Reliever Jones agrees to sign with Indians
Doug Jones, who set a Cleveland Indians record with 43 saves last season, has agreed in principle to a one-year contract worth approximately $2 million. Willie Sanchez, Jones' agent, said yesterday that he expects the deal to be announced by the Indians later this week.
Jones was awarded Cleveland's offer of $950,000 in 1990 by an arbitrator, rather than his request for $1.15 million. Jones made $307,500 in 1989.
Dan O'Dowd, Cleveland's director of player development, said only that the Indians were "very close" to a contract agreement with Jones, who was third in saves behind Bobby Thigpen of the Chicago White Sox (57) and Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics (48) in 1990.
* The New York Yankees apparently have reached agreement on a new contract with pitcher Mike Witt (5-6, 4.47 ERA in 16 games for New York), one of their new-look free agents.
"We won't do anything today [yesterday]; it's too hard getting in touch with everybody," general manager Gene Michael said. "We think we're coming close."
Michael's comments about Witt, who missed two months of the season with a sore elbow, were similar to those he made Sunday in discussing the status of the Yankees' effort to acquire Scott Sanderson. The Yankees announced the agreement with Sanderson on Monday, but they actually had agreed on a contract Sunday.
* Commissioner Fay Vincent, 52, was discharged from Greenwich (Conn.) Hospital on Monday, two weeks after surgery to remove his infected spleen.
The United States scored 10 goals in the first period and eight more in the third to rout Norway, 19-1, at the World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. American Doug Weight, the New York Rangers' No. 2 pick in June's entry draft, had two goals and six assists.
The St. Louis Storm of the Major Soccer League beat FC Lucerne and Dinamo Zagreb, and tied FC Nuremberg in the first day of the Zurich (Switzerland) International New Year's indoor tournament.
St. Louis beat FC Lucerne of Switzerland, 7-1, on two goals by Preki and one each by Godfrey Ingram, Dan Donigan, Fernando Clavijo, David Eise and Emil Dragicevic.
The Storm then trailed FC Nuremberg of Germany 3-0, before coming back for a tie on two goals by Ingram and one by Clavijo. St. Louis played a man short after Thompson Usiyan was ejected for rough play. St. Louis beat Dinamo Zagreb of Yugoslavia on two goals each by Terry Brown and Marcio Leite.
John Trautman of Georgetown and Lynn Jennings, The Athletics Congress Female Runner of the Year, won their divisions of the New York Road Runners Club New Year's Eve midnight run that attracted a field of 4,372 in sub-freezing temperatures at Central Park.
Trautman, 22, covered the 5-mile course in 23 minutes, 33 seconds and finished 8 yards ahead of Martin Ryan of New York, timed in 23:36. Jennings, 33, of Newmarket, N.H., crossed the finish line in a course record of 26:13, 450 yards ahead of Mary Alico of Raleigh, N.C., in 27:42.
Matt Biondi, winner of five gold medals at the 1988 Olympics, was quoted in Australian newspapers as saying U.S. Swimming Federation officials were holding the sport back because of financial restrictions on top athletes.
"The current administration is pushing the sport back into the 1960s and '70s," Biondi said at the World Swimming Championships in Perth. "They treat us like high school and college kids. It's very disappointing."
Meanwhile, Canadian coach Dave Johnson raised questions about the use of drugs in the recent improvement by Chinese swimmers. "Whether or not the standard was attained by hard work or drug-induced, we've got to find out," Johnson said. "People are asking how they can improve so quickly. Someone has to ask the Chinese."