The Cincinnati Reds traded

Josh Hamilton

to the Texas Rangers yesterday for pitchers

Edinson Volquez

and

Danny Herrera

, using their surplus of outfielders to shore up a weakness.

The 26-year-old Hamilton was one of baseball's best comeback stories last season, when he finally made it to the majors after years of alcohol and drug abuse nearly ended his career. He batted .292 in his first major-league season with 19 homers and 47 RBIs in 298 at-bats.

Barry Bonds

told a judge yesterday in San Francisco that he wants two top-notch Bay Area defense lawyers to lead his legal team even though they previously represented potential witnesses against the slugger.

Bonds, who is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury about his steroid use, appeared briefly in federal court after prosecutors raised conflict-of-interest concerns about defense attorneys

Allen Ruby

and

Cris Arguedas

.

The NL champion Colorado Rockies filled a middle-inning vacancy in their bullpen by agreeing to a $7.5 million, two-year contract with righthander

Luis Vizcaino

, who was 8-2 with a 4.30 ERA with the New York Yankees last season.

A day after being linked to drugs in baseball, former pitcher

Allen Watson

denied the allegation. He was among nine players accused of doping by former pitcher

Jason Grimsley

in a federal agent's affidavit unsealed Thursday.

Watson, now 37, was 51-55 with a 5.03 ERA from 1993 to 2000. The lefty pitched for St. Louis, San Francisco, the Angels, the New York Mets, Seattle and the New York Yankees.

Former all-star pitcher

Matt Keough

remained jailed in Newport Beach, Calif., four days after he was arrested for violating his parole by binge drinking at a hotel bar.

Keough pitched for the Oakland Athletics from 1977 to 1983, making the 1978 all-star team.

Colleges

Three starters are among a half-dozen Tennessee Volunteers who have been ruled academically ineligible under NCAA and Southeastern Conference requirements for the Outback Bowl.

Wide receiver

Lucas Taylor

, linebacker

Rico McCoy

and defensive tackle

Demonte Bolden

are among the six scholarship players.

No. 16 Tennessee (9-4) faces No. 18 Wisconsin (9-3) on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

Jack Armstrong

, 75, who played tackle under legendary Columbia football coach

Lou Little

(1952-54) and later became one of the school's most prominent athletic alumni, died Wednesday night in Hackensack, N.J.

He had been struck earlier in the day by a car in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., where he was a resident in a senior living center.

Fred Jackson

was brought back as Michigan's running backs coach, a day after new coach

Rich Rodriguez

fired Jackson and all the other assistants on

Lloyd Carr

's staff.

Noteworthy

Former IOC president

Juan Antonio Samaranch

, 87, was released from a Madrid hospital in Spain after spending two days recovering from a dizzy spell.

David Beckham

is expected to train with Premier League club Arsenal early next year to prepare for the Major League Soccer season.

Beckham would likely use the club's training facility, which is close to his English home, before the Los Angeles Galaxy begin their season on March 29, Arsenal manager

Arsene Wenger

said.