The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania on March 4, 2003 · 33
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The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania · 33

Allentown, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
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FOURTH FIFTH C2 TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2003 THE MORNING CALL wakeupCALL BOTTOM OF THE BARREL SNIFF, SNIFF cs strong in first outim adilla THIRD Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel commenting on David Wells' book "Perfect I'm Not": "Like most jock books, Wells had some help from a real writer, this one named Chris Kreski. Or do you believe Wells sat down and wrote: 'The '86 Mets for all their cocky swaggering, hard-drinking machismo, look like pencil-necked pushovers today.' "Or how about 'A lot of today's superstars are basically shaped like barrels with heads.' "Takes a barrel to know a barrel, David." CAUGHT RED-HEADED Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Asked if fellow UCLA alumnus Bill Walton ever gave him any broadcasting tips, Kareem Abdul-Jab-bar told the Raleigh N.C. News and Observer: 'Bill Walton can't teach anybody anything except how to be a redhead.'" in the BLEACHERS 2003 UmvefUfl fnU S"08" v-v "Wait a minute. How do raKing a Knee injury .' MOUTH off LETTER TO AARON GRAY Dear Aaron Gray: First and foremost, our family would like to congratulate you on a very wonderful high school sports career. Two seasons with 20 wins, nearly 1,000 points, all-state selection, and very steady development of your game have been extremely enjoyable and satisfying to the serious high school basketball fans of the Lehigh Valley. You and your brother Matt are very lucky to have "normal" parents who support you the right way, avoiding undo interference and meddling. And the opportunity to take the burden of college expense off your parents' back may be one of the greatest elements of this whole sports experience. But after reading the Mouth Offs, you can probably see that sports and human nature can have a mean-spirited side. And sometimes that mean-spirited human element is intentionally exploited for profits and finana-cial gain. It is without question that Andy from Schnecksville should voice his opinion, whether we agree or disagree. However, Andy's MouthOff unintentionally took the tone of a personal attack. The critical question is, Should Andy's opinion be printed when it disparages a 17-year-old student-athlete? Newpapers, television, radio talk shows, or unsavory periodicals have a long history of exploitation to satisfy that ugly side of their subscribers. When is the line crossed from informationen NUMBERS game The number of winning seasons for the Buffalo BravesSan DiegoLos Angeles Clippers franchise since 1976-77, although they were 41-41 in 1992-93. Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: "When scientists find a way to bring the well-preserved dead back to life, how cool will this matchup be: King Tut pitching to Ted Williams. "Baseball then and now: In the Egyptian embalming process, true fact, special tools were used to remove the brain through a nostril. Similarly, some modern baseball players have snorted their brains out ." TRIVIA TIME Name the only person to coach a full season and lead the Clippers to a winning record. uoseas Z6-T66I M !ds ft-i) UA -BD pe(M '(K-IZ) Jainups '(2I-EZ) UMOjg Ajjei !6-8Z6T '6-f 'anqs 3U39 uaMSuy Wakeup Call is a collection of observations from sports figures and writers worldwide. we know he's not just tertainment to exploitation for profits and subscribers? Does the only local paper have the moral and civil obligation to carefully define what is "fit to print?" This is certainly a question that honest, wholesome, well-meaning, mature readers would have to ask. It is frustrating for the victim of such exploitation to set the record straight, or even try to balance this debate. This is an unexpected bout of adversity. It's good practice in handling future adversity, because it will arrive with unscheduled regularity in life. Aaron, you have what the French call "cache." People who have never met you will talk about you, formulate opinions, and misquote you. And this is hard to understand at 17 or 57, as for no reason, some will like you, and some will dislike you. Your background and upbringing indicate you will grow into your cache and take full advantage of it by studying hard at the University of Pittsburgh, having fun, and graduating with good merit on a timely basis. And if good things, happen because of basketball, so be it. I will leave you with this important quotation: "Heavy is the head that holds the crown." Barretts from Allentown To Mouth Off on sports, call us at 610-820-6188, e-mail us at, go to and click on the Mouth Off icon, fax us at 610-820-8654, or write us at Box 1260, Allentown, PA 18105. When you "Mouth Off," you speak for yourself only and should not attempt to convey the opinions of others. Published comments are submitted anonymously and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Morning Call. . THIS WEEK'S QUESTION In the PIAA tourney, which class (boys or girls) with a local school has the best shot at a state title? 1. Class 4A: Allen, Parkland boys; Pleasant Valley, Easton girls. 2. 3A: Central Catholic boys; CCHS, Southern Lehigh girls. 3. 2A: (Notre Dame, Salisbury boys; Notre Dame, Catasauqua girls). 4. A: (Pius X boys; Marian girls). To reply to the question, visit our Web site at www.mcall.comsports. Results will be reported Saturday on Page C2. By Don Bostrom Of The Morning Call SARASOTA, FU. That wasn't the wind blowing toward the fences of Ed Smith Stadium Monday during the Phillies' 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. It was the collective sighs of relief coming from the Phillies dugout after All-Star pitcher Vicente Padilla flashed some electric stuff in his first official trip to the mound since being shut down last September with what team physician Dr. Michael .Ciccotti called a "tired arm." Rest was prescribed, so Padilla skipped winter ball for the first time in his career. Padilla removed any doubts he was completely healthy by unleashing pitches that showed more collective life than the senior citizens who comprised the majority of the crowd of 4,249. "The ball came out of his hand pretty good," manager Larry Bowa said. Padilla mixed in some nice changeups and a few breaking balls to strike out three while allowing three runs, four hits and no walks in three innings. "Don't go by the line score," warned catcher Todd Pratt. "He had a good day. He had a good fastball and good location. His only problem was throwing one too many strikes." Padilla caught too much plate with a third-inning heater that Austin Kearns smoked for a three-run homer. It was the only blemish against a Reds lineup loaded with regulars. "I'd rather face those guys PHILLIES FROMfrAGECl Lieberthal content to be in background It's been so cold I don't want to be out there anyway." He traces the problem to extra weightlifting and conditioning. "It wasn't something I woke up with overnight," he said. "It's been gradual. Day-to-day, it just kept getting worse." Lieberthal had surgery on his left knee last fall after he tore cartilage stepping awkwardly out of a golf cart on Oct 11. "I thought it was ACL again," Lieberthal admitted. "I couldn't walk on it very well. I was hoping it wasn't I was La Russa From Call wire services St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has left the team for several days to attend the trial of a defendant accused of assaulting one of La Russa's daughters. Details of the crime against Bianca La Russa, 23, were not released by the team. La Russa said in a statement Monday that the trial begins this week for a crime that happened several years ago. "I feel that it is important for me to join my family and give my daughter support during this difficult time," La Russa said. Steinbrenner has no plans GONE FROM PAGE CI ties in college. While the loss of Mitchell was made arguably more significant by where he landed, the loss of Barber could prove equally significant. The outside linebacker signed with Kansas City, reportedly receiving a seven-year contract worth a total of $30 million. Barber, 27, was second on Philly's defense in tackles with 119 during the 2002 regular . season. He was repeatedly lauded by Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson for using his relentless pursuit to limit the number of big plays and scores the Birds allowed. Barber had joined the Eagles PHILLIES NOTEBOOK now because they are the ones I will have to get out in the season," Padilla said through interpreter Carlos Arroyo. Everything else was all upbeat. "My arm feels good and strong," Padilla said. "I'm lacking command of my pitches." Pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has been stressing proper pre-game preparations with Padilla, specifically, the mental approach. "We want him to have a purpose behind every pitch he throws," Bowa said. Padilla will be working on developing a rhythm and routine so he's ready to go full bore when the first pitch of the game is delivered. The J-Bank-Roll: Two-time All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins had his contract renewed by the Phillies Monday. The split deal calls for $450,000 at the major league level and $292,000 if he were to play in the minors. Rollins, who will be eligible for salary arbitration next year, turned down a multi-year package. "Why jump at anything if you know you can do better?" Rollins said. "If they make it worth your while it's tough. If they were throwing some big dollars out there it would be very tough. But I'm young right now and my true value hasn't really been established. It's a little bit of a guessing game right now. "It's risky. You can go up, or you can go down." Will the ultra-confident Rollins have the last laugh? like, 'Hallelujah,' when it wasn't. After the surgery, I literally walked out of there and it was only a matter of weeks before I was running around." Bowa admitted his heart skipped a beat when he heard of Lieberthal's latest injury. Lieberthal's not sure if his current problems can be traced to it. "Possibly," he said. "I don't know. I couldn't tell you." The ACL injury that Lieberthal suffered on May 12, 2001 did effect a 2002 season in which he hit .279 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs. . "My knee was definitely sore last spring and kept getting better as the season went on," he said. "I really didn't think about it in the second half. I got better from week to week, month to month." The eight-year veteran felt a lot more comfortable talking about the current state of the Phillies. "There is pressure to win leaving Cardinals temporarily BASEBALL NOTES to talk to Wells: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has no plans to talk with David Wells about the pitcher's book. "I haven't heard much about it except what you guys write," Steinbrenner told reporters Monday. "I'm not reading it, so I don't really know." "I'm not going to answer any more questions," Steinbrenner said. "Talk to general manager Brian Cashman, talk to manager Joe Torre. Those are the two people you have to talk to. I've got these guys to handle it." as a free agent last offseason after four years with the Washington Redskins. The loss of Barber and an expected unwillingness to re-sign middle linebacker Levon Kirkland means the Eagles will go into the 2003 regular season with two-thirds of their starting linebackers new to their starting roles. And that will be the case for a second straight year, because Barber and Kirkland were brought in last year on one-year contracts as replacements for Mike Caldwell and Jeremiah Trotter. Potentially compounding matters are reports that defensive end Hugh Douglas is having serious talks with Seattle. Other Eagles unrestricted free agents are Kirkland and fellow middle linebacker Bar 1 .; ( PHILLIES PITCHER VICENTE PADILLA the Reds. But he pitched well in his "I won't be laughing, I'll be smiling," he said. "But until that happens, there's no reason to rush it." Rollins made $355,000 last season. Extra innings: In an effort to get rookie center fielder Marlon Byrd more at-bats, Bowa has moved him up to No. 2 in the batting order. He went l-for-3. ... Jim Thome legged out a pair of infield hits. "You have to use that speed," Thome laughed. "They'll look good in the box score. Right now I'm just a tad off. I'm there, but there's just a this year," said Lieberthal, who signed a three-year contract extension last Aug. 19. "We're picked to win. We have a much higher payroll. It will be a disappointment if don't. The good thing is the nucleus of this team is together for a a few more years. So we should always be competitive or have a chance to make the playoffs." Team chemistry is vastly improved, i "It's way more positive," he said. "Last year, we had way more tension. A lot of players were talking because of the situation with Scott Rolen. You knew there was a player who wasn't happy in our clubhouse, so it probably had a negative effect on other players. This year, there are a lot of players that want to be here and want to play for Larry. Thome is close to Larry, and Bell and Millwood are easy to get along with." The Rolen situation festered long enough to be a distraction. "He got along with most of Sosa suing over 'double taxation': Sammy Sosa is suing the Illinois Department of Revenue over a $45,000 tax bill from 1998, saying he already paid taxes on the income in California and other states. The Chicago Cubs star paid the amount demanded by Illinois $38,169 in taxes plus $8,814 in interest but sued the state in May. Illinois denied the credits he took for taxes paid in other states. Washburn hurts shoulder: Left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who led the Anaheim Angels in victories last year, hurt his left shoulder trying to avoid a collision during fielding practice Monday and expects to be ry Gardner, wideout Antonio Freeman, fullback Cecil Martin, running back Dorsey Lev-ens, backup offensive lineman Doug Brzezinski, special teams leader Dameane Douglas, tight end Jeff Thomason and 41-year-old punters Lee Johnson and Sean Landeta. Mornhinweg was 5-27 in his two seasons, as head coach in Detroit. He had previously served as the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers for three seasons before going to Detroit. He and Reid coached together as offensive assistant coaches under Mike Holmgren in Green Bay from 1995-96 and at Texas-El Paso in 1987 and Missouri in 1991. 610-820-6779 At Behrman Associated Press allowed a three-run home run to first spring training outing. few nitches that beat me a little bit. Usually, I don't feel this good this early." ... Chase ' Utley had a two-run single to produce the Phillies' runs, ... Reliever Rheal Cormier has yet to throw his splitter. He gave up another run but Bowa likes the way he has been keeping the ball down Philadelphia is 1-4 in Grapefruit League play. ... Brandon Duck: worth will start today against .. TT i TT 1 f -J nuusiun. nenur ivieicmiu win also work. donald.bostronra 610-820-6506 the players," insisted Lieberthal iit . i it . 1 : i . . . il was proDaDiy ine negativity . between him and the front oitice, ana mere was mat con- . flict with Bowa. Bowa is the captain of our ship, so that was ndfratixro on-? wp ticrrf( if it nuiuu i ii uunn 11 1 uuii ways." T 1 . 1- 1 ' J 1 " ! 1 lJHUl nidi aoiu 11U i,aui.i shiD duties are mainlv with the stall ne nancues. tie minxs new pitching coach Joe Kerrigan will make major contributions. "He's pretty hands-on during the game," Lieberthal said. "He knows hitters. He has so many books and charts, so when a hitter comes to bat he'll give you information. He's on the side saying this guy pulls off the ball or you can come in on him. It's information that you already have, but he reminds you." Lieberthal is hoping he can v remind Phillies fans he's still a special player. 610-820-6506 sidelined for up to 10 days. Cardinals 7, Mets 1: At Jupi- i t?i t c: a. u: ier, ria., jasuii oimuiiiatciu nnH DuQtin Hprmanwn Mfh pitched two scoreless innings and St. Louis beat the New York Mets. Pedro Astacio pitched three scoreless innings for the Mets. Blue Jays 9, Yankees 8: At Tampa, Fla., Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui hit his second homer of the spring, a three-run shot for the New York Yankees in a loss to Toronto. Matsui went 3-for-3. He is ' 5-for-9 with two homers and five RBIs in three spring training games. Starter Andy Pettitte threw two perfect innings. AP: Eagles to get LB Simoneau From Call wire services The Philadelphia Eagles acquired linebacker Mark Simoneau from the Atlanta Falcons for two draft picks, a source close to the team told The Associated Press on Monday. Simoneau, 26, will replace Shawn Barber, who signed with Kansas City earlier Monday. The teams will announce the trade on Tuesday, accord- " ing to the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. Atlanta will get a sixth-round draft pick this season and a fourth-round pick in 2004 for Simoneau.

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