Sports briefs 2/4/04

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Baseball

  • The Dodgers have expressed interest in Greg Maddux, with pitching coach Jim Colborn speaking with the future Hall of Fame right-hander. Maddux, who turns 38 in April, has won 289 major league games, including 15 or more in a record 16 straight seasons. He was 16-11 with a 3.96 ERA for the Atlanta Braves last year, then became a free agent. The Chicago Cubs made a two-year offer to Maddux last month and remain interested.

    Mitch Williams resigned Tuesday as manager of the Atlantic City Surf. The former Philadelphia reliever, known as "Wild Thing," left the Atlantic League team "to pursue other business opportunities," the Surf said.

    Talks for a baseball World Cup have become bogged down by drug testing rules. Baseball's international governing body will not sanction a World Cup unless there is testing that meets Olympic guidelines, a decision that complicates plans to launch a tournament in March 2005. Cuba would not participate in a tournament that is not approved by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), and the Japanese commissioner's office was noncommittal. IBAF officials informed major league baseball of the stance during a meeting last month. "We can't have a competition without anti-doping tests," IBAF president Aldo Notari said. Baseball Talks between the commissioner's office and the Major League Baseball Players Association are ongoing. The union generally has opposed IOC drug testing rules.

    Basketball

  • LeBron James was not among the 14 reserves announced Tuesday for the All-Star game, the talented rookie getting outpolled in voting by Eastern Conference coaches who instead selected guards Paul Pierce, Michael Redd, Baron Davis and Jason Kidd. "Not making it just tells me I've got to work harder," said James, one of only four players leaguewide averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. "I've been earning a lot of things this year -- earning the respect of players, the respect of refs. That's another thing I've got to earn, to be a part of the elite group." Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers was among the Western Conference reserves for the league's showcase event Feb. 15 in Los Angeles. Other West reserves are Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, Peja Stojakovic and Brad Miller of Sacramento, Sam Cassell of Minnesota, Andrei Kirilenko of Utah and Ray Allen of Seattle. The other East reserves are Jamaal Magloire of New Orleans, Ron Artest of Indiana and Kenyon Martin of New Jersey.

    College

  • Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher has asked member schools not to schedule Alabama A&M for any future athletic competitions because the school broke its football contract with Jacksonville State. In a Jan. 26 letter to the league's athletic directors, Steinbrecher said A&M acted in an "unprofessional and noncollegial manner" in backing out of the final two years of a contract with JSU. "From my perspective, when another institution treats one of our member institutions poorly, it treats all of our member institutions poorly," Steinbrecher wrote.

    A federal judge asked the Alabama Supreme Court for guidance Tuesday in deciding if Sports Illustrated can be forced to reveal confidential sources used in a story about former Alabama football coach Mike Price. U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith ruled earlier that an Alabama law protecting newspaper, television and radio reporters from being forced to reveal sources doesn't extend its protection to magazine writers. Time Inc., which owns Sports Illustrated, appealed the ruling, saying the judge should ask the Alabama Supreme Court whether the state law protects magazines along with other news organizations.

    Football

  • Five weeks removed from asking for an executive position with the Miami Dolphins and only three weeks after accepting the senior vice president job created solely for him, Dan Marino resigned and left the team he quarterbacked for 17 seasons. As recently as Sunday, Marino denied reports saying he was having second thoughts about assuming control of the Dolphins' football operations. But on Tuesday, he made an unannounced visit to owner Wayne Huizenga's office and quit, spurning attempts the owner made to change his mind. He planned to leave his analyst jobs at CBS Sports and HBO to come back to the Dolphins, beginning a full-time role next week.

    -- From wire reports

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