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Garciaparra sidelined with injured wrist

The Boston Red Sox learned they will be without All-Star Nomar Garciaparra for at least two weeks due to an injured wrist.

The two-time defending AL batting champion hopes to be ready for opening day. But if rest doesn't fix the problem, he didn't rule out surgery.

"If (the doctors) were thinking about it, they didn't tell me and I didn't want to hear it right now," he said at camp in Fort Myers, Fla. "Hopefully, this works, even if there has to be rehabilitation."

The frustrating thing for the All-Star shortstop is the puzzling nature of the injury, which dates back to September 1999. But Garciaparra played all of 2000 with only mild discomfort in the wrist and led the AL with a .372 average.

Garciaparra is expected to wear a removable cast for one to two weeks and take anti-inflammatory medication.

In other baseball news:

Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year extension worth about $30 million, two baseball officials familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press. The new deal runs through 2003. McGwire, 37, missed most of the second half of last season with a knee injury and had surgery during the offseason, but has been healthy this spring.

Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel agreed to a $15 million, two-year contract extension that will keep him in Cleveland through 2004. "I feel like Alex Rodriguez," Vizquel said.

Frank Thomas and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf denied they had made any changes to the slugger's contract, one day after he reported to camp in Tucson, Ariz. Thomas' agents from Moye Sports Associates, upset over his contract complaints, resigned Wednesday, citing a difference in principle with him. They said they had advised him to honor his contract.

Pirates first baseman Kevin Young was struck on the right elbow by a foul ball as umpire Jim Reynolds demonstrated the newly enforced strike zone. Young is expected to be sidelined four or five days and likely will miss the first weekend of exhibition play.

Norman withdraws at Doral with fever

Greg Norman, a three-time champion at Doral, had to withdraw before teeing off today in the Genuity Championship because of a fever that reached 103 degrees.

Norman, who played in the pro-am Wednesday and had a 74, called tournament officials about 7 a.m. He was replaced in the field by Richard Coughlan.

The $4.5 million Genuity Championship was to be Norman's first event on the PGA Tour this year, and the 46-year-old had said he was excited to be playing.

"I just enjoy it again," he said. "I feel like I have missed a couple of years of my career for certain reasons, and I'd like to see if I can play a little bit on a consistent basis. You have to play tournaments, week in and week out, to get your competitive feel back again."

Norman feels as fit as ever, despite going through major surgery on his shoulder and hip the past three years. Most important, Norman feels like playing again.

"Even though I'm a year older, I'm still keen to play," said Norman, who was to tee off today in the Genuity Championship at Doral in Miami. "I'm feeling fitter and stronger than what I was this time last year. I'm actually looking forward to this season for the first in three, four, five years."

The Genuity Championship's $4.5 million purse is the highest in golf behind the majors and the World Golf Championships. sues PGA, will drop sponsorship

Ailing Internet retailer Inc. said it is seeking to end its sponsorship of golf's "minor league" tour because the PGA hired another company to run its online store. filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday charging the PGA breached a five-year sponsorship contract when it hired USA Networks to build and manage an online store selling PGA-brand products. The company, based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., has sponsored the Tour since 1999.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, seeks damages in excess of $45 million.

The PGA denied the allegations and suggested was suing because of its current financial difficulties.

Carolina's Doherty pulls off ACC first

Matt Doherty is on a list by himself.

Neither Dean Smith nor Mike Krzyzewski managed to do what the current North Carolina coach has done. He is the first coach to win or share an Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in his first season.

Doherty was guaranteed his piece of coaching history Wednesday when the fourth-ranked Tar Heels beat North Carolina State, 76-63.

Joseph Forte scored 27 points for the Tar Heels (23-4, 13-2), who captured the No. 1 seed in next week's ACC tournament.

Duke could tie North Carolina in the league standings with a victory at the Smith Center on Sunday, but North Carolina would win the tiebreaker because of its season sweep of Maryland. Duke center Carlos Boozer will miss the conference tournament with a fractured bone in his right foot.

"You don't want to share anything, and you especially don't want to share it with Duke," Haywood said.

In games involving ranked teams:

Troy Bell scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half and No. 11 Boston College (22-4, 12-3) celebrated its Big East division championship with a 67-62 victory over St. John's (14-13, 8-7).

Donald Hand had 15 points and eight assists as No. 7 Virginia beat Clemson, 84-65.

No. 8 Iowa St. (24-4, 12-3) clinched at least a tie for the Big 12 championship with an 80-63 victory over Texas Tech.

Deal with Earnhardt's widow will unseal autopsy pictures

Attorneys for Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt's widow, are discussing an agreement with the Orlando Sentinel that would allow the public to view -- but not copy -- autopsy photos of the NASCAR driver.

"The idea would be to balance the public's rights of access with the Earnhardt's interest in right of privacy," said Laurence H. Bartlett, an attorney representing Teresa Earnhardt.

Attorneys for the Sentinel, Teresa Earnhardt and Volusia County have been discussing an agreement that would allow the public to see Earnhardt's autopsy file but not take copies.

The agreement would prevent the photos from reaching the Internet, Bartlett said. Also, anyone wanting to make copies of the photos would have to ask Circuit Judge Joseph G. Will in a court hearing.

Teresa Earnhardt sued Volusia County on Feb. 22, seeking to stop the county from releasing its medical examiner's autopsy photos taken following Earnhardt's fatal wreck at the Daytona 500.

Around and about

The Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H., was picked as the site of next year's NCAA women's ice hockey championship. The University of New Hampshire will play host to the Women's Frozen Four on March 22 and 24, 2002. The inaugural Women's Final Four is scheduled for Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis March 23 and 25.

Temple needs a new football conference after being informed it is no longer wanted in the Big East because "They have not, since 1996, fulfilled our criteria for membership," senior associate commissioner Thomas P. McElroy said. Big East schools are expected to meet conference requirements on issues such as non-conference scheduling and attendance. Attendance was up from an average of 4,045 in 1995 to 18,612 last season -- the lowest in the Big East.

Yegevny Kafelnikov and Patrick Rafter were upset by unseeded players in the second round of $1 million Dubai Open in the United Arab Emirates. Thomas Johansson of Sweden beat the third-seeded Kafelnikov, 7-6, 7-5, and Andrei Medvedev of Ukraine downed the fifth-seeded Rafter, 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-1.

Persistent rain in Scottsdale, Ariz., postponed most matches at the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic.

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