SPORTS DIGEST || Ichiro released, moving to Mariners front office


Ichiro released, moving to Mariners front office

SEATTLE

Ichiro Suzuki was released Thursday by the Seattle Mariners and is shifting into a front office role with the team, although he is not completely shutting the door on playing again.

The Mariners announced that Suzuki was becoming a special assistant to the chairman effective immediately. The team said Suzuki will assist with outfield play, base running and hitting.

The announcement didn’t say the 44-year-old is retiring, although Suzuki cannot return to the active roster in 2018.

Suzuki is in his 18th season and spent parts of 13 seasons with the Mariners. He’s also played for Miami and the New York Yankees.

Suzuki earned the 2001 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP with the Mariners and won a pair of AL batting titles.

The 10-time All-Star has a .311 average and 3,089 hits in the states.

NBA, Raptors to tell Drake to tone it down

TORONTO

The NBA has asked the Toronto Raptors to tell rapper Drake to avoid a repeat of his verbal exchanges with Cleveland’s Kendrick Perkins during Game 1 of Toronto’s second-round series against the Cavaliers.

Drake, who has been Toronto’s global ambassador since 2013, occasionally sits in a courtside seat adjacent to Toronto’s bench and trades barbs with visiting players.

Perkins took exception to Drake’s comments as the teams left the court at the end of the first half. The pair also traded angry words following the game.

The Raptors hosted Game 2 on Thursday. A day earlier, Toronto coach Dwane Casey said he had no issue with Drake’s antics, saying he wished all Raptors fans had the same passion as the three-time Grammy winner.

Ryan agrees to 5-year extension with Falcons

ATLANTA

Quarterback Matt Ryan has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Atlanta Falcons.

The team announced the deal Thursday without revealing financial terms.

Ryan has only missed two starts over the first decade of his career, passing for nearly 42,000 yards with 260 touchdowns. He was the league MVP in 2016, guiding Atlanta to only the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

Dallas’ Witten retiring, heading to ESPN

FRISCO, Texas

A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Jason Witten is retiring after 15 seasons, choosing the offer of lead analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” over becoming the longest-tenured player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.

The 10-time Pro Bowl tight end informed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of his plan to retire.

Just days from turning 36, Witten walks away as the leader in games, catches and yards receiving for a franchise with five Super Bowl wins, but none since the 1995 season. He and Tony Gonzalez are the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards.

Administrator arrested for fouling field

HOLMDEL, N.J.

Police have charged a New Jersey school superintendent identified as the person who has been relieving himself on the grounds of a high school football field and track.

Authorities say 42-year-old Thomas Tramaglini was caught Monday following an early morning run at Holmdel High School’s athletic facilities. He faces charges of public defecation, lewdness and littering.

Police say staff members were watching to see who was leaving human feces on the property on a regular basis.

Tramaglini lives several miles from the school but is superintendent of a different school district, in Kenilworth. He’s on a paid leave of absence.

A telephone message seeking his comment was not returned Thursday. The Asbury Park Press said he declined to answer questions from a reporter outside his home.

Staff/Wire Report

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