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Pujols gone for season

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels say slugger Albert Pujols is done for the season because of an injured left foot.

The Angels made the announcement Monday before playing Cleveland.

Pujols hasn't played since July 26. He had been saying he wanted to return when his partially torn plantar fascia healed.

The injury has bothered him all season, and forced the first baseman to mostly become a designated hitter. The Angels began the season with high hopes, but are far back in the playoff race.

The 33-year-old Pujols hit .258 with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs this year. This is the first time the three-time NL MVP finished with fewer than 30 homers in his 13-season major league career.

Pujols is in the second season of his $240-million, 10-year contract.

 

Thinking inside the box

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- From the minor-league baseball club that gave you the world's first urinal gaming system comes a promotion that's more six feet under than it is over the top: One "lucky" fan will win a free funeral package.

The triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, plans to announce the winner of its latest, and perhaps most bizarre, fan giveaway at tonight's game in Allentown.

Minor-league clubs are notorious for the wacky promotions they run to help put fans in the seats, and the IronPigs are no exception. Earlier this year, the team boasted about the new gaming system it had installed in men's restrooms at Coca-Cola Park.

But a free funeral? Talk about burying the competition.

"It's one of our best out-of-the-box promotions. Or maybe I should say one of our best 'in-the-box' promotions," quipped IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes.

Fans had to submit an essay describing their ideal funeral and explain why they deserved a free one. More than 50 essays were turned in.

The winner of the essay contest, to be announced during the sixth inning, gets a casket, embalming or cremation, hearse, headstone, flowers and a funeral or memorial service, all valued at nearly $10,000. A nearby funeral home is the sponsor.

Lest they be accused of poor taste, the IronPigs have opted to call tonight's giveaway "Celebration of Life Night." Grim reapers and tombstones are out, angelic music and a release of doves at home plate in.

"It won't become Halloween," Landes said.

 

Federer seeded only 7th

NEW YORK -- Roger Federer is seeded No. 7 for the U.S. Open, his first slot outside the top three at any Grand Slam tournament since he was fourth at Wimbledon in 2003.

Federer's ranking dropped two slots to seventh on Monday, and the U.S. Tennis Association's seedings followed the ATP standings.

Federer's record 17 Grand Slam titles include five at the U.S. Open. He's among five former champions in the men's field, including No. 1-seeded Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, and No. 3 Andy Murray, who won the 2012 title.

Federer was seeded No. 1 at 18 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments from 2004-08.

Play starts next week.

 

Canada out of LLWS

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Jean Mar Sanchez hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs, and Edgardo Rosales and Juan Crisp combined on a one-hitter as Panama clobbered Canada (Ottawa) 12-0 at the Little League World Series Monday.

Panama will face Taiwan in an elimination game today. Canada was eliminated.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2013 D4

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