In Sports from United Press International

Oct. 23, 2002 at 3:20 PM
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Angels try to widen lead over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The Anaheim Angels try to continue their impressive offensive display Wednesday night when they face the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the World Series at Pacific Bell Park.

The Angels are averaging nearly eight runs a game in the postseason, and have scored 24 runs in the first three games of their first World Series. San Francisco pitchers have been shelled for 21 earned runs in 26 innings for a 7.27 ERA.

Anaheim scored 11 runs in Game Two on Sunday and rolled to a 10-4 victory in Game Three Tuesday. No team has ever scored 10 runs or more in three consecutive World Series games.

Scott Spiezio drove in three runs and Darin Erstad had three hits Tuesday as the Angels became the first team in World Series history to bat around in consecutive innings. Anaheim has batted around six times in the postseason.

Barry Bonds set a record with his seventh homer of the postseason for the Giants, and drew a pair of walks. Anaheim and San Francisco have combined for 13 home runs thus far. That is four shy of the record for a World Series.

Anaheim's John Lackey celebrates his 24th birthday with a start in Game Four. He joins Pittsburgh's Brickyard Kennedy in 1903 and Brooklyn's Johnny Podres in 1955 as the only pitchers to start a World Series game on their birthday.

"It's pretty cool," Lackey said. "I was born during the World Series. It's something I've been doing on my birthday for a lot of years, watching the World Series. It's pretty cool that I'm actually in it and I'm going to get an opportunity to be playing in it."

Lackey pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief in Game Two, giving up two runs and two hits in the Angels' 11-10 victory. He is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in three postseason appearances, including one start.

"He has an outstanding arm," said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia. "He's got very good command of really three pitches. Whatever start he's taken in our organization, whatever level it's been, he showed the same great makeup on the mound."

The rookie righthander started Game Four of the American League Championship Series against Minnesota, pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out seven.

"I'm not going to promise performance every time out, but I don't think there's going to be any situation where I'm going to be intimidated or scared or anything," he said. "I'm going to go out there and do what's gotten me to this point. I'm going to go after people with my best stuff."

Lackey makes his first career appearance against the Giants.

San Francisco hands the ball to Kirk Rueter, who, like Lackey, makes his first career World Series appearance.

Rueter is 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three postseason starts, allowing 12 runs, 11 earned, in 14 innings.

The veteran lefthander made two starts against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series and won one, allowing five runs in 11 innings. He made his last start in Game Five, tossing six scoreless innings.

"We expect Kirk to be the same Steady-Eddie self," said Giants Manager Dusty Baker. "His personality is very consistent. He's one of the most competitive people we have on the team. He fields his position wonderfully, he's a good bunter, a good base-runner. He's highly competitive, so we expect Kirk to be the same Kirk that we always know."

Rueter is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two career starts against the Angels, giving up two runs and 14 hits in 12 1/3 innings.

Reports: Childs robbed at gunpoint

NEW YORK, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Veteran point guard Chris Childs, who was suspended by the New Jersey Nets Tuesday, was the victim of a robbery.

Various reports Wednesday said Childs was robbed at gunpoint of cash and jewelry earlier in the day.

Various media indicated a New York police report said Childs was robbed at gunpoint outside a Manhattan restaurant called Justin's of about $30,000 in cash and jewelry. The restaurant is owned by music mogul Sean Combs.

According to New York Newsday, four men were involved. One of them allegedly pointed a loaded 9-mm handgun at Childs while another ripped his diamond chain from his neck and demanded the rest of his valuables, police said. He handed over a diamond cluster ring, diamond watch, cell phone, and about $800 in cash and the four men fled on foot.

The paper said it was unclear if the men knew it was Childs they were robbing. All four were caught by police after a brief chase and a 911 call and charged with first-degree robbery.

Nets President Rod Thorn Tuesday announced that Childs, 34, was suspended by the team for being overweight. He had not played in the preseason because of a troublesome right Achilles ailment. He has been wearing a boot to protect it.

Childs has not practiced since the beginning of training camp last month. The New York Times reported that he apparently did not follow a diet prescribed by the Nets to keep his weight down while he was inactive.

"He hasn't conditioned himself the way he needed to be in order to play NBA basketball, and until he does that, he will remain suspended," Thorn said. "At some point in time, I would assume that he would be a member of this team."

The Times report said it is believed that Childs was about 25 pounds above his ideal playing weight.

Childs was signed as a free agent Aug. 1 to provide depth at point guard behind All-Star Jason Kidd. He was given a two-year, $3.5 million contract for this his second stint with the Nets.

The 6-3 Childs averaged 4.1 points and 5.1 assists per contest in 69 games with the Toronto Raptors last season, his eighth in the NBA. He began his career with the Nets in the 1994-95 campaign, and also played for New York, making an appearance in the 1999 Finals with the Knicks.

Report: Lakers to be without O'Neal

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The three-time NBA defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are expected to begin the upcoming new season without superstar center Shaquille O'Neal.

The Los Angeles Daily News Wednesday reported that O'Neal, 30, will be placed on the injured list next Monday, causing him to sit out at least five games.

A Lakers spokesman would not confirm the report. Teams have until 6 p.m. Eastern time Monday to submit their rosters to the league.

O'Neal underwent surgery on his right big toe on Sept. 12 and has not played in any exhibition games for Los Angeles, which fell to 2-4 in the preseason following Tuesday's 102-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 7-1, 350-pounder is the most dominant player in the league. He averaged 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per contest in capturing his third straight NBA Finals MVP award as the Lakers swept the New Jersey Nets in June.

O'Neal has averaged 27.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in 675 career games. One of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, O'Neal is a four-time All-NBA First Team selection and was MVP of the 1999-2000 season.

Los Angeles opens the season at home against the San Antonio Spurs next Tuesday. They are expected to use either Soumaila Samake or Samaki Walker at center until O'Neal returns.

Wagner has blood clot removed

CLEVELAND, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers rookie guard Dajuan Wagner late Tuesday underwent a medical procedure to remove a blood clot in his ureter. The procedure was performed at the Cleveland Clinic.

Team medical personnel said the tube connects his left kidney with his bladder. The clot had been discovered Monday during tests for Wagner's bladder infection.

It is anticipated that the procedure will speed his recovery, but Wagner will remain at the clinic for a short time. No timetable has been set for his return to the team.

"I talked to Dajuan and he's in good spirits but he's very disappointed that he can't start the season with the team," Wagner's father, Milt, told the Akron Beacon Journal. Milt Wagner is a former NBA player who now coordinates basketball operations at Memphis University, where his son played for one season before being drafted. "Dajuan is a competitor and he wants to be out there. It's taking longer than expected, but this isn't something that's serious."

Wagner, the sixth overall pick in this year's NBA draft, is an explosive shooting guard who may also play the point for the Cavaliers. His specialty is getting into the lane and creating shots for himself and his teammates.

The 6-3 Wagner left Memphis after his freshman season to enter the draft. When the Cavaliers selected him sixth overall, it became clear they planned to deal point guard Andre Miller, who was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal for forward Darius Miles.

Wagner, who possesses quickness, long arms and great jumping ability, had a stellar season in his only year at Memphis. He averaged 21.2 points per contest and led the Tigers to an overall record of 27-9. He then was named the Most Valuable Player after he led Memphis to the NIT title.

Unrest in Miami after Gadsden placed on IR

DAVIE, Fla., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Veteran wide receiver Oronde Gadsden, who earlier this week was placed on injured reserve, has found unprecedented public support from several teammates.

Gadsden was placed on IR Monday because he will undergo wrist surgery this week. Shortly after placing Gadsden on IR, which ends his season, the Dolphins officially signed Cris Carter, who had retired and was working as an analyst for HBO Sports.

Gadsden was involved in negotiations with the front office for a new contract. The fifth-year receiver is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2002 season.

Reportedly, the Dolphins wanted Gadsden to try to play through the pain in his wrist, but last weekend, he decided to have the operation after failing to reach contract terms.

The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that a number of teammates were angry about the way Gadsden was treated by management. One of the most outspoken Dolphins was defensive back Brock Marion.

"I think it (stinks)," Marion said. "You've got a guy that produces for you, time in and time out, and goes out there and puts his body on the line, helps his team win. I know this is a business that we live in, and this whole game is a business, but I think it (stinks). All I know is we have a guy who's been productive, been our No. 1 receiver for the last three, four years or whatever. And now the guy gets an injury, and now you don't want to take care of him or whatever. I don't know what the situation is, all I know is that Oronde helps this team win football games. He's part of our leadership committee here, and we know he can help this football team win. We need to have him on our football team. If they ask me what I think, I'll give them my opinion."

At practice Tuesday, Coach Dave Wannstedt responded about the Gadsden situation after initially saying he did not have to respond.

"You have a guy that is hurt and has to have surgery. I looked Oronde in the face and said we want you back next year. Obviously, you want to have the surgery and he has an opportunity to come back with us next year," Wannstedt said. "My whole thing is that a guy is hurt, what do I need to do to try to get another football player in here to help this team win. Everything I have tried to do and we have done the past year is do everything we possibly can to give everyone a chance to win. That is the bottom line. I would expect (his teammates) them to (show loyalty). They are going to support each other and I would be disappointed if they didn't. Our guys know that we have taken care of our guys. That is the one thing that we have done here. I feel great about the last four years because we have stood up and haven't brought in any $10 million guys from other teams. We have given the money to our guys and taken care of our guys. We will continue to do that. That will not change."

Both Wannstedt and Carter were encouraged by Carter's first practice with the Dolphins, who have a bye Sunday and return to action Nov. 4 at Green Bay.

Despite its surprising home-field 23-10 loss to Buffalo last Sunday, Miami is 5-2 and has a one-game edge on the Bills atop the AFC East.

Broncos re-sign Mookie Moore

DENVER, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The Denver Broncos Wednesday signed guard Mookie Moore, who will fill the roster spot created Tuesday, when they placed center Tom Nalen on injured reserve.

Moore, among the final team cuts after training camp, was waived Sept. 1. The 6-2, 318-pounder was chosen in the fourth round of the 2000 draft, 129th overall, by the Washington Redskins.

He appeared in five games with Washington in 2000. He signed with Denver on Dec. 24, 2001, but did not see any action last season. Moore is in his third year out of Troy State.

Nalen, 31, tore the ACL in his left knee late in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's win at Kansas City.

The Broncos (5-2) are in second place in the AFC West, one game behind Division-leading San Diego. This Sunday, they play the defending world champion New England Patriots at Foxboro, Mass.

Taylor gets new deal from Kings

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Kings General Manager Dave Taylor, who has turned the franchise into an NHL contender in the face of an NBA championship run by the cross-town Los Angeles Lakers, has been was rewarded with a three-year contract extension.

Financial terms were not disclosed for the deal, which runs through the 2005-06 season.

Since Taylor took over as the club's GM in April 1997, the Kings have posted a record of 190-165-53-11. The Kings have had at least 90 points in each of the last three seasons -- the best three-year stretch in club history.

"I appreciate the opportunity provided to me by our ownership," said Taylor, who was named NHL Executive of the Year in 2001 by the Hockey News. "I look forward to continuing our efforts to bring a Stanley Cup championship to Los Angeles."

Taylor has made a series of bold moves since taking over, including acquiring the likes of Ziggy Palffy, Jason Allison, Adam Deadmarsh and Felix Potvin.

"The consensus among ownership and management is that Dave's leadership, direction and decision-making ability has brought the Kings to the doorstep of being a Stanley-Cup contending team," said Kings President Tim Leiweke. "Dave has spent his entire professional career in the Kings organization, and we feel he will continue to guide his team to a championship level."

Taylor, 46, spent his entire 17-year playing career with the Kings, collecting 1,069 points to rank second in club history behind Marcel Dionne.

He was best known as the right wing on the Kings' fabled Triple Crown Line with Dionne and Charlie Simmer. He scored 431 goals and 1,069 points in 1,111 games, and had his No. 18 jersey retired by the club in 1995.

"He has given us everything we could have asked for," said Kings Coach Andy Murray. "We talk every day and exchange ideas. He is great at getting us what we need to be competitive."

"There have been disappointments," Taylor said. "But ownership has been very supportive in trying to make this a better hockey club."

Fresno State loses Knowlton for season

FRESNO, Calif., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Ashley Knowlton, a junior point guard at Fresno State, who made the basketball team as a walk-on, will be sidelined for the 2002-03 season because of torn ligaments in his left knee.

The Fresno Bee reported that the injury occurred Sunday at practice, and further depleted a roster that already is lacking in depth. Knowlton's loss left the Bulldogs with just 10 players.

"Losing Ashley is a blow to our team because he was one of our hardest workers and toughest kids," said Coach Ray Lopes in a prepared news release. "He was beginning to solidify his role on our team as potentially our backup point guard."

Knowlton, a native of nearby Clovis, Calif., is a transfer from West Valley (Saratoga, Calif.) Junior College. Last year, he played for Bob Burton, currently a Fresno State assistant coach, and helped lead the Vikings to a Coast Conference championship.

Knowlton went to Clovis West High School and played at Portland State his freshman year before winding up at WVJC as a sophomore.

Nabokov signs with Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The San Jose Sharks have re-signed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, his lengthy holdout. He was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.

While terms were not disclosed, Nabokov is believed to have received a two-year contract worth over $7 million.

The Sharks appear to be desperate. They lost four of their first five games this season without Nabokov in net in a season of Stanley Cup expectations.

The 2001 Calder Trophy winner earned just $575,000 last season while leading the Sharks to their first Pacific Division title.

He was third in the league with 37 wins, and posted seven shutouts, a 2.20 goals-against average, and a .918 save percentage in 67 games.

The native of Kazakhstan finished fourth in voting for the Vezina Trophy for the second consecutive season while becoming the first Shark to earn Player of the Month honors. In February, he posted a 6

0 record, with two shutouts, a 1.17 GAA and .952 save percentage.

A 1994 ninth-round pick, Nabokov, 27, enjoyed a

stellar rookie season in 2000-01. He appeared in the All-Star Game and was named to the All-Rookie Team in addition to capturing the Calder Trophy.

With Miikka Kiprusoff and rookie Vesa Toskala filling the void, San Jose has allowed 22 goals in its first five games, most in the Western Conference.

Nabokov became the first goaltender in NHL history to score a power-play goal on March 10 at Vancouver.

Last season, the Sharks blew a 3-2 lead to the Colorado Avalanche in the conference semifinals. They were picked by many to reach Stanley Cup Finals this season, even though they made no significant moves in the offseason.

The signing of Nabokov left the Sharks with two remaining holdouts -- defenseman Brad Stuart, the third overall pick in 1998, and a member of the 2000 All-Rookie Team, remains without a

contract as a restricted free agent, while left wing Alexander Korolyuk is still unsigned and has threatened to stay in his native Russia for the entire season.

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