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Sports Update

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Nov. 20 -- In Sports from United Press International

Hammonds announces retirement Minnesota Timberwolves forward Tom Hammonds announced his retirement Monday after 12 injury-plagued seasons in the NBA.

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Hammonds had not played in 2001-02. Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale made the announcement Monday evening, saying the move was "in the interest of both parties," then waived him.

The 34-year-old Hammonds has been suffering from constant inflammation in his ankles. The condition, known as bilateral synovitis, limited him to only seven games last season.

Hammonds played parts of four seasons with the Timberwolves his fourth NBA team. He averaged 5.3 points in 687 NBA games, also playing for Washington, Charlotte and Denver.

Hammonds had his best season in 1991-92, averaging 11.9 points. Typically, it was in abbreviated action as he played only 37 games. He missed more than 150 games with Minnesota and played a full season just once in 12 years.

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Bonds wins record 4th NL MVP Barry Bonds Monday won an uprecedented fourth National League Most Valuable Player Award, capping one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history.

The San Francisco Giants left fielder broke Mark McGwires single-season home run record with 73 while besting Babe Ruth en route to setting new single-season standards for walks (177) and slugging percentage (.863).

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Bonds received 30 of the 32 first-place votestwo from each NL cityand 438 points in the balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs received the other two first-place votes.

With the retirement of McGwire, Bonds has assumed the role as the games top active slugger and has fans and the media talking about a pursuit of Hank Aarons all-time home run record of 755.

Adding to the drama, Bonds is a free agent Tuesday and sure to draw his share of attention from teams around the league.

The 37-year-old Bonds becomes the third-oldest player to win an MVP award. Willie Stargell of Pittsburgh was 39 in 1979 and pitcher Dennis Eckersley of Oakland was 38 in 1992.

Bonds became the second consecutive Giant to win the award after second baseman Jeff Kent was honored in 2000. Bonds won the award in 1993 with San Francisco and in 1992 and 1990 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. 0-

Miami strengthens BCS bid Miami widened its lead for second place in the latest Bowl Championship Series poll and remained on course to play in college footballs national title game.

In the latest ratings, released Monday, the Hurricanes 9-0) increased their lead over defending national champion Oklahoma from 0.58 to 2.88 points.

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Nebraska (10-0) remained first in the ratings for the fourth straight week with a mark of 2.87 points. Miami, which routed Syracuse, 59-0, on Saturday, is second with a 5.25 mark.

The top two teams in the final BCS poll, released Dec. 9, will play for the national title in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 3.

Nebraska remains in the drivers seat to play in the national championship game, although the Cornhuskers could be challenged in their regular-season finale at Colorado on Friday as well as in a possible date in the Big 12 Conference title game, possibly against Oklahoma (10-1), which has 8.13 points in this weeks poll.

Florida (9-1) and Oregon (9-1) swapped places this week, with Florida moving to fourth with 9.95. The Gators, idle until a Dec. 1 game with Tennessee, remain in the national title chasebut need a team above them to lose.

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Lions place Boyd on Injured Reserve The Detroit Lions on Monday placed veteran linebacker Stephen Boyd on injured reserve, ending his season.

The Lions also signed running back Aveion Cason, who has been with St. Louis and Kansas City during his rookie year.

Boyd started the first four games of 2001 at middle linebacker but was inactive for the next five due to a strained back suffered against Minnesota on October 14. He was leading the team with 34 tackles.

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Detroits starter in the middle since 1997, Boyd led the team in tackles from 1997-2000, making the Pro Bowl the past two years. His 192 tackles in 1997 is the second-best total in franchise history.

Cason was signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State and returned kicks in their season opener. He was released on September 27 and signed to the Chiefs practice squad on October 3.

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Ravens DE undergoes knee surgery The Baltimore Ravens will be without their best pass rusher for at least the next two games as defensive end Michael McCrary, the team leader with eight sacks, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday and will be sidelined three-to-four weeks.

McCrary, 31, will miss Baltimores next games against Jacksonville and Indianapolis. Since the Ravens have a bye the following week, they are hoping that McCrary will be able to return for a December 16 contest against the first-place Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2), who lead Baltimore (6-4) in the AFC Central.

A two-time Pro Bowler, McCrary is one of the quickest ends in the league. He shined in the playoff spotlight last season, recording six sacks in four postseason games, including two in Baltimores Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants.

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Packers lose defensive leader The Green Bay Packers will be without their defensive leader indefinitely after safety LeRoy Butler suffered a broken left shoulder blade in Sundays game with the Atlanta Falcons, the Packers announced Monday.

Making his 128th consecutive start, Butler suffered the injury in the first half of Sundays 23-20 loss to the Falcons.

Losing Butler would be a significant blow for th Packers, who rank second in the NFL in total defense. At 33, the 12th-year veteran is the clubs oldest defensive player.

The loss of Butler was immediately felt in the third quarter on Sunday when his replacement, Chris Akins, committed a costly roughing penalty that kept an Atlanta drive alive that eventually resulted in a touchdown, putting the Packers in a 23-13 hole.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Butlers string of consecutive starts dates to the 1994 season. He has played in 195 games in his career, the most among defensive backs in Green Bay history and collected 39 interceptions.

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Turek signs multi-year contract The St. Louis Blues may have lost their faith in Roman Turek, but the Calgary Flames have seen enough to make a commitment to the Czech Republic goaltender.

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The Flames announced on Monday they have signed Turek to a multi-year contract.

Terms were not disclosed, but the Calgary Sun reported that Turek, who was acquired by the Flames from the Blues on draft day, received a four-year contract worth about $19 million in U.S. dollars.

Turek, who had been elgible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, is among the league leaders with a 1.62 goals-against average, a .940 save percentage and a 13-2-2 record.

Turek, 31, spent two seasons with St. Louis but was traded after a shaky performance in last seasons Western Conference finals against Colorado.

The Flames sentgoalie Fred Brathwaite, left wing Sergei Varlamov, center Daniel Tkaczuk and a ninth-round pick to the Blues for Turek and a fourth-round selection.

Turek has beaten the Blues twice this season. On Saturday, Turek stopped 38 shots in a 2-0 win over St. Louis for his league-best fourth shutout of the season.

Behind Tureks superb play, the Flames are the NHLs biggest surprise with a 13-2-2-2 record and tied with Edmonton for first place in the Northwest Division.

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SMU sacks football coach Mike Cavans fourth straight losing season as football coach at Southern Methodist will be his last. SMU on Monday fired the 53-year-old Cavan, effective at the end of the season.

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The Mustangs are 3-6 overall and 3-4 in the Western Athletic Conference and have games left with Rice and North Carolina. SMU defeated Tulsa (1-9) on Saturday.

Cavan is 21-33 in five seasons at SMU. The Mustangs were 6-5 in 1997, the schools lone winning season since returning from the NCAA death penalty in 1989. SMU followed with records of 5-7, 4-6 and 3-9. Content: 15073000

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