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Van Horn Advocate
Walker, who won the USA T&F competition two weeks ago in Abilene with a 10.48 meter effort, went 9.9 meters (32-feet-6) in Baton Rouge. A total of 24 competitors from across the country were entered in the junior division of the event, with the winning effort going 11.23 meters, Walker said.
Walker, who will be a freshman at Pecos High School this year, was one of several local competitors to reach the state meet, but the only one to advance on to the national finals. She said funds for the trip were raised through several community groups, including the Pecos Rotary and Lions Clubs and St. James Baptist Church, along with other local businesses.
Trading activity is reaching a near-fever pitch as the hours tick down toward the 11 p.m. CDT trading deadline Thursday night.
Three deals were made Tuesday involving pennant-contending clubs, but the real blockbuster possibilities were still in the discussion stages.
The Baltimore Orioles added another power bat to their lineup by acquiring designated hitter Harold Baines from the Chicago White Sox. The Anaheim Angels added another front-line starter by getting Ken Hill from the Texas Rangers, and the New York Yankees traded the best hitter from their 1996 championship team by sending Mariano Duncan to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Deals involving bigger names were in the works.
McGwire seemed to think he'll be heading from the Oakland Athletics to the St. Louis Cardinals, which would reunite him with former manager Tony La Russa.
McGwire, second in the American League in homers with 34, can veto any trade because he has 10-5 status - 10 years of major league service, five with the same club. He has said he wouldn't block a trade to St. Louis.
``I've done a lot of thinking about it,'' McGwire said. ``If they (the Cardinals) turn out to be the team that offers the A's the best deal, then I'll take it.''
St. Louis general manager Walt Jocketty was asked Tuesday if the deal with the A's was 90 percent complete.
``It keeps changing every day,'' he told KMOX in St. Louis. ``It's more 50-50 than 90 percent. I have to talk to them again today.''
The Texas Rangers seemed ready to jettison All-Star catcher Rodriguez, who turned down a five-year, $38 million contract, and plans to become a free agent at the end of the season.
Canseco also has been the subject of trade rumors involving the A's, and Mike Stanley's name has come up whenever the Boston Red Sox are mentioned in trade possibilities.
Also, Royals starter Kevin Appier has a clause in his contract that only allows him to be dealt on the day of the non-waiver trading deadline (July 31).
The Rangers moved a step closer to dealing Rodriguez when they picked up catcher Jim Leyritz in the trade for Hill. The Yankees and Orioles are rumored to be in the running for Rodriguez.
``We're trying to put together a long-range plan knowing that we had a few free agents that could walk at the end of the year,'' Texas manager Johnny Oates said. ``(General manager) Doug (Melvin) and his people have been trying to sign the free agents, but we haven't been making a whole lot of progress.''
Hill (5-8, 5.19 ERA) has 68 strikeouts and 58 walks in 19 starts this season. The opposition is hitting .298 against him.
He was expected to start tonight for Anaheim, which trails first-place Seattle by 1½ games in the AL West, at Jacobs Field against Cleveland.
``We needed a front-line pitcher, and Ken Hill is a front-line pitcher,'' Anaheim manager Terry Collins said. ``Ken Hill eats up innings for us. I put him in the same class as Chuck (Finley) and (Jason) Dickson. This guy was a front-line pitcher with the Cardinals for years and last year with Texas.''
Baines, who played with the Orioles from 1993 to 1995, hit .305 in 93 games for the White Sox this year. He was acquired for a player to be named.
``Harold's a professional hitter and he's been able to hit all his life,'' Baltimore general manager Pat Gillick said. ``Certainly, I think he's going to give us another left-handed bat to utilize in the lineup.''
Baines, 38, is a career .290 hitter with 335 home runs.
Duncan finally got his wish when the Yankees traded the 34-year-old infielder to Toronto for minor league outfielder Angel Ramirez and cash.
Duncan, who batted .340 as the regular second baseman when the Yankees won the World Series last year, lost his job this season.
He was traded earlier this month in a five-player swap with San Diego, but the deal fell through when Padres outfielder Greg Vaughn failed his physical. Duncan hit .244 in 50 games for New York this year.
The Yankees replaced Duncan by purchasing the contract of outfielder Pete Incaviglia from Columbus of the International League.
In a minor deal, the Florida Marlins dealt pitcher Matt Whisenant to the Kansas City Royals for catcher Matt Treanor.
Marlins general manager Dave Dombrowski says he will leave the team as it is, aside from perhaps another minor move.
``If we do anything, it's going to be a tweak,'' Dombrowski said. ``We like our club. We feel we have the capability to be a postseason ballclub.''
Haley badmouthed him in the locker room and labeled him a bust after Carver - the Dallas Cowboys' first pick in the 1994 draft - was inactive from the roster a couple times during his rookie year.
Other Cowboys scoffed and said that was Haley's style - to pick on guys and toughen them up.
But Carver, being a rookie and feeling the pressure of being a first-round pick, didn't take it in stride.
It spiraled from there, culminating last year with Carver being suspended for the first six games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Haley, who patched things up with Carver last year, retired along with tight end Jay Novacek earlier this month because of chronic back problems.
Now, Carver, 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds, says he has the experience, the focus and the discipline to help replace the man who caused him so much grief. He even has a new number, switching from 96 to 98.
``I'm finally getting my chance to go out there and play,'' Carver said. ``With Haley here, he was a great player, and I had to wait and be patient and stay focused on what I had to do. This year is just a great opportunity for me.''
The suspension last year taught Carver a lot, too.
``I let my team down, but mostly I let myself down by being hardheaded and not abiding by the rules they set for me,'' Carver said.
Defensive coordinator Dave Campo says he's noticed a difference.
``I think he grew up a little bit after the suspension and understands that he's on borrowed time, as all the guys are who get into that situation,'' Campo said. ``He realizes it's a good way to make a living. He's more focused.''
The lifestyle has changed. Carver, who is subject to random tests, says he no longer goes to nightclubs. Instead he stays home, helping out a troubled brother by caring for two nephews and a niece, who range from ages 8 to 11.
``I know nothing bad is going to happen this year and it's just a big relief that you can just focus on what's on the field,'' said Carver, who hosts an annual golf tournament each year in his hometown of Stockton, Calif., to benefit the local Pop Warner football program.
As far as filling the void left by Haley, Carver is vying with Broderick Thomas for the starting position. Carver's strength is stopping the run; Thomas is considered the better pass rusher.
``Everyone talks about losing Charles Haley, but he didn't play a lot of the season last year,'' Campo said.
``We've got guys who have already been there in Carver and Thomas. Now we've got to get better and put in a rotation system that allows us to keep people fresh because we may not be as talented, play in and play out, without Haley.''
After double-digit sacks in each of his four years at Arizona State, Carver has just 5½ sacks in 36 NFL games.
Dallas coach Barry Switzer says he's not worried.
``Carver and Thomas are both doing a good job,'' he said. ``They're not Haley when he was healthy, but who is?''
Last year, Carver credited Haley with cutting the hazing and reaching out to him with tips on technique.
But when he was asked if he missed Haley in camp this year, Carver smiled.
``It's a little quieter,'' he said.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
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