National Sports Briefs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 6, 2008

Associated Press
Greg Maddux has thrown his last pitch.
The four-time Cy Young winner will announce his retirement Monday at the baseball winter meetings in Las Vegas.
Maddux, who turns 43 in April, ranks eighth on the career wins list with 355. He went 8-13 with a 4.22 ERA last season with the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Junior Seau signed with the New England Patriots, coming out of retirement again to help bolster his former team’s injury-depleted defense.
The 39-year-old linebacker takes the roster spot of Adalius Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left forearm Nov. 9 against Buffalo. The Patriots, 7-5 with an outside shot at the playoffs, also are without injured linebackers Eric Alexander and Pierre Woods.
Seau retired after last season after two years with the Patriots, who had lured him out of a brief retirement in August 2006.
– FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and driving without insurance after being pulled over by police last weekend.
– NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó The NFL suspended Tennessee reserve defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson for four games without pay for violating the league’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.
– CHARLOTTE ó Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has been readmitted to the hospital, a month after surgery to implant a pacemaker.
The hospital said Saturday the pacemaker is working fine, but doctors planned further tests to determine why Richardson is feeling ill. The 72-year-old Richardson has a history of heart problems and had a quadruple-bypass surgery in 2002.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ó Michelle Wie is in the final group at a golf tournament for the first in more than two years, this time without the pressure of trying to win her first tournament as a pro.
Wie saved par on three of her last four holes Saturday for a 4-under 68 that left her one shot behind former NCAA champion Stacy Lewis at the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament, where the only goal is to leave LPGA headquarters with a full-time job.
Wie was nine shots clear of the cutoff for the top 20 players to earn their cards.
NEW YORKó NASCAR chairman Brian France has lobbied Congress to support a financial rescue plan for the struggling Big Three automakers.
Chrysler, Ford and General Motors ó three of the four manufacturers that participate in NASCAR ó are pleading with Congress for a bailout to prevent their companies from going bankrupt.
“I’m writing you as a concerned American who wants what is best for our general country,” France wrote. “Of course, the domestic automobile manufacturers play a very important part of the heritage of NASCAR, but more importantly, it is vital for all of America.”
France’s letter warned that if the auto industry fails, 3 million people would lose their jobs in the first year.