In Sports from United Press International

July 12, 2002 at 4:02 PM
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Sixers sign Salmons

PHILADELPHIA, July 12 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia 76ers Friday signed rookie swingman John Salmons, who was originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Salmons got a three-year contract. Under the rookie salary scale in the collective bargaining agreement, Salmons will make at least $3.214 million over the next three seasons. The Sixers hold a club option for a fourth year.

The Spurs took Salmons with the 26th overall pick in last month's draft, then dealt his rights to the Sixers in the Speedy Claxton trade.

The 6-7, 210-pound Salmons, a Philadelphia native, played four seasons at the University of Miami, averaging 10.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest in 124 career games for the Hurricanes. As a senior, he earned All-Big East second team honors, contributing 13.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.1 assists per contest.

Salmons finished his career ranked third on Miami's all-time list in assists (433) and steals (192), and 13th in scoring (1,287 points). He is the only Miami player to surpass 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 400 assists and 150 steals.

Report: Eagles sign RB Dorsey Levens

PHILADELPHIA, July 12 (UPI) -- Veteran running back Dorsey Levens, released by the Green Bay Packers in March, apparently has found a job as a backup with the Philadelphia Eagles. reported Friday that Levens has agreed to a one-year deal at undisclosed terms to serve as a backup to Duce Staley.

The deal would reunite Levens with Eagles Coach Andy Reid, who served previously as an assistant in Green Bay.

The Eagles have been without an experienced backup since second-year veteran Correll Buckhalter sustained a season-ending injury in minicamp.

Levens, 32, is Green Bay's all-time leading pass-catcher among running backs with 271 receptions, and is the fourth all-time leading rusher in club history with 3,937 yards.

The eight-year veteran rushed for a career-high 1,435 yards in 1997 and 1,034 yards in 1999.

Falcons ink WR Willie Jackson

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga., July 12 (UPI) -- The Atlanta Falcons Friday found another new target for quarterback Michael Vick, signing veteran receiver Willie Jackson.

Terms were not made public, but ESPN reported that Jackson, who enjoyed a career year with the New Orleans Saints last season, agreed to a three-year deal worth $3.5 million.

The pact ended the brief tenure of receiver Jeff Graham, who was signed on April 26 but released Friday.

The 30-year-old Jackson established career highs in both receptions (80) and receiving yards (1,046) while catching five scoring passes in 2001. He teamed with Joe Horn to give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard receivers for the first time in franchise history.

Jackson has caught 259 passes for 3,384 yards and 23 touchdowns in a career that has included stops in Dallas (1994), Jacksonville (1995-97), Cincinnati (1998-99) and New Orleans (2000-01). He joined the Saints as a free agent in 2000 and had 37 catches for 523 yards and caught a career-best six touchdown passes to help them to a division title.

Graham, an 11-year veteran, did not appear at the team's mandatory minicamp. He played for San Diego last season, catching 52 passes for 811 yards and five touchdowns.

Graham has played in 160 games for Pittsburgh, the New York Jets and San Diego, catching 542 passes for 8,172 yards and 30 TDs.

Padres make several player moves

SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 12 (UPI) -- The San Diego Padres Friday activated two players from the disabled list, made a pair of trades, placed two pitchers on the DL, and purchased the contract of yet another pitcher.

San Diego activated first baseman Phil Nevin, who missed 35 games with a fractured left humerus bone, and righthander Bobby Jones from the 15-day DL.

The Padres then traded third baseman D'Angelo Jimenez to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Alex Fernandez and catcher Humberto Quintero.

In the second trade, San Diego acquired outfielder Brian Buchanan from the Minnesota Twins for minor league shortstop Jason Bartlett.

Jimenez, 24, was hitting .276 for the Padres. He began his major league career with the New York Yankees in 1999 and was involved in a serious car accident in his native Dominican Republic in January 2000 in which he suffered a fractured vertebrae. He was traded to the Padres on June 23, 2001.

Fernandez, 21, was hitting .292 with seven homers and 52 RBI at Double-A Birmingham of the Southern League. He recently was named the Most Valuable Player of the Southern League's All-Star game, just hours after winning the league's Home Run Derby.

Quintero, 22, combined to hit .216 with 20 RBI in 69 games at three levels of Chicago's minor league organization before the trade. Both Fernandez and Quintero will be assigned to Double-A Mobile of the Southern League.

The 6-4, 230-pound Buchanan, 28, batted .252 with five homers and 15 RBI in 44 games as a reserve for the Twins. Bartlett, the Padres' 13th round pick in the 2001 draft, was hitting .250 with a homer and 33 RBI in 75 games for Single-A Lake Elsinore of the California League.

Nevin, an All-Star in 2001, has played in only 39 games for the Padres this season, batting .293 with five homers and 21 RBI. San Diego is just 16-33 (.326) when the 31-year-old is not in the lineup.

To complete the busy day, the Padres placed righthander Kevin Jarvis and lefthander Eric Cyr on the 60-day DL, and purchased the contract of righthander Tom Davey from Triple-A Portland of the Pacific Coast League.

Jarvis, the Padres' Opening Day starter, went 2-4 with a 4.37 ERA in seven starts for the Padres before undergoing season-ending surgery on Tuesday in Alabama to repair his right-flexor tendon.

Cyr went 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA in five games out of the bullpen after being recalled from Portland on June 21.

Jones was 5-4 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 starts for San Diego before being placed on the DL June 21, retroactive to June 16, with a strained right elbow.

Davey rejoins the Padres after going 1-1 with a four saves and a 2.12 ERA in 12 games at Portland after being designated for assignment on May 27. He began the season on the DL and did not receive a decision in three appearances for the Padres.

Coyotes ink RW Tony Amonte

PHOENIX, July 12 (UPI) -- Tony Amonte headed west instead of east Friday, signing a four-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but The Sports Network of Canada reported the deal is worth about $24 million.

It was widely rumored that Amonte, the last of the upper-tier free agents still available this offseason, would sign with either the New York Rangers or New York Islanders. The right wing instead landed with a team that did an about-face from last summer when it allowed star players Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk to leave the team in cost-cutting moves.

"We are very pleased to have signed Tony Amonte," said Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett. "Tony has been one of the NHL's most exciting players over the last decade. He is a prolific scorer and a durable player, missing only two games over the past eight seasons."

The 31-year-old Amonte became a free agent after failing to negotiate a new contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. The former captain was second on the Blackhawks with 27 goals and third

with 67 points last season.

The five-time All-Star said earlier this year that he wanted to stay in Chicago and reportedly was looking for a five-year deal worth $7-8 million annually.

"I'm very excited to be joining the Phoenix Coyotes," Amonte said. "They are building a great team and heading in a new direction. I'm proud to be part of it. The best is still ahead for the Coyotes and I can't wait to get to Phoenix."

Amonte owns the NHL's longest active consecutive games played streak at 410, and has not missed a contest since the 1996-97 season. He had scored 30 or more goals for six straight seasons before 2001-02, and has 352 goals, 372 assists, 724 points and 603 penalty minutes in 861 games in 13 seasons with the Rangers and the Blackhawks.

He joined the Blackhawks in a 1994 trade and was Chicago's top goal producer in eight seasons, scoring 268 times in 627 games.

The Massachusetts native, who played collegiately at Boston University, also represented the United States in each of the last two Winter Olympics.

Leafs re-sign RW Tie Domi

TORONTO, July 12 (UPI) -- Veteran NHL enforcer Tie Domi Friday decided to stay put and re-signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Domi, 32, who will enter his eighth full season with the Maple Leafs in 2002-03, agreed to a multi-year deal. Terms were not disclosed publicly, but TSN, a Canadian cable sports network, reported that the unrestricted free agent will receive up to $2 million per season over three years.

TSN reported that Domi had narrowed his choices to four teams and chose the Maple Leafs over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars.

The Nashville Predators acquired Domi's rights just before the July 1 free agency period, but TSN reported that the club bailed out when the stakes got too high.

Nashville will get a draft pick as compensation for Domi signing with Toronto. He had nine goals, 19 points and 157 penalty minutes last season. The right wing has the second-longest current tenure on the club, behind only center Mats Sundin.

Domi became the Maple Leafs' all-time leader in penalty minutes last season, passing Tiger Williams and bringing his total to 1,777 in a Toronto uniform. His 3,027 career penalty minutes rank ninth on the all-time list.

His best offensive year came in 1996-97, when he had 11 goals and 17 assists. He had a career-high 13 goals in 2000-01.

Originally drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1988, Domi also has played for the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets, and has 77 goals and 103 assists in 784 games.

In other news, the Maple Leafs announced that left wing Gary Roberts underwent successful arthroscopic right shoulder surgery on Wednesday. Roberts is expected to make a full recovery by the start of the season.

Gary Player won't play in British Open

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., July 12 (UPI) -- Gary Player, the only golfer in the 20th century to win the British Open in three different decades, Friday withdrew from qualifying for next week's tournament at Muirfield, Scotland.

Player had hoped to qualify for his 48th consecutive British Open, but will be unable to compete because of severely pulled rib muscles.

"I am just devastated and cannot put into words my deep disappointment," Player said. "I obviously aggravated what I thought was only a strain that would go away through exercise and practice. Muirfield was the site of my first major championship win and not to compete there this year is truly heartbreaking."

The 66-year-old Player is no longer exempt because the British has an age limit of 65 for past champions. The South African won in 1959 at Muirfield, 1968 at Carnoustie, and 1974 at Lytham.

Player, who has won 163 tournaments worldwide, will remain in Florida and seek physiotherapy for his injury. He also may be forced to withdraw from the British Senior Open later this summer.

Nationwide takes over Tour

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., July 12 (UPI) -- The PGA Tour Friday announced a five-year partnership with Nationwide that will have the insurance company take over as the umbrella sponsor of the Tour.

The new name of what is currently known as the Tour will be unveiled later this year, as will the logo, purse level and schedules of the PGA's developmental circuit. The new name of

the tour will feature a closer tie to the regular PGA Tour.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We're absolutely delighted to make this announcement and to welcome Nationwide into the Tour family of sponsors," said PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Nationwide's commitment to quality, service, community and charity mirror the values of the PGA Tour, making this an exceptional fit."

As part of the umbrella sponsorship, Nationwide will receive prominent exposure during live tournament coverage by the Golf Channel as well as the network's other programming.

Zabel wins Stage Six at Tour

ROUEN, France, July 12 (UPI) -- Erik Zabel of Germany Friday won the sixth stage of the Tour de France while Igor Gonzalez Galdeano of Spain retained the yellow jersey as overall leader.

Zabel, a member of the Telekom team, finished the 123.69-mile leg from Forges-les-Eaux to Alencon in 4:23:07.

"It was a great victory," Zabel said through an interpreter. "The competition in the sprint and for the green jersey is very tough this year, with world champion Oscar Freire and also Robbie McEwen. I think McEwen is the strongest sprinter. After seven or eight years on the Tour, this is a great victory."

Zabel, who turned 32 last Sunday, kept the green jersey as the best sprinter. It was the 12th career stage victory for Zabel, who was the overall leader after the third stage.

Gonzalez Galdeano took the yellow jersey after Stage Four and kept it for a third straight day. He is four seconds ahead of fellow ONCE rider Joseba Beloki.

Lance Armstrong of the United States, the three-time defending champion, remained in third place, seven seconds from the leader.

Saturday's seventh stage is 107.5 miles from Bagnoles-de-l'Orne to Avranches.

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