Pro basketball

BAKER RELEASED: The Boston Celtics are on their way to getting rid of Vin Baker.

The Celtics requested waivers on Baker on Friday, a step toward releasing the former All-Star and saving the $36 million they owe him over the next 2 1/2 seasons.

Baker's representatives insisted he could still come back, even after missing 10 games with a suspension for violating the terms of his alcohol rehab aftercare agreement.

Billy Hunter, the head of the National Basketball Players' Association, said Baker's contract is guaranteed and the union will fight any attempts at "subterfuge."

"Tell the Celtics we're coming after them," Hunter said. "We're immediately putting the Celtics and the league on notice that we'll file a grievance and do what we have to do. We're going to go all out on this."

The matter is likely to wind up in arbitration.


FRAZIER ARRESTED: Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier was arrested in Philadelphia Friday and charged with assaulting a woman. The victim was described in police documents as the mother of Frazier's son, department spokesman Cpl. Jim Pauley said. The 44-year-old woman was not seriously injured and refused medical treatment, police said. The 60-year-old boxing great was awaiting arraignment on charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment, police said.


ROENICK OUT: Flyers center Jeremy Roenick could miss the rest of the regular season after breaking his jaw in a victory over the New York Rangers. The All-Star had surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York on Friday, a day after he was hit in the face with a puck, leaving him bloodied on the ice and briefly unconscious.

"He will miss significant time," coach Ken Hitchcock said after Friday's practice. "I don't think anyone knows the exact time. It'll certainly be a lot longer than 2-3 weeks. We'll see how he feels in the next week or so."


SCHOTT HOSPITALIZED: Reds minority owner Marge Schott was in the hospital Friday and improving while being treated for breathing problems. Schott, 75, a longtime smoker, was admitted this week to Christ Hospital.

Hospital spokeswoman Pat Samson said Scott was in serious condition, but "at this point we feel that she is making progress and doing well."

Schott was in the same hospital last March for pneumonia and was hospitalized twice in 2001 after complaining of breathing problems.