Free agent relief pitcher B.J. Ryan visited with the Cleveland Indians yesterday. The team may turn to him if it decides not to re-sign Bob Wickman, the anchor of the majors' best bullpen in 2005.
The Indians did their best to make Ryan, a former member of the Orioles, feel welcome.
The club put a photograph of him wearing a Cleveland cap on the jumbo scoreboard at Jacobs Field, and the ballpark's other scoreboards said, "Welcome to Cleveland B.J. and Candi Ryan."
This season was Ryan's first full year closing games for Baltimore; he finished with 36 saves and was 1-4 with a 2.43 ERA. . . .
The Mets want Billy Wagner, and the bullpen ace sounds as if he likes their sales pitch. After two days of meetings with the pitcher and his wife, Sarah, the Mets made an initial contract offer. . . . .
The White Sox set a record for World Series shares at $324,533. When they last won the title, in 1917, a full share was worth $3,669.
* SOCCER: Former champions Bayern Munich, Juventus and Ajax qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Meantime, another former champion, Manchester United, missed an opportunity to join the final 16 after a 0-0 draw with Villarreal at home.
"I don't think it was a bad performance, we just needed that little break in front of goal, but we didn't get it," United Manager Alex Ferguson said.
Roy Makaay scored twice for Bayern Munich in a 4-0 win at Rapid Vienna. Juventus joined the Germans thanks to an 80th-minute goal from Alessandro del Piero in a 1-0 victory over FC Brugge.
* GOLF: Tiger Woods overcame a stomach virus and labored to a 5-under 67 to take a three-stroke lead over defending champion Phil Mickelson after the opening round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Poipu Beach, Hawaii.
* COLLEGES: Southern California's Matt Leinart, Vince Young of Texas and Brady Quinn of Notre Dame are the finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's best quarterback.
Minnesota center Greg Eslinger, Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeill and Oregon defensive tackle Haloti Ngata are the finalists for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's best interior lineman.
-- From News Services