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BASEBALL

WELLS CASE: Yankees pitcher David Wells testified in New York that he was sucker-punched and "knocked for a loop" by Rocco Graziosa in a late-night fight inside a Manhattan diner in September.

The Yankees hired former All-Star shortstop Bucky Dent for a second stint as manager at Triple-A Columbus.

WILLIAMS TRIAL: A jury in Lawrence, Mass., ruled in favor of the son of late Hall of Famer Ted Williams, who was sued by a former business associate in a dispute over profits for sports memorabilia. Promoter Lane Forman claimed in a 1998 lawsuit that John Henry Williams cheated him out of his share of profits on products bearing the likenesses of NBA stars Larry Bird and Charles Barkley.

PUCKETT TRIAL: Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, who is charged with criminal sexual conduct, will go on trial Feb. 24, a Hennepin County (Minn.) judge decided. The former Twins outfielder, who appeared in court for a brief hearing, is accused of groping a woman at a restaurant.

BAKER'S ALL-STAR GIG: New Cubs manager Dusty Baker is expected to manage the 2003 NL All-Stars at Comiskey Park in Chicago as reward for leading the Giants to the World Series. When a manager leaves his team after the season, Major League Baseball decides who runs the All-Star team.

CARDINALS: Former Rockies announcer Wayne Hagin will succeed late Hall of Famer Jack Buck on KMOX radio in St. Louis.

CUBS: Free-agent first baseman Jim Thome and his agent, Pat Rooney, are expected to meet with team officials this week, though the visit could be more of a courtesy call than a bargaining session. Thome, who is from Peoria, Ill., grew up rooting for the Cubs.

EXPOS: Hall of Famer Frank Robinson agreed to a second one-year contract as manager. Former All-Star Joey Cora was hired to manage Class A Savannah.

PADRES: Left-handed reliever Jesse Orosco, who turns 46 on April 21, agreed to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

PHILLIES: Free-agent third baseman David Bell visited and said he hopes to make a decision soon.

REDS: Infielder-outfielder Russell Branyan has a sore right shoulder and plans to return to Cincinnati to be examined by the team physician Saturday.

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