Lincecum signs with Rangers, will honor late brother

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - After wearing No. 55 for his entire major league career, Tim Lincecum will switch to 44 with the Texas Rangers in honor of his late older brother

Sean Lincecum's funeral was Saturday, which delayed Tim Lincecum from taking the physical needed to finalize his $1 million, one-year contract with the Texas Rangers. The two-time Cy Young Award winner passed the physical Tuesday and said he will wear the number his brother used as an amateur.

"I always looked up to my brother," Lincecum said. "He was an idol for me. He just had a lot of bad runs with the choices he made in life."

Texas general manager Jon Daniels said the 33-year-old right-hander will be a reliever and could be the Rangers' closer as he attempts to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2016.

"I think it's a great opportunity," Lincecum said. "It was a difficult decision with the Dodgers and the Rangers, but it came down to those two teams. I thought the Rangers would be a better fit. The conversations that we had just made me feel a little bit more warm and fuzzy inside."

Lincecum is fascinated about becoming a closer.

"I feel like I could do that," the two-time Cy Young Award winner said. "I've done that in the Cape (Cod League) and at the college level. It is going to be, obviously, different, but I feel like I could tap into that mentality."

Lincecum has made only eight regular season relief appearances and seven in the postseason.

"Right now, I'm just trying to see where I fit on this team," he said. "The idea was to go to a bullpen role because I felt like that's what would be best for the way I am right now and at this point in my career."

PRO BASKETBALL

DALLAS (AP) - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is denying a 2011 allegation of sexual assault after a weekly alternative newspaper in Oregon published details of a case that prosecutors didn't pursue, saying they didn't believe there was evidence to support the claim.

The report in the Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon, came two weeks after a Sports Illustrated account that portrayed a hostile work environment for women in the front office of the Mavericks.

The woman claimed Cuban reached inside her pants and penetrated her vagina with his finger while they were taking a picture in a Portland nightclub. In an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Cuban wrote, "It didn't happen."

PRO FOOTBALL

MIAMI (AP) - Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he won't force his players to stand for the national anthem, even though he believes kneeling is a counterproductive way to promote social justice.

Ross' comments in a statement released by the Dolphins came after the New York Daily News reported that he said all of the team's players will stand for the anthem in 2018. Ross was in New York on Monday to be honored by the Jackie Robinson Foundation and receive its ROBIE Lifetime Achievement Award.

"I have no intention of forcing our players to stand during the anthem, and I regret that my comments have been misconstrued," Ross said in his statement.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Once he was released by Jacksonville, running back Chris Ivory wasted little time moving on to Plan B: The chance to serve as LeSean McCoy's primary backup in Buffalo.

"I always felt I had something to prove and things didn't go as planned, man," Ivory said, referring to the Jaguars during a telephone conference call shortly after agreeing to a two-year contract with the Bills on Tuesday. "All I can do now is continue to stay dedicated to my craft and continue to build."

WASHINGTON (AP) - Kirk Cousins' time with the Washington Redskins is about to end after they chose not to use the franchise tag on the quarterback as expected.

The Redskins have agreed to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, effectively pushing Cousins into free agency following a tumultuous six years with the club the drafted him. Cousins will be the top free agent available when the league year opens in mid-March and should have no shortage of suitors.

"Next week is now officially the first time since 2007 that I'll be choosing where to play football," Cousins posted on Twitter. "I'm open to suggestions."

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