Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on May 28, 1999 · 63
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 63

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St. Petersburg, Florida
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Friday, May 28, 1999
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63
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BASEBALL SCOREBOARD NHL PLAYOFFS STORM Home and away Athletics 6, Royals 1 Tigers 10, White Sox 5 Yankees 4, Red Sox1 Orioles 6, Angels 3 Details, 4-5C Dodgers 4, Reds 3 Braves 8, Brewers 7 Rockies 4, Astros 3 Cardinals 3, Giants 2 (12) Bf 199- Hasek gets help Sabres rally for 4-2 win and 2-1 lead Tampa Bay visits Nashville six days over Leafs in goalie's return. 3C after beating the Kats here. 8C TONIGHT: Stars at Avs, 7:30, ESPN; WHNZ-AM 570. Stars lead 2-1. TO CONTACT US ABOUT SPORTS NEWS: By phone: (727)893-8123 or (800) 333-7505, ext. 8123 By fax: (727) 893-8782 By e-mail: sptsnewssptimes.com SECTION C FRIDAY, MAY 28, 1999 THE TIMES TONIGHT: GAME 48 Ny, A pgyg JarjnerS X J WHENWHERE: 10:05; Kingdome, tfe. , Seattle. TVRADIO: SportsChannel; WFLA-AM 970, WBDN-AM 760 (Spanish). For ticket information, call 898-RAYS or 282-RAYS. Complete listings, 2C Sports Oh. the Ha t rl' -f A ilfsMliMi Times photos JONATHAN NEWTON Tony Saunders, above, and Quinton McCracken suffered serious injuries this week. Manager Larry Rothschild says the team's resiliency will be tested in this tough time. Rays' challenge: Keep the faith, keep winning By MARC TOPKIN Times Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG The Devil Rays jetted off to Seattle on Thursday hoping they left behind a tumultuous stretch that has seen three key players lost with season-ending injuries, their depth depleted with two others sidelined, and their early-season success tarnished by a five-game losing streak. Given the events of the past two weeks, the Rays have every reason to feel sorry for themselves. But, according to general manager Chuck LaMar, they have a more important reason not to the balance of what once seemed like a promising season. "The challenge with this club is to continue to believe we can play that caliber of baseball," LaMar said. "I think there is still the ability on this team, no matter how thin the troops might be here for the next two to four weeks. "Are we presented with more challenges? Absolutely. Have we been hit as hard as any team in baseball with injuries? Absolutely. Is it tougher on a second-year expansion club than a, quote, existing franchise to withstand those injuries? Absolutely. "But, very candidly, if we take the players we have on that 25-man club going to Seattle and play the game the way we're capable of, I think we can Please see RAYS 6C How it happened In the third inning of Wednesday night's game against the Texas Rangers, Devil Rays left-hander Tony Saunders broke his arm as he delivered a full-count pitch to Juan Gonzalez. Saunders broke his humerus, the large bone in the upper arm. The bone broke as the result of the torque and strain put on the arm in the pitching motion. Here's -how it happened: OTo throw a baseball 90 miles an hour, the arm has to travel 90 miles an hour in a short arc from behind the head until the ball is released. This motion puts extreme stress on the shoulder, arm and elbow. Humerus Pitching motion ! 0 f I v - ' J rS U .v . ' v The humerus normally bends during pitching, but the amount of force can lead to a fracture. OThe fracture occurred in a spiral fashion, much the same as the way a twig breaks when twisted. Source: Koco Eaton, M.D., Devil Rays orthopedic team physician Saunders: Cause for optimism in tough road back By MARC TOPKIN Times Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG As horrible as the situation was at the time, the prognosis for Devil Rays pitcher Tony Saunders was surprisingly promising Thursday. Saunders went home from the hospital with his broken left arm in a cast amid optimism that he will be able to resume his career as soon as next season. "Opening Day is not out of the question," Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said. Saunders, 25, will be in a cast for 3-4 months and then undertake an extensive rehabilitation program. Because of his youth, excellent physical condition and the fact that the break in the humerus bone was clean, Saunders should have the physical ability to return. "The doctors were extremely encouraged by the way the bone was placed and under this scenario it's as fine of a situation to start the rehab process, when that is ready to begin, that you could possibly ask for," LaMar said. Equally challenging, however,- will be overcoming the mental scars of returning to die mound after suffering the injury while throwing a routine 3-and-2 fastball in the third inning of Wednesday's game. Please see SAUNDERS 6C Gordon looks for hope from bacic in the pack The three-time Winston Cup champion is running on unfamiliar territory. By TIM BUCKLEY Times Staff Writer CONCORD, N.C. He has won the Winston Cup points championship three times, twice in the past two years. He has m ' . i i ' ..-rr... X Jeff Gordon ended a string of five straight Coca-Cola 600 poles. NOT SO FAST: IRL founder dismisses talk of a union with CART.9C won the Coca-Cola 600 three times, also twice in the past two years. And until Wednesday night, he had won an amazing five straight 600 a poles. But the way things have gone for Jeff Gordon in 1999, it should come as little wonder that the best he could do in qualifying for Sunday's 600 was a tenuous 10th. "We've had some good things happen to us this year," Gordon concedes, "but it's kind of been hit and Please see GORDON 9C 3 L f I-'- - SAMPRAS OUT: Pete Sampras, dejected, sits courtside after his French Open ouster. 8C. UF hires lawyer to find agent answers B NCAA representative: Bringing in independent investigator doesn't raise any red flags. By JOANNE KORTH Times Staff Writer GAINESVILLE The University of Florida has hired an independent law firm with close ties to the NCAA to investigate agent activity on campus. UF general counsel Pam Bernard said Thursday she retained attorney Michael Glazier of the Kansas firm Bond, Schoeneck & King during the course of the University Police Department's probe into agent recruitment of former Gator athletes. "Michael Glazier is a lawyer I use to assist me in conducting independent investigations," Bernard said. "The NCAA relies on the universities to report their own findings, and this gives it a sense of greater independence." Florida will file a report to the NCAA when the UPD concludes its investigation. The UPD has no timetable for its investigation, which began in December 1998. "Some institutions feel as though hiring outside counsel provides a fresh look at what is going on," said Bill Saum, the NCAA's agent and gambling representative. "It certainly does not send any red flags up for me. I think it's a whole different set of eyes." Glazier's findings will carry impartial credence, Bernard said. Glazier, who could not be reached for comment, conducted an eight-month, $400,000 investigation at Florida State that identified 14 NCAA violations, several stemming from the Foot Locker shopping spree in November 1993 when prospective agents bought clothing and food for Seminoles football players. Glazier also is leading the investigation into academic fraud at the University of Minnesota. The UPD has implicated three agents in its probe, but the bulk of the investigation centers around William 'Tank" Black. On May 21, the police executed a search warrant at Black's offices in Columbia, S.C., looking for evidence Black provided inducements, including monthly payments of $1,000, to former players Jevon Kearse, Johnny Rut-ledge and Mike Peterson, according to William Cervone, chief assistant to the state's attorney in Gainesville. Earlier, police issued a sworn complaint against Louisiana-based agent Sean Alfortish, and charged two other men with single counts Please see AGENT 10C azers drum Jazz out of post-season Portland staves off a late Utah rally and advances to West final. Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. - The poised and determined Trail Blazers made sure there would be no more comebacks from the Utah Jazz. Isaiah Rider had 24 points, Jim Jackson had 17 and the pair combined to make 12 free throws in the final 1:05 Thursday night as the Blazers defeated the Jazz 92-80 to win their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series 4-2. 'Tonight is a prime example of what this team has become," Jackson said. "We did a lot of Please see BLAZERS 8C Correction The Yankees' Darryl Strawberry will be tested for drugs twice a week as part of his 18 months of probation for pleading no contest to charges of soliciting prostitution and possessing cocaine. A story in Thursday's Times was incorrect on the number and frequency of tests. Thursday's game Blazers 92, Jazz 80 Blazers win series 4-2 Saturday's game Blazers at Spurs, 5:30, Ch.8 First game of series Sunday's game Knicks at Pacers, 5:30, Ch.8 First game of series Inside The New Jersey Nets reportedly are set to offer ex-Bulls coach Phil Jackson $7-million a year. Playoff coverage, 8C

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