National Sports Briefs
Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 20, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO ó Tom Seaver brought a bottle of his wine label to congratulate Randy Johnson for his recent 300th win. Gaylord Perry and Nolan Ryan, two more Hall of Fame members of the elite 300 club, also showed up to celebrate the Big Unit’s milestone victory.
The Giants honored the left-hander before Saturday night’s game against Texas for becoming the 24th pitcher to reach 300. The 45-year-old Johnson won at Washington on June 4 for No. 300. A video tribute played on the main center-field scoreboard with highlights from the pitcher’s decorated 22-year career, then Johnson was joined by his family for an on-field tribute. He received a warm ovation from the crowd, tipping his hat in every direction.
Johnson, in his first season with San Francisco, is 6-5 this season with a 5.00 ERA. He has a World Series ring and co-MVP honors, five Cy Young awards and is a 10-time All-Star selection. He’s thrown two no-hitters, including a perfect game, and ranks second on the career strikeout list.
– ANAHEIM, Calif.ó Suspended slugger Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers is set to start his minor league stint on Tuesday with Triple-A Albuquerque.
“Manny has agreed to go to Albuquerque on Tuesday,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Saturday.
Torre wouldn’t specify how many days Ramirez would spend with the club there.
PHELPSMONTREAL ó Michael Phelps has set a new personal best in winning the 100-meter butterfly at the Canada Cup.
His time of 50.48 seconds Saturday bettered his previous best of 50.58 and narrowly missed the world record of 50.40 set by fellow American Ian Crocker at the 2005 world championships.
Phelps is using the Montreal meet as a final tuneup for the U.S. championships, which will serve as the trials for the world championships in Rome next month.
LOS ANGELES ó Kevin O’Neill returned to the college ranks Saturday when he was announced as Southern California’s basketball coach, taking over from Tim Floyd.
The school announced O’Neill’s hiring in an e-mail. Floyd suddenly resigned June 9 amid allegations that he paid to have O.J. Mayo delivered to the Trojans. He said he was quitting after four seasons because he no longer had enthusiasm for his job.
O’Neill is scheduled to be introduced Monday.
The 52-year-old defense-oriented coach was an assistant with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies this past season. Mayo plays for the Grizzlies. O’Neill led the Toronto Raptors to a 33-49 record in 2004.
GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany ó Wladimir Klitschko again proved his dominance of the heavyweight division, stopping Ruslan Chagaev in a hastily put together title fight Saturday night before 61,000 fans at a German soccer stadium.
With his strong left jab and hard straight rights, Klitschko (53-3, 47 KOs) bloodied Chagaev and never appeared in danger.
The sellout crowd was the biggest boxing audience in Germany since Max Schmeling knocked out Adolf Heuser in front of 70,000 people in Stuttgart in 1939.
STOCKHOLM ó Former New York Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson is retiring after a 19-year hockey career that included two Olympic championships with Sweden.
The 34-year-old played in 705 NHL games, compiling 64 goals and 207 assists in 10 seasons, mostly with the Islanders.
NEWTON, Iowa ó With an assist from Will Power and some water that had seeped onto the track, Helio Castroneves was awarded the pole for today’s Iowa Corn Indy 250.
Qualifying was first delayed and then canceled, so the Iowa 250 field will be stacked based on entrant points.Ryan Briscoe, also from Team Penske, will start second. Target Chip Ganassi teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will start third and fourth followed by Danica Patrick.
NEW YORK ó The NBA will play its first game in Taiwan this fall.
The league said Friday the Denver Nuggets will face the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 8 in an exhibition game at Taipei Arena.
Taipei will be the seventh Asian city to host an NBA game. The others are Beijing, Guangzhou, Macao, Shanghai, Tokyo and Yokohama.