The Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania on February 14, 2003 · 17
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The Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania · 17

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Scranton, Pennsylvania
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Friday, February 14, 2003
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17
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THE TRIBUNE. SCRANTON. PA FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2003 B5 0 Briefs rrr"! COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES Paerson wins giant slalom at worlds ST. MORITZ, Switzerland Anja Paerson belly flopped on the snow, jumped up and swung her arms to encourage more applause from the crowd. The Swede won the giant slalom at the world championships Thursday, dominating both runs and finishing 1.55 seconds ahead of Denise Kar-bon of Italy. Allison Forsyth of Canada was third. Paerson had a combined time of 2 minutes, 30.97 seconds and gave Sweden its first gold of the championships. Els takes lead at Johnnie Walker PERTH, Australia Ernie Els entertained thoughts of breaking 60. He settled for the lead. The South African star, seeking his fourth victory of the year, shot an 8-under 64 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead in the Johnnie Walker Classic. Els played his first nine holes in 7-under 29 and reached 8 under with a birdie on No. 1. Englands David Lynn was one stroke back after shooting an opening-round 65. Australias Terry Price followed with a 66, and Wales Ian Woosnam was another stroke back along with Irelands Paul McGinley and Australians Peter OMalley, Chris Downes and Brett Rumford. Bill would ban stadium flyovers WASHINGTON -Advertising flights over stadiums would be banned from one hour before an event to one hour after under a bill adopted Thursday by the House. The provision, part of a spending bill, was sought by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the University of Michigan and others. The ban would be in place for one year after the spending bill takes effect. The Senate was expected to pass the bill Friday and send it to President Bush for his signature. Flights and blimps for broadcast coverage of sporting events would continue to be allowed, as well as regular commercial flights cleared by air traffic controllers. Rockies, Jimenez agree to terms DENVER Closer Jose Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies agreed Thursday to a $3.6 million, one-year contract. Jimenez leads the Rockies with 82 career saves, setting a team record with 41 last season, when he was 2-10 with a 3.56 ERA. He is 13-13 with a 3.57 ERA in 19a innings pitched with the Rockies. The 29-year-old righthander, who made $1,937,500 last year, had asked for $3.9 million in arbitration and had been offered $3.2 million. A hearing had been scheduled for next week in St. Petersburg, Fla. Martin signs deal with Marlins MIAMI Outfielder A1 Martin signed a minor league contract with the Florida Mar-. lins on Thursday, adding some more left-handed power to their revamped lineup. Martin, 35, will get an invite to the Marlins spring training, which opens when pitchers and catchers report on Saturday. Position players report on Feb. 18. Last season, Martin spent spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals but sat out the year after having surgery to repair a torn muscle in his left elbow. In his last full season, Martin hit .240 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs with Seattle in 2001. Sanders, Ware lead candidates MORRISTOWN, N. J. -Lawrence Taylor and Heis-man Trophy winners Barry Sanders and Andre Ware lead a list of 83 candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame. There are 77 players and six coaches on the ballot. The 2003 Hall of Fame class will be announced in March and inducted at the Foundations awards dinner Dec. 9. Sports By Dav Anderson NEW YORK TIMES WRITER Over the last few days these .Valentine messrges suddenly appeared in my i-mail, as in T for imagination. Just thought youd like to read them. To: Joe Torre Dont pay any attention to my criticism of Derek Jeters night life and our coaches not working hard enough. When we dont win the World Series, I have to blame somebody other than myself for giving our wonderful shortstop $118 million (hes got to spend it somewhere) and for approving your hiring of all those coaches, especially Don Zimmer, my favorite racetrack tout. GEORGE Pat Burrell, shown here in a home run derby in Las Vegas last weekend, signed a 6-year, $50-million contract extension with the Philadelphia Phillies during the offseason. By Rob Maaddi ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER PHILADELPHIA The wait is over. Spring training has arrived. After perhaps the most exciting offseason in team history, the Philadelphia Phillies are set to open their most-anticipated camp in recent years when pitchers and catchers report Friday to the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Bla. Though they are coming off their 14th losing season in 16 years, the Phillies have several reasons for optimism this spring following a free-spending winter that landed Jim Thome, Kevin Millwood and David Bell in red pinstripes. Thome, a three-time All-Star with the Cleveland Indians who hit a club-record 52 homers last season, got an $85 million, six-year contract to play first base and anchor the middle of Philadelphias lineup. Bell, who helped the San Francisco Giants reach the World Series last season, signed a $17 million, four-year deal to replace All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen, traded to St. Louis last July. Millwood, an 18-game winner for the Atlanta Braves last season, came to Philadelphia in a deal for Red Barons catcher Johnny Estrada. He signed a $9.9 million, one-year deal, giving the Phillies the ace theyve lacked since the departure of Curt Schilling in 2000. Thome, Bell and Millwood join a nucleus that includes left fielder Pat Burrell, right fielder Bobby Abreu, two-time All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins, two-time All-Star catcher Mike Lieberthal, All-Star right-hander Vicente Padilla, and left-hander Randy Wolf. While the Phillies have improved significantly, the team to beat in the NL East still is Atlanta, which has won an unprecedented 11 consecutive division titles. The Phillies have some questions to answer as they enter the final training season at the nearly half-century-old Jack Russell Stadium. It will also be the final season at 32-year-old Veterans Stadium. The Phillies move into a new spring train- valentines too sweet to To: Jon Gruden Belated congratulations on your Buccaneers triumph in Super Bowl XXXVH. Just win, baby. And you won. If you ever want to return to the Oakland Raiders as our coach, just call. Im sure youll remember that you were a mere assistant coach until I hired you to be our head coach before you wisely deserted us and instilled the Buccaneers with our commitment to excellence. I always have great respect for anyone with the guts to leave the Raiders organization. Just keep winning, baby. AL DAVIS To: Pat Riley Thank you for your criticism of our NBA referees. They de JOHN LEE KNIGHT RIDDER Former Red Baron Brandon Duckworth will figure prominently in the Philles starting rotation this year. ing facility next year, and open a new baseball-only stadium in Philadelphia next April. Lineup Manager Larry Bowa has to figure out where to bat Thome (.304, 118 RBIs). Hes leaning toward putting him third, in front of Burrell (.282, 37 homers, 116), and dropping Abreu (.308, 20, 85) to fifth. Abreu has batted third most of his career. Rollins (.245, 11, 60, 31 steals) likely will lead off followed by second baseman Placido Polanco (.288, 9, 49). Bell (.261, 20, 73) and Lieberthal (.279, 15, 52) will be sixth and seventh or vice versa, and rookie center fielder Marlon Byrd (.297, 15, 63 at Triple-A) will bat eighth. " Rotation Millwood (18-8, 3.24 ERA) will be followed by Wolf, who emerged as one of the top lefthanders in the majors last season, and Padilla. , Wolf (11-9, 3.20) had a 2.64 ERA in his final 26 starts after struggling his first five. Padilla, in his first season as a starter, was 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA. The last two spots probably serve it. Theyve been worse than ever this season. To prove my sincerity, Im refunding your recent fines of $50,000 and $20,000 for your tirades. As a friend, I suggest you use the money to update your Armani wardrobe. Your clothes havent had the same pizazz since you left the Knicks. DAVID STERN To: Mo Vaughn I hope you had a nice dinner last night. I say that so youll believe me when I tell you to ignore all the suggestions from the Mets front office that you lose weight. When you were with the Red Sox, you mustve weighed 400 pounds, but you still hit all those home runs. To keep your weight up, will go to Brandon Duckworth (8-9, 5.41) and former first-round pick Brett Myers (4-5, 4.25 in 12 starts). But Joe Roa and Hector Mercado could push them in spring training. Also, left-hander Bud Smith, acquired in. the Rolen trade, could figure into the plans once he recovers from shoulder surgery. David Cog-gin, who also had offseason surgery, could be in the mix when he returns. Bullpen Jose Mesa, who had a team-record 45 saves, returns as the closer. He has converted 87 of 100 chances in the last two seasons. Terry Adams, once a reliable setup man, will get an opportunity to fill that position. Left-hander Dan Plesacs role is to get tough left-handed hitters out in late innings. Carlos Silva, who was 5-0 with a 3.21 ERA as a rookie, should get even more work after pitching in 68 games. Rheal Cormiers job as the second left-hander in the bullpen probably is safe because hes signed through this season. Turk Wendell missed all of last season with an elbow injury. If Wendell returns to his form when he was with the Mets (2.93 ERA in 1998, 3.05 in 99, 3.59 in 2000), the Phillies may have a solid bullpen. Bench The Phillies traded Jeremy Giambi to Boston, losing their top power-hitting bat off the bench. They also lost Doug Glanville, who was their top pinch-hitter with a .350 average (7-for-20) to Tampa Bay. But they retained Ricky Le-dee, who had three pinch-hit homers. They also signed versatile Tyler Houston, who hit .281 with seven homers and 40 RBIs last season. Houston can play first and third base, as weil as catcher. Todd Pratt (.311, 3, 16 in 106 at-bats) returns as Lieberthals backup, and the underrated Tomas Perez (.250, 5, 20) will back up all the infield spots. Outfielder Jason Michaels (.267, 2, 11) should get a bench spot, leaving one spot open for either another outfielder (Eric Valent) or infielder (Nick Punto). Im enclosing discount coupons for McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Arbys and Taco Bell. Dont miss the beef enchilada supreme at Taco Bell. Plenty of sour cream. FRED WILPON Former Mets co-owner To: P. Sampras, A. Agassi Please feel free to stay home again in the Davis Cup matches for next year. As you could see from our recent loss to Croatia, we didnt need you. PATRICK McENROE To: Bob Knight Im impressed with your actions. Texas Tech has apparently had a quieting effect on you. Be assured your kids will be slotted Jeter to Boss: Do not question my work ethic By Ken Davidoff NEWSDAY WRITER TAMPA, Fla. Despite his ca- reerlong efforts to avoid negative publicity, controversy found Derek Jeter in December. Now, embroiled in the biggest controversy since he became a Yankee, the shortstop has fired back at George Steinbrenner. In a recent interview with The Associated Press that became public Thursday, Jeter responded to Steinbrenners criticisms that the shortstop has been spending too much time on off-the-field activities during the season. Hes the boss and hes entitled to his opinion, right or wrong, but what he said has been turned into me being this big party animal, Jeter said. He even made a reference to one birthday party. Thats been turned into that Im like Dennis Rodman now. I dont think thats fair. I have no problems with people criticizing how I play. But it bothers me when people question my work ethic. Thats when youre talking about my integrity. I take a lot of pride in how hard I work. I work extremely hard in the offseason. I work extremely hard during the season to win. My priorities are straight. In an interview with the Daily News published Dec. 29 the same session in which he poked at Joe Torre and his coaches Steinbrenner said: I want to see Jetes truly focused. He wasnt totally focused last year. The Boss proceeded to say: How much better would he be if he didnt have all of his other activities? ... A certain amount (of his outside pursuits) are good for him and for the team, but there comes a point when it isnt, and I think were getting close to that point. He makes enough money that he doesnt need a lot of the commercials. ... When I read in the paper that hes out until 3 a.m. in New York City, going to a birthday Cone dons pinstripes; this time with Mets ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK David Cone decided to give it one more try. Out of baseball last year, the 40-year-old pitcher will attempt a comeback with the New York Mets, signing a minor league contract Thursday. The right-hander last pitched in 2001, going 9-7 with a 4.31 ERA in 25 starts for Boston. Cone worked as an analyst for the New York Yankees YES network last season and had been expected to do so again. My gut feeling is that Ill probably retire at this point, Cone said in late January while visiting the Yankees minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. But after a lot of lobbying from Mets lefty A1 Leiter and the possibility of winning a spot as the No. 5 starter Cone chose to give it a shot. He would get a be true in a favorable regional for March Madness. MYLES BRAND To: Martha Burk When youre in Augusta the week of the Masters, please feel free to come by for lunch. When you reach the front gates, Just tell them youre my guest, and once in the clubhouse, ask for my table. If you like, I can have some of our famous pimento-cheese sandwiches brought up from the media center. I must caution that our security is very tight. In particular, our metal detectors are very sensitive. Especially to a bayonet. , HOOTIE JOHNSON L ASSOCIATED PRESS Derek Jeter laughs during a workout Thursday. Jeter defended himself against George Steinbrenner's comments earlier this winter that Jeter needs to improve his work ethic. party, I wont lie. That doesnt sit well with me. That was in violation of Joes curfew (actually, the Yankees have no curfew at home). Thats the focus Im talking about. Those remarks infuriated Jeter, and he grew increasingly agitated as time passed and people continued to ask him about them. This isnt just a New York story, Jeter said Thursday during a workout at the Yankees minor-league complex. People were asking me about this at the Super Bowl. Jeter waited a month and a half before fully responding because he hoped Steinbrenner would retract his comments. But Steinbrenner reiterated his thoughts about Jeter in a January news conference, and he has not apologized to his highest-paid player. Hes never one to run from adversity and criticism, Jeters agent, Casey Close, said of the shortstop. But when someone says something thats not only inappropriate but inaccurate, hes always believed in standing up for what he believes in. $550,000, one-year contract if he makes the team and the chance to earn $200,000 more in performance bonuses. Cone, who rose to prominence with the Mets in the late 1980s, was expected to join pitchers and catchers Friday at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla. When you talk to a guy whos pitched as long as David and talk about getting hitters out, competing and working on a major league mound, you certainly saw his enthusiasm for wanting to give it another shot, Leiter said Thursday, I just told him the same thing I told him last year. I told him it would be a good thing and that a lot of his success was here. Hes good, hes a good clubhouse guy, hes smart, a veteran player who knows how to win. Absolutely he can help.

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