HSFC_2017_01_11

(Jacob Rumans) #1

B4|Wednesday,January 11, 2017|SFChronicle.com XXXXX••


The A’s and free-agent in-
fielderTrevor Plouffeagreed
Tuesday to a one-year deal,
The Chronicle has learned.
Plouffe, 30, batted .260 with
a .303 on-base percentage and
a .420slugging percentage in
84 games last season for the
MinnesotaTwins, withwhom
he has played all of his seven-
year career.
Plouffe hit 12 homeruns
and drove in 47runs in 2016;
he has power, with 86 homers
the past five seasons, and had
a career-high 86 RBIs in 2015.


Plouffe is expected to play
mostlyat third base, with
Ryon Healy moving todesig-
nated hitter and a semi-pla-
toon at first base withYonder
Alonso.
— Susan Slusser
ELSEWHERE
Group seeks ban
of Russianteams
Aglobal group of antidop-
ing leaders is calling for
Russian teams to be exclud-
ed from international compe-
titionswhile establishing a
process to allow individuals

from the country to compete
if they can prove they have
taken part in effective anti-
doping programs elsewhere.
Leaders from19 national
antidoping organizations,
including those in theUnited
States, Britain andSweden,
held asummit thisweek and
released their recommenda-
tions Tuesday.
They also call for removal
of major international compe-
titions fromRussia, a process
that already has begun in the
wake of Part 2 of theMcLaren
doping report,which was
released last month.
The McLaren reportde-
tailedstate in volvement in a
widespreaddoping conspira-
cy that touched almostevery
corner of international
sports.The details include d a
cover-up involving 12 med-
alists from the 2014 Sochi
Olympics.

Skiing:DefendingWorld Cup
slalomchampionFrida Hans-
dotter ofSweden was at her
best inFlachau, Austria, con-
vincingly winning the last race
in the discipline before next
month’s world championships.
Afterfailing to reach the
podium this season,Hans-
dotter placed third inMaribor,
Slovenia, on Sunday, then won
the night race two days later.
Hansdotter finished0.58 of a
second ahead ofNina Loeseth
of Norway. Olympicchampion
MikaelaShiffrinshared third
place withWendy Holdener of
Switzerland,0.78 off the lead.
Shiffrin extended her lead in
both theslalom and theoverall
standings.In the discipline,
she leadsVeronikaVelez Zu-
zulova of Slovakia by 125
points.For the overall title, the
American leadsdefending
champion LaraGut by 365
points.

Soccer:ManchesterUnited
closed in on the final of the
EnglishLeague Cup by beating
injur y-hit Hull 2-0 in the first
leg of their semifinal.The sec-
ond leg isJan. 26. Liverpool
plays Southampton in the other
semifinal,startingWednesday.
Horse racing:TrainerRon
Ellis has been banned from
entering any horses in the
Breeders’Cup in thefall after
being sanctionedby the event
for a positive drug test involv-
ing Masochistic,who finished
second in lastyear’s BC Sprint.
Tennis:Defendingchampion
Robert Bautista-Agut of Spain
has withdrawn from the ASB
Tennis Classic inAuckland,
New Zealand, without playing
a match, citing astomach virus.
Top-seed Bautista-Agut, 28,
was due to play 2015champion
Jiri Vesely onWednesday. He is
ranked 13th.

DIGEST


A’s, infielder Plouffe


agree to 1-year deal


STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES


JabrillPeppersistakinghis
do-it-alltalenttotheNFL.
TheHeismanTrophyfinalist
announcedhisplansTuesday
toenterthedraftandskip his
seniorseasonat Mich igan.
“It’soneofthehardestthings
I’ve everhadtodo,”Peppers
saidinaninterviewwithSports
Illustrated.“I’mchoosingbe-
tweencementingmy legacyasa
collegeplayerandstartingmy
prolegacy.”
Pepperssaidhetoldhead
coach JimHarbaugh ofhis
decisionMonday.
“Hethankedmeandtoldme
it wasapleasuretocoach me,”
Pepperssaid.“Itoldhimit was
apleasuretoplayforhim.He
moldedmeforthenextlevel,
that’showheoperates.”
The6-foot-1,205-pound
linebacker/defensive back is
projectedtobeafirst-round
pickinApril.
PeppersledtheWolverines
with16tacklesforlosses,in-
cludingfoursacks,andranked
thirdwith72 tacklesasajunior.


He had 27 carriesfor181yards
andthreetouchdownsonof-
fense.
1 FloridaStateoffensive tackle
RodJohnsonwillforgo hisfinal
seasontoentertheNFLdraft.
1 JuniorAll-Americalefttackle
RyanRamczykisenteringthe
draftafteroneseasonat Wis-
consin.
Finalpoll:Clemsonfinished
atoptheAssociatedPressTop
25afterdefeatingAlabamafor
thenationalchampionship
Mondaynight.TheTige rswere
No. 1inthefinalpollforthefirst
timesince1981.
TheCrimsonTide finished
second,andUSCwasthird,
jumpingfromninthandbe-
comingthefirstteamtofinish
thathighwiththreelosses.
Washingtonwasfourth,
OklahomafifthandOhioState
sixth,followedby PennState,
FloridaState, Wisconsinand
Mich igan.Stanfordjumped
from18thto12thafterwinning
theSunBowl.

Scarbroughbrok eleg:Ala-

bamatailback BoScarbrough
fracturedaboneinhislower
right leginthenationalchampi-
onshipgame.
CrimsonTide headcoach
Nick SabansaidthatScar-
brough’sinjurywon’trequire
surg eryandthathe’s expected
tofullyrecover. Scarbrough
wasinjuredlateinthethird
quarterofMondaynight’s 35-
losstoClemsonanddidn’t
return.He had runfor93yards
withfirst-halftouchdownsof
and37yards.
Buck eyes’hire:OhioStatehas
hiredformerIndianahead
coach KevinWilsontohelp
directtheoffense.Theuni versi-
tysaidWilsonwillbeco-offen-
sive coordinatorwithnewly
hiredRyanDayandalsocoach
tight ends.
Wilsonwent 26-47insix
seasonsat Indiana.
Title-gameviewershipdips:
TherematchbetweenClemson
andAlabamadrew680,
fewervie wersonTVandonline
thanlastyear’s game,ESPN
said.
Thegamegota14.7overnight
ratingforESPNanda15.3rat-
ingforESPN’s MegaCast,
whichcombinesviewersfor
ESPN, ESPN2andESPNU.
Last year’s titlegame,won
45-40by Alabama,drewa15.
overnight ratingforESPNand
a16 .0 fortheMegaCast.

COLLEGEFOOTBALL


Versatile Peppers


leaving Mich igan


ASSOCIATED PRESS


SPORTS


teams.”
Still,notmanyotherviable
candidatenameshave surfaced
asWilliamssaidhe’llkeephis
shortlistprivateuntilacoach is
hired.Themostinteresting
namesamongthescuttlebutt
areformer49ers/Eagles/Ore-
gonheadcoach ChipKellyand
currentCarolinaPant hershead
coach RonRi vera,butsources
closetothesituationbelieve
bothtobepipedreams.
Morelogicalcandidatesare
WashingtonHuskiesdefensive
andoffensive coordinators,
respectively,JimmyLakeand
JonathanSmith,andWisconsin
defensive coordinatorJustin

Wilcox. WilcoxisaformerCal
assistantcoach,andthere’s
beliefthathewouldbringintop
recruiterandformerCaldefen-
sive linemanandassistant
coach Tosh Lupoiasdefensive
coordinator.
As Callooksforitsnexthead
coach,someoftheBears’assis-
tantsarelookingforjobs.In-
sidereceiverscoach Jacob Peel-
eragreedtotermswithMis-
sissippi.
OneofCal’s bestrecruiters,
PeelerisanalumofMississippi
State.

RustySimmonsisaSanFrancisco
Chroniclestaffwriter.Email:
rsimmons@sfchronicle.com
Twitter:@Rusty_SFChron

Peter DaSilva/ Specialto The Chronicle 2016

Cal athletic
director
Mike
Williams
says he
intends to
make a hire
ASAP, “but
we will be
thoughtful
and thorou gh
in our
search.”

Coaching search is both


quick and thoughtful


Cal football from page B

TAMPA,Fla. — Standing on college
football’s biggest stage and hoistingits
top prize, Clemson head coach Dabo
Swinney anddynamicquarterback
DeshaunWatson shared the ultimate
hug and a few private words.
A formidable pairing. An improb-
able championship. An ideal ending.
Swinney andWatson’s finale togeth-
er, a 35-31 upset victoryagainst Ala-
bama in the national title gameMon-
day night, mig ht be justalaunching
point for theTige rs (14-1).
“You think this is the best of Clem-
son? Just wait (for) the next five ye ars,”
Watson said Tuesday. “It’s going to be
even more exciting, moreawesome.”
The Tige rs claimed their first nation-
al championship since1981, ending a
34-year drought, thanks tohuge plays
fromWatson, his receiving corps and a
defensedetermined to reverse last
year’s oh-so-close loss to the Crimson
Tide in the title game.
Although most expect Clemson to
need ayear or two to reload — the
Tige rs are losing a handful of offensive
and defensive stars —Swinney be-
lieves his team willget another title
shot in the not-too-distant future, cer-
tainly not another three-decade wait.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that
the best isyet to come for us,”Swinney
said. “I mean,we’re going to continue
to improve, continue toget better.Win-
ning nationalchampionships are hard.
It’s very, very difficult todo. It’s been
35 years at Clemson. ...It won’t be 35
years before Clemson willdo this
again.”
Swinney has five-starquarterback
Hunter Johnson, from Brownsburg,
Ind., on theway to replaceWatson,
who gra duat ed in threeyears and is
leaving early for the NFL draft. And
Clemson annually has one of the top
three recruitingclasses in theACC,
right on the heels ofFloridaState as
well as perennial powers Alabama,
Ohio State, Oklahoma andMich igan.
Swinneyclearly has Clemson rolling
after consecutive trips to the title game.
“We think thatwe have a great pro-


gram to sell, andwe’re very proud of
that,” he said.“The best isyet to come
for us.This is not the end-all. It’s a
great moment, andit’s something that
we needed toget done. But you know,
Thursday I’mgoing to have a team
meeting with the 2017 team, and there
will be a new group of seniors sitting
in the front row, new challenges, new
journey, kind of lay out the vision a
little bit for nextyear.”
He’ll do so withoutWatson, the
team’s do-whate ver-it-takes leader, and
several otherkey starters.Watson
completed 36 of 56 passes for 420
yards and three touchdowns in the title

game.
“He’s the best player that’sever come
through there,”Swinney said,adding
that Watson went 32-3 as a starter. “He
set thestandard. I mean, highstan-
dard. Graduat ed in threeyears, honor-
roll student, represented the program
in an incredibleway, unbelievable
leadership, so easy to coach.”
“He’s an incredible winner, and
we’re not sitting here without Deshaun
Watson.”
Running back Wayne Gallman and
receivers Mike Williams and Artavis
Scott will joinWatson in the NFL.
Throw in tight end JordanLeggett and

centerJay Guillermo, and theTige rs
will have to replace a bigchunk of
their high-scoring offense.
They will have nearly as many losses
on defense, with cornerback Cordrea
Tankersley, safetyJadar Johnson, line-
backer Ben Boulware anddefensive
end CarlosWatkins allgone.
“What’s next?”Swinney said. “For
us, it’ll be, like I said, enjoying this
moment, butgetting excitedabout
coming back and seeing ifwe can
charge back up the mountain next
year.”

Mark Long is anAssociated Press writer.

CLEMSON


Stars are departing, but ‘best is yet to come’


By Mark Long


KevinC.Cox / GettyImages
Clemsonquarterback DeshaunWatson and head coachDabo Swinney celebrate with the nationalchampionship trophy.
Free download pdf