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March 3, 2002
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Devil Rays/Spring Training
It's time to adjust
[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
John Flaherty might be a backup, or he might be traded. He just knows he won't be the Rays starting catcher.

Alvarez sharp in his return
ST. PETERSBURG -- Surprised by what he was seeing, Rays manager Hal McRae turned to his pitching coach after two pitches Saturday and asked if Wilson Alvarez was throwing too hard.

Around area camps
Giambi delivers with a powerful first impression

Age issue provides interesting angles
ST. PETERSBURG -- So far, despite rumors, there have been no birthday cakes waiting in the Rays clubhouse for Jesus Colome, no balloons for Wilmy Caceres, no choruses of Happy Birthday or Feliz Cumpleanos for Ramon Soler.

Rays tales
HOT-RODDER: When Dick Bosman isn't reconstructing a pitcher's mechanics, he often can be found rebuilding old cars into hot rods.

Hubert Mizell
Bonds' attitude doesn't detract from his historic talent
If somebody asks, "Who's the best all-around ballplayer ever?" the names Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio and maybe the disenfranchised Pete Rose seep smoothly from the lips.

Gruden sees Dunn as good fit in offense
After five years with the Bucs, the running back keeps his options open.

Watch for rising Bucs
Jon Gruden and Rich McKay say the team may trade up in the draft.

Comeback kids slam door on Florida
LIGHTNING 3, PANTHERS 2: A bout and three late goals carry Tampa Bay to consecutive wins.

Trio avoids first-class problem
TAMPA -- Lightning forward Sheldon Keefe made a veteran move last weekend -- in an airport.

Gretzky's whining lessens fan admiration
Well, Wayne Gretzky, your country got the gold medal in a very exciting game. I used to look upon you with great admiration for the stellar career you had. But after a week of your whining and stomping your feet like a little child, you've lost me and a lot of other fans. Your team played phenomenal hockey and deserved to win.

College basketball
Slow start dooms FSU
TALLAHASSEE -- On a day when five Florida State seniors were honored, the team made too many rookie mistakes that led to Saturday's 86-78 loss to Georgia Tech in the Leon-County Civic Center.

USF, tournament hopes take pounding
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- South Florida's hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid received a potentially devastating blow Saturday.

Funk keeps par streak alive
MIAMI -- Fred Funk got up and down for par three times on the back nine then birdied the 18th hole. His 71 left him 12 shots out of the lead, but it was significant for another reason. It was his 37th consecutive round at par or better on the PGA Tour.

Et cetera
Highs and Lows

Daily fishing report
Before the last cold front, grouper fishing was good in 70-90 feet. Most of the fish were on small ledges of 3 feet or less. Capt. Steve Papen had us dragging pinfish for the big red grouper that follow bait schools. He would mark a stack of bait on the recorder, then drop sardines and live pinfish up-current of the bait and drag them under the school.

Friendship Trail lives up to its billing
The Friendship Trail Bridge has been an angling hot spot for decades. Anglers continue to pull lunkers out of Tampa Bay from its catwalks.

Thistle class invades Tampa Bay waters
The Thistle Midwinter races will be conducted this week off the St. Petersburg Pier, with two races a day beginning Monday and running through Friday's final.

Boggs steps back in
The former Devil Rays player and coach lends a hand to the Wharton team in order to spend more time with his son.

Newcomers make Lecanto girls even better
CRYSTAL RIVER -- It should come as no surprise that Lecanto repeated as girls champion at Saturday's Crystal River Invitational.

Wildcats reach final four
The third-year school holds off Avon Park for a 58-53 win.

Free throws lift IRC past Mustangs
ST. PETERSBURG -- With his top player on the bench, Indian Rocks Christian coach Joe Frost had to hope for the best. There were six seconds left in his team's Class A, Region 3 final against Northside Christian and the Eagles clinged to a slim lead.

Wind can't stop Spartan
SEMINOLE -- Lakewood's Dermillo Wise battled two things in the long jump Saturday -- his opponents and the elements.

Counties split All-Star wins
CLEARWATER -- The last time Pinellas County won a Senior Soccer Challenge by a 2-0 score against Hillsborough, the coaches of this year's team were playing. That was in 1995.

This time, no rally
Lakewood goes up by 15 in the fourth and -- unlike last season -- puts Kathleen away to reach the state semis.

Panthers, Wildcats take titles
TAMPA -- The 27th annual Manuel/Griffin Relays on Saturday featured a three-team battle for the girls title that came down to the last event.

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