Wed, Aug 16, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Baseball
Castilla resigns for Rockies

Vinny Castilla, a fan favorite in two stints with the Colorado Rockies, agreed to a minor league contract with the team and is expected to join the expanded roster next month. The 39-year-old Mexican third baseman was released by the San Diego Padres on July 21 after hitting .232 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 72 games. Castilla is a career .276 hitter and was a member of the Rockies' only playoff team in 1995. "In the brief history of our franchise, few players have endeared themselves to Rockies fans as much as Vinny," Rockies president Keli McGregor said on Monday.

■ Golf

Tiger and Ernie to hit Asia

World No. 1 Tiger Woods and three-times major winner Ernie Els will compete in Asian Tour events starting next month, organizers said yesterday. Woods, with 11 majors and 50 US PGA Tour event wins under his belt, will headline the US$5 million HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November, the Asian Tour said in a statement released from its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. It will be Woods' second appearance in Shanghai. South African Els, meanwhile, is the leading player at the US$3 million Barclays Singapore Open early next month, the statement read.

■ Baseball

Matt Diaz ties NL record

Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz tied a National League record on Monday night by hitting safely in a 10th consecutive at-bat. Diaz's single in the seventh inning off Washington Nationals reliever Travis Hughes made him 4-for-4 in the game and allowed him to break the Braves' team record and equal the NL mark, shared by several players. The most recent to accomplish it was Cincinnati's Bip Roberts on Sept. 19-23, 1992. Diaz hit a two-run homer in the second and singled in the fourth and fifth Monday, all off starter Ramon Ortiz. His streak ended with a groundout to short in the ninth.

■ Rugby Union

Pivac still Fiji coach

New Zealander Wayne Pivac will coach Fiji at next year's World Cup after the Fiji Rugby Union rejected calls for his sacking. Pivac had been under fire after Fiji's 47-18 and 80-9 losses to Australia A last month, which called into question the state of Fiji's preparation for the world tournament in France. The board of the Fiji Rugby Union met in Suva on Monday to consider Pivac's report on the Australia A matches and on the inaugural Pacific Five Nations tournament in which Fiji finished third. Chief executive Keni Dakuidreketi said Pivac had been confirmed as coach but would be expected to provide a report to the board on his World Cup preparations. His performance would now be monitored on a monthly basis.

■ Horse racing

Jockey charged over fixing

Irish jockey Robert Winston was one of nine people charged in a British race-fixing probe, the sport's governing body confirmed on Monday. Winston is among four jockeys to face corruption charges by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) in relation to 37 races between June 2003 and February 2004, following an investigation by the HRA. Winston denies any wrongdoing. Winston, 26, is third in the jockey's title race. He rode in 21 of the races under investigation. Three other less well-known jockeys and a former bookmaker were among those charged. A preliminary hearing at HRA headquarters has been set for Sept. 27.

■ England
West Ham buy Robert Green

West Ham United's bid for Norwich goalkeeper Robert Green was accepted on Monday. The transfer could rise to £2 million (US$3.8 million) depending on appearances and incentives. Green's move to Upton Park is still dependent on him passing a medical test and agreeing to personal terms. The 26-year-old England reserve is currently recovering from a groin injury he picked up in a B game against Belarus in May. After coming through the Norwich youth academy, Green has played 241 games for the senior team. He is West Ham's sixth pre-season acquisition.

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