In Sports from United Press International
Nuggets waive Isiah Rider
DENVER, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Isaiah Rider may have reached the end of a troubled road Tuesday when he was waived by the Denver Nuggets, who activated swingman Calbert Cheaney.
Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe was quick to point out that Rider--also known as J.R.--was not being waived for any transgression or misstep, as has been the case in the past for the talented guard.
"It's unfortunate that we had to waive J.R. at this time," Vandeweghe said. "But we had to make this roster change. J.R. has been nothing but professional since he's been here."
Rider, 30, averaged 9.3 points on 46 percent shooting in 10 games, primarily as a backup. He played eight minutes in a 99-96 overtime win Monday over New Jersey, scoring four points.
Rider was signed to a one-year, $840,000 contract just before training camp. Although he was on his best behavior by all accounts, Nuggets coach Dan Issel indicated two weeks ago that Rider could be waived because he had been playing poorly.
The 6-5 Rider responded with games of 19 and 28 points but did not score in double figures again, also missing one game with a sprained ankle.
The Nuggets were the fifth team for Rider, who has teased NBA coaches and executives throughout his career with his terrific talent while infuriating them with his behavior on and off the court. Last season, Rider was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, who won their second straight title. However, he was nearly waived prior to the postseason before being made inactive for the playoffs. He became a free agent July 1 and drew very little interest.
The previous season, Rider was waived by the Atlanta Hawks as he opted for his release from the club rather than a suspension for missing a team shootaround. Earlier in the 1999-2000 campaign, he followed a loss to Indiana by sitting on the court by himself for 10 minutes, then launching into a profanity-laced tirade directed at his teammates, whom he said were laughing on the bench.
Rider missed a handful of practices and team flights and finally was waived on March 17. During his career, Rider has been arrested for punching a woman at a mall, marijuana possession and illegal possession of cellular telephones.
The 1994 Slam Dunk champion at All-Star Weekend, Rider also has played for Minnesota and Portland in an eight-year career. One of the better all-around offensive guards in the game, he has averaged 16.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 563 career games.
Goosen leads Woods by one
KAUAI, Hawaii, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Retief Goosen of South Africa carded a 6-under-par 66 on Tuesday for a one-shot lead over three-time defending champion Tiger Woods midway through the 36-hole PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
The unoffocial event gathers the season's four major winners.
Goosen won the most memorable of the Grand Slam events, claiming the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in an 18-hole playoff with Mark Brooks after double-bogeying the final hole of regulation.
The soft-spoken Goosen made over $1.17 million in just nine PGA Tour starts and won the Order of Merit on the European Tour with nearly $2.86 Euros. He is coming off a win at the World Golf Championships-World Cup in Japan, where he teamed with countryman Ernie Els to claim a four-way playoff.
In that event, Woods forced himself and teammate David Duval into the playoff with an eagle chip on the final hole of regulation. The Masters champion continued his solid play Tuesday, shooting a 5-under 67.
Duval, who claimed the British Open in July for his first major crown, stumbled to a 4-over 76 at the Poipu Bay Golf Club.
PGA Championship winner David Toms is third after carding a 68.
Browns players on marijuana charges
BEREA, Ohio, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Fullback Mike Sellers and cornerback Lamar Chapman of the Cleveland Browns were arrested Monday and charged with possession of marijuana.
According to police reports, two bags of marijuana were found in the glove compartment of Sellers' pickup truck after Sellers was stopped for swerving lanes on the city's west side on Monday night.
Chapman was in the passenger's seat and allegedly put a marijuana cigarette into a soda can.
Sellers, 26, signed as a free agent with Cleveland last March after spending three years with the Washington Redskins and has seven catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns, but no carries this season.
Chapman, 25, is out for the season after being placed on injured reserve. He played in seven games as a rookie last year.
Suzuki wins AL MVP Award
NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- After taking the major leagues by storm, Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki fittingly has won the American League Most Valuable Player Award, only the second rookie to win the MVP honor.
In a close election, the leadoff hitter who ignited the Seattle Mariners offense and won a Gold Glove for his play in right field beat Oakland Athletics slugger Jason Giambi, last year's winner, by eight points Tuesday.
Suzuki received 11-of-28 first-place votes and 289 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Giambi had eight first-place votes and 281 points.
The first Japanese position player to earn a spot on a major league roster, Suzuki joins 1975 American League winner Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox as the only players voted MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season.
The eight-point differential tied for the sixth tightest election in the 70-year history of American League voting. It equaled that of the 1995 vote when Boston first baseman Mo Vaughn defeated Cleveland Indians outfielder Albert Belle.
Second baseman Brett Boone, Suzuki's teammate, had seven first-place votes and finished third with 259 points. Second baseman Roberto Alomar of the Indians received the other two first-place votes and was fourth with 165 points followed by teammate Juan Gonzalez.
Mashburn has groin pull
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Forward Jamal Mashburn, the Charlotte Hornets' best all-around player, was placed on the injured list Tuesday with a pulled right groin muscle.
The team did not say when Mashburn suffered the injury. He played 41 minutes in Saturday's home loss to Portland.
No reciprocal move was made, meaning Mashburn could return to action before missing the mandatory five games.
In nine games, the 6-8 Mashburn averaged 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He was second on the team in scoring, third in rebounding and second in assists.
Mashburn, 28, is in his ninth NBA season and second with the Hornets. He also has played for Dallas and Miami and came into this season with career averages of 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 470 games.
Prior to last season, Mashburn was acquired from Miami in the Eddie Jones deal and averaged 20.1 points with career highs of 7.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 76 games before haunting his former team in a first-round playoff sweep.
Ravens defensive end out for season
OWINGS MILLS, Md., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The Baltimore Ravens will have to make due without their best pass rusher for the remainder of the season.
Defensive end Michael McCrary, the team leader with eight sacks, underwent left knee surgery Monday and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. McCrary had surgery to repair the osteochondral defect of his lateral fenoral condyles in the knee.
The Ravens originally announced McCrary would miss three to four weeks, but ruled him out for the rest of the season on Tuesday.
McCrary is the third Ravens' starter to be lost for the season, joining running back Jamal Lewis (knee) and offensive tackle Leon Searcy (triceps) on the sidelines.
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 Baltimore's Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants.
Free Agent market open for business
One day after winning an unprecented fourth National League Most Valuable Player Award, outfielder Barry Bonds was ready for suitors.
Baseball's free-agent signing period officially started when the clock struck midnight. With the feasibility of contraction for next season uncertain and no progress toward a new labor deal, most teams may proceed at a cautious spending pace.
However, with the likes of Bonds, Jason Giambi, Juan Gonzalez, Bret Boone, Tino Martinez and Moises Alou on the market, the big-market teams may again take advantage of their financial muscle.
The American League champion New York Yankees are reportedly prepared to give Giambi a multi-year contract worth more than $100 million.
Bonds capped one of the greatest offensive seasons in baseball history and received the National League Most Valuable Player Award on Monday, but at the age of 37 will probably not get a $100 million deal.
The San Francisco Giants left fielder broke Mark McGwire's 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). Bonds also led the league in on-base percentage (.515) and extra-base hits (107).
Davis Cup lineup set
LONDON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Lleyton Hewitt of Australia and Sebastien Grosjean of France will do battle in the Davis Cup Final later this month as teams were announced Tuesday by the International Tennis Federation.
Hewitt defeated Grosjean in the final of the Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney in a preview of Australia's encounter with France in the Davis Cup Final to be held on grass at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park from November 30-December 2.
In addition to Hewitt, the U.S. Open champion who finished the ATP season as the youngest No. 1 ever, Patrick Rafter and doubles players Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge will play for Australia, which is playing in its third straight final.
The Aussies defeated France in 1999 for its 27th cup victory but fell to Spain in last year's final.
Georgia lineman suffers stroke
ATLANTA, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- David Jacobs, a defensive lineman at the University of Georgia who suffered a stroke last week, was reported in stable condition Tuesday at Emory University Hosital.
Jacobs complained of dizziness and a severe headache after practice on Wednesday. During the course of a medical exam, his condition deteriorated, school officials said, and he was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Athens. A day later, he was airlifted to Emory Hospital to be close to his family and placed in the intensive care unit where he remained.
"I think it's exceedingly rare," said Ron Courson, the school's director of sports medicine. "He doesn't have any risk factors that you would typically associate with stroke."
According to Courson, the stroke has affected the right side of Jacobs' body and the ability to communicate. When Jacobs, a 2-year-old junior, is determined to be medically stable, he will be transferred to arehabilitation hospital to undergo "intensive" physical, occupational and speech therapies.