Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, October 07, 2001

Wrestling season gets under way

Homer High School hosted the Oktoberwrest Takedown Tournament Saturday.

Nikiski's Josh Hunhdorf went undefeated through four rounds of competition in the 112-pound division.

Skyview's Cody Phipps was undefeated at 119. Soldotna's Leroy Shangin and Sean Whitmore were both undefeated at 135 and 160, respectively.

Marlins keep only one coach for 2002

ATLANTA -- Tony Taylor will return as Florida's infield coach in 2002, but the rest of the Marlins' staff will not be kept.

The shake-up was prompted by manager Tony Perez's announcement Friday that he would return to a front office job after the season.

Taylor, who also serves as first-base coach, was only member of Perez's staff to have his contract renewed. He has been with the organization for nine years.

Florida will not keep pitching coach Rich Dubee, bullpen coach Joe Breeden, bench coach Freddy Gonzalez, third-base coach Lynn Jones and hitting coach Jack Maloof.

Breeden and Gonzalez had been with the organization for 10 years, Maloof and Jones nine and Dubee eight.

Breeden had the longest tenure at the major league level, serving for five seasons as both bullpen and bench coach.

Lopez could be out for entire playoffs

ATLANTA -- Braves catcher Javy Lopez will miss the first round of the playoffs and could be out for the entire postseason with a sprained left ankle.

While Lopez holds out hope of returning should Atlanta advance to the NL championship series, manager Bobby Cox isn't optimistic.

''It's not good,'' Cox said Saturday. ''They say it's going to be 6-to-8 weeks.''

Lopez received a high ankle sprain when New York's Robin Ventura crashed into him at the plate last Sunday. Paul Bako, hitting .212 with two homers and 15 RBIs, took over as the starter and will apparently keep the job through the playoffs.

The Braves' other catchers are Eddie Perez, who made his first start Saturday since early in the 1999 season, and Steve Torrealba, called up from the minors Tuesday merely as insurance.

Jordan 'willed' team to win in scrimmage

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Michael Jordan's knees may be sore, but his will to win is apparently as strong as ever.

After sitting out some drills Saturday morning, Jordan went full-throttle in the evening practice, ending with a come-from-behind victory in a scrimmage at the Washington Wizards' training camp.

''Michael led his team to a great comeback in the second game,'' Wizards assistant coach Brian James said. ''Michael willed his team to victory due to his decision-making and things like that.''

After the evening session -- which was closed to the media -- Jordan wore icebags on both knees. He answered a handful of questions from the media, mainly about his role with evaluating team personnel while on the court.

''There's a difference obviously (from working in the front office),'' Jordan said. ''I try not to let the business happen when I'm on the basketball court. I'm just trying to make things work with what we have.

''I get a closer look when I'm down on the floor than upstairs. Down here, I can see a little bit more. I can understand a little bit more from a basketball standpoint. When there's a question upstairs, I can find the answer downstairs.''

Jordan also spoke about reports that Dennis Rodman, a former teammate on the Chicago Bulls championship teams of 1996-98, is considering a comeback. Rodman said this week during a television interview that he had spoken with Jordan about a comeback attempt with the Wizards.

''That would be a tough fit because of the minutes we have to find for the young guys,'' Jordan said. ''Dennis is the kind of guy who needs to play lot of minutes just to do his job, so I don't anticipate that happening right now.''

James said the coaching staff plans to have Jordan practice once a day during the remainder of the two-a-day workouts at Trask Coliseum on the UNC-Wilmington campus. Head coach Doug Collins left immediately after the practice and was unavailable for comment.

Jordan and his teammates will get some rest Sunday. The coaching staff called off Sunday's morning workout after an evening workout that was sloppier than previous practices, James said.

Still, Jordan continued to get solid reviews from teammates.

''He looked great,'' said Wizards forward Christian Laettner, who added that Jordan looked a little tired but played ''like gangbusters'' in the evening practice.

''At his age, he can't be going through two-a-days (workouts) with us,'' Laettner said. ''He's got to let the legs rest a little bit. In three months when we've been through it all, he'll be able to go as hard as anyone everyday. But right now, he hasn't played in three years. My knees are killing me, so I know his knees are killing him.''



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