Sports Briefs - Taipei Times
Sun, Nov 02, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Sports Briefs


■ CricketGordon Lindsay dies

Former New Zealand test cricketer Gordon Lindsay Weir died in Auckland on Friday at the age of 95, his family said. Born on June 2, 1908, Weir played the first of his 11 tests as a 21-year-old in the second international against England's Marylebone Cricket Club at the Basin Reserve in Wellington in January 1930. His last test was against England at the Oval in London in August 1937 on a tour in which he played 22 matches. Weir played 107 first-class matches, scoring 5,022 runs at an average of 32.19. He scored 10 centuries, with a highest score of 191. He also played nine games of rugby union for Auckland between 1930 and 1932.

■ Baseball

Valentine heads to Japan

Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine is expected to arrive in Japan to begin negotiations on a contract to guide the Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League. A Lotte official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the team hopes to reach an agreement with Valentine as early as today. Valentine guided the Marines to a second-place finish in 1995, the team's best finish since 1985. The 53-year-old Valentine, who has also been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Grady Little as manager of the Boston Red Sox, spent this season as a baseball analyst with ESPN, following his dismissal by the Mets last year. He managed in New York from 1996-2002 -- leading the Mets to the 2000 World Series. He also managed the Texas Rangers from 1985-1992.

■ Olympics

Freeman to bear torch

Australian Olympic champion Cathy Freeman -- the last torchbearer at the Sydney Games -- will be the first to carry the flame on its global journey back to Greece. Athens organizers said Friday that Freeman will represent "the continuity of the games." Freeman, the 400m gold medalist in 2000, will receive the flame in Australia, at the start of a worldwide relay. The flame will first be carried across southern Greece following the traditional lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia in May. The addition of Freeman is the latest surprise in 65-day itinerary planned for the Athens flame, which will be carried by 10,000 torchbearers through all the continents except Antarctica -- with groundbreaking stops in Africa and South America.

■ Baseball

Cuban pitcher eyes US

One of Cuba's top pitchers defected in an undisclosed country so he can begin playing professionally in the US, a Cuban exile leader said Friday. Maels Rodriguez and another player, Yobal Duenas, were reported missing by Cuban authorities Saturday. "They're safe," said Joe Garcia, executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation. He declined further comment. If the players seek political asylum or residency outside the US, they most likely will be declared free agents by major league baseball and be able to sign with any team. The players' Miami-based agent, Henry Vilar, did not return telephone messages Friday. Rodriguez, a 24-year-old right-hander, is one of Cuba's top pitchers and his fastball is said to regularly top 160kph. He set the single-season strikeout record in Cuba with 263 in 178 1-3 innings three years ago. This season, he was 8-3 in 113 innings with 117 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.11. Cuban officials left him off the Pan American Games and Olympic qualifying teams, blaming arm and back injuries.

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