In Sports from United Press International

Dec. 21, 2001 at 12:26 AM
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Red Sox to change hands

BOSTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The Jean Yawkey Trust announced Thursday that all partners in the ownership of the Boston Red Sox had unanimously voted to sell the team to a group of investors led by John Henry, who once owned the Florida Marlins.

"I am delighted to recommend the John Henry Group to Major League Baseball as the next owner of the Red Sox," Boston CEO John Harrington said. "I am highly confident that, if approved by Major League Baseball, John Henry and his group will be outstanding owners who will carry on the Yawkey tradition of fielding a competitive team."

The price offered for the franchise, rumored to be $600 million, will break all records for the sale of a baseball team.

One of baseball's most stories franchises, the Red Sox have been in the Yawkey family since the Great Depression. The new ownership group is a mix and match of personalities, including Henry, Hollywood producer Tom Werner, former politician George Mitchell and the New York Times.

The team's rich history includes Cy Young and Ted Williams, but also includes no World Series titles since 1918 and the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees two years later.

Boston has appeared in four World Series since 1918, losing each in a decisive seventh game.

Dodgers sign Hideo Nomo

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- With questions surrounding nearly every member of their rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed veteran Hideo Nomo to a two-year contract Thursday.

The righthander will join his fifth team in as many years.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Nomo made $4.5 million with the Boston Red Sox last season, when he pitched his second career no-hitter and led the American League in walks and strikeouts.

Nomo had his best success with Los Angeles in the mid-1990s, going 45-36 with a 3.51 ERA in 106 games. The Japanese sensation captured Rookie of the Year honors in 1995 and tossed a no-hitter at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996.

The 33-year-old Nomo went 13-10 with a 4.50 ERA in 33 starts for Boston in 2001. He tossed a no-hitter April 4 against Baltimore.

Nomo joins a staff that was decimated by injuries last season and hit hard by free agency this offseason. Ace Kevin Brown, Andy Ashby and Darren Dreifort were sidelined by injuries while Terry Adams and Chan Ho Park are likely to leave via free agency.

Evans has begun to address the issue by acquiring Omar Daal and Nomo, a pair of former Dodgers.

Lakers hand Rockets another loss

HOUSTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Derek Fisher added 23 Thursday night as the Los Angeles Lakers sent the Houston Rockets to their 15th straight loss, 107-101.

The Lakers cruised through the first three quarters and had an 82-68 cushion enterting the final period before the Rockets closed within 90-89 with 5:11 remaining.

But Devean George scored five points and Fisher added one of his career-high seven three-pointers during an 11-3 run as Los Angeles pulled away. Bryant sank a layup and a pair of free throws in the final 43 seconds to seal the victory.

Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks and George finished with 11 points for the Lakers, who have won three in a row since losing consecutive games for the first time this season.

Rookie Eddie Griffin posted season highs of 25 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for Houston, which is two losses shy of the longest skid in franchise history. The Rockets lost 17 in a row in the 1968-69 season, when the franchise was in San Diego.

Other NBA results: Toronto 96, Chicago 91; Memphis 90, New York 88; Dallas 113, Milwaukee 101.

Predators extend home unbeaten streak

NASHVILLE, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Six different players scored Thursday night as the Nashville Predators extended their franchise record home unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Predators had not played since Sunday and looked well-rested instead of rusty. They tied their season high with six goals and set a franchise record with four on the power play.

Cliff Ronning and Kimo Timonen each had a power-play goal and three assists for Nashville, which improved to a 8

2 in its last 10 games at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

The Predators trailed by a goal early in the second period before Denis Arkhipov tied it on the power play with 14:46 remaining. Scott Hartnell scored with the man advantage just 79 seconds later to give Nashville the lead for good.

Other NHL results: Boston 5, Montreal 0; Los Angeles 4, Ottawa 2; Philadelphia 2, Dallas 1; Edmonton 3, New Jersey 3.

Pittsburgh wins Tangerine Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Junior wide receiver Antonio Bryant, who had a promising season slowed by injuries, caught seven passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns Thursday night to carry the Pittsburgh Panthers to a 34-19 triumph over North Carolina State in the Tangerine Bowl.

It was Pittsburgh's first bowl victory in a dozen years.

The win was the sixth straight for Pittsburgh (7-5), which dropped five straight games during the season. Bryant and quarterback David Priestley connected on scoring passes of 15 and two yards in the second quarter and the Panthers were never headed.

Bryant, who did not catch a pass in the second half, could opt for early entry to the NFL draft. Blessed with a great frame at 6-2 and 200 pounds, Bryant already is regarded as one of the top receiving prospects.

North Carolina State sophomore quarterback Philip Rivers completed 26 of 40 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. He threw one interception and was sacked four times.

The Wolfpack (7-5) had won four of their previous five games.

Virginia stays unbeaten

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Chris Williams scored 17 points and Roger Mason added 16 Thursday night as No. 5 Virginia remained unbeaten with a 61-55 victory over No. 16 Georgetown in the John Thompson Foundation Classic.

This event, named after the legendary former Hoyas coach, came on a day during which he was honored by the city.

The teams are famous for their matchup in the 1982-83 season, billed as the "Game of the Decade" with the meeting between Ralph Sampson and Patrick Ewing. The Cavaliers posted a 68-63 victory in that one and Sampson and Ewing both were on hand for this one.

Virginia (7-0) led by as many as 14 points in the first half and settled for a 32-24 halftime advantage. A three-pointer by freshman Drew Hall pulled Georgetown (9-2) within 40-36 with 15 1/2 minutes left and the game was close thereafter.

In Syracuse, Preston Shumpert had 22 points while becoming the school's all-time leader in three-pointers and coach Jim Boeheim made his return as the 14th-ranked Syracuse Orangemen ended a two-game slide with an 80-68 win over South Florida.

Boeheim, who is ranked fourth among active Division I coaches with a .744 winning percentage (610-210), missed the Orangemen's previous three games after undergoing successful surgery to remove an enlarged prostate.

Georgia Tech star to miss bowl game

ATLANTA, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Georgia Tech will be without star running back Joe Burns when it plays Stanford in the Seattle Bowl Dec. 27.

The school announced Thursday that Burns had been declared academically ineligible and will not accompany the team to the Pacific Northwest.

Burns ran for 1,165 yards on 282 carries with 14 touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets (7-5). The junior also caught 28 passes for 249 yards and one score.

"We are very disappointed for Joe and for our football team, that he won't be able to play," interim coach Mac McWhorter said. "We have always impressed upon our players that you need to take care of your academic responsibilities in order to be able to play, and he did not. So we will leave today without him and we'll move on and do the best we can to win the bowl game."

Burns' academic problem continues what has been a bad month for the Yellow Jackets. Coach George O'Leary stepped down on Dec. 9 to become coach at Notre Dame, only to resign five days later when it was learned he lied about his background.

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