The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 3, 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, May 3, 2001
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Page 21
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THURSDAY MAY 3, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Sports NBA PLAYOFFS / D3 BRIEFS / D3 PREP TENNIS/D3 T COMMENT T PRO BASKETBALL HUBERT MIZELL St, Petersburg Times McRae with more on mind than baseball ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Three hours before a recent Devil Rays game, I visited the new manager's office. After a handshake, Hal McRae lifted his shirt, loaded a syringe and injected 13 units of insulin below his left ribs. I was, uh, surprised. "That'll keep me for a while," he said, smiling big, following with a high-pitched chuckle, upbeat traits so apparent. "Hey, let's make the best of everything." At 55, McRae totes considerable medical baggage. Not just diabetes. A barrage of inherited maladies, some quite threatening. "I just don't want to outlive my money," he joked before turning more serious with, "I do what doctors tell me, take what they prescribe, work out regulalrly and think it's important not to worry unnecessarily" None of this impedes Harold Abraham McRae's ability, drive, energy and competitive fire to manage. I could not find a Tampa Bay player or anyone in the Rays organization who was aware of his medical load. No media knew, either here or in Kansas City where McRae worked 18 years with the Royals. That tells you a lot. "I feel great," he assured. "I think it's mandatory I work out every day. All my medications are preventive. I'm not sick, just trying to keep everything in control. It is vital that 1 don't allow it to drag me down." He is the antithesis of a hypochondriac. McRae has stuff cranking inside a lean, athletic, middle-aged body, but you'd never know without a peek inside the manager's briefcase, seeing the needles and pill bottles. You quickly understand how the man deals with everyday ballpark stuff like hitting slumps and pitching miseries. Nice role model, this Bradenton, Fla., gent, homegrown native of Avon Park, dealing sans complaints or disruptions due to medical reasons. Bursting with grins and chuckles and zeal. Approaching professional and personal challenges with a most healthy outlook. As the Rays have bounded on to Detroit and Baltimore, there is considerable fire back home. Franchise ownership is a rumble. Team for sale. Searching for a COO. A cpup. New chief's biggest first jobs will be to smooth relationships with corporations, politicians and patrons. Attendance has slipped from sad to worse. Asked about front-office doings, McRae smiled and did his best Sgt. Schultz imitation, saying, "I know nothing." His domain is the ballpark. "Anything beyond is none of my business," he said. "I want us working really hard and keeping strong focus and winning as many baseball games as possible, which would make life easier for everybody involved," In 18 seasons as a .290 career major-league hitter, McRae was learning about some disturbing family health propensities. Hints of high cholesterol and uric acid appeared in exams. "I've had concerns pretty much all my life," he said. "I deal with it the best I know how." He has felt the pain. McRae's mother died at 60, a sister at 59. Affected by multiple problems from the aforementioned hereditary list. Hal's brother had a fatal stroke in his 50s. His first sense of urgency came five years ago when Type 2 diabetes flared. M,cRae injects 30 units of insulin, usually 13 in the mornings when he works out, then 17 later in the day "If you've got to get it, this See MCRAE, Page D3 Disparity at stripe costs Cagerz Lakeland, Fla., team makes more free throws than Salina tries, wins by three By The Sallna Journal LAKELAND, Fla. — The Kansas Cagerz outshot and outrebounded the Lakeland Blue Ducks, but couldn't keep them off the free-throw line during a 9289 United States Basketball League loss Wednesday night at the Jenkins Athletic Center. The Blue Ducks hit 33 of 41 free throws for the game — the Cagerz made 19 of 26 — in winning for the second time in four games. "It was a strange game, but a winable game and we didn't get the job done," Cagerz coach Francis Flax said. "We gave it the best shot we could." The Cagerz (1-1) closed within two points on two occasions in the final two piinutes after 3-pointers by Tory Walker but couldn't get any closer A free throw by Kwan Johnson gave Lakeland an 89-86 lead with 29 seconds Cagerz Lakeland, Fla. 92 remaining. Jermaine Jackson then missed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining for Kansas. The Cagerz were called for a delay- of-the-game technical foul. Johnson made the three free throws with 13.2 seconds left to give the Blue Ducks a 92-86 lead. Gary Johnson closed the Lakeland lead to four points with a layup and after a Blue Duck turnover. Eric Carter made the first of two free throws to cut Lakeland's lead to 92-89 with 1.9 seconds remaining. Carter missed the second throw, but the ball was tipped away, giving the Blue Ducks the victo­ ry. Jermaine Jackson led the Cagerz with 25 points, nine rebounds and 13 assists, while Gary Johnson scored 21 points. Kwan Johnson led Lakeland with 25 points, including a 12-for-15 effort from the free throw line. "I'm not going to cry sour grapes, but we outshot those guys from the field and outrebounded them," Flax said. "We were even in assists and turnovers and had more steals, but the one glaring statistic was free throws." The Cagerz are off today before playing the Florida Sea Dragons in Fort Myers on Friday PRO BASKETBALL: WNBA • BASEBALL The Associated Press Claflin native Jackie Stiles, the Portland Fire's first-round draft picl< in tfie WNBA draft, conducts a television interview Wednesday at the team's practice facility in Tualatin, Ore. SEAROm' for a Portland team hopes Stiles can light its Fire By LANDON HALL The Associated Press P ORTLAND, Ore. — Jackie Stiles has a new job and a new city, which is roughly 750 times the size of her hometown of Claflin. She hasn't explored her new surroundings much, though — she's spent much of her time inside a basketball gym. Stiles was the star attraction Wednesday as the Portland Fire opened training camp along with other WNBA teams. "I'm just in awe," the leading scorer in NCAA women's basketball history said. "I cannot believe that all of this is happening to me, but it's a credit to so many people that I've had surrounding me. They don't get a lot of the credit, but they deserve it more than 1 do." "She's going to bring us instant ojfense." Linda Hargrove Portland Fire coach on the team's top draft choice, Claflin's Jacl<ie Stiles Stiles scored 3,393 points in her career and led Southwest Missouri State to the Final Four this year. The 5-foot- 8 guard was the No. 4 pick overall in last month's WNBA draft. Yet the young woman with braces and a nervous smile actually used the word "if" when talking about making the Fire's roster "Nothing's finalized," she said. "I know 1 have to come in here and earn it like everybody else does, and I have to prove myself. The media and the fans maybe have that high expectation, like I can come in here and do what 1 did in college, and I know realistically that's not going to happen." Linda Hargrove, Portland's coach and general manager, deadpanned that Stiles probably will squeak by when final roster cuts are made May 27. When the season begins four days later, Stiles probably will be the backup shooting guard, but she could soon be starting for the Fire, which went 10-22 last season as one of four expansion franchises in the 16-team league. '"She's going to bring us instant offense," Hargrove said. "It'll be tough keeping her on the bench, I know that." Stiles, who finished her degree in See STILES, Page D3 • HORSE RACING Favorite Point Given to start on outside Santa Anita winner will go from No. 17 post in 17-horse field By ED SCHUYLER JR. The Associated Press LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Point Given will be outside looking in when he tries to give trainer Bob Baffert a third Kentucky Derby victory in five years. The strapping chestnut colt, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, will start from the No. 17 post in a 17-horse field. He was made the 9-5 favorite Wednesday, while Baffert's sec­ ond starter. Wood Memorial winner Congaree, was made the second choice at 51. C o -1 h i r d choice at 6-1 were Monar- chos and Millennium Wind. The front-running Balto Star was next at 8-1. Point Given pick in the KBUTUCKY JDERBY When: Saturday, 5:04 p.m. Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky. Television: ABC (Salina Cable 9, 10). drew the 14th selection process Wednesday and his owner and trainer chose the outside post. That way the versatile colt, who figures to lay off the pace, can stay out of trouble at the start. "I had an argument with Bob," joked Prince Ahmed Salman of Saudi Arabia, Point Given's owner "He wanted 19 and I wanted 17." Asked what made Point Given so good, Salman said, "Don't ask me now, I'm a nervous wreck." • Baffert and owner Robert McNair got the second pick for the speedy Congaree and chose the No. 8 post. Front-running Millennium Wind, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes, will start from the No. 2 post. He will be ridden by 54- year-old Laffit Pincay Jr, the winningest jockey in history with more than 9,100 victories. Pincay will be riding in his 20th Derby, but first since 1994, in a bid for a second victory Monarchos, winner of the Florida Derby and second in the Wood Memorial, will start from the No. 16 hole. Balto Star, wire-to-wire winner of the Spiral and Arkansas Derby, will start from No. 3 post. There are no couplings for betting purposes in the Derby because of a recent Kentucky racing rule. It states there will be no entries in an event worth at least $1 million. The Derby purse is $1,112,000. Indians outlast Royals Cordova hits three-run home run; Cleveland wins fourth straight By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few more games like this and Charlie Manuel might stop worrying about whether Cleveland lacks a killer instinct. After Kansas City scored twice in the eighth inning Wednesday night to close within a run, the Indians responded with three runs in the ninth and beat the Royals 8-4 and ISl Indians 8 stretch their winning streak to four Royals "1 liked the way we put together the ninth inning," the Cleveland manager said. "That's kind of what I was talking about. We came back hard there at the end." For the second straight night, Marty Cordova hit a three-run homer. Roberto Alomar was 4-for-5 and Juan Gonzalez drove in two runs, giving him 31 RBIs in 25 games, as Cleveland won for the seventh time in its' last eight road games. C.C. Sabathia (3-1), making his fifth major league start, gave up one run and four hits in five innings. But the biggest pitch of the night was thrown by Paul Shuey After Mark Quinn hit an opposite-field, two-run double in the eighth off Steve Karsay to make it 5-4, Shuey came in and walked Jermaine Dye. But he got Mike Sweeney to ground into a double play and struck out Joe Randa. "My double-play ball killed us," a downcast Sweeney said. "That was probably the difference in the ballgame," Kansas City manager Tony Muser said. "Even with all the little things that didn't go right, we had a chance." With the score 1-all in the fourth, Mac Suzuki (2-2) struck out Ellis Burks, who reached on A.J. Hinch's passed ball, putting runners on first and third. Cordova, who went 3-for-4, then homered into the left-field water display for a 4-1 lead. "It didn't bother me," Suzuki said of the passed ball. "I don't try to worry about the past. The home run was my mistake. It was a hanging slider, and he hit it." Gonzalez had a sacrifice fly in the first and walked with the bases loaded in the fourth to make it 5-1. Cleveland added three runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Kenny Lofton off Cory Bailey, Alomar off Roberto Hernandez and Jim Thome off Tony Cogan. While sliding into second, Lofton was hit in the head by a throw from first baseman Dave McCarty At first, he appeared hurt. But he remained in the game after going to third on the error "He wasn't hurt. He just wanted to catch his breath," Manuel said. Suzuki allov^ed five runs — one earned — and seven hits in four innings. SUGGESTIONS? GALL BOB DAVIDSON, SPORTS EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1 •800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sibdavidson@saljoumal.com

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