FanFare 1/29/03

Wednesday, January 1, 2003



  • A federal judge ruled that an attempt by baseball owners to discipline umpires union head John Hirschbeck is not subject to arbitration. Hirschbeck was sent a warning letter last May 10 by the commissioner's office, saying that during an April 28 game in Cincinnati he told plate umpire Mark Carlson not to issue a warning to Cincinnati's Gabe White after a pitch sailed over the head of San Francisco's Barry Bonds. In addition, baseball said its computerized umpire evaluation system showed "a high percentage of missed calls of balls and strikes" by Hirschbeck in a game on May 4.

    Baseball players have taken the first step toward a possible collusion grievance against owners, requesting management documents about negotiations with free agents during this offseason. The request, filed Thursday by union lawyer Michael Weiner, was confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday by a pair of baseball officials who spoke on the condition they not be identified.

    The Pirates agreed to terms with pitcher Julian Tavarez on a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Tavarez, 29, was 10-12 with a 5.39 ERA for the Marlins last season. He pitched in 29 games, making 27 starts.


  • Michael Jordan is an All-Star for the 14th time, but Karl Malone won't be for the first time since 1987. Jerry Stackhouse and Jalen Rose also aren't going to the league's showcase event Feb. 9 in Atlanta. The 29 NBA coaches voted for seven reserves from each conference. Chosen from the East along with Jordan were Jason Kidd of New Jersey, Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker of Boston, Brad Miller of Indiana, Zydrunas Ilgauskas of Cleveland and Jamal Mashburn of New Orleans. The Western Conference reserves are Shaquille O'Neal of the Lakers, Stephon Marbury and Shawn Marion of Phoenix, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas, Gary Payton of Seattle and Chris Webber of Sacramento.

    Kings forward Chris Webber left Tuesday night's game against Utah in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and wasn't expected to return. Webber went up for a hook shot over Scott Padgett and appeared to come down on Padgett's foot. He limped off court with help from two teammates with 10:33 left in the period.

    Jazz coach Jerry Sloan pushed official Courtney Kirkland in the chest and was ejected in the first quarter of Tuesday night's game at Sacramento. Sloan and Kirkland exchanged words face-to-face after Sloan argued that Kings guard Doug Christie stepped out of bounds on the sideline right near where Kirkland was standing. Sloan got down and put his hand to the spot where he thought Christie stepped out.

    The WNBA is betting professional women's basketball will be successful in Connecticut, where UConn games routinely sell out. The former Orlando Miracle, a team led by former UConn star Nykesha Sales, was purchased by the Mohegan Indian Tribe and became the Connecticut Sun, league commissioner Val Ackerman said.


  • Boxer Tony Ayala Jr. was freed after state prosecutors dropped their effort to send him back to prison, saying defense lawyers had severely damaged the credibility of a teenage girl who accused him of having sex with her. The Bexar County District Attorney's Office withdrew its motion to revoke Ayala's 10-year probation for a September 2001 burglary conviction.


  • Barring a remarkable rebound in the next two months, Greg Norman will not return to the U.S. Masters. Norman, the epitome of collapse and heartache at Augusta National, said he received a letter from chairman Hootie Johnson that he will not be offered a special invitation.


  • NHL points leader Mario Lemieux will miss Sunday's All-Star game because of a groin injury and won't be ready to play until at least next week. The Penguins' star has not played for the last six games and missed eight of the past nine.


  • Frustrated with the U.S. Olympic Committee's latest ethics scandal, senators said they will move to reorganize its leadership, which has been blamed for infighting that has tarnished its image. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., called the hearing after USOC chief executive Lloyd Ward was accused of ethical violations for trying to steer Pan American Games business to his brother's company.


  • Boris Becker heads the 2003 class for the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Francoise Durr, Nancy Richey and Brian Tobin also will be inducted July 12, Hall of Fame officials announced.

    On the air

    GolfPGA Tour, Bob Hope Classic, first round, at La Quinta, Calif., 2 p.m., USA

    Heineken Classic, , 10 p.m., GOLF

    College men's basketballNorth Carolina at Georgia Tech, 6 p.m., ESPN

    Missouri at Nebraska, 6:30 p.m., KZIM-960

    High school boys basketballJackson vs. Rockwood Summit at Fox Tournament, 5:30 p.m., KCGQ-99.3


    Mavericks at Rockets, 8 p.m., ESPN


    Maple Leafs at Hurricanes, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2

    Area events

    High school boys basketballJackson vs. Rockwood Summit at Fox Tournament, 6 p.m.

    High school wrestling

    Central double dual (Jackson, Poplar Bluff, Dexter), 5 p.m. JV

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