Sports briefs 6/22/05

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Baseball

* The Kansas City Royals recalled right-hander Jonah Bayliss from Class AA Wichita on Tuesday, and moved first baseman Ken Harvey to the 60-day disabled list.

Bayliss, 24, has no major league experience and was 1-2 with six saves for Wichita.

"He's going to go in the middle somewhere," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "Probably earlier in the game than later."

Harvey, an All-Star last season, was put on the 15-day disabled list May 19 because of recurring back problems. In 22 games this season, Harvey is hitting .222 with one home run and five RBIs.

College

* Linas Kleiza, Missouri's leading scorer and rebounder last season, will leave his name on the selection list for this month's NBA draft.

Tuesday was the last day undergraduate players could withdraw from the selection process and return to their respective college teams. But Kleiza and Tiger coach Quin Snyder made the player's departure official Tuesday in a joint statement.

"The opportunity to play for an NBA franchise has always been a dream of mine," said Kleiza, a 6-foot-8 Lithuanian. He averaged 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds last season as a sophomore.

"This has been his dream," Snyder said. "And really, everybody wins. The Tigers, Linas."

Kleiza still had not hired an agent but was expected to do so before the June 28 draft. He attended the NBA's pre-draft camp in Chicago and has worked out for about 10 NBA teams.

* University of Dayton guard Trent Meacham was granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer to the University of Illinois, Dayton said Tuesday.

It will be a homecoming for Meacham, who is from Champaign and played at Centennial High School. His father, Stu, played for Illinois for one season.

"I love it at Dayton, but you have to understand, I grew up my whole life following Illinois basketball," Meacham told The (Champaign) News-Gazette Tuesday. "I always wanted to play here."

Meacham averaged 6.4 points and 2.7 assists off the bench as a freshman last season. He shot .459 from 3-point range.

Football

* The New Orleans Saints, looking to improve at wide receiver, signed a one-year contract with free agent Az-Zahir Hakim on Tuesday.

"He is an established player who has shown he can be an important part of an offense throughout his career. We wanted to add a proven veteran to the mix at the position and we have with this move," general manager Mickey Loomis said Tuesday.

Hakim, 28, is expected to compete with second-year player Devery Henderson, among others, to be the Saints' third receiver. The Saints have been looking to add a veteran receiver for several weeks. Jerome Pathon was cut after last season.

Hakim had agreed to a contract with the Kansas City Chiefs last week and even practiced with the team, but the deal fell through.

He has a one-year contract with the Saints. Both the team and his agent Bruce Tollner refused to say how much Hakim will earn. Tollner did say the Saints were paying Hakim more than the veteran minimum of $665,000.

Hockey

* The Chicago Blackhawks hired Dale Tallon as their new general manager Tuesday, and he wasted no time firing coach Brian Sutter.

"I've thought about this long and hard for the last six weeks," Tallon said. "This is not about the past, it's about the future.

"I want to start with a fresh sheet of ice, a clean slate, and move forward into the future."

Under Sutter, the Blackhawks were 91-118-37 in three seasons, and made the playoffs once, in 2001-02. The NHL lockout canceled the 2004-05 season.

Motorsports

* Formula One's governing body has charged the seven teams using Michelin tires with damaging the sport's image by pulling out of this past weekend's United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis.

The FIA, which has summoned the seven teams to a June 29 hearing in Paris, charged each team with a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

The FIA released copies Tuesday of letters it sent to Renault, McLaren-Mercedes, Toyota, Williams-BMW, BAR-Honda, Sauber and Red Bull.

The charges include failing to ensure they had a suitable set of tires, wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to start the race, wrongfully refusing to allow their cars to race subject to a speed restriction and combining with other teams "to make a demonstration damaging to the image of Formula One by pulling into the pits immediately before the start of the race."

The teams also were accused of failing to notify stewards of their intention not to race.

Possible sanctions include fines, docked points or even an order to pay compensation.

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