Sports briefs 5/27/04

Thursday, May 27, 2004


  • Outfielder Tom Goodwin and right-hander Todd Wellemeyer could be the latest Chicago Cubs to join the team's rapidly expanding disabled list. Goodwin has a right groin strain and Wellemeyer strained his right shoulder. Both are expected to return to Chicago today for evaluation by team doctors.

    Kerry Wood (triceps), Sammy Sosa (back) and Kent Mercker (back) were put on the DL last week, joining Mark Prior (Achilles' tendon), Mark Grudzielanek (Achilles' tendon), Alex Gonzalez (broken wrist) and Ryan Dempster (rehab from elbow surgery).


  • The Orlando Magic won the NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday night, giving hope to Tracy McGrady and company after a league-low 21 wins last season.

    The No. 1 pick is not obvious this year with Connecticut center Emeka Okafor and Atlanta high school star Dwight Howard mentioned prominently.

    The Los Angeles Clippers made the biggest move in the lottery jumping from the fifth pick to No. 2. Chicago slipped from No. 2 to No. 3. The expansion Charlotte Bobcats were assured of the fourth pick. Washington, which had the third best chance of getting the No. 1 pick, slipped to No. 5.

    Tracy McGrady will not play for the U.S. men's basketball team at the Olympics, U.S. coach Larry Brown said Wednesday. McGrady joins Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Elton Brand and Kenyon Martin among players who have withdrawn from the team or have told the selection committee they would not accept invitations. Brown indicated McGrady's decision to get married influenced the player's decision.

    College football

  • The president of the University of Colorado has decided to reinstate suspended football coach Gary Barnett, the Rocky Mountain News reported Wednesday. The school scheduled a news conference for today to make an announcement about its football program. President Betsy Hoffman and Chancellor Richard Byyny will discuss "decisions related to the athletic department and football program," the school said in a statement. No other details were provided.


  • Vijay Singh's ambition is clear: He wants to overtake Tiger Woods for the top ranking.

    "I've made it a goal that I want to finish my career having been ranked No. 1 in the world at least once," he said.

    The 41-year-old Singh, who is ranked No. 2 and has won three times on the U.S. tour this year, is competing at this week's Volvo PGA Championship in England. Singh trails Woods by 2.27 points. Because of the complex calculations tied into the ranking system, not even a victory this week would propel him past Woods. Instead, he will have to try to beat the best Europe can offer -- including No. 3 Ernie Els -- when play opens today in the flagship event of the European tour.

    Singh led the U.S. tour in earnings last year, though Woods was voted Player of the Year by fellow players.

    "That was a disappointing loss, you can say," Singh said. "I thought I did enough to win that and everybody said they thought I should have won. At the same time, they are the ones who voted."


  • The Florida Panthers hired Jacques Martin as their new coach and their former coach Mike Keenan as their general manager Wednesday.

    Martin -- fired last month by the Ottawa Senators -- replaces interim coach John Torchetti, while Keenan replaced Rick Dudley, who fired him after a turbulent two-year reign as coach 6 1/2 months ago.

    Martin is the team's fourth coach in less than seven months -- a revolving door that began to spin when Keenan was fired Nov. 9. Dudley replaced Keenan, compiling a 13-15-9-3 record before turning the team over to his assistant, Torchetti. He went 10-12-4-1.

    Dudley lobbied owner Alan Cohen to hire Torchetti on a permanent basis. Cohen, instead, fired Dudley on Monday.

    Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis was honored as player of the year Tuesday by The Sporting News, which also gave top honors to the Lightning's coach and general manager.

    St. Louis led Tampa Bay to the best record in the Eastern Conference. He had an NHL-best 94 points during the regular season.

    Lightning coach John Tortorella was named coach of the year, and Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster was cited as the top executive.


  • Rusty, rattled and still recovering from a viral ailment, top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne lost Wednesday in the second round of the French Open. The Belgian's bid for a second straight Roland Garros title ended when she was upset by Tathiana Garbin 7-5, 6-4. Henin-Hardenne's departure matched the earliest by a defending women's champion.

    Also eliminated was No. 2-seeded Andy Roddick, who lost to Frenchman Olivier Mutis 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. Roddick is 1-3 at Roland-Garros.

    -- From wire reports

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