CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians have signed utilityman Ryan Raburn and outfielder Ben Francisco to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. Raburn has spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers. The 31-year-old is a .256 hitter with 54 homers and 216 RBIs in 566 games. He spent most of 2012 with the Tigers and also appeared in 15 games for Triple-A Toledo. Raburn, who has played 396 career games in the outfield and 143 at second base, made two trips to the disabled list last year.
Francisco played in 235 games for Cleveland from 2007-09 before he was traded to Philadelphia. The 31-year-old has also played for Toronto, Houston and Tampa Bay. While with the Indians, Francisco batted .261 with 28 homers and 99 RBIs. He had a .281 average in 106 games at Progressive Field.
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Wind and snow are shredding the roof at the Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Detroit, but it's no cause for concern. The roof was deflated on Jan. 3 and eventually will be replaced. Stadium events coordinator Alex Loewy says the extreme weather actually is helping to bring the roof down. He says the inflatable roof will be replaced with a hard roof by late summer. The building has been winterized, and no events have been scheduled until later this year. The 80,000-seat stadium opened in 1975 and was the home of the Detroit Lions until 2002. The Silverdome was sold for $583,000 in 2009. The Lions now play at Ford Field near downtown Detroit.
COLUMBUS -- Swiss rookie Damien Brunner scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night before 19,206, the largest regular-season crowd at Nationwide Arena in the Blue Jackets' 11-plus seasons. Brian Lashoff scored in his NHL debut and fellow defenseman Ian White also scored for Detroit, which finally got on the board twice in the second period after being humiliated 6-0 in their opener on Saturday night in St. Louis. Pavel Datsyuk had a goal to send the game into overtime with 6 minutes remaining in regulation, and also had an assist. The Red Wings have their first home game of the 48-game schedule tonight with the Dallas Stars. Game time 7:30 p.m.
(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) -- The Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame and St. Clair County Community College will have a grand opening Saturday, January 26, to celebrate the hall of fame's new location on SC4's Port Huron campus. The public is invited for self-guided tours from 10-11:30 a.m. or 5-7 p.m. in the lower level of the college's North Building. The hall of fame features more than 300 plaques honoring local teams and individual athletes. It inducts new members each year and honors local athletes with awards and scholarships. The hall previously was housed at the Thomas Edison Inn in Port Huron, but was in need of a new location. A number of SC4 student athletes have been inducted into the hall of fame, including the 2000 and 2004 national championship volleyball teams.
(DETROIT) -- Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been added to the NFC Pro Bowl team. Suh will replace San Francisco's Justin Smith after the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl yesterday. Suh joins receiver Calvin Johnson and long snapper Don Muhlbach on this year's team.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mobil 1 will remain the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR" through 2017 under a contract extension with parent company ExxonMobil. Mobil 1 is entering its 11th year as an official NASCAR partner. It will now be a contingency partner across all NASCAR national and touring series, the presenting sponsor of the Mobil 1 Driver of the Race Award, and the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Mobil 1 motor oil is used by more than half of the teams in NASCAR's three national series, and the brand also sponsors three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart. The new deal takes ExxonMobil digital with the launch of the "NASCAR Automotive Technology Center Engineered by Mobil 1." The technology-driven content will be on NASCAR.com.
UNDATED-- It'll be the Battle of Brothers in New Orleans in two weeks. John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens topped New England 28-13 to win the AFC title game and set up a Super Bowl meeting with his brother Jim. It will be the Ravens first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years. Joe Flacco threw three second-half touchdown passes while the Ravens shutout Tom Brady and the Patriots offense after intermission. New England held a 13-6 halftime lead. Brady had been 67-0 at home when leading at the intermission. The Baltimore victory avenged a loss to New England in last year's conference title game.
Earlier Sunday, Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers staged their own comeback, rallying from 17 points down to beat Atlanta 28-24 in the NFC title game. The 49ers pulled off the biggest comeback victory in an NFC championship game, according to STATS. The previous NFC record was 13 points. But it's the 49ers that are Super Bowl bound this time. It'll be the sixth appearance in the NFL's big game for the franchise, but the first since 1995. The Niners have won the previous five.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings have played in the last 21 Stanley Cup playoffs. That postseason streak might be in jeopardy. The storied franchise is starting a season without seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom for the first time since the 1990-91, the year its run in the playoffs began. Lidstrom retired last summer and the 42-year-old defenseman turned down an offer from Red Wings general manager Ken Holland to play in the lockout-shortened season. Henrik Zetterberg is the new captain on a team that has a chance to be better up front and in net. Niklas Kronwall will lead the way on defense and will need plenty of help from Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White and Brendan Smith. Saturday the Detroit Pistons kick off the regular 48-game season with a trip to St. Louis to play the Blues at 8 p.m.
(LONDON) -- Carmelo Anthony returned to his Olympic gold medal past and scored 26 points Thursday to lead the New York Knicks to a 102-87 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Anthony scored 18 in the first half as the Knicks jumped out to a 16-2 lead before holding a double-digit lead for most of the game. The Pistons were the home team at the O2 Arena in London, the site of the Olympic gold-medal game during last year's London Games. It was the third regular-season NBA game played at the venue, where the then-New Jersey Nets swept the Toronto Raptors in a pair of games two years ago. Sunday they host the Boston Celtics at The Palace with tip off at 7:30 P.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Adreian Payne scored 20 points after spending the first half on the bench following a morning scuffle with teammate Brandon Dawson, and No. 18 Michigan State held on for an 81-72 victory against Penn State on Wednesday night. Payne, a sturdy 6-foot-10 forward, made up for lost time by dominating the post in the second half. He had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a stretch of six-plus minutes after entering the game with about 16:30 left. Payne added a 3-pointer - only his second made 3 of the year - in the middle of a 20-8 run to help the Spartans (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) pull ahead midway through the second half.