Ex-North Stars owners bid for Penguins
Two men who briefly owned the North Stars are close to buying the Pittsburgh Penguins, who beat Minnesota in the Stanley Cup finals in May.
Howard Baldwin and Morris Belzberg confirmed yesterday that they are nearing an agreement to buy the Penguins from shopping-mall developer Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., whose son, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., owns the San Francisco 49ers. The elder DeBartolo has owned the Penguins since 1978 and reportedly wants to maintain a small stake in the team after the sale.
Baldwin, one-time managing general partner of the Hartford Whalers, and Belzberg, a retired executive with Budget Rent a Car, emerged from several would-be buyers to become the prime candidates to buy the Stanley Cup champions.
* Mario Lemieux, troubled again by back spasms, expects to play in the Penguins' season opener tonight in Buffalo, N.Y.
Steffi Graf was flown to Heidelberg, Germany, for treatment of a hand injury after beating Judith Wiesner, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), in the quarterfinals of the Leipzig International.
After her easy victory in the first set, Graf struggled through the second to win in a tie-breaker.
"On the whole, I am not feeling well," Graf, still recovering from a shoulder injury, said on her way out of the arena.
Tournament officials said that Graf had been flown to Heidelberg, near her home in western Germany, for treatment of an injury to her right wrist.
Graf, seeded No. 1, is scheduled to play again tomorrow.
"We can only hope she returns," tournament director Ivan Radosevic said.
Second seed Arantxa Sanchez Vicario scored a 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 victory over Germany's unseeded Marketa Kotcha in their quarterfinal match.
* South African Wayne Ferreira scored the biggest victory of his career, ousting three-time champion Ivan Lendl in the third round of the $1 million Australian Indoor championships in Sydney.
Ferreira defeated the second-seeded Lendl, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in a little less than two hours. Ferreira, ranked 64th in the world, played impressively, but Lendl's timing was off.
Top seed Stefan Edberg of Sweden and No. 4 Andre Agassi of the United States scored easy victories in late matches. U.S. Open champion Edberg beat Australian Mark Woodforde, 6-4, 6-2, and Agassi overpowered fellow American MaliVai Washington, 6-3, 6-1.
* A state district judge in Fort Worth, Texas, said he was delaying additional courtroom procedures to allow time for a possible settlement of the Judy Nelson-Martina Navratilova palimony lawsuit.
"This saves the attorneys time and the clients money," said Judge Harry Hopkins, who agreed to suspend Monday's deadline for the latest submission of legal briefs.
Hopkins also ruled against a move by Navratilova's lawyers to try to countersue Nelson's lead attorney, Jerry Loftin.
Nelson sued Navratilova in June, claiming half the assets earned by the nine-time Wimbledon singles champion during their seven-year relationship.
The women have said they agree on financial terms of a settlement, but remain apart on other issues, including Nelson's refusal to agree to a no-publicity clause that would stop her from selling her story.
* With a million dollars at stake and Jimmy Connors supposedly lying in wait, Monica Seles, the world's No. 1 female tennis player, is expected to announce today from Milan, Italy, that she is no longer an active contender in a winner-takes-most battle of the sexes, tentatively scheduled for March 7 in Las Vegas.
And Connors wouldn't have been there to trade rallies with her, anyway.
According to his agent, Ray Benton, Connors lost interest in the extravaganza once his stunning run to the U.S. Open semifinal proved that he was on the cusp of a legitimate comeback.
Rodney Stowers, a Mississippi State defensive lineman expected to be sidelined for only a matter of weeks with a broken leg, died suddenly of what doctors said was lung hemorrhaging associated with the injury.
Stowers, a 20-year-old junior, died at Golden Triangle Medical Center in nearby Columbus. Sports information director Joe Dier said Stowers had been admitted to Golden Triangle on Sunday so doctors could place a pin in the leg to speed healing of a fracture of his right tibia.
In explaining the problem, doctors said it appeared that fatt droplets -- tiny particles of fat from the area of the long bone fracture -- got into the athlete's bloodstream and eventually passed through the heart to his lungs. The droplets triggered immune mechanisms in the lungs, filling the lungs with fluid and blocking the ability to take in oxygen, doctors said. Finally, hemorrhaging occurred and physicians were unable to save his life.
Mike Ball of Rockville shot a 71, and was one of five players tied for the lead after the first round of the Middle Atlantic Amateur championship at the Country Club of Virginia's Creek Course in Richmond, Va.
Peter Martin of Owings Mills and Mike Larson of Grasonville were low among Baltimore-area players in the 103-man field with 73s. Defending champion Richard Holland of Washington and three-time champion Marty West III of Rockville were among
those at 76.
Todd Knellinger scored in the first half and Western Maryland (5-4) held on to defeat Mount St. Mary's at Westminster, 1-0.