Sports briefs 3/24/04

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


  • Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior will open the season on the 15-day disabled list, the team announced Tuesday. Prior, 23, has not pitched in a Cactus League game this spring because of inflammation in his right Achilles' tendon. The Cubs can backdate Prior's DL status eight days into spring training, which means he will be out only the first seven days of the regular season.

    New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera signed a $21 million, two-year contract extension through 2006. Rivera, MVP of the 1999 World Series and last year's AL championship series, helped the Yankees win four Series titles and six AL pennants. He was 5-2 with a career-low 1.66 ERA last year and had 40 saves in 46 chances, increasing his career total to 283.


  • The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape will be forced to testify Wednesday about her sex life - a move some experts fear could discourage other women from reporting sexual assaults. The 19-year-old woman will testify behind closed doors, but media members will be at the courthouse to report that she had to answer questions from defense attorneys about intimate details of her life.


  • There's no debate when it comes to Emeka Okafor and Jameer Nelson. They're unanimous All-Americans. The stars at Connecticut and Saint Joseph's led The Associated Press men's college basketball All-America team, the first time since 1985 more than one player was chosen by every voter. Okafor, a 6-foot-10 junior center, and Nelson, a 5-11 senior guard, earned a perfect 360 points by being picked on all 72 first-team ballots by the media. Lawrence Roberts of Mississippi State was third with 308 points, while Josh Childress of Stanford had 235, and Ryan Gomes of Providence completed the first team with 208.

    Duke senior Alana Beard became just the second three-time member of The Associated Press women's college basketball All-America team. She was a unanimous selection on a squad that also features Connecticut's Diana Taurasi, Penn State's Kelly Mazzante, Stanford's Nicole Powell, and Kansas State's Nicole Ohlde.


  • Evgeni Plushenko of Russia won the short program with a high-energy performance, putting him in ideal position to defend his World Figure Skating Championships title. Plushenko won worlds in 2001 and 2003. Brian Joubert of France was second and Stefan Lindemann of Germany was third. Michael Weiss, the 27-year-old former three-time U.S. champion who finished second at nationals this year, was fifth overall after the short program. Newly crowned U.S. champion Johnny Weir, a disappointing seventh in the qualifying round, had the fourth-best short program and is sixth entering the free program on Thursday.


  • Sidelined by knee surgery, Serena Williams spent most of the past eight months designing dresses and dabbling in acting. Now that she's ready to get back on a tennis court, it's as if she never left: Williams will be seeded No. 1 at the Nasdaq-100 Open, which begins today. The tournament will be her first since she won her sixth Grand Slam title by beating older sister Venus at Wimbledon in July.

    -- From wire reports

  • Respond to this story

    Posting a comment requires free registration: