FanFare 12/29/02

Friday, November 1, 2002


  • The New York Mets found their temporary replacement for shortstop Rey Ordonez, agreeing to the structure of a one-year deal with free agent Rey Sanchez. Sanchez's deal will be finalized after he passes a physical Monday. He will serve as a caretaker at shortstop until top prospect Jose Reyes is ready to take over the job at some point next season.


  • The Chicago Bulls activated Corie Blount before their game against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night and put Dalibor Bagaric on injured reserve. Blount sat out the last six games with a left hip contusion. Before going on the injury list, he was averaging 2.6 points and four rebounds in 14 games.

    Tendinitis in Grant Hill's balky left ankle sidelined him for the Orlando Magic's game against the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. Hill played just four minutes in Orlando's 99-86 loss at Memphis on Friday, failing to record a point, rebound or assist for the first time in his career. He will undergo testing Monday.

    Detroit Pistons center Zeljko Rebraca will miss his third straight game Saturday night against Minnesota because of an irregular heartbeat.


  • Former NFL coach Rich Brooks was in Kentucky on Saturday night amid a report the Wildcats had asked him to become their football coach. CBS Sports said Kentucky had picked Brooks, who guided the St. Louis Rams in 1995-96. Reached at the couple's home in Oregon, his wife, Karen, told The Associated Press that he was in Kentucky, but would not say whether the job was his. A call to Brooks' cell phone was not immediately returned.


  • The Oakland Raiders earned home-field advantage for the playoffs by winning a game of slip-and-slide. Charlie Garner made running in deep puddles and a steady downpour look easy, successfully cutting from side to side and grinding out yards in the Raiders' 24-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Garner ran for 135 yards and a touchdown as the Raiders (11-5) locked up the top seed for the AFC playoffs as well as a much-needed bye they will use to get healthy. The Chiefs (8-8) had to win and have several other teams help them to make the playoffs. They missed the postseason for the fifth straight year.

    After spending four quarters trying to give away a wild-card berth, the New York Giants got one anyway courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles. Matt Bryant kicked a 39-yard field goal 5:10 into overtime, and the Giants capped a late-season run to the postseason by beating the Eagles 10-7 Saturday. The Giants (10-6) overcame four turnovers, including three lost fumbles by Tiki Barber, and a missed field goal in winning their fourth straight. Barber ran for a career-high 203 yards in helping the Giants return to the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

    The Indianapolis Colts placed wide receiver Qadry Ismail on the injured reserve list Saturday. Ismail, who sustained a concussion in last week's 44-27 loss to the New York Giants, finished his first season with the Colts with 44 receptions for 462 yards.


  • Darryl Sutter was hired as the coach of the Calgary Flames and will make his debut ontonight against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He was fired by the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 1 after an 8-12-2-2 start. Calgary fired Greg Gilbert on Dec. 3. Gilbert was in his second full season as coach after taking over the team in March 2001, when Don Hay was fired.

    Todd Simpson of the Phoenix Coyotes was suspended for two games without pay by the NHL on Saturday for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings forward Ian Laperriere. In the second period of Thursday's game between the Coyotes and Kings, Simpson was assessed minor penalties for roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct and high-sticking.

    Tampa Bay captain Dave Andreychuk moved past Jari Kurri into 13th place on the all-time goal-scoring list when he scored in the first period against the Boston Bruins on Friday night.


  • Four-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon will host "Saturday Night Live" on Jan. 11. Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, said the night could be as wild as NASCAR's annual all-star race. "It will probably be a lot like The Winston: 90 minutes of controlled chaos," Gordon, 31, said.

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