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Sports briefs

Figure skating

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Evgeni Plushenko won the short program at the World Figure Skating Championships and Tim Goebel was second, setting up a showdown between the Russian and American in Thursday night's free skate.

Plushenko, the Olympic silver medalist and only former champion in the field, finished first with eight of the nine judges. Goebel, who won bronze at Salt Lake City, got the other first-place vote.

Baseball

Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez went 2-for-8 with a homer and handled four fielding chances cleanly in a minor league game, his first game since being diagnosed with a herniated disc in his neck nearly two weeks ago.

Rodriguez batted once an inning and played seven innings in the field for Triple-A Oklahoma against Portland, San Diego's Triple-A team. Rodriguez said he felt fine after he was done, and would be ready for the season opener Sunday night at Anaheim.

WEAVER TO BE YANKEE STARTER: Jeff Weaver won the competition to be the New York Yankees' fifth starter. The decision means Cuban right-hander Jose Contreras, who signed a $32 million, four-year free agent contract during the offseason, will begin the regular season in the bullpen. Weaver emerged early on as the front-runner. He is 2-1 with 1.35 ERA in five games. Acquired from Detroit last summer, he led the AL with three shutouts last year despite making few starts after the trade.

Tennis

NASDAQ-100 OPEN: Andre Agassi beat Mark Philippoussis 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth round of the Nasdaq-100 Open. Agassi converted only four of 14 break-point chances, but he remained patient until the Australian's game began to unravel. Philippoussis finished with 28 winners but also 38 unforced errors.

Top-seeded Serena Williams and No. 3 Kim Clijsters easily advanced to a showdown in the women's semifinals.

Football

SON DIES: The infant son of Tampa Bay receiver Joe Jurevicius has died nearly 10 weeks after being born prematurely during the Buccaneers' run to the Super Bowl. Michael William Jurevicius, born on Jan. 14, died Monday night at a hospital in St. Louis. The receiver's wife, Meagan, gave birth to the couple's first child five days before the NFC championship game. Jurevicius missed three days of practice following the baby's birth, then flew to Philadelphia to help the Bucs defeat the Eagles 27-10.

Hockey

O'REE HONORED: Forty-five years after he broke the league's color barrier, Willie O'Ree was given the Lester Patrick Award for a lifetime of service to hockey in the United States. On Jan. 18, 1958, O'Ree played his first game for the Bruins, a 3-0 victory over archrival Montreal. At the time, he didn't really think about his role in integrating the sport, nor did the next day's papers mention anything about his place in history.

By the time he was called back up to the Bruins in 1961, though, he was known as "the Jackie Robinson of hockey." In all, O'Ree played just 45 games in the NHL, scoring four goals.

Skiing

U.S. ALPINE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Julia Mancuso overcame a half-second deficit and a slip-up at the start of her second run to win the giant slalom, matching Bode Miller with three titles on the final day of the U.S. Alpine Championships. Fifth after her first run, the 19-year-old Mancuso finished in 2 minutes, 34.52 seconds to add to her victories in the Super G and downhill.

Jessica Kelley was second in the giant slalom, 0.58 seconds behind. First-round leader Kristina Koznick tied for third with Jonna Mendes, 0.63 back. With temperatures in the 40s, conditions were slick and sloppy at Whiteface Mountain.

Miller dominated the men's events, winning the Super G, slalom and combined, and taking silver in the giant slalom. He was fourth in the downhill.

Auto racing

CREW CHIEF FINED: NASCAR suspended Trucks Series crew chief John Monsam for two months and fined him $1,500 for using an illegal spring at Mesa Marin Raceway. NASCAR also fined Raymond Newman $250 for using unapproved jacking bolts on Ken Weaver's truck team.