FanFare 5/9/03

Friday, May 9, 2003



  • The District of Columbia proposed a $338 million package Thursday in an effort to persuade baseball owners to move the Expos to the nation's capital. The plan includes $275 million for a new ballpark and $15 million to renovate RFK Stadium, where the team would play until a new stadium is ready.

    Baseball's best-hitting catcher might eventually be moving out from behind the plate. After years of speculation, the Mets talked with All-Star catcher Mike Piazza about beginning the process of learning to play first base. "We had a very good conversation with Mike," general manager Steve Phillips said. "It was a very frank and open conversation. Mike was very receptive to the idea and the concept." Phillips and manager Art Howe met with Piazza before Thursday night's game against the Dodgers.

    Once again, Toronto Blue Jays fans are being offered huge discounts on baseball tickets. The Blue Jays announced that Expedite Plus, a Toronto-based delivery company, has purchased all remaining 200 level seats in the outfield and all 500 level tickets to four upcoming games at SkyDome and is offering them to fans for $2 each.

    Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the second game of his minor league rehabilitation stint with the Trenton Thunder.


  • Tayshaun Prince carried the Pistons in overtime after Chucky Atkins got them there. Prince, the seldom-used rookie who has thrived in this season's playoffs, scored seven straight points for the Pistons at the end of regulation and the start of overtime as Detroit beat Philadelphia 104-97 to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series.

    Kings forward Chris Webber was carried to the locker room by four teammates after injuring his left leg in the third quarter against the Mavericks. Webber, who has been battling knee, ankle and back ailments, was going for a lob pass under his own basket when he suddenly fell to the ground and was motionless out of bounds for at least 10 seconds. There was no immediate word on the exact nature of the injury.

    The Mavericks and Kings tied an NBA playoff record by combining for 84 points in the first quarter of Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal.

    Detroit's Ben Wallace and San Antonio's Tim Duncan led the NBA All-Defensive team. Also on the first team were Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, Sacramento's Doug Christie and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant.


  • Lennox Lewis claims promoter Don King made death threats against one of Mike Tyson's friends and bribed another in an effort to get Tyson to back out of a deal to fight Lewis in a heavyweight title rematch. Attorneys for Lewis filed suit in a New York court seeking up to $385 million for what they said was a plot by King to snatch Tyson away from his current promoters and get the former champion to fight for him again.


  • Alabama turned to one of its own, hiring Mike Shula to replace fired football coach Mike Price, hoping its former quarterback can quickly replace scandal with success. Shula, who agreed to terms on a six-year contract worth $900,000 per year, succeeds Price, who was fired last Saturday for off-the-field behavior before coaching his first game. Shula, 37, met with the players for about 20 minutes, and made an impression on a group that must adjust to their third coach in six months. He has no experience as a head coach or on a college staff, but did have two huge factors in his favor: impeccable bloodlines and ties to the Crimson Tide program.

    Michigan's basketball team was barred from the next postseason and put on 3 1/2 years probation by the NCAA for rules violations dating to the Fab Five era. The team also will lose one of its 13 scholarships a year for four years, beginning in 2004-05.


  • There was no revenge for Mexico Thursday night. Eleven months after the United States knocked the Mexicans out the World Cup, the teams played a scoreless tie in an exhibition game as both nations tested many of their younger players.


  • Kim Clijsters closed in on Venus Williams' No. 2 ranking, beating Fabiola Zuluaga 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals of the German Open. Jennifer Capriati also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over 17th-seeded Nathalie Dechy of France.

    Still working his way back from a leg injury, Yevgeny Kafelnikov knocked off third-seeded Carlos Moya 6-4, 7-6 (4) to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals.

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