The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 2, 1997 · Page 74
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December 2, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 74

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Tuesday, December 2, 1997
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The Palm Beach Post s c SECTION C INSIDE BASEBALL Boys, girls soccer previews A look at the high school players and teams to watch this season. PAGES 4-5 CLASSIFIED: PAGES 9-18C Indians deal Williams to Arizona for Fryman Power-hitting Matt Williams (left) goes to the Diamondbacks in an exchange of third basemen. PAGE 2C iffips, Jojo talk things over TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1997 SPORTS v v r , I s i m ;Let us tithe now at the House of What's -Been-Happening-Lately DAVIE They're a playoff team, . ' they're not a playoff team. We love them, ' we love them not. The Miami Dolphins are like most NFL teams, scrapping to beat anybody they can every week and trying not to get a complex ' about it. SUNDAY'S GAME: Detroit at Miami, 8 p.m., Pro Player Stadium. TV: ESPN INSIDE: Washington quarterback Gus Frerotte will miss the rest of the season with a broken hip. 3C r ;. M.nm i Visum nidli. - I M I It ' " Could the Dolphins be a bridge over talented running back's troubled career? Jimmy Johnson seems to think so. By Ed Price Palm Beach Post Staff Writer DAVIE Lawrence Phillips could be a Miami Dolphin by tonight. Phillips and coach Jimmy Johnson met Monday and will again today, but whether a contract is offered won't depend just on what he tells Johnson. "It's not only what you hear, but also what you feel," Johnson said Monday. "I don't want to waste our time and our money on something that doesn't have a chance to succeed. But there is a large upside there." Phillips, the No. 6 pick of the 1996 draft, was released by the Rams on Nov. 20 after skipping team meetings and practice the day before. He had been fined about 20 times this season by the team and reportedly failed an NFL drug test, coming up positive for a substance other than alcohol. In college at Nebraska, he was Zoom in on any four-quarter segment of this 16-game marathon of a season and you could convince yourself that San Francisco, a 35-ppint loser to Kansas City, is pathetic, or that . 1-12 Indianapolis, which scored that lone victory against Green Bay, belongs in the Super "outstanding" or "tremendous." Easy now to forget that unforgivable Monday night comeback by the Chicago Bears in October, or the dismal 9-6 to Buffalo that followed it. "We're playing our best football right now," Johnson said. "We've won three of our last four and six of our last nine, with all three of those losses coming by three points. "Our goal this summer was to win the division and it's still our goal. That can happen if we win bur last two AFC games . . . it's right there in front of us." That's because the New York Jets, who had it right there in front of them, lost on Sunday to fall back into a three-way tie with New England and Miami for the AFC East lead. These are 8-5 teams we're talking about, as capable of finishing .500 as they are 11-5. Yet there finally is reason to separate the Dolphins from the pack. A big road victory over the silver-and-blah Raiders doesn't say enough. Look instead to the schedule for the sunrise because compared Please see GE0RGE5C Dave George sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay $359 in restitution for assaulting Nebraska basketball player Kate McEwen. Phillips was suspended from the Cornhuskers for three months but reinstated for the 1996 Fiesta Bowl against Florida. Last April, Phillips was released from jail after serving 23 days of a 30-day sentence for violating the probation when he pleaded no contest to J Please see PHILLIPS3C Bowl. It s a bumpier ride than the stock market, with fewer trends to trust. Monday, for instance, Jimmy Johnson met with the media to discuss the high point of the Dolphins' season, a thunderous 34-16 trampling of the Oakland Raiders, and every other word out of his mouth was THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Lawrence Phillips was a rehabilitation project for St. Louis Rams coach Dick Vermiel that lasted 12 weeks. He was fined 20 times this season and released after skipping team meetings and practice the day before. v X Ay- - " ' N ' H? v . L y V- J V y m$L ! i . . : -- '--iinn-i ' - - " v.: - ,,.,... "; . ninmaiiiii iiifi Viininai m t rrttmamt-w Packers roll past Vikings into playoffs The Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS Mike Holmgren has no more demons to exorcise and neither does a Green Bay defense that just two weeks ago gave up 41 points and 467 yards to the worst team in the NFL. Holmgren's Packers made it back to the playoffs by beating the Vikings 27-1 1 Monday night as Dorsey Levens ran for two touchdowns, Brett Favre threw for another and Reggie White recorded 2lA of the Packers' six sacks. The win ensured Green Bay (10-3) of at least a wild-card playoff berth and sent Minnesota (8-5) to its third straight loss. The Packers can clinch the NFC Central title and a first-round bye with a win next week in Tampa. But it was as much an emotional victory as an important one for the Super Bowl champions. It was the first win in the six games the Packers have played under Holmgren in the Metrodome. It came eight days after his first victory in eight tries against Dallas. And Green Bay's defense dominated for the second straight week after a 41-38 loss in Indianapolis two weeks ago. The Packers sacked Brad Johnson six times, and held Minnesota to just 144 yards in the first three quarters. As they often do, the Packers started slowly, breaking a 3-3 tie on Favre's 18-yard TD pass to Robert Brooks with 2:10 left in the first half, then scoring again 3:36 into the second half on Levens' 3-yard run. Unlike the first game a 38-32 Packer win in Green Bay both offenses started sluggishly. But )ate in the half, Favre, who completed just 4 of his first 14 passes, hit 3 of 4 in moving the Packers 86 yards in 11 plays. He scrambled 12 yards on a third down to keep the drive alive and capped it with his TD pass to Brooks. Levens' TD made it 17-3 and then the defense took over. Net results: Finding horses to train easy as clicking a mouse By John Crittenden Palm Beach Post Staff Writer HALLANDALE New trainers cannot find clients in the want ads. The hardest part of training horses is finding horses to train. After a 16-year apprenticeship as an assistant, Keith Sirota opened the door to DAVID BERGMANThe Miami Herald The Panthers' Jody Hull (12) and Phoenix's Teppo Numminen en- night. The Coyotes used a hat trick by Keith Tkachuk to defeat the gage in some extracurricular activity during the first period Monday Panthers 3-2. anthers pay the penalty his own stable with a 3900 display-model computer from a chain store. "I didn't even know how to turn it on," he said at Barn 3 at Gulfstream Park. "I'm not the kind of guy who can just walk up to people at the track and say 'I want to train your horse.' So I thought I might find something on the Internet. "Everybody at the barn lanchpd at me. I I tin if 'i liirt i losing games for us every single night." Tkachuk; who is Fitzgerald's first cousin, became the third superstar to terrorize the Panthers in their last four home games. First was Peter Bondra, who had two goals and an assist in a 5-2 win Nov. 23. Then came Peter Fors-berg, whose three assists keyed Colorado's 3-2 victory last Friday. Monday was Tkachuk's turn. "This was a win we needed desperately," said Tkachuk, who led the league in scoring with 52 goals last season and, with his three Monday, now ranks fourth in the NHL with 16. "There are quality players in this league who, when they step up, their team wins," Murray said. "We seem to Please see PANTHERS6C Keith Tkachuk's goal with four seconds left on a power play leads Phoenix past Florida 3-2. By Brian Biggane Palm Beach Post Staff Writer MIAMI The penalty kill is killing the Florida Panthers. Penalty killing traditionally has been a Panthers strength. When they finished with the seventh-best record in the NIIL last year, their penalty-killing unit matched that excellence, ranking seventh with an 85.5 percent success rate. But this year, as the Panthers have struggled, so has their ability to kill penalties. Entering Monday's game against Phoenix they ranked 24th in that category, and 22nd in the league standings. Keith Tkachuk capped his first hat trick of the year and fifth of his career, scoring with four seconds remaining in a penalty to Florida goaltender Mark Fitzpatrick at 5:37 of the third period as Phoenix pulled out a 3-2 victory at Miami Arena. The game marked the sixth straight in which Florida has given up at least one power-play goal. Opponents are 7-of-28 in that period. "Every game, the deciding goal seems to be a power-play goal," coach Bryan Murray said. "It's absolutely killing us," said Tom Fitzgerald, who with Bill Lindsay forms the Panthers' best penalty-killing duo. "We've always been one of the top teams in the league at it. It's FANTKLIS VS. CAPITALS FRIDAY'S GAME: Washington at Panthers. WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Miami Arena RECORDS: Washington 13-10-4; Florida 8-14-5. TV: SportsChannel MULLER SUSPENDED: For high-sticking in the Rangers game. Story, 6C Sirota o "They're not laughing anymore," said Sirota, reaching into his briefcase to show off a Japanese-English dictionary. Not long after he learned to surf the Internet, Sirota was contacted by a pair of horse owners in Japan. They were newcomers to American racing who recently purchased a 2-year-old filly. Please see HORSE RACING6C, I

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