The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 13A
Porter calls on Olympians
to reach a 'national level'
Clemens was used, not
liked, by Yankee fans
By Sam Olson
For the Daily
When preparing for a sporting event, it never
hurts to get some friendly advice. In Michigan
sprinter Jeff Porter's case, seeking the advice of
friends is always helpful, especially when the
advice comes from two members of the U.S.
Olympic track team.
"I call some of my Olympian friends on the
phone, and see what they think," Porter said,
referring to U.S. Olympians Justin Gatlin and
Terrance Trammel. "I talk to them often - they
give me advice on how to approach my meets."
Porter, a freshman sprinter and hurdler, hails
from Franklin High School in Somerset, N.J.
Porter was highly recruited coming out of high
school and arrived in Ann Arbor ready to make
He was named Big Ten Conference Freshman
of the Year during the indoor track season, and he
looks to have another successful season as the
team heads outdoors.
"One of my goals is to place at the Mount SEC
and Penn relays," said Porter, who will compete
at the Eastern Michigan Invitational in Ypsilanti
tomorrow. "I want to see if I can go out and win
the Big Ten title."
In the first outdoor meet of the season, the
Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invitational, the tal-
ented freshman ran a time of 14.20 in the 110-
meter hurdles, good enough for his first NCAA
regional qualifying mark of the season.
Along with having some sources for helpful
advice, Porter is also a tireless worker who
makes the most of his practice time.
"He's very focused at practice," Michigan
sprinters and hurdlers coach Jeff LaPlante said.
"He makes the most of his practice time, his
practices are efficient."
Aside from his athletic responsibilities, Porter
also sets aside time for his academics, where he
is hoping to become a sports management major
in the School of Kinesiology.
Combined with an already hectic schedule,
which also includes Tae Kwon Do lessons, Porter
sometimes misses out on some valuable time to
just rest and relax.
"It's hard, I'm not going to lie about that,"
Porter said. "We work five times a week, with
meets on weekends. I try to get in and see the
trainer everyday. Some days you are just dead
tired and you just want to go to sleep. It can cut
down on your sleeping time."
Porter, who is eligible to run in the World
Junior Championships, hopes to continue his suc-
cess in the outdoor season and maybe someday
attain national acclaim like his Olympian friends.
"In the sprinting and hurdling area, he is a high
level performer, he thinks at a national level,"
LaPlante said. "He carries himself at a high level
and raises his teammates to that level."
Continued from Page 10A
Speaking of 2000, Bronx lovers
also had to pretend that they liked
Clemens that year - the second
most despicable player in major
league baseball history behind John
Rocker, if you ask me. I say "pre-
tend" because I don't truly believe
that anyone actually likes this guy.
I'm admittedly a little biased,
since sometime right before the
All-Star break in 2000, the Rocket
reared back and slammed Mike
Piazza in the head with one of his
patented "brushback" pitches
(Please, he meant to hit him).
Clemens also should have been
thrown out of the Subway Series
when he threw a broken bat (yes, a
bat) at Piazza. I mean, really, who
throws a broken bat? It still makes
my blood boil.
Minus the Clemens incident,
though, I loved every minute of 2000.
I was disappointed when the Mets
lost, but that's not what I remember
most about that great season.
Yankees fans relive a banner year
until the parade down Broadway
and then it's on to the off-season.
"Who are the Bombers gonna over-
pay next?" they'll ask, and "How
many days 'til next October?"
Every game before the World Series
is inconsequential in the Bronx. Yan-
kees fans are nervous about whether
or not their team will mess it up, so
they can't have fun along the way.
Don't even get me started on
their czarist owner, George Stein-
brenner (who went to Ohio State).
He ripped Drew Henson from the
Michigan football record books for
an inordinate amount of money.
But that's what they do. Money is
no object for the Yankees.
Yes, the Mets have a huge pay-
roll, too. But there's a difference.
Teams like the Mets can't give tons
of money to guys like Henson or
Hideki Irabu and then have them
play terribly in the big leagues and
still be successful as a team. Look
at what happened with Mo Vaughn.
Now, the pinstripes have paid for
A-Rod, Sheffield, Kevin Brown and
Javier Vazquez. And everyone in
America expects them to be in it
until the end.
They're part of the best rivalry
going in sports, with the Red Sox,
and their regular-season games this
summer promise to be intense pre-
views of October.
Me? I'll be wearing my Jose
Reyes jersey over in Queens,
watching those rag-tag Mets strug-
gle to reach .500 with a makeshift
lineup and a wrinkled, old pitching
staff. And I'll be loving every
minute of it.
Ya Gotta Believe.
-Dan Rosen wants to thank everyone
who made his four years in Ann
Arbor great, from Sess and Nickle to
Pizza Poundcake. He welcomes Yan-
kees rants with open arms and can be
reached at danielsr@umich. edu.
Highly recruited in high school, Jeff Porter has
enjoyed a very favorable freshman year.
M NBA ROUNDUP
Pistons draw Milwaukee in round one
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) - Joe
Smith has a plea for all his dejected
teammates and the anguished fans of
the Milwaukee Bucks, who squandered
home-court advantage in the playoffs
by losing 89-87 to Toronto last night.
Forgive and forget.
He wants everybody to focus on the
surprising, energetic team that won
twice as many games as expected, and
not on the fatigued, jittery outfit that
lost its poise and a fourth-quarter lead
in the last three games.
A victory in any of the three would
have secured the fourth playoff position
in the East. Instead the Bucks fell to the
sixth spot and will open the postseason
Sunday at Detroit.
"We just have to realize this is the
second season and we can't just contin-
ue to harp on what we did these last
three games," Smith said. "We have to
go into the playoffs with a high level of
confidence and let's go out there and
slug it out."
The crowd booed the Bucks at the
end, but Smith said he hopes the fans
forget the trio of letdowns "because a
lot of people didn't expect us to win 20
The Bucks began the night in fourth
place in the Eastern Conference, but
both Miami and New Orleans
"We had destiny in our own hands,"
Smith said. "For us to come up short is
New Orleans 94, Washington 78
WASHINGTON (AP) - Just in time
for the playoffs, Baron Davis got
Just in time for the end of the season,
Is the Eastern Conference laughably bad or what? The Heat as the fourth
seed? The Celtics, 10 games under .500, play on, while in the West, their record
would put you ahead of just two of 14 teams. So, if you're wondering why we left
out "NBA Champs", it's because it will be the Western Conference champ.
Gilbert Arenas got lax.
Davis scored 26 points last night in
his second game back from an ankle
injury, helping the New Orleans secure
the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference
with a 94-78 victory over the New
The Hornets will open the playoffs
on the road against Miami on Sunday.
"It's a good time of the year," coach
Tim Floyd said. "I'm pleased that we
did win our last two on the road. Baron
looked better tonight than he was the
last game, which is the way it should
be. I thought he played inspired and he
Jamaal Magloire added 23 points and
14 rebounds as the Hornets (41-41) also
avoided their first losing season since
"We have a golden opportunity to do
something special," said Davis, who
missed nine games with a sprained left
ankle. "A best-of-seven games is going
to give us the confidence that we can go
in and know we can beat someone."
Miami 96, New Jersey 84
MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - Miami Heat
players sat in the locker room last night
and-screamed at the TV; trying to steer
To earn home-court advantage for
their first playoff series in three years,
they needed a Toronto victory over Mil-
waukee. And so when a 3-pointer by the
Jalen Rose put the Raptors ahead with
5.2 seconds left, the Heat erupted.
"J-Rose!" center Brian Grant shout-
"That's my dawg!" guard Dwyane
Moments later, Milwaukee's final
shot missed, and Heat players swapped
high-fives as though they'd won the
game themselves. The Bucks' loss, cou-
pled with Miami's 96-84 victory over
New Jersey 30 minutes earlier, meant
the Heat will open a best-of-seven
series at home Sunday night against
"That's what we came here tonight to
do, and it went our way, guard Rafer
Alston said. "We took care of our end,
and Toronto took care of their end."
The game was meaningless for the
Nets, but they learned their first-round
opponent: the rival New York Knicks,
beginning Saturday in New Jersey.
"It will be like a finals atmosphere
because of the market," New Jersey
guard Jason Kidd said. "A series like
this comes down to the 'X' factor, and
somebody always steps up. Hopefully, it
will be somebody on our team."
Minnesota 107, Memphis 90
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Min-
nesota Timberwolves wrapped up the
top seed in the Western Conference
while giving a lesson in playoff style to
the newcomer Grizzlies.
Behind Kevin Garnett's 26 points and
Latrell Sprewell's 20, the Timberwolves
dominated the Grizzlies 107-90 last
The Grizzlies are seeded sixth for the
first playoff appearance for the fran-
chise. They will play defending NBA
champion San Antonio.
"This is playoff basketball," said the
Grizzlies' Lorenzen Wright. "If we
don't know what it's going to be like
now, we better get ready, because that's
exactly how teams are going to be play-
The Timberwolves ended the season
with nine straight victories and had no
problems the Grizzlies from the start,
leading by as many as 29 points early in
the fourth quarter.
"I told everybody before the game,
let's not look back on this and say we
should have done this or we should
have done that," Garnett said. "We were
more conscious of what we had to do,
put it like that"
Minnesota was so comfortable by the
final period that the starters stayed on
"Our guys were focused," said Min-
nesota coach Flip Saunders. "The dif-
ference in this team and in the past
teams is that we're a great defensive
Memphis, losing its fourth straight,
never led, and Minnesota dominated the
boards, outrebounding the Grizzlies 42-
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Kaz Matsul and the rest of the New York Mets provide New York native Dan Rosen
with enjoyment that the Yankees never could.
Where Kobe will be next year
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