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.