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In Philadelphia, Rich Hofmann writes on the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the increased amount of "lassoing" and "stickholding:" "Get Cup Crazy? Nah. The NHL needs a new slogan as it embarks on another springtime caravan. ... Handcuffs, not fisticuffs. ... In the NHL in springtime, it's sometimes hard to see the stars through the clouds" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 4/17). In Deseret, Brad Rock previews the NHL playoffs under the header, "This Is The Time Of Year To Be Cool." Rock: "Hockey's rise in popularity isn't an accident. NHL players are more accessible, and agreeable, than their counterparts" (DESERET NEWS, 4/15).....U.S. Soccer announced a sell-out of 57,877 at Foxboro this Sunday to watch the U.S. National team play Mexico in a World Cup qualifier. That will be followed by the MLS Mutiny- Revolution game (U.S. Soccer). Pending Franklin County OH's approval of a referendum on a new sports complex, MLS has awarded MLS Cup 2000 and the 2001 MLS All-Star game to Columbus. MLS Commissioner Doug Logan made the announcement in Columbus on Monday (MLS).
The Red Sox' Mo Vaughn said he was approached by the MLBPA in Spring Training and asked to change his number from 42 so MLB could retire it in honor of Jackie Robinson, according to Sean McAdam of the Providence JOURNAL-BULLETIN. Vaughn "refused," but said the MLBPA "kept pushing me (to change), but they understand." Vaughn said he discussed his decision with Rachel Robinson, who "agreed with his stand and encouraged him to remain firm in his desire to wear the number" (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 4/16). The NAPBL joined MLB in honoring Robinson by also retiring Number 42 (NAPBL). WILL THEY GET THEIR MAN? ESPN's Peter Gammons said "this time baseball may get it right" if it hires Blue Jays President Paul Beeston as MLB's CEO & Chief Administrator. "Beeston is trusted and he's liked by players and owners. And he understands what no outsider can comprehend: that owners have 30 different agendas" ("SportsCenter," 4/16).