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Yankees add Sanderson to their pitching staff

Sixteen years after signing Catfish Hunter on New Year's Eve, the New York Yankees acquired another Oakland pitcher on the final day of the year.

This time it was Scott Sanderson, a 34-year-old right-hander who cost them even more than Hunter did.

New York purchased Sanderson from Oakland Monday after agreeing to a two-year contract worth approximately $4.75 million. And the Yankees appeared to intensify their efforts to re-sign Mike Witt, one of their two second-look free-agent pitchers.

"We want to sign Mike Witt," Yankees General Manager Gene Michael said. "We think we have a chance to sign him. We think we can do it. We want him. We're hopeful. He's a big part of our pitching staff."

The Yankees held a memorable news conference on the final day of 1974 to sign Hunter to a five-year deal worth $3.35 million. This time, they made their announcement in a telephone conference call.

Sanderson was 17-11 last season with a 3.88 ERA. He is 115-100 in his career.

Sanderson became a free agent after the season and surprised the A's Dec. 19 when he agreed to salary arbitration, which is the equivalent of re-signing.

A's General Manager Sandy Alderson did not want to keep him, but merely wanted to get a draft pick as compensation if Sanderson signed with another team. So the A's gave Sanderson a chance to work out a deal with the Yankees.

Leonard, Hearns looking to meet in third fight

Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns have agreed to a third fight, possibly in August, the Detroit News reported.

The two boxers fought to a controversial draw, which many observers said should have gone to Hearns, in June 1989. Leonard stopped Hearns in the 14th round of their first bout in September 1981.

"We've spoken at length about it together and we both can't get any farther in our careers without it (the rematch)," Leonard told the News from Tampa, Fla., where he is training for a Feb. 9 fight with Terry Norris.

"It definitely will happen," he said. "If he can give me the satisfaction of a rematch before I walk into the sunset, I'll be happy."

Leonard said he considers the two are now tied.

"I've won one, and he has won one," Leonard said. "The last fight I consider was the won he won."

Hearns said the rivalry is not something Leonard "could walk away from."

"The rematch is imminent," Hearns said. "It must happen. I can't go on to the next fight until this one has been resolved."

Leonard also told the News he would like to have Hearns' former manager, Emanuel Steward of Detroit's Kronk boxing club, in his corner when he takes on Hearns again.

"In fact, I considered using Steward for this fight (against Norris) but I'll have to wait for my next fight," he said.

Finns rout Norway, 10-2, in world junior hockey

Vesa Viitakoski had three goals and two assists, and Tomi Pullola two goals and two assists as Finland routed Norway, 10-2, at the World Junior Hockey championship at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The winless Norwegians held the Finns to a 1-1 tie after one period, but Viitakoski scored eight seconds into the second to start the offensive outburst. Viitakoski set up both goals by Pullola as Finland improved to 3-1 and moved into a tie for second place in the eight-nation round-robin tournament. Norway dropped to 0-4.

CBS chairman earns title as most powerful in sports

His name doesn't show up in the daily box scores, but CBS Inc. Chairman Laurence A. Tisch landed the top spot in one magazine's new listing of the most powerful figures in sport.

The Sporting News leaned toward businessmen like Tisch, who has agreed to spend almost $3.9 billion to acquire the rights to broadcast major sporting events on the CBS Television Network, in assembling its list.

Only three athletes -- golfers Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer and basketball standout Michael Jordan -- were chosen for the 100-member roster.

Ranking second to Tisch was Dick Ebersol, president of NBC Sports, followed by the commissioners of three major professional sports: Paul Tagliabue of the National Football League, Fay Vincent of major league baseball and David Stern of the National Basketball Association.

The full list appears in the Jan. 7 issue of the weekly sports publication that goes on newsstands Wednesday.

The Sporting News said in a statement the ranking of entrants was determined by the editorial staff. It did not elaborate on the selection process.

But editor John Rawlings was quoted the list "clearly indicates that the real muscle of sports lies not with the athletes but with the behind-the-scenes power brokers."

Shriver returns to court, suffers first-round KO

Pam Shriver learned how tough the road back to the top of international tennis will be.

Akiko Kijimuta of Japan beat the tall American, 6-4, 6-2, in the first round of the Danone Open, Shriver's first tournament singles match in nine months.

The 28-year-old Shriver, who is making a comeback after undergoing surgery on her right shoulder, lacked timing and mobility as Kijimuta repeatedly beat her with passing shots.

Irish colt In Excess wins third American stakes

In Excess, an Irish-bred colt, raced to his third American stakes victory in capturing the $113,100 San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Gary Stevens, the nation's leading money-winning rider, In Excess raced in second position for a mile, then collared the pace-setting Rouvignac to score his head win over the 1 1/8 -mile grass course in 1:47 1/5 .

Sent off as a lukewarm favorite by the crowd of 19,500, In Excess paid $5.80, $4 and $2.60. Rouvignac, ridden by Alex Solis, returned $10.80 and $5.40, while Kanatiyr paid $2.40 as part of an entry with Colway Rally.

In Excess, a son of Siberian Express, did not arrive in the United States until last June, but in five starts prior to Monday's race he won twice and finished second once, all in stakes races.

O'Sullivan overtakes two to capture Fiesta Mile

Ireland's Marcus O'Sullivan overtook early leaders Terry Brahm and John Quade in the final 300 yards to win the Fiesta Mile in Phoenix for the second time in four years.

O'Sullivan, who first won the event in 1987, finished with a time of 4:00.94 to beat 1988 champion Jeff Atkinson (4:02.18) and Quade, a former University of Arizona runner who finished at 4:02.6.

Brahm, a 1988 U.S. Olympian, led for the first half of the race up Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix but finished fourth at 4:05.53.

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