New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 4, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
SPORTSTuesday, October 4, 2005 — Herald-Zettunc — Page 5
NB, Canyon open district play.
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From staff, wire reports STATE
ROGERS WILL NOT RETURN TO RANGERS -
Kenny Rogers will not return to the Texas Rangers, who are cutting ties with the pitcher whose third stint with the team will be most remembered for shoving two television cameramen.
In a statement Monday, the Rangers said the 41 -year-old left-hander, who will become a free agent, will not be offered a contract for 2006.
“The Texas Rangers organization would like to thank Kenny Rogers for his efforts over the last two seasons and during his entire Rangers career,” general manager John Hart said. “As we look at 2006 and beyond, we feel it is in the club’s best interests to move forward without him.”
The team offered no further comment. I tart was scheduled to meet with the media Tuesday to discuss the 2005 season and the team’s plans for the offseason.
Rogers was 14-8 with a 3.46 ERA, and was an All-Star for the second straight year. But what most people will remember about his 12th season with the Rangers is the videotaped tirade June 29 when he shoved two IV cameramen while walking onto the field.NATIONAL
GREEN BAY FALLS TO CAROLINA 32-29 -
Brett Favre showed he still has some Monday night magic — just not enough to prevent the Green Bay Packers from their worst start in 17 years.
Favre threw four touchdown passes but couldn’t overcome two early turnovers that the Carolina Panthers used to build a big lead and then held on for a 32-29 victory.
The Packers fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1988.
Rallying Green Bay from a 19-point third-quarter deficit, Favre threw two touchdown passes and for two 2-point conversions in the fourth quarter and had the Packers in position to possibly win the game on their final drive.
But with running back Ahman Green on the sidelines with an injured knee and no timeouts left, Favre had to do it all on his own when Green Bay got the ball back with 1:58 to play.
I Ie completed two passes before Carolina (2-2) stopped Favre on a fourth-and-2.
Favre threw the ball to Donald Driver past the first down line but Chris Gamble knocked the belli out of his hands and it fell incomplete.
Favre, a 15-year veteran and future I tall of Famer who is possibly playing his final season, stood alone at the 44-yard line. Soon, Carolina tight end Kris Mangum, a fellow Mississippian, walked over and patted the dejected Favre on the helmet. Mike Wahle, the left guard who spent seven seasons protecting Favre before signing with Carolina, embraced him.
The Panthers let out a sigh of relief after nearly giving one away.
NS hosts Lake Travis
Unicorns take on Lady Caus to get back on track in 27-4A.
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Astros open playoffs
Astros travel to Atlanta to meet Braves in playoffopener.
Time:3 p.m. (ESPN)
27-4A football begins
Defending champ Lake Travis is at NB; Canyon travels to Burnet to start league play Time: 7:30 p.m.
Astros clinch, look forward to Atlanta
HOUSTON (AP) — Roy Oswalt was talking about how proud he was of the I louston Astros’ season-long comeback when someone suddenly pulled off his cap from behind and showered him with champagne.
"There’s your drink,” Roger Clemens told Oswalt after pouring the bottle’s contents over his head. "I still owe you dinner."
It was a deserved celebratory gesture for Oswalt, who had just gotten his 20th victory in the game that clinched the NL wild card for the Astros, a 6-4 win over the Chicago (Albs on the last day of regular season Sunday.
"To get 20 is great, but to get to the playoffs is more,”
Oswalt said. “We’ve come a long way, especially the way the team pulled together and started playing.”
I louston started the season 15-30, then became the first team to make the postseason after falling 15 games under .500 since the 1914 Boston Braves. That’s more satisfying for the Astros than last year, when they won their last 18 home games.
“Especially the way we started. We started out slow, and everyone got down on us quick because we didn’t quite have the bats we had last year," Oswalt said. “It says a lot about the character of our team.”
Oswalt pitched six innings and drove in a run while
becoming the first pitcher since 2001-02 with consecutive 20-win seasons.
Just like last season, when manager Phil Gamer replaced limy Williams at the All-Star break, the Astros (89-73) waited until the last game to clinch. This time, they didn’t have Carlos Beltran or Jeff Kent in the lineup.
But the Astros have Andy Pettitte, Clemens and Oswalt in the starting rotation. And that trio is scheduled to start the first three postseason games. T heir rematch of last year’s NL division series begins Wednesday in Atlanta.
“We’re fortunate to have two of the best pitchers in the game that will come right behind me,” said Pettitte, who
missed last year’s playoffs after elbow surgery. “I feel good about our chances, but Atlanta is a good team.”
T he Astros beat Atlanta in five games last October for their first postseason series victory in eight tries.
But the Braves were 5-1 against Houston this season, including a four-game sweep in Atlanta.
"We know we have a daunting task,” Garner said.
I louston lost the first two games of the four-game series with the Cubs, but avoided having to go on the road for a one-game wild-card tiebreaker. Philadelphia (88-74) finished a game back after a three-game sweep in Washington.
A look at the best-of-five Nation-al League division series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves:
Schedule: Game 1, Wednesday, at Atlanta (3:09 p.m., ESPN); Game 2, Thursday, at Atlanta (7:19 p.m., FOX); Game 3, Saturday, at Houston (TBA); x-Game 4, Sunday, at Houston (TBA); x-Game 5, Monday, at Atlanta (TBA). (x-if necessary)
Season Series: Atlanta won 5-1.
Matchups: Braves dominated Houston in postseason until last year, when Astros pulled off five-game win in first round. Atlanta won three previous meetings.... Teams haven't played since early May, when Braves swept four-game series at Turner Field and outscored Astros 38-8. Astros hit .148 in that series, which included 16-0 rout by Braves, their highest-scoring output and biggest win of season.
Playoffs or bust for the Rangers
Photos by MANDY REARY/Herald-Zeitung
It will be a big week for the Smithson Valley volleyball team. The Rangers ended the first half of play in District 28-5A with a 4-3 district record, putting them in a tie with MacArthur for the third and final playoff spot. At 7:30 p.m. today, the Rangers visit Churchill, the second-place team in the district and one of the top-ranked teams in the state. At 7:15 p.m. Friday, the Rangers host Judson, which stands just one game out of the final playoff spot in the the district. At 21-8, Smithson Valley has had a breakout season and is battling for a playoff spot for the first time in years. Above, Brittany Hunt, right, passes the ball while teammates Sarah Mercer, left, and Jessica Martin look on. Left, Megan Herring pounds a kill during a recent match.
Texas receivers have gone missing against OU
AUSTIN (AP) — Roy Williams never caught one. Chris Simms never threw one.
In the five years of Texas’ losing streak to Oklahoma, no Texas wide receiver has caught a touchdown against the Sooners. It’s a dubious mark the No. 2 Longhorns (4-0) hope to erase when they meet the Sooners (2-2) Saturday in the 100th anniversary of their Red River rivalry.
“Hopefully we’ll get a chance to make some plays around the end zone and we can get in there,” said Texas senior wideout Brian Carter, who has seven catches for 109 yards this season.
T he last time a Texas quarterback and wide receiver hooked up for a TD pass against OU came way back in tile last century, in 1999, when Major Applewhite hit Ryan Nunez for die final score in a 38-28 Texas victory.
“It’s surprising, but a lot of times we’ve had really talented running backs so once you get down to the goal line we were able to run it in most of the time,” Carter said.
Chances are it had more to do with the Sooners’ dominating defenses. The Longhorns have been outscored
Texas vs. Oklahomanoon, Saturday
189-54 during the losing streak and got shut out last year for the first time since 1980, a span of 281 games.
T here is one asterisk to the streak of futility: tailback I lodges Mitchell squirted out of the backfield to catch a TD from Applewhite in the Sooners' 63-14 romp in 2000.
From 2000-03, the trio of Williams, B.J. Johnson and Sloan Thomas rewrote the Texas record book yet couldn’t find a way to beat the Sooners for a TD. Williams came close a couple of times and set up a pair of scorns in 2002 and 2003 with long catches.
The lack of production in die passing game has been a major reason for the losing streak.
In a 14-3 defeat in 2001, Thomas had a defender beat when Simms uncorked a deep pass that floated in the wind and ended up being intercepted in the end zone. In last
year’s 12-0 loss, Nate Jones had his hands on a touchdown catch when the ball was swatted away by a defender.
“We had a chance in the last five minutes,” coach Mack Brown said. “We throw it in the end zone and drop the ball."
Texas quarterbacks have thrown plenty of balls that ended up in their own end zone.
Simms had a pass picked oil for a TD in 2000. It happened again a year later when the other Roy Williams — then a Sooners linebacker — made one of the great plays in the rivalry’s history when he leaped over a blocker to hit Simms and the ball floated straight to I eddy Lehman.
There are signs that a receiving corps that was considered a weakness last season is coming around.
Billy Pittman and Limas Sweet! came up with die big catches that sent Texas to a 25-22 win at Ohio State a month ago. Ramonce Taylor, who Brown likes to compare to USC’s Reggie Bush because of his big-play ability, caught his first touchdown pass of the season last week against Missouri.
Spurs to begin defense of title on island paradise
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — T he U.S. Virgin Islands mean sun, surf and laid-back Caribbean attitudes, but don’t count on the San Antonio Spurs spending much time sipping umbrella drinks at a beachside cabana.
T he NBA champion Spurs left town Monday to begin their title defense with a nine-day training camp at the University of St. T homas, not far from where their star player, Tim Duncan, grew up.
Duncan said he’s ready for his dual role as on-court centerpiece and off-court tour guide.
“It’s going to be stressful, but it’s going to be fun,” he said. Duncan is from the nearby island of St. Croix.
T raining camp opens Tuesday and will wrap up Oct. 13, when the team flies to Charleston, S.C., for a preseason game the following night against Pliiladelphia.
On St. Thomas, newcomer free agents Michael Finley and Nick Van Exel will begin to get used to their roles on a stable and successful squad where they have little to no chance to
crack tile starting lineup.
“I know that my role will be off the bench and I have no problem with that,” said Finley, the former Dallas swagman who passed up much bigger money elsewhere to sign with San Antonio. “They’ve been successful without me, so I’m just going to try to contribute in any way, shape or form that I can.”
San Antonio also signed Fabricio Oberto, a 6-foot- IO forward who has played for years with Maim Ginobili on the Argentina national team that last year won the Olympic gold medal in Athens.
Ginobili said Oberto, a 30-year-old star in the Spanish league, is not only coming into a city where many people speak his language, but also onto a team where the ball-sharing philosophy is reminis-cent of the playing style in Europe.
“It s hard to find a better situation than this,” Ginobili said. “I le’s a smart guy, a smart player. ... Hopefully he’s going to feel good and start contributing from the beginning.”