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  • June 2, 2017 6:46 PM CDT

    FORT MYERS, Fla. Jack Johnson Team USA Hockey Jersey . -- Boston Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster plans to take this season off, a decision that surprised teammates and will cost the 16-year veteran $13.25 million in salary. Dempster said Sunday he is stepping away for physical reasons and to spend more time with his family. But he left a slight opening to play in 2015. "I had an incredible run, a chance to play 16 years in the major leagues and be around a lot of great teammates, made a lot of good friendships, great friendships," Dempster said one day before the first formal spring training workout for pitchers and catchers. "Im totally comfortable with it. Im at peace with my decision." Dempster, whose contract expires after this season, finished his only year with the Red Sox with an 8-9 record and a 4.57 ERA and didnt get a start during their post-season run to a World Series title. "The past few years have been tougher and tougher," he said. "As you get older, going through some things, some issues I have with my neck that have made it harder and harder to throw a baseball and throw it like Im accustomed to throw it" contributed to his decision. And, he said, "Ive got three amazing children that I want to watch grow up and be around." The Red Sox still have a solid veteran rotation with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront, and several promising young starters. If theyre seeking a veteran to add depth, they could consider right-handed free agents Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez. "I like the staff that we have," manager John Farrell said. Several teammates watched as Dempster made his announcement, including Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Peavy, first baseman Mike Napoli, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, catcher David Ross and reliever Andrew Miller. "Everybody wants to soak in their last moments of being around him," Miller said. "Hes a great guy. He left quite his mark and will be remembered fondly around here." The decision, Miller said, "was a shock to everybody." Dempster said he spoke with the club a few weeks ago about taking the season off. And what about 2015? "I dont know yet," he said. "If something changes then, obviously, something changes, but I dont see that changing." Dempster pitched with the Florida Marlins, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Red Sox. He is 132-133 with a 4.35 ERA and made the All-Star team in 2008 when he went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA with the Cubs. He was Chicagos closer from 2005-07, totalling 85 saves. He began the 2012 season with the Cubs then went to the Rangers at the trade deadline. Boston signed Dempster to a $26.5 million, two-year deal before last season. He will lose half that amount by sitting out this year. "The money was not that much of a difficult decision," he said, but "Im a little sad that I wont be around" his teammates as they try to defend their championship. "There arent too many people who could say that the time is right to walk away from a game that I love, thats treated me so well," Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow said, "and particularly when theres a pretty sizeable amount of money thats being left on the table." General manager Ben Cherington said Dempster told him of the decision about 10 days ago. "It came out of left field," Cherington said. Players didnt find out until Sunday. "At first I didnt really know what to say. It caught me off guard," Napoli said. "Thats how everyone wants to go out, on their own terms." Dempster was praised for his upbeat personality that helped the Red Sox recover from a collapse at the end of the 2012 season and transform the clubhouse into a positive place. Farrell also admired the way he accepted his demotion from the rotation for the post-season. "A consummate team player," Farrell said. While Dempster struggled at times on the field last year, he kept the clubhouse loose. "His comedic value will be sorely missed," Miller said. Dempster pitched just one inning in the World Series, a scoreless ninth in Bostons 8-1 win over St. Louis in Game 1. He ended it by striking out Matt Adams. "If this is the end, then this is the end, and what a great way to go out," Dempster said. Notes: The Red Sox signed right-hander Francisco Cordero to a minor-league contract with an invitation to the major-league camp. A closer for most of his career, he didnt pitch last year after struggling in 2012. In 14 seasons with six teams, he is 47-53 with a 3.38 ERA and 329 saves. ... Miller and the Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,903,125, avoiding arbitration. Miller had asked for $2.15 million and had been offered $1.55 million. He made $1,475,000 last year. Boston has no remaining players in arbitration. Ben Bishop Jersey . Sam, who joined the Cowboys in early September, has spent the entire season on the practice roster. Jonathan Quick Team USA Hockey Jersey .com) - Top seed Klara Zakopalova reached the second round, while former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone came up a loser Tuesday at the inaugural Rio Open tennis event.GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nathan Horton just kept on smiling. He grinned during warmups, beamed after his first shift and screamed with joy following his first goal. Horton sure is happy to be playing hockey again. And the Columbus Blue Jackets are thrilled their big investment made an immediate impact. Horton scored in his Columbus debut, Curtis McElhinney made 34 saves for his second shutout of the season, and the Blue Jackets beat the sluggish Phoenix Coyotes 2-0 on Thursday night. R.J. Umberger also scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a two-game losing streak amid a burst of energy provided by Horton, Columbus $37 million off-season free-agent acquisition. "I had so much fun out there," said Horton, unable to contain his smirk even after the game in dressing room. "Its so exciting to be back." Horton, the ex-Boston Bruins winger who missed the first 40 games following shoulder surgery, poked in a rebound late in the second period for his 199th career goal. Umberger added a second power-play goal midway through the final period and the Blue Jackets shored up their struggling penalty kill in a performance they hope helps them climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. "You can tell were a good team when we play hard," Horton said. "I really enjoyed being out there with the guys." Mike Smith stopped 29 shots for the Coyotes, who lost defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to injury early in the first period and they were shut out for the first time this season. It also ended a streak of six straight overtime games for the Coyotes. "We didnt compete hard enough," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. Horton, who helped Boston win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and then had 19 points in 22 playoff games for the Bruins last season, signed a seven-year, $37.1 million free-agent deal with the Blue Jackets last summer. In his first game since last seasons Stanley Cup final, Horton was matched with Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov. They had two solid opening shifts before Hortons first shot was kicked away by Smith midway through the first period. Late in the second period after Smith took a penalty for playing the puck outside the trapezoid, James Wisniewski took a shot that Smith poked away. But the 6-foot-2, 229-pound Horton was in front of thhe net and tapped in the rebound at 15:51. Tim Thomas Team USA Hockey Jersey. "Sometimes I felt good, sometimes I felt bad," Horton said. "Its been a long time since Ive played." How much did the Blue Jackets need Horton? His goal snapped an 0-for-18 power-play drought. His presence even seemed to inspire the defence, which had allowed six power-play goals in the previous two games. Columbus killed all five Phoenix power plays. "We had a big talk about it (Tuesday)," Umberger said of the penalty kill. The Blue Jackets also activated goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), who had been out 12 games, and defenceman Dalton Prout (upper body), who had missed six games. Bobrovsky served as the backup to McElhinney. He made several difficult saves, including on Keith Yandles point-blank shot early in the third period. "I think he was disappointed after last game," Columbus coach Todd Richards said of McElhinney, who allowed five goals in Colorado Tuesday. "You could tell after the game he wasnt happy. Even (Wednesday) he wasnt happy. And its a great response." Ekman-Larsson suffered an upper-body injury early in the first period on a hit into the boards by Derek MacKenzie. No boarding was called on the play and Tippett said they kept him out as a precaution, leaving Phoenix with only five defencemen. A day after being passed over by the U.S. Olympic team, Yandle soon went after MacKenzie. The two served fighting majors in a sloppy first period that saw only six shots apiece. But the Blue Jackets dominated the second period and Phoenix had little energy as it failed to earn a point for only the third time in 12 games. "We didnt manage the puck very well tonight," Smith said. "You lose Ekman-Larsson early in the game like that and you turn pucks over, it puts a lot of stress on five (defencemen). It wears on them." NOTES: Blue Jackets D Jack Skille (abdominal injury) returned to Columbus after being injured Tuesday vs. Colorado. ... The Blue Jackets sent F Jonathan Marchessault, D Tim Erixon and G Mike McKenna to Springfield (AHL). ... The NHL record for consecutive OT games is seven, set by Edmonton (2003) and Toronto (2008). ... Former Columbus first-round pick Rusty Klesla (illness) returned for Phoenix after missing three games. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys AuthenticWholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '