Cassell says he'll retire after 2008-09 season



Baltimore native and three-time NBA champion Sam Cassell said yesterday that he plans to become an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics after playing one more season. A guard who was part of the Celtics' title run this past season, Cassell, 38, told a reporter about his plans shortly before speaking at a City Hall news conference. "This is my last year playing with the Celtics," he said. "Next week, I'll sign the contract." After finishing the 2008-09 season, he plans to exercise an option to join the coaching staff. Celtics spokesman Brian Olive declined to comment. Cassell (Dunbar) appeared yesterday with Mayor Sheila Dixon for an announcement that the 200 block of N. Montford St. - where Cassell grew up - will be renamed in his honor Saturday. "That is the biggest honor," he said. "That is never going away." The street will be renamed at a Parade of Champions event that starts at 2 p.m. at Patterson Park. Also expected at the event are Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) of the Denver Nuggets, former Atlanta Falcons safety Keion Carpenter (Woodlawn) and former Green Bay Packers receiver Antonio Freeman (Poly).



More Celtics: : Coach Doc Rivers received a three-year extension after leading Boston to an NBA title. His contract, which had one year left, was extended through the 2010-11 season at an annual salary of about $5.5 million, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Landis preparing comeback for 2009


Floyd Landis is preparing his own comeback. The American who won the 2006 Tour de France but then had his title stripped for a positive doping test is looking to return to a team run by Momentum Sports Group. "We are in negotiations with Floyd Landis to ride for the team in 2009," said team director Mike Tamayo at the Tour of Missouri. Landis, a 32-year-old from Farmersville, Pa., could not be reached for comment. News of Landis' efforts came one day after Lance Armstrong announced he is ending a three-year retirement and aiming for another Tour victory in 2009. Landis' suspension ends Jan. 30, 2009. Since his positive test rocked the cycling world in 2006, he has been fighting and losing the case at every level and seeking a return. Landis always has said he was clean and was victimized by an anti-doping system he says is rigged against athletes.

Armstrong: : Tour de France organizers are hardly thrilled at the prospect of Armstrong returning for a shot at an eighth victory in cycling's showcase event. Race director Christian Prudhomme said the door is open for the American to compete next year, but he was cool to the idea and stressed that Armstrong, 36, must meet stringent new anti-doping standards to clear up the suspicions that dogged him throughout his career.

I. Rodriguez, Hunter suspended for 2 games


New York Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter were suspended two games each for their roles in a bench-clearing scuffle Monday night in Anaheim, Calif. Rodriguez took an openhanded swing at Hunter after getting shoved in the back by Hunter, and both players were ejected. Both were fined, as was Angels pitcher John Lackey. Los Angeles went on to win, 12-1. Rodriguez and Hunter began serving their suspensions yesterday.


Twins:: The team said it will make a push to host the 2014 All-Star Game. Team officials and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said that the Twin Cities area showed it could handle a major event with last week's Republican National Convention. The Twins are due to open a new ballpark in 2010 in downtown Minneapolis.

Braves: : Despite Atlanta's worst season since 1990, manager Bobby Cox vowed to return next season. Cox, 67, signed a one-year extension in May, but his team was ravaged by injuries and went into today with a 64-82 record. Management has made it clear that Cox, who has run the team since 1990, can stay as long as he likes.

Et cetera:: The NL West-leading Dodgers activated pitcher Brad Penny from the 15-day disabled list and plan to use their former ace as a reliever. Penny (6-9, 6.05 ERA) went on the DL Aug. 14 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. The right-hander was a combined 32-13 in the previous two seasons. ... Giants outfielder Fred Lewis will undergo season-ending surgery tomorrow to remove a bunion from his right foot. ... Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips will have season-ending surgery tomorrow to have a pin inserted into his broken right index finger to help it heal properly. Phillips broke the finger in Tuesday when he was hit by a pitch on a bunt attempt. ... White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee and is listed as day-to-day. He was injured Tuesday while making a throw to second base. ... The Phillies activated outfielder Geoff Jenkins from the 15-day DL and placed utility infielder Andy Tracy on the DL with a broken left hand that will cost him the rest of the season. Tracy was injured by a line drive during batting practice.

U.S. men prevail, 3-0, in World Cup qualifying

et cetera

Clint Dempsey scored his fourth goal in four games, Michael Bradley and Brian Ching padded the margin, and the U.S. men's soccer team beat Trinidad and Tobago, 3-0, in World Cup qualifying in Bridgeview, Ill. The Americans' fifth straight win virtually assures them of making next year's six-team regional finals.


Golf: : South Korea's Se Ri Pak, a defender of the LPGA Tour in the wake of its short-lived plan to suspend players who don't speak English well enough to satisfy sponsors, said that learning the language can benefit rising international stars. Others at the Bell Micro Classic in Mobile, Ala., the first tour event since the controversy surfaced, also supported the goal of improving international players' English skills. But they disliked the idea of suspending non-English speakers.

Outdoors: : A 1,600-acre section of the Loch Raven Reservoir watershed will be open for white-tailed deer bow hunting from Monday through Jan. 31. Archers planning to hunt Loch Raven must complete a 2008-09 permit form. The form, regulations, a map of the Loch Raven hunting area boundaries and parking locations are online at and at the Gwynnbrook Wildlife and Heritage Service office, 3740 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills. The office is open weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CANDUS THOMSON

Colleges: : Ohio State tailback Chris Wells worked out with the team in pads and is on target to play against No. 1 Southern California on Saturday. Jim Bollman, one of the No. 5 Buckeyes' two offensive coordinators, said the Heisman Trophy candidate's healing right foot was at "75 percent." ... With Fenway Park on hold because of a scheduling error, the Atlantic Coast Conference plans to hold its 2009 baseball tournament in Durham, N.C. ... Michael Allan, who coached the California-Santa Barbara club lacrosse team for five seasons, has been named an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for Towson men's team.