By BRANT JAMES, BRIAN LANDMAN, PETE YOUNG, TIMES WIRES
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2003
CHICAGO -- For 93 years, the White Sox played their home games at Comiskey Park. Now their ballpark is changing names, a switch that will have a corporate ring to it.
The team announced Friday that Comiskey Park will become U.S. Cellular Field under a 23-year deal with the wireless service provider that will pay the White Sox $68-million over 20 years. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said the deal "will provide the resources for major design changes to the ballpark."
The White Sox have played at the current Comiskey Park since 1991. It replaced old Comiskey Park, across the street, the team's home from 1910-90.
CAMINITI ARRESTED: Former National League MVP Ken Caminiti violated probation by using cocaine and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The urine sample he gave Monday showed he had used the drug, according to the warrant issued in Houston.
UMPIRES: Bruce Froemming apologized for using an anti-Semitic slur that led to a 10-day suspension without pay and cost him a trip to work the major-league opener in Tokyo on March 25. He made the remark about umpiring administrator Cathy Davis after talking to officials regarding his travel arrangements to Japan. The league also is investigating if umpire John Hirschbeck made personal threats against Rob Manfred, management's top labor lawyer, last month.
ASTROS: Craig Biggio agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2004, which contains a club option for 2005 and could be worth $9-million over two years. The Gold Glove second baseman will move to the outfield to make room for former NL MVP Jeff Kent.
BLUE JAYS: Right-hander Kelvim Escobar agreed to a $3.9-million, one-year contract. Escobar was 5-7 with a 4.27 ERA and 38 saves last year, fifth-most in the American League.
PIRATES: Jeff Suppan's $1-million, one-year contract was finalized. The 28-year-old right-hander, who won 39 games with the Royals the past four seasons, is expected to be the No. 4 starter. He has a 49-64 career record and a 5.03 ERA.
Junior catcher Tony Richie had two doubles, two runs and two RBIs to lead the Florida State baseball team to a 12-4 season-opening win against the Virginia Military Institute before 1,208 at Al Lang Field. The three-game series, played in downtown St. Petersburg while Dick Howser Stadium is renovated, resumes today at 1:30. Junior right-hander Marc LaMacchia, a former East Lake High standout, will start for the Seminoles.
SOUTH FLORIDA: Linebacker Kawika Mitchell will play for the South team in the Hula Bowl today in Hawaii. Mitchell, who was born in Hawaii, is the first USF player to participate in the game. ESPN2 will air the game at 10 p.m.
Pedro Rodriguez was named jockey of the month at Tampa Bay Downs and Richard Ciardullo Jr. top trainer. Rodriguez won the Jan. 11 Sandpiper Stakes with Ebony Breeze, tying the stakes mark of 1 minute, 11.42 seconds for 6 furlongs. He is fourth among TBD riders with 23 wins and $230,571. Ciardullo has nine wins, including the $50,000 Pasco Stakes with 3-year-old Super Fuse, earning $107,289. Also, the $50,000 Gasparilla Stakes for 3-year-old fillies is today.
TENNIS: Lisa Raymond upset second-seeded Jelena Dokic 6-4, 6-2 to set up all-American semifinals at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Raymond faces Lindsay Davenport, and top-seeded Monica Seles meets fourth-seeded Chanda Rubin.
WINTER SPORTS: Seven-time national champ Michelle Kwan will skip the Grand Prix final Feb. 28-March 3 in St. Petersburg, Russia, to prepare for the World Figure Skating Championships.