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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 11, 2000)
■ Veteran softball team
to face familiar foes in
Fiesta Bowl Tournament.
By Sean Callahan
There’s no better way for the
Nebraska softball team to see how
good it is going to be this year than
to play some of the nation’s elite
competition right away.
When the No. 13 Comhuskers
kick off their 2000 season at the
Fiesta Bowl Tournament in
Phoenix today, they will be play
ing three of their six games
against nationally ranked teams.
Two of those teams, FresnO
State and Arizona State, were in
the College World Series last year.
The Huskers will open play
against Wisconsin and UNLV
On Saturday, Nebraska will
play its two toughest games
against FSU and ASU before clos
ing out with Cal State-Fullerton
and No. 21 Stanford.
Last year, NU went 4-1 in the
Fiesta Bowl Tournament losing
only to Arizona State.
The Sun Devils were also the
team that ended the Huskers sea
son last year in the NCAA region
al finals. The Bulldogs ended
Nebraska’s season two years ago
when they faced each other in the
NU Coach Rhonda Revelle
likes the fact that her experienced
team, which returns all but one
starter from last year, will be test
ed so early in the season.
“This is a big weekend to find
” Its going to
be a true test of
where we are
out what we’re all about because
we’re going out and facing nation
al-caliber teams right away,”
Revelle said. “It’s going to be a
true test of where we are right
One thing that Revelle said
will be different this year is that
the Huskers have had much more
practice time outside than in years
Revelle said she can’t remem
ber a year when the weather has
been this nice.
“There have been times we’ve
gone outside to play, and we
haven’t been outside to practice,”
Revelle said. “I feel like we are
ahead of the game that way.”
Nebraska also has added depth
this season at pitcher.
With senior Jenny Voss com
ing back, the addition of junior
Penny Cope from Alabama, who
was a second team All-SEC play
er, and two other pitchers with
postseason pitching experience,
NU will have four strong-arms
throwing this weekend.
Revelle said she plans to throw
at least three of her four pitchers
this weekend depending on the
NU coach meets
old team in opener
BASEBALL from page 16
But Van Horn said that isn’t nec
essarily good for the Huskers.
“Rice is as good as anyone,” he
said. “And since they’ve lost some
close games, I’m sure they’ll be
chomping at the bit to get it turned
Van Horn said the team knows
little about Arkansas State, but they
will be able to watch the Indians ear
lier in the tournament.
The Huskers are confident they
can win some games this weekend
because of their pitching depth, Van
Senior Scott Fries, a left-hander
who led the team in innings pitched
last year, will open up against
Northwestern State. I
Fries said he’s fired up to kick
off the Huskers’ season.
“I’m excited to be the opener,”,
he said. “I’m just going to try and do
what I’ve been doing, which is to
Van Horn said he was confident
in Fries’ ability.
The College Fund.
The College Fund/UNCF
A mind bt a terrible thing to waste.
“He’s got the senior experience,”
Van Hbm said. “He’s a strike-throw
er that doesn’t get rattled. If we
played defending champion Miami,
we’d probably pitch Scott.”
Sophomore right-hander Shane
Komine, who was the Big 12
Freshman of the Year, will take the
mound dgainst Rice.
Senior Chad Wiles, a right-han
der who won some big games
toward the end of last season, will
pitch against Arkansas State.
Jamie Rodrigue, a freshman
left-handCr, could also be a big fac
tor this weekend, Van Horn said.
“He’s got as good of stuff as any
body against lefties,” Van Horn said.
R.D. Spiehs, Steve Hale and
Andy Bent will all contribute out of
No matter what happens this
weekend, just being able to play
some games is a positive experi
ence, Van Horn said.
“We could go 3-0 or 0-3,” he
said. “We’ll try to win as many in
February that we can. But right now
we just need to get some innings
under oar belts.”
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Griffey traded to Reds
Five player deal reunites Griffey with father’s team
CINCINNATI (AP) — Junior has
Following three months of often
deadlocked trade talks, the Cincinnati
Reds reunited Ken Griffey Jr. with his
father and his hometown on Thursday
by sending four players to thfe Seattle
The final piece of the deal came
when Griffey agreed to a nine-year
contract worth $ 116.5 million, the rich
est package in baseball history. The
pact covers from 2000-08, and the
Reds even have an option for a 10th
“The last time I put on this uniform,
I think I was 8 — for a father-son
game,” Griffey said, pulling on a Reds
jersey at a news conference.
“This is something I dreamed
about as a little kid, being back in my
hometown where I watched so many
great players,” he said.
Griffey was picked up in Florida by
a private plane belonging to owner Carl
Lindner and flown to Cincinnati, where
about 200 people greeted him at the
airport. Earlier, euphoric fans honked
horns on the streets, put up “Welcome
Home” signs in their yards and reveled
in the team’s most celebrated trade
since Pete Rose returned as player
manager in 1984.
“His name comes up like Pete
Rose’s name as far as Cincinnati,” said
Coach Ron Oester, a native who played
for the Reds. “That’s the magnitude
he’s at for Cincinnati fans.”
And for all of baseball, too.
Widely regarded as the best all
around player in the game, the 30-year
old Griffey is considered a threat to
break Hank Aaron’s career home run
record of 755. Junior already has hit
398 with his sweet, left-handed swing,
and was voted onto'baseball’s All
Century team last fall.
Perhaps never before has such a
great player been traded in his prime.
Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby and Frank
Robinson are others that come to mind.
Cincinnati is the only place the 10
time All-Star center fielder wanted to
play. And when spring training begins
later this month, his trademark back
ward hat will have a “C” on it.
“I didn’t want to move around,” he
said. “I wanted to be able to stay put.”
Pitcher Brett Tomko and outfielder
Mike Cameron were sent to Seattle for
Griffey, along with a pair of minor lea
guers — infielder Antonio Perez and
right-hander Jake Meyer.
** This is something I dreamed about as
a little kid, being back in my
hometown where I watched so many
Ken Griffey Jr.
traded to Cincinnati Reds
“It’s like being traded for Jordan or
something,” Tomko said.
Indeed, Griffey could be his sport’s
Michael Jordan. No wonder the
Mariners were so reluctant to lose him.
“We hope that Ken decides to go
into the Hall of Fame as a Mariner,”
Seattle president Chuck Armstrong
said. “We might not have baseball here
except for Ken, and we might not have
The Mariners, though, had little
hope of keeping him after this season.
He was eligible for free agency and
said he wanted to be closer to his home
He eventually limited his list of eli
gible teams to one — Cincinnati,
where he grew up playing in the club
house during the days Mien his father,
Ken Sr., was part of the Big Red
Ken Sr. is now the Reds’ bench
coach and a candidate to eventually
succeed manager Jack McKeon, who
has a one-year contract. The son put in
a plug for the father.
“He’s been around baseball for 20
plus years. He knows what it takes to be
a manager. I hope he gets the chance,”
Griffey turned down an eight-year,
$148 million contract extension last
summer with the Mariners, and trade
talks with the Reds heated up during
the winter meetings in December.
Along tiie way, Griffey blocked a trade
to the New York Mets.
As recently as Tuesday, it appeared
the Seattle-Cincinnati deal had bogged
down over the Reds’ financial concerns
— they didn’t think they could afford
him beyond 2000, the last year on his
The Mariners resolved the impasse
by giving agent Brian Goldbeig per
mission to talk to the Reds, a move that
may have violated baseball’s rules
Assured that Griffey would accept
less to play in his hometown, the Reds
went ahead and completed the five
player trade on Wednesday night, then
asked the commissioner’s office for a
72-hour window to negotiate a long
term deal with Griffey.
A contract that includes a lot of
deferred payments was agreed upon
Thursday afternoon, according to a
source speaking on condition he not be
The trade involved only Cincinnati
and the Mariners and was the first big
move by Carl Lindner since buying the
Reds from Marge Schott last fall. There
had been speculation a three-way deal
including Anaheim was in die works.
Reds fans immediately began day
dreaming of Griffey playing center
field at Cineigy Field, and even a new
ballpark in the future. No telling if he’ll
continue to wear No. 24 — it belonged
to Tony Perez, elected last month to die
Hall of Fame.
Griffey is a lifetime .299 hitter with
1,152 RBIs in 11 seasons, all in Seatde.
He has won 10 straight Gold Gloves.
The acquisition gives the Reds,
who lost a wild-card playoff to the
Mets last season, a fearsome top of the
lineup. Griffey will be surrounded by
Barry Larkin, Sean Casey and Dante
Bichette, who was obtained from
Colorado last October.
The trade also weakens an already
suspect rotation. Although Tomko
struggled through 1999, he remained
the best young starter on the staff.
Bowden tried to trade him to Cleveland
for Jaret Wright during the winter
meetings in December, but the Indians
The deal brings together the game’s
top sluggers in the same division. With
Mark McGwire in St. Louis and
Sammy Sosa playing for the Cubs,
maybe the NL Central should take on a
new name: Home Run Central.
Quarterback Marino voids contract
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - Dan Marino
now has some time, and the Miami
Dolphins have more money.
Marino, the NFL career leader in
passing yardage, voided the final two
years of his contract with the
Dolphins on Thursday. It remained
unclear whether the 38-yard quarter
back will retire or return for another
Marino could rejoin the Dolphins
or go to another team as a free agent.
“I’m not going to speculate about
what Dan’s going to do,” Dolphins
president Eddie Jones said Thursday.
“Dan is a great athlete, and he’s done
everything possible he can do in foot
“I’m sure he’s going through the
thought process of, Do I still want to
do this?’ He had the injury last year,
and his knees are not getting any bet
ter. I’m sure that’s what he’s thinking
Marino threw 12 touchdown
passes and 17 interceptions last sea
son, missing five games and most of a
sixth because of a neck injury. He fin
ished with a career-low 67.4 passer
Coach Dave Wannstedt has indi
cated that he would prefer to go with
a younger quarterback like Jim
Druckenmiller or Damon Huard, who
was 4-1 as a starter last season.
Though there is no timetable for
Marino’s decision, he likely will
make an announcement before
March 20, the day the Dolphins begin
their offseason workout program.
“We’ve got a new coordinator, a
new head coach and we’re going to
have a new offensive system,” Jones
said. “And I don’t know how Dan fits
With Marino no longer under
contract, the Dolphins gained $5.8
million to spend during the free agent
signing period, which begins Friday.
They also released veteran tight end
Troy Drayton on Thursday.
Drayton, 29, said he will not re
sign with the Dolphins for less
“I’ve paid my dues as far as a
football player,” said Drayton, who
caught 32 passes for 299 yards last
season. “I’m financially secure, but
money is definitely an issue. I’m a
veteran and I consider myself one of
the best tight ends in the league.
“I’m just going to put some bait
on the end of the hook, watch the line
and see if there are any takers.”
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