Sports briefs 10/5/04

Tuesday, October 5, 2004


* Bob Melvin was fired as manager of the Seattle Mariners on Monday, a day after the team ended the season with its 99th loss.

Melvin, who lasted two seasons, was told of the decision during a morning meeting at Safeco Field, and general manager Bill Bavasi called a news conference for later in the day.

In May, the Mariners exercised the option on Melvin's contract for 2005 despite a 9-16 start. He led the team to a 93-69 record in 2003 after Lou Piniella left for Tampa Bay.

* John Gibbons is getting one chance to turn the Toronto Blue Jays around, and he's happy to have it.

Gibbons was given a one-year contract Monday to return as manager after guiding the last-place Blue Jays to a 20-30 record during the final eight weeks of the season.

Gibbons took over as interim manager on Aug. 8, when Carlos Tosca was fired after the team opened 47-64.

The team also hired former Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt as bench coach Monday, and Brad Arnsberg was named pitching coach. Arnsberg was previously a pitching coach for the Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos.


* Scottie Pippen, who teamed with Michael Jordan to form a tandem that drove the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s, is expected to retire after 17 seasons, an NBA source said Monday.

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Pippen, 39, is scheduled to make the announcement today on the Bulls' first day of training camp practice. The team held its media day Monday and Pippen was not present.


* Cedric Benson of Texas, Oklahoma's Brodney Pool and Jason Ricks of Oklahoma State were named Big 12 players of the week on Monday.

Benson ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday in the Longhorns' 44-14 win over Baylor. He passed Earl Campbell for second place on the school career rushing list with 4,452 yards. He also tied the school record for consecutive games with a touchdown at 11.

Pool had 13 tackles, 10 unassisted, two interceptions and one tackle for a loss in Oklahoma's 28-13 win over Texas Tech.

Ricks, a freshman, hit three of four field goals as Oklahoma State beat Iowa State 36-7. He made field goals from 22, 39 and 29 yards and made three extra points.


* Tiger Woods snorkeled off the coast of Barbados on Monday amid reports he's set to wed Swedish model Elin Nordegren on the Caribbean island this week.

The wedding was planned for Tuesday at the Sandy Lane resort on the island's west coast, two sources who said they had knowledge of the event told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Newspapers in Barbados and Ireland also reported that the two will marry at the resort. The Barbados Daily Nation ran a front-page photograph Monday of a yacht that is anchored off the island and rumored to have the 24-year-old Nordegren and guests aboard.


* Former No. 1 Kim Clijsters' latest left wrist problem is a new injury that is expected to end her season but probably won't require surgery.

She'll have tests this week, her Web site said. Clijsters returned to the WTA Tour last week after five months off because of the wrist, but she quit in pain during her semifinal at her hometown Gaz de France Stars tournament.

That tournament's doctor told a newspaper that the latest injury could threaten Clijsters' future in tennis.

"This injury can mean the end of her career," Bruno Willems said, according to Monday's edition of De Morgen. "Let's be straight: This is a drama for Kim. I hope she comes back, but I'm pessimistic."

-- From wire reports

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