Originally created 02/07/98

Overtime: News and notes from the world of sports



Leiter traded to N.Y. Mets

In yet another move to dismantle the World Series champions, the Florida Marlins traded pitcher Al Leiter to the New York Mets on Friday.

The Marlins, who have gotten rid of 12 players from the 25-man championship roster in a salary purge, acquired three minor league prospects for Leiter and infielder Ralph Milliard.

Leiter, 32, was 11-9 with a 4.34 ERA in 27 starts last year. The left-hander was 0-1 with no saves in the postseason. He made two appearances in the World Series, going 0-0 with a 5.06 ERA against Cleveland.

Since beating the Indians, Florida has shed nearly half its roster either by trade, release or the expansion draft. The salaries of those dozen players accounted for $29.34 million of the Marlins' $53.54 million payroll last season.

Completing months of negotiations, the Minnesota Twins finally traded All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch to the New York Yankees on Friday, shedding their last big-name player.

New York, seeking to regain the World Series title it failed to retain, gained one of the top leadoff hitters and speed threats in the game. Knoblauch joins a potent lineup that already includes Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill and Derek Jeter.

Outfielders George Lombard and Curtis Pride agreed Friday to one-year contracts with the Atlanta Braves, and Pride was invited to spring training as a non-roster player.

Lombard, 22, hit .264 with 14 home runs and 72 RBI in 131 games at Class A Durham last year.

Pride, 29, played with the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox last season. He hit .210 with two home runs, 19 RBI and six stolen bases in 79 games for the Tigers and homered in his first at-bat for the Red Sox on Sept. 19 against the Chicago White Sox.

Pride has batted .258 with 14 homers and 58 RBI in 234 major league games. Pride is the fifth deaf player in major league history.

Outfielder Troy O'Leary and the Boston Red Sox agreed Friday to a $14.8 million, four-year contract, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for next week.

Right-hander Hector Carrasco, acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft on Nov. 18, agreed Friday to a $685,000, one-year contract.

Pitchers Darren Oliver and Aaron Sele, counted on to form the foundation of the Texas Rangers' starting rotation this year, agreed to one-year contract Friday and avoided arbitration.

Augusta State's season-opening series against Armstrong Atlantic State will start Sunday at 1:30 p.m., followed by a Monday doubleheader beginning at noon. The series originally was scheduled to begin today.

Clemson pitcher Ryan Mottl picked up where he left off last season, pitching seven innings, allowing only five hits and getting credit for the Tigers' 4-2 victory over South Florida on Friday. The contest was part of the Olive Garden Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. Clemson's second game against Auburn on Friday was postponed by rain until today, when the Tigers also are scheduled to play Central Florida.

BOWLING:

Aiken's Donnie Lybrand, 39, rolled his first 300 game in 18 years Tuesday night at Northside Lanes in North Augusta. He threw 17 strikes in a row, starting in his second game. Lybrand carries a 185 average.

Jeremy Key, 18, who's been bowling since he was 10, rolled a 299 game on Jan. 20 at Brunswick National Lanes for his first honor score. It came during University League action. He was so pumped that he threw a Brooklyn on the final frame and left a solid 5-pin. He wound up with a 299-173-144 -- 616.

TENNIS:

Steffi Graf will make her oft-delayed comeback from a knee injury at next week's WTA tournament in Paris.

The former No. 1 in the world was scheduled to play this week's Pan Pacific Open, but withdrew when her surgically repaired knee flared up again.

A matchup between No. 1 Martina Hingis and No. 2 Lindsay Davenport in the Toray Pan Pacific Open moved a step closer Friday as both won quarterfinal matches.

Hingis, fighting a cold in her second match since her successful Australian Open title defense, beat Italy's Rita Grande 6-2, 7-5. Davenport defeated Romania's Irina Spirlea 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5).

An angry Goran Ivanisevic broke his racket before beating Czech Jiri Novak 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (11-9) in the quarterfinals of the $400,000 Croatian Indoors on Friday.

The second-seeded Ivanisevic was joined in today's semifinals by top-seeded Greg Rusedski of Britain, who defeated Martin Damm of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4.

In the other quarterfinals, No. 5 seed Marc Rosset of Switzerland downed Rainer Schuttler of Germany 6-2, 6-2, and Martin Sinner of Germany defeated Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0).

BOXING:

Evander Holyfield will be honored with his second straight Fighter of the Year award at the Boxing Writers Association of America's annual dinner April 3.

The WBA-IBF heavyweight champion is the third fighter to win the Edward J. Neil Award three times. He also is the first to win the award outright consecutively. Muhammad Ali won it in 1974 and shared it with Joe Frazier in 1975.