Ax falls at ESPN over Lin slur
NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- ESPN said it fired one employee and suspended another after a seemingly racist cliche was used in reference to Asian-American basketball player Jeremy Lin.
The phrase "chink in the armor" used in a headline and in comments by two on-air personalities resulted in the firing of the headline writer and a 30-day suspension of an anchor on ESPNEWS.
ESPN noted that a radio host who used the same wordage on the air was not a network employee.
"We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN," the network said in a written statement. "Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future."
The apology came amid a growing uproar over the word "chink," which one online commentator compared to the "N word," The New York Times said Sunday.
The Asian American Journalists Association issued a statement calling the incident "inexcusable" and hoped the flap would create a "teachable moment" for ESPN.
Yanks deal Burnett to Bucs for prospects
The right-hander was dealt for relief pitcher Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones.
The trade, first reported Friday, will see the Pirates pay Burnett up to $14 million of the $33 million remaining on his contract, the New York Daily News reported.
New York signed Burnett after the 2008 season, but he struggled to put up wins consistently, compiling a 34-35 mark for the Yanks.
The 35-year-old has posted a career record of 121-111 with a 4.10 ERA in 314 games for the Florida Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays and Yankees.
Moreno, 24, went 2-4 with five saves and a 3.63 ERA in 41 minor-league games last season while the 20-year-old Cayones hit .228 with 12 RBI in 38 Gulf Coast League games.
Wild ink Brodziak to three-year extension
ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Center Kyle Brodziak signed a three-year contract extension with the Minnesota Wild, the team announced Sunday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune reported it was worth around $2.83 million per season.
The 27-year-old, now in his third season with Minnesota, has racked up 15 goals and 29 points through 58 games this season.
Since breaking in with the Edmonton Oilers in 2005-06, Brodziak has scored 66 goals and added 91 assists for 157 points over 395 career games.
The St. Paul, Alberta, native also uses a physical game, compiling 64 hits and 43 penalty minutes so far in 2011-12.
Edwards, Biffle claim Daytona front row
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Carl Edwards won the time trials for the Daytona 500 and teammate Greg Biffle took the outside pole Sunday in a front-row sweep for Roush Fenway Racing.
Edwards turned in a lap of 194.738 mph at Daytona International Speedway, claiming his first Daytona 500 pole position and 11th of his Sprint Cup career.
He was helped by increasingly windy conditions throughout the day after taking his lap early in the competition, going fifth in a field of 49 drivers. Wind gusts reached as high as 40 mph at the track, slowing down the later drivers.
Biffle, driving ninth, recorded a lap of 194.087 mph to give Ford its first Daytona 500 front-row start since 2007, when David Gilliland and Ricky Rudd drove Fords for Robert Yates Racing.
The 54th running of NASCAR's most prestigious race is set for Feb. 26.