National Sports Briefs: A-Rod in Yankees’ lineup

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 2, 2009

Associated Press
SARASOTA, Fla. ó Alex Rodriguez was lifted for a pinch runner in the fifth inning of the New York Yankees’ spring game Sunday, and perhaps was headed for a scheduled meeting with Major League Baseball officials to discuss his admission of using performance-enhancing from 2001-03 while with Texas.
There was no official word on when or if the meeting would still take place. New York manager Joe Girardi before the game declined to say when the meeting would occur, saying it was up to Rodriguez or MLB to discuss specifics.
MLB wants to speak with Rodriguez about security issues involving a trainer from the Dominican Republic and the cousin the three-time MVP said injected him with a banned substance called “boli.”
A-Rod worked out at Steinbrenner Field for about 90 minutes before boarding the team bus, which left Tampa at 9 a.m. He didn’t talk to reporters after taking batting practice before the game against the Cincinnati Reds. He had a pair of RBI doubles in three at-bats for the Yankees.
Rodriguez, after receiving a mixed ovation that had more boos, hit a run-scoring double in the first off Reds starter Aaron Harang. He hit foul pop fly in the third, and had another RBI double against Arthur Rhodes during the fifth.
– VIERA, Fla. ó Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden says he is resigning.
Bowden’s resignation comes a week after it was initially reported that he is part of a federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to prospects from Latin America. He met last year with FBI investigators.
Says Bowden: “I’ve become a distraction.”
– PHOENIX ó The Los Angeles Dodgers have pulled their $45 million, two-year offer to Manny Ramirez, and owner Frank McCourt said Sunday that negotiations will have to start again from scratch.
DALLAS ó NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists, Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves, and the Pittsburgh Penguins won their third in a row without captain Sidney Crosby, 4-1 over the stumbling Dallas Stars on Sunday.
Crosby, who began the day as the league’s No. 3 scorer with 79 points, has missed three games due to a left groin injury.
Devils 3, Flyers 0
NEWARK, N.J. ó Martin Brodeur earned his 100th NHL regular-season shutout with a 27-save effort, and the New Jersey Devils extended their lead in the Atlantic Division.
The shutout was the second in three games since Brodeur returned Thursday from elbow surgery, and this one moved him within three of tying Terry Sawchuk’s mark of 103. It was also Brodeur’s 547th career victory, moving him within four of tying Patrick Roy’s league record.
Panthers 6, Capitals 2
WASHINGTON ó Stephen Weiss, Bryan McCabe and Jay Bouwmeester scored power-play goals in the first period, Florida held Alex Ovechkin without a point until the final minute, and the Panthers beat the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals.
Blackhawks 4, Kings 2
CHICAGO ó Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Dustin Byfuglien scored in the first period, and Antti Niemi made 22 saves in his first NHL start.
CLEARWATER, Fla. ó Detroit Lions defensive end Corey Smith and Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper were among four boaters missing Sunday off Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Coast Guard and Smith’s agent said.
Smith and Cooper were on a 21-foot vessel that left Clearwater Pass on Saturday morning for a fishing trip and did not return as expected, the Coast Guard said Sunday. Crews used a helicopter and a 47-foot motor-life boat to search a 750-square mile area west of Clearwater Pass on Sunday.
FRANKFURT ó Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker told a live television audience that he will marry Dutch girlfriend Lilly Kerssenberg on June 12 in Switzerland.