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April 8, 2001
Devil Rays
Weather, Red Sox shut down Rays
[AP photo]
Boston rookie Paxton Crawford befuddles Tampa Bay in a 6-2 victory as the game-time temperature registers 42 degrees.

Rays' 'survivor' takes lessons from loathing
BOSTON -- Last season was not a lot of fun for any of the Rays. Especially not for Larry Rothschild. The manager found himself the subject of harsh criticism over the team's disappointing season, and speculation was so intense that he'd be fired, he began to believe it himself.

Williams benched for another day
BOSTON -- Centerfielder Gerald Williams was on the bench again Saturday and could stay there awhile.

Rays tales
FOR OPENERS: Every player has an opening-day story, but few have one that can match John Flaherty's first big-league opener.

Hubert Mizell
This duel promises classic major action
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Sunday's door is open, ready for a Slam.

The Masters
Mickelson stalking Tiger
Woods closes in on history, but the PGA Tour's best left-hander has another chance to play the spoiler.

Calcavecchia not afraid of buddy Tiger
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Mark Calcavecchia had hoped to play in the final group today with Tiger Woods, and it took a final-hole birdie from Phil Mickelson to prevent it.

Contenders get a grip on odd putting styles
Calcavecchia, DiMarco and Mediate prefer good rolls over convention.

Amen corner
WHO CRUISED: Phil Mickelson, who trails Tiger Woods by a shot, got through with par-par-birdie; Mark Calcavecchia went birdie-par-birdie; Chris DiMarco made three straight pars; Ernie Els went par-par-eagle; David Duval had three straight pars; and Angel Cabrera had par-birdie-birdie.

Retooled Astros off to good start
The most improved team in the NL did not spend millions on free agents in the winter. The major off-season acquisition was an oft-traded catcher who hit seven home runs in 2000.

Baseball this week on TV

Baseball briefs
McGwire likely out until Monday

Goal is efficient passing
TAMPA -- There's a better chance old school coach Tony Dungy will have his ears pierced and visit a tattoo parlor before he opens up the offense this season.

College football
Leavitt says offense, defense inconsistent
TAMPA -- While the defense impressed through much of USF's second spring scrimmage Saturday, it was the inconsistency of the offense -- and near the end on defense -- that stood out to coach Jim Leavitt.

Ground game sizzles for 207 yards
MIAMI -- Coach Larry Coker concedes the Hurricanes don't have any receivers in the class of graduating stars Santana Moss and Reggie Wayne.

Rix has better game,but Boldin still in hunt
TALLAHASSEE -- On a day when last season's Heisman Trophy winner, Chris Weinke, was honored, Florida State's current quarterback controversy remained unsettled.

QBs stay close as Spurrier wants improvement
GAINESVILLE -- Sophomore quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Brock Berlin combined for 476 yards passing and three touchdowns Saturday in Florida's annual Orange and Blue spring game.

Barnaby knows thrill of playoffs
But he and Lightning mates will have to be satisfied with trying to win finale.

Don't discount surging Stars
WASHINGTON -- Thinking about the Avalanche, Devils or Red Wings as potential Stanley Cup champions? Well, don't forget the Stars.

Arena football
Storm edges Orlando on late TD
TAMPA -- The Storm had eight months to seethe over last season's Arena Football League playoff loss to the Orlando Predators.

Rays make bad moves once again
Another season beginning, and again I meet frustration trying to support the Rays. Once more, stupid moves are made by their "brain trust" that make it hard to support them.

Valderamma: many reasons to smile
He is Carlos Valderamma, one of the most visible players in international soccer, and in his second stint with the Mutiny. Through interpreter Janet Vasquez, Mutiny sales manager for the Hispanic community, here is El Pibe on his fears, his hair, his children, playing in the World Cup, the Virgin Mary and his ability to speak English:

Netherlands shuts out Germany in Davis Cup
The Netherlands made another strong showing in the Davis Cup, defeating Germany in doubles Saturday to reach the semifinals for the first time.

NBA briefs
Celtics within a game of eighth

Women's soccer dream comes true
The WUSA culminates a decade of growth from virtually nothing to a new pro league.

WUSA team-by-team

Captain's corner
Snook fishing on the north Suncoast flats has been outstanding. Mild weather has raised water temperatures and brought greenbacks to the flats. When the greenbacks arrive each year, it seems snook can't resist them. But as snook see more greenbacks on hooks, the snook become more selective, requiring subtle changes to draw strikes.

Et cetera
Highs and lows

Week in sports

Sports briefs
Arizona student loses sight in eye after riot

Point Given scores impressive win in prep
ARCADIA, Calif. -- Point Given solidified his role as the early Kentucky Derby favorite by pulling away from five rivals Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby.

Half-dozen Dragons make commitments
In all, 11 Jefferson players are expected to sign.

Cougar wants another chance
After losing in the first round last year, Jennifer Dent looks to return to the state tournament.

Cougars outlast Hurricanes again 1-0
DUNEDIN -- By all means, Countryside and Palm Harbor U. should have been fairly worn out by the time they met in the Dunedin Invitational final.

Leopards prove no match for Falcons
Dunedin crushes Hernando 17-4 in the first round of the Dunedin Easter Tournament.

Chamberlain cruises past Gaither 10-0
TAMPA -- Chamberlain disposed of Gaither in five innings Saturday with a 10-0 victory. The Chiefs (21-1-1), powered by Niki Trowell's three-run homer in the first inning, built a 4-0 lead.

Seminole rolls to 8-0 victory
SEMINOLE -- Defending champion and host Seminole used strong pitching by senior T.J. Large to defeat St. Petersburg 8-0 in the opening round of the Steve Georgiadis Tournament.

BD's Robin sets Classic mark
ST. PETERSBURG -- Nine months ago trainer James Campbell predicted his greyhound, BD's Robin, would make it to the final of the $100,000 Distance Classic at Derby Lane.

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