Sports briefs 8/20/04

Friday, August 20, 2004


  • White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for two more games and fined $2,000 by the commissioner's office Thursday for calling umpire Hunter Wendelstedt a liar. Guillen originally was suspended two games and fined $1,000 for arguing during an Aug. 9 game against Cleveland. The manager was ejected after the first inning for arguing with Wendelstedt after Carlos Lee was called out trying to steal second base.

    Guillen finished serving that suspension Wednesday night, but before Wednesday's game, he told reporters he had a problem with some aspects of Wendelstedt's report to the commissioner's office. He called Wendelstedt a liar.

  • The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Elmer Dessens to Los Angeles on Thursday, the Dodgers' second deal for a pitcher since finding out this week that reliever Darren Dreifort was facing season-ending surgery. The NL West-leading Dodgers sent minor league outfielder Jereme Milons to the Diamondbacks for Dessens and cash considerations. Dreifort was put on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday. Dessens, 33, was 1-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 38 games this season, including nine starts. The right-hander was much more effective in relief, posting a 2.03 ERA with two saves in that role.

  • The Tampa Bay Devil Rays signed first baseman-designated hitter Randall Simon, who was released by Pittsburgh on Saturday. He hit just .194 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 61 games with the Pirates. Simon, 29, has a career batting average of .285 in 506 games.


  • Once proud to proclaim itself as the gridiron hub of an entire region, the city of Birmingham's 77-year-old Legion Field is in such disrepair it's no longer safe to use the 9,000-seat upper deck, which has structural problems. With renovation or repair unlikely, the city and the University of Alabama on Thursday said they were ending their contract, meaning the Crimson Tide would no longer play any home games at the 81,000-seat stadium. "The Crimson Tide has played some of its greatest football at Legion Field, and Alabama fans will forever enjoy fond memories of those wonderful games," athletic director Mal Moore said in a statement.

    Alabama moved most of its big games to its on-campus stadium in Tuscaloosa years ago, but the university's contract with the city called for a few smaller games to be played at Legion Field. The Tide was next scheduled to play in Birmingham in 2005, against Middle Tennessee State, and 2008 against Northern Illinois.

    With the agreement to end the contract because of the stadium's condition, all home games will be shifted to 83,818-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. It will be the first time Alabama has played all its home games in Tuscaloosa since 1899.

  • A state grand jury Thursday wrapped up its investigation into the sex-and-alcohol recruiting scandal in the Colorado football program. There was no immediate word on whether the panel handed up any criminal indictments.

    Nine women have said they were raped by Colorado football players or recruits since 1997; three filed federal lawsuits against the university. Prosecutors have not filed any sexual assault charges, citing concerns about the evidence and the reluctance of the women to pursue the cases.


  • Pittsburgh Steelers right guard Kendall Simmons will miss the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, leaving the Steelers short on an offensive line already lacking depth. An MRI exam Thursday revealed the seriousness of the injury. Simmons was hurt in practice Wednesday.

  • A test on Jacksonville Jaguars rookie linebacker Jorge Cordova's knee showed damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, and the third-round draft choice will be out for the season. Cordova will be placed on injured reserve and have reconstructive surgery.

    -- From wire reports

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