Samaranch supports N.Y. Olympic bid

NEW YORK (AP) – Former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch believes New York has a good chance of hosting the 2012 Olympics.

“New York is the most well-known city in the world. It’s the most international city in the world,” Samaranch was quoted as saying by Newsday in yesterday’s editions.

“New York will be one of the front-runners.”

He told the newspaper that New York’s diversity, resilience after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and international appeal will work in the city’s favor.

New York beat out San Francisco earlier this month in voting by the U.S. Olympic Committee to be the U.S. candidate city for the 2012 Summer Games.

The IOC will choose a site in 2005. Other potential candidates are Moscow, London, Paris, Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul and Budapest.

Bell replaces Rolen in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA – Third baseman David Bell agreed to a $17-million, four-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday.

Bell hit .261 with 20 homers and 73 RBI last season, helping the San Francisco Giants reach the World Series.

The free agent will replace All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen, traded by Philadelphia to St. Louis in July. Bell chose the Phillies over the Giants, where he played one year after 3 and a half seasons with the Seattle Mariners.

“It was a tough decision but I feel a made the right decision. I couldn’t be happier,” Bell said yesterday. “They have the basis for a great team. It’s a young team, but they have all the pieces in place.

“I’m looking forward to coming in and doing anything I can to help them win.”

Bell will get $3 million in 2003, $4.2 million in 2004, and $4.5 million in 2005 and 2006, plus a signing bonus of $800,000.

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