Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Twins to put on reunion game

Former Twins American Legion baseball players are invited to play in an Old Timers Game July 30 at 6 p.m. Those interested should call Lance Coz at 283-6101 and leave phone contact information.

KCHS cross country begins practice Monday

The Kenai Central High School cross country running team will start practice Monday. All interested students should meet at the school at 10 a.m. Runners must have a current physical to participate. For more information, call Liz Burck at 262-7446 or Kim Foley at 283-4942.

Skyview football to meet Saturday

Skyview High School football players will meet at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the school foyer to receive equipment and complete paperwork.

Bulldogs set to start practice

The Nikiski High School football team will begin practice July 28 from 3:30-7:30 p.m. at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School,

Also, a parent-athlete meeting has been scheduled for July 29 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Coach Clooten at (907) 398-4149.

Yankees only team projected to pay luxury tax

NEW YORK There's only one team in baseball projected to pay the new luxury tax. You guessed it the New York Yankees.

Following last week's acquisition of reliever Armando Benitez from the crosstown Mets, the Yankees' payroll comes to $180.3 million for their 40-man roster, including benefits. The updated figure compiled by the commissioner's office translates to a projected tax bill of $10.8 million that will come due Jan. 31.

No other team is above the threshold of $117 million established by baseball's new labor contract.

''Winning is the priority here,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said before Monday night's game against Toronto. ''They generate a lot of revenue here, and there's a lot of pressure. I know George Steinbrenner made a commitment to this city that we've won and we're going to continue to try to keep winning. If that means he needs to spend more money than he planned, then he's willing to do it to plug a hole.''

The Mets had the No. 2 luxury tax payroll at $116.3 million, followed by Los Angeles ($109.2 million), Texas ($106.3 million) and Boston ($104.9 million), according to the calculations, which were distributed to teams last week and obtained Monday by The Associated Press. The actual tax will be determined based on final figures as of Dec. 20.

Payrolls are based on the average annual values of contracts, $7.6 million per team in benefits, money paid or received in trades and salary owed to released players. The payrolls are based on roster moves through July 15, with the following day's acquisition of Benitez also included in Yankees' total.

The Yankees' payroll for luxury tax purposes has gone down from February, when the commissioner's office projected it at $182 million. Back then, the Mets' payroll also was second, estimated at $122 million, followed by Texas ($113 million), Los Angeles ($109 million) and Boston ($105 million).

The Mets' payroll has gone down only slightly because the team is paying most of the salaries of two traded stars, Roberto Alomar and Jeromy Burnitz. The Yankees are paying all of Benitez's salary in the second half.

Using the conventional method of counting payrolls salaries plus prorated shares of signing bonuses for players on the 25-man roster and disabled list the Yankees' payroll has increased to $154.7 million from $149.7 million on opening day.

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