More surgery needed by Hoffman
PEORIA, Ariz., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman will need a third shoulder surgery that could sideline him for half of the season.
Hoffman told reporters Tuesday morning at the team's training complex in Peoria, Ariz.
An MRI taken Friday in San Diego revealed no further damage to the right rotator cuff that already has been repaired twice, but Hoffman said he feels a dull pain and restricted movement in the shoulder.
Hoffman confirmed Tuesday that he will undergo arthroscopic surgery to shave about a half inch of bone where the clavicle meets the A/C joint. He could have the procedure by the end of the week.
While Hoffman was told he would be out at least three months, the length of his absence cannot be determined until the surgery is performed.
"It's a few months out at the most, I hope," Hoffman said. "But it isn't as bad as we first thought it might be."
Hoffman has recorded 350 of his 352 career saves with the Padres, and has an .889 save percentage during a 10-year career. He was successful in 53-of-54 chances during the Padres' World Series run of 1998.
Scheduled to collect $9 million in 2003, Hoffman has been rehabilitating his shoulder since the beginning of the year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff on Oct. 16.
In 1995, Hoffman had similar surgery on the rotator cuff, which will not be touched this time around.
"Nothing warrants them messing with the cuff, which is a good thing," he said.
Expos ink Offerman
MELBOURNE, Fla., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Veteran utilityman Jose Offerman went back to the National League Tuesday, agreeing to a minor league contract with the Montreal Expos.
Offerman split last season between the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but it is likely far less than the $6.75 million he made last season in the final year of a lucrative four-year deal he signed with Boston as a free agent in 1999.
The two-time All-Star hit a combined .232 with five homers and 31 RBI last season. The 34-year-old returns to the NL for the first time since 1995, when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, his original club.
Offerman played in the postseason with Los Angeles in 1995 and with Boston in 1999. He is a career .274 hitter with 53 homers and 502 RBI.
He originally was a shortstop, has played various infield positions, and has been used in the outfield.
The Expos also agreed to one-year contracts with righthanders Tim Drew and Sun-Woo Kim on Tuesday.
Pirates come to terms with Sanders
BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Veteran outfielder Reggie Sanders found his sixth home in as many seasons Tuesday when he officially signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last week that Sanders was on the verge of signing a $1 million deal with the team.
Sanders hit .250 with 23 homers and 85 RBI with the San Francisco Giants last season, and became a free agent when the National League champions declined a mutual option for 2003.
The well-traveled Sanders played for Cincinnati in 1998, San Diego in 1999, Atlanta in 2000, and Arizona in 2001. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that he was on the verge of signing with the Boston Red Sox.
"I guess you could say that," Sanders told the paper. "The Pirates definitely came out of nowhere. I was on my way to Boston and ended up staying in the National League with Pittsburgh. That was a big thing for me. I didn't want have to learn things all over again in a new league."
He could be used in left field with Brian Giles moving to center, although the Pirates appear to have several outfield options.
Rob Mackowiak was penciled in as Pittsburgh's centerfielder before the signing of Sanders, but various reports claim the Pirates are pursuing another centerfielder, free agent Kenny Lofton.
Sanders, 35, has a .266 career average with 218 homers and 715 RBI in 12 major league seasons.
His signing continued the reshuffling of the Pirates, who traded for first baseman Randall Simon and signed free agent outfielder-first baseman Matt Stairs.
Hip problem forces Bush to retire
PEORIA, Ariz., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Veteran infielder Homer Bush of San Diego has retired from major league baseball, at least for the 2003 season, because of a bad hip.
Bush, a non-roster player who was hoping to win a spot as a backup infielder and outfielder, told General Manager Kevin Towers that he was having trouble with degenerative hip problems.
Bush, who was drafted by the Padres in 1991, but never played a game for them, is only 30 years old.
"You could just see the last few days that he wasn't the old Homer Bush," Towers said Monday. "He didn't have the range he used to have and he couldn't swivel his hips when he swung the bat. His entire right side is hurting. He said he'd like to give it the year to recuperate, and maybe give it another shot next year. If not, maybe we'd have a spot for him as a scout or coach. He's a good guy and someone we'd be proud to have working in our organization."
Bush had right hip surgery in 2000, and evidently hasn't fully recovered. The Padres traded him to the Yankees in 1997, along with the rights to Hideki Irabu.
Bush played for the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Marlins, and batted .287 with 363 hits in 400 games. He was on the Yankees team that swept the Padres in the 1998 World Series.
"It was tough to go out there and mask the pain," said Bush, who now becomes a free agent. "Kevin left the door open for me to come back in some capacity in the organization, and I appreciate that."
Bush's departure leaves three aging, veteran non-roster position players vying to make the team: outfielders Brady Anderson and Roberto Kelly, and infielder Keith Lockhart.
Report: Probation for San Diego State
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- It appears the football program at San Diego State will be burdened with an NCAA penalty the next couple of campaigns.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday that the school will be forced to serve the probation for holding illegal offseason workouts, but will escape any postseason or television ban.
The NCAA was expected to release its ruling on the case some time Tuesday.
In August, San Diego State imposed a series of penalties on itself for holding the illegal workouts, both at a local beach during the summer and before the official start of spring practice. NCAA rules limit the official number of practices before the start of the regular season.
Other self-imposed penalties included the reduction of spring practice time and an 11-day suspension of offensive line coach Damon Baldwin, who conducted the beach workouts.
The case went before the NCAA Committee of Infractions, which classified the infractions as major and added a two-year probation to the self-imposed penalties.
San Diego State Athletic Director Rick Bay asked that the NCAA reconsider the probation, but the paper reported that the request will be denied.
San Diego State was 4-9 last year in its first season under Coach Tom Craft. The Aztecs, a member of the Mountain West Conference, have had four straight losing seasons.
Golf holds Match Play Championships
The tournament, which will be held in Carlsbad, Calif., is limited to the top 64 players in the World Golf rankings as of Feb. 17. The matchups were determined by the new rankings released Monday.
Woods settled for a tie for fifth in last weekend's Nissan Open, but closed with a six-under-par 65 and will be the top seed this week. The world's best golfer will be out to erase the memory of a first-round loss to Peter O'Malley of Australia in last year's Match Play Championship.
Pettersson moved into the field when Vijay Singh of Fiji, the fourth-ranked player in the world, pulled out because of a rib injury.
The $6 million event will be the first tournament of the year in which Woods and world No. 2 Ernie Els of South Africa are entered at the same time. Els won the Sony Open and Mercedes Championship, the only two PGA events he has entered this season, and added two more wins on the European Tour.
Els, who lost to Tom Lehman in the second round of last year's Match Play Championship, will open Wednesday against Phil Tataurangi of New Zealand in the Player bracket. Tataurangi is a replacement for England's Nick Faldo, who withdrew because of the flu.
Kevin Sutherland won the tournament last season, beat Scott McCarron in the final. Sutherland is ranked 60th in the current rankings, and will play fifth-seeded Sergio Garcia of Spain. If Phil Mickelson is to square off again with Woods, it will be in Sunday's final. Mickelson, the world No. 3, opposes Robert Karlssson of Sweden in the Snead bracket.
Mickelson's reputation took a hit earlier this month for his critical comments regarding Woods' equipment. Like Woods, Mickelson is trying to avoid another early exit. He lost to John Cook in the first round last year.
World No. 5 Retief Goosen of South Africa has elected to play although his pregnant wife is due in the first week of March. Goosen, who tops the Hogan bracket, opens against Jay Hass.
No. 6 seed David Toms will meet Anders Hansen of Denmark, seventh seed Davis Love III meets England's Paul Casey, and No. 8 Padraig Harrington of Ireland goes against John Cook of the U.S., in other first-round matches.
Titans restructure four player contracts
NASHVILLE, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Tennessee Titans have reached agreements to restructure the contracts of several players, including quarterback Steve McNair.
The Tennesseean newspaper reported Tuesday that, when the restructures of Mason and Rolle are complete, they will save roughly $5.4 million as the team continues to draw closer to getting under the NFL's projected $75 million cap for each team by Friday.
Also, the deals will have to be trimmed a bit because they put the Titans about $2 million over the salary cap.
The paper said Rolle's contract, which originally had a cap charge of $7.38 million for 2003, will be adjusted to save $3.5 million.
Mason's new deal will save Tennessee about $1.9 million.
Over the weekend, the Titans saved roughly $10 million by doing the same thing with McNair and Benji Olson.
The paper also said General Manager Floyd Reese discussing ways to reconfigure the contracts of tight end Frank Wycheck, linebacker Randall Godfrey, fullback Greg Comella, and center Gennaro DiNapoli.
"We've said all along things were going to be a little more difficult this year because, in terms of the cap, our roster is lean," Reese told the paper. "But we're making some progress. We're a little ahead of the past few years at this point, but we've still got some things to do."
Before they released backup quarterback Neil O'Donnell on Thursday, they were $14 million over the projected $75 million cap for each team.
Contract extension for Mulitalo
OWINGS MILLS, Md., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Baltimore Ravens Tuesday re-signed left guard Edwin Mulitalo to a seven-year contract, avoiding the possibility of losing him in the free agent market.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Mulitalo would have become an unrestricted free agent when the NFL signing period begins Friday, but he decided to stay with the team that drafted him in the fourth round four years ago.
Mulitalo, 28, has been a valuable member of the Ravens' offensive line. After establishing himself as the team's starting left guard late in his rookie season, he made the switch to right tackle last year, then moved back after three games.
"We may be tipping our hand, but Ed has said he wanted to get a deal done in Baltimore from the start," his agent, Ed Cunningham, told the Baltimore Sun. "He told me, 'If I can retire a Raven, I'll be a happy man.'"
Mulitalo gives the Ravens a punishing combination on the left side, joining All-Pro tackle Jonathan Ogden.
Baltimore is expected to return four starters to the line next season.
Broken hand sidelines Clemons
COLUMBIA, Mo., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Ricky Clemons of Missouri, who has endured a rough season off the court, will be sidelined indefinitely by a fractured left hand.
Coach Quin Snyder made the announcement Monday in a prepared statement.
Clemons, a junior forward, is averaging 16.4 points per game for the Tigers, ranked 22nd in the latest USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. He fractured the second metacarpal in his non-shooting hand in a collision with Colorado guard Michel Morandis in the second half of Saturday's 89-68 upset loss at Colorado.
After the team was off Sunday, Clemons did not practice Monday.
Snyder offered little as to when Clemons, who earlier this year was charged with domestic assault and suspended a game, might return. The Tigers' next game is a home contest against No. 3 Oklahoma on Wednesday.
"We don't think he'll be out for the season," said school spokesman Sam Fleury.
Missouri also has a home game against No. 7 Kansas on March 9. The Tigers are 16-7, 7-5 in the Big 12 Conference.
Clemons had a season-low eight points in the loss to Colorado.
Clemons' absence means junior Josh Kroenke, who is averaging just 3.7 points per game, is likely to move into the starting lineup at guard for at least one game.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that Clemons, 22, a junior-college transfer in his first season at Missouri, is awaiting trial after being charged with felony domestic assault Jan. 16. Jessica Bunge, 20, of St. Clair, Mo., has accused him of choking and restraining her at his apartment.
Clemons, who was suspended for one game after his arrest, has denied the allegations.
Sakic to return for Avalanche
DENVER, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The surging Colorado Avalanche could be even better Tuesday night as their captain, Joe Sakic, is expected to return to the lineup against Edmonton.
Sakic has been out since suffering a broken right foot in the second period of a 1-1 tie with the Dallas Stars on Jan. 20.
A team spokesman said Monday that Sakic has been medically cleared to return.
Sakic, 33, reached the 500-goal plateau on Dec. 6, and has 19 goals and 22 assists in 37 games this season. Colorado is 18-2-2-2 without him, but it did not surprise him.
"It's a team game," Sakic said. "We've had injuries to key guys over the last five years, and everybody picks up the slack. That's the way our organization is. We don't accept anything else. "I'm excited and eager to get going. I just want to get in and play, try to play well and help the team. I'm sure I'll be a little rusty in the first period, but after that I'll get right into the groove."
Without Sakic, fellow center Peter Forsberg and linemates Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay have led Colorado (29-15-6), which is eight points behind red-hot Vancouver for the lead in the Northwest Division.
Sakic has 502 goals and 1,298 points in 1,053 contests during a 15-year career.
Yzerman returns for Detroit
DETROIT, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Steve Yzerman of Detroit made a successful return to the ice Monday night in the Red Wings' 5-4 victory over Los Angeles.
Yzerman, 37, missed the first five months of the season following right knee surgery. He was inserted into the lineup after the pregame skate, but did not start for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
His presence prior to and during the game was greeted by a loud ovation from the home crowd.
"Initially, I wanted to play one of the road games, but the schedule didn't allow that to happen," Yzerman said. "Maybe Washington the other night, but I wanted to take the weekend off after a pretty good week last week. With the three games this week, I didn't want to wait until Columbus (on Monday). When I came to the rink today, I thought I might wait until next Sunday. Then I talked to (Coach Dave Lewis) a bit and made up my mind to just go out and play tonight. I'm glad I did to get it over with and get into the swing of things."
The veteran center took 18 shifts, playing 13:17, and won nine faceoffs. He did not record a shot, and did not figure into the scoring.
"It was nice to have him sitting on the bench," Lewis said. "It was nice to have him on the ice. He brings a lot of composure, character, history. At the beginning of the game, I think he was feeling his way a little bit. As the game went on, he felt more comfortable."
The coach was not worried about Yzerman when the play got physical.
"I saw our guys knock him around for the last 3 1/2 weeks, so I knew he could get up and handle that," Lewis said.
After helping the Red Wings to their third Stanley Cup championship in six years last season, Yzerman underwent knee surgery to alleviate pain that bothered him throughout the playoffs.
Yzerman is the longest-serving captain in NHL history. He has spent his entire 19-year career with the Red Wings, and is second behind Gordie Howe on the team's all-time lists for goals (658), assists (1,004) and points (1,662).