Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2002

Favre says he's sorry for obscene gesture

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre apologized Wednesday for making an obscene gesture toward Chris Hovan after the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Also, the league said that the participants in the teams' postgame melee about 50 yards away from the Favre-Hovan exchange Sunday night could expect fines but not suspensions when punishment is meted out Thursday.

''I wouldn't rule anything out, but I can say in the past if a player was suspended, it happened earlier in the week,'' league spokesman Michael Signora said Wednesday.

The league usually lets teams know of suspensions right away so they can prepare replacements and aren't caught off guard after they've begun installing the game plan.

Guilty pleas set to end prosecution in scams

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- With one guilty plea Wednesday and another expected, the prosecution of three college buddies is ending less than two months after suspicions were raised by a $3 million payoff at the Breeders' Cup.

Glen DaSilva, a technology management consultant from New York, admitted in federal court Wednesday that he had made about $200,000 through two conspiracies: one that used bet-processing computers to alter wagers and one that duplicated other horse players' winning tickets.

The three former fraternity brothers charged in the scheme were caught, DaSilva's lawyer said, because, ''These guys are amateurs. They're really not cut out for a life of crime.''

OneWorld ties Prada 1-1; Alinghi beats Oracle

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Seattle's OneWorld Challenge benefitted from a penalty imposed on Prada of Italy, tying its America's Cup challenger semifinal at 1-1 Thursday.

In the other semifinal, Alinghi beat Oracle by 46 seconds to extend its lead to 3-0 and move within one victory of the challenger final.

Gebrselassie sets world best for road 10,000 meters

DOHA, Qatar -- Haile Gebrselassie earned $1 million Wednesday by setting a world best for 10,000 meters on a road course that starts and finishes at the same spot.

The Ethiopian finished in 27 minutes, 2 seconds at the QSI road race, and received the cash prize from organizers. The old mark was 27:11 by Sammy Kipketer.

Reports: NFL cites poor officiating in Vikings' loss

MINNEAPOLIS -- The NFL has acknowledged its officiating crew made at least nine mistakes during Sunday's Green Bay-Minnesota game, including a key pass interference call, two newspapers reported Wednesday.

The mistakes were documented in a confidential memorandum, the Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press said, citing unidentified sources.

The Vikings (3-10) lost the game 26-22 in Green Bay. Eight of the affected plays occurred in the fourth quarter, when the Packers (10-3) made up a nine-point deficit with two touchdowns. An interference call negated a Vikings' interception on the Packers' game-winning drive.

Morriss pledges commitment to winning at Baylor

WACO, Texas -- Guy Morriss is back in the state of Texas and promising big things for Baylor, even though the Bears are one of the worst teams in the Big 12 Conference.

''I believe we can win here,'' Morriss said at a Wednesday news conference attended by about 250 Baylor fans and school officials. ''We're going to put some accountability and pride back in this program, and we're going to start this afternoon.''

Morriss resigned from Kentucky after two seasons to return to his home state for his biggest challenge yet -- turn the woeful Bears into winners.

Kent wants to return to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Kent is interested in returning to the San Francisco Giants, and general manager Brian Sabean believes there's a 50-50 chance of it happening.

And those are pretty good odds considering the circumstances, Sabean said.

Sabean spoke Tuesday with the star second baseman, who has been offered arbitration by the club. Kent is discussing a long-term deal with the Giants and several other teams, his agent, Jeff Klein, said Wednesday night.

''I think Jeff and Brian had a good conversation, and Jeff continues to seriously consider the possibility of coming back,'' Klein said.

Kent, the 2000 NL MVP, has until Dec. 19 to accept or reject the Giants' arbitration offer, and may negotiate with San Francisco through Jan. 8.

But the Giants aren't going to wait for Kent, either, if an attractive deal presents itself at baseball's winter meetings beginning Friday in Nashville.

''At this point, we're encouraged and we do feel that he does want to come back,'' Sabean said. ''There has been sincere dialogue between both sides, but we know what we're up against.

''We're prepared to go forward as needed, and Jeff realizes that. If something jumps on our plate, we will pull the trigger. Everyone knows how we do business, including him. We're proactive.''

Kent, 34, is willing to play a different position, too. The NL champions signed second baseman Ray Durham last weekend to a $20.1 million, three-year contract with a $7 million player option for a fourth season.

''Jeff has always indicated that he wants to win,'' Klein said. ''He has demonstrated in the past that he'll do whatever is asked to help his team win, be it the Giants or another team. Jeff has the ability to play three positions in the National League and four in the American League with the designated hitter. His versatility is a positive.

''There are not many teams that wouldn't want Jeff Kent based on his production and his performance.''

Kent, who has driven in at least 101 runs in each of his six seasons with the Giants, hit .313 with 37 homers and 108 RBIs last season as the Giants won the NL pennant for the first time in 13 years. They lost the World Series to Anaheim in seven games.

Klein refused to speculate on the chance of Kent returning, but indicated talks with the Giants and other clubs would ''accelerate in the near future.''

''To me, a deal's done when it's done, and up until then it's not done,'' Klein said. ''Our dialogue has been candid.''

Kent is loyal to Sabean, assistant GM Ned Colletti and owner Peter Magowan. The Giants acquired Kent in 1996 trade with Cleveland that sent Matt Williams to the Indians.

''It's been a long, institutional relationship and personal affinity Jeff feels for Brian, Ned and Peter,'' Klein said. ''Brian and Ned showed a lot of guts in trading for Jeff in exchange for an enormously popular and talented player in Matt Williams.''

If Kent does stay put, the Giants would be forced to adjust their payroll. And Sabean is confident in San Francisco's ability to make the necessary moves.

''There are a lot of ways to balance the books and plenty of time to do it,'' said Sabean.

Pitchers could be the first to be dealt since the Giants have many of them.

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