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In Sports from United Press International

April 8, 2002 at 8:10 PM   |   Comments

Tigers fire Garner after 0-6 start

DETROIT, April 8 (UPI) -- The Detroit Tigers, mired in an 0-6 start, Monday fired both Manager Phil Garner and General Manager Randy Smith.

The Tigers have had eight straight losing seasons and showed no signs of reversing that trend in the first week of the season when they were swept in three-game series by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Cleveland Indians.

Bench Coach Luis Pujols was named interim manager while President Dave Dombrowski will add the role of general manager.

After posting a 145-179 record in his first two seasons, Garner entered the year with little margin for error, and he used it all by losing his first six games.

Garner was entering the third year of a four-year contract he signed when he was hired on Oct.14, 1999.


Vaughn sidelined by broken hand

NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- The New York Mets Monday placed Mo Vaughn, their slugging first baseman, on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his hand.

Vaughn was hurt Thursday when he was hit by a pitch by Pittsburgh's Jommy Anderson in the first inning of a 3-2 loss.

Vaughn did not play the final two games of a three-game series in Atlanta and returned to New York on Sunday to have an X-ray of his right hand. Team physician Dr. Andrew Rokito said the results showed a small, non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal.

Vaughn will be eligible to be activated on April 21.

While Vaughn is one of baseball's more prolific sluggers, he has been plagued by injuries in recent years. He missed the entire 2001 season after undergoing reconstructive surgery to repair a torn biceps.

Vaughn, however, played through most of the 1996 season with a broken right index finger. A three-time All-Star and the 1995 American League Most Valuable Player with the Boston Red Sox, he has driven in 100 runs six times in his career.

Vaughn hit his 300th homer in Wednesday's game against the Pirates.


Players test Masters changes

By United Press International

AUGUSTA, Ga., April 8 (UPI) -- The doors to one of the most famous shrines in all of sports opened Monday on what turned out to be a difficult day to play golf.

Strong winds swept across the Augusta National Golf Club course, creating conditions that made birdies difficult to find and pars very acceptable for players who are trying to learn all about the massive changes made to the home of The Masters.

Those conditions, however, are expected to change dramatically as the week goes on with rain -- some of it potentially heavy -- in the forecast for the next two days.

That meant that Monday might be the only practice round some of the Masters participants manage to complete before the first major tournament of the year begins Thursday. And practice rounds are vital this week because so much of the course is different this year.

"In a way, it's a new course for everybody," said Spain's Sergio Garcia, who arrives in Augusta looking for his first major title.

Tees on nine holes have been extended, some of them dramatically so. There are 258 more yards on the scorecard. And just how difficult those changes can make the course play was made obvious Monday when the winds appeared.


Hoosiers'Jeffries heads for NBA

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., April 8 (UPI) -- Indiana forward Jared Jeffries, who helped the Hoosiers reach the NCAA championship game, has entered the NBA draft, it was announced Monday.

Jeffries, the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, will bypass his final two collegiate seasons.

"Two years ago, I had to make what I thought was the hardest decision of my life." Jeffries said. "I had to decide if I wanted to be a part of rebuilding Indiana's greatness. Today again I am faced with an incredible dilemma, and the dilemma is whether I want to declare myself eligible for the NBA draft.

"After hours of prayer and deep thought, with myself, my family, the coaching staff, I have decided it is in my best interest to forego my college eligibility and enter the NBA draft."

The 6-10 Jeffries led the Hoosiers with averages of 15 points and seven rebounds. While he struggled the last month of the regular season with a sprained right ankle, Jeffries had 24 points and 15 rebounds in the Hoosiers' 74-73 upset of top-ranked Duke in the South Region semifinals.

Indiana coach Mike Davis supported Jeffries' decision.

"This a once in a lifetime opportunity and I know that Jared will make the best of it," Davis said.


Kenseth captures second NASCAR victory

FORT WORTH, Texas, April 8 (UPI) -- Matt Kenseth had a fast Ford and used good strategy on his final pit stop to score his second NASCAR victory of the season in Monday's Samsung/RadioShack 500.

Kenseth had to start at the rear of the 43-car field after changing an engine, but was able to get the front after 334 laps of racing.

The race had been rained out on Sunday and reset for Monday. A crowd estimated at 185,000 fans filled Texas Motor Speedway for the race.

Kenseth's Roush Racing pit crew changed two tires instead of four during the final pit stop on lap 309. That came during a caution period after his teammate, Kurt Busch, had spun out in Turn 4. It was a timely spin as Kenseth was one lap away from pitting for fuel.

When the green flag waved on lap 313, Kenseth was in front of Jeff Gordon's Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Mark Martin's Ford Taurus with 21 laps remaining. Martin began to catch Gordon, which allowed Kenseth to pull away for his third career Winston Cup victory.

Kenseth's previous win in 2002 came in the Subway 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway on February 24. His first Winston Cup victory came in the Coca-Cola 600 in 2000.

Kenseth finished 0.888-seconds ahead of Gordon. Martin was third followed by Ricky Rudd and Tony Stewart.


Orioles owner on negotiating committee

NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos was named Monday to the Major League Baseball negotiating committee.

Angelos will join new MLB president Bob Dupuy, MLB executive vice president of labor Rob Manfred, outside legal counsel Howard Ganz and Chicago Cubs general manager Andy MacPhail in their attempt to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.

"Peter knows the issues inside and out and will do anything he can to reach and agreement that restores competitive balance to the game," Commissioner Bud Selig said.

Angelos built a national reputation as a labor lawyer and is president and managing partner of the law offices of Peter G. Angelos P.C.


Zabaleta loses at Casablanca

CASABLANCA, Morocco, April 8 (UPI) -- Sixth seed Mariano Zabaleta of Argentina dropped his fifth straight match on Monday when he fell to Germany's Michael Kohlmann in the first round of the$381,000 Grand Prix Hassan II claycourt event.

Zabaleta, who has not won since reaching the quarterfinals at Acapulco in February, exited with a 6-1, 6-4 loss.

In the only other main draw match Monday, eighth seed Ferna Vicente of Spain lost to Attila Savolt of Hungary, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

Vicente won the second of his three career titles here in 2000 and was runner-up in 1997. Savolt won for just the third time in 10 matches this season.

Argentina's Guillermo Canas is the top seed this week and is back to defend his first ATP title. Canas began the 2002 campaign by winning Chennai in the opening week, but has dropped five of his last six matches.

Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco is the second seed, followed by countryman and 1997 winner Hicham Arazi, Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, and France's Julien Boutter. Olivier Rochus of Belgium fills out the top eight seeds.

© 2002 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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