Blue Jays’ Santiago Injured in Car Crash

From Staff and Wire Reports

Toronto Blue Jay catcher Benito Santiago was injured Sunday when he lost control of his Ferrari and slammed into a tree at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Santiago suffered head injuries and multiple lacerations. His passenger, Francisco Arroyo was ejected from the car but escaped serious injury, said police spokesman Clinton Ward.

“He was going at a pretty high rate of speed,” said Ward.

The Ferrari spun out of control and across oncoming lanes about 1 p.m., but did not hit another car.


Police were investigating whether to charge Santiago.

Santiago, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, was being treated at the Broward General Medical Center trauma unit where he was listed in serious but stable condition.

Hospital spokesman Chuck Malkus said tests were being performed, but surgery will not likely be necessary. Santiago was alert and being treated for the cuts, but Malkus said his injuries were not very serious.

Arroyo, also of Fort Lauderdale, was also listed in serious but stable condition. His injuries required surgery but were not life-threatening, Malkus said.


Another potential major leaguer might be included in the group of eight Cuban defectors who landed in the Bahamas last week.

The agent representing former Cuban national team players Orlando Hernandez and Alberto Hernandez said a third member of their group has talent that could interest major league teams.

Still waiting in a Bahamian detention center is outfielder Yoel Pedroso, 21. He was never on the national team but did play amateur baseball and impressed those who have seen him, said Rene Guim, the spokesman for agent Joe Cubas.


Pitcher Orlando Hernandez--who is Florida Marlin pitcher Livan Hernandez’s half brother--and catcher Alberto Hernandez, who is not related, have received plenty of attention since the group came to the Bahamas in a leaky sailboat.

The players were banished from the Cuban national team for helping teammates defect two years ago. For that reason, they, along with Orlando’s common-law wife Noris Bosch, were given visas by the United States.

Winter Sports

First-time Olympians Amy Sannes and Marc Pelchat qualified for the U.S. long-track speedskating team in the 500-meter event at West Allis, Wis.

They were joined by Casey Fitz-Randolph and Jennifer Rodriguez, who qualified in the 1,000 after earning spots on the team in two other events during the first round of Olympic trials at the Pettit National Ice Center.

Pelchat will be the oldest member of the team at 30 after qualifying for the fourth and final berth in the men’s 500.

The final members of the team--three each for the men’s 10,000 and women’s 5,000--will be determined today.


World Cup slalom champion Thomas Sykora gave Austria another victory by overcoming a deteriorating course at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, and winning for the first time this season.

Austrian skiers have set a fierce pace in the World Cup this season, winning 10 of 14 races.

Sykora swiveled down the 58-gate course in 1 minute, 37.93 seconds. France’s Pierrick Bourgeat was second at 1:38.09, and Austria’s Thomas Stangassinger finished third, 1.14 seconds back.

Alberto Tomba, the three-time Olympic gold medalist, was second after the first run, .01 second off the lead. However, he refused to run the second heat because of the jury’s decision to reverse the top 30 starters instead of the top 15.

Todd Hays and Jim Herberich finished one-two at the U.S. Olympic Bobsled drivers’ trials at Park City, Utah to earn berths on the team that will compete at the Nagano Games.

Hays, of Del Rio, Texas, and Herberich, of Winchester, Mass., must be formally approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee. USA I driver Brian Shimer, of Naples, Fla., earned an automatic berth on the team based on his World Cup finishes in the first half of the season.


Kazuyoshi Funaki recorded his third consecutive victory on the World Cup Four Hills tour at Innsbruck, Austria, continuing his bid to become the first ski jumper to win a Grand Slam and the first Japanese to win the title.

The 14th skier to win three legs since the Four Hills began in 1953, Funaki could become the first to win all four with a victory at Bischofshofen on Tuesday.


The head of Germany’s swim team was stripped of his accreditation at the world championships at Perth, Australia, for admitting he gave steroids to swimmers when he coached East Germany.

Winfried Leopold is facing prosecution in Germany for his role in systematic drug abuse. He first admitted in 1991 that he gave steroids, then did so again in 1993.

FINA, swimming’s governing body, banned Leopold from an official role but said he could remain in an unofficial capacity.

Patrick Rafter, playing in his native Australia for the first time since his U.S. Open win, beat Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, in the Hopman Cup mixed team tennis tournament at Perth.


Rafter’s win helped Australia to a 3-0 victory over Sweden.

The defending champion United States plays South Africa in one of two matches today.

The Associated Press championship trophy was presented to Michigan’s undefeated football team Saturday night during halftime of the Michigan-Penn State basketball game at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor hours after the Wolverines easily topped the AP poll of 70 sports writers and broadcasters but was edged by Nebraska in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.

“It’s a disappointment,” Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr told The Detroit News. “Other than that, it doesn’t detract at all from the fact that the writers, by substantial majority, selected us champions.”

Raul Boesel, 10th in the Championship Auto Racing Teams standings last season, has moved to the rival Indy Racing League and will drive for McCormick Motorsports in the 11-race IRL series this year.