Mariners, Felix working on huge new contract

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Mariners, Felix working on huge new contract

From Comcast SportsNetSEATTLE (AP) -- Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners are working on a 175 million, seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, according to a person with knowledge of the deal's details.The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been completed. USA Today first reported the deal.Seattle would add 134.5 million of guaranteed money over five years to the contract of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, whose current agreement calls for him to receive 40.5 million over the next two seasons.Hernandez's total dollars would top CC Sabathia's original 161 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees and his 25 million average would surpass Zack Greinke's 24.5 million under his new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and tie him for the second-highest in baseball with Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard behind Alex Rodriguez (27.5 million). Hernandez's new money would average 26.9 million over five years.Hernandez agreed to a 78 million, five-year contract in January 2010 and has earned an additional 2.5 million in escalators and 300,000 in bonuses. He is due 20 million this year and 20.5 million in 2014, which would be superseded by the new deal.Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said he could not comment when reached on Thursday, and Hernandez's representatives didn't immediately return messages.If the deal is finalized, it would leave Detroit's Justin Verlander and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw as the most attractive pitchers eligible for free agency after the 2014 season. Tampa Bay's David Price is eligible after the 2015 season.Hernandez has become the face of Seattle's struggling franchise, transforming from a curly haired 19-year-old who wore his hat crooked to one of the most dominant and exciting pitchers in baseball. Known as "King Felix," he became the first Seattle pitcher to throw a perfect game in a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay last August.His fiery enthusiasm on the mound and his willingness to first sign a long-term deal in 2010 have endeared him to fans in the Pacific Northwest who have gone more than a decade without seeing postseason baseball.Hernandez, who will turn 27 on April 8, is 98-76 with a 3.22 ERA in eight seasons with the Mariners. He won a career-high 19 games in 2009 when he finished second in the Cy Young voting then won the award a year later when he went just 13-12 but had a 2.27 ERA and 232 strikeouts.Hernandez appeared to be making another Cy Young push last year before going 0-4 in his last six starts, which left him at 13-9 with 223 strikeouts.His career record would be even better if he didn't play with one of baseball's worst offenses. Seattle had the lowest batting average in the major leagues in each of the last three seasons. Hernandez has taken 10 losses during that span when he's given up two earned runs or less.For his career, Hernandez has allowed two earned runs or less in 141 of 238 starts, but the team is only 99-42 in those games due to the offensive problems.Locking up Hernandez long-term won't solve all of the problems that have left Seattle looking up at Texas, Oakland and the Los Angeles Angles in the AL West for most of the last 10 years. The Mariners have tried to address some of those issues this offseason by trading for Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse to provide more punch to go along with young prospects Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero, who have all shown flashes early in their careers.But should the deal be finalized, the Mariners at least have the security of knowing who'll be at the top of their rotation for most of this decade.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”