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This week in sports

By Josh Geller

Section: Sports

March 10, 2006

Baseball
Former three-time all-star second baseman Bret Boone retired last week. Boone finishes with a .266 batting average and 252 career home runs. He played for 14 seasons with five different teams, including Seattle. His best year came in 2001 when he had career highs of a .331 batting average, 37 home runs, and 141 RBI and finished third in the MVP voting. He also won four gold glove awards during his career.

Earlier this week, long-time San Francisco Giant pitcher Kirk Rueter hung up his cleats. He won 130 games with a 4.27 ERA over a 13-year career that started with the Montreal Expos. He won 105 games with San Francisco. No lefty has won more games with the Giants since they moved to San Francisco. Rueter was tied for the most wins on the 2002 Giants team that made it to the World Series.

Veteran catcher John Flaherty retired earlier this week. He was in training camp with Boston, the team that drafted him, competing for a job to be Tim Wakefields personal catcher. He batted .252 over a 14-year career which included stops in San Diego and with the Yankees. He was with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the first five years of the franchise.

Japan and Korea will move on to the second round of the World Baseball Classic from Pool A, which played its games this past weekend. In the head to head match up between the two teams, Korea won 3-2 as Chan Ho Park got the save when he got Ichiro Suzuki to pop up at the end of the game.

On March 27th, a book that accuses Barry Bonds of taking steroids for at least five years starting in 1998 will hit bookshelves. The book is written by two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle.

David Wells took back his trade request and has said he will likely retire after this season.

Pokey Reese was released by Florida after disappearing from camp and going home.
Paul Quantrill will retire at the end of the World Baseball Classic. He will play for Canada.

Basketball
Tim Thomas signed with the Phoenix Suns for the remainder of the season. He had been on the bench for Chicago all year.

Jim Jackson signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the remainder of the season.
Nick Collison will miss a month with a foot injury.

Hockey
Carolina Hurricane Erik Cole will miss the remainder of the season with an injured neck, which he sustained on a hit by Brooks Orpik of Pittsburgh.

Miscellaneous
This past weekend, the 23-man team for Team USA Basketball was unveiled. The team will be together for the next three years, competing at the World Championships in Japan this summer and the Olympics in China in 2008.

The team includes 9 all-stars this year, Gilbert Arenas, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Elton Brand, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shawn Marion, Paul Pierce, and Dwayne Wade. Also on the team are Carmelo Anthony (second in the West in points per game) and Dwight Howard (the league's leading rebounder). However, the team lacks two main ingredients, experience and size.

Looking at the roster tells the lack of size on the team. Only six members are 69 or taller. The only seven-footer is Brad Miller.

In terms of experience, the most-tenured member of the team is Bryant, only in his tenth season. Only Bruce Bowen is in his 30s. Nine players had played a game in the NBA before the last gold medal for the USA, back in 2000. Two players, J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison, are still in college.

And then there is the question of star-power. Bryant is the only player on the team to have been selected to an All-NBA first-team in his career. Nobody on the team has ever won an MVP.

But the most glaring fact about the team is the lack of Allen Iverson. Iverson is second in the NBA in points per game. He is eighth in assists per game and a three-time member of the All-NBA first-team and won the 2001 MVP. He is one of the best players in the game, and is absent from the team.

Coach Krzyzewski has his team. They are young, inexperienced, and missing some of the biggest names in the game today. But by the 2008 Olympics, they may be an unstoppable force.

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