Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 2, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
TUESDAY, JULY 2, 2002
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E-mail: sports(a brandonsun.comYankees deal for Jays9 outfielder
BOSTON — The Toronto Blue Jays traded Raul Mondesi and his $ 11-million contract to the New York Yankees yesterday for minor-league pitcher Scott Wiggins.
Besides his $11 million this year, Mondesi is due $ 13 million next season — the Yankees will pay $7 million and the Blue Jays will be responsible for $6 million.
“It gives us a lot of financial flexibil
ity,” Jays GM J.R Ricciardi told Rogers Sportsnet. “It allows us financially to be in a situation where we can continue to play our young kids.”
Mondesi, 31, has hit at least 24 home runs in seven straight years. He has 15 homers and 45 RBIs this season, but is batting only .224.
Mondesi is a strong defensive player, known for an exceptional arm. Last week, he criticized new Blue Jays man
ager Carlos Tosca after being benched.
Ricciardi said the Yankees were the only team to call about Mondesi. He also said no other Toronto players were discussed.
“They called us Saturday to see if we were willing to move him. The ball was in their court, having to pick up the salary,” Ricciardi said. “We’re obviously rebuilding Toronto and this helps us keep going in the right direction.”
The AL East-leading Yankees, already topping the majors in homers and runs scored, have failed to find a replacement for the retired right fielder Paul O’Neill.
Shane Spencer and John Vander Wal have not hit as well as expected while playing in right, and Rondell White has not done as well as anticipated in left.
“Our outfield has been depleted and when Joe (manager Torre) needs some
thing, I’m going to do everything I car to get it for him,” Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said. “And the way our fans are supporting us day after day, I’ve got to step forward for them, too.” On Sunday, the Yankees placed six players on the all-star team. The only position where they didn’t have an all-star was the outfield.
-AP-CPHolik, Oates on move
By Pierre LeBrun
It took a while but the New York Rangers — as expected — took the first major swing of the free-agent season by signing Bobby Holik late Monday night, the most coveted centre on the market.
Financial terms of the five-year deal were not disclosed but there’s no doubt it was a healthy raise on the $3.1 million US he earned last season.
Holik, 31, is a two-way centre who scored 25 goals, added 29 assists and had 97 penalty minutes in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils last season. He’s a proven winner and a character player, the kind the Rangers have been without for a number of years.
He was actively pursued by a number of teams yesterday, but it wasn’t even close.
“The only offer I gave serious thought to came from the Rangers,” Holik said on a conference call.
A conversation with Rangers centre Erie Lindros helped seal the deal.
“He told me a bit about last year and what they had in mind for the future,” Holik said of his conversation yesterday with the Big E. “It was a nice touch by the Rangers.”
Holik had little regrets of leaving the Devils after IO seasons for the hated Rangers, New Jersey’s chief rivals.
“I gave the Devils more than one chance, not just today, but over the last 13 months to sign me to a long-term deal,” Holik said. “I didn’t make this decision just today. A lot of things have gone through my head this year.”
Until the Holik signing, the first day of the NHL’s free agency period failed to live up to the hype, with the only two signings being veteran centre Adam Oates to Anaheim and Czech centre Robert Lang to Washington.
Curtis Joseph, the No. I goaltender on the free-agent market, was still mulling over his options late last night, which included offers from his old team in Toronto as well as Detroit and the Rangers.
The Leafs didn’t sit idly by yesterday, aggressively pursuing other options.
“It’s been a trying day,” Watters said. “We’re trying to sign players that were at the top of the free-agent list without any success at this poult.”
Lang, who earned $2.9 million US with Pittsburgh last season, was reunited with former Penguins linemate Jaromir Jagr in Washington after accepting a five-year, $25-million US contract from the Caps. Lang dipped to I 18 goals last season without Jagr, down | from the 32 he scored in 2000-01 when I he played with Jagr.
Oates, who turns 40 on Aug. 27, signed a one-year deal plus an option. He’ll earn $3.5 million US next season and the same in 2003-04 if the option is exercised.
The key for Oates was having the chance to play with Ducks sniper Paul Kariya.
“He’s a shooter and I’m a passer and I think that’s really a relationship that works well together,” Oates said during a conference call. “I think I played my best hockey of my career with Brett Hull (in St. Louis). I think Paul Kariya is Brett Hull with speed.
“I think we really complement each other.”
Goaltender Ed Belfour was getting plenty of interest yesterday, but it was likely he wouldn’t sign until the Joseph situation was settled. That will also affect fellow free-agent netminders Mike Richter and Byron Dafoe, whose agent said he received plenty of calls.
The biggest name still out there was power winger Bill Guerin, who was believed to be entertaining offers from Dallas, the Rangers and his own team, the Boston Bruins.
Other unrestricted forwards on the market included Tony A monte, Teemu Selanne and Theo Fleury. Defenceman Chris Chelios and Darius Kasparaitus were also being sought after.
Carsten Jancker of the German soccer team toasts to teammates and fans at a rally held yesterday at Frankfurt. Thousands of fans turned out as the team was greeted with plenty of enthusiasm despite losing the World Cup final 2-0 to Brazil on Sunday. World Cup coverage on B2.Martinez tough on Toronto
BOSTON — Pedro Martinez struck out a season-high 14 batters, and Tony Clark, stuck in a season-long slump, drove in two runs as the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 in American League baseball action last night.
Boston’s second win in nine games moved it within I 1/2 games of the first-place New York Yankees.
At one point, Martinez (10-2) got five straight strikeouts when he whiffed the side in the fifth and fanned the first two batters in the sixth.
He also used strikeouts to get out of three of the four innings in which Toronto put men in scoring position against him.
Martinez allowed no walks and seven hits on 117 pitches in eight innings. Alan Embree pitched the ninth.
He won his third straight start after going 0-2 in his previous four. In those three wins, he has 34 strikeouts with one walk.
— Associated Press
Williams sisters roll right along
BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Mitch Stephens of the Marlins bobbles a groundball in Sunday’s final.Billie blasts competition
The Birtle Blue Jays beat both Brandon entnes Sunday to win the Ora Dental Marlins Canada Day senior baseball tournament.
Kelly Hoffer drove in four runs and scored three times to lead the Blue Jays to a 16-2 victory over the host Marlins in the championship final at Westbran Stadium.
The Blue Jays had earlier beaten the Brandon Cloverleafs 8-0 in the semifinal and outscored their opponents 33-5 in three tournament games.
Trevor Lewis was the winning pitcher in the final. The Birde started allowed four hits and two walks in six innings while picking up one strikeout.
Marlins starter Nolan Mitchell took the loss, giving up nine runs and eight hits in 2 I /3 innings.
In the Birtle’s semifinals victory over the Cloverleafs, Blue Jays pitcher Justin Norwood allowed nine walks, but just one hit. Norwood struck out five batters in the seven-inning game.
Ryan McConnell hit two singles and drove in a pair of runs for the Jays.
The Marlins advanced to the final with a 2-1 win over Yorkton.
Jeff Wiebe tossed a one-hitter for the win. Wiebe struck out nine batters and walked four to outduel Yorkton’s Rene Gutierrez.
Gutierrez gave up two runs on four hits in six innings. He walked two Marlins and struck out two.
In the B-side final Allan Martin
- — • ----------
scored four runs as the Oak River Dodgers blasted Devil’s Lake, N.D., 14-
Martin went 3-for-3, walked twice and scored a run.
• • • • •
The only two non-Brandon entries met in the final of the Barnacle’s senior men’s fastball tournament with the Fleming Jets from Saskatchewan knocking off the Winnipeg Brewers 12-7 for the title.
Barnacle’s Athletics won the B-side yesterday at Curran Park and the Native Sons claimed the C-division title.
• • • • •
Carillon scored all of its runs in the second inning to beat Estevan 8-5 in the final of the AAA peewee boys’ tournament at Simplot Millenium Park on Sunday.
Oil Dome claimed fifth place at the tourney while the Brandon Sports Excellence Storm finished seventh.
• • • • •
The tune-up tournament for girls’ fastball B provincials concluded on Sunday.
Binscarth won the peewee division while an entry from Carlyle, Sask., topped Brandon for the squirt title.
No other details were available.
LONDON — Serena Williams rushed to grab her racket bag and was nearly trampled by the grounds crew pulling a tarp across Centre Court as rain finally fell at Wimbledon.
It was the only time either Slammin’ Sister was pushed around Monday.
“I almost got ran over, but I survived,” Serena said. “I made it to another day.”
After a I-hour, 50-minute rain delay in the second set, the No. 2-seeded Williams wrapped up a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Chanda Rubin to reach the quarterfinals. Older sister Venus, ranked No. I and the two-time defending champion, pounded Lisa Raymond 6-1,6-2.
They are now two victories each from the third all-Williams Grand Slam final in IO months.
“It’s very important not to get overconfident, because everyone wants to beat a Williams right now,”
Serena said “We’re the top players.”
Top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt easily won in straight sets Monday to also reach the quarterfinals.
Tim Henman, meanwhile, rallied from a break down in the fifth set to maintain his hopes of becoming the first British player to win the men’s title since 1936.
Henman, suffering from an upset stomach and receiving smelling salts from the trainer, pulled out a 7-6 (5), 6-
7 (2), 4-6,
6-3, 6-2 win over
TODA Y’S FRA
HRH) Fi rsts:
In Tm: City —
- Ora Dental Marlins host the
Birtle Blue Jays in MSBL action at Westbran Stadium 7 p.m.
WOMEN’S SOCCER — The Strikers play Neepawa at Optimist Park. 7:30 p.m.
In WESTMAN —_
SENIOR BASEBALL — More MSBL action with Baldur Regals at Neepawa Farmers and Brandon Cloverleafs at Killarney Lakers. 7 p.m. On In t vision —
ATP/WTA TENNIS — Women’s quarter-finals live from Wimbledon 9 a.m. (12 noon delay)
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL — Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox. 6 p.m. (Sportsnet)
Switzerland’s Michel Kratochvil in a rain-interrupted match lasting more than four hours.
“I can’t quite figure out how I won,” Henman said. “I’m just so happy to still be alive.”
In men’s doubles, Daniel Nestor of Toronto and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas defeated James Blake of the U.S., and Andrew Kratzmann of Austria 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in a third-round match.
Nestor and Knowles have already won the Australian Open doubles title this year and lost to Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia and Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands in the French Open final. Nestor and Knowles, seeded No. 2, will meet the eighth-seeded David Prinosil of Germany and David Rikl of the Czech Republic in the next round.
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Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 on Centre Court to make the final eight at Wimbledon for the first time. The Australian hasn’t dropped a set in four matches.
“I haven’t used a lot of energy so far,” he said. “I still feel I’m able to go up another gear if I have to.”
No. 4 Monica Seles of the U.S., who could meet Venus Williams in the semis, beat Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand 6-2, 6-2. No. 7 Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia, a semifinalist in 1999, lost 6-4, 7-5 to No. 11 Daniels Hantuchova of Slovakia.
No. 3 Jennifer Capriati of the U.S., split the first two sets with Elem Daniilidou of Greece when the match was suspended by darkness. It will resume Tuesday.
Meanwhile, three South Americans reached the men’s quarters for the first time in the Open era, and the tournament was hit by its first rain delays of the fortnight.
The day’s greatest drama was provided by fourth-seeded Henman, a losing semifinalist three of the past four years. He came in as the pre-tournament betting favourite, carrying immense national expectations to become the first BritLsh male champion since Fred Perry in 1936.