Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, July 03, 2003

Twins drop game to Fairbanks

The American Legion Twins lost the front end of a doubleheader Wednesday in Fairbanks before the second game was rained out. It will be made up at 1 p.m. today.

The Fairbanks Tri-Cities 49ers took a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning, then scored two more runs in the ninth, taking advantage of three Twins errors.

The Twins tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, but came up short. Nick Weigle, the losing pitcher, walked and came in on a triple by Robby Rounsaville. However, Fairbanks was able to stop the damage there.

"We fell apart on the defensive end of things, with a total of seven errors," Twins manager Lance Coz said. "One of these days, we're hoping to improve on that.

"We're not going to win ballgames without stronger defense."

The Twins are now 5-11.

Fedorov's agent says forward won't return to Wings

DETROIT Sergei Fedorov's agent said the high-scoring forward will not return to the Detroit Red Wings next season.

''We made it official today that Sergei is ready to move on,'' agent Pat Brisson said Wednesday.

Negotiations between the 33-year-old unrestricted free agent and the Red Wings did not progress in the days leading up to Monday's deadline before free agency.

Brisson said he has been talking to several teams he declined to identify.

''We're going to do what's necessary for him to be in the right environment,'' he said.

Brisson gave the news to Detroit general manager Ken Holland.

David Beckham slips on his Real Madrid jersey

MADRID, Spain David Beckham finally slipped on a white Real Madrid jersey with a No. 23 on the back. Quite a change from all those years in red.

Gone was the familiar No. 7 that Beckham made famous while starring for Manchester United. With a lavish welcome by his new club, Beckham, too, was gone from the only team he'd ever known.

''I have spent 13 to 14 years at Manchester United and have always been a supporter and will always follow them,'' Beckham said Wednesday in a televised address to his fans in England. ''For me it has been a massive part of my life and will remain a big part of my life.

''Life goes on and I have to move on.''

Bucks sign first-round draft pick

MILWAUKEE T.J. Ford became the first of this year's NBA first-round draft picks to sign, agreeing to a four-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The 6-foot point guard from Texas was the eighth overall selection in last Thursday's draft. He played two seasons with the Longhorns, leading the team last season in scoring, assists and steals.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed but according to the 2002-03 NBA rookie scale, a four-year deal for the No. 8 pick would be worth about $7 million.

''I think what you're going to get in T.J. Ford is, first off, he's a winner,'' Bucks general manager Larry Harris said Wednesday.

Royals acquire reliever from Brewers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. The Kansas City Royals, looking for help in their first pennant chase in 10 years, acquired right-handed reliever Curtis Leskanic from the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

The AL Central leaders got Leskanic and cash for right-hander Wes Obermueller and infielder Alejandro Machado.

''It makes us a better ballclub, no question about it,'' said Allard Baird, the Royals' general manager, who had been working on the deal for three weeks.

''And it gives us some added relief to some guys we've had to use a lot to this point. Most notably, Jason Grimsley. As we look to August and September, the bullpen's going to be very important.''

Leskanic throws a slider and a fastball and is in his 10th major league season. He's 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 26 games for the Brewers. In 26 2-3 innings, he has allowed eight earned runs and one home run, holding opponents to a .227 average.

FSU QB McPherson pleads no contest to charges

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson pleaded no contest Wednesday to gambling and theft charges under a deal in which he avoids jail time but will serve 30 months of probation.

McPherson had faced up 20 years in jail on charges stemming from allegations he stole a blank check, filled it out and cashed it.

Under the agreement with prosecutors, he also will have to perform at least 25 hours of community service and serve 90 days on a county work detail.

''I'm just relieved it's all over. I'm ready to get back in school and get on with my life,'' McPherson said.

His first trial on misdemeanor charges of gambling, including bets on Florida State Seminole football games, ended in a hung jury.

The stolen check allegation led to his dismissal from the Florida State football team in November.

Trial had been set for July 14 on felony charges that McPherson stole a blank check from R&R Truck Accessories in Tallahassee and with receiving stolen goods after the check was cashed for $3,500.

McPherson also agreed to pay back the money.

''I think justice has been served here,'' prosecutor Tony Guarisco said.

McPherson's attorney, Grady Irvin, said McPherson has not decided where he will enroll in school in the fall. McPherson's eligibility to play football still has to be determined by the NCAA.

McPherson, who started four games last season for Florida State as a sophomore, is the only Florida athlete ever honored as ''Mr. Football'' and ''Mr. Basketball,'' given to the top player in each sport. He wants to play football again, but understands there is a chance it will not happen.

''I believe everything happens for a reason,'' he said.

The NCAA would not comment on McPherson's eligibility, though it released a statement saying ''student-athlete eligibility is separate and apart from the judicial system.''

McPherson has a year to complete the county work detail.

McPherson's other attorney, Chuck Hobbs, said he was pleased with the outcome.

''I feel as if he got treated fairly,'' Hobbs said.

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