Pujols heads All-Star list
St Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols is the top vote getter for Major League Baseball’s 80th All-Star game, which will be played next Tuesday at Busch Stadium. Pujols, who will be making his eighth all-star appearance and a start in front of his home fans, collected 5.39 million votes. Pujols leads US baseball with 31 home runs and 82 runs batted in. He will be joined on the National League (NL) team by teammate Yadier Molina, who finished first among catchers. Three NL teams have at least two starters in the game. The New York Mets lead the NL with four picks, comprising center fielder Carlos Beltran, third baseman David Wright, New York ace Johan Santana and closer Francisco Rodriguez. The starting lineup for the NL comprises, Pujols at first, Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez, Wright at third, Cardinals catcher Molina and Beltran, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez in the outfield. The American League starters comprise Mark Teixeira at first, Boston’s Dustin Pedroia at second, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria, outfielders Jason Bay of Boston, Josh Hamilton of Texas and Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle, and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer.
Borzakovsky shines at home
Home favorite and former Olympic champion Yury Borzakovsky stormed the 800m, but rain and cold prevented top-notch performances at the Znamensky Brothers Memorial athletics meet in Zhukovsky near Moscow on Sunday. The Russian splashed to the line ahead of compatriot Yury Koldin and Kenya’s Reuben Bett to win in 1 minute, 46.48 seconds, a full four seconds slower than his personal best. It was the third win in five days for Borzakovsky after victories in Oslo, Norway and Moscow. Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis easily won the men’s 100m sprint, his sub-par time of 10.27 seconds still good enough to leave behind Matic Osovnikar of Slovenia, who clocked 10.54 seconds, and Russia’s Aleksandr Volkov (10.63).
Others whose performaces defied the relentless drizzle and crosswinds included Bulgaria’s Momchil Karaliyev, who leaped 17.18m to win the men’s triple jump ahead of Dmitry Dzetsuk (16.78m) of Belarus and Ukrain’s Viktor Yastrebov (16.71m).
Asashoryu admits divorce
Controversial sumo grand champion Asashoryu yesterday announced that he and his wife had divorced, following rumors that the couple had separated. “I had a divorce this year,” the 28-year-old said in his blog, maintained by his manager. “This is the result of many discussions we had,” he said in the brief statement, without elaborating. The wrestler, whose real name is Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj, married his childhood sweetheart Gombotseren Tamir in late 2002. They had a son and a daughter together.
Athletics acquire Hairston
The Oakland Athletics have acquired outfielder Scott Hairston from the San Diego Padres in exchange for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named, the Athletics said on Sunday. Hairston, 29, was hitting .299 with 10 home runs and 29 runs batted in at San Diego. He spent most of last month on the disabled list with a strained left biceps, Major League Baseball reported on its official Web site, www.mlb.com.
Umpire killed by ball
A cricket umpire died at the weekend after being hit on the head by a ball thrown by a fielder. Alcwyn Jenkins, 72, was officiating on Saturday in a local league match at the St Helen’s ground in Swansea, South Wales, when the accident happened. He was airlifted to hospital but died shortly afterwards. Neil Hobbs, honorary chairman of the South Wales Cricket Association, told the Times: “The throw would have been from about 40m away. No one can quite believe it has happened. Umpires do get hit by the ball occasionally, but the chances of it being a fatality must be less than one in a million.” Steve Davies, chairman of Swansea Cricket Club, said: “Just before the game he turned to me and said, I just love playing games at St Helen’s. It’s a wonderful place to play cricket.’”