For the rest of the 2003 season, Jaguars punter Chris Hanson, who needed surgery on his right (nonkicking) shin after gashing it with an ax while chopping a tree stump—in the Jags' locker room. Last month, to support his "keep chopping wood" mantra, Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio had the stump delivered to Alltel Stadium, and players took turns chopping at the stump every day at practice. Hanson, the team's only Pro Bowler in 2002, missed the stump and hit his leg last Thursday and will have to wear a hard boot for four to six weeks. Hanson, who seems to have a knack for unusual injuries, suffered second-degree burns in June after a fondue pot fell on his kitchen floor at his home in Jacksonville. As of Sunday the stump remained in the Jaguars' locker room, but the ax had been removed. Said Del Rio, "We may need to come up with a new [motto]."
Australian-born golfer Jan Stephenson, for saying top-earning Asian players are "killing" the LPGA tour by not making themselves more available for promotional purposes. In the November issue of Golf Magazine, Stephenson, 51, said that if she were the LPGA commissioner, she would have a quota on Asian players. "This is probably going to get me in trouble, but the Asians are killing our tour," said Stephenson. "Their lack of emotion, their refusal to speak English when they can speak English. They rarely speak. We have two-day pro-ams where people are paying a lot of money to play with us, and they say, 'Hello, goodbye.' " In a statement last week Stephenson said, in part, "I clearly understand how these comments could be taken as racial comments, and for that I am truly sorry." Annika Sorenstam, the world's No. 1 player, called Stephenson's comments "pathetic," while South Korea's Grace Park, one of four Asians among the LPGA's top six money earners, said, "She has her own opinion. I just don't like the fact that she picked on Asians.... She should come and play with me. I have great emotions."
By the ATP, an investigation into suspicious betting patterns on three men's tennis matches that not only had unexpected results but also attracted what the ATP calls "considerable" gambling activity. The most recent match under suspicion was played last week in Lyon, France, between Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Spain's Fernado Vicente, who was initially touted as a 5-to-1 underdog but ended up the favorite after a flurry of prematch gambling activity. Because of the unusual swing, betting was suspended six hours before the match, which Vicente then won in straight sets, his first win since June. The ATP's penalty for a player guilty of match-fixing is a three-year suspension and a $100,000 fine, but there is no evidence that either player was involved in any wrongdoing.
After 37 years and five World Series rings, Yankees organist Eddie Lay-ton, the Cal Ripken Jr. of the keyboard set. Layton, who'll quit after the playoffs, hasn't missed a game since his hiring in '67. When his retirement was announced during a Sept. 28 game between the Yanks and the Orioles, the players on both teams stood to clap as the crowd chanted his name. Says Layton, "I welled up, but they had me on Diamond Vision and I didn't want to cry."