Decision for Rivera, surgery for Furcal...NHL clears realignment hurdle...Woods shares lead

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera plans to announce Saturday that he will retire after the 2013 season, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press yesterday. The 43-year-old closer is baseball's saves leader with 608 and is regarded as one of the best clutch pitchers in history, posting a record 42 postseason saves with an 0.70 ERA while helping the Yankees win five World Series championships.

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal (fur-KAHL') will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow next week and expects to miss the upcoming season. The 35-year-old Furcal has been sidelined since reinjuring the elbow he hurt late last season. Furcal and the team had tried rehab rather than reconstructive surgery in the offseason.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has moved a step closer to realignment as the players' association approved a proposed plan that is set to go into effect next season. Union head Donald Fehr (feer) signed off on the plan after discussions with the union's executive board and said the realignment issue will be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season. No official details of the changes have been released by the NHL, but it is widely believed that teams such as Detroit and Columbus will be put into more travel-friendly divisions in the Eastern time zone, while the Winnipeg Jets will leave the Southeast Division for a spot in the Western Conference.

MIAMI (AP) — Tiger Woods will be part of a five-way tie for the lead when the second round of the Cadillac Championship begins at Doral this morning. Woods opened with a 6-under-par 66 that leaves him tied with Freddie Jacobson (YAHK'-uhb-suhn), Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Bubba Watson. Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan (MAY'-han), Steve Stricker and Peter Hanson are one shot back.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — NASCAR has fined Denny Hamlin $25,000 for disparaging comments about the new Gen-6 race car last week at Phoenix. Hamlin said he wouldn't pay the fine and would rather face a suspension, but NASCAR automatically deducts unpaid fines from a driver's purse or point fund earnings.

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