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SPORTS TODAY

Phillies beat Lee in arbitration opener

The Philadelphia Phillies beat first baseman Travis Lee today in the first salary arbitration case of the year.

Lee, who hit .235 last season with nine homers and 54 RBIs in 404 at-bats, will get $800,000 rather than his request for $1.6 million.

Lee made $500,000 last season.

"I'm glad it's been resolved," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said.

Forty-eight players remain in arbitration, with hearings scheduled through Feb. 21. Last year, just 10 cases went to hearings. This year, it appears likely there will be the most hearings since at least 1994, when there were 16.

Derek Jeter, who asked for an arbitration record $18.5 million, is not expected to need a hearing. The Yankees and their All-Star shortstop are negotiating on a $189 million, 10-year contract.

Work on that deal has been temporarily stopped while Jeter's agent, Casey Close, prepared for today's hearing involving Milwaukee pitcher Jamey Wright.

Yankees president Randy Levine was working on his case against reliever Mariano Rivera, scheduled for Thursday. Rivera, who lost in arbitration last year after winning in 1999, has asked for a raise from $7.25 million to $10.25 million

New York has offered $9 million and was rebuffed in its effort to negotiate a $27 million, three-year deal.

Niagara's Schmidt named MAAC player of week

Michael Schmidt of Niagara was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week. He scored 19 points, dished out five assists, had three steals and hit the game-winning three-pointer with eight-tenths of a second remaining in an 81-78 victory at Manhattan last Friday. The junior swingman from Toronto averaged 19.3 points over the last four games.

Fredonia's senior forward Robb Fitchlee (Kenmore West) shares Player of the Week honors of the State University of New York Athletic Conference after two double-double performances helped the Blue Devils win a pair of games against Oneonta and New Paltz over the weekend. Fitchlee, who was honored by the SUNYAC for the second time this season, shares the honor with Will Mensah of Utica-Rome.

Fitchlee and the Blue Devils will host Buffalo State tonight.

Meanwhile in Monday night's action, Daemen's Monty Montgomery continued his hot scoring, tossing in 32 points and 10 rebounds in the Warriors' 76-71 victory over Hilbert. Daemen is 15-11.

In men's hockey, freshman forward Nick Kormanyos of Niagara was named Rookie of the Week in College Hockey America after his four assists in a pair of CHA victories over Findlay.

In women's basketball, Tricia Peter's three-point shot with a minute left gave D'Youville (8-8) a 55-52 victory over Keuka.

BC to face BU for all the beans

It'll be Boston College vs. Boston University in the final round of the 49th Annual Beanpot Tournament.

Brian Collins recorded his first career hat-trick to lift BU to a 6-4 victory over Northeastern in the second game of the tournament. In the first match of the evening, BC handily defeated Harvard 4-1 as Brian Gionta, a Rochester native, had a goal and two assist. The goal was his 24th, the second most in the country.

Austrian women sweep downhill

Michaela Dorfmeister led an Austrian sweep of the women's downhill today, giving the host nation its first gold medal of the World Championships at St. Anton. Dorfmeister edged teammate and defending champion Renate Goetschl by .14.

Selina Herreger, the last Austrian skier to secure a berth on the team, took the bronze.

American Caroline Lalive failed to finish her third race in a row.

In the men's combined, Kjetil-Andre Aamodt of Norway protected his lead from the two slalom heats in today's downhill run to win his third straight combined title and a fifth gold medal, a championship record for men.

Mario Matt of Austria took the silver in 2:58.93, and Swiss veteran Paul Accola earned the bronze.

Casey Puckett of the United States had the spectators gasping in horror after a spectacular crash reminiscent of the tumble Austrian superstar Hermann Maier took at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Puckett walked away virtually uninjured. "Hermann's was a little more spectacular. I was trying to go as fast as I could. It was a little bumpier than I thought."

Fellow American Bode Miller, who was in fourth place after the slalom portion, crashed heavily but also walked away.

Around and about

The Cleveland Crunch broke a 6-6 tie with a goal with about two minutes to play in the first half and went on to a 12-6 decision over the Buffalo Blizzard today. . . . Blizzard forward Doug Miller was named Offensive Player of the Week in the National Professional Soccer League after he recorded 13 points in two games last week. He enjoyed a 7-goal, 12-point outing in a 23-17 victory over the Baltimore Blast. He also had an assist in a 12-9 loss to Toronto.

Niki Lauda has been hired to lead Jaguar's Formula One racing team until the end of 2003.

Gary Moeller was hired today as defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars, replacing Dom Capers, who left the Jaguars last month to become head coach of the expansion Houston Texans.

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