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Patriots release Sims;
Bert Jones may 'un-retire'

Defensive end Kenneth Sims, who never lived up to his potential as the top pick in the 1982 NFL draft, was released Tuesday by the New England Patriots. The team said he failed to stay in proper physical shape.

Sims violated a two-year contract signed late in May that required him to remain in the Foxboro area for off-season workouts, Patriots General Manager Patrick Sullivan said. He was overweight at a team mini-camp earlier that month.

Sims was released 16 days after being arrested for alleged possession of a small amount of cocaine in Austin, Texas.

Sullivan said Sims, 30, would have been released even if he hadn't been arrested on the drug charge. Sullivan added that Sims wouldn't have been released if he had been in shape.

Also in the NFL, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue met today in Overland Park, Kan., with four college coaches and NCAA executive director Dick Schultz to discuss the drafting of underclassmen and other issues.

College coaches joining Tagliabue and New Orleans Saints General Manager Jim Finks at the session will be Terry Donahue of UCLA, LaVell Edwards of Brigham Young, Hayden Fry of Iowa and Dick Sheridan of North Carolina State.

Former All-Pro safety Kenny Easley has been released from a Seattle hospital after undergoing a kidney transplant.

The former Seattle Seahawks safety was in good condition and the new kidney was working well when Easley was released from the University of Washington medical center Monday, hospital officials said. He received a new kidney 10 days earlier.

Easley's 7-year NFL career was ended in April 1988 by an irreversible kidney disease detected during a routine physical examination.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Chargers said they might take a look at 38-year-old Bert Jones, who retired in 1982, as a candidate for a reserve quarterback job.

The San Diego Union said general manager Bobby Beathard was impressed by Jones' performance last week during the filming of the made-for-television special "Quarterback Challenge" in the Hawaiian Islands.

Carter sets catching mark;
Molitor to undergo surgery

Gary Carter of the San Francisco Giants has broken Al Lopez's National League record for career games caught.

For Carter, in his 16th season, the game against the San Diego Padres was his 1,862nd behind the plate. Lopez caught 1,861 games over 18 seasons with Brooklyn, Boston and Pittsburgh. Carter, 36, ranks fifth on the all-time list of games caught behind Bob Boone, Carlton Fisk, Jim Sundberg and Lopez.

Paul Molitor will undergo surgery today on a fractured knuckle on his left index finger. Milwaukee Brewers team physician Paul Jacobs said a pin will be inserted into the finger and Molitor is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. He hurt the finger Saturday when he caught it in Cleveland Indians' first baseman Brook Jacoby's glove as he ran past first base. ~ Stars make it official:
Gainey named head coach

It was an easy choice for the Minnesota North Stars to hire Bob Gainey, transforming the former Montreal Canadiens captain from best rumor available to best coach available.

"We were looking for someone who had won at the National Hockey League level, who knew the dedication and effort it takes to win," General Manager Bob Clarke said.

"For me, the decision to ask Bob to become coach was easy because I felt there was nobody better qualified."

Gainey, 36, the 16th coach in the organization's 23-year history, has been considered for several jobs the last few seasons, including that of North Stars general manager two years ago.

Gainey spent 1989-90 as a player-coach in France.

Krickstein may skip
Wimbledon; Martina wins

Aaron Krickstein, bothered by an arm injury for about a month, said he'll likely skip Wimbledon in order to give it a chance to heal.

Krickstein made the comments after defaulting an opening-round match of the Manchester Open in England. He was the top seed in this tournament and had been assigned the No. 8 seeding for Wimbledon, which begins June 25.

In Eastbourne, England, eight-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova swept through two rounds of the Pilkington Glass tournament, losing just eight games.

But No. 2 seed Zina Garrison and 14-year-old Jennifer Capriati were defeated in the second round.

Navratilova, back on grass for the first time since losing to Steffi Graf in last year's Wimbledon final, defeated Camille Benjamin, 6-2, 6-1, and followed that with a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Australian Anne Minter. Against Benjamin, Navratilova won 10 of the last 11 games.

Garrison advanced to the second round when Elise Burgin retired at 6-1, 4-0, complaining she didn't feel well. But in her second match of the day, Garrison was beaten, 6-2, 7-5, by Italian Laura Golarsa. Capriati, the sixth seen, defeated Ann Smith, 6-2, 7-5, then lost, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to Gretchen Magers, ranked 32nd in the world.

Douglas-Holyfield date
could be changed again

Sept. 20 was the originally announced date for heavyweight champion James "Buster" Douglas' title defense against No. 1 contender Evander Holyfield at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Nev., but someone had forgotten to check the calendar. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, falls on Sept. 20.

The working date for Douglas-Holyfield was changed almost immediately after the World Boxing Association-ordered purse bid of June 10, although it has yet to be finalized.

"We're looking at (Friday) Sept. 21 and maybe a week later," said Alan Feldman, a spokesman for The Mirage. "Right now, Sept. 21 looks like it."

Around & About

Pat Riley, who resigned as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last week, was hired by NBC today as a basketball announcer. Riley, who led the Lakers to four NBA championships, will be a commentator on NBA telecasts. NBC, which took the TV rights away from CBS, begins coverage of the league next season. . . . Tony Brooks, a top rusher during Notre Dame's 1988 national championship football season, has been readmitted to the university and will be eligible to play this fall, a school official says. Brooks, 20, of Tulsa, Okla., withdrew in 1989 after coach Lou Holtz suspended him from spring football practice for unspecified disciplinary reasons. He returned to school last summer, but was refused readmission in the fall. Brooks attended neighboring Holy Cross Junior College last year. . . . John Hricsina regained the lead after 24 qualifying games of the $75,000 St. Charles (Mo.) Senior Open. Hricsina ran his pinfall to 5,515, 106 pins more than Dick Weber and Robert Gibbs, who are tied for second with a 5,409. Jimmy Certain, the 1989 Senior Bowler of the Year, who led after the third round, fell to fifth with 5,370, 29 pins behind David Tuell Jr.

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