Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Sports Briefs

Davey Johnson remains hospitalized

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Davey Johnson remained hospitalized Monday -- one day after experiencing dizziness caused by an irregular heart rhythm.

Dr. Michael Mellman, one of the team's physicians, changed the medication Johnson was taking for a similar episode about five years ago. So far it has done the trick.

''Davey is doing well and his heart appears to be quite normal at this point, so we're just making sure all the remaining tests are normal and then we'll let him out in the next couple of days,'' Mellman said. ''I'm not sure which day, but I would guess he'll return sometime this homestand.''

Source: Samuels agrees to terms

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins agreed to terms with No. 3 overall draft pick Chris Samuels on Monday night, ending his holdout after one day, The Associated Press has learned.

The tackle from Alabama checked into the team hotel Monday night after his agent, Jimmy Sexton, wrapped up negotiations with director of player personnel Vinny Cerrato, a league source said.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the league would review the contract Tuesday morning and that Samuels would be at practice. Financial details were not available, although CBS SportsLine reported that the contract covered six years for $30.6 million with a $10 million signing bonus and a voidable seventh year.

Agent: Agreement reached on contract for George

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans reached an agreement Monday that will make Eddie George the highest-paid running back in the NFL, his agent said.

Lamont Smith confirmed that terms had been reached for a six-year contract extension worth $42 million, including a $14 million signing bonus that will be paid out over the next 10 months.

''The thing we're most pleased about is the deal places him in that elite category, which he deserves,'' he said Monday night.

A news conference was scheduled for 4 p.m. CDT Tuesday at the Titans' practice facility to announce the extension.

The Titans had made signing George, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, their top priority after signing coach Jeff Fisher to a new contract this offseason.

Hatch tells Olympic probe to fold tent

SALT LAKE CITY -- Sen. Orrin Hatch is weighing into the Justice Department's investigation of the Olympic bribery scandal, urging federal prosecutors to play their hand or back off.

''I'm tired of it,'' the Republican from Utah said Monday in an interview from Washington D.C., defending the leaders of Salt Lake's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games. ''It's time to wrap it up.''

Tom Welch and Dave Johnson have endured a 19-month federal investigation and last week rejected a government plea bargain involving felony tax fraud. Their lawyers continued negotiating with federal prosecutors on Monday.

ABC moves Hall of Fame exhibition kickoff

NEW YORK -- Dennis Miller's debut as a ''Monday Night Football'' analyst will start an hour earlier than planned.

The Hall of Fame Game exhibition between the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots on July 31 will start at 3 p.m. ADT instead of 8 p.m., ABC Sports said Monday.

ABC moved the game up so it would not conflict with the network's coverage of the opening night at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

ABC's new ''Monday Night Football'' broadcast team, including comedian Miller, will call the game.

The Aug. 14 preseason game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans was also moved up an hour to 7 p.m. EDT, ABC said, because of that night's planned coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.

Esiason to do radio on Monday night broadcasts

Boomer Esiason will be back in the booth for NFL games on Monday nights -- the radio booth.

Four months after ABC fired the former quarterback from its ''Monday Night Football'' team, Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports signed Esiason to a two-year contract.

''When you go back and think about it, there wasn't really a spot in television at this point, and this is a high-profile spot for me,'' Esiason said Monday.

His break with ABC in March was acrimonious, with Esiason publicly assigning part of the blame for his firing to ''Monday Night Football'' play-by-play announcer Al Michaels.

Esiason said he's put that behind him.

''I can't worry about what has transpired. Certainly when you get released from somewhere, you get down and you're emotional about it,'' he said.

''I'm over it. It's like anything else, where you get fired from someplace and they want to replace you. I've always worn my feelings on my sleeve. It took me a while. No one ever wants to be told they can't do a job they think they're good at.''

Esiason and Michaels have not spoken since the Pro Bowl.

''I'm sure we'll see each other at one of the games and shake hands and be gentlemen,'' Esiason said.

He'll team with former 49ers and Raiders linebacker Matt Millen and play-by-play voice Howard David in a three-man radio booth. John Dockery will do sideline reports.

The show was heard on 504 radio stations last season, with an average audience of 8.5 million listeners, Westwood One said.

Esiason will debut Sept. 4, when the St. Louis Rams face the Denver Broncos.

He was with ''Monday Night Football'' for two seasons, the first as part of a three-man booth with Michaels and Dan Dierdorf, and the second alone with Michaels. ABC replaced Esiason last month by adding comedian Dennis Miller and analyst Dan Fouts.

''I personally thought he did a good job on ABC. All these announcer situations are vanilla and chocolate. If you have compelling games, the ratings are going to be strong,'' said Westwood One president and CEO Joel Hollander.

''Boomer will be able to bring his knowledge from the last couple of years at ABC to enhance our booth. He also has great business acumen and we expect to get new sponsorships through Boomer.''

Esiason retired from the NFL in 1998 after playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, and ranks ninth in career passing yards with 36,442.

He was the 1988 league MVP, a four-time Pro Bowler, and led the Bengals to the 1989 Super Bowl.

''If you asked me last year at this time would I be in radio, I probably would have told you you were out of your mind,'' Esiason said. ''This is a tremendous opportunity for me.''

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