The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on March 8, 2001 · 37
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 37

Baltimore, Maryland
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 8, 2001
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Inside: Wizards end 7-game slide ... Wells-Sirotka trade upheld ... Morgan men eliminated ... 5 win Scholar Athlete prizes THEiSlSUN Thursday, March 8, 2001 Section D Inside Patriots give Bledsoe largest NFL contract $103 million for 10 years Quarterback Drew Bledsoe signs the biggest contract in NFL history, agreeing to a $103 million, 10-year deal that all but assures he will spend his entire career with the New England Patriots. Page 7d High schools Boys basketball state previews. Pages 9d NBA scoreboard Wizards 88, Cavaliers 83 Bucks 101, Celtics 94 Knicks 79, Pacers 75 76ersl02,Nets94 Rockets 104, Hawks 98 Mavericks 93, Heat 86 Magic 112, Pistons 102 Kings 100, Suns 89 Jazz 86, SuperSonics 82 Raptors at Lakers Pages 2-3d NHL scoreboard Capitals 4, Penguins 3 Hurricanes 2, Jackets 1 Panthers 3, Sharks 2 Blackhawks 4, Stars 1 Maple Leafs at Oilers Canadiens at Ducks Page 8d College scoreboard State men's basketball MEAC quarterfinal Hampton 76, Morgan State 64 State women's basketball America East first round Northeastern 71, Towson63 Top 25 men's basketball No. 17 Syracuse vs. Connecticut 1 Pages 5-7d Lacrosse 2d Preps 9-10d Baseball 4-5d Horses 10-11d NFL 7-8d Record 11d SunSpot The Sun on the Internet: Salary is a factor; QB hopes to try elsewhere ASSOCIATED PRESS IRVING, Texas The Dallas Cowboys waived Troy Aikman yesterday, no longer convinced that the quarterback who led them to three Super Bowl titles is healthy enough to be their starter. "We always shared a mutual respect for what was in the best interest of Troy and the Dallas Cowboys," owner Jerry Jones said. "In the end, it was in the best interest for him to have a timely opportunity to entertain all of his options. "He'll always be a Dallas Cowboy and always be a very Important part of this organization." Aikman, who suffered 10 concussions in his 12 years with Dallas, said he'd still like to play somewhere. He called the departure a "mutual and amicable decision," due in large part to a salary cap issue. Jones had to make the move by today or else pay Aikman, 34, a $7 million bonus ar&l extend his contract through 2007. The See Aikman, 8d Cowboys release oft-injured Aikman Dilfer left in purple haze QB's job with Ravens goes up in smoke with acquisition of Grbac By Ken Murray SUN STAFF For one exhilarating moment, the Ravens' Trent Dilfer had the dream quar-terbacking job of his life. In the next moment, he had no job at all. When the Ravens agreed to terms on a five-year contract with Elvis Grbac this week, Dilfer went down in history as the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl and lose his job before the next season. The only other Super Bowl-winning quarterback who did not return to his team the next season was the Denver Broncos' John Elway, who retired after consecutive world championships in 1997 and '98. In a span of six months, Dilfer went from the bench to the Super Bowl to the unemployment line. Despite that roller-coaster ride, and the fact that he dangled in limbo for a month before learning his fate Tuesday, his agent said yesterday that Dilfer was at peace with his predicament. "In spite of what may have been coming out of the Ravens' organization, Trent has known he hasn't been in their plans since mid-February," said Mike Sullivan, director of football for the Octagon sports agency in Walnut Creek, Calif. "Therefore, he's very comfortable with moving on to another opportunity. He'll always think of his season with the Ravens as one of the greatest experiences of his life. Trent was proud to be part of the special bond that developed among players on the team, and will never think of this as anything but a positive experience." Dilfer, who turns 29 next Tuesday, became an unrestricted free agent March 2 in a free-agent class that featured See Ravens, 8d Inside Searcy visits: Free-agent tackle says Ravens are his first choice. Page 8d Grbac's deal qb's contract is cap-friendly to Ravens. Page 8d ASSOCIATED PRESS Caps cudgekmieux, Penguins Penguins' MaHobemieux (left) and Capitals' Jeff H ilpern mix it up in Washington's 4-3 victory. Halpern score.' the winning goal with 3:20 left after Lemiex had tied it. (Article, Sd) 'We've had to prove ourselves twice. 99 MikeMardeslch DAVID HOBBY: SUN STAFF Lows: Steve Blake fails to stop Duke's Chris Duhon in game in which Terps blew a 10-point lead at home in last 54 seconds ofregulation. UM roller coaster picking up speed Maryland: ,ykr two big dips, ihe Terps go full speed ahead into the ACC tournament. By GaryLambrecht SUN STAFF ATLANTA He is on the seesaw ride of his life, and Maryland forward Byron Mouton would not trade places with anyone. Mouton, the redshirt junior who sat out last year after transferring from Tu-lane, had a strong feeling something unique would happen during his first season playing in a Maryland uniform. How right he was. The llth-ranked Terps might not end up as the best team in the country. But right now, they might be the game's most fascinating crew. If 'l 1 Hill W HI?'MIWP I ' : . , - v.7' . ... , DOUO KAPUSTIN : SUN STAFF Highs: Byron Mouton leads cheers in season-ending 102-67rout of Virginia. ' . Xm& 'ft. a.', i: V -t d ' . r ' il "J mm "VjCn ! " As the third seed in the 48th annual Atlantic Coast Conference tournament that begins at the Georgia Dome with tonight's play-in game between Clem-son and Florida State, Maryland looks like the ACC's most dangerous squad. The Terps, who open tournament play tomorrow (9:30 p.m.) against sixth-seeded Wake Forest, might be the hottest team in the country. Maryland was tried and fried throughout a crazy regular season, a year in which the Terps have stumbled, soared, stumbled and soared again. The team that is rolling into the postseason with a five-game winning streak during which it has defeated four Top 25 teams and won by an average of 20 points is the same team that lost at home to Florida State and embarrassed Itself on the road at Georgia Tech and Virginia during a 1-5 skid that threatened to torpedo the season three weeks ago. See Terps, 6d On Derby Ward makes a case for work as trainer in w eekends preps By Tom Keyser SUN STAFF HALLANDALE, Fla. - On the first definitive weekend leading to the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the trainer holding the full house Is not Bob Baffert or D. Wayne Lukas. With major races for 3-year-olds in Florida and Louisiana, the trainer with I x -- I Si 4 sidelines significant horses In each and a third on the sidelines is John Ward Jr. A 55-year-old native of Lexington, Ky., Ward is a horseman to the bone. But he is not a familiar figure on the Triple Crown trail. That may change. Thin and silver-haired, a gentleman of the turf. Ward has saddled horses in only one Triple Crown race in three decades of training. In the 1995 Kentucky Derby, Ward trained two entrants, Jambalaya Jazz and Pyramid Feak. They finished 15th and 17th, respectively. This year, his three leading Belle except for ie details Hip damage confirmed but procedural issues abound before retiring Insurance blocks closure Belle and Angelos meet; union opposes 'voluntary retirement' By Joe Straus3 SUN STAFF FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The Orioles and right fielder Albert Belle yesterday continued to plot the end game to the player's de facto injury-induced retirement, though sources familiar with the process say legal, procedural and insurance issues might delay an official announcement. Belle was examined near the team's spring headquarters yesterday by team orthopedists Dr. Michael Jacobs and Dr. Charles Silberstein. The findings apparently confirm earlier results that Belle's degenerating right hip makes it impossible for him to continue his career. Jacobs and Silberstein returned to Baltimore last night and are scheduled to present the results to majority owner Peter Angelos today. Now the matter becomes more logistical than medical as club officials seek a way to ensure that it will receive the maximum benefit from the insurance policy on the Belle contract covering approximately $27 million of the remaining $39 million guaranteed the outfielder. Though the team and Belle would like to reach full closure on the situation, it may be necessary to keep Belle on the 60-day disabled list for the remaining term of the contract, even though there appears no hope that he will be able to resume his potential Hall of Fame career. Club sources indicated that a settlement among the team, Belle and the insurer is possible, but no such arrangement has yet been seriously discussed. The club and Belle's agent, Arn Tellem, have discussed the situation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, which has counseled Belle not to sign a "voluntary retirement" document. Such a document would allow the Orioles to control Belle's movement within the See Belle, 4d no longer contenders, ranked among the top 11 by the Daily Racing Form, place him at the forefront of trainers marching toward Churchill Downs the first Saturday In May. Ward's Monarchos, a stunning gray son of the budding sire Maria's Mon, will race Saturday in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. After 13 horses were entered yesterday for the $1 million race, Monarchos drew post No. 7 and was tabbed the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The Ward-trainee Hero's Tribute, a powerful son of Sea Hero, winner of the 1993 Kentucky See Derby, Ud den John ElSENBERG Subtraction of Belle would be net gain F ALBERT Belle's ailing hip leads to his career's abrupt end in the next few days, the Orioles are assured not only of a positive spring, but of a positive 2001, period. Even if they go on to lose 100 games, which they might, and even if more young arms turn up sore, Belle's departure would be such a corrective step, such a case of addition by subtraction, that a positive grade for 2001 could be assigned now, just a week into the Grapefruit League season. Let the record show that it was a good year for the Orioles, no matter what else happens. Yes, subtracting Belle from the club's shaky equation would mean that much. That might sound strange, given that Belle was the club's most productive hitter, and it's certainly a mean-spirited position to take anyone finding positives in any injury ordinarily should be ashamed. But the circumstances of Belle's fall are hardly ordinary. Maybe you can summon some sympathy for him professionally if he is forced to the sidelines just as his career totals approach Hall of Fame levels, but you certainly can't feel sorry for him personally if he rides an odious behavioral track record into retirement and collects $39 million not to play. He was a selfish churl who made his own bed of boos with 1 1 years of boorish, off-putting behavior, forfeiting any chance of his engendering more than token sympathy or goodwill now. Think that's just typecasting from the media he rudely disdained? Maybe you never noticed the way he made sure to drop his batting helmet on the field after almost every out he made, forcing batboys to leave the dugut and clean up after him a small act that spoke volumes. He worked hard at his hitting, as hard as anyone, and his teammates didn't seem to mind him, not that he was any kind of a leader. But defense obviously wasn't important to him, and his occasional See Eisenberg, 4d o

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