The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on June 5, 2002 · C2
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · C2

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 5, 2002
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$18Million Drawing WEDNESDAYnight on WSB-TV Estimated Annuitized Jackpot RSPT0605OC2 Time did not stand still for the moment. If any soul inside a seat at Turner Field even recognized this international first, it wasn’t apparent. It was this: That with Graeme Lloyd pitching for Montreal and Damian Moss doing the hurling for Atlanta, for the first time since Cap Anson’s mustache, two pitchers from Australia were opponents in a major league baseball game. “I wouldn’t say for sure,” Moss said in his soft-spoken way. He remembered that Mark Hutton, from South Adelaide, and the same Lloyd, from Victoria, had been in the American League at the same time, but briefly. Likely never to have crossed swords. But here were Lloyd, now 35 and in his 10th season, on the same pitch — that’s a baseball field Down Under — with Moss, from near Sydney, at the same time. You think of Australia, you think cricket. The test matches. That great cricketeer, considered by some the greatest athlete whoever lived, and whose name I can’t pull up. Australian football, rugby, the “big swill,” the now repealed 6 p.m. beering deadline, Phar Lap, but never baseball. Moss spoke up again. “But the largest crowd that ever saw a baseball game was in Australia,” he said, “106,000 in Melbourne, in the 1956 Olympics.” Fair dinkum, mate. Played in Melbourne Cricket Ground, no doubt. It must have been a chockablock day. All of this, of course, was long before the life and times of Damian Moss, now in his 25th year. He was scouted and signed by the Braves as a fuzzy-faced 18- year-old. He is making up for the hirsute deficiency with rust-colored kind of mutton chops now. Paul Snyder, then top scout, flew to Australia to see just what manner of prize Bill Clark and Phil Dale had turned up. He played on the same team with Glenn Williams, the shortstop, in whom the Braves invested a large amount, and who is now in somebody else’s farm system. Moss signed for a lot less, as a fielder, but when he reached the instructional league in Florida, he was handed a ball and told, “You are a pitcher,” and a pitcher he has been ever since. Craig Shipley, an infielder, was the first Aussie to establish himself in the big leagues, but most of the rest have been pitchers. Exception: Dave Nilsson, once an All-Star catcher at Milwaukee, now afloat somewhere. They build them high down there, Hutton and Lloyd both around 6 feet 7. Moss, though, is a compact 6 feet, built hard and tough, all athlete. “He’s probably the best athlete on the team,” Bobby Cox said. He played everything there was to play in Australia, and one thing, soccer, led to another, baseball. “Our coach organized a baseball team to keep us together during the summer,” he said. “I was 13 at the time. I played in the Australian National League when I was 16, outfield and first base.” It was when Braves scouts saw him throwing the ball 92 mph that pitching came to mind. He broke in on the Danville farm in 1994, but his development was detoured by surgery, first on his elbow, then the restructuring Tommy John operation, which cost him the better part of two seasons. Now fully restored, this season had to be it. “It was the change-up,” Bobby Cox said. “He has always had it, but the difference is, he isn’t afraid to use it in any situation now. He walks too many. He’s walked 32, but only six have scored.” “He wants to learn, and he listens,” Leo Mazzone, the pitching professor, said. “Being left-handed, Tom Glavine has been a big help to him. He made the team only on potential, and he’s making progress with every game.” Moss has been a longtime American, hasn’t been able to get back to Australia since 1996, what with offseason surgery, winter ball and rehab. That was a break, for in rehab he met his wife and now spreads his Aussie accent around Dublin, her home and now his. Right now, everything’s chockablock. Play on. This mate is proving first-rate for Braves FURMAN BISHER By JEFF SCHULTZ Success has been slow in coming at the NHL level, but the Thrashers are ahead of the curve in the minors. When the Chicago Wolves clinched the AHL’s Calder Cup title with a 4-3 overtime victory over Bridgeport on Monday night, it was the Thrashers’ third affiliate to win a league title. The Orlando Solar Bears of the defunct IHL won the league’s final championship last season, and Greenville, the Thrashers’ secondary affiliate, won this year’s ECHL title. “The goal is to win at this level, but we have to get there first,” Waddell said. “There are at least five players in Chicago who will challenge for jobs next season. I don’t care what level you’re playing at, the playoffs are always more intense. It can only be a positive for the organization.” Rookie goalie Pasi Nurminen was the AHL playoff MVP, going 15-5 with a 1.94 goals-against and .935 save percentage. Mastering minors first step for Thrashers HOCKEY MANDI WRIGHT / Knight Ridder Tribune Red Wings winger Tomas Holmstrom (left) is checked by the Hurricanes’ Glen Wesley in the second period. ➤ Continued from C1 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ remaining, Detroit went on the power play when Erik Cole hooked rookie Pavel Datsyuk. But the Hurricanes survived to get to overtime. Arturs Irbe (24 saves) certainly outplayed Hasek (who reportedly was stopped for speeding on the way to the arena). Hasek had no chance on Sean Hill’s second-period goal, which came during a five-on-three power play. But after the Red Wings retook the lead, 2-1, on a goal by Kirk Maltby at 10:39 of the third, Hasek made a mistake late in the period. Former Red Wings defense- man Aaron Ward spotted O’Neill coming off the bench and gave him a breakaway pass at the Red Wings blue line. O’Neill’s low drive was initially stopped by Hasek, but the goalie knocked it in himself as he flipped on his back to cover it up, tying the game with 50 seconds left in the second. The other key to the series opener was the ineffectiveness of the Detroit power play, which clicked on only one of seven attempts, including six in the first two periods. Sergei Fedorov’s lone power play tally came only because Ward inadvertently knocked Tomas Holmstrom into Irbe, flattening the goalie and setting up an easy shot. “You can analyze it all you want, but we had chances to win it on the power play,” Red Winds coach Scotty Bowman said. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted to. Our passing was off-kilter.” Carolina stuns Detroit ➤ Series: Hurricanes lead 1-0 ➤ Next game: 8 p.m. Thursday at Detroit ➤ TV: ESPN STANLEY CUP FINALS ________________________________________________ TUESDAY’S SUMMARY ________________________________________________ Hurricanes 3, Red Wings 2 ________________________________________________ Carolina ................................ 0201—3 Detroit .................................. 1100—2 ________________________________________________ FIRST PERIOD ________________________________________________ Scoring: 1, Detroit, Fedorov 5 (Yzerman), 15:21 (pp). Penalties: Hedican, Car (high-sticking), 8:03; Robitaille, Det (tripping), 10:28; Hill, Car (tripping), 11:15; Wesley, Car (interference), 14:45. ________________________________________________ SECOND PERIOD ________________________________________________ Scoring: 2, Carolina, Hill 4 (Kapanen, Francis), 3:30 (pp). 3, Detroit, Maltby 2 (McCarty), 10:39. 4, Carolina, O’Neill 6 (Ward), 19:10. Penalties: Carolina bench, served by Cole (too many men), :34; Larionov, Det (high-sticking), 2:07; Draper, Det (hooking), 2:44; Svoboda, Car (high- sticking), 4:28; Wallin, Car (roughing), 7:41; Dandenault, Det (tripping), 12:12. ________________________________________________ THIRD PERIOD ________________________________________________ Scoring: None. Penalties: Devereaux, Det (holding stick), 5:49; Larionov, Det (high-sticking), 12:17; Cole, Car (hooking), 18:19. ________________________________________________ OVERTIME ________________________________________________ Scoring: 5, Carolina, Francis 6 (O’Neill, Kapanen), :58. Penalties: None. ________________________________________________ Shots on goal: Carolina 7-13-5-1:26. Detroit 8-12-5-0:25. Powerplays: Carolina 1 of 6; Detroit 1 of 7. Goalies: Carolina, Irbe 10-4 (25 shots-23 saves). Detroit, Hasek 12-7 (26-23). Attendance: 20,058 (19,983). By JEFF SCHULTZ Detroit — For the first time in three seasons, two former Thrashers might be members of a winning Stanley Cup team. But Jiri Slegr and Ladislav Kohn will have to find a roster to confirm that. Slegr, whose impending free agency sparked a trade to Detroit in March, and Kohn, who was let go after the 200001 season and signed a free agent contract with the Red Wings before the season, were healthy scratches for the 19th consecutive playoff game Tuesday night. Slegr has been careful not to say anything controversial in the postseason, and while it’s clear he’s not thrilled, he didn’t make an exception Tuesday. “Why would I be happy?” he said. “It’s not easy. But I’m not going to talk about it now while we’re in the playoffs.” Detroit acquired Slegr at the deadline for depth and partly to keep him away from Western Conference rival Colorado, which likely would have used Slegr extensively. But Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman preferred a physical, non-puck-rushing defenseman like Darius Kasparaitis , and Slegr has been a healthy scratch since late in the season. NHL rules stipulate players must play in at least 41 regular-season games or one Cup game to get their name on the Cup. Kohn’s playoff absence is less significant and certainly doesn’t carry as much personal financial impact. The winger spent most of the year in Finland and was recalled to play five late-season games with the team. Kohn said he was “kind of surprised” when then Thrashers did not re-sign him. “I guess with [ Dany ] Heatley and [ Ilya ] Kovalchuk , they felt there was no room.” Briefly. . . Thrashers TV color commentator Darren Eliot is providing sideline reports for NHL Radio broadcasts during the finals. . . . Hockeytown confidential: Tickets for Tuesday’s game with a face value of $80 to $400 were being scalped for $600 to $2,000. . . . Carolina coach Paul Maurice says defenseman David Tanabe (fractured wrist) is healthy enough to play, but Maurice hasn’t determined whether he will change his lineup in the series. Former Thrashers along for Cup ride ASSOCIATED PRESS Paris — Big Sis went out and made a past French Open champion look utterly hapless at Roland Garros. Then Little Sis did, too. So much for the idea that Venus and Serena Williams are vulnerable on clay. Displaying similar power and versatility, Venus finished off Monica Seles 6-4, 6-3, right before Serena dismissed Mary Pierce 6-1, 6-1 Tuesday, putting each Williams in her first French Open semifinal. With one more victory apiece, Team Williams would meet in the final and make this tournament another Sister Slam — just like at the U.S. Open, where Venus beat Serena in the first major final between siblings in more than 100 years. But first, there’s a tough assignment for Serena (15 months younger than 21-year- old Venus): facing defending champion Jennifer Capriati, who struggled a bit before eliminating Jelena Dokic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Capriati came through with seven aces, while Dokic had 14 double faults, including on match point. In her best previous French Open showing, Serena lost to Capriati in the 2001 quarterfinals. ‘‘Right now, I’m really not focused on, ‘Hey, I got past the quarters,’ ” said Serena. ‘‘I want to do a couple of steps better than that.’’ Said Venus, ‘‘More than anything, I’m just not trying to hit every ball so hard.’’ Venus, a first-round loser last year, plays 87th-ranked Clarisa Fernandez of Argentina, the first unseeded woman in the final four since Capriati in 1990. Fernandez beat friend and practice partner Paola Suarez 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1. In the only men’s quarterfinal completed, 20th-seeded Albert Costa took the last 10 games of the match to top Guillermo Canas 7-5, 3-6, 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, 6-0. Costa had 72 unforced errors in the first three sets, 18 in the final two. Costa, who ousted three-time champion Gustavo Kuerten in the fourth round, advances to his first major semifinal in his 25th Grand Slam tournament. The other quarter was stopped because of darkness with Alex Corretja leading Andrei Pavel 7-6 (5), 7-5, 4-5. Team Williams rolls into semis FRENCH OPEN CHRISTOPHE ENA / AP Serena Williams plays defending champion Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals. FSPT50605OC2 5 Star 2C 2C RR RR *CNZ05OC002CY* *CNZ05OC002CY* *CNZ05OC002MA* *CNZ05OC002MA* *CNZ05OC002YE* *CNZ05OC002YE* *CNZ05OC002KB* *CNZ05OC002KB* BlueRedYellowBlack BlueRedYellowBlack C2 Wednesday, June 5, 2002 / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 5

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