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A-Rod's bonuses get MLB approval

The details of Alex Rodriguez's revenue-sharing bonuses in his new New York Yankees contract finally have been agreed upon and approved by Major League Baseball. If Rodriguez attains all five of the $6 million bonuses, his total contract will be worth $305 million.

The initial outline of A-Rod's contract was agreed upon two weeks ago with a base of 10 years and $275 million. The bonuses were more difficult to agree upon, however, as the Yankees do not generally include incentives for awards such as Most Valuable Player or Gold Glove, and MLB does not generally allow statistics-based bonuses.

Rodriguez's possible bonuses, which were first outlined by The New York Times, will include $6 million each for five historic events, to be designated by the Yankees. The five events are expected to be tying the career home run marks of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (currently 762), along with passing Bonds' major-league record. Rodriguez, 32, has 518 career home runs.

Meanwhile, Indians reliever Juan Lara, who spent most of last season with the Buffalo Bisons, was involved in a serious car accident in the Dominican Republic that left him hospitalized with unknown injuries, an Indians spokesman said.

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Birdie on 18th gives Ames Skins title

Stephen Ames chuckled about his mostly mediocre 18 holes of golf. He can laugh all the way to the bank.

With $650,000 at stake on No. 18, Ames coolly knocked his 7-foot birdie putt into the center of the cup Sunday to win the Skins Game. The only other hole he won was the first, a day earlier.

Taking the title for the second year in a row, Ames had nine skins and $675,000 of the $1 million purse. Five-time champion Fred Couples, playing in the 25-year-old tournament for the 14th time, also won nine skins, pocketing $325,000 to push his career earnings in the made-for-TV event to more than $4.2 million.

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Around & about

* The Niagara women's hockey team (6-4-2) dropped an 11-1 decision to national No. 1 New Hampshire (13-2) in Durham, N.H. The 10-goal margin of defeat is the worst in the history of the Niagara program. NU lost twice by eight-goal margins during the 2005-06 season. Autumn Stuntz scored the lone goal for the Purple Eagles (6-4-2) with 41 seconds left.

* Jeremy O'Day (Lockport) helped the Saskatchewan Roughriders win their third Grey Cup on Sunday, as the Roughriders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 23-19, in front of 52,230 in the Rogers Centre in Toronto. O'Day is a center who has played nine of his 11 Canadian Football League seasons with Saskatchewan.

* The United States will open 2010 World Cup qualifying in June against the tiny Caribbean nations of Barbados or Dominica and is likely to wind up in a politically charged semifinal group with Cuba. The U.S. team is 5-1-1 against the Cubans, but has never played in Cuba. The teams have not met in a Cup qualifier since 1949.

Compiled from News and wire service reports.

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