Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Attendance up, NL ahead in interleague play

NEW YORK -- Attendance was up 16.2 percent and an average of nearly 31,000 fans attended games during the first segment of interleague play.

Intraleague games this season drew an average attendance of 26,604, but that number rose to 30,921 once the AL and NL faced off for 210 games over 15 days.

Games within the leagues resumed Monday, but the last segment of interleague play is scheduled for next weekend -- featuring a second series this season between local rivals. The NL leads the AL 109-101 so far this season and holds a 706-696 advantage since interleague play began in 1997.

Red Sox Castillo suspended for five games

NEW YORK -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Frank Castillo was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount Monday for making contact with an umpire in a game last week.

The right-hander was ejected in the seventh inning of Boston's 3-2 loss in San Diego last Wednesday for arguing a balk call made by three of the four umpires.

Boxer collapses and dies, 36 hours after fight

LAS VEGAS -- A Panamanian fighter collapsed and died in his hotel room Monday, some 36 hours after he was stopped in a title fight.

Pedro Alcazar was taking a shower and getting ready to fly home when he suddenly collapsed. A Nevada boxing doctor said Alcazar had shown no symptoms of being hurt until he fell about 6 a.m. at the MGM Grand hotel-casino.

''He had brain swelling from some cause,'' said Dr. Flip Homansky, who is also a member of the state's athletic commission. ''It was a total surprise and we're not sure why it happened. But you can't ignore he was in a professional boxing match Saturday night.''

U.S. loss to Germany sets soccer for ESPN

SEOUL, South Korea -- The United States' 1-0 loss to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals was ESPN's most-watched soccer telecast ever, despite a 7:30 a.m. EDT start. Friday's game drew an average of 3.77 million homes, the network said Monday.

The previous high was 2.88 million households for the 1999 Women's World Cup semifinal between the United States and Brazil, which started at 4:30 p.m. EDT on the Fourth of July. The previous best for a men's game was 2.71 million homes for the United States' 2-1 upset of Colombia during the 1994 World Cup, a game that started at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Despite early morning starts, ESPN has averaged 948,000 homes for 21 World Cup telecasts, up 48 percent from the 670,000 households it averaged for 27 games at the 1998 World Cup in France, when games started in the morning and afternoon EDT.

ESPN2 has averaged 476,000 homes for 33 telecasts, up 63 percent from its average of 292,000 households for 23 games four years ago.

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