Sunday, March 30, 2003

Anaheim buzzing as defense of title begins


Baseball notebook: Hampton goes on DL

The Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Baseball picks up right where it left off last fall, in Anaheim, with John Lackey on the mound for the Angels before a lively crowd bearing ThunderStix - and more than a barrel full of Rally Monkeys.

The World Series champion Angels and Texas Rangers start the season today, a day ahead of everyone else. The originally scheduled opening series in Tokyo between Seattle and Oakland was called off because of the war in Iraq.

Angels fans will get their first chance to cheer the defending champions.

"It's going to be new territory for everybody. I think it's going to be tough to re-create that feeling, but I think that the excitement among the fans is very evident, just from walking down the street and talking to people," Darin Erstad said. "They're very excited about the season and they feel like we do. They want to do it again."

The Angels beat the San Francisco Giants 4-1 in Game 7 of the World Series last Oct. 27 to win the first title in the club's 42-year history. Lackey started the game and became the first rookie to win a World Series Game 7 since Babe Adams in 1909.

BRAVES: Mike Hampton joined Paul Byrd on the disabled list Saturday, another blow to the Atlanta Braves' starting rotation heading into the start of the season.

Hampton strained his right calf during a workout on a treadmill Friday night and Byrd has a sore elbow. That leaves the Braves to open with a rotation of Greg Maddux, Russ Ortiz, rookie Horacio Ramirez and Jason Marquis.

"I feel terrible because I want to get in here right away and get off to a good start and help this team," Hampton said. "That's kind of a wash now."

Hampton, who expects to be sidelined until mid-April, said he was 17 minutes into a 20-minute routine on the treadmill when he felt a sharp pain in his right calf.

"I knew exactly what it was when I did it," he said, adding he had the same injury two years ago before his first season with the Colorado Rockies.

Braves manager Bobby Cox will use a four-man rotation for the first week or so, hoping Byrd will be available by April 10. Byrd is eligible to come off the DL on April 5, Hampton on April 12.

"We've got it covered. We'll be all right," Cox said.

SATURDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS: Sammy Sosa, who needs one regular-season home run to reach 500, wrapped up his spring by going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI in the Chicago Cubs' 3-2 victory over Arizona.

• Mark Redman pitched seven shutout innings as Florida won 4-3 over the Carolina Mudcats, their Double-A affiliate.

• Torii Hunter, Doug Mientkewicz and Denny Hocking homered as Minnesota beat Milwaukee 4-0.

• Shawn Chacon capped a stellar spring by pitching five strong innings as Colorado beat Kansas City 7-3.

• Toronto's Tanyon Sturtze allowed nine runs and 12 hits in four innings as the Blue Jays tied Tampa Bay 12-12.

• Jay Gibbons, Jerry Hairston, Gary Matthews Jr. and Melvin Mora homered as Baltimore beat the New York Mets 7-3.

• Todd Zeile hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh inning as the New York Yankees beat Philadelphia 4-3.

• Josh Fogg became the first Pittsburgh pitcher since 1996 as the Pirates beat Detroit 8-3.

• Shea Hillenbrand drove in two runs as Boston beat Atlanta 2-1.

Today's MLB opener

Matchup: Anaheim Angels vs. Texas Rangers

Where: Anaheim, Calif.

Time/TV: 8 p.m./ESPN

Records last year: Angels 99-63; Rangers 72-90




AN OPENING DAY LOVE LETTER
From a son to his father

REDS BASEBALL
SEASON PREVIEW
Season opener has Reds eager
Head-first dive leaves Casey cooling heels
Reds Q&A
Architects see crowd settle in
Off-field miscues threaten Bowden's tenure as GM
The next move?
Daugherty: What's so Great about new park?
Jumbotron goes way of Atari: Oldie, but goodie
Pete look-alikes used to it
Rebuilding Indians headed on right track
Anaheim buzzing as defense of title begins

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Marquette 83, Kentucky 69
Teammates laud ailing Bogans for playing in pain
Jackson jogs Estill's memory
Kansas 78, Arizona 75
Izzo is Mr. March
Oklahoma-Syracuse will be won with defense
Roller-coaster ride continues for Boeheim
Ford leads a cast of role players for Texas
NCAA tournament notes
NCAA Tournament at a glance
Lady Vols, 'Nova meet Monday in Mideast final
Norse outmuscled in Division II final
Snardon finds positives in loss
Northeastern State 75, Kentucky Wesleyan 64
Georgetown, Ky. 71, Lee, Tenn. 58

BENGALS
Bengals Q&A

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Prep insider
KY: No. 1 Sacred Heart 42, No. 3 Lexington Catholic 40
IN: Indpls Pike 65, DeKalb 52

GOLF
Haas, 49, hardly ready to join the senior tour
Arnie joins Nicklaus for Masters encore

HOCKEY
Victory keeps Rangers alive
Griffins edge Ducks 3-2

HORSE RACING
Seven Four Seven wins fourth straight
Moon Ballad runs away with Dubai World Cup

NBA
Talk of coaching changes begins
Nets smother Golden State

TENNIS
Serena tops Capriati

TRISTATE SPOTLITE
RedHawks go for world championship
Enquirer Page Two power rankings
Over 12,000 to participate in Mini-Marathon

PLAN YOUR DAY
Sunday's sports on TV, radio

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