CHICAGO (AP) Even as the Chicago Cubs lost one game after another, Ernie Banks never lost hope. That was the charm of ''Mr. Cub.''
Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83.
The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause.
Banks hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career and was fond of saying, ''It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two!'' In fact, that finish to his famous catchphrase adorns his statue outside Wrigley Field.
And on a cold winter night Friday, the ballpark marquee carried the sad news for the entire town to see: Ernie Banks. ''Mr. Cub.'' 1931-2015.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Free agent right-hander Ryan Vogelsong reached agreement on a $4 million, one-year deal to stay with the San Francisco Giants.
Vogelsong passed a physical and reached the deal three days after general manager Brian Sabean said Vogelsong was close to joining another team - thought to be the Houston Astros.
Vogelsong went 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA in 32 starts last season.
MIAMI (AP) - Ichiro Suzuki has decided to play for the Miami Marlins.
Suzuki and the team have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract, pending a physical, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The contract is likely to be formally completed next week.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The NFL said it has interviewed dozens of people and collected physical evidence but has no conclusions yet on how the New England Patriots used underinflated balls in their last game, offering no timetable for resolving the cheating accusations with the Super Bowl nine days away.
The league said evidence shows the Patriots used underinflated footballs during the first half of the AFC championship game Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
It issued a statement that the Patriots have pledged full cooperation and have given the league information it requested and made personnel available upon request. Quarterback Tom Brady said Thursday afternoon he had not been contacted at that point.
The NFL said it began its investigation Sunday night and expects cooperation from other clubs. It hired an investigatory company to help review electronic and video information.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens intend to cut ties with defensive tackle Terrence Cody, who's under investigation for animal cruelty.
The Ravens made no reference to the investigation Friday, when they issued a one-sentence news release that said Cody's contract will be terminated after the Super Bowl.
A team spokesman, however, said, ''We are aware there is an investigation.''
The 26-year-old Cody is the subject of an ongoing probe launched by the Baltimore County State's Attorney's office. No charges have been filed. According to Cody's agent, Peter Schaffer, Cody took his dog to a veterinarian for treatment and the pet subsequently died.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The sellout crowd chanted Klay Thompson's name. Both benches stood, equally stunned at what was taking place. Thompson's teammates continued to get him the ball - and he just kept shooting.
Thompson set a league record for the most points in a quarter Friday night, a thrilling 37-point third period that powered the Golden State Warriors to a 126-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Thompson finished with a career-high 52 points on 16-for-25 shooting, including 11 for 15 on 3-pointers. The All-Star hopeful made all 13 shots, including a league-record nine from 3-point range, in the quarter and hit both of his free throws during a 12-minute span of pure basketball bliss.
ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Hawks romped to their 15th straight victory, the longest streak in franchise history.
Paul Millsap scored 22 points, Jeff Teague added 17 and the Hawks broke the record with a 103-93 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
The wins keep piling up for a team that no one expected to be a title contender at the beginning of the season. Before a raucous sellout crowd, the Hawks came out on top for the 29th time in 31 games to extend their Eastern-best record to 36-8.
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - Ryan Palmer missed a chance to shoot 59 or lower Friday in the Humana Challenge, settling for an 11-under 61 after playing an eight-hole stretch in 10 under.
After opening with two pars, Palmer had two eagles and six birdies on the next eight holes to match the longest eagle-birdie streak in PGA Tour history. Needing to play the final eight holes in 3 under to shoot 59, he bogeyed the par-4 second and par-3 third to drop to 8 under.
Palmer birdied the par-5 fourth and par-4 sixth. He parred the par-3 seventh, birdied the par-5 eighth after missing an 8-foot eagle putt, and missed a 6-foot putt on the par-4 ninth in a closing par.
Palmer had a 12-under 132 total after opening with a 71 on Thursday. He was three strokes behind leader Matt Kuchar (64). Bill Haas (63) and first-round leader Michael Putnam (67) were a stroke back. Haas had a 63 at La Quinta.
Justin Thomas (63), Nick Watney (64) and Scott Pinckney (67) were at 13 under.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - New Zealander Matt Mitchell has asked sailing's governing body to investigate former Oracle Team USA teammate Simeon Tienpont for gross misconduct, the latest fallout from one of the biggest scandals in America's Cup history.
Mitchell's complaint with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) alleges that Tienpont broke a racing rule and lied during a hearing prior to the 2013 America's Cup on San Francisco Bay.
Although Tienpont admitted altering a catamaran used in warmup regattas, he was allowed to sail in the America's Cup match against Emirates Team New Zealand.
Mitchell, who was implicated by Tienpont during a hearing before an international jury, was suspended for the first four races. Another teammate, Dirk de Ridder, was banned from the regatta and Oracle was docked two points in the harshest penalties assessed in the cup's 164-year history.