Sports briefs 11/26/03

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


  • The Cubs added some power to their lineup Tuesday, acquiring Derrek Lee from the Florida Marlins for Hee Seop Choi and a minor leaguer to be named.

    Lee hit .271 with 31 homers, 92 RBIs and 21 steals last season for the World Series champion Marlins. Lee has 20 homers in each of his last four seasons and has 40 steals over the last two years -- the most by any first baseman in the majors.

    Lee also is considered one of the game's best defensive first basemen, and he won his first Gold Glove this year.

    Gary Sheffield had an informal meeting with the Yankees, who may be interested in signing the free-agent outfielder. Sheffield came across several Yankees' officials at the Buccaneers' game against the Giants on Monday night. His agent, Rufus Williams, said it was an informal conversation. Sheffield is talking with several teams, Williams said.


  • Scott Skiles is game if the Bulls are. The former Suns coach has had "some discussions" with Bulls general manager John Paxson about the team's coaching vacancy, Skiles' agent, Keith Glass, said.

    "Certainly we're interested -- Scott's interested. And I think they're interested," Glass said.

    Paxson wasn't available for comment Tuesday. But Skiles is believed to be the frontrunner to replace Bill Cartwright, who was fired Monday because of the team's dismal start.

    Bulls guard Scottie Pippen left Tuesday night's game at Dallas after taking an elbow to the face, and didn't return in the second half of the Bulls' 124-98 loss. Pippen fell to the floor, and was down for several minutes. He was helped up and then walked away under his own power. He wasn't bleeding, but appeared groggy as he went to the locker room with about two minutes to go in the second quarter.


  • Frank Solich said he has no problem with Nebraska athletic director Steve Pederson's silence regarding speculation about his future as the Cornhuskers' head football coach. Solich said at his weekly news conference that he is "fine with how Steve is handling this." Solich said Pederson told him before the season that he would wait until after the team's last game to evaluate him and his assistant coaches. Solich said Pederson obviously is holding to that statement.

    Michigan running back Chris Perry was named the Big Ten offensive player of the year Tuesday, and Ohio State defensive end Will Smith took defensive honors. Michigan State coach John L. Smith was named conference coach of the year by the media for doubling the Spartans' wins in his first year.

    Perry rushed for a career-high 1,589 yards and 17 touchdowns this year, leading the Big Ten with 132.4 yards rushing per game. Will Smith had 10 1/2 sacks this year, two shy of his total for his first three seasons combined. He also had 20 tackles for loss and was the leader of an Ohio State defense that allowed less than 61 yards rushing per game, second-best in the country.


  • A magnetic resonance imaging test on quarterback Chris Chandler's sore right shoulder was negative, and he's listed as day-to-day with a shoulder sprain, the Bears said.

    Warrick Dunn's season ended when the Falcons placed their leading rusher on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his left foot. Dunn had to be carried off the field early in the fourth quarter of the Falcons' 38-31 loss to Tennessee on Sunday. Coach Dan Reeves said Monday that Dunn initially got hurt during his 162-yard rushing effort in a 23-20 overtime loss at New Orleans the previous week.

    A reputed gang member was convicted of attempted murder in connection with a drive-by shooting that wounded Bengals cornerback Dennis Weathersby. Juan Serna, 26, of Baldwin Park, was found guilty by a jury of trying to murder Weathersby and a second man. Serna also was convicted of two counts of shooting from a motor vehicle and a count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Serna faces multiple life terms at his sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 17.

    Broncos coach Mike Shanahan suspended defensive tackle Daryl Gardener two additional games following critical comments on a radio show.

    During his one-game suspension last week, Gardener said Shanahan's decision was a "power move" and called it "stupid." Shanahan responded by suspending him for Sunday's game at Oakland and a December 7 contest against Kansas City.

    The Broncos said Gardener's public comments put him in violation of the obligation in paragraph two of every NFL player contract to give his "best efforts and loyalty to the club."

    -- From wire reports

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