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Sports News Briefs
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MASSACHUSETTS INDEPENDENT TEAM SIGNS JOSE CANSECO: WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — An independent league team in Massachusetts has signed former major league slugger and admitted steroids user Jose Canseco.

The Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am league said Friday he agreed to a contract for one season. The 47-year-old Canseco says in a statement he is grateful to the team. Tornadoes general manager Jorg Bassiacos expects Canseco to "bring a lot of excitement" to the club.

Canseco hit 462 home runs during a 17-year career. He was a member of the Bash Brothers with Mark McGwire while with the Oakland A's. Canseco also played for the Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Devil Rays and Yankees. He ended his major league career with the White Sox in 2001.

The Tornadoes went 48-44 last year. They play their first home game May 21.

OLD-TIMERS FETE OLDEST OF BALLPARKS ON 100TH B-DAY: BOSTON (AP) — All the big names are here for the 100th birthday of Fenway Park.

More than 200 former players and coaches were at the majors' oldest ballpark on Friday to celebrate its anniversary. The "lyric little bandbox" opened on April 20, 1912, for a Red Sox game against the New York Highlanders (who later became the Yankees).

Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Pesky, Mo Vaughn and others walked out on the field for a pregame ceremony. Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona took the field to chants of "Tito!"

They were joined by the current players, who took the field in uniforms replicating the ones worn in 1912.

The Yankees also wore throwback uniforms.


NBA union leadership wants Fisher out as president: NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA union's executive committee has requested the resignation of President Derek Fisher.

The NBPA says in a statement on its Twitter feed Friday that the executive committee voted 8-0 Wednesday that it had lost confidence in Fisher's ability to lead. The statement says the decision was based "on numerous instances over the past six months, where Fisher engaged in conduct detrimental to the union."

The union says that includes "acting in contravention of the players' best interests, during collective bargaining, declining to follow the NBPA Constitution, and failing to uphold the duties of the Union President."

The veteran guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder has been the union's president since 2006.


CURTIS BEATS STORMS, TAKES TEXAS OPEN LEAD: SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Ben Curtis shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Friday in the Texas Open before storms brought afternoon wind, leaving the former British Open champion two strokes ahead at 10 under when the second round was suspended because of darkness.

Storms interrupted the round for nearly two hours.

David Mathis was second after a 67, and Cameron Tringale and Matt Every were 7 under. Tringale shot a 65. Every was lined up for an 11-foot birdie chance on No. 17 when he walked off the course. He'll finish play Saturday morning.

The lead is the first for Curtis through 36 holes since 2010. He has limited status following a miserable 2011 and is playing only his fourth tour event of the year.


DJOKOVIC, BERDYCH REACH MASTERS SEMIFINALS: MONACO (AP) — Novak Djokovic dropped serve four times before beating Robin Haase 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Monte Carlo Masters semifinal on Friday, and admitted afterward that his thoughts were still on his grandfather.

Playing the day after his grandfather's death, the top-ranked Djokovic looked distracted at times against Haase, missing a first chance to serve out for the match at 5-1 before breaking the unseeded Dutchman for the seventh time to seal victory.

"It's been a tough week, but this is life," Djokovic said. "His spirit will always be with me."

Djokovic lost a total of 16 points on his usually rock-solid first serve, and his play was sometimes erratic.

"It's tough to be able to play tennis after the way I felt and the way I still feel," Djokovic said. "I remember him as a great man, and I know he's been supporting me and still from the heavens now."

Djokovic next plays sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, who took advantage of a wayward performance from Andy Murray to win 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3.

SERENA LOOKING AHEAD TO FED CUP AND OLYMPICS: KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Serena Williams will play overseas for the United States on Saturday in the Fed Cup for the first time in more than a decade.

The 13-time Grand Slam champion will lead the Americans against Ukraine this weekend in the best-of-five playoff series on clay. But the Olympics, where Williams has won two doubles gold medals but failed to medal in singles, are also on her mind.

She needs to play twice in the Fed Cup to be considered by the USTA for the Olympic team.

Williams says "I think it is more huge for the media for me to win singles. For me, any medal is great. If I win singles, it would be awesome. If I win doubles, it would be awesome. Or if I win mixed."

Williams will face 17-year-old Elina Svitolina on Saturday in the second singles match.


Hendrick seeks 200th win with stop in Kansas: KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Hendrick Motorsports is back at Kansas Speedway, hoping a track that has yielded plenty of success over the years will allow it to finally reach a milestone.

The team has been stuck on 199 wins since last October, when Jimmie Johnson drove to Victory Lane at Kansas. The 13-race winless streak is the longest for the organization since the 2002-03 seasons, or about the same time Johnson was breaking into the Cup series.

Hendrick drivers have come close the past couple of races. Johnson and Jeff Gordon were in contention at Martinsville before a late wreck, and Johnson dominated last Saturday night at Texas before Greg Biffle passed for the lead late in the race and held on for the victory.