FanFare

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Briefly

Baseball

  • Devil Rays placed pitcher Wilson Alvarez on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of left elbow tendinitis.

    The Rockies have begun negotiating a contract extension for manager Clint Hurdle that could be in place before August, a Denver newspaper reported. Team spokesman Jay Alves would not confirm the report published in the Denver Post saying all contract negotiations are confidential.

    Orioles manager Mike Hargrove will miss today's game against the Blue Jays to attend a memorial service for Jim Warfield, the longtime Indians trainer who died Tuesday. Hargrove, a friend for nearly 30 years, spent 21 seasons with the Indians as a player, coach and manager.

    Colleges

  • Creighton said it plans to take part in ESPN's "Bracket Buster Saturday," tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22. The one-day bonanza proposes pitting such teams as Gonzaga, Southern Illinois and Tulsa -- known for upsetting higher-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament -- against one another. The event is expected to be eight or nine games, five of which will be televised by ESPN and ESPN2.

    Iowa State football player Nick Linder, a defensive back recently put on scholarship, faces a public intoxication charge. Linder was charged early Sunday after an Ames police officer saw him urinating behind a building near campus and smelled alcohol, police spokesman Jim Robinson said.

    Football

  • LeRoy Butler says he will retire from the Packers today, citing a broken shoulder blade that is healing slowly. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the news on its Web site Wednesday, saying Butler, 33, was retiring because his injured left shoulder has failed to heal and he wouldn't be ready for the start of training camp next week. A news conference is scheduled for today. Butler recently agreed to a $1.5 million pay cut to help the Packers' salary cap situation, but a July 5 examination of his injured left shoulder revealed that a bone situated near the shoulder socket was not completely healed, Butler said.

    Linebacker Levon Kirkland, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who helped the Steelers to the 1995 Super Bowl, has signed a one-year contract with the Eagles. The team refused to release the monetary value of the contract, but Kirkland said he was getting "the veteran minimum."

    Tennis

  • Top-seeded Jiri Novak reached the second round at the rain-plagued Mercedes Cup by ousting Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo 3-6, 6-0, 6-2. Bad weather has prevented six of 16 first-round matches--including that of defending champion Gustavo Kuerten--from being completed at the $500,000 clay-court tournament.

    French Open champion Albert Costa bounced back to beat Dutch qualifier Martin Verkerk 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the $381,000 Energis Open.

    Third-seeded Marcelo Rios, returning to competitive tennis after missing three months with a knee surgery, was beaten by Victor Hanescu in the opening round of the Croatia Open.

    Verbatim

    Don't expect Philadelphia authorities to come down hard on Allen Iverson, writes Bob Lipper of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: "This is what gives Iverson leverage: He is box office. Mega box office. Box office in neon. The Sixers averaged fewer than 12,000 per game in 1995-96--the season before Iverson came bounding off Georgetown's campus as a sophomore. The turnstile count was up to 20,560 per outing this year. Iverson's No. 3 jersey is the biggest seller in basketball. He's got the city at his feet Jaw-dropping talent has a way of whitewashing a soiled resume."

    Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, addressing Tiger Woods' competition in the British Open: "You guys have your work cut out, trying to derail Tiger's historic attempt to complete a Grand Slam. What must it be like for you fellows, knowing that Tiger is a better player? And knowing that Tiger practices harder and longer? And that Tiger is mentally tougher? Chances are, it means you've familiarized yourselves with the size of the check for finishing second."

    -- From wire reports

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