ANGELS CLAIM PENNINGTON: The California Angels claimed left-handed pitcher Brad Pennington on waivers from the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
Pennington, 27, was 0-2 with a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings over 14 games with the Red Sox this season. He allowed only six hits and struck out 13, but issued 15 walks.
YANKEES PAY WETTELAND: The New York Yankees gave John Wetteland a check for more than $300,000 on Friday and eliminated the risk of having an arbitrator declare the reliever a free agent.
The Yankees and Wetteland agreed in February to a contract that pays him $4,000,000 this season. However, the team paid him at a $2 million annual rate during April.
ASTROS WAIVE GOFF: Astros catcher Jerry Goff, who tied a major-league record with six passed balls in a game last week, cleared waivers Friday and was reassigned to Houston's Triple A Tucson, Ariz., farm team.
The Astros bought backup catcher Randy Knorr from the Toronto Blue Jays to replace Goff on the roster. Goff tied the mark in Sunday's game against Montreal.
PIRATES GET FIRST PICK: The Pittsburgh Pirates will get the first pick in next month's free agent amateur draft, major league baseball said Friday.
KEY ON DL: Jimmy Key, struggling to come back from rotator cuff surgery that sidelined him for most of the 1995 season, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a stiff shoulder Friday by the New York Yankees.
Key, one of baseball's best left-handers before his injury early last year, was 1-5 with a 7.14 ERA. In his eight starts, opponents were batting .315 against him.
FRESNO GETS FIREBIRDS: After a four-year search for a Triple-A baseball team, a group of Fresno investors on Friday announced it had signed a contract to buy the Phoenix Firebirds of the Pacific Coast League.
The team will be called the Fresno Grizzlies and should begin play in Fresno in 1998., the same year the major-league Arizona Diamondbacks begin their inaugural season.
Architects were consulting with city officials to plan construction of a 15,000-seat downtown stadium to house the Grizzlies, said John Carbray, president of the Fresno Diamond Group.
LT IN TROUBLE AGAIN: Two weeks after being arrested on charges of buying crack cocaine from an undercover officer in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Lawrence Taylor is back in trouble with the law.
The 10-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the New York Giants was cited for three motor vehicle violations Friday after his 1996 Lexus veered off Interstate 80 eastbound in Saddle Brook, N.J., and hit a median about 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
Taylor, 37, was cited for leaving the scene of an accident, not reporting an accident and driving while his licence was suspended, said State Police spokesman John Hagerty.
On May 3, Taylor was among 18 people arrested during a random drug sting in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was charged with trying to purchase $100 worth of crack. Taylor later was freed on $5,000 bond.
LLOYD, STEELERS GETTING TOGETHER: Greg Lloyd, seeking to become the NFL's highest-paid linebacker, is narrowing his differences with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lloyd, a five-time Pro Bowl pick, is entering the final season of a three-year, $6.6 million contract. Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers is currently the NFL's top-paid linebacker at $4 million per year.
A comparable contract would be worth nearly $1 million a year more than that of the Steelers' top-paid player, cornerback Rod Woodson. But the Steelers have not ruled out meeting Lloyd's demands.
SAINTS FIRE MILLER: Jim Miller, who drew New Orleans Saints fans' wrath for losing longtime favorites Morten Andersen and Rickey Jackson, was fired Friday as the team's vice president for administration.
COLLEGE HALL OF FAME: Terry Bradshaw and Walter Payton will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The inaugural class of 10 former players and four coaches from the ranks of NCAA Division I-AA, II and III and schools that are, or were, in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, was announced Friday.
The group will be inducted and enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 16-17 in South Bend. All of the former players selected went on to the NFL.
Joining Payton and Bradshaw on the list of those honored was Buck Buchanan, who played tackle on both offense and defense for Grambling State from 1959-62. Buchanan died July 16, 1992 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.
The other former players selected were defensive end Vern Den Herder, Central College of Iowa, 1967-70; running back Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, Widener, 1971-73; quarterback Neil Lomax, Portland State, 1977-80; offensive guard Tyrone McGriff, Florida A&M, 1976-79; running back Wilbert Montgomery, Abilene Christian, 1973-76; linebacker Gary Reasons, Northwestern State, 1980-83; and linebacker Jim Youngblood, Tennessee Tech, 1969-72.
Three of the coaches named for induction - Harold Burry of Westminster College, Gil Steinke of Texas A&I and Lee Tressel of Baldwin Wallace - are deceased. The only living former coach named for induction is Edgar Sherman, who compiled a 141-43-7 mark at Muskingum College from 1945-66.
ALOUETTES GET FRAZIER: The Montreal Alouettes acquired CFL rights to Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, whose NFL chances were hurt because of blood clots in his leg.
The Alouettes sent linebacker Reggie Givens to Saskatchewan for Frazier's rights.
Frazier led Nebraska to its second straight national college championship last season. He finished second to running back Eddie George of Ohio State in Heisman Trophy voting.
BLADES CHANGES PLEA: - Seattle Seahawks receiver Brian Blades pleaded innocent to manslaughter charges Friday, changing his no contest plea in the July slaying of his cousin.
Charles Blades died of a gunshot to the head. The former University of Miami player was charged with shooting his cousin with a 38-caliber semiautomatic handgun at the player's home.
The players agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Blades originally pleaded no contest because he didn't want to drag his family through a trial.
"Over the last several weeks his attorneys have persuaded him that what's best for them is to prove his innocence with the trial," Rosenhaus said. "All along his attorneys have said `Brian, they have no case. You can win this trial."'
The bullet that killed Charles Blades was fired from less than 4 inches from his chin during a struggle, police said. Witness accounts and other evidence indicates Brian Blades fired the gun.
He is set for trial June 3, preempting a planned sentencing hearing after the no context plea.
WATER POLO: Taylorsville and Skyline will meet for the state high school championship today, 5:30 p.m., at the Cyprus Community Pool.
5K DATE: An incorrect date was listed in Thursday's Deseret News for the Independent Living Center Run and Roll 5K. It is scheduled for June 8. For more information, call Tina Hensley. 466-5565.