Sports briefs 1/28/04

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Baseballn Kazuhiro Sasaki signed papers to terminate his contract and was put on waivers Tuesday by the Seattle Mariners.

Sasaki, the team's career saves leader, is walking away from a guaranteed $8.5 million. He has said he wants to remain in Japan with his wife and two children. If Sasaki clears waivers later this week, which is expected, the Mariners would give him his unconditional release.

  • Dodgers second baseman Alex Cora broke his right arm playing in the Puerto Rican winter league and was expected to be sidelined four-to-six weeks. The Dodgers also announced they had signed pitcher Jose Lima and infielder Jose Hernandez to minor league contracts.

  • A minor league pitcher who killed a popular osprey with a baseball last year cannot pay his way out of performing community service, a judge ruled Tuesday. An attorney for Jae Kuk Ryu had requested that his client pay the standard state rate of $10 an hour rather than do the 100 hours of work he agreed to in a plea deal in August. If Ryu is unable to complete his community service by then and state prosecutors decide to pursue additional charges, they will have to prove that Ryu "willfully" avoided his court-ordered service, Worthen said. Ryu, 20, knocked the bird from its perch at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach before a game in the Class A Florida State League on April 21. The bird, nicknamed "Ozzy" by fans, was blinded in its right eye and died six days later. Following public outcry over the incident, the Cubs demoted Ryu to the Lansing Lugnuts of the lower-level Midwest League.


    Jamal Mashburn was activated from the injured list Tuesday by the New Orleans Hornets after a prolonged, isolated rehabilitation following knee surgery. He'll play his first game of the season tonight against Milwaukee. Mashburn hurt his right knee early in training camp and had surgery to remove loose particles. He rehabilitated in Miami, staying away from the Hornets for their first 44 games. At 25-19, the Hornets are tied for third place in the Central Division.


  • Senior forward Josh Graham has been dismissed from the Morehead State basketball team, coach Kyle Macy announced. A statement from the school said Graham was dismissed for unspecified "conduct detrimental to the team." A native of Flemingsburg, Graham played three seasons at Virginia Commonwealth before transferring to Morehead State. He had played in 16 games and was averaging 3.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

  • Louisville coach Rick Pitino might miss only one game after treatment for an undisclosed condition that has caused him pain for months. Pitino, 51, said Monday he was taking an indefinite leave of absence to determine the cause of the "urological-related" pain in his left side. He underwent tests at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday and was optimistic about returning to work in less than a week. "I hope to be back coaching by this weekend and resuming full responsibility with our team," Pitino said in a statement. "It is not a cancer-related or life-threatening matter." Assistant coach Kevin Willard is leading the team in Pitino's absence. The No. 4 Cardinals (15-1) have home games with Houston on Wednesday and Marquette on Saturday.

  • Texas coach Mack Brown reached into the ranks of the NFL and to a former Division I head coach for help in shoring up the Longhorns defense in pursuit of elusive Big 12 and national titles. Texas hired former Kansas City Chiefs assistant Greg Robinson as co-defensive coordinator. Former Hawaii and Arizona coach Dick Tomey, who spent last season as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, was hired as assistant head coach with duties coaching defensive ends.


  • Laura Davies will play in the men's ANZ Championship next month, tournament officials said Wednesday. The Feb. 12-15 tournament at Horizons Golf Resort north of Sydney will mark the first appearance by a female players in an event sanctioned by the European and Australasian tour. Davies, the ANZ Ladies Masters champion who has won almost 50 international titles, played in her first men's tournament in October, missing the cut by four strokes in the Korean Open.

    -- From wire reports

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