Pat Dobson dies suddenly
Pat Dobson, one of four Baltimore Orioles pitchers to claim 20 wins during the 1971 season, died suddenly on Wednesday aged 64. The announcement was made on Thursday by the San Francisco Giants, where Dobson had been a scout and special assistant to general manager Brian Sabean for nine years. Dobson posted a record of 20-8 during the 1971 season as part of a punishing Orioles starting rotation that included Dave McNally (21-5), Mike Cuellar (20-9) and Jim Palmer (20-10).
Former inmate ready to box
Scott Harrison believes his stint in a Spanish jail will help him retain his WBO featherweight title next month. Harrison, who was released on Nov. 13 after 5 1/2 weeks behind bars in Malaga, Spain, for an alleged assault, is scheduled to fight Nicky Cook on Dec. 9 in London. "The food wasn't very good in prison. I was eating two meals a day and my weight's come down," Harrison said on Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since his release on bail. "The boys in the jail made a skipping rope for me and some weights as well and I was also able to do some push-ups," he said.
Columbus gets new coach
Ken Hitchcock was headed back to Philadelphia for his first game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. A month after being fired by Philadelphia, Hitchcock was formally introduced on Thursday as the Blue Jackets' coach. Columbus, last in the NHL standings, were scheduled to play the Flyers -- just a point ahead of the Blue Jackets -- yesterday in Philadelphia. "When I was on the plane flying here, I felt like, `Man, I'm in The Twilight Zone."' Hitchcock said. "I hope the players have a lot better day than I'll have tomorrow. It's going to be a tough day," he said. Hitchcock said his first goal is to restore the team's confidence.
Nyman fastest in training
The US' Steve Nyman had the fastest time in training on Thursday for the season-opening World Cup downhill tomorrow, completing the 3,136m course in 1 minute, 49.99 seconds. "I improved in areas where I was horrible yesterday, but there were some areas where I messed up today that I was great in yesterday," said Nyman, from Provo, Utah. "It's a training run. That's the beauty of downhill. It's not just one day. It's three days of preparation for the big day." Austrian Christoph Gruber, the fastest in the first training run on Wednesday, was second in 1:50.1, and Sweden's Patrik Jaerbyn followed in 1:50.66.
Beijing course `for climbers'
Top sprinters like Tom Boonen and Robbie McEwen can forget about going for gold in the Olympics' road race in Beijing in two years, one top official said. The Beijing course was given its first public airing on Thursday, and top International Cycling Union (UCI) delegate Charly Mottet has called it a "true course for climbers." "It's similar to a climbing stage on the Tour de France," said Mottet, a former champion cyclist who is now a consultant for planning stages on major races. "What is being proposed, but hasn't been approved yet, is a start near the Forbidden City, going past Tiananmen Square and then leaving Beijing towards the Great Wall of China. "That part is 80 km, and all of it is flat. But then, when they reach the Wall the riders will have to negotiate a circuit of 24 km to be covered six or seven times," Mottet said in the interview with Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure.
Vietnamese tackle UK sides
Vietnamese top-flight team Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) will travel to England next month to take on three Premier League clubs in friendly matches, state media reported yesterday. HAGL, who finished fourth in this season's V-League, will face Arsenal on Dec. 13, Charlton Athletic on Dec. 16 and Tottenham Hotspur on Dec. 21, reports said. The club's chairman visited London last month to discuss commercial deals with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, in which HAGL would promote the clubs in Vietnam in return for Premier League coaches training their players.
Swiss likely to probe Ullrich
Swiss anti-doping chiefs said on Thursday they are likely to open disciplinary proceedings against former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich in January. Bernhard Welten, the commission's legal expert, told reporters he expected the disciplinary body to deliver a ruling about two months after it takes up the case, the average for most cases its considers. Welten said he was waiting for documents to arrive from Germany before opening the procedure. "That will most probably be at the beginning of January. As soon as these documents are in I will put together the case file and petition the disciplinary chamber for a decision," he said. Ullrich, a former Olympic champion who won the Tour's yellow jersey in 1997, was barred from competing in this year's Tour de France after being implicated in a doping investigation by Spanish police. The German cyclist, who has a Swiss cycling license, is alleged to have been given EPO, steroids and human growth hormone by a Madrid doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes, who is accused of running a major doping ring.
Bridge extends Chelsea deal
Defender Wayne Bridge signed a new four-year contract with two-time defending English Premier League champion Chelsea on Thursday. Bridge had 18 months left on his contract but is now signed until 2010. "I feel as though I'm playing well this season," the 26-year-old England international said. "I believe that I will continue to get opportunities. It's been a great week for me and I'm delighted to have signed." Bridge joined Chelsea in 2003 from Southampton and spent last season on loan to Fulham. He has made 85 appearances for Chelsea and has won 24 international caps.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions