Originally created 12/16/00


The Boston Red Sox keep on spending.

The latest acquisition was pitcher Hideo Nomo, who agreed Friday to a $4.5 million, one-year contract as Boston stocks up for a run at the World Series champion New York Yankees.

Nomo, 32, was released by Detroit on Nov. 2 when the Tigers declined his $5.5 million option and gave him a $250,000 buyout.

Nomo, a right-hander who won the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year award with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was 8-12 with a 4.74 ERA for the Tigers last season and led the team with 188 strikeouts, the sixth-most in the AL. He joins a rotation headed by AL Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez.

Also Friday, right-hander Mark Wohlers re-signed with Cincinnati, agreeing to a $1.5 million, one-year deal; Philadelphia announced its $1.5 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ricky Bottalico, a deal agreed to at the winter meetings; and the Tigers acquired left-hander Matt Perisho from Texas for minor league pitchers Kevin Mobley and Brandon Villafuerte.

Five players eligible for salary arbitration agreed to one-year contracts: Chicago Cubs right-hander Todd Van Poppel ($850,000); New York Mets infielder Desi Relaford ($475,000); Philadelphia right-hander Amaury Telemaco ($375,000); Cubs right-hander Jeremi Gonzalez ($265,000); and Arizona outfielder Midre Cummings.

Gregg Jefferies, just 33, announced his retirement rather than find a new team. Earlier in the month, Detroit declined to offer the free agent infielder salary arbitration.

BOXING: A Grand Rapids, Mich., jury has ordered the former manager for Buster Mathis Jr. to pay $837,000 in damages to the retired heavyweight boxer.

"The whole jury felt strongly about the old story of a boxer being ripped off by his manager," jury foreman Roger Horton said after the verdict.

Brian Lee Baumchen sued Mathis in 1996, and the boxer countersued. Each accused the other of wrongdoing during Mathis' five-year professional career, which peaked in 1995 when he earned $700,000 for fighting Mike Tyson.

Tyson knocked out Mathis in the third round in Philadelphia.

HARNESS RACING: George Sholty, a Hall of Fame harness racing driver and winner of more than $20 million in purse money, died after an extended illness. He was 68.

Sholty, born into a harness racing family at Logansport, Ind., died Thursday night in Colts Neck, N.J.

He won his first race in 1951. Racing on the East Coast through the 1950s and '60s, Sholty was one of the dominant drivers of the era, winning numerous titles at Yonkers and Roosevelt raceways in New York.

In all, Sholty won 2,934 races and $20,777,666 in purse money.

VOLLEYBALL: Nebraska's Greichaly Cepero was honored Friday as the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Player of the Year.

The sophomore setter accepted the award during ceremonies between NCAA Final Four matches. No. 1 Nebraska will play No. 4 Wisconsin in today's championship match.

The 6-foot-2 Cepero joins Allison Weston (1992-1995) as the only players in the university's history to earn the national award for volleyball.

Nebraska coach John Cook was selected coach of the year on Thursday.

Cepero, from Doraco, Puerto Rico, is averaging 11.97 assists, 2.16 digs, 1.48 blocks and 1.84 kills this season.


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