Just down the road from the Disney's Magic Kingdom, major league teams toyed with trades and focused on free agents as the winter meetings began Friday. \nRuss Ortiz, Steve Finley and Richard Hidalgo found new teams, though there were no trades announced. \nArizona, coming off a 111-loss season, set the free-agent pace for the second straight day, agreeing to a US$33 million, four-year contract with Ortiz in an effort to complement Randy Johnson in its starting rotation. \nFinley, who started last season with the Diamondbacks and finished it with the Dodgers, moved down Interstate 5, agreeing to a US$14 million, two-year contract with the Anaheim Angels. \nThe Texas Rangers agreed to a US$5 million, one-year deal with right fielder Richard Hidalgo, who split last season between Houston and the New York Mets. And the Florida Marlins reached preliminary agreements with relievers Antonio Alfonseca and Todd Jones. \nAs for the biggest names, agents appeared to be holding back, waiting for the market to rise even higher. \n"When you look at last year's attendance growth, all those things put more money in the marketplace," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. \nCarlos Beltran, Adrian Beltre, Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe are represented by Scott Boras, whose clients have not reached deals until later in the offseason in recent years. \nYankees general manager Brian Cashman expected to talk Friday night with Boras and with other top agents during the weekend, including Scott Shapiro, who represents Carl Pavano. Cashman also said Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and staff ace Mike Mussina were to have called Pavano in the past week. \n"He just needs some time to see where his heart is," Shapiro said. \nAnaheim, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit and Seattle also are competing for Pavano, who pretty much has ruled out returning to the Marlins. \n"At this point in time, I'd say it's very slim," Shapiro said. "Ultimately, I don't know if they have the financial resources to compete as the market has matured to a certain level." \nNew York is close to an agreement with Jaret Wright on a US$21 million, three-year deal, and Cashman would like to get at least one other starting pitcher this weekend. He's been talking with Eric Milton, remains interested in Pedro Martinez and said he received a telephone call Thursday from a familiar voice -- David Wells. \nBoston, coming off its first World Series title since 1918, offered a one-year contract to Wells. The Red Sox also hope to re-sign Martinez and Varitek. \n"I'm sure before all the players are off the board, there will be players for whom the price is right for the Boston Red Sox," Boston GM Theo Epstein said. \nSammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Shawn Green have all been mentioned in trade talk, but it appears Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown won't be going anywhere soon. \nThe Diamondbacks said Friday that while Johnson had asked them to explore trading him to a contender, they expect the 41-year-old left-hander will remain in Arizona. The Yankees pulled out of talks last week, saying Arizona's asking price was too high, and it's not clear whether the Big Unit would waive his no-trade clause to go anywhere else. \nNew Arizona chief executive officer Jeff Moorad said the talks were over and would not resume unless "they choose to re-engage."
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens, with the fewest wins of any NHL playoff teams, ignited the rink returning from a COVID-19 hiatus with upset triumphs in Saturday openers. NHL Rookie of the Year candidate Dominik Kubalik inspired the Blackhawks to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in game one of their best-of-five qualifying series at Edmonton, Alberta, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. “We were ready to go, and I think the game was pretty good,” Kubalik said. “I felt pretty good and everything went my way, so it’s nice, but it’s just the first game,