While the New York Yankees set another salary record, the Houston Astros had the lowest average in the major leagues in 14 years and the attention of the players' union.

The overall big-league average rose 5.4 percent this season to a record $3.39 million, according to the annual report released Wednesday by the Major League Baseball Players Association. The increase was the steepest since 2006.

The Yankees had the highest average for the 15th consecutive season at $8.17 million, breaking the mark of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009. The Los Angeles Dodgers were second at $7.82 million.

Houston's average of $549,603 was the smallest since the 1999 Kansas City Royals at $534,460. The Miami Marlins were 29th at $830,069, down from $3.77 million in 2012, when they ranked 10th.

Looking for catching depth after losing Brian McCann to free agency, the Atlanta Braves acquired Ryan Doumit from the Minnesota Twins for lefthander Sean Gilmartin.

A person familiar with the situation said the San Diego Padres have agreed with former Detroit Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit on a $15.5 million, two-year contract. In his first season as Tigers closer, Benoit had 24 saves in 26 chances.

COLLEGES Jackson State fired football coach Rick Comegy after eight seasons.

Comegy had a 55-35 record during his tenure and he led the Tigers to the 2007 Southwestern Athletic Conference championship. Jackson State had an 8-4 record this season, including an 8-1 mark in the SWAC. The Tigers lost to Southern in the SWAC championship game 34-27 in double overtime.

OLYMPICS Heather Mills, the former wife of Beatles singer Paul McCartney, has spent the last two years mounting a serious effort to qualify for the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Now, it seems, her quest to make the British ski team has ended.

Mills, who had her left leg amputated below the knee after a 1993 accident, announced that she has suffered an injury related to friction with her prosthetic and will not be able to compete in the Games.

Olympic bronze medalist and three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers of Australia has tested positive for clenbuterol after racing in China.

SOCCER Pope Francis celebrated his beloved San Lorenzo's victory in the Argentine soccer championship, congratulating team members, reminiscing about going to the stadium as a child and hoisting up the team's trophy in St. Peter's Square for all to see.

Club members gave Francis the trophy and the glove goalie Sebastian Torrico used to block the ball in the final minute of Sunday's 0-0 draw with Velez Sarsfield, securing the title.

A labor court has allowed construction to resume at the World Cup stadium where a man fell 115 feet to his death while working on a roofing structure in the jungle city of Manaus.

Construction in all areas where workers had to be high above the ground was halted Sunday, a day after the second worker's death at the Arena Amazonia. The stadium will host four World Cup matches next June.

- Inquirer wire services