O's deal with Wigginton likely to be final this week



The official announcement of infielder Ty Wigginton's two-year, $6 million deal with the Orioles is likely to come this week, perhaps as early as today. Wigginton, who had a physical Thursday in Baltimore, had a second round of tests yesterday, and the Orioles are not concerned that there will be any limitations on his playing status. Team officials declined to comment on the reason for the holdup of the announcement; however, they are confident that the deal will be finalized. Wigginton, 31, batted .285 with 23 home runs for the Houston Astros last season, and he has hit 22 or more homers while batting .275 or higher in each of the past three seasons. The right-handed hitter is expected to play third base, second base and first base, and also get time at designated hitter for the Orioles. Also, Orioles minor league director David Stockstill said the club is nearing a minor league deal with Japanese right-handed reliever Ryohei Tanaka, who will not get an invitation to major league spring training. Tanaka, who caught the eye of Orioles scout Gil Kubski while working out in California, pitched for several years with the Chiba Lotte Marines. He has been a starter and reliever in Japan, but Stockstill said the Orioles plan to use him in long relief.



Cardinals: : St. Louis released Adam Kennedy, leaving the second base job up for grabs with just a week to go before spring training. The team requested waivers on Kennedy, 33, that will expire tomorrow, when he'll become an unrestricted free agent. Kennedy is due to make $4 million this season, the last year of a three-year deal. His new club would have to pay him only the $400,000 minimum while the Cardinals would be responsible for the rest.

Bonds: : Federal prosecutors are again asking a judge in San Francisco to let them show a jury three drug test results they say show Barry Bonds used steroids. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said last week that she was inclined to throw out those results unless someone could directly testify to collecting the slugger's urine samples. The likeliest candidate to be able to do so is Bonds' former trainer, Greg Anderson. A lawyer for Anderson has said his client won't testify at Bonds' coming trial.

Rays: : Catcher Dioner Navarro went to a salary arbitration hearing, arguing he should get $2.5 million this year rather than the team's $2.1 million offer. He hit a team-high .295 last year with seven homers and 54 RBIs.

Brewers: : Milwaukee is working on a deal to sign right-hander Braden Looper, and general manager Doug Melvin said he was "optimistic" about bringing him onto the staff. Looper, 34, has a career record of 58-58 with a 3.93 ERA.

Dodgers: : Right-hander Jeff Weaver, who won the clinching game of the 2006 World Series for the Cardinals, agreed to a minor league deal after taking last season off.

Giants: : Veteran infielder Rich Aurilia agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Elsewhere: : The Yomiuri Giants of Japan's Central League have signed former major league infielder Edgardo Alfonzo, 35, to a one-year contract worth $380,000.

UConn provides stability in men's poll at No. 1


col. basketball

Connecticut held the top spot in the Associated Press men's poll for a second straight week after a run in which a different team was on top for four straight weeks. The Huskies (22-1) beat Louisville and Michigan last week to again be a runaway No. 1, receiving 67 of 72 first-place votes from a national media panel. Oklahoma (23-1) and North Carolina (21-2) held the second and third spots, with the Sooners getting three first-place votes, while the Tar Heels were No. 1 on two ballots. Duke dropped from fourth to sixth. Wake Forest held at No. 7. Florida State (18-5) moved in for the first time in 11 years, at No. 25, off the big win at Clemson, a game it trailed in by 19 points.

AP women's poll:: Tennessee fell three spots to No. 15 in the latest rankings after losing twice last week - to Oklahoma and Florida - and beating Georgia for coach Pat Summitt's 1,000th victory, dropping the Lady Vols to their lowest ranking in 23 years. The last time Tennessee was ranked so low was the final ballot of the 1985-86 season. Connecticut (23-0) remained the unanimous No. 1 choice for an 11th straight week. Maryland (19-4) jumped two spots, from No. 13 to No. 11. Polls, 5D

Duke: : Coach Mike Krzyzewski said senior point guard Greg Paulus would retain his starting job for tomorrow's game against North Carolina. Sophomore Nolan Smith hasn't started since last week's 27-point loss at Clemson.

Utah Senate urges Obama to abandon BCS

col. football


Utah's state legislature is calling for a playoff system to determine the national champion. With University of Utah players on hand, the state Senate adopted a resolution it wants sent to President Barack Obama urging the NCAA to abandon the Bowl Championship Series in favor of a playoff system. Utah finished its perfect season with a No. 2 ranking in the final AP poll.

Miami (Fla.): : North Carolina assistant John Lovett is the Hurricanes' choice for defensive coordinator and could sign a contract with the school by midweek, a Miami athletic department official familiar with the hiring process told the AP.

Cincinnati: : Coach Brian Kelly said defensive coordinator Joe Tresey will not return for next season.

Washington: : New offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik has left to take a job with the Oakland Raiders.

Louisville: : Coach Steve Kragthorpe will be his own offensive coordinator next season.

Woods announces birth of his second child


et cetera

Tiger Woods announced on his Web site that his wife, Elin, had given birth to a boy, Charlie Axel Woods, on Sunday. It is the couple's second child after the birth of daughter Sam Alexis in June 2007 on the day after the U.S. Open. Woods, 33, wrote in a newsletter last week that his return to golf would depend largely on the birth of his second child. Recovering from knee surgery, he is expected to return before the Masters.

Skiing: : American Lindsey Vonn won the downhill for her second gold at the world championships in Val d'Isere, France. Then she cut her thumb while trying to celebrate over champagne. Vonn won in 1 minute, 30.31 seconds, beating Swiss teenager Lara Gut by 0.52 of a second to become the second American woman to win two golds at one world event. Andrea Mead Lawrence won the slalom and giant slalom at the 1952 Oslo Olympics, which doubled as the worlds. Vonn cut her right thumb on a champagne bottle while celebrating, and she required four stitches to close the wound. "I really think I'm safer skiing downhill at 85 mph," Vonn said.

NHL: : Sean Avery cleared waivers, and the next step for the Stars is to find a team for the controversial left wing to start playing again. ... The Blues and center Andy McDonald agreed to a four-year extension. ... Lightning goalie Mike Smith is suffering from postconcussion syndrome and might be able to return to the ice within a week.