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Vonn Takes 21st; Maze Wins Again

ASPEN, Colo. — Completely exhausted, Lindsey Vonn collapsed to the snow soon after crossing the finish line.

Totally elated, Tina Maze performed a cartwheel right after her first win in America.

Once Vonn gets healthy again, this could be quite a rivalry. After all, Vonn has what Maze covets most — the overall World Cup crown. Not that Maze is even thinking that far ahead.

“The season is long. You need to keep your skiing on a high level for three months,” the Slovenian standout said.

Her stamina drained, Vonn simply couldn’t make up ground on Maze in a giant slalom race Saturday. Vonn finished 21st in her return after missing time with an intestinal illness.

Then again, given the way Maze has been racing of late, no one was going to catch her. Maze used a blazing final run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 59.39 seconds to hold off Kathrin Zettel of Austria by nearly a second. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was third.

The 29-year-old Maze also won the season-opening GS race in Soelden, Austria, last month, with Zettel taking second there, too.

After a stomach bug recently landed her in the hospital, Vonn was 10th after the first run, but didn’t have anything left in the tank for the second pass through the challenging course.

Ex-Isotope Fields Signs With Phillies

Six seasons ago, Josh Fields was a 24-year-old rookie third baseman who mashed 23 home runs in 100 games and was seen as a future cornerstone of the Chicago White Sox.

He has played in 106 major league games since 2007, been labeled as a first-round bust, and is now the property of the Phillies as he attempts to revive a career that has taken him from Arkansas to Japan to, in 2012, Albuquerque.

Fields is the Phillies’ first minor league free agent signing, as reported by Baseball America. He’ll go to spring training looking to win a bench job but is probably ticketed for Triple-A Lehigh Valley for depth.

Fields, who turns 30 in two weeks, has not appeared in a major league game since 2010 with Kansas City. He spent all of last season with the Isotopes, where he hit .322, with 13 home runs, in 133 games.

KO Loss Convinces Hatton He’s Done

MANCHESTER, England — Ricky Hatton hastily retired again Saturday night after a knockout loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko in the British star’s first fight in more than three years.

The Briton succumbed to a painful body shot in the ninth round from the Ukrainian welterweight Senchenko in the nontitle fight in his hometown.

“A fighter knows and I know it isn’t there anymore,” Hatton said. “It’s too many hard fights. I’ve burned the candle at both ends. I’ve put my body through the mire in and out of the ring but it doesn’t matter how hard I train, I couldn’t have done any better.”

Hatton fought again 3 1/2 years after being knocked out by Manny Pacquiao, a loss that sent the former two-weight champion into retirement and his life spiraling out control, with depression, personal problems and battles with drink and drugs.

Etc. …

NHL: The lockout reached its 70th day on Saturday. The two sides spoke twice by telephone on Friday, and union head Donald Fehr said they spoke again Saturday. There is a chance they could get together today or Monday, he said, talking at a charity game featuring NHL stars in Atlantic City, N.J. There have been 423 games lost, including all through Dec. 14, the New Year’s Day Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend.
— This article appeared on page D11 of the Albuquerque Journal

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