MLB makes new proposal
NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball negotiator Rob Manfred said Wednesday a new revenue sharing proposal had been made to the Players Association in hopes of heading off a strike that could wipe out the remainder of the season.
"It represented a substantial move in the direction of the union, both in structure and transfer amount," Manfred said.
Manfred did not detail the numbers, but prior to the new offer there had been a gap of $47 million between the two sides' versions of the luxury tax that has been the major sticking point in negotiations.
Players have voted to strike on Aug. 30 unless a new contract is signed. The 2002 season has been played without a contract.
Manfred, Major League Baseball's vice president for labor relations and human resources, said the newest proposal was made to the union Tuesday night and that there had not yet been a response.
Angels down Yankees in extra innings
NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Scott Spiezio hit a two-run homer to highlight a four-run 11th inning Wednesday as the Anaheim Angels took advantage of a taxed New York Yankees bullpen to pull out a 5-1 win.
The Yankees are in need of a reliever to fill the role of closer after Mariano Rivera was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season Monday. If Jeff Weaver, the third Yankee reliever, was auditioning for the role, he gave a poor performance.
Brad Fullmer opened the 11th with a fly ball to left field that dropped in front of John Vander Wal and took an unusual bounce past the outfielder for a double.
Spiezio followed by belting an 0-2 pitch from Weaver (7-11) over the right field fence for his eighth homer. It was the 11th homer allowed by Weaver since he was acquired from the Detroit Tigers earlier this summer.
Adam Kennedy followed with a single, went to second on a groundout and to third on a bunt single by David Eckstein, who tied a career high with four hits. Darin Erstad hit a slow grounder to first base and Kennedy beat Jason Giambi's throw home.
Garret Anderson followed one one later with a run-scoring single to make it 5-1.
Other American League results: Kansas City 7, Toronto 4; Boston 5, Texas 3; Oakland 6, Cleveland 0; Seattle 8, Detroit 2; Baltimore 2, Tampa Bay 1; Chicago 10, Minnesota 1.
Finley leads Cardinals
ST. LOUIS, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Chuck Finley struck out 10 over eight dominant innings and Scott Rolen delivered a two-run triple Wednesday night, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Acquired from Pittsburgh on July 19 from Cleveland to help fill the void left by the death of Darryl Kile, the 39-year-old Finley has become more a finesse pitcher as his career has wound down
But Finley (4-3) looked like a youngster Wednesday night, allowing a solo homer to Keith Osik and two other hits as he recorded his best strikeout effort since joining his new team. The lefthander walked two and departed after throwing 65 of 98 pitches for strikes.
Jason Isringhausen struck out one in a perfect ninth for his 28th save.
Rolen, who has been bothered by a sore shoulder, stroked his triple in the fifth to give St. Louis a 4-0 lead.
Pirates rookie Josh Fogg (11-9) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings. The righthander walked three and struck out two.
Other National League results: Houston 4, Chicago 0; Philadelphia 13, Milwaukee 3; Montreal 13, Colorado 5; Arizona 11, Cincinnati 3.
College football season starts
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- On the earliest starting date in the history of the sport, the college football season will get underway Thursday night with one of the seven games scheduled for the opening weekend.
The Virginia Cavaliers, beginning their second season under Al Groh and hoping to improve on a 5-7 record from a year ago, will host the Colorado State Rams in the second Jim Thorpe Classic.
It will be the first meeting ever between the schools and it will also be the first college game for a host of Virginia freshmen who are being counted on to move the Cavaliers up the Atlantic Coast Conference ladder.
"I'd say our youngsters had better have a big impact," Groh said, "or we're going to be non-competitive. When some of our young men went to a football game last year, they were riding in a yellow school bus."
Virginia was originally scheduled to play its opening game on Aug. 31 at powerful Florida State. So when Groh was given the chance to host the Thorpe Classic, he jumped at the chance so his young team could have a game under its belt before traveling to Tallahassee.
Groh, who left the New York Jets to take over the Virginia program last year, also scheduled an extra game for the Cavaliers in 2001. That turned out to be a 26-17 loss to Wisconsin in the Eddie Robinson Classic.
Prior to Thursday night's game, the earlest start to the college season had been Aug. 23. Northwestern beat Oklahoma on that date in 1997 and Louisville downed New Mexico State on Aug. 23, 2001.
Nuggets hire new head coach
DENVER, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Denver Nuggets, who have not been to the playoffs since 1995, Wednesday hired Jeff Bzdelik to be their new head coach.
Bzdelik has served as a scout and assistant coach in the NBA since 1988 and most recently led the Nuggets summer league team to a 6-0 record in the Rocky Mountain Revue last month.
Denver endured its seventh straight losing campaign last season, going 27-55 under Dan Issel and interim Coach Mike Evans.
Issel accepted a buyout from the Nuggets and resigned as team president and coach in December after serving a team-imposed four-game suspension for directing an ethnic slur at a fan following a loss to Charlotte on Dec. 11. The Nuggets went 18-38 under Evans.
Dallas Mavericks assistants Del Harris and Donn Nelson and New Jersey Nets assistant Eddie Jordan were among those who interviewed and all withdrew their names from consideration for the job.
U.S. Open draws announced
NEW YORK, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Top seed Serena Williams will face an emotional first-round match at the U.S. Open next week as she drew wild card and fellow American Corina Morariu when the brackets were announced Wednesday.
On the men's side, world No. 1 and top seed Lleyton Hewitt, the defending U.S. Open and reigning Wimbledon champion, will meet Nicolas Coutelot of France in the first round. Second seed Marat Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open titlist, will face a tricky opening-round match against veteran Nicolas Kiefer of Germany.
The reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion, Williams climbed to the top of the WTA rankings for the first time in the midst of her recent 21-match winning streak.
Williams is trying to become the first women to capture three Grand Slam titles in a year since Martina Hingis accomplished the feat in 1997.
Morariu returned to the tour on July 29 at San Diego. She had not played since a first-round loss in Germany in May 2001, when she returned home after suffering from nosebleeds and bruising. She was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia and began receiving massive doses of chemotherapy, leaving her weakened and near death. She now is in remission.
The 24-year-old Morariu has been ranked as high as No. 29 in the world in singles and No. 1 in doubles during her career. She will play in her first Grand Slam tournament since the 2001 Australian Open, where she reached the doubles final with Lindsay Davenport and won the mixed doubles title with Ellis Ferreira.
Hewitt will be the clear favorite to beat the world No. 103 in the opening round. But in the second, the Australian faces a potential encounter with Britain's Greg Rusedski.
Rusedski knocked off Hewitt in straight sets on Aug. 15 in the third round of the Indianapolis hardcourt event en route to capturing the title.
Safin owns a 2-1 edge in his lifetime series against Kiefer. The Russian beat Kiefer in four sets in the quarterfinals on the way to capturing the 2000 U.S. Open title. However, the German overcame Safin earlier this year at the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf.
Sele goes on DL
NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Anaheim Angels saw their postseason hopes suffer a significant blow Wednesday when righthander Aaron Sele was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a rotator cuff injury.
Sele reported discomfort in his right shoulder after allowing seven runs and seven walks in five innings in a 7-5 loss to the New York Yankees Tuesday night.
The 32-year-old Sele underwent an MRI Wednesday and was examined by an orthopedic specialist. The exam revealed a partial tear in his right rotator cuff. There was no indication as to how long Sele would be sidelined.
Stadler, Hass win at U.S. Amateur
Haas, son of PGA Tour veteran Jay Haas, earned medalist honors at the Oakland Hills Country Club and played in the last of Wednesday's 32 first-round matches. He went to the 18th hole all square with Lee Williamson, but captured the final hole to set up a second-round match with John Merrick.
Merrick defeated Lee Curry of Canada, 3 & 2.
Nets keep Kenyon Martin
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The New Jersey Nets Wednesday exercised their contract option on forward Kenyon Martin, who helped them to an unexpected trip to the NBA Finals last season.
Financial terms were not disclosed for Martin, who is under contract through the 2003-04 season.
"Due to the collective bargaining agreement, we had until Oct. 31 to exercise our option on Kenyon," General Manager Rod Thorn said. "He is a vital component our our team and we are pleased to have Kenyon under contract for the next two seasons."
The top pick in the 2000 draft out of Cincinnati, Martin played in 73 games last season, averaging a team-high 14.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. In the playoffs, Martin averaged 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 20 contests as the Nets advanced to the NBA Finals before getting swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in four games.
Beem goes after another win
SAMMAMISH, Wash., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Fresh from his stunning victory at the PGA Championship, Rich Beem will continue his whirlwind week Thursday when he tees off at the $5.5 million NEC Invitational at the Sahalee Country Club.
A self-proclaimed underdog, Beem fired a 4-under-par 68 Sunday to hold off a charge by Tiger Woods to win the final major championship of the year.
Having also won The International earlier this month, he will will try to win his third straight tournament at the World Golf Championship event.
Woods will try to become the first player in 75 years to win the same event four years in a row and claim the $1 million first prize. Walter Hagen won the PGA Championship from 1924 to 1927 in a match-play format. Gene Sarazen captured four straight Miami Opens, but the tournament was not played one year.