Originally created 01/08/98

Overtime: A sports wrap-up



Tiant named baseball coach in Savannah

Luis Tiant, known for his corkscrew windup and postgame cigar during his 19 years as a major league pitcher, is the new baseball coach at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

"I've done everything I can in baseball," the 57-year-old Tiant said after being introduced at a news conference at the NCAA Division III school. "I liked what I saw when I came in and interviewed. Education is No. 1, baseball is No. 2."

Tiant is best remembered as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, where he played from 1971 to 1978. He also pitched for the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and California Angels.

Hicks to buy Rangers

Tom Hicks, vowing he will spend enough to win a pennant, agreed Wednesday to buy the Texas Rangers from the group headed by Texas Gov. George W. Bush for $250 million.

If the deal is approved by other baseball owners, a process expected to take six to 12 months, the price would be the second-highest for a baseball team. Fox Sports, a division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is awaiting approval on its purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Peter O'Malley, a deal worth about $350 million.

Canseco pleads in violence case

Jose Canseco pleaded no contest Wednesday to a domestic violence charge and was sentenced to one year of probation as part of a deal with prosecutors.

The 33-year-old free agent outfielder was arrested in November and charged with misdemeanor battery for hitting his wife, Jessica, 24.

Defectors Costa Rica bound

Two defecting Cuban baseball players and five companions they refused to abandon left the Bahamas on Wednesday aboard a plane bound for Costa Rica.

Pitcher Orlando Hernandez and catcher Alberto Hernandez, who is not related, left Nassau with five others who helped the players defect, said Orlando Hernandez' aunt, Barbara Cruz.

Left-hander Omar Daal, acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft Nov. 18, agreed Wednesday to a $575,000, one-year contract.

Four days after hitting a tree while speeding in his Ferrari, Toronto Blue Jays' catcher Benito Santiago was released from a hospital Wednesday after treatment for severe injuries.

PREP BASKETBALL:

The Saluda at Strom Thurmond game scheduled for Tuesday was postponed and will be played Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the J.E.T. gymnasium in Johnston. The boys' game will follow at 8 p.m.

TENNIS:

Monica Seles, a four-time winner of the Australian Open, withdrew from the season's first Grand Slam event Wednesday because of "personal reasons."

The Open begins Jan. 19 in Melbourne, Australia.

Britain's Tim Henman and Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic reached the quarterfinals of the $1 million Qatar Open on Wednesday in contrasting fashion.

Henman defeated Frenchman Guillaume Raoux in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, while Ivanisevic had to rally to beat Switzerland's Marc Rosset 6-7, 7-5, 7-5.

Andre Agassi and Patrick Rafter rallied for comeback victories in separate Australian tennis tournaments Wednesday.

At Adelaide, Agassi lost the first set 6-4 and was trailing 3-2 in the second when rain forced suspension of his match against Armenia's Sargis Sargisian at the Men's Hardcourt Championships. Agassi recovered to take the second set 6-3, then finished off Sargisian 6-3 in the third.

At Perth, U.S. Open champion Rafter fought back from a 1-4 deficit in the third set to beat Carlos Moya as Australia defeated Spain 2-1 in the Hopman Cup mixed-team tournament.

AUTO RACING:

Robert Pressley, driving for Jasper Motorsports, on Wednesday turned the fastest lap so far by a Ford Taurus in preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway.

The Asheville, N.C., driver got around the 2.5-mile, high-banked oval at 187.707 mph in the second of three days of tests for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' Ford teams.

BOXING:

Oscar De La Hoya was unanimously voted boxer of the year by the World Boxing Council on Wednesday.

All 32 voting members of the council cast their ballots for De La Hoya, who fought five times in 1997 and earned a total of $33 million.

SWIMMING:

Some day she hopes to swim the English Channel, and there's every reason to think Erica Rose will do just that.

The 10th-grader from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, on Wednesday captured the 5-kilometer ocean swim at the world championships, winning easily for her first major international victory.