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Rogers Is Latest to Join Yankees

From Staff and Wire Reports

Left-hander Kenny Rogers became the latest piece in the reconstruction of the New York Yankees, who seem to be determined to match their Eastern Divison rivals in Baltimore.

Rogers, who was 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA with Texas last season, agreed Saturday to a $19.95 million, four-year contract. The Yankees have an option for 2000 that, if exercised, would make the deal worth about $25 million for five years. The option, according to a person familiar with the deal, would become guaranteed if Rogers pitches 200 innings in 1999.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner made his move four days after the Orioles traded for lefty David Wells, whom the Yankees wanted. The Orioles went for Wells after losing a bidding war with the Yankees for free-agent pitcher David Cone, who agreed to a $19.5 million, three-year deal with New York. Baltimore’s answer to that was to sign All-Star second baseman Roberto Alomar for three years at $18 million.

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After Alomar signed with the Orioles, the Yankees traded for left fielder Tim Raines.

Steinbrenner also was talking with Angel free agent left-hander Chuck Finley. According to a source, speaking on the condition that he not be identified, Cone pushed Steinbrenner to sign Rogers rather than Finley.

Winter Sports

Austria’s Elfi Eder, urged on by a boisterous home crowd and capitalizing on a mistake by Slovenia’s Urska Hrovat, earned her third World Cup slalom victory of the season by winning in Semmering, Austria. In fourth place after the first run, Eder skied well on the treacherous, rock-hard Hirschenkogel course while several of the other favorites failed. Her two-run time of 1 minute 40.70 seconds, gave the Austrian women’s team its seventh victory in 14 races this season. Eder, the overall slalom leader, was assured the victory when Hrovat, the leader after the first run, missed a gate near the top of the course in the second run and was disqualified.

KC Boutiette, the rollerblading star who stunned the speedskating world in 1994, won a 5,000-meter race in the U.S. Allround Speedskating Championships in Milwaukee. He edged David Tamburrino of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., by more than four seconds.

Christine Witty of West Allis., Wis., who a week ago captured the women’s sprint title, won the 500-meter and 3,000-meter races. Casey FitzRandolph of Verona, Wis., who last weekend swept the men’s sprint championship races, won the 500-meter men’s race.

Mika Laitinen of Finland won a World Cup ski jumping event in Oberstdorf, Germany, defeating three-time Olympic champion Jens Weissflog of Germany. Laitinen, the World Cup leader, posted his fifth victory in nine events this season, scoring 247.9 points with jumps of 121.5 and 119 meters.

Soccer

Nigeria said its national soccer team would not travel to South Africa to defend its title in the Africa Cup of Nations. Minister of Youth and Sports Jim Nwobodo told a news conference that the Super Eagles were withdrawing from the games because South Africa could not guarantee the safety of Nigerian players.

Relations between the two nations have soured greatly since South African President Nelson Mandela led the international condemnation of Nigeria after its military government executed nine human-rights activists last month. The Super Eagles are the defending champion in the 16-nation tournament. The players were preparing to leave for Johannesburg on Friday to begin practice for the games that begin Jan. 13 in four South African cities.

Jurisprudence

John D’Acquisto, former San Diego Padres pitcher, was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on charges of trying to pass off a forged $200 million certificate of deposit as collateral on a deal at Prudential Securities Inc. Now a businessman, D’Acquisto was arrested at his home in Carmel Mountain Ranch and released after posting a $100,000 bond.

D’Acquisto, 43, pitched for the Padres from 1977 to 1980, and the San Francisco Giants from 1973-1976. He was scheduled to appear in court next month to determine if a trial will be held on the charges listed in the indictment. Neither D’Acquisto nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

Quincy Quick, a former Ferrum College basketball player, is facing murder charges in connection with a drive-by killing in Petersberg, Va. Quick, 22, of Petersburg, also is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery in the Oct. 5 shooting death of Carlos Williams. Quick’s attorney, Joseph Morrissey, said his client is innocent.

Water Polo

Chris Humbert scored four goals to lead the U.S. national water polo team to a 10-8 victory over defending Olympic and world champion Italy in an exhibition match at Corona del Mar High. The United States scored three consecutive goals in the third quarter to take control.

Names in the News

Ethiopia’s world junior cross-country champion, Assefa Mezgebu and Britain’s Paula Radcliffe won the men’s and women’s road races on an icy, hard course in Durham, England. Mezgebu won the 10-kilometer race in 30 minutes 12 seconds. Radcliffe finished the 5K in 18:15.


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