Sports briefs: Three men arrested in killing of ex-MLB pitcher Pascual Perez
Baseball • Police in the Dominican Republic said Saturday that they have arrested three men suspected in the killing of former major league pitcher Pascual Perez during an attempted home robbery. Another two suspects remain at large.
Maximo Baez, the police department's criminal investigations director, said one of the arrested men personally knew Perez and confessed that he and four others had planned to steal the $2,400 monthly pension he received for his 11-season career in the Major Leagues.
The 55-year-old's ex-wife found his body on Thursday at the home where he lived alone in San Gregorio de Nigua, a town west of the capital of Santo Domingo. Police said he had severe head wounds caused by being hit repeatedly with a hammer.
Authorities said they expected to file charges against the suspects later Saturday.
Police identified another one of those arrested as a low-level drug dealer. A third suspect was arrested Saturday after police said he sold one of Perez's cell phones for $6.25.
Police said they have also identified the two fugitives.
During his time in professional baseball, Perez had a rocky career including two suspensions for drug use.
The right-hander was first signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in January 1976 as an amateur free agent, according to Baseball-Reference.com, an online sports information site. He then pitched for the Atlanta Braves from 1982-85. He was 15-8 in 1983 and 14-8 in 1984.
Perez last played in the majors for the New York Yankees in 1991, compiling a lifetime record of 67-68 with the Braves, Pirates, Expos and Yankees.
HOckey • After more than two weeks apart and the hockey season hanging in the balance, the NHL and the players' association are returning to the bargaining table Saturday after more than two weeks off.
The hope of a full season being played is already gone, and so is the popular New Year's Day Winter Classic. If real progress isn't made soon, the NHL could be looking at its second lost campaign since 2004.
For the first time since Oct. 18, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and players' association special counsel Steve Fehr agreed to meet at a secret location Saturday afternoon. The two have been talking by phone during the week and found enough common ground to get together face-to-face.
The lockout reached its 49th day Saturday, but at least there is a glimmer of optimism the season can be saved. There have already been 327 games canceled including the outdoor Winter Classic that was wiped out Friday and the NHL has said it will be impossible to play a full season.
The labor dispute, which began Sept. 16, forced all games from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30 to be called off. It isn't known if any of those games will be rescheduled if a new deal is reached soon, but an NHL deadline has already passed that would have allowed for each team to play all 82 games. The season needed to start by Friday for that to happen, but the only hockey activity that day was the cancellation of the outdoor game at Michigan Stadium between the host Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.