FanFare 11/19/02

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Briefly

Baseball

  • Mike Hampton got his wish to leave Coors Field -- but only after tens of millions of dollars changed hands in a baseball trade that resembled a complex corporate merger.

    The money trail goes like this: The Atlanta Braves got Hampton, $30 million to help pay his massive contract and the flexibility to re-sign Tom Glavine or Greg Maddux.

    The Colorado Rockies rid themselves of Hampton's contract and will wind up paying $49 million for two dismal seasons. Florida saved about $23 million in salary commitments in a trade that sent Charles Johnson and Preston Wilson to the Rockies, but the Marlins were weakened on the field.

    Commissioner Bud Selig signed off on the three-way deal Monday, approving a record transfer of cash -- $36.5 million -- as Hampton went from Colorado to Atlanta after a brief stopover in Florida.

    The Kansas City Royals waived underperforming shortstop Neifi Perez, clearing the way for Angel Berroa to take over the job next season. Perez came to the Royals in a three-way trade from Colorado midway through the 2001 season. He hit just .236 with 37 RBIs in 2002 -- his only full season in Kansas City -- and didn't make up for it in the field.

    David Wells is set to testify at a trial in which a man is charged with punching the New York Yankees pitcher and knocking out two of his teeth during a dawn fight in a diner in September. The lawyer for Rocco Graziosa intends to show that Wells started the fight and is prone to violence.

    Charles Johnson, the first Florida Marlins draft pick and their World Series catcher, left the organization with a bitter parting shot. Johnson accused the Marlins of telling lies about his playing weight and skills that were "a slap in the face" and motivated by a desire to dump his contract to another team.

    Basketball

  • Boston Celtics forward Kedrick Brown is expected to be sidelined another four weeks because of an injury to the big toe on his right foot. He had almost recovered from a sprained ankle that kept him out of the first 10 games. But Brown was injured Friday when he stepped on a teammate's toe during a shootaround.

    Colleges

  • Wyoming football coach Vic Koenning was fired with his team struggling at 2-9 and one game left on the schedule. Koenning has coached the team for three seasons and will work the Cowboys' finale at New Mexico on Nov. 30.

    Austin Peay State University announced that the contract of football coach Bill Schmitz will not be renewed next year. Schmitz, who joined the Governors in 1997 to help the team's transition from scholarship to non-scholarship football, was 19-46 during six seasons. This year, the team finished 7-5 for Austin Peay's first winning season since 1984.

    Texas A&M starting linebacker Jared Morris remained free on bond following his arrest over the weekend on charges of driving while intoxicated, police said. Morris performed poorly on a field sobriety test after he was stopped Saturday night for traveling at nearly 70 mph in a 40 mph zone, police said in Monday's editions of The Bryan-College Station Eagle. Morris posted $2,000 bail Sunday.

    Iowa State basketball player Chris Alexander, who was suspended after being arrested last month, has taken what was termed a leave of absence from the team. Alexander was leaving for personal reasons, the athletic department said in a statement.

    Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen returned to practice after a week off and was optimistic he would be able to play Saturday against Vanderbilt. Clausen sprained his right foot and ankle Nov. 9 in the first half against Miami.

    Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich has yet to return to practice since injuring his left shin Nov. 2 and is questionable for Saturday's game at Ohio.

    Florida receiver Carlos Perez had surgery on his broken right leg and will begin rehabilitation in four weeks.

    Hockey

  • Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marc Bergevin was fined $1,000 by the NHL for verbally abusing an official. Bergevin was given a gross misconduct penalty following the game against the New York Islanders on Saturday. The penalty calls for an automatic $200 fine and referral of the case to the league for further disciplinary action.

    Manute Bol's hockey career apparently is over. The 7-foot-7 former NBA player signed with the Indianapolis Ice of the Central Hockey League last week but left town Sunday for Hartford, Conn., where he lives with his family. Team officials said Bol probably will not return to Indianapolis to play hockey.

    Verbatim

    NBC's Jay Leno, on Los Angeles' slow start without the injured Shaquille O'Neal: "The way things are going, Jennifer Lopez will have a fourth ring before the Lakers."

    Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens linebacker, on Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams: "He's average. I've always said this about any back: You put on your pants the same way I do, one leg at a time, I don't have a problem with you. Now, if you're jumping in them or flying in them, then I've got a real problem."

    Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, on his city's CFL team: "The Argos have a Demetris, a Demetrious, a Martavius and an Antonious. I thought I was watching 'Ben Hur.'"

    -- From wire reports

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