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Blue Jays slugger will strip down for magazine

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NEW YORK -- Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is among the athletes who will strip down to pose in ESPN The Magazine's fourth annual "Body Issue."

New York Rangers forward Brad Richards and NFL stars Rob Gronkowski and Maurice Jones-Drew will also appear in the July 13 edition.

With the London Games this summer, the list announced Wednesday is heavy with Olympians, including gymnast Danell Leyva, sprinter Carmelita Jeter, decathlete Ashton Eaton and members of the U.S. women's volleyball team.

The magazine's editor in chief, Chad Millman, says they try to pick athletes who "just recently popped."

Gronkowski is a classic example of that. The New England Patriots tight end emerged as one of the NFL's biggest offensive stars this past season -- and it doesn't hurt that he has a penchant for appearing shirtless in photos. The magazine had a commitment from him way back last fall.

Chapman irks Reds boss

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Reds manager Dusty Baker has made sure that closer Aroldis Chapman won't be doing any more somersaults after finishing a game.

Chapman did a pair of forward rolls after striking out Martin Maldonado to complete a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. Chapman has been struggling lately, and celebrated his ninth save with somersaults toward home plate.

Baker has made sure that Chapman knows he was out of line.

"It's been addressed already and it's over," Baker said on Wednesday, before an afternoon game against the Brewers. "It won't happen again -- ever. I know he's happy and things have been going poorly for him, but he's got to demonstrate in a different way."

Couples, Hulbert chosen

BETHESDA, Md. -- U.S. captain Davis Love III selected a pair of longtime friends, Fred Couples and Mike Hulbert, as his assistants for the Ryder Cup. He said Wednesday they will help him choose his two other assistant captains for the Sept. 28-30 matches at Medinah.

Neither selection was a big surprise.

Couples last month at the Memorial let slip that he would be an assistant to Love, and then tried to cover his mistake by saying he was only helping him out. No one was fooled, and Love showed his bemusement in announcing his choices Wednesday.

"I'd like to re-announce some announcements that Fred Couples let slip," he said.

Love and Couples were stalwarts in the World Cup, winning a record four straight years as a team from 1992 to 1995. They also were teammates in the Ryder Cup, going 1-2 in team matches.

Couples has been overlooked as a Ryder Cup captain, but he has led the U.S. to victory in the last two Presidents Cups and has been chosen captain again for 2013.

Injury sidelines Penner

TORONTO -- An injury has forced Canadian light-heavyweight Nick (The Quiet Assassin) Penner off a televised UFC card next month.

The 32-year-old from Blumenort, Man., who trains in Edmonton, had been slated to fight Tom DeBlass on the July 11 card in San Jose.

Penner (12-2) lost his UFC debut to Australian Anthony (The Hippo) Perosh in March.

The main event in San Jose features middleweight contenders Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2012 C13

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