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Highs and Lows

By JOANNE KORTH, BRUCE LOWITT, ANTHONY PEREZ, MIKE STEPHENSON and JIM TOMLIN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 3, 2002


HIGHS

HIGHS

JASON GIAMBI: While the Yankees' newest superstar gets ready for the season, he also takes plenty of time to not only sign autographs for youngsters but engage them in conversation. The equally attentive Derek Jeter will have to share his popularity on a team whose fan-friendliness starts with manager Joe Torre.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Now we don't want to get off on a rant here, but getting John Madden and ditching Dennis Miller is a great trade for ABC. Of course, that's just our opinion, but we can't be wrong.

U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM: Even with more sports than ever and home field -- ice? snow? -- advantage, piling up 34 medals in Salt Lake City was a remarkable achievement.

LOWS

NASCAR: With five laps to go in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, NASCAR red-flagged the race after an accident, stopping the action and potentially changing the outcome. Sunday, with five laps left in the Subway 400 at Rockingham, there was a caution with five laps. Red flag, right? Nope, it finished under caution. Question: When does NASCAR see red? Answer: Apparently, whenever it feels like it.

DEATH OF JIM FINCH: The loss of his unmistakeable call of "Heeeeeerrrrrreeee come the Gators" and wonderful deadpan tone as the public address voice of the Gators for nearly 40 years will make football Saturdays at Florida Field a little less memorable.

ENRON: It's being paid $2.1-million from the Astros to remove its name from their ballpark. Getting $2.1-million? "Get out of here before we call the cops -- and don't come back!" would be a more fitting goodbye by the team.

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