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Yankees 3B Boone could miss season

Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone hurt his left knee playing basketball and might miss the baseball season.

Boone was hurt Jan. 16 and might have torn his anterior cruciate ligament. He was examined three days later by Angels team physician Lewis Yocum.

Boone's home run against the Red Sox ended Game 7 of the American League Championship Series and sent the Yankees to the World Series.

His one-year, $5.75-million contract, signed in December, contained language saying it would become nonguaranteed if he played basketball.

DEVIL RAYS: The players will have an extra day to recover from the season-opening trip to Japan after the cancellation of an April 2 exhibition against Cleveland.

The Rays and Yankees are expected back from Tokyo early April 1, and the players association believed it was "unnecessarily burdensome" for the teams to play April 2, union official Gene Orza told the Associated Press. The Rays were scheduled to host the Indians, the Yankees were to play the Tigers in Lakeland.

The Rays will work out a plan to offer refunds or exchanges for tickets to the April 2 game and will adjust season-ticket package prices. The Rays still are scheduled for an exhibition April 3 against Toronto in Dunedin.

DODGERS: The proposed sale of the team to Boston real-estate developer Frank McCourt will be put to a vote for approval by owners Thursday during a telephone conference call.

ELSEWHERE: The Red Sox claimed right-hander Reynaldo Garcia off waivers from the Rangers. The Mets sent reliever Jaime Cerda to the Royals for minor-league pitcher Shawn Sedlacek. The Rockies re-signed All-Star pitcher Shawn Chacon to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.

OLYMPICS

Jail put off for Games

A synchronized swimmer's three-month jail term for vehicular manslaughter was postponed so she can compete in the Athens Games in August. Tammy Crow pleaded guilty in the Feb. 16 wreck that killed her two passengers, boyfriend Cody Tatro and 12-year-old Brett Slinger. She will serve 90 days in a county jail, followed by three years' probation.

SWOOPES PICKED: Two-time gold medalist Sheryl Swoopes was added to the U.S. women's basketball team that will compete in the Athens Games.

AUTOS

Tire test draws 20 teams

Michael Waltrip was among more than 20 Nextel Cup and Busch series drivers at the first of four days of testing this week on the 1{-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval. New tires this season are intended to wear out more quickly while shorter rear spoilers decrease downforce at 1{- and 2-mile ovals. "From what I can tell, there will definitely be less gas-and-gos," Waltrip said of quick pit stops (changing two or no tires) teams have used to get to the front late in a race. "The tire is good in the beginning and it's fine at the end. It just seems to me that there's more give-up than usual."

ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA: Spirit of Daytona Racing announced NASCAR driver Robby Gordon will join owner/driver Doug Goad and Stephan Gregoire in a car for this weekend's 24-hour event at Daytona International Speedway. The Racer's Group 53-foot transporter, en route from Sonoma, Calif., to Daytona for the race, sustained heavy fire and smoke damage when a rear axle failed. The driver, Jerry Cowans, was unhurt.

ET CETERA

BOXING: Promoter Don King won the first round of a legal battle with heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis when a judge in London refused to throw out his libel suit. King is suing Lewis, his promotions company and American lawyer Judd Burstein.

GOLF: Nancy Lopez was a unanimous selection as the U.S. captain for the 2005 Solheim Cup, a U.S.-European competition.

_ MARC TOPKIN, TIMES WIRES

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