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April 7, 2002
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[AP photo]
Wilson Alvarez on his first moment on the mound: "Thank God. It's great to be here again."
Yankees tell Rays: Take a cold shower
YANKEES 3, RAYS 0: Once-hot Tampa Bay is shut out for second straight game.

Naimoli, MLB: Rays in good financial shape
Both deny New York paper's report that Major League Baseball has to guarantee a loan to team.

Smith baffled by latest slump
NEW YORK -- Bobby Smith needs something.

Foley sees growth from start to finish
NEW YORK -- As the third-base coach, Tom Foley has a unique view of the Rays' accomplishments.

Rays tales
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The Rays have four rookies who'd never been to New York before this weekend. A handful of others have only been there a couple times. So you know there's bound to be some fun.

Running from the past
Bucs' Michael Pittman says he is not a woman abuser despite previous alleged incidents.

King eyes becoming starting QB again
TAMPA -- Shaun King is lean and fit, the result of a rigorous offseason conditioning program.

Kelly breaks bones in hand
TAMPA -- Bucs cornerback Brian Kelly suffered the first injury of minicamp Saturday when he broke two bones in his right hand while covering Keyshawn Johnson.

Modin might return for tonight's game
BRANDON -- Left wing Fredrik Modin practiced with the team Saturday and might be available for today's game against the Sabres. He has missed 26 games with torn cartilage in his right wrist.

Alexeev's timing improving
Once turned away after missing a flight, the young forward has progressed since.

Dudley: Troubles deep for Vinny
Former Lightning general manager Rick Dudley said Vinny Lecavalier might not ever flourish with Tampa Bay, and he still would consider trading the 21-year-old center.

John Romano
For Alvarez, return is victory enough
NEW YORK -- All this time, they have been pestering Wilson Alvarez about his shoulder. And what they were really asking about was his heart.

Hubert Mizell
An overlooked name for your 'greats' list
If a group of basketball intellectuals (no, no, let's not interject the term oxymoron) was asked, "Who are the best players ever?" the names Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson, Karl Malone, George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Shaquille O'Neal and the finest collegians I ever saw -- Pete Maravich and Bill Walton -- would appropriately slip from many lips.

Reaction mostly positive to 'new' Augusta National
Citing the need to stay current, the club alters nine holes and adds 300 yards.

College football
Spirited, tough play marks USF scrimmage
TAMPA -- A couple of things were confirmed Saturday during South Florida's second scrimmage of the spring:

Patience gives Rix edge in QB battle
TALLAHASSEE -- After Florida State's Garnet and Gold game Saturday, quarterback Chris Rix stood at his locker with his hands on his waist, engulfed by reporters.

Gators make some progress
GAINESVILLE -- Given the chance, Florida coach Ron Zook would like to have 15 more days of spring practice to work with his new team.

'02 Hurricanes ahead of '01, coach believes
MIAMI -- It was a day for defense -- and new faces.

College basketball
Oregon State can talk to Greenberg
TAMPA -- South Florida basketball coach Seth Greenberg is a candidate to fill the vacancy at Oregon State.

Home run saves series for Lions
SAINT LEO -- In coach Ed Stabile's five seasons at Saint Leo, the Lions have annually won two of three games against Sunshine State Conference rival Eckerd.

Et cetera
Highs and lows

Version of anthem off the mark
It's amazing to me that none of your baseball writers covering the Rays' opening day mentioned the self-absorbed version of the national anthem by the (U.S. Automobile Association Choir).

Panova, Dokic in Sarasota Open final
SARASOTA -- Jelena Dokic and Tatiana Panova are on the rise.

Bonds gets more rave reviews
In major-league clubhouses across the country last week, Barry Bonds commanded attention on televisions throughout the league in San Francisco's opening series against the Dodgers.

Outrigging can help land king mackerel
Interested in catching a king mackerel? Just head out to the Redington Long Pier. Kingfish season is in full swing, and the toothy critters are being pulled over its railings.

Daily fishing report: Tournament insider
Perhaps Sky Brown wondered what he and Dennis Stevens were doing 5 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday morning with the wind howling and the sea breaking over the bow of Full Contact.

Falcons return to basics, snap skid
TAMPA -- Since its 10-0 loss to Sickles in the Saladino Tournament championship game last weekend, Leto's play has been lethargic.

Pirates secure first place with 9-4 win
NEW PORT RICHEY -- After four innings, Ridgewood and Pasco stood at a 4-4 tie, the top teams in Pasco County playing each other as close as their records would indicate. In the end, the Pirates' bats were too much for the Rams.

Keswick wins titles with help
ST. PETERSBURG -- Here is how well things aligned for Keswick Christian to win the boys and girls titles at the Mustang Invitational on Saturday:

The best of brothers
As far as brothers go, you will not find many closer than East Lake's Tyler and Nate Huegel.

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