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NEW YORK -- Kevin Youkilis is leaving the major leagues after an injury plagued season and heading to Japan. The three-time All-Star has agreed to a one-year contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japans Pacific League. "They made it very apparent right from the start they were quite interested in Kevin being there," agent Joe Bick said Friday. A 34-year-old first baseman and third baseman, Youkilis will have a $4 million base salary and can earn $1 million in bonuses -- including some based on walks, a provision not allowed in major league contracts. After nine seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Youkilis signed a $12 million, one-year deal with the New York Yankees. But his back started to bother him in mid-April, and an epidural injection didnt improve a lumbar spine sprain. Sidelined from April 27 to May 31, he went back on the DL on June 13, had surgery a week later to repair a herniated disk and didnt return. Youkilis hit just .219 with two homers and eight RBIs over 28 games and 105 at-bats. "Theres no reason to believe hes anything less than 100 per cent," Bick said. "Workouts are going normally." Youkilis has a .281 average in 10 big league seasons with 150 homers and 618 RBIs, and he earned a World Series ring with the 2007 Red Sox. At Rakuten, Youkilis may become teammates with star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 last season, While Tanaka wants to join the major leagues, Rakuten is reluctant to make him available in the new posting season, and the 25-year-old right-hander cant leave as a free agent until after the 2015 season. "We were talking with eight or nine other clubs over here," Bick said. "In the final analysis, he said the right thing for my family and me is to go do this. It will be a wonderful life experience." Cheap Ecco Shoes Online . "Win basketball games," Collins said. He will get at least a few more chances. Collins played the final minutes of a winning home debut with the Brooklyn Nets, who cooled off the Chicago Bulls with a 96-80 victory Monday night. Ecco Shoes Sale Uk . The Nashville Predators were glad their captain was still on their side. Weber had a goal and two assists, and Roman Josi scored the shootout winner to lift the Predators to a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday night. http://www.cheapeccouk.com/.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to play spoiler as the Los Angeles Kings will try to match their longest winning streak in over four years in Thursdays battle at Staples Center. Ecco Shoes Wholesale Uk . -- Chris Jones and Louisville have done a tremendous job protecting the basketball this season and thats led to easy victories. Ecco Outlet Uk . -- New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has no concerns about the health of shortstop Derek Jeter, who was limited to 17 games last season due to leg injuries.AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There was a time around here when Phil Mickelsons nerves were stretched so tight, you could bounce a quarter off em and have it land in Atlanta. That was exactly 10 years, five majors and three green jackets ago. He arrived that week 0 for 42 in the tournaments that matter and left as one of the most contented men on the planet. Back at the scene of that first major win for his interview session Tuesday, Mickelson was charming and so much the master of his domain you half-expected him to wade into the gathering of reporters and pull that same quarter out from behind someones ear. Now 43, Lefty was at ease, deftly tucking many of those reporters first names into his answers and lavishing praise on the conditions at Augusta National and even long-time rival Tiger Woods, who will miss his first Masters in 20 years while recovering from back surgery. "Its a weird feeling not having him here, isnt it?" Mickelson said, unbidden. Then again, he could afford to be gracious. Mickelson sat down at the podium fresh off a big win in one of those high-stakes practice rounds for which hes become notorious "Curious on practice rounds," a reporter said. "Watching former champions going out with younger players, youve done that in the past, and the mentoring that goes on in the early part of this week. Just curious the extent that you do that now as a past champion." "Yeah, mentoring or wagering," Mickelson said to laughter. "Either way you want to look at it. "Rickie Fowler and I were partners today and he went on a tear. He shot 30 the front nine; he eagled 13, he birdied 17 and 18, threw another one on 15, I think. Just played remarkable golf. It was fun," Mickelson added, "to have him as my partner." "Speaking of wagering," another reporter asked a few moments later, "I head you lost a dollar to a patron behind the sixth green; couldnt get up and down. Is that right?" Mickelson tried not to blush. "He was mouthing off about hard shot, get this up and down, no chance, blah, blah, blah. And it wasnt that hard a shot, and I should have gotten it up and down and I did hit a good shot. I had a 7-footer straight uphill and I missed it, and I had to pay him," he said. "Thats what happens when you lose." "Do you always carry small bills?" came the follow-up. ";Did he have change?" "I had to get a five from a caddie," Mickelson replied, trying harder not to blush.dddddddddddd "I dont." The longer he goes on spinning tales that are insightful or funny -- and sometimes both -- the more Mickelson sounds like one of the games elder statesmen. But unlike Jack Nicklaus, 74, and Arnold Palmer, 84, who reminisced about his last major win 50 years ago, Mickelson is still a very real threat to win every time he tees it up. Hes still ranked No. 5 in the world, but hasnt had a top-10 finish this season and his last win was last summers almost magical victory at the British Open. More problematic, perhaps, Mickelson has been hobbled by back and muscle injuries for months, not pronouncing himself "100 per cent healthy until last week. He even admitted to some nerves "because I always like coming into this week with a win. ... being in contention a few times and having that confidence and experience to build on." But if Mickelson was concerned about his chances, he might have been the only one in the room. "Now that youve won five Majors," came the question, "how cognizant are you of climbing the ladder of historical greats where you have (Lee) Trevino at six, Arnie at seven? Is that something you think about, where you stand in relation to those figures?" "Not really," Mickelson began. "But I do know that Arnold and Tiger have four jackets and I have three. I know Jack has six, but nothing I can do about that right now. Im just trying to get back to where the two ahead of me are." Yet its hard to imagine Mickelson having more fun with yet another green jacket than he did with the previous ones. He slept in it the first night after winning, wore it in the drive-through line at Krispy Kreme one morning, and donned it at dinner more often than a colour-blind waiter. Even though Mickelson could have gone on for hours, the moderator signalled last question "What are your strongest memories of being on 18 10 years ago?" he was asked. "What comes right to mind?" "I jumped so high I almost hit lightning that day," Mickelson replied. "Unfortunately the photographers, they just didnt time it right, so its very, yeah, I felt like that was an unfair assessment of that leap. Because I probably could have dunked a basketball if need be." ' ' '

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