Hampton was taking batting practice Wednesday at the Braves’ complex while the team was playing the Detroit Tigers in nearby Lakeland. He fell to the ground in pain after a swing, prompting fears that he broke a rib. X-rays were negative and team doctors determined that he strained his left oblique, still a serious injury for a pitcher. Major League Baseball announced its $700 million, seven-year agreement with DirecTV and said the deal contains a provision that allows its “Extra Innings” package of out-of-market games to remain on cable television if the other incumbent providers agree to match the terms. Around the horn Frank Thomas made his first appearance for the Toronto Blue Jays, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in a “B” game against the Phillies. “I prefer to start late like this because you know what you’re doing out there,” said Thomas, who signed an $18.12 million, two-year contract. “You’ve had enough BP, enough cage work to know what you’re doing out there.” Mike Hampton’s comeback took a major blow. And, no, it has nothing to do with his reconstructed elbow. The Atlanta Braves left-hander injured his left side during batting practice, of all things, and won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Hampton, starting the seventh season of a $121 million, eight-year contract, will miss the rest of spring training and could be out as long as two months. The Braves had been counting on him to bolster a rotation that includes John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and Chuck James. “I think I pulled it pretty bad,” Hampton said Thursday. “There’s nothing you can do about it now except try to get it healed up and get it better.” Outfielder Jody Gerut was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after nearly two years of inactivity due to a knee injury. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Kinney needs elbow ligament-replacement surgery and will likely miss the entire season. Kinney was a top candidate for setup relief pitcher this year. He first tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching forearm one year ago. Team physician Dr. George Paletta said Thursday the torn ligament has grown increasingly worse. The torn ligament in Kinney’s right arm should be surgically replaced with a tendon from his left wrist, Paletta said. Kinney’s recovery should take about 10 months. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Aiming to increase traffic flow, Sydney Airport has released plans to divide its space into two airline alliance-based precincts that would integrate international, domestic and regional services under the single roof.Hoping for completion date of 2019 and awaiting necessary 2014 Master Plan approval, the proposed plan would see the Qantas Group operating under the current domestic terminals T2 and T3 while Virgin Australia and its international alliance members would operate from current international terminal T1.The Airport said in a statement to its shareholders that the makeover would provide better use of its current facilities, improve aircraft parking space as well as allow room for future terminal enhancements.Meanwhile other carriers including Tiger Airways, Rex, AeroPelican and Brindabella would undergo consultation to decide which terminal they would operate out of.Jumping on board with new plans, Qantas and Virgin Australia signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to progress the proposal.Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather explained that the integration has the potential “transform aviation in NSW”.“First, it would improve Sydney Airport’s attractiveness as a global hub and deliver a better passenger experience every day,” Ms Mather said.“Second, as Sydney Airport invests in its future it would bring with growth in tourism and business travel which would lead to job creation and contribution.”She added that the improvements would reduce aircraft turnaround times, eliminate towed main runway crossings, reduce aircraft emissions as well as minimise operating disruptions.Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti concurred noting that the changes would significant benefits to travellers.“As passenger numbers grow over the next decade, it is vital that airlines and airports work closely together to deliver a seamless travel experience,” Mr Joyce said.While Mr Borghetti said Virgin believes “there is potential in Sydney Airport’s proposal” and is keen to see how it “supports the growth of Virgin Australia and its alliance partners”.Tourism Australia has also backed Sydney Airport’s decision to unite its split its operations based on airline alliances, claiming it would help achieve 2020 growth plans.The Group’s managing director Andrew McEvoy said in an online statement the new division expected to provide more seamless travel for holiday-makers, the plan would help Sydney Airport grow sustainably.“Sydney Airport has a vital role to play for Australian tourism as both the largest international air gateway to our country along with the busiest domestic air facility,” Mr McEvoy said. “All our international air gateways are critical, but the industry does acknowledge the key role Sydney Airport plays in catering for more flyers and greater onward connections than any other Australian airport.“Together with the recently announced Rydges hotel development for the international terminal at Sydney, this is continued evidence that Sydney Airport share our growth vision and, with it, the need for significant supporting infrastructure investment and realigning the use of existing terminal resources.”Earlier this year Tourism Australia released a 2020 plan which would see Australian tourism double existing overnight visitor expenditure to $140 billion per annum.The airport changes would also see Qantas receive a new engineering complex while Virgin Australia will welcome a new hangar. Proposed Virgin Australia and alliance precinct Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Qantas Group proposed precinct