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In Sports from United Press nternational

  |   Aug. 13, 2002 at 12:12 AM
Baseball union holds off on strike date

CHICAGO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Claiming a work stoppage is the last thing he wants, Major League Baseball Players Association chief Donald Fehr announced Monday that the union has postponed setting a strike date.

With members of the players' union in attendance at the O'Hare Hilton in Chicago, Fehr revealed that the union has seen enough progress recently and as a good faith measure would not set a walkout date. Fehr did say that there would be a conference call on Friday if no deal was reached.

Recently the players agreed to testing for steroids, but the dispute over revenue and how it is shared does not appear to be anywhere near a resolution.

Since some teams are playing Monday, a few have sent alternate player representatives to Monday's meeting, such as Oakland's Mark Mulder and Anaheim's Jarrod Washburn. Mulder and Washburn both pitched Sunday.

Players and owners reportedly have reached agreement on minimum salaries and financing of the benefit plan. The sides still are discussing revenue sharing, a luxury tax and a worldwide draft.

Players are anxious to reach a new agreement instead of facing a possible lockout before the start of the 2003 season. By setting a strike date, the union could create a negotiating deadline, more so than a strike threat.

The owners' proposal would levy a 50 percent tax on portions of payrolls over $98 million. Players have complained that the tax, in combination with revenue sharing, could serve as a payroll cap, which they oppose.

Although still far apart, the sides have gotten closer to agreeing on revenue sharing, which ranges from a transfer of $49 million to $70 million from wealthier clubs to poorer clubs, the Times said Friday.

Aug. 12 was the date of the last baseball strike in 1994, when the postseason was wiped out for the only time.


MRI shows no breaks in Terrell's knee

GREELEY, Colo., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- An MRI performed Monday on the swollen left knee of Terrell Davis showed no breaks or tears, just some chronic arthritis in the joint.

Davis underwent the MRI one day after the Broncos' 27-3 preseason win over the Chicago Bears. He suited up for the game, but was forced out after his left knee began to swell during warmups.

Prior to receiving the results of the MRI, all that Davis knew for certain was that he would sit out the afternoon practice on Monday, the Broncos' first full training camp workout in four days.

Davis reported the knee problems during warmups on Saturday evening. When he couldn't go, Olandis Gary got the start in his place, with rookie Clinton Portis taking over in the second quarter.

It marked another setback for Davis in his quest to recapture the form that saw him dominate the league from 1995-98, a span in which the Broncos won 54 games while he rambled for 6,413 yards on the ground. During that stretch, he also scored 73 touchdowns, including 12 in eight postseason games.

Since tearing the ACL and partially tearing the MCL in his right knee during a loss to the New York Jets in Week 4 of the 1999 season, Davis has battled injuries in both legs. Injuries to his lower left leg and left ankle kept him out for all but five games in 2000. Last year, he tore the lateral meniscus cartilage in his left knee, which sidelined him for two games in November. He also missed six games early in the season following more surgery on his right knee.

Last year, Davis appeared to be getting back his old previous. He averaged nearly 90 yards in the eight games he played, and posted a 4.2-yards-per-carry average, his highest figure since the seminal 1998 campaign.


Baseball great Enos Slaughter dies

DURHAM, N.C., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Hall of Famer Enos "Country" Slaughter died Monday morning at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C. He was 86.

No cause of death was immediately revealed, but Slaughter had been in intensive care and listed in critical condition after undergoing surgery on his colon on July 26 and to repair a perforated stomach ulcer.

Slaughter, a 10-time All-Star in his playing days, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in June and had undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

He was best known for his "Mad Dash" in Game 7 of the 1946 World Series, when he scored from first base on Harry Walker's eighth-inning single to beat the Red Sox and give St. Louis the championship.

Slaughter broke into the major leagues with St. Louis in 1938. As a rookie, he hit .276 with eight home runs and 58 RBIs. The next season, he hit .320 and led the National League with 52 doubles.

Slaughter finished second in the National League's Most Valuable Player voting in 1942, when he hit .318 and led the league in hits (188) and triples (17), and helped lead the Cardinals to a World Series championship over the Yankees.

Slaughter missed three seasons while serving in the military during World War II, and when he returned to St. Louis in 1946, he had what was arguably the best season of his career. He batted .300 with 28 homers and led the NL with 130 RBIs, and hit .320 in the World Series.

Slaughter had two more seasons with 100 or more RBIs -- 1950 (101) and 1952 (101). He hit less than 15 home runs in each of those seasons and is the only player in Major League history to twice drive in more than 100 runs while hitting fewer than 15 homers.

On April 11, 1954, he was traded to the Yankees for outfielder Bill Virdon, pitcher Mel Wright and minor league outfielder Emil Tellinger. When Slaughter learned he had been traded away from the Cardinals, he broke down in front of his locker and sobbed.


Drugs reported a factor in Porter's death

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Former major league catcher Darrell Porter, whose body was discovered by a passing motorist in a park in suburban Kansas City Aug. 5, died of the "toxic effects of cocaine," according to the Jackson County (Mo.) medical examiner.

Dr. Thomas Young said the death of Porter, who was 50, was accidental.

"Drug testing from samples of blood obtained from the autopsy reveal evidence that Mr. Porter used cocaine shortly before his death," Young said at a news conference Monday afternoon. "The levels are consistent with recreational use and are not abnormally high."

A report in the Kansas City Star indicated Young could not say how the cocaine was ingested, or whether Porter had used cocaine over an extended period of time. No cocaine was found at the scene, and no other illicit drugs were found in Porter's body.

However, Porter suffered from a condition known as excited delirium, a brain condition that causes bizarre behavior and high body temperatures in some cocaine users, and frequently causes sudden death. The high temperatures the day Porter died--the heat index was more than 100 degrees--led to heat exposure that likely exacerbated the high body heat caused by the delirium, Young said.

Porter, who was the MVP in the 1982 World Series while with the St. Louis Cardinals, broke into the majors in 1971 with the Milwaukee Brewers, who traded him to Kansas City after the '76 season. He was an All-Star twice in his four years with the Royals. In his best season with the Royals, he hit .291 and drove in 112 runs in 1979.

In 17 big league seasons, he hit .247 with 188 home runs and 826 RBI. Porter retired after the '87 season.


Schuettler beats Philippoussis

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Germany's Rainer Schuettler controlled both tiebreakers en route to a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4) first-round victory over Australian Mark Philippoussis Monday night at the $800,000 RCA Championships hardcourt tennis event.

Still on the comeback trail after undergoing his third knee surgery last year, Philippoussis' tiebreak record fell to 7-14 during the 2002 campaign. One of the tour's biggest hitters who has suffered from injuries throughout his career, Philippoussis reached his only final of the year at the season-opening event in Adelaide, Australia and advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Earlier Monday, No. 14 Greg Rusedski of Britain, who broke Philippoussis' record for the hardest serve in 1998 with a 149-miles per hour bomb, powered past Albert Montanes of Spain, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

Rusedski won his only title of the year at the Heineken Open in January. The lefthander stopped a two-match skid last week at the Tennis Masters Series event in Cincinnati with a first-round upset of world No. 2 Marat Safin, but lost in the next round to Tommy Robredo.

Another hard lefthanded server, Australian Wayne Arthurs fired 15 aces and defeated Korea's Hyung-Taik Lee, 6-4, 6-3. Arthurs appeared in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati, ousting Pete Sampras in the second round and defeating Robredo before losing to Juan Carlos Ferrero in the quarterfinals.

In the lone upset Monday, Martin Verkerk of The Netherlands had 15 aces and converted 3-of-3 break-point opportunities knocked off No. 12 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, 6-4, 6-2.

In other matches involving seeded players, No. 11 Andrei Pavel of Romania took the first four game of the final set en route to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jeff Morrison of the United States. No. 13 Michael Kratochvil of Switzerland posted a 6-0, 6-2 rout of Emin Agaev of Azerbaijan, and No. 16 Fabrice Santoro of France posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over Harel Levy of Israel.


Priestley still serious after car crash

LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Actor/race car diver Jason Priestley, who sustained a number of internal injuries during a freak crash Sunday morning at Kentucky Motor Speedway, remains listed in serious but stable condition at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.

Priestley, 32, was airlifted to the hospital from the track in Sparta, Ky., about 75 miles away, shortly after his car careened off the track's outside wall at about 180 miles-per-hour around 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, during the 30-minute morning warm-up for the Infiniti Pro Series Kentucky 100. He was wearing a head-and-neck support system.

According to a release from the Indy Racing League, Priestley suffered a moderate concussion as well as a fracture of his ninth thoracic vertebra, meaning a broken back. In addition to a contusion around his left eye, he has lacerations on the bridge of his nose and left cheek, neck lacerations and fractures in both feet.

"Priestley's pulse and blood pressure are normal," said Dr. Stephan Stapczynski, professor and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, who is also Medical Director at Kentucky Speedway. "He continues to breathe on his own, and he responds to commands and voluntarily moves all his extremities."

It will be a few days before he can undergo surgery on his orthopedic injuries, and he has been fitted with a back brace. His neurological condition is also being monitored closely.

The actor, who began racing 10 years ago, is a driver in IRL's Infiniti Pro Series, a developmental circuit, and a report in the Indianapolis Star Monday indicated that he was taking part in only his fourth race on an oval track. On Saturday, he had qualified second for Sunday's race at the Speedway, which was won by A.J. Foyt IV, with a lap at 179.064 miles per hour.


Johnson, Sosa NL PLayers of Week

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Arizona Diamondbacks lefthander Randy Johnson, who was 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA, and Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa, who batted .560 (14-for-25) with six home runs and 19 RBI, Monday were named National League co-Players of the Week.

Johnson struck out 25 in 17 innings, including 14 as the Diamondbacks routed the Florida Marlins on Saturday. He also tossed a two-hit shutout last Monday at the New York Mets.

He moved past Hall of Famer Tom Seaver into fifth place on the all-time strikeout list. Johnson fanned five of the first six batters in the Florida game and when he struck out Preston Wilson in the second inning, moved past Seaver, who had 3,640 career strikeouts. The three-time defending NL Cy Young Award winner now has 3,652.

Sosa on Saturday became the fifth player in history to homer in three consecutive innings, when he launched three-run drives the third, fourth and fifth innings of the Cubs' victory at Colorado.

He also matched Johnny Mize's major league mark with his sixth career three-homer game. Sosa also tied the Cubs' record of nine RBI in a game, which was established on June 11, 1911 by Heinie Zimmerman.

Sunday, Sosa had a grand slam and drove in five runs to set the NL record for RBI in consecutive games with 14.

It also was a week in which San Francisco's Barry Bonds became just the fourth player to record his 600th career home run.


White Sox RF Ordonez AL Player of Week

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Chicago White Sox right fielder Magglio Ordonez, who had four home runs and nine RBI in seven games, Monday was named American League Player of the Week.

Ordonez topped the league this week in slugging percentage (.929), total bases (26) and was tied for the league in home runs and RBI.

The 28-year-old Ordonez, who hit safely in all seven games, batted .429 (12-for-28) with two doubles, six runs scored and an on-base percentage of .467 as the White Sox posted a 5-2 mark, including four one-run victories.


Kansas receiver quits football team

LAWRENCE, Ks., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Harrison Hill, a senior wide receiver, has decided to forgo his senior season at the University of Kansas because of heat-related issues. School officials made the announcement late Sunday.

"I have to break some bad news," said Coach Mark Mangino after KU's afternoon practice. "Unfortunately, senior wide receiver Harrison Hill's career is over today at the University of Kansas. It is a difficult day for us. As you well know, he's had a history of dehydration. He has not been able to keep fluids in his body. He has fought through it, but at this point in time he can't get over the hump. He is in tremendous shape, but he still cramped up and had to be taken to the training room. He is really frustrated.

"We've talked about this before and I encouraged him to continue on, but it's not in the best interest of Harrison Hill to continue. He is frustrated and disappointed, but he can't continue and I have decided that it is not in his best interest. I am not going to put him out there in harms way. This has been an ongoing problem. I'm sensitive to it. I'm sensitive to it because I am a football coach here and it's my job to take very good care of these players and also because I am the parent of a teenage son."

Hill, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA last season after he suffered a fractured scapula bone while returning a kick against UCLA in the second game of the season, ends his career with 108 career receptions for 1,535 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks third all-time in career catches and needed just 26 receptions to pass Willie Vaughn and Richard Estell to be the all-time leader in KU history.

The native of Wichita, Kan., also was injured and forced to the sidelines in game two of his freshman season, when he suffered a broken left ankle against TCU.

A starter in 34 of 36 games, Hill's best season came in 2000, when he led the team and ranked fifth in the Big 12 Conference with 47 receptions for 591 yards.

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