Chuck Knoblauch agrees to talk to House commitee

WASHINGTON -- Chuck Knoblauch is heading to Capitol Hill.

Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star who played with Roger Clemens on the New York Yankees, agreed Monday to speak to a House committee investigating drug use in baseball after initially failing to respond to an invitation to testify.

His silence prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to issue a subpoena last week, but federal marshals were not able to track down Knoblauch right away. The 1991 AL Rookie of the Year eventually did make contact, and his twice-postponed meeting with committee staff for a deposition or transcribed interview will be Friday.

That session is preparation for the panel's hearing Feb. 13, when Knoblauch is among five scheduled witnesses, including Clemens and his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee.

Also scheduled to testify are Andy Pettitte, a former teammate and workout partner of Clemens' who also trained with McNamee, and ex-New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski.

• Pitcher Todd Wellemeyer and the St. Louis Cardinals avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses that could be worth another $100,000.

• Free-agent third baseman Pedro Feliz and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to an $8.5 million, two-year contract.

The deal includes a team option for 2010, a person familiar with the negotiations said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced.

• AUTO RACING -- A mix-up over memorabilia has created hurt feelings with Dale Earnhardt Jr., while his former team claims it's all a misunderstanding.

Earnhardt said he's upset that all signs of his stint at Dale Earnhardt Inc. had allegedly been removed from the shop. First told of the absence of his memorabilia last week, he originally said he didn't care.

But at the first day of testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt said time to think about it had made him mad. He said the team members that were part of his Daytona 500 victory and two Busch Series championships should be recognized at the shop.

• NASCAR fans at Darlington Raceway can make a full-day's meal out of the Dodge Challenger 500 in May.

The track announced an all-you-can-eat food and beverage ticket that includes seats plus unlimited hamburgers, hotdogs, snacks and soft drinks at the new Colvin Grill.

Darlington president Chris Browning says the package is a way to reward the track's loyal fans.

The cost starts at $60 for adults and $55 for children 12 and under. If you've already got a ticket elsewhere at the raceway, officials say you can purchase the all-you-can-eat option for $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.

The Sprint Cup Series race will take place Saturday, May 10.

• WNBA -- The WNBA players union neared ratification of a new six-year contract with the league in a deal that includes increases in wages and a dual salary-cap system.

Approval of the contract by the league's 165 players, a large number of whom are playing overseas, was running more than 95 percent in favor among ballots cast. About half of the players have voted.

The collective bargaining agreement, reached Friday and announced Monday, includes an increase in the maximum salary from $93,000 to $95,000 this season, with $2,000 increases each year. Veteran minimums will increase by about $1,000 to $50,000, and rookie minimums will increase from $32,600 to $34,500 for the four-month season.

The contract through 2013 includes an annual increase of 3 percent in the basic cap, from $722,000 in 2007 to $750,000 this year. Teams will now be allowed to exceed that figure by a maximum of approximately 4 percent each year, with the cap increasing to $869,000 in 2013, and a 'flex' maximum of $913,000.