By the Nationals, a one-year, nonguaranteed $500,000 contract to Sammy Sosa.
Signing with Washington would mean a steep pay cut for Sosa (above), who made
$17 million with the Orioles last year; he was still mulling the Nationals'
offer on Monday--and reportedly considering retirement. If he decides to play,
rejecting the Nationals would leave Sosa in limbo two weeks before the start of
spring training. The market has been slow for a 37-year-old who in 2005 hit
.221 with 14 home runs and played just 102 games because of a foot injury.
Sosa, who needs 12 home runs to become the fifth player in history to reach
600, has received no other offers this off-season.
On charges of robbery and carrying a concealed weapon, former Ohio State
running back Maurice Clarett, 22, who as a freshman helped the Buckeyes win the
national championship in 2002. Clarett is accused of flashing a gun and robbing
a man and a woman of a cellphone outside a club in Columbus, Ohio, early on
Jan. 1 (SI, Jan. 9). According to police, Clarett fled with two men in a
sport-utility vehicle; he turned himself in two days later. Clarett, who
unsuccessfully sued the NFL to enter the 2004 draft, was drafted by the Broncos
last year but released during training camp. He denied the charges and faces up
to 26 years in prison.
By Duke, the university's drug-testing program to discourage steroid use by
athletes. Blue Devils who test positive for steroids will be suspended for a
year; second offenses will result in lost eligibility. The changes come 10
months after two former Duke baseball players told a school newspaper that they
used steroids on the team and that their coach, Bill Hillier, encouraged them
to do so. Hillier, who denied the allegations, resigned last May. The school's
policy now also allows for unannounced testing of athletes in all of its 26
On suspicion of driving under the influence, Oklahoma State basketball coach
Eddie Sutton, 69. The coach was on his way to meet his team at the Stillwater
(Okla.) Regional Airport last Friday when his sport-utility vehicle rear-ended
another moving car. Police say they're waiting on results of blood tests to
determine if Sutton (above) was under the influence. (The results may take
eight weeks.) On Monday the university announced that Sutton, whose team is
13-11, had requested a leave of absence for the rest of the season and that his
son Sean, 37, an assistant coach, would replace him. "It has been an
extremely difficult season," said the elder Sutton, who in recent years has
been battling back and hip problems. "With my deteriorating physical
condition and other issues, I have been under a tremendous amount of
As a guest instructor with the Mets, former All-Star outfielder Rickey
Henderson. Baseball's career-steals leader will spend 10 days after the World
Baseball Classic in March offering baserunning instruction to Mets players. At
47 Henderson hasn't appeared in the majors since 2003 but spent the past two
years playing with the independent Newark Bears of the Atlantic League and the
San Diego Surf Dawgs of the Golden Baseball League. Henderson, who played for
the Mets in 1999 and 2000, says he's still eyeing a comeback. "I was
looking, of course, to get the opportunity to play in the major leagues,"
the '90 American League MVP said. "I think that's what my goal in my heart
[is], the desire to go out and play baseball."
From his ABC contract so NBC could hire him for its Sunday-night NFL broadcasts
beginning next season, Al Michaels. The broadcaster said he'd stay with Monday
Night Football when it was announced last year that the show would move to
ESPN, which like ABC is owned by Disney. But Michaels later decided he wanted
to be reunited with MNF partner John Madden, whom NBC hired last June; last
month NBC and ABC/ ESPN began negotiations. In exchange for letting Michaels go,
ESPN acquired rights to broadcast portions of the Ryder Cup, increased usage of
Olympic footage--and the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (below), an animated
character created by Disney in 1927. ( NBC's sister company Universal acquired
Oswald years ago.) "This is pretty cool," Michaels said. "I'll be a
trivia answer as to how Oswald the Rabbit was able to [return home]."
By Vice President Dick Cheney, a fellow hunter during a quail hunt at a ranch
near Corpus Christi. Harry Whittington, 78, an Austin lawyer who was in
Cheney's hunting group, was in stable condition after he was accidentally hit
in the face and chest with bird shot from Cheney's 28-gauge shotgun. "The
Vice President picked out a bird and was following it and shot," said
Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch, "and by god, Harry was in the line
of fire and got peppered pretty good."
Planned By Il
Romanista, a fan newspaper of the Italian Serie A soccer club Roma, a giveaway
of the movie Life Is Beautiful at an upcoming match. The publication, which has
a daily circulation of 10,000, announced it would distribute copies of the
bittersweet 1997 comedy, which is set in a concentration camp during World War
II, after Roma fans displayed neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic banners during a match
against Livorno in Rome on Jan. 29. Said the paper's editor, Riccardo Luna,
"At least this way one might grasp what happened in the death
By Canadiens goalie Jose Th�odore, a pre-Olympic test for performance-enhancing
drugs. The failure resulted from an attempt by Th�odore to enhance the
performance of his hair: He tested positive for Propecia, a hair-growth drug
that is often used as a steroid masking agent. Th�odore, 29, isn't bald but
said he has been taking the drug, for which he has a prescription, for
"eight or nine years" because the men in his family have a history of
baldness. ( Th�odore wasn't chosen for Canada's Olympic team, and the test won't
affect his NHL standing.) "I always like my hair real long," he said.
"I don't feel I have anything to hide."