In Sports from United Press International

Jan. 8, 2002 at 3:06 PM
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Smith lone entry into Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Ozzie Smith, whose spectacular defense at shortstop became a barometer for all shortstops, was the only player voted to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

Among those snubbed were 1987 former Most Valuable Player Andre Dawson and 10-time All-Star catcher Gary Carter, who failed to receive the necessary 75 percent of votes on writers' ballots.

Smith, who played with San Diego and St. Louis from 1978-96, received 92 percent and will enter the Hall by himself this summer.

A 15-time All-Star and switch-hitter who amassed 580 stolen bases, Smith was best known for his incredible defense, which led to 13 Gold Glove Awards.

Among shortstops, Smith ranks first all time with 8,375 assists and 1,590 double plays. He also is second with 2,511 games played and a .978 fielding percentage. Regarded as the best defensive shortstop in history, Smith also had 2,460 hits and scored 1,257 runs while serving as one of the catalysts for the Cardinals during the 1980s and 1990s.

NHL's Senators sold, remain in Ottawa

OTTAWA, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League will be sold to a limited partnership to ensure the team will be soundly financed and stay in Ottawa, the club announced Tuesday.

Senators Chairman Roderick Bryden said that, subject to NHL approval, OSHC 2001 Limited Partnership will buy the franchise and continue to operate the team from the Corel Centre.

Termed a private placement offering, the deal provides investors with an opportunity to make a long-term investment in the team while taking advantage off a favorable tax treatment.

The total purchase price of the franchise is $186.65 million. Funding to facilitate the sale, plus related assets and working capital, will be provided by investors in Limited Partnershipand by a term loan of $62.5 million.

Mavs owner fined for criticizing refs

NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $500,000 by the NBA Tuesday for his repeated criticism of officiating.

The latest fine was a result of comments following a 105-103home loss to San Antonio on Saturday, when Mavericks point guard Steve Nash was called for a foul with 5.1 seconds left, leading to the decisive free throws.

Nash walked away from the foul with a bloodied head. As a result, Cuban ripped into Director of Officiating Ed Rush, a former NBA referee.

"Ed Rush might have been a great ref, but I wouldn't hire him to manage a Dairy Queen," Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. "His interest is not in the integrity of the game or improving the officiating."

Major League Soccer drops two teams

NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Major League Soccer announced Tuesday it has decided to immediately eliminate the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion.

The decision to shut down the Florida-based teams, which MLS Commissioner Don Garber said was "extremely difficult" but necessary, was unanimous by the league's board of governors.

"Our investors have made a number of strategic decisions that will better position MLS in the short and long term," Garber said. "These decisions took many months to finalize and were enormously complex and involved, but are necessary to ensure the future of the league."

MLS also announced it is continuing negotiations with several entities to invest in the league and acquire operation rights to the Dallas Burn and San Jose Earthquakes.

Also, the Anschutz Entertainment Group has exercised its option to become the investor-operator of D.C. United. The league will have a 10-team, two-conference alignment for the 2002 season.

Top seed ousted in adidas tourney

SYDNEY, Australia, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Paradorn Srichapan of Thailand continued his surprising start to the 2002 season Tuesday by knocking off top seed Sebastien Grosjean of France, 6-3, 6-4,in the first round of the adidas International tennis event.

The 22-year-old Srichapan beat three seeds to reach the final of the Tata Open hardcourt tennis tournament last week before losing to Guillermo Canas of Argentina.

In the marquee women's match of the day, fourth-seeded American Serena Williams beat unseeded Russian Anna Kournikova, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, to advance to the quarterfinals.

No. 2 Martina Hingis of Switzerland and sixth seed Amelie Mauresmo of Australia also reached the quarterfinals.

Only three of the men's eight seeds are left in the men's draw after the first round.

No. 2 Roger Federer of Switzerland and the fifth-seeded Canas advanced Tuesday, but No. 6 Thomas Johansson of Sweden was upset by Julien Boutter of France, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.

No. 3 Andy Roddick of the United States was the only other seeded player to make it out of the first round with a victory over Andrew Ilie on Monday. Roddick will face Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic in the second round. Ulihrach defeated Nicolas Lapentti, 6-3, 6-1.

Top seeds advance in Heineken

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Top seeds Marat Safin and Goran Ivanisevic advanced to the second round of the $357,000 Heineken Open on Tuesday.

Safin rallied from a set down to beat American wild card entry Michael Chang, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. His next opponent is Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden, who ousted Argentine Gaston Gaudio, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.

Ivanisevic, the No. 2 seed, had an easier time with a straightsets victory over 20-year-old Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, 7-6(7-5), 6-3.

Ivanisevic, the Wimbledon champion, takes on the tournament's youngest player at 19 years and six months, Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Youzhny defeated Spaniard Albert Montanes on Tuesday, 4-6, 7-6 (6-2), 6-2.

Pierce, Grande advance in Tasmanian

HOBART, Australia, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Former Australian Open champion Mary Pierce returned to form Tuesday, crushing American Kristine Brandi 6-0, 6-3 in the first round of the $110,000 ANZ Tasmanian International tennis event.

Defending champion Rita Grande of Italy, the top seed, posted a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Rita Kuti Kis of Hungary. Grande, 26, is defending one of her two career titles, both claimed last year.

The matches were supposed to be played Monday, but persistent rain canceled all first-round action.

The Australian Open, which Pierce won in 1995 for the first of her two Grand Slam titles, begins Monday.

Davenport out of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport has withdrawn from next week's Australian Open due to a knee injury, it was announced Tuesday.

Davenport sustained cartilage damage to her right knee during her semifinal match at the Sanex Championships in Munich in November.

The 25-year-old American pulled out of the adidas International in Sydney this week

Former NFL qb tries Arena

CARLSTADT, N.J., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- After sitting out the last two seasons, former NFL quarterback Glenn Foley will join the Arena Football League.

The New Jersey Gladiators on Tuesday announced the signing of Foley, who played five seasons with the New York Jets and one year with the Seattle Seahawks.

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