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Archive for Friday, January 13, 2006

Miller says he regrets remarks

Skier apologizes for making drunk-skiing comments

January 13, 2006

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Wengen, Switzerland - Bode Miller is backing down, for once.

The overall World Cup champion apologized Thursday for his comments about skiing and drinking during a televised interview, regretting the "confusion and pain" he caused.

The apology, while out of character for the usually obstinate and defiant Miller, was not unexpected given the concern the comments caused within the sport's hierarchy.

"The most important thing is that I wanted to come straight out and apologize to mostly my family, friends," Miller said at a news conference at the Wengen Elementary School. "But also we have a lot of people who supported me along the way, through my team and even just family and friends who have supported me, who I think are subject to only what the media puts out in America.

"And because of the way I made those comments in the '60 Minutes' interview, it caused a lot of confusion and pain for all those people and obviously that's not something I want to do so, firstly, I'd like to apologize to them," he added.

The apology followed discussions with U.S. Ski and Snowboard Assn. president and chief executive Bill Marolt.

College Football

Baylor hires injured coach

Waco, Texas - Gary Joe Kinne, the East Texas high school football coach who police say was critically shot by a parent last year, has been hired to coach linebackers at Baylor, his alma mater. Kinne lost 80 percent of his liver in the April 7 shooting, but returned to coach Canton to its best season in school history.

Figure Skating

Cohen wins short program

St. Louis - Coming off a bout with the flu, Sasha Cohen easily won the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Thursday night with 65.15 points. She was considered just about a lock for her first national title once Michelle Kwan withdrew because of a groin injury. The free skate will be held Saturday.

Weir leads at nationals

St. Louis - Johnny Weir's miserable season just got a whole lot better. The two-time defending champion was back to his old self Thursday, winning the short program for a commanding lead at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Weir finished with a personal-best 83.28, more than six points ahead of Michael Weiss.

College Basketball

MU's Gardner has concussion

Columbia, Mo. - Thomas Gardner, the Big 12 Conference's leading scorer, sustained a mild concussion during Missouri's Thursday afternoon practice when he collided with teammate Marshall Brown. Gardner, who averages 20.2 points and 3.3 three-pointers, will be listed as questionable for Saturday's game against Colorado, according to a news release posted on Missouri's Web site. He was hurt when his head struck Brown's shoulder while the players were going after a loose-ball rebound, officials said.

Golf

Wie cards 79 at Sony

Honolulu - Michelle Wie signed for her highest score on the PGA Tour, one that sent her to the bottom of the leaderboard Thursday at the Sony Open. Wie stumbled to a 9-over 79 that left her with virtually no hope of becoming the first woman in 61 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour.

Rory Sabbatini birdied five of his last seven holes for a 5-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead over David Toms, K.J. Choi, Charles Warren and Jeff Gove. Defending champion Vijay Singh had to birdie his last two holes for a 71.

Tourney criteria clarified

Rancho Mirage, Calif. - The Kraft Nabisco Championship clarified its criteria Thursday, allowing teenage sensations Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel to play in the LPGA Tour's first major of the year.

BASEBALL

Orioles, Millar reach deal

Baltimore - First baseman Kevin Millar agreed to a $2.1 million, one-year contract Thursday with the Baltimore Orioles, who hope the former Boston Red Sox standout can provide leadership and some punch in the lineup.

Mariners settle with Mateo

Seattle - The Seattle Mariners agreed Thursday to a $1,875,000, two-year contract with reliever Julio Mateo that avoided salary arbitration.

The 28-year-old right-hander made $390,000 last season, his fourth with Seattle. He was 3-6 with two blown saves, a 3.06 earned-run average, 52 strikeouts and 17 walks in a career-high 55 games..

Balfour, Reds agree

Cincinnati - Right-hander Grant Balfour agreed to a one-year, $340,000 contract Thursday with the Cincinnati Reds..

Phillies sign pitcher Myers

Philadelphia - Brett Myers avoided arbitration, agreeing Thursday to a $3.3 million, one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Embree signs with Padres

San Diego - Left-handed reliever Alan Embree agreed to a minor-league contract with the San Diego Padres on Thursday.

Women's Basketball

Donovan to coach U.S. squad

Seattle - Anne Donovan was picked to coach the United States women's 2006 world championship and 2008 Olympic basketball teams Thursday. Donovan, a former Olympian, will coach the team at the World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and at the 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament if necessary. The winner of the World Championships automatically qualifies for the Beijing Olympics.

Donovan was Van Chancellor's assistant during the 2002 World Championships and 2004 Athens Games. She also was a member of U.S. squads that won the gold medal in 1984 and 1988 and was selected for the 1980 Olympic team that boycotted the Moscow Games.

Tennis

Roddick seeded second

Melbourne, Australia - Andy Roddick was seeded second at the Australian Open on Thursday, avoiding heavy favorite Roger Federer unless both make the final.

With No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal sidelined because of a foot injury, most interest focused on which man would be seeded second and assured of playing on the opposite side of the draw from Federer. Roddick is ranked No. 3 and moved up a spot in the seeding.

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, who lost in the final season, was seeded third.

All of the women's top 10 are expected in Melbourne, with top-ranked Lindsay Davenport seeded No. 1, U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters at No. 2, WTA Championship winner Amelie Mauresmo at No. 3, Maria Sharapova at No. 4 and Mary Pierce, the 1995 Australian Open winner, at No. 5.

Hewitt stumbles at Sydney

Sydney, Australia - Lleyton Hewitt's 22-match winning streak at the Sydney International ended Thursday when the top-seeded Australian was defeated, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, by Italy's Andrea Seppi. Hewitt had never lost in the ATP tournament.

Hockey

Islanders change coaches

Uniondale, N.Y. - Brad Shaw replaced the fired Steve Stirling as coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, and Mike Milbury will step aside as general manager after a replacement is found. The coaching change is the eighth in the last nine years under Milbury.

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