Sports Update

Feb. 4, 2002 at 11:58 PM
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In Sports from United Press International

Abreu undergoes appendectomy

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Phillies outfielder underwent an emergency appendectomy in his native Venezuela last weekend.

According to team officials, Abreu is resting comfortably at his home in Caracas and is expected to be in Clearwater, Fla., on February 18, two days before full spring training workouts begin.

"We talked about bringing him (to Philadelphia) to get examined by our doctors, but his incision needs about 10 days to heal, so he probably shouldn't be flying," general manager Ed Wade said. "We just figured it made more sense to see him in spring training as usual."

Abreu fell ill after competing in a home run derby competition on Friday night.

He hit .289 and set career highs with 31 homers, 110 RBI and 36 stolen bases last season.

Yankees, Spencer have 1-year deal

NEW YORK, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees reached agreement Monday with the last of their players eligible for arbitration signing outfielder Shane Spencer to a one-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Spencer, who was asking for $1.2 million in arbitration after earning $320,000 in 2001. The Yankees were offering $750,000.

Spencer hit .258 with 10 homers in 46 RBI in 80 games for the Yankees last season after being recalled from the minor leagues on June 12.

The 29-year-old Spencer suffered a torn ACL in a July 2000 game against the New York Mets and underwent season-ending surgery. He spent the beginning of the season on a rehab assignment.

Tennessee receiver to enter NFL draft

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Tennessee wide receiver Donte' Stallworth is headed for the NFL draft.

Stallworth informed school officials Monday that he has decided not to appeal the NCAA's denial of a request to restore his eligibility.

Stallworth had sent the NFL the required paperwork making him elgible for the draft, but he had a change of heart before the January 12 deadline. The NCAA refused to restore his eligibility on Thursday and Stallworth, with the approval of the NFL, will enter the draft instead of filing an appeal.

He caught 41 passes for 821 yards and 10 scores last season as a junior and would have been one of the premier receivers in college football next season.

O'Neal, Kidd NBA players of week

NEW YORK, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd and Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week Monday.

Kidd had a pair of triple-doubles last week, giving him a league-leading five this season. He has 43 in his career, moving ahead of Fat Lever into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list. Kidd capped the week with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 98-91 win over Toronto.

The Lakers won all four of their games last week behind O'Neal, who averaged 27.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.75 blocks. O'Neal capped the week with 31 points and 13 rebounds in a 101-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Vanbiesbrouck halts retirement

WEST ORANGE, N.J., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- John Vanbiesbrouck, the New Jersey Devils' backup goaltender during last season's run to a second straight Stanley Cup finals, is coming out of retirement and returning to his reserve role.

Vanbiesbrouck, 38, agreed to terms with the Devils on Monday and trained with goaltender coach Jacques Caron following the team's Monday practice.

ESPN reported that Vanbiesbrouck agreed to a deal worth $500,000.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello broached the idea to Vanbiesbrouck last Tuesday, one day after coach Larry Robinson was fired and former Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks coach Kevin Constantine was named his replacement.

Vanbiesbrouck will give the Devils a trusted backup to the heavily-worked Martin Brodeur, who has started 49 of New Jersey's 53 contests this season.

After being acquired from the New York Islanders on March 12, 2001, Vanbiesbrouck was 4-0 with a 1.50 GAA and .935 save percentage. But he retired following New Jersey's Game Seven loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup finals.

Super Bowl winners feted Tuesday

BOSTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots, who defeated the St. Louis Rams to win Super Bowl XXXVI on Adam Vinatieri's last-second 48-yard field goal 20-17, have given the championship-starved New England sports fans something to celebrate.

The festivities begin at noon Tuesday on City Hall Plaza. The Patriots will be treated to a parade through downtown Boston followed by a rally at the plaza hosted by Mayor Thomas M. Menino in front of thousands of happy Pats fans.

Saints discuss Williams trade

MIAMI, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints have begun preliminary talks about a possible trade that would send Saints running back Ricky Williams to the Dolphins, it was reported Monday.

ESPN also reported the Saints had contacted other teams to test interest in Williams, the NFC's fourth leading rusher last season with 1,245 yards.

"I told him we'd get back to him if we were interested," Rick Spielman, Dolphins vice president of football operations, said in Sunday's Miami Herald.

Earlier this week, Williams and agent Leigh Steinberg discussed the possibility of a trade to Miami.

Three join Indy 500 Hall of Fame

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Roger Penske, the winningest team ownerin Indianapolis 500 history with 11 triumphs, tops a list of three individuals voted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame on Monday.

Longtime "Voice of the 500," the late Sid Collins, and winning car owners Andy Granatelli and Penske will become the newest members of the Auto Racing Hall of Fame. They will be inducted May 17 at the brickyard.

The hall honors drivers, car owners, mechanics and event officials who have made significant contributions to the success and history of the sport.

Penske began his career in the racing industry as an accomplished driver. He retired from driving in 1964, and in the last 38 years, has built a remarkable business empire and set numerous records in the racing world. He chalked up 110 victories in Indy-style racing, including a record 11 at Indianapolis.

Hornets' Wesley out with broken foot

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Charlotte Hornets guard David Wesley is expected to be sidelined up to four weeks with a cracked bone in his foot.

The Hornets announced Monday that Wesley, who has missed the last two games, will be fitted with a protective boot and that he will be evaluated following the end of a three-to-four week period.

The news comes with the Hornets playing their best basketball of the season. Charlotte (23-23) has won five of its last seven games and has returned to .500 for the first time since it was 11-11 on Dec. 13.

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