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In Sports from United Press International

By United Press International   |   Nov. 14, 2001 at 7:39 PM   |   Comments

Piniella, Bowa managers of the year

NEW YORK, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Seattle's Lou Piniella and Philadelphia's Larry Bowa were named today as manager of the year for their respective leagues.

In just one season, Bowa turned the Phillies into contenders in the National League East. He guided the Phillies to a second-place finish in the division. The fiery manager took a club that lost 97 games in 2000 and led it to 86 wins.

In what was expected to be a close vote, Bowa received 18 first-place votes and 113 points in the balloting of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The 55-year-old Bowa became the first Phillies manager to win the award since it was instituted in 1983.

Bowa was an easy winner over Jim Tracy of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who received four first-place votes and 48 points. Tracy's vote total was a surprise since the Dodgers finished third in the NL West with an 86-76 record.

Piniella, who was third in the voting last year, bypassed the opportunity to move to a bigger market despite knowing the Mariners likely would lose one of the league's biggest stars in Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez left for the Texas Rangers, but the Mariners added Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki and were on their way to a landmark season. Seattle won 116 games, tying the major league record set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906.

Piniella received 22 first-place votes and 128 points. Piniella won the award previously in 1995 and is the only Seattle manager to earn the honor.

Art Howe of the Oakland Athletics was the runner-up for the third straight season, receiving five first-place votes and 77 points.


Blue Jays hire new GM

TORONTO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The Toronto Blue Jays looked outside the organization to hire J.P. Ricciardi as general manager today and the decision cost them assistant general manager Dave Stewart.

Ricciardi, the director of player personnel for the Oakland Athletics the last three seasons, was hired as senior vice president/baseball operations and general manager.

He replaced Gord Ash, who resigned in early October.

The selection of the 42-year-old Ricciardi capped a search by Blue Jays CEO Paul Godfrey, who was believed to be interested in Buck Showalter, the former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as former Texas Rangers GM Doug Melvin.

Godfrey also held interviews with John Hart, who opted for a $2 million contract to replace Melvin in Texas. Florida president and GM Dave Dombrowski, who last week was named president of the Detroit Tigers, also was in the running.

Stewart was mentioned as a possible candidate but reportedly stepped down in protest, claiming that baseball was a "shallow industry" that was not committed to minority hiring in the front office.

The Milwaukee Brewers announced that Stewart had agreed to be their pitching coach in 2002.


Germany reaches World Cup

DORTMUND, Germany, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Germany, Belgium, Turkey and Slovenia all qualified for the World Cup tonight, leaving just three spots open in the 32-nation field that will battle year for soccer's biggest prize.

Another spot was to be determined later in the evening when the final round of South American qualifying matches were played. Brazil needed to defeat Venezuela to wrap up the fourth and final automatic position from South America and avoid facing a two-match playoff with Australia for the final World Cup berth.

The other remaining spot will be decided Thursday when Ireland and Iran meet in the second of their two-match playoff, Ireland having won the opening leg in Dublin, 2-0.

Slovenia earned its first ever World Cup berth, Turkey will play in the World Cup for the first time in 46 years and Belgium will be going for the sixth straight time.

Germany let a chance to win its group and the automatic World Cup berth that went with it slip away with a one-sided loss to England late in the qualifying tournament. But Germany survived its playoff with the Ukraine.

Germany, which recorded a 1-1 road tie in the first leg, produced three goals in the first 15 minutes Wednesday night and coasted to a 4-1 victory.

Belgium secured its spot by fighting off the Czech Republic, 1-0; Slovenia earned its position thanks to a 1-1 road tie against Romania and Turkey crushed Austraia, 5-0.

Slovenia enjoyed a 2-1 victory over Romania in the first leg and needed only a tie to produce the nation's inaugural trip to the World Cup.

The 32 teams that qualify for the World Cup will be drawn into eight four-team groups during a ceremony in South Korea on Dec. 1. South Korea and Japan will co-host the World Cup, which will begin May 31.


Coach "K" receives lifetime contract

DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Mike Krzyzewksi, who has won three NCAA championships in his 21 years with the Duke Blue Devils, today signed what was called a "lifetime" contract to coach the men's basketball team.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the school said Krzyzewski has agreed to a deal that extends through at least 2011 and calls for him to serve as a special assistant to the president.

"My family and I love Duke, and I really appreciate the university making this type of long term commitment," Krzyzewski said. "Duke is a very special place, and Duke basketball is part of what makes it special. The idea that I can continue to play a role in the success of each is very gratifying, and I'm thrilled at the expression of confidence the university is placing in me by offering this lifetime contract."

Krzyzewksi enters the season 34th all time in coaching victories with 606 and owns a 533-164 record at Duke. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Krzyzewski reached his 500th victory at Duke in 660 games. Only Kentucky's Adolph Rupp (583), UNLV's Jerry Tarkanian (614), North Carolina's Dean Smith (653) and Oklahoma State's Henry Iba (654) did it faster.


Murray hired as hitting coach

CLEVELAND, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Eddie Murray, one of only three players ever to record 3,000 hits and 500 homers, today was named hitting coach of the Cleveland Indians.

Murray, 45, has spent the last four years on the staff of the Baltimore Orioles, spending the first two as bench coach and the last two as first base coach. He replaces Clarence Jones, who was released as part of a coaching shakeup following the Indians' loss to the Seattle Mariners in the Division Series.

He is making a return to the organization where he spent 2 1/2 of his 21 major league seasons. In 1995, Murray was a part of the Indians' first American League pennant winner in 41 years.


Carl Lewis elected to Hall of Fame

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Carl Lewis was one of four members of the 1984 United States Olympic team elected to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame today.

Lewis, a sprinter and long jumper, was elected along with Larry Myricks, Alberto Salazar and Henry Marsh.

Lewis, 40, is considered one of the gretest Olympians of all-time. His nine gold medals ties swimmer Mark Spitz for first place on the all-time U.S. list. Lewis won four medals at the 1984 Games and won his fourth straight long jump in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He is a 10-time World Championships medalist and former world record holder at 100 meters.


Hewitt nears No. 1 ranking

SYDNEY, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Lleyton Hewitt of Australia moved to within eight points of the world No. 1 ranking today by dominating Andre Agassi in round-robin play at the Tennis Masters Cup.

Hewitt, the second seed, defeated Agassi, the third seed, 6-3, 6-4, to secure a berth into the semifinals of the season-ending ATP tournament.

Seventh seed Sebastian Grosjean of France defeated sixth seed Patrick Rafter of Australia, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, in the day's other match.

Earning 20 points for each of his two wins, Hewitt has closed the gap on top seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil, who can regain a 28-point cushion when he faces fourth seed Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain on Thursday.


Woods, Duvall chase world team title

GOTEMBA, Japan, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods and David Duval begin defense of their World Cup title Thursday.

Ranked first and third in the world, Woods and Duval form one of 24 international teams competing this week.

A year ago, the American duo overcame host Argentina, which was represented by European Tour members Angel Cabrera and Eduardo Romero, to win the inaugural event.

Among those trying to unseat Woods and Duval are 30 European Tour members who combined for 21 titles this season.

The South African squad includes reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and two-time U.S. Open winner Ernie Els.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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