BaseballThe Yankees and Twins have started trade talks involving lefthanded ace Johan Santana. Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said yesterday that discussions are ongoing but it was too early to tell whether they would lead to a deal. Santana is eligible for free agency after the 2008 season, and the Twins have been trying to sign the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner to an extension. Asked whether the Twins had said they would consider a trade, Steinbrenner responded: "Oh yeah." Santana, 28, has a 93-44 record with a 3.22 ERA in eight major league seasons and is owed $13.25 million next year.
Raines, Justice join list of Hall hopefulsTim Raines and David Justice are among 11 first-time candidates on the baseball writers' 2008 Hall of Fame ballot, joining Mark McGwire, Rich Gossage, Jim Rice, and 11 other holdovers eligible to be elected Jan. 8. Gossage is the likeliest candidate to be enshrined in Cooperstown, having fallen 21 votes shy of the necessary 75 percent last year. Rice, who is on the ballot for just two more years, was 63 votes short last year. Other notable holdovers include Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Lee Smith, and Jack Morris. The other first-time candidates, who must reach 5 percent to remain on the ballot, are Brady Anderson, Rod Beck, Shawon Dunston, Chuck Finley, Travis Fryman, Chuck Knoblauch, Robb Nen, Jose Rijo, and Todd Stottlemyre . . . Barry Bonds's personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was one of four men who asked a federal judge for permission to keep sensitive court documents detailing drug use among elite athletes, including the slugger's grand jury testimony at the heart of his perjury case. US District Court Judge Susan Illston on Sept. 11 ordered the four to return or destroy the documents they received after they were charged in 2004 with operating a steroids ring centered at the now-defunct Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
Wood re-signs with Cubs for one yearKerry Wood agreed to a $4.2 million, one-year deal to return to the Chicago Cubs, spurning what general manager Jim Hendry said were numerous multiyear offers elsewhere. Wood, who made the switch to the bullpen last season after a swift recovery from shoulder problems, went 1-1 last season with a 3.33 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He didn't join the team until Aug. 5 . . . Indians reliever Juan Lara remained hospitalized in critical condition with a head injury sustained in an accident that killed two people in the Dominican Republic. Lara, 26, who pitched in one game for Cleveland last season, was returning from a winter league game Saturday night in San Pedro de Macoris when the sports utility vehicle he was driving was hit by a motorcycle, killing its rider and passenger.
Northeastern improves poll positionNortheastern (6-4-1), which defeated Boston College, 4-3, in overtime Friday night at Conte Forum, climbed from 20th to 16th in the USCHO.com/CSTV Division 1 men's ice hockey poll. Meanwhile, the Eagles (3-4-5) slipped from 14th to 19th. New Hampshire (7-2-1) climbed two spots to No. 6, UMass (6-3-4) fell one notch to 11th, and Harvard (6-4-1) rose three spots to 15th. Miami (Ohio) held on to the No. 1 spot for the fifth straight week, receiving 44 of 50 first-place votes. The RedHawks are also first in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, while UNH is seventh, UMass 11th, Northeastern 12th, and Harvard 15th.
Tar Heels hang on to AP's top spotNorth Carolina held its slim lead over No. 2 UCLA in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll as the top five teams stayed the same from last week. The Tar Heels (5-0), who beat South Carolina State, Old Dominion, and BYU last week, received 28 first-place votes and 1,725 points from the national media panel. UCLA (6-0), despite losing one first-place vote from last week's 26, was again 9 points behind North Carolina. The Bruins beat Maryland, Michigan State, and Yale last week. Memphis (5-0) remained third, Kansas (5-0) fourth, and Georgetown (3-0) fifth . . . BC's Stefanie Murphy was named the women's Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the week. Murphy hit a buzzer-beater to help the Eagles beat Delaware, 53-51, and averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds in two games . . . Tennessee remained the No. 1 choice in the AP women's poll, again receiving all 50 first-places votes. UConn remained second.
Mavericks coach hit with $25,000 fineDallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson was fined $25,000 for his actions during a game against the Indiana Pacers last week. Johnson was cited for failing to leave the court in a timely manner and for verbal abuse of a game official, said Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations . . . An MRI on the surgically repaired right knee of Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin revealed only a bone bruise . . . Tennis's ruling body said it found no evidence that Germany's Tommy Haas was poisoned before a Davis Cup semifinal match in Moscow two months ago. The International Tennis Federation opened an investigation two weeks ago after Alexander Waske, a teammate of Haas, said he was told by a Russian tennis player's manager that he was poisoned . . . Herb McKenley, a Jamaican track legend who was one of the first two people from a Caribbean country to win Olympic medals, has died in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 85.
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