Sports

Cards' Molina sued for not signing autographs

A New York sports marketing firm has sued St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, saying he ignored their agreement to make appearances and sign autographs.

Steiner Sports Marketing’s lawsuit, filed Friday in New York, said the sports memorabilia company had a contract with Molina dating to October 2006. It says Steiner paid Molina $90,660 in advance when the contract was renewed in July 2008, but he later refused to attend autograph signings and will not return the money.

Steiner is seeking damages in excess of $175,000. The suit was filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

“He owed us autographs and appearances, but he was not willing to do that,” CEO Brandon Steiner said by phone. “He thought he could blow us off.”

Molina’s agent, Melvin Roman, said Tuesday he would have detailed comments on the lawsuit later in the day.

“We will throw out our side of the story. We haven’t done anything wrong,” he said.

Steiner, whose company markets athletes, creates collectables and licenses products, said he was disappointed Molina would not fulfill his contractual obligations to make appearances and sign autographs, especially “after we had paid him all the money.”

Steiner’s attorney, Richard Roth, said his client “asked, pleaded, begged and did everything in its power to get him to sign autographs and he refused.”

Sabean, Bochy back in S.F.

San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean, the longest-tenured GM in baseball after completing his 13th season with the Giants, and manager Bruce Bochy each received two-year contract extensions with a club option after meeting with managing general partner Bill Neukom.

Both men expected to return, but Neukom had said he would wait until the end of the season to make a decision after sitting down to debrief on the year.

While the Giants missed the playoffs for a sixth straight season, they were in the NL wild-card chase well into September and at 88-74 won 16 more games than in 2008.

Short hops

Television ratings for baseball’s division series were up from last season with the 13 games on TBS averaging a 3.1 rating, up 11 percent from last year. TBS said it had its most-viewed week in the 33-year history of the network. … Washington Nationals closer Mike MacDougal had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip and is expected to be fully recovered by spring training. He is scheduled to begin a throwing program within about two month. … The Padres have outrighted right-hander Josh Geer, outfielder Drew Macias, infielder Luis Rodriguez and catcher Eliezer Alfonzo to Triple-A Portland. Rodriguez and Alfonzo elected to become free agents.

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