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 July 30, 2000

Arena football
Storm: strong win, high in the 70s

[Times photo: Mike Pease]
Tampa Bay outraces Milwaukee 72-64 in post-season opener.

Hubert Mizell
Bucs long shot winner either way
TAMPA -- Jeff Popovich is a dreamer. Challenging an ample mind, pushing an undersized pro football body, searching for his own Survivor role. Not unlike Rudy. So easy to cheer. How sharp is this fellow? College major: biochemical engineering.

Gary Shelton
Random thoughts
Hello, I'm Chuck LaMar and I just want to say this: Whee! Now that I've tried this trading thing, I think I like it.

Reader mail
Trop's great on inside
Darrell Fry's commentary Friday comparing Tropicana Field and Turner Field (Atlanta's Turner Field tops Trop for fan fun) struck a nerve. I am a Devil Rays season ticket holder and have enjoyed the atmosphere and the games at the Trop. It's a very comfortable, fan-friendly environment to see a game when it's 90 degrees, 90 percent humidity and another storm is rolling into the area.

Twisted story
Battles between offensive and defensive linemen are brutal in the NFL. Bucs guard Randall McDaniel has the scars from more than a decade of hand-to-hand combat to prove it.

So-so day of practice for the offense
ORLANDO -- The Bucs have a good chance of scoring touchdowns in the red zone. That is, if they can figure out a way to drive the ball to the opponent's 20-yard line.

McDonald is proof distractions not tolerated
ORLANDO -- Last New Year's eve, Darnell McDonald was in the lounge of the Wyndham Hotel in Chicago when he was reminded that a team meeting in preparation for the Bucs season finale against the Bears was about to begin.

Devil Rays
Rays ride Lopez to fourth straight
Right-hander's sterling outing gives Tampa Bay a 2-1 victory and its longest winning streak of the season.

Saunders to pitch in minors on Tuesday
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tony Saunders' comeback officially starts Tuesday when he is scheduled to pitch two innings for Class A Charleston at Augusta, Ga.

Trades force Yan to pen, reluctantly
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just when Esteban Yan was beginning to come around as a starter, the Devil Rays moved him back to the bullpen.

Newest Rays eager to start careers anew
From wildly different backgrounds, Jason Tyner and Paul Wilson are equally grateful for the chance to make an impact.

Two good guys get a chance they deserve
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rick White was sitting on a training room table Friday, schmoozing with a couple of teammates about the flurry of trades throughout the game, when manager Larry Rothschild came looking for him.

Triplett takes lead with 62
SILVIS, Ill. -- After playing well for the first two rounds of the John Deere Classic, Kirk Triplett had an encore in his golf bag.

Armstrong carries Olympic message
He showed up in New York last week, a messenger on a bicycle.

Old gymnastics guard fades
ST. LOUIS -- Thanks, Magnificent Seven, but the new kids are doing just fine on their own.

Joyner's 200th homer boosts Braves
ATLANTA -- It took four months for Wally Joyner to make an impact on the Braves.

M's Martinez singles in 13th for 6-5 victory
SEATTLE -- Edgar Martinez singled home the winning run in the 13th inning Saturday, giving the Mariners a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the longest game in Safeco Field's one-year history.

Cardinals shore up bullpen with Timlin
The St. Louis Cardinals fortified their bullpen Saturday by obtaining right-hander Mike Timlin from the Orioles for first baseman Chris Richard and minor-league pitcher Mark Nussbeck.

Rays earn split with shutout
ST. PETERSBURG -- Cecilio Garibaldi combined with Nate Cornejo and Chris Wright on the seven-inning shutout as the Devil Rays beat the Sarasota Red Sox 3-0 Saturday, splitting a doubleheader.

Pudge fill-in a pitcher's dream
Leave it to the Rangers to find some good in Ivan Rodriguez's broken thumb.

Focus on: Alfonso Soriano
The 22-year-old Dominican infielder from the baseball factory of San Pedro de Macoris is at Triple-A Columbus and is among the most coveted players in the Yankees minor-league system.

Local sports
Post 278 rallies to earn state trip
TAMPA -- Brandon Post 278 came back from an early 3-1 deficit to top Boys and Girls Club of Tampa 6-3 on Saturday at Jesuit in the Central Region final. Post 278 earned a trip to the American Legion state playoffs, which begin Wednesday in Lakeland.

Cross bears burden, expectations
Jon Cross went into a tailspin after his father's suicide, but the former Osceola pitcher has another shot at college.

Citrus Park 9-10 softball a winner
The Citrus Park (Section 3) 9-10 softball team defeated Seminole (Section 4) Saturday 11-1 in the first round of the state tournament.

Seminole 9-10 softball takes 1st loss
DUNEDIN -- The Seminole 9-10 softball team, which won every game in the sectional tournament by the 10-run mercy rule, was defeated in the first round of the state tournament Saturday by Citrus Park (Section 3) 11-1 at Fischer Field.

L.A. tops Houston again
HOUSTON -- Tamecka Dixon scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half as four Los Angeles players scored in double figures Saturday to rally the Sparks to an 84-74 victory over the Comets.

Mosquitoes coming out in full force
It seems like I can't step outside these days without being attacked by hungry insects.

Captain's corner
It has been a toss-up whether to target red or gag grouper. Grouper fishing in the 75- to 100-foot range has held up this summer better than I can remember.

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