BIG UNIT SUSPENDED: Randy Johnson, already off to a rough start this season with the Seattle Mariners, was given a three-game suspension for throwing a fastball too close to Kenny Lofton's head last week in Cleveland.

Johnson does not plan to appeal. The penalty imposed by AL president Gene Budig takes effect Friday, meaning Johnson will miss his next scheduled start Saturday night against Minnesota.


SPREWELL SUED: A couple injured when Latrell Sprewell slammed into their car while swerving out of an exit-only lane has sued the suspended Golden State Warriors player.

Arnulfo Perlas, 54, and Irma Feliciano, 53, of Antioch were on their way to church March 1 when Sprewell cut across the freeway in Walnut Creek, hitting the back of their Toyota Corolla. Both cars rammed into a concrete wall and the Toyota flipped over, the California Highway Patrol said.


SAKIC MUST SIT OUT: Colorado captain Joe Sakic will sit out tonight's opening game of the Avalanche's first-round playoff series with Edmonton following a one-game suspension by the NHL.

Sakic also was fined $1,000 for a kneeing incident against Detroit's Kris Draper on Saturday.


MONTE CARLO OPEN: Andre Agassi routed Todd Martin 6-2, 6-1 in the Monte Carlo Open, setting up a second-round showdown with Pete Sampras.

Sampras is trying to regain his No. 1 ranking from Marcelo Rios. Agassi, a former No. 1, beat Sampras the last time they met, in the final of a February tournament in San Jose, Calif.

U.S. CLAY COURT: Defending champion Michael Chang beat Paraguay's Ramon Delgado 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-1) in the first round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at Orlando, Fla. Third-seeded Jim Courier also advanced, beating qualifier Geoff Grant 6-1, 6-2.


USSF FUNDING: The U.S. Soccer Federation will receive about $380 million over 12 years from marketing deals with International Management Group and Nike. Combined with a $120 million apparel contract with Nike announced in October, the USSF will have at least $500 million in funding.