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By Associated Press / March 2, 2001



What's up, fellas? Welcome to my house.

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- Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, as he walked into the clubhouse on Monday in Mesa, Ariz., on his first day of spring training.

The deal on Sosa

Sammy Sosa is going to be all smiles, hugs, and heart taps while his agents try to negotiate the contract extension they've been working on for almost a year now.

"I have a good feeling everything's going to be OK," a smiling Sosa said Monday after reporting to the Chicago Cubs' spring camp - fashionably late as usual. "I came here to play baseball. Whatever happens after that happens."

Sosa is believed to be looking for a six-year deal that would pay him $20 million a year, while the Cubs want a four-year deal for between $17 million and $18 million per season. "I'm not complaining," Sosa said of his contract. "I think I have a right to ask for an extension. I only have one year left."

Flutie let go

Doug Flutie had more experience, a better record, and was considered far more popular among fans than Rob Johnson. None of that mattered when the Buffalo Bills decided which quarterback they would keep.

The long-brewing controversy that revolved around the two players for the past three seasons ended Wednesday when the Bills announced that Flutie, a former Heisman Trophy winner and Boston College star, would be cut, making Johnson the team's starter.

The decision was made in part for salary-cap reasons. Buffalo, in the process of cutting more than $13 million in salaries to meet yesterday's deadline, saved about $3 million by releasing Flutie.

THe US SC-O-O-O-O-REs!

US coach Bruce Arena didn't want to read too much into his soccer team's first victory over Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in 20 years. "We are simply happy we were able to protect our home turf," he said of the 2-0 US win at Columbus, Ohio.

"It is going to be a real battle the next nine games." The match was the first of 10 to be played to determine the teams that will advance to the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society