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NBA STANDINGS: Due to a production error, an incorrect NBA standings ran on the Scoreboard page in Sunday's newspaper. The Deseret Morning News apologizes for the error.


EPSTEIN RESIGNS: Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein resigned Monday, surprising Boston and the baseball world just one year after he helped build the franchise's first World Series championship team since 1918.

The team said in a statement that Epstein will continue working for several days to assist in the transition and prepare for the offseason.

The Boston Herald, which first reported the news on its Web site, said the Yale graduate has told associates that he may leave baseball or at least take a year off.

The Dodgers, Phillies and Devil Rays have GM openings, but none has a $120 million payroll to match the one Epstein was given in Boston.

The 31-year-old Epstein was reportedly offered about $4.5 million for a three-year extension — quadruple his previous salary. But it was still short of the $2.5 million a year the Red Sox offered Oakland's Billy Beane in 2002 before making Epstein the youngest GM in baseball history.

Although Epstein and team president Larry Lucchino haggled over the usual issues of salary and authority, the Herald said Epstein went through "agonizing soul-searching" about his relationship with his mentor. The Herald said a Sunday newspaper column contained inside information about their relationship, "slanted too much in Lucchino's favor," and convinced Epstein there had been a breach of trust.

Epstein grew up blocks away from Fenway Park and worked for Lucchino with the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres. A lifelong Red Sox fan, Epstein was brought to Boston to be the assistant GM and promoted to his dream job in 2002, about five weeks before his 29th birthday.

ASTROS REWARD GARNER: Phil Garner was rewarded for leading the Houston Astros to their first World Series when the team extended his contract by one season Monday.

The manager's new deal runs through 2007. With his familiar mustache and occasionally unexpected moves, Garner has guided the Astros to a 137-99 record in 1 1/2 seasons. Houston also won a playoff series for the first time last year and made the World Series this season before getting swept by the Chicago White Sox.

"This is a show of confidence in what we did this year," Garner said. "It is important to have continuity in the organization, that players and staff and everybody knows that we still have someone that's going to be here this year, next year and the year after."

The Astros needed big comebacks to win wild-card berths the last two seasons, overcoming a 15-30 start this year to become the first team since the 1914 Boston Braves to reach the World Series after falling 15 games under .500.

"We are very pleased about the performance of our team under Phil," owner Drayton McLane said. "It is an exciting time for the Houston Astros, and we feel Phil's leadership and efforts have contributed greatly to our success. We look forward to having him as our manager as we continue our mission toward a World Series championship."


GAME RESCHEDULED: The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers will play Dec. 1, making up a game postponed from Saturday because of Hurricane Wilma.

The Panthers haven't played at home since Oct. 20 because of Wilma, which also caused the rescheduling of Florida's matchup with Ottawa on Oct. 22. That game will be played Dec. 5.

2 PLAYERS RECALLED: The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled center Erik Christensen and defenseman Ryan Whitney from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday. Christensen ranks third in the American Hockey League with 19 points in nine games. The Penguins picked him in the third round of the 2002 draft. Whitney, a first-round pick in the 2002 draft, leads all AHL defensemen with 14 points and five goals.

THRASHER CALL-UP: The Atlanta Thrashers signed right wing Scott Barney on Monday from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. The 26-year-old Barney led the Wolves with 11 points (seven goals, four assists).


ARAB PLAYERS MIFFED: Israeli Arab players accused the national soccer federation of religious insensitivity for refusing to reschedule a game during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

During Ramadan, observant Muslims refrain from drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. When the federation slotted a game Saturday for the mixed Arab-Jewish team of Bnei Sakhnin just four minutes after the end of the fast, seven of the Muslim players ate early to be ready.

Before Ramadan, which began in early October, the team asked the federation not to schedule games for an hour after the end of the fast, the club's Jewish coach, Loufa Kadosh, told Israel Army Radio on Monday.

The team's captain, Abbas Suan, a Muslim, said the refusal to reschedule the game was inexcusable.

"I have represented the state and the national team in the most respectful way, but unfortunately the majority continues to ignore us," Suan told the Maariv daily.


PARIS MASTERS: Former champion Greg Rusedski advanced to the second round of the Paris Masters on Monday, beating Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-4. Rusedski, who won in 1998, had nine aces and broke Seppi early to take a 3-1 lead in the first set. Andy Roddick is the top-seeded player in a tournament hit by high-profile withdrawals.

French teenager Gael Monfils pulled out Monday citing tendinitis in his left knee. Earlier withdrawals included defending champion Marat Safin, top-ranked Roger Federer, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi.

WTA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Justine Henin-Hardenne will miss next week's season-ending WTA Tour Championships in Los Angeles due to a hamstring injury.

Henin-Hardenne told Belgian newspaper Le Soir she needed to recuperate from the injury, suffered after winning her fourth Grand Slam at the French Open in June. She skipped tow tournaments this month and hoped the rest would allow her to start the 2006 season fully fit.


WEEKEND RESULTS: In fights held in Sahuarita, Ariz., Saturday: Jhonny Gonzalez, Mexico, stopped Ratanachai Sor Vorapin of Thailand in 7 rounds to win the WBO bantamweight title; Hugo Cazares, Mexico, stopped Kaichon Sor Vorapin, Thailand, in 6 rounds to retain the WBO junior flyweight title; Fernando Montiel, Mexico, outpointed Pramuansak Phosawan, Thailand, to retain the WBO junior bantamweight title; Daniel Ponce De Leon, Mexico, outpointed Sod Looknongyangtoy, Thailand, to win the vacant WBO junior featherweight title.