The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 26, 2001 · Page 21
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 21

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, April 26, 2001
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Page 21
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THURSDAY APRIL 26, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports BRIEFS / D3 AL, NL ROUNDUPS / D3 NBA PLAYOFFS / D3 T COMMENT • SOCCER BOB RYAN Boston Globe U.S. stays on track for World Cup Kelly's Heroes delighting in quick start Here's all you need to know about the 2001 Minnesota Twins; Everyday Eddie Guardado is ready to file for workers' comp. Such is the enchanted state of the Twins' pitching staff that The Hardest Working Man In The Mound Biz, a man who averaged 72 appearances over the past five seasons, has become Every-Other-Other-Other-Day Guardado. Five appearances in 18 games? Eddie says he feels like the Maytag repairman. Well, no. I said that. Bada- boom. Eddie says, "I think it's a good thing. The starters are going seven or eight innings and the closer is going well." And here's something else Eddie Guardado says: "This is the best feeling I've had since I've been with this club." It should be. Even with Tuesday night's 9-4 loss, the Minnesota Twins, whose $24.8 million payroll ranks 30th and last in the major leagues, still have a 14-4 record, second best in baseball. It is the greatest start in franchise history As old friend Ned Martin WQuld say, "Mercy!" Down is up. Like, what is this? 1991? "That's too far back for me," says manager Tom Kelly, who has been on the job long enough (hired Sept. 12,1986) to have undergone a range of managerial experience that extends from winning two world championships (1987,1991) to piloting several clubs that were playing strictly for the rotisserie geeks by Memorial Day Even in the darkest days, Kelly never wallowed in nostalgia. People always felt sorrier for Kelly than he ever felt for himself. After all, no one was making him stay with the Twins. He and his wife happen to like their life in both Minneapolis and Fort Myers. He knew what kind of hand he was being dealt. He chose to play it. He wasn't looking for sympathy then, and he's surely not going to gloat now. What's happening is nice, but... "I'm not going to start waving any flags or popping corks," Kelly says. "I've been around long enough to know better than that." What's happening is that the Twins have won games because a pretty nice core of young everyday players has been augmented by excellent starting pitching. Minnesota's four primary starting pitchers came here averaging a minimum of six innings per start, a figure sullied somewhat by Mark Redman's abbreviated (1% innings) start last evening. No wonder poor Everyday Eddie has taken to doing crossword puzzles in the bullpen. "The pitchers have been doing pretty well," points out third baseman Corey Koskie (.355, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs). "They're giving us a chance to win. That's all it comes down to." That is the party line, all right. "The bottom line," maintains Kelly, "is that the pitchers have been doing a good job of keeping us in games. Stay close. Keep it close. Then peck away, and see what happens." Some years ago, the question on Broadway was, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" The query in the Twin Cities nowadays is whether or not success will spoil Torii Hunter (the Minnesota center fielder), not to mention Matt Lawton (the Minnesota right fielder), or Doug Mientkiewicz (the Minnesota Olympic hero/first baseman), or Cristian Guzman (the injured Minnesota shortstop), or the aforementioned Koskie or such key pitchers as Brad Radke and Eric Milton? Or, God forbid, Every-Other- Other-Other-Day Eddie? See RYAN, Page D3 Americans go to 3-0 after Keller makes Wolff's goal stand up By ARNE GREEN The Salina Journal KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Josh Wolff was living on borrowed time, and he knew it. Costa Rica 0 But with Ante Razov standing on WORLD CUP USA the sideline waiting to replace him, Wolff made his final chance count. Pouncing on a corner kick knocked down in the box by fellow forward Clint Mathis, Wolff bounced the ball past Costa Rica goalkeeper Erick Lonnis in the 70th minute Wednesday night to give the U.S. men's national soccer team a key 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory at Arrowhead Stadium. •The victory in front of 37,319 — the largest soccer crowd ever in Kansas City — gave the U.S. a 3-0 record and the maximum nine points in the CONCACAF Region's final round. The six- team regional, a double-round robin, will determine the three teams to represent North America, Central America and the Caribbean at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea. Wolff, who also scored in a 20 victory over Mexico on Feb. 28, said there was no question in his mind why Razov, who replaced him a minute later, was at midfield. "I saw him coming down the path," Wolff said with a smile. "You see a forward, and I had a feeling it was going to be me coming off. "But in the end, I think our team played very well. We created a lot of chances, and that's something to be very positive about." ' Moments before the goal, Wolff won the corner that set up the game-winner with a shot that was deflected wide right. Jeff Agoos' corner kick to the 6-yard box found Mathis, who went high to knqck the Costa Rica defender Gilberto Martinez lioids of U.S. forward Josh Wolff during tlie first lialf of their World Cup qualifying game Wednesday In Kansas City The Associated Press ball straight down. Wolff was waiting, and his side-winding kick bounced cleanly by Lonnis into the net. Asked if his knock-down was a hand ball, Mathis shrugged it off. "I don't" think it hit my hand," he said. "Anytime Buck stops here :::| ' f s • The Associated Press Magic center Michael Doleac (right) blocl(s the path of the Buclts' Jason Caffey during their first-round NBA playoff game Wednesday in Milwaukee. Ray Allen scored 27 points, a career playoff high, as the Bucks pulled off a 103-96 victory. Story, page D3. • BRONCOS Pryce signs seven-yeeir deal Year after holding out of camp, tackle gets $60 million contract By DON MITCHELL The Associated Press DENVER — Tackle Trevor Pryce became one of the NFL's top-paid defensive players Wednesday when he re-signed with the Denver Broncos for $60 million over seven years. The deal, which came nearly a year after Pryce held out of training camp in an attempt to renegotiate his rookie contract, includes a signing bohus worth nearly $11 million. "I wanted to play here the rest of my career," the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Pryce said. "I love the city I love the people. This is an ideal situation for me and my family" Pryce, who was in the final year of his five-year, $4.9 million contract, was rewarded with a revamped deal after appearing in his second straight Pro Bowl after the 2000 season. Last summer, DDvrp ^^^^^ fMTUC out of training camp for 16 days, rejecting a seven-year, $31.5 million offer. He said coach Mike Shanahan told him, "I can do something now, but it won't be what you deserve and what you think you should have." Pryce, Denver's first-round draft pick in 1997 from Clemson there's a ball in the box, you just want to try to do what you can and fight for it. "Essentially, anything can happen, and the ball happened to bounce in our favor right to Josh, and he did well putting it away" Wolff said he was simply fighting for position in the box. "Anytime the ball gets hooked in, and it's not coming to you, it's important to try to get a good spot," he said. "Clint went up for it aggressively and nodded that one down, and I was just fortunate to be in the right spot." It was a sweet finish for Wolff, who was robbed of a goal in the first half by Costa Rican defender Reynaldo Parks. Wolff brought down Claudio Reyna's cross from the right wing and chipped the ball over Lonnis, See CUP, Page D2 T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Johnson's blast does in Royals Right-hander Wilson wins for second time since Sept. 20, 1996 By The Associated Press ST PETERSBURG, Fla. — Russ Johnson hit a three-run double and Paul Wilson won for . just the second time since 1996 as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays held on for , • •, • a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals responded by leading the Broncos with 12 sacks and two forced fumbles and returning a fumble recovery for his first NFL touchdown. In 1999, he had 13 sacks.' "I'm really going to have to pick up my game to a new level to justify what I'm being paid," he said. "I'm anxious to get going to prove that I was worth them doing this." Other recent deals that are comparable include the six- year, $45 million deal signed by defensive end Kevin Carter after he was traded from St. Louis to Tennessee and the five-year $34 million contract signed by Simeon Rice as a free agent with Tampa Bay Carter got an $11 million signing bonus, but Rice's deal is for straight salary Royals j^j^ Devil Rays 5 on Wednesday night. Johnson went 2-for-4, and Wilson (1-2) continued his comeback from shoulder and arm problems by allowing three runs on four hits in five innings before a crowd of just 11,156. Esteban Yan pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many opportunities. The Devil Rays built a 5-0 lead with one run in the first and four in the second off Jeff Suppan (1-3). Fred McGriff and John Flaherty had RBI singles before Johnson's bases-loaded double drove in three more. Kansas City, limited to one hit through four innings, loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth on singles by Mike Sweeney, Dee Brown and Raul Ibanez. Two runs scored when Tampa Bay shortstop Felix Martinez threw wide of second base on an intended force play, and Kansas City trimmed its deficit to 5-3 on Rey Sanchez's sacrifice fly. The victory was the second for Wilson since Sept. 20, 1996, when he was with the New York Mets. The right-hander missed parts of 1997 and '98 and all of '99 because of separate surgeries on his pitching shoulder (Nov 1996) and elbow (April 1999) and was acquired from the Mets last July in a deal that sent Rick White and Bubba Trammell to New York. Wilson appeared in four games out of the bullpen before moving into Tampa Bay's rotation in late August and remaining there the rest of the season. He won for the first time in more than four years when he stopped Toronto last Sept. 25. Wednesday night's victory was the three in four games for the Devil Rays, who improved to 3-4 under new manager Hal McRae. Wilson struck out two and walked one before being replaced by Doug Creek. Suppan, 0-3 lifetime against Tampa Bay allowed five runs, eight hits, walked four and struck out five in six innings. The announced crowd was the second-smallest crowd to watch the Devil Rays at Tropicana Field in the team's four- year history. T MUSTANGS Central's Manley to swim for SMS Bears' coaches say they like Manley's potential for growth By The Salina Journal After swimming competitively for only two years at Salina Central, senior Michael Manley has been invited to compete for the Southwest Missouri State pro- MANLEY Kas"„. "The coach there really feels like I have a lot of potential since I've only been swimming less than two years," Manley said. "They want to work with me and see if they can't get me swimming faster. "The record holder for the school in the 100 and 200 freestyle had slower times than me when he was in high school and really was in the same situation when he went in his freshman year." Despite his lack of an ex­ tensive background in the sport, Manley swam in the maximum four events at the' Kansas State Championships in February, including, the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. He finished 15th in both individual events, and also helped Central's 200 medley relay team establish a school-record time and finish fifth at state. He will go into his first season at Southwest Missouri State as a freestyle swimmer, but said that may all change. "Their coach said I would definitely be going freestyle but I may try other strokes," Manley said. "I haven't trained hard yet in any other strokes so I don't know my full potential and I could end up being better at another stroke." Manley is a three-sport letterwinner at Central, running cross country in the faU and as a member of the Mustang track team each spring. Southwest Missouri State, an NCAA Division I school and member of the Missouri Valley Conference, is located in Springfield, Mo. SUGGESTIONS? CALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbdavidson@saljournal.com

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