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Scorecard

April 08, 2002
April 08, 2002

Table of Contents
April 8, 2002

Golf Plus

Scorecard

STRIKING OUT
Don't believe the hype--get ready for baseball interruptus

This is an article from the April 8, 2002 issue Original Layout

Bud Selig wants you to be reassured. The baseball commissioner
announced last week that the owners will not lock out the
players this season. Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating
officer and Selig's top lieutenant, said the promise "was
designed to allay the concerns of our fans and the players." As
grandstand gambits go, it was tantamount to a realtor selling
property on a Superfund site and promising no harmful effects to
the buyer--well, for seven months anyway.

Fans, DuPuy said, "need not fear a work stoppage initiated by
the clubs"--a misguided public relations gesture that assumes
people actually care about the difference between a lockout
(which the owners initiate) and a strike (which the players
start). No one gets off blameless in a work stoppage. The
players, for instance, struck in the middle of the 1994 season,
but the owners were the ones who got lambasted for canceling the
World Series.

The players walked out that year as a preemptive move to prevent
owners from imposing major changes to the game's economic
system. Union leader Don Fehr wants you to know the owners are
cooking up a similar scenario. Gas can at the ready, Fehr could
not let Selig's ham-handedness pass without inflaming the
situation: He called Selig's promise "a tacit acknowledgement of
the clubs' continuing intention" to overhaul the system after
the World Series.

That interpretation would leave the union with two choices: wait
for the nuclear winter of the off-season or strike during the
season, which would hurt the owners. That's why Fehr has been
telling his players to put down those prestige home and luxury
car catalogs scattered around virtually every clubhouse and
start socking away some coin. Although the union has yet to set
a strike date, the All-Star Game should be considered endangered
if only because it is to be played in Selig's taxpayer-funded
playpen, Miller Park in Milwaukee. The union loathes Selig,
especially after a report in Forbes last week revealed that the
most profitable team in baseball last year (after revenue
sharing) was--surprise!--Bud's Brewers, who cleared $18.8
million.

A third possibility--a settlement--does exist, but it's as
likely as a Mo Vaughn swimsuit calendar. Red flags were flying
long before Selig's promise. The owners bungled the contraction
issue, which they had hoped to use as a bargaining chip, and
they ran off DuPuy's predecessor, Paul Beeston, the one man the
union trusted. Meanwhile the players don't even acknowledge that
there's a serious problem with competitive balance--which is
where the owners' arguments for change begin.

The rhetorical sorties of last week should leave you feeling
exactly the opposite of what the commissioner intended: Be
afraid. Be very afraid. --Tom Verducci

Glove's Labors Lost

1972
After a dispute over the players' pension plan, players strike
April 1. They return April 13 after owners agree to up
contributions to plan. Games lost: 86.

1981
Players and owners disagree on free agency rules; players strike
June 12. After reaching a compromise, players return Aug. 9.
Season is split, with division champs declared for each half.
Games lost: 712.

1985
Players strike Aug. 6 over free agency and salary arbitration.
Deal reached next day. Games lost: none.

1990
Owners lock out players from spring camps Feb. 15. New four-year
collective bargaining agreement is signed March 18. Games lost:
none.

1994
Fearing management will implement salary cap after season,
players strike Aug. 12. Playoffs and World Series are canceled.
On April 2, 1995, sides return to work under conditions of
expired deal. Games lost: 912 over two seasons.

NEW ARKANSAS COACH
THE TIDES OF MARCH

On the morning of March 26, less than 72 hours after Kent
State's improbable run to the Elite Eight had ended, Arkansas
athletic director Frank Broyles called Stan Heath, the Golden
Flashes' first-year coach, to say he wanted to interview him for
the Razorbacks' coaching job. Aware that West Virginia was also
courting Heath, Broyles sent a private plane that afternoon to
fly Heath and his wife, Ramona, to Fayetteville, Ark. The next
day Broyles offered Heath the job, and one day after that he was
introduced as Arkansas's new coach. "I still don't know how it
happened," says Heath, 37, who before going to Kent State spent
five years as an assistant at Michigan State. "Everything
happened so quickly, but that's the nature of the business."

It's also a business in which nothing succeeds like success in
March, especially for coaches at the mid-majors--schools one
tier below the powerhouse basketball programs. First-round wins
by Butler and Kent State in last year's NCAA tournament
propelled their respective coaches, Thad Motta and Gary Waters,
into head jobs at Xavier and Rutgers. Two years ago Gonzaga
coach Dan Monson parlayed his team's Elite Eight appearance into
the head job at Minnesota, while Tulsa's Bill Self did the same
in 2000 in getting hired by Illinois. "If you win a couple of
games in the tournament while at a mid-major," says Self, "you
generate interest, and the athletic director who hires you can
make a splash." In other words, says one former assistant who
got a head job last spring, "these AD's just want to win the
press conference."

Many coaches--already uneasy with the exaggerated emphasis
placed on the tournament--are troubled by this new form of March
Madness. As one head coach says of Heath, "Stan did a great job
this year, but if Arkansas was so impressed, why didn't they
hire Gary Waters, who built the team?" Even Heath concedes that
"if we had gotten knocked off in the first round, I know my
phone wouldn't have rung." If nothing else, give Heath credit
for answering the bell. --Seth Davis

Go Figure

$4,042
Amount Angels pitcher Kevin Appier, who will earn $10 million
this year, has received from the Department of Agriculture since
1996 to subsidize the 270-acre soybean, corn and sorghum farm he
owns in Kansas.

3.07
Collective grade point average for the 147 athletes who
participate in intercollegiate sports (including tennis,
basketball and soccer) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
in Daytona Beach; the student body as a whole has a GPA of 2.88.

3
Number of guards who have played in the NBA at age 40 or older;
the Jazz's John Stockton, who turned 40 last week, joins Nat
Hickey and Bob Cousy.

$145.26
Amount a family of four will spend on average at a major league
baseball game this season, as projected by Team Marketing
Report; the price includes two adult and two child tickets, two
beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, two programs, two caps
and parking.

burning Question
Do Masters champions get to keep their green jackets?

Only for a year. When the winner returns to the course to defend
his title, he is expected to return the green blazer to Augusta
National, where it stays for good. The jacket is available to
the champion whenever he visits but is not to leave the
premises--the garments are even cleaned on the grounds. Multiple
winners receive the same jacket with each victory. (That's why
Tiger Woods asked for extra-roomy measurements when he won as a
21-year-old in 1997, figuring he would be slipping on the same
blazer in future ceremonies as an older man.) This mirrors the
policy for Augusta National members, who have been wearing some
form of the green jacket since Masters founder Clifford Roberts
purchased the first batch in bulk from Brooks Uniform Company of
New York in 1937. "It's just a tradition that has evolved," says
Masters publicist Glenn Greenspan of the coats' travel
restrictions. "The champions guard the tradition as much as
anyone."

With a few exceptions. The late Henry Picard, who won the
tournament in 1938, for years had his jacket proudly hanging in
his closet at home in Charleston, S.C. Gary Player also took his
jacket home, to South Africa, after he won his first Masters
title in 1961. When Roberts called Player to remind him of the
jacket's no-travel tradition, Player told Roberts he'd have to
come to South Africa and fetch the coat himself. As a concession
Player agreed not to ever wear the jacket, and he never has--not
even to dinner in his own house.

Picture This
The Cover That Wasn't

Here at SI we've grown accustomed to receiving unsolicited
suggestions from our readers on who should appear on the cover.
(Yes, Lance Armstrong would have made a perfectly good cover
subject for our Sportsman of the Year issue.) However, even
longtime editors were taken aback at the flood of requests to
put Iowa State wrestler Cael Sanderson, who finished an
undefeated collegiate career two weeks ago, on the cover of our
April 1 issue. We received more than 100 e-mails from college
wrestling fans across the nation asking for more respect for
their sport. Many of the missives were the result of a campaign
orchestrated by Tom Owens, founder of InterMat, an amateur
wrestling website. "I welcome all of you to join me in pounding
the staff at SI to get this kid on the cover," wrote Owens in a
mass e-mail sent to wrestling aficionados. Although a feature on
Sanderson did run inside the magazine last week, wrestling fans
were clearly looking for more. With respect to the matheads of
the world, here's a peek at what SI's cover might have looked
like. Now, please, stop pounding.

good Sports
Tim Howard

When New York/New Jersey MetroStars goalie Tim Howard showed up
at media day last April to kick off the 2001 MLS season, he'd
already made his decision. Howard, who'd turned 22 a month
earlier and had just earned the starter's job with the team, felt
the time had come to reveal what he had known for 11 years--that
he suffers from Tourette's syndrome. "I knew there would be more
attention on me once I became a starter," says Howard. "I wanted
to get it out in the open."

Nearly 100,000 Americans suffer from Tourette's, an incurable
neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary
movements and vocal sounds. Other pro athletes have lived with
the condition, including former NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and
former major league outfielder Jim Eisenreich. Howard has a
relatively moderate case, though he says suppressing his tics is
physically and mentally draining. Yet Howard knows Tourette's is
far tougher for kids, who must battle the ignorant barbs of
their peers. At a MetroStars game last summer he hosted 200
children with Tourette's and held a two-hour discussion
afterward. In November, Howard was named to the board of the
Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey, where he focuses on
helping kids with the disorder.

Last year Howard was not only named MLS's Goalkeeper of the Year
after leading the league in saves (146) and save percentage
(.768) but also won its Humanitarian of the Year award. To
Howard the honors go hand in hand. "One let me know I was a good
player, the other that I was a good person," says Howard. "It
shouldn't be one without the other, but often in sports we find
it is." --Pete McEntegart

Blotter

Held Hitless

--Madonna (Mich.) University, in both ends of an NAIA
doubleheader against Indiana Tech on March 17. Both Indiana Tech
starters, John Zamora and Shaun Geise, pitched complete games,
hit one batter and walked none in what is believed to be the
first no-hit doubleheader in college baseball history.

Scheduled

--For April 6, Britain's first national sheeplechase, in which
sheep will hurdle three or four fences and a water jump while
racing over a 220-yard course. Red Ram, one of the entries, is
regarded as the world's fastest sheep after completing a
230-yard dash in 17 seconds last May.

Scared

--By the Demon, former Marlins pitcher Antonio Alfonseca.
According to a report in Fort Lauderdale's Sun-Sentinel, while
in the weight room at Florida's spring camp, the 6'5", 258-pound
Alfonseca got into an argument with conditioning coach Dale
Torborg (6'6", 270), who is also a pro wrestler called the
Demon. After being cursed at by Alfonseca, Torborg went after
the pitcher, who fled and locked himself in the trainer's
office. Alfonseca was traded to the Cubs last week.

Distributed

--Magnificently coiffed bobblehead dolls of Rockets guard Moochie
Norris, to the first 5,000 fans to arrive at Houston's game
against the Suns last Saturday. The doll's synthetic Afro makes
it the first bobblehead to come with hair.

Challenged

--The claim by Lexington, Ky., that it is the "horse capital of
the world." Over the last few years the Lexington city council
has spent some $8,000 for promotional road signs bearing that
slogan. However, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners'
Association says it received a trademark on that phrase on
behalf of the city of Ocala and Marion County last June.
Lexington mayor Pam Miller said, "We're going to pursue our
position vigorously."

The Bankrupt Millionaire

It may seem hard to believe that Saints cornerback Dale Carter
filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 15. After all, three years ago he
signed a four-year, $22.8 million deal (including a $7.8 million
signing bonus) with the Broncos. But then Carter was suspended
by the NFL for the 2000 season and half of the 2001 season for
violating the league's substance-abuse policy, his fourth such
violation. Because of the suspension, the Broncos say Carter
defaulted on his contract and want $4 million of their signing
bonus back.

Ironically, Carter signed a seven-year, $28 million contract
with New Orleans on March 12, but since this happened after he
filed for bankruptcy, the Broncos will have a tough time getting
their money. Here's a rare peek into the numbers behind a
high-profile athlete's lifestyle, courtesy of Carter's
bankruptcy papers.

ESTIMATED MONTHLY INCOME $9,551
Carter listed his expected 2002 income as $183,336 from the
Vikings, for whom he played the second half of last season. For
2001 Carter reported income of $266,668 from the Vikings; in
2000 he made $1,835,293 from the Broncos, though he didn't play
football that season.

ESTIMATED MONTHLY EXPENSES $21,245
Includes: Alimony and child support for the six children he has
by at least three women ($9,046); recreation, clubs and
entertainment ($4,000); rent and mortgage ($3,800); 2000 federal
tax liability ($1,000); auto insurance ($615); food ($600);
clothing ($500)

TOTAL ASSETS $1,250,961
Includes: Miami Beach home ($725,000); NFL annuity/401(k)
($224,744); Chevy Caprice, Jaguar and Lincoln Navigator
($50,310); cash ($1,000); household items including a 50-inch
TV, pool table and George Foreman grill ($850); jewelry ($200);
checking account ($86); men's apparel, which according to court
papers is "of value only to debtor" ($1)

TOTAL DEBTS $4,976,232
Includes: Portion of '99 signing bonus claimed by the Broncos
($4,000,000); home loans and mortgages ($601,177); 2000 federal
taxes ($201,159); loan on mother's house ($75,000); limo charges
($32,000); credit card bills ($29,237); travel expenses
($14,767); legal fees, owed to seven lawyers in four states
($6,455); jewelry repair ($600)

the Beat

A friend indeed: Even though Jennifer Capriati (right) didn't
come away from the NASDAQ-100 Open with a championship--she lost
in last Saturday's final to Serena Williams, 7-5, 7-6--at least
she can say she had the glitziest cheering section. Friends star
Matthew Perry was a conspicuous presence in Capriati's entourage
at the tournament. In addition to sitting in the stands with
Capriati's parents throughout the week, Perry also was seen
carrying the tennis star's bags and squiring her around Key
Biscayne, Fla., in her Ferrari (a recent gift from Fila, for
which she's a spokesperson). When asked about the relationship,
Capriati said, "He's just a friend." Then, smiling and making a
quotation mark gesture with her fingers, she added, "Yeah,
'friend.' We've been hanging out a little." Of course, since
Perry was a highly-ranked junior tennis player in Canada in his
younger days, the two could just be planning on some mixed
doubles. Yeah, "mixed doubles." ...Does Apolo Ohno know comedy?
(Hey, we already know he can do a fall.) Apparently so. Last
week the speed skater made his acting debut by filming a bit for
JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, a Candid Camera-esque comedy
show on the WB. In the segment (which will air in May), Kennedy,
disguised as a limo driver, picks up Ohno and his friend David
Creswell in order to drive them to a photo shoot. Kennedy then
reveals his incompetence as a chauffeur through a series of
gags: getting lost, smoking in the car, threatening to drive the
vehicle off a cliff, etc. Ohno, who's in on the joke, stays
deadpan throughout until he finally lets Creswell know what's
going on. Said Kennedy of Ohno's performance, "He kept a
straight face, plus he's a good-looking kid. He could have a
future in acting." Anyone who saw the 1,500-meter short-track
final in Salt Lake could have told you that.

This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse

Charles Mitchell, 34, a sporting goods store executive from Boca
Raton, Fla., was charged with "aggravated battery on the
elderly" after he choked a 74-year-old softball umpire into
unconsciousness because the ump had ejected the
profanity-shouting Mitchell from a game.

COLOR PHOTO: HENRY RAY ABRAMS/AFP FIELD OF SCHEMES: Fans knew the real issue behind baseball's labor problems in '94.COLOR PHOTO: BOB ROSATO CINDERELLA STORY Heath made the most of his time at the big dance and landed a new job.COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT BECK Woods and Vijay SinghCOLOR PHOTO: TIM ROSKE/AP PHOTO (SANDERSON) All Hail Cael! Iowa State's Cael Sanderson closes out his career with a 159-0 recordCOLOR PHOTO: DAVID BERGMAN (HOWARD)COLOR PHOTO: DAVID N. BERKWITZ (DOLL)COLOR PHOTO: DAVID E. KLUTHO Carter at home in 1993COLOR PHOTO: PETER MUHLY/AFP CapriatiCOLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN (JONES)
"Join me in pounding the staff at SI to get this kid on the cover."
PAGE 28
They Said It
POPEYE JONES
Wizards forward, on what he learned while teammate Michael
Jordan sat out for three weeks with a knee injury: "I found out
I had fewer relatives on the road."