Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 29, 1998 · Page 5
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 5

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Rochester, New York
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Thursday, October 29, 1998
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Business C3 In back of this section Sports D SECTION TV, FACES IN SPORTS 2D 60 SCHOOLS BOB MATTHEWS 3D 8D HORSES THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1998 DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE Leading Off File photo On top UConn's Richard Hamilton and coach Jim Calhoun celebrate a win. UConn is first, SU second in poll Connecticut, which returns five starters from last year's 32-5 team that reached the NCAA East Regional finals, was the unanimous No. 1 selection yesterday in the Big East coaches' men's basketball poll. Syracuse was a clear second with 130 points, 14 fewer than Connecticut and 14 more than Miami. St. John's was picked fourth, followed by Georgetown, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Providence, West Virginia, Notre Dame and Boston College. Connecticut junior Richard Hamilton, the conference player of the year last season, was chosen preseason player of the year. Joining the forward on the preseason All-Big East team were guards Khalid El-Amin of Connecticut and Von-teego Cummings of Pittsburgh, and forwards Tim James of Miami and Jamel Thomas of Providence. What a bargain The New York Mets will have to sell a lot of hot dogs and T-shirts at Shea Stadium to pay Mike Piazza over the next seven years. By the final two seasons of his new contract, Piazza will pull down $92,593 per game. Based on his stats this year, he'll get $26,786 for Piazza each at-bat. Still, the Mets maintain he's worth it. Before Piazza was acquired on May 22, New York averaged 18,876 for 26 dates. Afterward, they averaged 35.239- DiMaggio improves after rough times Joe DiMaggio will be hospitalized for three more weeks with pneumonia and a lung infection even though his lawyer said the Yankees legend had improved from earlier this month when "we were fearful for his life." "Look, he will be 84 next month and he has pneumonia," said Morris Engelberg, DiMag-gio's longtime lawyer and friend. "It was very, very serious." It was the first time Engelberg acknowledged that Di-Maggio's life had been in danger. He said he got the first good sign in more than two weeks when he visited DiMaggio at 5 a.m. yesterday. "He was sitting in a chair watching the news on television when I walked in," Engelberg said. "And I don't mind telling you that I was relieved because when I walked into his room in intensive care, and he wasn't there, I thought he had died. But they had moved him to another room, and there he was, watching television. I hugged him." Bon voyage A few suggestions from David Letterman on ways the Yankees can top 1998: "Send Steinbrenner on a homemade raft to Cuba. "Do the same thing next year with a different owner." TV's Best Bet Red Wings at Blues, 8 p.m., ESPN2: Scotty Bowman's back to provide three-peat inspiration in Detroit. B J. -V i Rhinos still see a future in Team officials are optimistic despite the league's financial woes and bad TV ratings. BY STAFF WRITER JEFF DiVERONICA Up to $60 million lost this year and a three-year total of more than $100 million. ,NSIDE: dance that fell I S. ROSTER for a second SHAKEN UP straight year, 3D but only slightly this season (from 14,716 to 14,312). Atrocious television ratings, including Sunday's championship game on ABC. Dean Melanson scores two goals, and Martin Biron makes 30 saves to win 5-1 . BY STAFF WRITER KEVIN OKLOBZIJA Dean Melanson will never be confused with Al Maclnnis, the rocket-shooting defense-man for the St. Louis Blues. Melanson's game has always been banging bodies, not beating goalies. But last night the sixth-year defenseman scored his first two goals of the season as the Rochester Americans took advantage of shaky goaltending by David Arsenault to defeat the Adirondack Red Wings 5-1. Martin Biron made 30 saves to remain unbeaten (4-0-1) and he'll likely get the start when the Amerks play again at 7:35 p.m. at tomorrow at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial against the Worcester IceCats. Randy Cunneyworth, Denis Hamel and Scott Nichol scored the other goals for the Amerks, who improved to 4-2-1 while Adirondack outshot Rochester 31-18 but fell to 3-4-0. The Red Wings have scored 14 goals, in large part because they don't have many gifted forwards. That could become a problem because they no longer have Norm Maracle to rely on in goal. Maracle, a two-time All-Star, has graduated to the parent Detroit Red Wings. He played Adirondack's first four games on a rehabilitation assignment, going 3-1-0 with a 2.50 goals-against average, then went back to the NHL. Arsenault got the start last night but wasn't sharp, allowing three goals on 11 shots. Melanson beat him with a snap shot from the top of the left circle at 12:25 f me first period. The goal came with each team a man short, and off a three-on-two rush that developed quickly after Amerks defenseman Jason Mansoff Holecek's a windfall BY STAKE WRITER LEO ROTH ORCHARD PARK - After signing a four-year, $12.5 million contract two weeks ago, INSIDE: Buf ,?ills I0HNS0NSTILL g NOT READY Holecek went 5D out and notched a career-high 16 tackles against Jacksonville. He followed that up with a team-high 11 against Carolina. If Holecek is feeling the pressure of a big-money deal, he's not showing it. Resting on one's laurels or a fat wallet isn't in the makeup of this 26-year-old, working-class kid from Steger, 111. "It's nice to know that I'm doing a good job and they know it and that I'm wanted here," said Holecek, a 1995, fifth-round draft pick from the University of Illinois, where he was overshadowed by teammates Kevin Hardy and Dana Howard at Dick Butkus U. "What it (the contract) This is Major League Soccer, where the Rochester Rhinos see their future. The numbers might look bad, but they didn't shock the Rhinos owners. They said yesterday they already knew about them. "What's been coming out in the public we've already seen in private," Steve Dormer said. The figures, reported recently in various publications, haven't wavered the Rhinos' desire to move from the second-division A-League to first-division MLS or build a eras rani m Wwm No homecoming Irondequoit's Rory Fitzpatrick won't be on the ice tomorrow win the Worcester IceCats come to Rochester. Fitzpatrick, an alternate captain for the IceCats, broke his ankle in practice last week and is out at least a month. The fourth-year veteran has two assists and 12 penalty minutes in four games. Former Amerk Terry Yake is with the IceCats. The Amerks leading scorer and team MVP in 1996-97, Yake has 2-1-3 in seven games. He played all of last season with the parent St. Louis Blues but lost his NHL job in part because of the strong play of Marty Reasoner, another Rochester Youth Hockey product, in training camp. stepped up and knocked down Jeff Lazaro as the Adirondack winger carried the puck into the Rochester zone. Cunneyworth stretched the lead to 2-0 at 9:34 of the second period with a breakaway goal, just as the Amerks finished killing a penalty. Cunneyworth swept in off the right wing, faked a shot before cutting across the slot, then made another deke before firing a shot past a sprawling Arsenault. Melanson's second goal gave the Amerks a 3-0 lead at 14:04, and it was a shot that never should have gone in. Arsenault was in front of Melanson's slap shot from the right point and got his glove on it, but the puck eluded him, trickled under his left leg and just across the goal line. Biron lost his shutout at 4:48 of the third period on Barry Potomski's tip-ia J great play for Bills Bills should be on IV Only single seats remain for the Bills' 1 p.m. home game Sunday against the Dolphins, and it is expected that all tickets will sell out before today's 1 p.m. television blackout deadline. If the game does sell out, it will be the second Bills home game to be seen on local TV this season. TV prospects are not as good for future home games. There are still about 28,000 tickets remaining for the Nov. 15 game against New England. does for me is let me play with more confidence, knowing the coaches, the administration, everyone is behind me. I feel an extra responsibility, maybe, but I don't think I've had too many bad games this year." No, he hasn't. Stepping in for Chris Spiel-man, a four-time Pro Bowl BILLS, PACE 5D soccer-specific stadium, the key to joining MLS in 2000. "I have every confidence MLS will be here long term," Rhinos majority owner Frank DuRoss said. Not everyone does. MLS commissioner Doug Logan is asked so often if the league will survive that the greeting on his cellular phone mockingly says, "We're still playing!" "I don't think it's as bad as the naysayers say," DuRoss said. "Maybe everyone expects too much too soon. Growing the sport of soccer is a slow process." Building a TV audience is ; t v flTw ci pijnrf Mm. , REED I IOFFMANN staff photographer Bumped Rochester's Domenic Pittis is pushed out from the Adirondack goal in the first period. The Amerks took advantage of shoddy goaltending to score a victory. ' fsJ V"'" ftp. i ffi frm I f f . ji .. r r I U I Uii t-r:rr:r:::z: ' , . Money player John Holecek (52) cashed in with the Bills after replacing injured Chris Spielman last season. slower. Though 51,350 packed the Rose Bowl Sunday to watch the expansion Chicago Fire upset two-time champion D.C United 2-0 in the MLS Cup, the title game drew a paltry TV rating of 1.2 or a little more than one million viewers. By contrast, this year's World Series drew a 14.1 rating its lowest ever and last January's Super Bowl drew a 44.5 (133.5 million viewers) its best ever. One ratings point represents 994,000 households. Twelve MLS games on ABC RHINOS, PAGE 3D ,y. REED HOFFMANN staff photographer ' KA I'll. MLS Stadium: What's next The Rhinos continue their quest to build a soccer stadium.The club is looking at private funding and team owner Steve Donner said the Rhinos may spend up to "$15 to $17 million" of their own money. The team hopes to announce results from a feasibility study, architectural designs and cost breakdowns for the stadium around New Year's. "We'll have a financial plan and then public officials will see what gap is left to make this thing go," Donner said. Stern cuts 2 weeks; sides keep talking THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK - David Stern cut two more weeks off the NBA schedule, debated the finer points of the lockout with Michael Jordan, and then met with the players to see if the sides could compromise on the "guts" of a new deal. "I feel neither optimism nor pessimism. I just think that we've got to talk," the National Basketball Association commissioner said. "We may have the skeleton of a deal, But in terms of a hard negotiation on the guts of this deal, I would say we're no place yet." The cancellations, which wiped out the rest of the November schedule, came after a meeting of the league's Board of Governors at which some owners asked when the "drop dead" date would be for losing the entire regular season. Stern said he did not want to set a deadline. According to several sources who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of Yankees picture Belle in pinstripes THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK Albert Belle in the Bronx? Listening to George Stein brenner, that's a possibility for next season if Bernie Williams doesn't resign with the New York Yankees. "Nobody's history scares me," the Yankees owner said. "We have a disci Belle INSIDE: ARIZONA L1KF.S WILLIAMS 4D pline in the organization that has proven itself." This is the Albert Belle who prefers to be left alone, who has been fined for profane outbursts and violent incidents, who used his vehicle to chase trick-or-treating teenagers after they threw eggs at his house. Belle in the media center of the world? In the clubhouse of team tranquility? "Who comes from deeper problems than Darryl and Doc?" Steinbrenner said, referring to Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. "Yet they accepted the discipline and accepted the direction." Belle has already drawn the interest of the Boston Red Sox, who have contacted his agent to open contract negotiations. One of New York's off-season decisions has been pushed back a week. The Yankees and David Cone agreed the pitcher would have until Nov. 4 to decide whether he will exercise his $5.5 million player option. Cone's original deadline was midnight yesterday. "David Cone is very dear and very important to me," Steinbrenner said. "He's a real New Yorker. I realize he's coming to that point in his career where maybe he has to consider all the options." Williams, who turned down a $37.5 million, five-year offer from the Yankees last winter, wants a deal at least seven years long and agent Scott Boras sounds like he wants more than the $13 million average Mike Piazza will get from his $91 million, seven-year contract with the Mets. "I think that all of baseball, to be honest with you, was stunned by that," Steinbrenner said of Piazza's deal. Piazza's deal, a baseball record for total and average, will change the salary structure. "The dollars were a little staggering and that will reflect," Steinbrenner said. J anonymity, Jordan, Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin and Stern had one of the most heated exchanges after Jordan asked why increases in franchise values were not being figured into calculations. After that question-and-answer meeting, the sides were to resume negotiations. Two weeks' worth of games already had . been scrapped, and now the season can't begin until Dec. l at the earliest. Stern did say, however, that the league and union would discuss "recapturing" games. That was a change from two weeks ago, when the league announced the first set of cancellations and said the games would not be made up. "They had told us about games being recaptured. We knew that," said Jeffrey Kessler, the lead outside counsel for the union. "You can add (games) on later, or put more into the schedule." Until this labor dispute, the league had never lost a game to a work stoppage. J

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