Around the Nation (Feb. 5): Indians sign free agents Hermida, Santos

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASEBALL

Indians sign free agents Hermida, Santos

CLEVELAND — The Indians signed free agent outfielder Jeremy Hermida and catcher Omir Santos to minor league contracts.

Hermida spent last season with San Diego, splitting time between the Padres and their Triple-A affiliate. The 29-year-old has a career .257 average, 65 homers and 250 RBI with Florida, Boston, Oakland, Cincinnati and San Diego. Hermida was limited to less than 60 combined games last season because of injuries.

The 31-year-old Santos split last season with Detroit and Colorado. He batted a combined .310 with two homers and 30 RBI in 61 games between Triple-A Toledo and Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Santos, who has played in 121 major league games since 2008, was called up by the Tigers last May and played in three games.

He appeared in 96 games for the New York Mets in 2009, batting .260 with seven homers and 40 RBI. Santos was drafted by the Yankees in 2001.

Santos will be one of six catchers in Cleveland’s training camp at Goodyear, Ariz.

The Indians will have 61 players in their major league camp next month, including 21 non-roster invitees.

FOOTBALL

Ravens thank fans, celebrate Super Bowl victory at home

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens’ players, coach and owner are thanking thousands of fans who packed the team’s stadium to celebrate the Super Bowl victory.

The stadium was filled Tuesday to capacity Tuesday, and late-arriving fans were turned away.

Retiring linebacker Ray Lewis emerged from a tunnel onto the field, handed off the Lombardi trophy and did his signature dance, “The Squirrel.”

He thanked fans for their love of the team and said he wanted to win the Super Bowl to repay Baltimore for everything it’s done for him.

Safety Ed Reed told the crowd that quarterback Joe Flacco is talking about a repeat Super Bowl victory.

As the team left the stage, “We Are the Champions” played on the stadium sound system, and Lewis conducted the crowd in singing along.

Superdome power an issue before big game

NEW ORLEANS — Concerned the Superdome might not be able to handle the energy needed for its first Super Bowl since Hurricane Katrina, officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades to decayed utility lines, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The improvements apparently weren’t enough, however, to prevent an embarrassing and puzzling 34-minute power outage during the third quarter of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Two days later, officials still had not pinpointed the cause of the outage. The Superdome’s management company, SMG, and the utility that supplies the stadium, Entergy New Orleans, announced Tuesday that they would hire outside experts to investigate.

“We wanted to leave no stone unturned,” Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde told the AP. He said the two companies had not been able to reach a conclusion on the cause and wanted a third-party analysis.

“We thought it was important to get another party looking at this to make sure we were looking at everything that we need to examine,” Lagarde said.

SMG Vice President Doug Thornton told a news conference at City Hall later Tuesday that the hiring of a third party does not signify a disagreement between SMG and Entergy.

BASKETBALL

World Peace suspended, Howard out for Lakers

NEW YORK — Forward Metta World Peace was suspended for one game because he hit Detroit’s Brandon Knight in the face, and the Los Angeles Lakers also were again without Dwight Howard when they faced the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

World Peace grabbed Knight around the neck and struck him in the jaw with the knuckles of his mostly open hand on Sunday with 1:43 left in the first half of the Lakers’ 98-97 win over the Pistons.

Howard missed that game with a sore right shoulder that remains painful. He said after the Lakers’ morning shootaround that he would miss his third straight game.

The former Ron Artest was also suspended seven games in April after an elbow to the head of Oklahoma City’s James Harden. He is notorious for his 86-game suspension in 2004 for his role in the brawl with Pistons fans in Detroit.

World Peace also served a seven-game suspension in 2007 for his no-contest plea on a domestic violence charge.

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