Players agree to steroid testing
NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The Major League Baseball Players Association Wednesday proposed a two-stage system of random testing for steroids.
The union's proposal, put forth during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, would go into effect for the 2003 season. It calls for the initial round of testing to be used solely for "survey purposes" to determine the level of steroid use among major leaguers.
If steroid use appears to be "insignificant," additional testing would be conducted in 2004 to insure the adequacy of the first round. If either survey suggests that more than 5 percent of major leaguers use steroids, random, unannounced testing would be instituted for a two-year period.
Players also may be tested upon a show of "reasonable cause," a provision already in effect for other substances on Major League Baseball's banned list.
Day-to-day administration of the testing program would be entrusted to a four-member committee composed equally of union and owner representatives, including experts in substance abuse issues.
Union officials had appeared reluctant to accept random steroid tests, despite highly publicized claims by Arizona Diamondbacks righthander Curt Schilling and former National League Most Valuable Player Ken Caminiti that as many as half of major leaguers use performance-enhancing substances.
Clemens wins in return
NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Roger Clemens came off the disabled list and notched his first win as a 40-year-old and Jorge Posada homered and drove in four runs Wednesday night to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-2 triumph over the Kansas City Royals.
Sidelined since July 13 with a groin injury, Clemens (9-3) looked anything but rusty. The righthander allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings with a walk and eight strikeouts.
Clemens, who turned 40 on Sunday, improved to 7-0 in 10 home starts this season and recorded his first victory since June 9.
Posada's three-run homer off starter Jeff Suppan (8-11) highlighted a four-run first inning.
Other American League results: Oakland 3, Baltimore 2; Baltimore 6, Minnesota 4; Seattle 5, Toronto 4 in 10 innings; Cleveland 6, Tampa Bay 2; Texas 7, Detroit 2 in 11 innings; Chicago 7, Anaheim 6.
Houston closes the gap
HOUSTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Roy Oswalt yielded just three hits and Jeff Bagwell homered and scored three runs Wednesday night as the surging Houston Astros defeated the Florida Marlins, 7-2, for their fourth straight win.
Houston had its streak of three straight home shutouts snapped, but Oswalt (13-6) almost turned the trick. He did not allow a run until the fifth, extending the Astros' scoreless streak to 31 innings before Florida got a pair of unearned runs.
The Astros climbed within one game of the division leading St. Louis Cardinals.
Oswalt allowed just one hit over his final three innings and notched his third straight victory. He walked three and struck out four as he shrugged off a shaky first couple of innings.
The Marlins have lost 12 of their last 14 road games.
Other National League results: Milwaukee 6, New York 2; Montreal 4, St. Louis 1; Colorado 7, Cincinnati 2; San Diego 5, Philadelphia 2; Los Angeles 4, Pittsburgh 0.
Hurdle gets full-time job
DENVER, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The Colorado Rockies Wednesday removed the interim tag from manager Clint Hurdle and signed him to a two-year contract extension.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Hurdle, 45, has guided the Rockies to a 45-45 record since replacing Buddy Bell, who was fired April 26. Colorado is 51-61 overall.
Before getting his first managerial job, Hurdle was in his sixth season as the Rockies' hitting coach. He served as the organization's roving hitting instructor from 1994-96.
Once considered a can't miss prospect as a player, Hurdle was a .259 career hitter with 32 home runs and 193 RBI in 515 games.
Dotson out for the season
CARLISLE, Pa., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Redskins defensive tackle Santana Dotson is expected to miss the upcoming season and his career could be in jeopardy because of a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
Dotson suffered the injury during practice Tuesday.
Expected to be part of the rotation along the defensive line, Dotson signed with the Redskins in June after spending the last six seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
Last season, Dotson reclaimed his starting spot at defensive tackle after missing the entire 2000 campaign with a torn quadriceps and collected 39 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks in 16 games.
A 10-year veteran, Dotson has started 129 of 152 games in his career, amassing 482 tackles and 49 sacks.
The Redskins also reportedly have agreed to terms with quarterback Patrick Ramsey, their first-round draft pick.
According to ESPN, Ramsey has agreed to a five-year, $5.7 million deal, which would include a $3.1 million signing bonus. The value of the deal could reach between $2.5 million and $3 million per year based on playing time and performance.
Evans returns to Houston
HOUSTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Houston defensive back Leomont Evans returned to Texas Wednesday, two days after suffering a frightening injury that briefly left him paralyzed.
Evans was carried off the field during the Hall of Fame Game against the New York Giants Monday night after bruising his spinal cord. Although he had no feeling in his arms and legs when he arrived at a hospital in Canton, Ohio, he slowly regained sensation in his limbs and was able to walk by Tuesday morning.
He was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Houston Wednesday and will undergo further tests.
A team spokesman said Evans would remain hospitalized, "for a couple of days."
Haslett signs contract extension
METAIRIE, La., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Jim Haslett, who two years ago guided the New Orleans Saints to the only playoff victory in franchise history, Wednesday was given a four-year contract extension through the 2006 season.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal was announced during an afternoon news conference at the team's training camp site, where general manager Mickey Loomis called Haslett "one of the most talented and dedicated coaches in the NFL."
Haslett is 18-16 in two turbulent seasons as coach. In 2000, the Saints captured the NFC West title and their first playoff victory. But the team went 7-9 last year, allowing 40 points per game during an 0-4 finish.
Hewitt wins in walkover
CINCINNATI, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Lleyton Hewitt needed just 18 minutes Wednesday to win his second-round match at the Tennis Masters Series-Cincinnati, but Pete Sampras fell in three sets to Australian qualifier Wayne Arthurs.
The top-seeded Hewitt had a 5-0 lead just 18 minutes into his match when Italy's David Sanguinetti was forced to retire due to a foot injury. Hewitt, who won Wimbledon for the first time last month, has yet to drop a game in two matches at the ATP Tennis Center.
Sampras, seeded 15th and a three-time champion here, suffered a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) setback to Arthurs.
Hewitt has not faced a single break point this week. The world No. 1 whitewashed American qualifier Robby Ginepri in the first round Tuesday.
Since beating Sampras in straight sets in the 2001 U.S. Open final, Hewitt has won the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup, become the youngest player to finish a year atop the ATP rankings and captured four titles in 2002, including Wimbledon.
Continuing to prepare for defense of his U.S. Open title, Hewitt's will face Jarkko Nieminen in the round of the 16. The Finn converted four break point chances en route to a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Korean qualifier Hyung-Taik Lee.
The 21-year-olds will meet for the first time in an ATP event.
Sampras fell to Arthurs for the first time in three career meetings. The 13-time Grand Slam winner has not advanced past the final 16 of an ATP tournament since April, when he lost to countryman Andy Roddick in the final at Houston.
Knicks sign Michael Doleac
NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The New York Knicks added some size and depth to their frontcourt Wednesday, signing free agent center Michael Doleac.
Terms were not disclosed.
Doleac, a 6-11 center who plays primarily on the perimeter, spent the 2001-02 season with Cleveland, averaging 4.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 42 games.
A four-year veteran, Doleac joins a frontcourt that likely will start power forward Kurt Thomas at center alongside newcomer Antonio McDyess. The Knicks have been seeking size since sending Marcus Camby to Denver in the deal for McDyess.
The Knicks finished last in the Atlantic Division last season and missed the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. Part of the problem was an injury to Camby, who went down midway through the season.