Yankees try for 2-0 lead
SEATTLE, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees send Mike Mussina to the mound tonight at Safeco Field as they seek a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven American League Championship Series with the Seattle Mariners.
After bouncing the powerful Oakland Athletics in the AL Division Series, the Yankees opened the ALCS Wednesday with a 4-2 win highlighted by Andy Pettitte's eight brilliant innings and Paul O'Neill's two-run homer.
Two days after traveling from coast to coast for the second time in as many nights, the Yankees looked sharp in gaining the upper hand against the Mariners, who had the upper hand against everyone in 2001.
Seattle tied a major league record for wins in a season by going 116-46, then battled its way through a five-game series with the Cleveland Indians in the division round.
But New York, which ran away in the AL East with a 95-65 mark, has stolen home-field advantage from Seattle and needs to win three of the next six games to get back to the World Series.
Jagr becomes highest-paid NHL player
WASHINGTON, Oct., 18 (UPI) -- Jaromir Jagr became the richest player in the NHL today.
The Washington Capitals announced Jagr had signed a contract extension that has made the superstar right wing the highest-paid player in hockey.
While terms were not disclosed, but there were reports the contract was for $77 million over seven years. The average salary would surpass the 10-year, $87.5 million deal Alexei Yashin signed with the New York Islanders this year.
"He should be the highest-paid player in the league, which he is right now," said Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.
Jagr, the NHL's four-time reigning scoring champion, still has two years remaining on the last deal he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is scheduled to earn more than $10 million over each of the next two seasons.
The extension would increase his salary by about $1 million a season.
Dierker resigns under fire
HOUSTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Under fire since his team's latest playoff failure, Larry Dierker resigned as Houston Astros manager today.
Dierker, 55, led the Astros to a 448-362 record and four National League Central Division titles in his five years as manager, but failed to win a playoff series.
Dierker's 448 managerial wins rank second on Houston's all-time list behind Bill Virdon, who compiled a 544-522 record from 1975-82.
General manager Gerry Hunsicker met Wednesday night with Dierker and owner Drayton McLane to discuss "a number of issues, including the ballclub and the state of the organization."
"We all felt like it was time for a change," Hunsicker said.
Houston tied St. Louis for the best record in the National League at 93-69 and won the Central Division based on a better head-to-head record against the Cardinals.
But the Astros lost 12 of their last 15 games and were swept in the division series by the Atlanta Braves.
Dierker came down from the broadcast booth to take over as Houston's manager in 1997, but won just two of 14 playoff games. He had one year remaining on his contract.
Jaguars host Bills
JACKSONVILLE, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Coming off much-needed bye weeks, the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars will seek a much-needed win tonight when they kick off Week 6 in the NFL.
The game is especially vital to Buffalo (0-4), which limps into Florida as the only winless team in the AFC and one of only two in the NFL, joining the Washington Redskins (0-5).
The Bills are 11 days removed from a 42-36 home loss to the New York Jets and are off to their worst start since they opened the 1985 season with six consecutive defeats.
Quarterback Rob Johnson will play in Jacksonville for the first time since he was traded to Buffalo in February 1998. But he comes in banged up, having suffered a pinched nerve in his neck against the Jets.
The Jaguars also are wounded. Pro Bowl offensive lineman Tony Boselli is out for the season with a shoulder injury and running back Fred Taylor remains sidelined with a groin injury.
That puts an added amount of pressure on quarterback Mark Brunell, who suffered a concussion in a 23-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sep. 30.
That started the Jaguars on a two-game skid that has left them fifth in the AFC Central, with division games in Baltimore and Tennessee to follow tonight's matchup.
Cink shares lead, Woods four back
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Stewart Cink was part of a five-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the National Car Rental Classic today while Tiger Woods scrambled just to finish within four shots of the top spot in his first PGA Tour appearance in five weeks.
Fourteen players were within two shots of the lead, but Woods was not amogn them as he fired a 3-under 69 that left him in a tie for 31st.
While several players scramble to get their families around in Disney World this week, many also are scrambling to keep tour cards or make the lucrative Tour Championship.
Among them is Micheel, who entered the week 145th on the money list with $277,507 -- nearly $100,000 less than the amount needed to get into the top 125 that retain their playing privileges for 2002.
Cink, McCarron and Lowery all are trying to hold onto one of the final 30 spots for the season-ending Tour Championship in two weeks.
While he is a member of the United States Ryder Cup team, Cink is just 28th on the money list with $1,584,696. Kevin Sutherland is 31st with $1,513,934 and was tied for 31st at this event following a 69.
McCarron is 26th on the money list, one spot behind Lowery.
World Doubles Championship canceled
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The ATP bowed to international security concerns today and canceled the World Doubles Championship in India.
It is the first ATP tournament canceled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, although an event in Toulouse, France was skipped last month due to an explosion at a nearby petrochemical plant.
The World Doubles Championship -- one of the final two events on the 2001 schedule -- was to have been held Nov. 7-11 in India, which is in close proximity to strife in Afghanistan.
Roddick ousted in Stuttgart
STUTTGART, Germany, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Experience edged youth today as Thomas Enqvist saved a match point before ousting No. 14 Andy Roddick, 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-5), to reach the quarterfinals of the Tennis Masters Series-Stuttgart.
Enqvist, the 1999 champion, recorded his second upset in as many days after eliminating No. 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain on Wednesday.
The upset trend continued Thursday as No. 8 Sebastien Grosjean of France and No. 13 Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia also were eliminated in the third round.
After winning the opening set and taking a 5-3 lead in the second, Enqvist appeared to be a certain victor. But the American teen battled back, forcing a tiebreak before knotting the contest at a set apiece.
Enqvist then fell behind, 1-5, in the third-set tiebreak before winning six straight points to close out the match.
Meanwhile, No. 5 Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, No. 7 Tim Henman of Britain and No. 15 Tommy Haas of Germany advanced to the last eight.
Konowalcuk out 3-4 months
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Washington Capitals co-captain Steve Konowalcuk underwent surgery for a dislocated shoulder today and will be sidelined three to four months, the club announced.
The Capitals have been reluctant to reveal the specific nature of Konowalchuk's injury. The left wing played in Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes and did not leave the game with any injuries.
Konowalchuk, 28, recorded three assists in Washington's first five contests. He did not play in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime victory at Los Angeles.
Konowalchuk played in all 82 games for the Capitals last season, recording 23 assists and 24 goals.