Cardinals planning to buy out Mulder



The St. Louis Cardinals intend to cut ties with often-injured left-hander Mark Mulder, paying a $1.5 million buyout rather than exercising an $11 million option on his contract. General manager John Mozeliak said yesterday that he sent a letter to Mulder's agent, Gregg Clifton, informing him of the franchise's intention. Mozeliak said he didn't think the Cardinals would be interested in re-signing Mulder at a lower rate, either. Mulder, 31, is rehabilitating from a pair of shoulder operations and was limited to 1 2/3 innings this season. Mulder won 16 games his first year with the Cardinials but was 6-10 with only 21 starts the past three seasons.

Nationals: : General manager Jim Bowden recently had surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his forehead. The skin cancer was discovered in June, but Bowden, 47, waited until the season ended to have the operation.


Red Sox: : Manager Terry Francona will be heading for surgery this offseason. Francona said he has had a back problem and hasn't had full feeling in his arms since May. He hopes to get that fixed this winter so he can be ready for spring training.

Braves: : Announcer Pete Van Wieren has announced his retirement, ending a 33-year career with the team. Van Wieren became a familiar face on the TBS team that broadcast Atlanta games to a national television audience.

Cubs-Yankees: : The teams are talking about playing an exhibition game or games at the new Yankee Stadium the weekend before most teams open the regular season.

Power forward Williams commits to Maryland

col. basketball

Jordan Williams, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound power forward from Torrington, Conn., has committed orally to Maryland. A four-star prospect (on a five-star scale), Williams joins James Padget, a 6-8 forward from Brooklyn, N.Y., to help bolster the frontcourt next season. Williams averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks as a junior. He said he chose Maryland for its academics. "I want to major in criminal justice and Maryland has one of the top criminal justice programs in the country," Williams told Zags Blog. "If something were to happen where I would get hurt and couldn't play basketball, then I would have something to fall back on."


Ex-track coach Graham gets home confinement


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A federal judge sentenced disgraced track coach Trevor Graham to a year of home confinement for lying to federal investigators. Graham once coached Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Justin Gatlin. All were later banned for taking performance-enhancing drugs. Prosecutors had urged the judge to sentence Graham to 10 months in prison for lying to agents about his extensive connection to an admitted steroid dealer. The sentence also included a $5,000 fine. In May, a jury convicted Graham of one felony count of making false statements after a parade of his former athletes testified the coach had set them up with steroids.

Horse racing: : A Maryland Racing Commission hearing was told the stabling area at Rosecroft Raceway, where live racing has been suspended for two years, was in jeopardy of being closed in January unless additional horses were boarded. Rosecroft, in Fort Washington in Prince George's County, offers simulcasting. Arthur Lisi, a horse owner trying to recruit additional horses to board and train at Rosecroft, said he believed it was possible to bring in the approximately 35 horses needed to keep the facility open. The horsemen have until Nov. 18 to come up with the additional horses. If they are found, the backside would remain open at least until June 2009. The soonest that Rosecroft is likely to resume live racing is January 2011, said Edward Snell, the track's chief executive. BILL ORDINE

NHL: : Jarome Iginla scored on a power play a minute into the second period and Matthew Lombardi added a goal 1:42 later to lift the host Calgary Flames over the Washington Capitals, 2-1. Sergei Fedorov gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Cycling: : Lance Armstrong could still race in the 2009 Tour de France, as long as race organizers make him feel welcome, Astana team director Johan Bruyneel said. The seven-time Tour champion expressed doubts last week whether he would try for an eighth Tour title.

NBA:: Kobe Bryant hyperextended his right knee in the second quarter of the Lakers' preseason game. Bryant, who did not come out for the second half, will be re-examined today. ... Harry Mangurian Jr., a former owner of the Boston Celtics, died Sunday of leukemia. He was 82. Mangurian owned the Celtics from 1979 to 1983, a tenure that included a championship in 1981 and the signings of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. ... The Washington Wizards waived forwards DerMarr Johnson and Linton Johnson to cut their roster to the maximum 15 players.


College football: : Rodney Allison will not return as Chattanooga's coach next season. Allison is 17-47 in his sixth season with the Mocs. ... Penn State coach Joe Paterno plans to have doctors check out his ailing right leg and hip next week, when the third-ranked Nittany Lions have a bye. Paterno, 81, has been hobbled by the injury since trying to demonstrate an onside kick the first week of the season.