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The tournament, with all but one game set for Christensen (Angels)
Stadium, was changed to a double-elimination format this year, and opens
at 10 a.m. with the Eagles facing the Seminole Indians, in a rematch of
last year's first round contest. That's followed by the host Rangers
taking on the Clint Lions, with the winners of those games playing again
at 8 p.m. Thursday.
If the Eagles lose, they won't have to play again until Friday, in a 10
a.m. elimination game at Greenwood High School. But to take the title,
they would have to win that, win another game at 3 p.m. Friday, then win
three straight games, at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
Whatever the Eagles do, they'll do it without two of their starters from
Saturday's 13-3 victory over Alpine in the championship game of the
Monahans Sandhills Tournament.
Both Oscar Luna and Eric Muniz will miss Thursday's game with the
Indians, Eagles' coach Bubba Williams said. Muniz could be back Friday,
but Luna is out for the weekend with a groin injury, and Williams added
that Eric Aguilar will be gone until mid-April due to a toncilectomy.
"I'm going to try Eric Abila at leadoff and DH for Moses (Martinez),"
said Williams. Martinez, 3-0, will start against Seminole, but has been
bothered by a bad leg since the Eagles' season-opening win over Monahans.
Williams said he would bring Lucio Florez up from the junior varsity,
while in Thursday's opener, "I might move Jason (Abila) into the
outfield and put John Paul (Vasquez) at shortstop." Abila played
outfield in last year's Greenwood Tournament, while Vasquez missed last
weekend's tournament, in which Muniz and Abila played shortstop.
Abila defeated Seminole in the opener at Midland a year ago, 3-2 score,
though the Eagles then lost to Greenwood and Alpine in their next two
"The kid who pitched in that game (Seminole's Isaac Villalba) was a
junior, so I expect we'll see him again," Williams said. "But the way
our kids have been hitting the ball, I feel we can get after it real
Alpine takes on Kermit and Monahans faces Abilene Wylie in the other two
tournament openers on Thursday.
CHICAGO, Mar. 5 -- Dennis Rodman head-butted a referee, used profanity
on live TV and kicked a cameraman. Now he's found yet another way to
draw a suspension -- by elbowing Milwaukee's Joe Wolf in the groin.
``We understand why the league did it. We also understand that Dennis
goes 100 percent every game and gives all he has,'' Chicago Bulls
general manager Jerry Krause said Tuesday. ``He's just going to have to
control himself in a better way.''
Rodman's latest suspension, resulting from an incident in Monday night's
win over Milwaukee, is for one game. He must sit out tonight's meeting
with San Antonio and was also fined $7,500.
It's his fourth suspension -- totaling 20 games -- since joining the
Bulls prior to last season.
During Chicago's 108-90 victory over the Bucks, Rodman elbowed Wolf in
the groin with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
``The league thinks the hit below the belt was not an accident, the
league thinks it was deliberate,'' Krause said. ``And that's something
that happened. There was contact below the belt and that's not supposed
After the groin shot, Rodman followed with an errant punch toward Wolf's
head. On the next possession, Wolf got Rodman in a head lock and a
double foul -- but no technical -- was called. Rodman was then removed
from the game by coach Phil Jackson. Wolf was not punished.
When Rodman returned from his 11-game suspension after the All-Star
break, a penalty assessed for kicking Minneapolis court side cameraman
Eugene Amos, NBA commissioner David Stern said further violations could
result in a lifetime ban from the league.
A league source said Tuesday that Stern considered the warning to be
based on off-court incidents. This was strictly a game-related matter,
and the source, who asked to remain unidentified, said Stern did not
intend to get involved in this case.
Last season Rodman drew a six-game suspension for head-butting a
referee. In December, he was suspended by the Bulls for two games for a
profanity-filled tirade on live TV.
The 11-game suspension, announced Jan. 17, was the second longest in NBA
history and cost Rodman about $1 million in salary and incentives. He
reached a $200,000 out-of-court settlement with Amos.
Rodman got better news from another court Tuesday.
A federal judge ruled that a pinch on the buttocks Rodman allegedly gave
an usher during a 1994 game against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City
might have been insulting, but it wasn't ``outrageous'' and did not
U.S. District Court Judge David Sam dismissed the suit brought against
Rodman by Lavon P. Ankers, a Salt Lake County woman who was an usher at
In the Utah case, Rodman was accused of pinching the usher during a May
5, 1994, game between the Jazz and San Antonio. Rodman, then playing for
the Spurs, was chasing a loose ball out of bounds and touched her while
returning to the court.
Ankers claimed she was pinched. Rodman's agent, Dwight Manley, said
Tuesday that Rodman only put his hand on Ankers' hip so he wouldn't
knock her over on his way past.
Ankers sought $750,000 from Rodman, claiming the pinch in front of a
local and national television audience -- as well as his then-girlfriend
Madonna -- ``greatly humiliated, shamed and embarrassed'' her. She said
she endured great mental suffering.
Rodman's attorneys responded by asking the judge to dismiss the suit for
two reasons: it was filed after the deadline for such a claim and Rodman
did not intentionally inflict emotional distress.
The judge agreed on both points.
Manley, called the Utah ruling ``a great thing for justice.''
``When Dennis does something wrong, he's the first to admit it, like in
the Minnesota case,'' Manley said.
(Copyright 1997 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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