was claimed to decide whether to trade the three-time All-Star, allow him to be claimed or pull him back from waivers. Giants general manager Brian Sabean might also just be trying to block Arizona from landing Bell.

Former Cy Young winner dies

BALTIMORE — Mike Flanagan, a former Cy Young winner and part of the Baltimore Orioles' 1983 World Series championship team, has died. He was 59.

Authorities found a body outside Flanagan's home in Monkton, Md., on Wednesday afternoon. Hours later, the Orioles confirmed that Flanagan — who served the team as a pitcher, front office executive and television broadcaster — was dead.

Flanagan was a crafty left-hander who went 167-143 with a 3.90 ERA over 18 seasons with Baltimore and Toronto. He didn't possess an overpowering fastball, but won a fair share of games by depending on a slow curve, a sinker and a changeup.

Pearl slapped with show cause penalty

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Hiring Bruce Pearl to coach a basketball team just got harder and messier for a school.

The NCAA announced Wednesday it had hit the former Tennessee men's basketball coach with a three-year show-cause penalty, punishing him for lying to investigators about improperly hosting recruits at his home and urging others to do the same.

What the ruling means is that before Pearl can be hired, a school must tell the NCAA why it wants him and be prepared to face its own penalties for giving him a job.

Montana advances to U.S. title game

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Ben Askelson hit a high 0-1 curveball onto the hill beyond the left-field fence to send the boys from Billings, Mont., into the U.S. final of the Little League World Series with a 1-0, seven-inning victory over Huntington Beach, Calif., on Wednesday night. Montana gets to rest up until the U.S. championship game Saturday, while California must face Clinton County, Pa., on Thursday night.

Blair just misses U.S. AM match play

Ogden's Zac Blair, a junior-to-be at BYU, just missed qualifiying for match play at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Wisconsin.

Blair was one of 20 players to finish on the cut line at 142, but was eliminated on the second playoff hole as four players at 142 advanced to match play. Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., won medalist honors at 132.

—Deseret News staff and wire reports