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LOCAL



Published: Mon, January 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



LOCAL

Mount Union playersselected by Canton

ALLIANCE -- Three former Mount Union College football players were chosen in the 2005 inaugural draft by the Canton Legends franchise of the newly formed Atlantic Indoor Football League, the league announced Saturday.

Former Purple Raiders running back Chuck Moore, the 2001 Division III player of the year, was selected in the second round by the Legends, while offensive/defensive lineman George Momirovic and wide receiver Nick Sirianni were taken in the fifth and sixth rounds.

"I'm excited to see fellow Mount Union players on the team," said Moore. "I played with these guys on a winning program and we have a lot we can bring to this team."

Former Raiders All-American quarterback Jim Ballard, the 1993 Division III player of the year, is an assistant coach with the Legends.

NATION

49ers hire coaches

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers hired receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and secondary coach A.J. Christoff on Sunday.

Sullivan spent last season with Miami after three years with the Arizona Cardinals. He also has coached in San Diego and Detroit, joining the NFL in 1992 after spending 21 years with five college programs.

Christoff joins the 49ers just nine days after agreeing to be Stanford's defensive coordinator under new coach Walt Harris. Christoff, the Cardinal's co-defensive coordinator for the last two seasons, has coached at 11 colleges, including Notre Dame, Southern California, LSU, UCLA, Colorado and Oregon.

On Friday, new 49ers coach Mike Nolan hired Mike Singletary as assistant head coach and linebackers coach. Nolan has retained only two coaches so far from Dennis Erickson's staff, but several of Erickson's assistants will interview this week for new jobs with the 49ers.

Franco, Astros agreeto 1-year contract

HOUSTON -- John Franco has been working out all winter. Sunday's exercise was a little different.

"I had a great one today shoveling for five hours," he said after agreeing with the Houston Astros on a $700,000, one-year contract and clearing more than a foot of snow from around his New York City home.

A 44-year-old left-hander, Franco spent his first six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and the last 15 with his hometown New York Mets, where he became the team's captain in May 2001. He was 2-7 with a 5.28 ERA last year, and the Mets made no effort to re-sign him.

A four-time All-Star, Franco has 424 saves, second only to Lee Smith's 478. Franco's 1,088 appearances trail only Jesse Orosco (1,252).

Franco, 90-86 with a 2.84 ERA, gives the Astros a second left-hander in their bullpen. Mike Gallo went 2-0 with a 4.74 ERA in 69 games with Houston last season but made no appearances in the NLCS against St. Louis.

Delgado nears choice

NEW YORK -- Carlos Delgado is nearing a decision on where he'll sign, perhaps getting ready to make his pick as soon as today.

The agent for the free-agent first baseman, David Sloane, spoke Sunday with all four teams in contention: Baltimore, Florida, the New York Mets and Texas.

"Following these discussions, we now have a pretty clear picture of the landscape as it presently exists," Sloane said in an e-mail. "We anticipate talking further tomorrow and hope we'll be able to have a final decision very soon."

It was unclear who was the front-runner in the competition to sign Delgado, who has appeared to focus on the Marlins, the Mets and the Rangers in recent days.

The 32-year-old Delgado would be counted on to fortify the lineup of whichever team he selects. He hit .269 last season for Toronto with 32 homers and 99 RBIs. Delgado and outfielder Magglio Ordonez, who is coming off an injury-shortened season with the Chicago White Sox, are the last elite free agents who remain unsigned.

WORLD

Lewis plans to fightKlitschko in November

LONDON -- Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis says he will end his retirement to fight Vitali Klitschko in November.

"I'm making a comeback later this year," Lewis told the Sunday Mirror, a London tabloid. "The money is up to 21 million pounds [$39.3 million] right now and I simply can't turn that much cash down.

"I need the money just like everyone else and it's just too good to turn down."

Lewis, 39, retired Feb. 6, 2004, with a 41-2-1 record. Klitschko assumed the title April 24 when he beat Corrie Sanders.

Lewis and Klitschko last fought in June 2003. Lewis was behind on points when the fight was stopped in the sixth round because Klitschko was cut.

That was Lewis' last fight and he was booed out of the ring after a poor performance. The WBC mandated a rematch, but Lewis retired instead.

Loeb wins 11th rally

MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Sebastien Loeb of France won the season-opening Monte Carlo rally for the third straight year Sunday.

The world rally champion for Citroen dominated during the three days and 15 special stages for the 11th rally victory of his career. He finished 2 minutes, 58.3 seconds ahead of Finland's Toni Gardemeister. France's Gilles Panizzi was third, 3:40.1 behind.

Vindicator staff/wire reports




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