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UPI NewsTrack Sports

  |   June 5, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Bail set for ex-Rays pitcher Brazelton

TAMPA, Fla., June 5 (UPI) -- A judge in Florida set bail at $500 Sunday for former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Dewon Brazelton, who is accused of hitting his fiancee during a public altercation.

The judge also ordered Brazelton not to have any violent contact with his fiance, who told the court she didn't remember him slapping her on the head and disclosed she had been drinking, Tampa-St. Petersburg's WFTS-TV reported.

Brazelton, 30, of St. Petersburg, had been locked up in the Hillsborough County jail after being charged with battery Friday night, jail records showed.

Witnesses told police Brazelton and the unidentified woman got into a shoving match in Tampa's International Plaza, the St. Petersburg Times reported. Brazelton reportedly struck her in the head as he pushed her, the newspaper said.

Brazelton was the Rays' first-round draft choice in 2001 and went 8-23 in three years with the club. He made nine appearances for San Diego in 2006 and played last year for the Kansas City T-Bones of the Northern League.


Pistons fire Coach John Kuester

DETROIT, June 5 (UPI) -- Detroit Pistons Coach John Kuester has been fired after two seasons behind the bench, the club said Sunday.

Kuester compiled a 57-107 record with the Pistons, including a 30-52 mark last season, which was marred by arguments between the coach and certain of his players.

"Decisions like this are difficult to make," President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars said. "I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years; however, at this time we have decided to make a change."

The Pistons failed to make the playoffs in each of Kuester's seasons. It marked the first two-year stretch of postseason absences for the team since 1993-95.


Fit Plaxico Burress gets out on Monday

ONEIDA, N.Y., June 5 (UPI) -- Friends say former New York Giants star Plaxico Burress is fit and ready to reclaim his football career after he gets out of prison Monday.

Burress, 33, apparently has been getting some interest from the NFL and stayed in shape during his nearly two-year incarceration in a New York state prison for a gun charge.

"He's got about eight teams that are very interested in him," said Cadillac Harris, who The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot said visited Burress six weeks ago.

Harris, Burress' high school coach, told the newspaper his former student had wised up while at the Oneida Correctional Facility and lost some of his headstrong attitude.

"His decision-making on and off the field, and his relationship with his family should be much better," Harris said. "I think he's going to be a much different guy coming out, a much more mature person."

Harris declined to say what teams had sent out feelers on Burress; however he said Burress had stayed in shape and was being eyed as an asset that could put a Super Bowl contender over the top.


Nadal downs Federer for 6th French crown

PARIS, June 5 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal claimed his sixth French Open title and second in two years Sunday, besting Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-1 at Roland Garros.

Nadal joined Bjorn Borg as the only man to ever win six French Open crowns with the victory. It marked the fourth time in six years the Spaniard has defeated the Swiss superstar for the Paris title.

Federer started the match strong by building a 5-2 lead in the first set, but Nadal then essentially put the contest away by winning the next seven straight games.

The Spaniard improved to 17-8 all-time against Federer and claimed his 10th Grand Slam title. His only two loses in Grand Slam title matches have come at Wimbledon against Federer.

The third-seeded Federer, meanwhile, had reached the finals by defeating red-hot Novak Djokovic Friday in the semis, but could advance no further, falling a bit short in his bid for a 17th major championship.

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