Judge orders Twins to play in 2002
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A county judge, citing the role the Minnesota Twins have played in the community during their 40-year history, ruled today that the franchise must play baseball in the Metrodome next year.
Hennepin County Judge Harry Crump issued a temporary injunction that ordered Major League Baseball not to interfere with the Twins' 2002 season.
Although more legal battles lie ahead, the judge's ruling could slow down baseball's attempt to reduce the number of franchises playing the sport from 30 to 28.
Owners agreed earlier this month to eliminate two teams prior to the 2002 season. Although they did not specify which teams would be wiped out, most speculation has focused on Minnesota and Montreal.
"I think Judge Crump followed 30 years of judicial precedent," said Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which initiated the lawsuit attempting to block the elimination of the Twins.
"This obviously is not an end in itself, but at least provides the breathing room we need to come up with a solution that keeps the Twins in the Metrodome for 2002 and in Minnesota forever."
Crump's decision was filled with historical references and concluded that the Twins are simply too important a part of the community to allow them to be removed by baseball executives from outside Minnesota.
Bellisari suspended by Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari has been suspended indefinitely after he was arrested early today and charged with drunken driving.
"This is a very unfortunate situation for Steve and our team," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "The Department of Athletics has a policy in this place for this type of violation, including effect on game participation and availability of counseling."
Sophomore quarterback Scott McMullen will make his first start for the Buckeyes Saturday when they host Illinois.
Belissari, a 21-year-old senior, was arrested by Ohio State police and charged with two counts of drunk driving and a stop sign violation.
The suspension comes at a critical time for Ohio State (6-3), which can win at least a share of the Big Ten title with wins over Illinois and Michigan in its final two games.
Bellisari has started the last 31 games at quarterback for Ohio State. He has completed 53 percent of his passes for 1,599 yards and eight touchdowns with six interceptions.
Hewitt clinches No. 1 spot
SYDNEY, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- In front of a raucous crowd today, Australian Lleyton Hewitt became the youngest men's player to finish the year at No. 1 by beating childhood idol Patrick Rafter, 7-5, 6-2 at the Tennis Masters Cup.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Hewitt said. "To become No. 1 at 20 years of age, and to do it in Australia, you couldn't have written a better dream."
At 20 years and eight months, Hewitt surpassed last year's Champions Race leader Gustavo Kuerten, who lost earlier in the day to Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Kuerten finished 0-3 in the round-robin tournament, failing to add to his total of 771 points in the ATP Champions Race.
Jimmy Connors had been the youngest to achieve the year-end No. 1 ranking at 22 years and three months in 1974, the year after computerized rankings were introduced.
A winner of a career-high five titles this year, including his first Grand Slam, Hewitt will meet Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain in the semifinals on Saturday. The other semifinal will send Kafelnikov against Sebastien Grosjean.
Florida center of football attention
GAINESVILLE, Fla., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is time for the annual battle in the Sunshine State with huge national title implications.
Florida State again collides with Florida, but the more important college football matchup is to the south, where No. 2 Miami welcomes No. 13 Syracuse in a game that likely will decide the Big East Conference title.
The two games highlight a weekend that includes some traditional rivalries and could possibly determine some berths in the Bowl Championship Series.
Miami (8-0) avoided a major scare last week and escaped with an 18-7 win at Boston College with the help of a bizarre return for a score by safety Edward Reed in the final minute. The Hurricanes did not wilt under the pressure and seek their 19th straight victory -- the longest in the nation -- on Saturday. The winner clinches at least a tie for for the Big East crown.
Miami remained second to Nebraska in the latest BCS ratings.
Syracuse (8-2) stamped itself as a serious threat with a 22-14 win at Virginia Tech in late October and takes an eight-game winning streak, fourth best in the nation, into this week's game.
Third-ranked Florida (8-1), currently fifth in the BCS, still entertains hopes of landing a berth in the national title game, but needs to win the rest and get some help from other teams. The next step for the Gators is Saturday against No. 20 Florida State (6-3), which is trying to avoid its first four-loss season in 15 years.
A victory this week gives the Gators their 12th consecutive nine-win season, breaking the Southeastern Conference record set by Alabama from 1971-81.
No. 9 Maryland (9-1) can clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference title and a BCS bowl berth with a win Saturday at North Carolina State.
Maryland also can become the first team other than Florida State to win the ACC title since the Seminoles joined the conference in 1992.
Lewis hopes to regain title
LAS VEGAS, Nev., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Hasim Rahman has something to prove. Lennox Lewis has to prove his critics wrong. Something has to give Saturday night when the two heavyweights meet for the WBC and IBF titles.
Rahman stunned Lewis and shocked the boxing world in April when he recorded a one-punch knockout in the fifth round of their bout in South Africa. Lightly regarded, the Baltimore native captured both belts and put himself in position for the biggest payday of his career.
Rahman (35-2, 29 KOs) was hand-picked for that fight by Lewis, who felt he offered some name recognition and a questionable chin.
On Thursday, Lewis weighed in at 246 1/2 pounds, 10 1/2 more than Rahman.
Earnhardt, Jr. wins NASCAR pole
HAMPTON, Ga., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is hoping a strong finish to the season can give him a legitimate shot at making a run for the NASCAR Winston Cup championship next year.
He got a head start today, winning the pole for Sunday's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He claimed his second pole of the season by running a fast lap of 192.047 miles per hour around the 1.54-mile oval.
Earnhardt said the team made some dramatic changes to the Chevrolet Monte Carlo during Friday morning's practice session. That resulted in a pole-winner as he went out late Friday
and knocked Mark Martin off the pole.
"We weren't really comfortable with the car in practice and made several chassis changes," Earnhardt said. "We tried lots of different combinations and finally even at the end of practice, I wasn't totally confident. I didn't know we could beat Mark's team after what I saw he ran. We ran the car and tried to run the same marks I ran in practice."
Martin will start second after running a lap at 190.463 mph in a Ford Taurus. Normally in competition for a Winston Cup title at this stage of the season, wallace is 12th in the standings and looking for his first victory of the season.
Caminiti faces trial
HOUSTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Ken Caminiti, the 1996 National League MVP currently free on bond on a cocaine possession charge, had his court date rescheduled for Dec. 19 today as prosecutors presented evidence against him to a judge.
Court records showed Caminiti had a white powdery substance on his wallet and investigators found two crack cocaine pipes in the motel room where he and two others were arrested earlier this week.
Caminiti is free on $2,000 bail. District Judge Bill Harmon found there was enough evidence to continue holding the two men arrested with Caminiti, Cedric Palmer and LaToya Bowman, in the county jail in lieu of bail. Bowman's bail is set at $2,000 and Palmer's at $15,000 because he has prior convictions. All three were charged with possession of a controlled substance, less than one gram.
Report: Cashman signs with Yankees
NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The New York Yankees have reached agreement with general manager Brian Cashman on a three-year contract worth about $3 million, the New York Daily News reported today.
The Yankees have been to the World Series in each of the four years Cashman has been in the position, winning three straight championships before losing in seven games to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cashman, who began his career as a college intern in the minor league and scouting department with the Yankees in 1986, was promoted to his current position in 1998 at the age of 31, becoming the second-youngest general manager in baseball history.
Rahal to return to Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Team Rahal has become the latest CART team to announce it would compete in next year's Indianapolis 500, another sign that the world's biggest race is regaining its stature.
The announcement was made today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Owner Bobby Rahal, who drove to victory in the 1986 race, will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since 1995, when he finished third. Jimmy Vasser will drive the Miller Lite-sponsored car, which is co-owned by TV star David Letterman, an Indianapolis native.
"This race has a lot of meaning to me," said Rahal, a CART owner who previously has been an outspoken critic of the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the Indy 500 since 1996. "The greatest moment in my racing life was here in 1986 and the worst moment in my racing life was here in 1993 when we didn't qualify."
Vasser has run the Indy 500 six times. He has finished fourth twice, including in May for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing.
Pellerin out with eye injury
BOSTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Boston Bruins left wing Scott Pellerin will be sidelined indefinitely with an eye injury after being hit with a puck early in Thursday night's 5-4 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils.
Pellerin was on the ice for his first shift of the game when a teammate's shot deflected off the back of a Devil and hit him just above the right eye.
Without Pellerin, the Bruins erased a 3-1 deficit before winning in overtime.
A defensive-minded forward, Pellerin has one goal and two assists in 19 games this season -- his first with the Bruins. He signed a two-year contract in July.
Suns trade for Outlaw
PHOENIX, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Seeking to add a much-needed interior presence, the Phoenix Suns today acquired power forward Bo Outlaw from the Orlando Magic in a three-team trade.
The Suns sent guard-forward Jud Buechler to the Magic and guard Vinny Del Negro to the Los Angeles Clippers for Outlaw, a first-round pick and cash.
The Magic also sent cash in the deal to Los Angeles and acquired an option to swap second-round picks with the Clippers in the 2005 draft.
The first-round pick the Suns received from Orlando is the remaining selection Phoenix sent to the Magic as part of the Penny Hardaway trade in August 1999. All obligations from that deal are now complete.
New Zealand leads golf's World Cup
GOTEMBA, Japan, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Michael Campbell and unheralded David Smail of New Zealand combined for a 6-under-par 66 today to open a four-shot lead midway through the World Golf Championships-EMC World Cup.
One stroke off the pace after the opening round, Campbell and Smail thrived under the foursomes format, completing one of just two bogey-free rounds at the Taiheiyo Club and moving to 15-under 129 through 36 holes.
The duo of Shigeki Maruyama and Toshimitsu Izawa thrilled the home crowd with a 69 that gave Japan a share of second place at 11-under 133. First-round leaders Andrew Coltart and Dean Robertson of Scotland could not match their opening-round 62, but stayed within striking distance with a 1-under 71.
Webb opens four-shot lead
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Karrie Webb of Australia opened a four-shot lead today at the Tyco/ADT Championship, firing one of just two sub-par rounds turned in at the Trump International Golf Club.
Webb shot a 1-under-par 71 to match Laura Davies of England for the best round of the day and build a four-stroke lead over Annika Sorenstam of Sweden and Australia's Wendy Doolan.
A two-time Player of the Year, Webb began the day just a stroke ahead of Sorenstam but watched her playing partner and just about everyone else falter over the challenging layout.
At 6-under 138, Webb is well on the way to her third title of the season and second at this exclusive event, which invites the top-30 money winners on the LPGA Tour.
Sorenstam and Doolan are at 2-under 142. Sorenstam, who has clinched Player of the Year honors after winning eight titles, struggled to a 2-over 74, bogeying three holes on the front nine.
World team leads Americans
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Japan's Isao Aoki eagled the par-4 12th hole today and the team of Stewart Ginn-Jose Maria Canizares rallied from a two-hole deficit with five to play to capture their match and spur a collection of international players to a 4 1/2-1 1/2 lead over the United States at the inaugural Warburg Cup.
The Ryder Cup-style event has brought together some of the best players in the history of the game with Arnold Palmer serving as captain for the United States and Gary Player leading a team officially called the Rest of the World.
Friday's action involved six foursomes matches. Six fourball matches will be played Saturday with 12 singles matches scheduled for Sunday. The Rest of the World needs eight points from the remaining 18 matches to win the event.
Aoki, partnering Nick Faldo, holed his 9-iron second shot from 125 yards at the 414-yard 12th to put his side 1-up en route to a 2 & 1 victory over Hale Irwin and Mark Calcavecchia. Both Irwin and Calcavecchia played in the 1991 Ryder Cup when it was held at the site of this week's competition -- the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
Canizares, from Spain, and Ginn, an Australian, appeared headed for defeat before winning three of the final five holes to defeat Loren Roberts and Tom Watson, 1-up. Watson missed a three-foot par putt at the 16th, allowing Canizares and Ginn to even the match.
In the other matches, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand and Bernhard Langer of Germany defeated Scott Hoch and John Cook, 2 & 1; Player and Des Smyth of Ireland won over Palmer and Mark O'Meara, 3 & 2; Ray Floyd and Dana Quigley beat Australian Ian Stanley and Englishman Denis Durnian, 1-up; and Curtis Strange teamed with Larry Nelson to halve Scotland's Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam of Wales.