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Truth & Rumors: Oct. 13, 2004

Posted: Wednesday October 13, 2004 11:47AM; Updated: Wednesday October 13, 2004 2:00PM
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NFL

Jerry Rice
Rice is looking beyond Oakland if it means more action.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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Jerry Rice's frustration with the Raiders apparently reached a new high when he told a Sacramento radio station that he could be traded before next week's deadline and that he would welcome the change of scenery if it meant more playing time.
 -- San Francisco Chronicle

While Browns players have great respect for starting quarterback Jeff Garcia, some reportedly have had enough of his angry gestures and frustrated body language when offensive players make mistakes. There is a fine line between a QB firing up teammates with such animated gestures (which is good) and showing them up (which is not).
 -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

Panthers All-Pro defensive tackle Kris Jenkins could need shoulder surgery that might end his season.
 -- Charlotte Observer

The Dolphins say they are optimistic quarterbacks Jay Fiedler and A.J. Feeley will be able to play Sunday at Buffalo after seeing both Tuesday at team headquarters.
 -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Despite an 0-5 start, Dolphins GM Rick Spielman said he has no plans to deal any top players before the Oct. 19 trading deadline.
 -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Jeff Chandler, Tim Duncan and Bill Gramatica each worked out at the Dolphins' training facility. But the favorite, Matt Bryant, arrived in South Florida on Tuesday night and isn't due to kick for Miami until today The Dolphins are expected to sign former Tennessee Titans receiver/returner Jake Schifino, who worked out Tuesday.
 -- Palm Beach Post

The Dolphins were expected to Gramatica to fill in for Olindo Mare in case Mare, as expected, is unable to kick Sunday at Buffalo. The team had long snapper Shawn Lynch and offensive tackle Lance Nimmo in for a workout.
 -- Miami Herald

The mere mention of replacing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with Tommy Maddox appears to be enough to make you laugh. At least, it sure felt that way to Steelers coach Bill Cowher on Tuesday.
 -- Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Mindful that the Packers are 1-4 and have lost three straight home games for the first time in 13 years, president Bob Harlan indicated that no changes regarding the team's coaching staff or front office are forthcoming.
  -- Green Bay News-Chronicle

No one has asked former Packers GM Ron Wolf whether he would want to become a part of the team's board of directors, but Wolf indicated in a recent interview that he would consider it an honor if asked.
 -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Despite depth concerns at defensive end so pressing that he moved Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcus Stroud against San Diego, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio continues to rule out re-signing of Tony Brackens.
 -- Jacksonville Times-Union

John Abraham (who leads the AFC with six sacks), Kareem McKenzie and Shaun Ellis (who recently rejected an offer that included about $14 million in guarantees) will be unrestricted free agents. Even though they have a ton of cap room in 2005, the Jets will be hard-pressed to re-sign all three.
 -- New York Daily News

His agent has stopped lobbying the Bills to trade running back Willis McGahee. But the Dolphins would be an intriguing destination for McGahee, and not just because that franchise has yet to find a permanent replacement for Ricky Williams.
 -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

MLB

Don't be surprised if the Angels make another run at Arizona's Randy Johnson in the offseason.
 -- Orange County Register

Red Sox manager Terry Francona sounded very much like a man who wants management to re-sign free-agent-to-be Jason Varitek.
 -- Bergen Record

The Reds' decision to part ways with captain Barry Larkin could have implications on the Red Sox. Depending on which way Boston goes with the shortstop position in the offseason -- retaining free agent Orlando Cabrera or signing Edgar Renteria -- Larkin could draw serious interest from the Sox as a backup.
 -- Boston Herald

As a free agent, Troy Glaus could command a deal similar to the six years and $66 million that Oakland gave third baseman Eric Chavez in March. Angels manager Mike Scioscia is a strong advocate of shortstop David Eckstein. But GM Bill Stoneman is a longtime admirer of potential free agent Cabrera.
  -- Riverside Press Enterprise

The Dodgers already have more than $40 million committed to Shawn Green, Jeff Weaver, Darren Dreifort and Kazuhisa Ishii, and Adrian Beltre will likely command a deal similar to the Chavez deal.
 -- Riverside Press Enterprise

Braves president Terry McGuirk won't slash payroll for 2005, refuting rumors of another round of cuts following last winter's $15 million reduction. But with J.D. Drew, Jaret Wright and four others eligible for free agency, and Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal eligible for arbitration, it's still going to be difficult for GM John Schuerholz to put together another contender with an $82 million payroll.
 -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Everyone correctly assumes Carlos Beltran will end up with the Yankees, so why waste a big chunk of an important offseason that would be better spent focused on free agents with a legitimate chance to end up in Baltimore? The Orioles will be better served moving quickly and decisively pursuing Magglio Ordonez and at least one front-line pitcher.
 -- Baltimore Sun

The Mets received permission from Yankees GM Brian Cashman to interview Willie Randolph to be their manager. Bob Brenly, the former Diamondbacks manager, said he called Mets GM Omar Minaya a week ago, but hasn't heard back yet.
 -- Newark Star-Ledger

Minaya intends to speak Dodgers field coordinator Terry Collins.
 -- New York Daily News

The Mets set up an interview with Tigers bench coach Kirk Gibson for next week.
 -- New York Post

Don Baylor interviewed for the Phillies' managerial vacancy yesterday and both parties said things went well. Charlie Manuel will interview today and Grady Little tomorrow.
 -- Philadelphia Inquirer

If former Twins outfielder Manuel is hired in Philadelphia, don't discount the possibility of him offering a coaching job to Kirby Puckett.
 -- St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Phillies will talk to Jim Fregosi, who led them to the 1993 World Series.
 -- Philadelphia Daily News

It would not be a major shock if former Orioles manager Mike Hargrove joins the list of Phillies candidates.
 -- Baltimore Sun

Seattle is weighing whether to try a first-time manager (Joe Maddon) or go with experience (Baylor). Some believe fired Mariners manager Bob Melvin will get the Arizona job, at new consultant Will Clark's urging.
 -- Newsday

Barry Bonds underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday, a 20-minute "minor arthritis cleanup," and the Giants say he's expected to be at full strength by spring training.
 -- San Francisco Chronicle

Reds GM Dan O'Brien said the team has opened contract discussions with right-handed pitcher Paul Wilson.
 -- Cincinnati Post

Shortstop Omar Vizquel moved a step farther away from Cleveland when the Indians did not exercise their half of a $5 million mutual option for next season.
 -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

Relocation -- not contraction -- is a more likely scenario for the Twins if they go two more years without a new ballpark.
 -- St. Paul Pioneer Press

NBA

Jason Kidd does not want to play for the New Jersey Nets, and that goes for Brooklyn. He has talked about a trade only at the edges, but his body language has been as direct as a Kenyon Martin dunk.
 -- Newark Star-Ledger

Potential free agent Magic forward Grant Hill says he won't opt out of his contract.
  -- Orlando Sentinel

Steven Heumann, agent for Nugget Nikoloz Tskitishvili, met with GM Kiki Vandeweghe, calling it a "good, productive discussion." Vandeweghe remains firm on waiting until the end of the month to decide whether to pick up the fourth year on Tskitishvili's contract.
 -- Denver Post

The Bulls officially will announce Gary Trent's release later this week, but the team asked him to leave over the weekend and then explained his absence was for "personal reasons." The question now is whether the Bulls might follow suit with Eddie Robinson.
 -- Chicago Tribune

Suspended after police seized evidence of dog fighting from his home, Qyntel Woods has not been charged with a crime, and his punishment was met with incredulous contempt from his agent and anger from his teammates. His agent will file an appeal with the Players Association, but Blazers GM John Nash said the team's action was "appropriate," and team president Steve Patterson called the suspension "warranted and necessary." The investigations have yet to be completed.
 -- The Oregonian

Former Blazers forward Shawn Kemp is in Seattle and is exploring opportunities to play in Europe.
  -- The Oregonian

Kings coach Rick Adelman is the latest NBA coach to lobby for an extension when his current contract nears the expiration date. But the organization's response -- cautious and noncommittal -- is both prudent and appropriate.
 -- Sacramento Bee

NHL

On the eve of the 88th NHL season, the league was busy extinguishing a fire that started when Thrashers co-owner Steve Belkin told the Boston Herald last weekend that the league plans to employ replacement players if the lockout has not ended by next fall. The league fined Belkin for his remarks, reportedly $250,000.
 -- Globe & Mail

NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin said, "This puts the lie to what they've been saying. They will stick to their demand for a salary cap and try to implement one in the future. We fail to see how one can expect to build hockey's popularity by shutting it down for an extensive period of time through an owners lockout, and then try to reintroduce it on a watered-down basis where you wouldn't have any star players who drive interest in the sport."
 -- New York Times

Coyotes owner Wayne Gretzky said, "The only thing that scares me, to be quite honest with you, is that at this point in time if we're not even talking right now, who is to think that we're going to be talking in two months? A lot of the players sort of hint that we'll probably be back in January and play a 48-game schedule, but I really don't see that. If we're not communicating, how's that going to happen? I don't understand how that's going to transpire."
  -- Arizona Republic

Winning the Stanley Cup meant the Lightning's season ticket base increased to more than 13,000 from about 10,000 and those Lightning fanatics were supposed to have a party tonight. "It's disappointing that with the lockout we're not going to be raising the banner, not only for the players but for the fans also," NHL MVP Martin St. Louis said yesterday. "It would have been nice to see that banner go up and remember what we accomplished as a team and how excited this city was about hockey. It's the sad part of this lockout."
 -- Globe and Mail

The Stanley Cup champion for 2004-05 is the New Jersey Devils. The Art Ross Trophy winner as leading scorer is Joe Sakic. And, once again, the Maple Leafs are impressive also-rans. Those results and others come from a computer simulation of the 1,230-game official NHL season by Whatifsports.com, a Cincinnati-based company that runs simulated games. 
 -- Toronto Star

Slovakia has submitted a bid to hold the 2010 world championship. Belarus, Germany and Sweden have also applied to hold the tournament.
 -- Canadian Press

Soccer

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has increased the pressure on England's Football Association to take disciplinary action against David Beckham for admitting he had got himself booked on purpose. "He is an ambassador for football so he has a responsibility as he is a great player with a lot of charisma," Blatter said. "Therefore, I am very disappointed about his behavior."
 -- Press Association (UK)

Sven-Goran Eriksson will delay until tomorrow his response to Beckham's statement that he sought a booking in Saturday's win over Wales when he knew that a rib injury would rule him out in any case. Knowing that the public think him dim, Beckham wanted to demonstrate that he does have "the brains to be that clever". People have changed their minds all right. They have decided now that he is even more foolish than they had imagined.
 -- The Guardian (UK)

Beckham will be back in action sooner than expected after a medical examination in Madrid revealed he would only be out for three or four weeks.
 -- The Guardian (UK)

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