The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on November 2, 1998 · Page 19
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 19

Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Monday, November 2, 1998
Page 19
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MOT D5 The Pantagraph Monday, November 2, 1998 Mark McGwire Open Season Tom FitzGerald McGwire gets to play plays in Series after all Has this been Mark McGwire's year, or what? He threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the World Series finale. And he was sitting with commissioner Bud Selig in a front-row box seat down the third-base line when Chuck Knoblauch's bouncing foul ball came their way in the fourth inning. McGwire caught it with one hand right in front of Selig and flipped it to the fans behind him. Says I.J. Rosenberg of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "It isn't the first time this season that McGwire has saved Selig." From Orange County (Calif.) Register columnist Mark Whicker: "Actually, a camel did pass through the eye of a needle once, but an American League umpire called it a ball." Pat Campbell, associate counsel of the Major League Umpires Association, explained what it would take to fire an ump: "I mean, if an umpire shot a player on the field, could he be terminated? I guess under those circumstances I would have a tough time saying he couldn't." Imagine how close somebody like Ted (Mr. Magoo) Hendry would have to be to a player in order to hit his target. Top of the heap President Clinton called the Yankees to congratulate them. "Clinton is a Yankees fan," says the Cutler Daily Scoop. "In fact, he may be wearing stripes himself before long." "The Yankee hitters are baseball's version of my medical insurance company," says Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "They work you, squeeze you, avoid you, battle you, until you finally give in and just pay the darn bill." Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill on owner George Steinbrenner: "He has given us nothing but teams to win with. It goes to show that everybody does mature." A fan's sign spotted at Yankee Stadium at the end of Game 2 of the World Series: "Torre Torre Hallelujah!" From column contributor Zac Shess: "I would be willing to bet that 1998 is the first year that the World Series and the Super Bowl were decided on the same field or lack thereof. The field formerly known as grass Qualcomm Stadium." The sweet science Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is accused of terrorism, torture and genocide. "The jailed leader did get a bit of good news this week," says comedy writer Alan Ray "Psychiatrists say he is mentally fit to box in Nevada." "Mike Tyson was given his boxing license back," says comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, "or as he refers to it, his meal ticket." Tyson was so nervous before the decision by Nevada officials, says the Cutler Daily Scoop, that "he barely touched the ears on his plate." Tyson says he represents "people, pimps, whores, prostitutes." Says column contributor Mike Conway: "Now comes word that Mustang Ranch workers are suing him for character defamation." Jordan rejected As part of its "SportsCentury" series, polled fans on the question: "Do you think Michael Jordan is one of the top 50 athletes of the 20th century?" Out of 8,975 votes cast, 94.9 percent said yes and 5.0 percent said no. So about 450 people don't think Jordan makes the top 50. Tough crowd. "I don't know why the Dodgers are having such a hard time finding a new manager," says comedian Will Durst. "You'd think there'd be plenty of guys who would want a position that would guarantee Octobers off." "Whenever I listen to Tim McCarver," says Michael Ventre of MSNBC, "I start to reassess my opinion about Deion Sanders and that bucket of water." No geography major Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell, on how much he knew about the city of Jacksonville before joining the team: "I thought it was in Mississippi." San Jose Sharks coach Darryl Sutter, on opening the regular season against Calgary in Tokyo: "It wouldn't be a bad idea if both teams went to Hawaii, split the games and laid on the beach and told the league we went to Japan." Tbm FitzGerald can be reached via e-mail at ocked out Floyd still waiting to begin tenure as coach of Bulls DEERFTELD (AP) Tim Floyd has picked his predecessor's brain, learned the triangle offense from the master and watched so much film he knows Karl Malone's moves better than the Mailman himself. Now, if only the Chicago Bulls had a team for him to coach. With the NBA season in limbo as owners and players haggle over salaries, Floyd can only watch, wait and prepare for the day he officially takes over as coach of the six-time NBA champions. "I'm trying to benefit, take advantage of the time that we have," Floyd said in an interview at the Berto Center, where the Bulls practice. "There was a period where I couldn't get enough of the film work. Now ... I'm getting quite eager to get out there and work." Technically, Floyd remains the Bulls' director of basketball operations, a title he was given to placate Michael Jordan, who has said he won't play for anyone but Phil Jackson. It's pretty clear, though, that Jackson isn't coming back, so Floyd is acting like a coach getting ready for his first NBA season. But anyone who feared the new guy was going to shake up the dynasty can rest easy "Why change it?" the former Iowa State coach said, smiling. "Given our desires to try and make things as comfortable for this team as possible to come back, it would be much easier for me to adjust to 12 players, given their success, than have 12 players adjust to me," he said. "As players change, then we'll be prepared to adjust as needed." Floyd, who was hired in July, wants Jordan and the rest of the championship gang back as badly as anyone else in Chicago. So much so, he's keeping things just as Jackson left them when he zoomed off on his Harley-Davidson almost five months ago. Floyd's only assistant who wasn't on Jackson's staff last year is Jim Woolridge, and he was hired to replace Jimmy Rodgers, who left before Floyd signed on. Floyd spent the summer huddling with Tex Winter, designer of Chicago's famed triangle offense, and plans to run it again. Same with the stingy defense that's been crucial for Chicago's championship teams. And just to make sure he wasn't missing anything, he dropped in on Jackson when the former Bulls coach made a trip back to Chicago over the summer. "It seemed like the right thing to do," Floyd said. "(Since I) had talked about duplicating the system of play, I needed to talk to the person who was calling the shots in that system." Yeah, but this was the same guy who mocked Floyd last year, openly making fun of him with Jordan and Co. "What, the Pink Floyd thing?" Floyd asked, laughing. "That didn't bother me; it didn't bother me at all. As much as my name was mentioned over here, I'm sure I would have done the same thing. Being called 'Pink' didn't bother me. , . t ,1 . . . 1 1 ' ' V , V' 4 ; -f ff i .... V x : lis.-' 1 ' ' ' I ; - 'V" I ; i " ' ,V ( , -.a, ., i Tim Floyd waved to the media on Oct. 6, the day NBA training camps were supposed to open, at the Chicago Bulls' training facility in Deerfield. NBA, union lawyers to resume talks today NEW YORK (AP) The NBA lockout entered its fifth month on Sunday, with both sides ready to resume bargaining on the week the regular season was supposed to begin. League and union lawyers are to meet today with the full negotiating teams for the owners and players to meet Wednesday The season was supposed to begin Tuesday night, but the first month of the schedule has been wiped out because of the work stoppage. More cancellations are certain if an agreement isn't reached by next weekend. "This thing is pretty much in David Stern's hands, and I'm not unduly optimistic," said agent Steve Kaufman, a member of the union's agents advisory committee. "To me, there's two windows to get it done. One is right now. You get the season started by Dec 1, satisfy TNT and possibly enable a full schedule. But if it's not done in next week to 10 days, you're looking at a Christmas or New Year's scenario for starting the season. And I don't think either side will make a bad deal just to reach the Dec. 1 goal," Kaufman said. The two sides made more progress last week than they had in the previous 412 months, agreeing on a loose framework for a collective bargaining agreement The biggest hurdle is an agreement on what percentage of revenues will be devoted to salaries by the time the new system has been in place a few years. The owners want to pay 50 percent (a movement off their previous demand for 48) and the players want to receive 60 percent (a move from 63 percent). If the sides split the difference, it would give the players 55 percent of revenues. But the players received 57 percent last season, and there's a feeling among many agents that the union shouldn't drop to 55 percent because it has already given the owners numerous concessions. "In fact, we might even name a play 'Pink' this year." During his visit to Jackson's house, Floyd asked him about the players' strengths and weaknesses and wanted to know more about the staff and the best way to use it. The one thing they didn't discuss was Jackson's future. Jackson has made it clear that his run with the Bulls is done and that he plans to sit out this season. "I kidded on my way out the door, 'Now that seat I'm sitting in is pretty hot. If you want to come back in and take it over, you can.' He laughed and said, 'Don't worry about that happening,' " Floyd said. "That was all that was mentioned about that." Which brings up Jordan. His Airness seemed headed for retirement early in the summer when he said he'd only play for Jackson or Dean Smith, but he's backed off that lately He's even hinted that he wouldn't mind the challenge of trying to win a championship with a new coach. Jordan also has thrown his considerable weight behind the players in the labor negotiations would a guy who was retiring do that? - and says he'll announce his plans when the lockout ends. Floyd admits that while he understood Jordan's hard stance on Jackson, it did concern him. After all, who wants to be the guy blamed for running Jordan out of basketball? So before taking the job, he talked with Buzz Peterson, Jordan's roommate at North Carolina and now coach at Appalachian State. Peterson talked to Jordan, who said Floyd should go ahead and take the job. Still, if Jordan comes back to the Bulls but says he wants to play for someone else, Floyd would step aside without a second thought. "It'd be ridiculous for me to say that I wouldn't want to coach this team. At the same time, if I need to step away, then I'm going to be prepared for that," he said. "I believe at that point what we would be looking at is an opportunity to play for a seventh championship. ... I think it would be great to just be a part of that, however small that part might be." Maybe that's why it hasn't sunk in yet that Floyd has his dream job. He's spent endless hours preparing, and as the son of a basketball coach, he's relaxed and confident. Still, he's trying not to think of the job as "his" yet. "I'll have to go through a year to really get the full appreciation. But I feel privileged. ... I feel fortunate to have this opportunity, I really do," he said. "I think about every day just how much I want to put into this," he added. "I don't want to cheat these people, and I don't want to cheat the players or the organization. I have a sense for what they've experienced, and I know what's at stake." Vasser shoots past Moore for victory Zanardi leaves CART with second straight season title By Associated Press Jimmy Vasser knew just what Greg Moore was thinking Sunday as Moore led the way toward a one-lap shootout at the end of the Marlboro 500 in Fontana, Calif. "He was a sitting duck, just like I was when he beat me at Michigan, Vasser said, referring to the final lap of the U.S. 500 on July 26 at Michigan Speedway, where Vasser led at the start of the final lap and Moore won the race. "The only chance he had was if I got a terrible start," Vasser added. This time, Vasser and TargetChip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Zanardi both had great restarts, ganging up on Moore. As Vasser raced away to a $1.5 million victory in the CART FedEx Series season finale, Zanardi kept Moore's attention. It was a fitting finish to a sometimes wild, sometimes breathtaking 500-mile race, as a crowd of 106,000 already standing for much of the afternoon was treated to a dramatic series of events over the final four laps. CART'S bad boy, Paul Tracy penalized earlier in the weekend for rough driving last month in the race in Australia was out front for a restart on lap 247 of the 250-lap event. But Tracy never even got to the flagstand. As he got up to speed in turn two, Tracy's Reynard-Honda suddenly veered sideways and shot off the track into the infield grass, then slid into a concrete barrier as the rest of the field sped past on the 2-mile, high-banked track. That gave the lead to Moore, who warily watched his pursuers in his mirrors. When the green flag waved for the final time with just one lap remaining, Vasser shot past on the outside and two-time reigning FedEx Series champion Zanardi whipped past on the inside, leaving the frustrated Moore momentarily in third. "I was six or seven car-lengths ahead of them coming out of turn three," Moore said. "I don't know where they came from, but both of them were right on top of me by the start-finish line. "In this case, second place really is the first loser. It just pays regular second-place money Rahal gets warm, funny sendoff FONTANA, Calif. (AP) In tribute to retiring Bobby Rahal, CART's crews and officials, wearing fake glasses with bushy eyebrows and mustaches, stood and cheered the three-time series champion as he took a slow, solo lap following the morning warmup for the Marlboro 500 at California Speedway. The 45-year-old Rahal is known for his mustache and glasses. Unbeknownst to Rahal, who will continue Bobby Rahal as principle owner of Team Rahal in the CART FedEx Series, the glasses were passed out during the 30-minute warmup. As he wheeled his Reynard-Ford around the 2-mile, banked oval a few thousands early arrivals in the grandstand stood and cheered and the crews and officials walked to the pit wall and did the same. When Rahal, waving from the open cockpit, drove onto the pit lane, he had to negotiate a narrow lane flanked by hundreds of people clapping and giving him thumbs-up signs. "That was great," Rahal said, laughing. "Some of those people never looked better." In the 500-mile race that followed, Rahal completed the record 264th start of his CART career with a respectable llth-place finish. Krajicek captures crown: Hardly playing like a man needing knee surgery, Richard Krajicek drew on his big serve Sunday to beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov 64, 6-3, 6-3 and capture the Eurocard Open at Stuttgart, Germany In winning the tournament for the second time, Krajicek moved closer to clinching one of the last two spots left in the eight-man, season-ending world championship in Hanover, Germany EZZH and it's a bitter pill to swallow." Moore was referring to the fact that the race winner Sunday got a special $1 million payoff, instead of the usual $100,000 winner's share, while second-place paid the usual $60,000. And Vasser, pulling away to his third win of the season and the eighth of his career, also won another $500,000 for taking second place in the season standings. Dario Franchitti started the day with a 12-point lead over Vasser in the battle for the runner-up spot, but Franchitti went out early with an engine failure and Vasser, who needed to finish at least third to do it, got the job done. On the last lap, Moore managed to get back past Zanardi for second, finishing 0.360 seconds behind, while Zanardi, driving in his final CART race, barely held off Adrian Fernandez and Mauricio Gugelmin in a three-wide finish for third. "Just like Jimmy at Michigan. We all said you don't want to be in the lead on the last lap," Moore said. "Jimmy passed me and I was lucky to get back past Alex on the backstretch. He got a little out of shape in turn two and I was able to take advantage." Asked if he was shocked by Tracy's mistake, Vasser said, "I was speechless. But it almost happened to me. My car got a little loose on a couple of restarts. It was easy to do. I really feel sorry for Paul." Hakkirten wins Japan race, Formula One title When Mika Hakkinen heard he had clinched his first Formula One championship, he wanted to burst into song. That would have to wait, though, because the news came to the Finn in the cockpit of his McLaren with 19 laps left in the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Japan. Hakkinen won the title Sunday when Michael Schumacher dropped out on the 32nd lap when the right rear tire on his Ferrari exploded. The McLaren team told Hakkinen of Schumacher's fate over the radio. "It was a situation where you nearly start singing in the car because you know you have won the championship at that time." Hakkinen said. Even without the championship at stake, he went on to win the race, collecting eight victories this year. "It's taken us quite a long time at McLaren to reach this position, and when that happens you look back at what we've done together," Hakkinen said. "You think of all the hard work done by designers, mechanics." Crum remains in hospital: Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum remained hospitalized Sunday, a day after he collapsed while preparing to board a flight "He's still very stable and resting well," said Kathy Keadle, a spokeswoman at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky Doctors said the collapse mimics the symptoms of a stroke. They said Crum's allergy or asthma medications sometimes can lead to such a condition. The 61-year-old coach underwent additional testing at the hospital and will remain there overnight Ex-BlackhawkVasko dies: Elmer "Moose" Vasko, member of the Chicago Blackhawks' last Stanley Cup championship team, has died. He was 62. Vasko died of cancer on Friday at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. Standing at 6 feet 3 inches and weighing about 220 pounds, Vasko was one of the largest men in the National Hockey League hence his nickname "Moose," which was chanted by the Chicago Stadium crowd whenever he took to the ice. The defenseman was with the Blackhawks from 1956 to 1966. From Pantagraph wire services 24-hour information on CITYLINE Call 829-9000, enter 6000 Hamed shows lots of flash in unanimous decision over McCullough ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) In his WBO featherweight title defense against Wayne McCullough, Prince Naseem Hamed was vintage Prince Naseem Hamed. From the music video-style entrance out of a makeshift Convention Hall graveyard equipped with smoky fog, standup dummies and a fire-breathing pipe organ to the dance moves and Ali shuffles he performed in the ring, Hamed made good on his reputation as a shameless self-promoter who loves to showboat But when it came to the actual fighting, he was less than gung ha Hamed, who predicted he would send the scrappy Irishman into retirement with a third- round knockout ended up settling for a 12-round unanimous decision Saturday before a raucous crowd of 8,138. A 5-1 favorite, Hamed (31-0) spent most of the fight circling the ring, darting in occasionally to deliver two- and three-punch combinations. Mostly, he made McCullough (22-2) chase him. Cheered on by more than 1,000 of his coun trymen, McCullough, 28, of Belfast Northern Ireland, forced the action throughout and even landed a few solid right hands to Hamed's head. "A few times I said, 'Come on and fight You're the champion. You're supposed to knock me out' " a disgusted McCullough said afterward. -

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