Sports briefs 2/25/05

Friday, February 25, 2005

Baseball

* Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne sprained a ligament in his left knee Thursday during the team's first full-squad workout of spring training, and will undergo an MRI exam.

Gagne didn't seem particularly concerned, but trainer Stan Johnston said the 29-year-old right-hander probably will have his activity limited for about a week. Johnston said the injury needs about six weeks to fully heal.

* Dave Stieb and Steve Rogers, the all-time winningest pitchers for the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos, were selected for induction to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Charles (Pop) Smith, who played in 1,112 major league games from 1880-91, and longtime trainer Harold (Doc) Younker will join them in hall.

Basketball

* Miami Heat All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal has a mildly sprained left knee and might play Saturday against the Orlando Magic. An MRI exam confirmed a very mild sprain, the team said Thursday.

O'Neal, a 12-time All-Star, is averaging 22.7 points -- on an NBA-best 59.9 percent from the field -- and 10.4 rebounds this season.

Colleges

* Coach Ceal Barry, the winningest coach in the history of the University of Colorado, will retire after the end of her worst season in 22 years at the school, the Daily Camera reported Thursday.

Barry will take an administrative job in the athletic department, the newspaper reported. The Buffaloes lost their school-record 10th game in row, 80-43 at No. 13 Texas on Wednesday. Barry entered this season with a career record of 501-265

Football

* Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann has formed a campaign committee to raise money for a potential run for governor in 2006.

Swann named his committee Team 88, the number he wore as a wide receiver for the Steelers from 1974-82 when the team won three Super Bowls.

Swann, who turns 53 next month, faces at least two prospective opponents in the GOP primary. The winner will take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell in November.

Hockey

* The Montreal Canadiens laid off an unspecified number of employees on Thursday, more than a week after the NHL season was canceled because of the lockout.

Team spokesman Dominick Saillant wouldn't disclose how many of the 140 full-time employees were let go, but communications coordinator Frederic Daigle was among those laid off.

Teams around the league have made different choices in the face of the lockout, some laying off staff in September and others reducing work weeks.

Tennis

* Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo defeated Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-2, 6-2 Thursday to move into the semifinals at the Qatar Open.

Mauresmo will face fourth-seeded Alicia Molik of Australia in today's semifinals, while Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova will play former top-five player Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia.

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