Sports briefs 9/9/05

Friday, September 9, 2005


* Barry Bonds looked strong and limber while taking swings and running the bases in a pregame workout back home Thursday, but the San Francisco Giants don't expect their star slugger to return before the weekend.

Bonds, who hasn't played this season after three surgeries on his troublesome right knee since Jan. 31, faced 21 pitches from Giants right-hander Kevin Correia split into two sessions in a simulated game. He took just one swing at the first seven pitches, but hit the first pitch of the second session out of the park.


* Red Auerbach, the president and former coach of the Boston Celtics, has been hospitalized in Washington with an undisclosed health problem.

The 87-year-old coaching great has been in and out of the hospital the past month for tests and a successful surgical procedure, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said Thursday. Twiss would not identify the procedure or the hospital and said Auerbach was readmitted for an unspecified problem within the last 10 days.


* Longtime St. Louis Blues defenseman Al MacInnis plans to announce Friday that he is retiring after missing last season because of the lockout and most of the previous season with eye injuries, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on its Web site,

A news conference is planned for 2:30 p.m. Friday.

* The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't want Sidney Crosby to miss even a minute of their first training camp in two years. The NHL's labor agreement made it all but certain he wouldn't.

The Penguins will hold a news conference today to announce the No. 1 draft pick has signed his first NHL contract, a formality since the new labor deal limits his first-year compensation to $850,000 in salary and $850,000 in bonuses.


* It isn't much of a surprise, but it looks like Mark Martin's retirement from NASCAR's Nextel Cup series is going to be postponed for a year.

In the afterglow of a victory in Thursday night's IROC race at Richmond International Raceway, Martin said it appears he will be back in Jack Roush's No. 6 Ford next season, after all.

"It really looks like I'm going to be in the 6 car next year," Martin said. "It's looking more and more like that all the time."

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