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Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Age requirement will be implemented for bat boys

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Even if Dusty Baker ends up managing the Chicago Cubs next season, his little bat-boy son won't be allowed in the Wrigley Field dugout with him.

Baseball's general managers will discuss an age requirement for bat boys on Tuesday in response to a near-accident involving 3-year-old Darren Baker during the World Series.

''We will issue a directive under the authority of the commissioner that enacts a minimum age,'' Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office, said Monday at the annual GM meetings.

Pettitte, Nen, Wakefield make free-agency decisions

NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte conditionally filed for free agency Monday while he waits to learn if the New York Yankees exercise his $11.5 million option for 2003.

The 30-year-old left-hander, 13-5 with a 3.27 ERA in a season twice interrupted by elbow pain, has a contract that calls for the Yankees to notify him of their decision by Friday.

If the Yankees decline the option, they would pay a $2 million buyout and Pettitte could negotiate with all teams.

San Francisco closer Robb Nen decided to stay with the Giants, exercising his $8.6 million option Monday rather than take a $2 million buyout and become a free agent.

''He's pretty happy with the way things went and decided to remain there for another year,'' Nen's agent, Scott Boras, said Monday.

The 32-year-old Nen was 6-2 with 43 saves and a 2.20 ERA this year, helping the Giants win their first NL pennant since 1989. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Friday, and the team expects him to be ready for the start of spring training.

Boston agreed to a $13.02 million, three-year contract with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

Bulger to start next game for St. Louis; Faulk out

ST. LOUIS -- Kurt Warner is not ready to start for the St. Louis Rams just yet.

The star quarterback, who has missed five games with a broken right pinkie, resumed throwing last Thursday and tossed several 40-yarders before the Rams' game against San Diego on Sunday.

But coach Mike Martz said Monday that doctors don't want to rush Warner back, so Marc Bulger will start again. Bulger had a team-record 36 completions for 453 yards -- fourth-best in franchise history -- in the 28-24 come-from-behind victory over the Chargers.

''After talking to the doctors, they were in agreement,'' Martz said. ''It's just too risky to start him and not get that finger banged around. This will give him that extra week to heal.''

Holtz says he'll return to South Carolina next year

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Lou Holtz intends to return as South Carolina's football coach next year, blaming himself for his team's poor play following a strong start to the season.

The 65-year-old coach has three years left on his contract and is looking toward a 31st season. He has been at South Carolina four seasons.

Wind scraps start to next round of America's Cup

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Strong wind forced a postponement to the start of the quarterfinals of the America's Cup on Tuesday.

Organizers waited about five hours before ruling the yachts could not sail on Hauraki Gulf. Gusts of more than 20 knots were recorded throughout the morning, with rough conditions expected into the afternoon. Racing cannot start in wind averaging less than 7 knots or more than 19.

Bonds homers but Japanese stars rally for 8-2 win

FUKUOKA, Japan (AP) -- Before winning another NL MVP award, Barry Bonds homered again for the major league all-star team, their only runs Monday in an 8-2 loss to their Japanese counterparts.

Bonds crushed a two-run homer in the first inning at Fukuoka Dome to give his team the lead but Japan rallied and took a 2-0 lead in the seven-game series.

''It was nice to get the early lead,'' Bonds said. ''But we're just not playing well. We're not getting any hits and they are.''

Bonds struck out three times in the first game Sunday and is 1-for-7 in the series. He was MVP of the 2000 exhibition tour of Japan, hitting four homers with nine RBIs.

Hideki Matsui went 1-for-4 with a single that struck pitcher Mark Buerhle, knocking him out of the game. The outfielder who becomes a free agent Tuesday and is expected to be pursued by the Yankees.

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-5 and is hitless in nine at-bats in his return to Japan. The Yankees' Bernie Williams and Jason Giambi were also hitless Monday, and the major leaguers managed just seven hits.

The Japanese all-stars, who won 8-4 at Tokyo Dome on Sunday, tied the score in the third when Hiroki Kokubo singled, Kosuke Fukudome tripled and Kazuo Matsui hit a sacrifice fly.

Japan's all-stars went ahead 6-2 in the fourth after Hideki Matsui lined a ball off Buerhle's left shoulder for a single. Buerhle left with a bruise, an injury not considered to be serious, and Arizona's Miguel Batista relieved.

''It's just sore,'' Buerhle said. ''It feels like someone punched me in the shoulder. I saw it coming back at me and just tried to get out of the way.''

Michihiro Ogasawara hit a two-run single, and Hiroki Kokubo followed with a two-run homer.

Alex Cabrera, who used to play for Arizona and tied Japan's single-season record with 55 homers this season, homered off Batista in the fifth and singled home a run in the seventh.

Kenshin Kawakami, who went 12-6 in the regular season and pitched a no-hitter on Aug. 1, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings and got the win.

''I thought they would hit me more,'' he said. ''I was told to pitch them inside and it worked.''

Game Three is scheduled for Tuesday at Osaka Dome. Montreal's Tomo Ohka may start for the major leaguers.



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