Sports Briefs

Posted: Monday, July 08, 2002

Piazza out with sore back

MIAMI -- New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza was scratched from the starting lineup Sunday because of back spasms.

Mets general manager Steve Phillips said the injury wasn't serious, and he expected Piazza would be able to start the All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.

He also said the injury had nothing to do with Piazza getting hit in the ribs by a pitch from Florida's Michael Tejera on Saturday.

If Piazza can't play Tuesday, the job of NL starting catcher would fall to Arizona's Damian Miller or San Francisco's Benito Santiago.

Gonzalez taken to hospital with stomach pains

MIAMI -- Florida Marlins shortstop Alex Gonzalez was taken to a hospital for tests Sunday after he woke up with stomach pains.

Gonzalez was later transferred to Holy Cross Hospital in nearby Fort Lauderdale, where he remained Sunday afternoon for further evaluation. Team officials did not know if any problems had been found and were unsure if Gonzalez would remain there overnight.

Gonzalez has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 21 because of a dislocated left shoulder. He had a setback Thursday when he left a rehabilitation assignment with pain in the shoulder. Tests showed torn scar tissue.

Gonzalez was scheduled to begin a second rehab assignment Monday, but called assistant coach Ozzie Guillen about 6 a.m. Sunday complaining of stomach pains. His wife then took him to the hospital.

Swoopes top vote-getter in WNBA All-Star balloting

NEW YORK -- Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets was the top vote-getter in final fan balloting to choose the starters for the WNBA All-Star game.

In results released on Sunday, the Comets' star forward received 97,631 votes and heads the Western Conference starters.

She is joined by teammate Tina Thompson at the other forward, center Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks, and guards Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm and Ticha Penicheiro of the Sacramento Monarchs.

Forward Chamique Holdsclaw of the Washington Mystics was the leading vote-getter for the Eastern Conference All-Stars with 89,391 votes. The other Eastern starters are forward Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever, center Tari Phillips of the New York Liberty and guards Teresa Weatherspoon of the Liberty and Dawn Staley of the Charlotte Sting.

The All-Star game is July 15 at MCI Center in Washington, D.C.

Each conference's eight coaches will select the reserves, who will be announced on Wednesday.

Michael Cooper of the Sparks will coach the Western Conference, and Anne Donovan will coach the Eastern Conference.

Streaker gets on Centre Court during men's final

WIMBLEDON, England -- For the second time in six years, a streaker got onto Centre Court during the Wimbledon men's final.

During a rain break with Lleyton Hewitt leading David Nalbandian 6-1, 1-0, a middle-aged man jumped onto the court, shed his clothes and shoes and did a little dance at the net.

The man did a pirouette, bowed, somersaulted over the net, flexed his muscles and pranced around as the spectators laughed.

The man was on the court for about two minutes before security officials reacted. He jumped over the net to evade the guards, before he was finally caught and escorted away with a red sheet around him.

Hewitt and Nalbandian had just returned to the court after a 15-minute rain delay and were about to begin warming up when the streaker appeared.

In 1996, a female streaker ran across Centre Court just before the start of the final between Richard Krajicek and MaliVai Washington.

Two years ago, a man who identified himself as a ''professional streaker'' interrupted a doubles match involving Anna Kournikova on Court 14.

Sunday's incident was the second Centre Court security breach this year. During the first week, two men wearing white tennis clothes and carrying rackets eluded security and hit a ball back and forth for about 20 seconds. They walked off and left the complex without being apprehended.

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