Sports Watch

Prince crowned king at long ball contest

(AP) - Milwaukee slugger Prince Fielder is baseball's sultan of swat, at least at the All-Star game home run derby. Fielder defeated Nelson Cruz of Texas in the final round, 6-5. Fielder's power included one jaw-dropping drive measured at 503 feet at Busch Stadium. Both Fielder and Cruz have hit 22 home runs this regular season - when they count.

Philadelphia's Ryan Howard, a native of St. Louis and hometown star Albert Pujols (POO'-hohlz) of St. Louis were knocked out in the second round.

San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez, Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena, Detroit's Brandon Inge (ihnj) and Minnesota's Joe Mauer were eliminated in the first round.

Lincecum, Halladay are All-Star starters...Lineups announced

ST. LOUIS (AP) - San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (LINZ'-ih-kuhm) and Roy Halladay of Toronto are starting pitchers for Tuesday night's All-Star game in St. Louis.

Last year's NL Cy Young Award winner, Lincecum is 10-2 with a 2.33 ERA - a natural choice for NL manager Charlie Manuel. The 25-year-old right-hander is tied for the major league lead with 149 strikeouts.

Halladay was given the starting nod by AL skipper Joe Maddon of Tampa Bay. Halladay has gone 10-3 in the first half with a 2.85 ERA.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Joe Maddon's AL lineup looks like this: Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki leads off, followed by Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer batting third, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) in the cleanup spot, Boston left fielder Jason Bay fifth, followed by Texas center fielder Josh Hamilton, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, Toronto second baseman Aaron Hill and then Halladay.

Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez will lead off for the NL, followed by Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols and Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun in right. Raul Ibanez of the Phillies will be in left and bat fifth, in front of Mets third baseman David Wright, Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, Cardinals catcher Yadier (YAH'-dee-ehr) Molina and Lincecum.

The American League has a 12-game unbeaten streak in the midsummer classic. The NL's last win came in Philadelphia in 1996.

Owners may file

CHICAGO (AP) - According to two people with knowledge of the process, the corporate owner of the Chicago Cubs is considering having the baseball team file for bankruptcy protection as a legal step to hasten its long-awaited sale.

Tribune Co., which itself filed for bankruptcy protection in December, intends for the Cubs' own stay in Chapter 11 to be as short as a day or two. If pursued, the filing would be done to give the team's next owners as "clean" a title to the Cubs as possible - to protect them from possible future claims by Tribune creditors.

Nats sack Acta, promote Riggleman

WASHINGTON (AP) - It's going to be a long All-Star break for Manny Acta. The sad-sack Washington Nationals pulled the cord and fired manager Acta following 2.5 seasons. The Nationals posted a 26-61 the first half of the season. Their 26 wins are nine games fewer than the next-to-worst team in baseball, the Cleveland Indians.

Bench coach Jim Riggleman gets promoted to interim manager. Riggleman has a 522-652 record over nine seasons managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners. Acta was 158-252 in his 2.5 seasons in his first managerial job.

The Nationals also have an interim general manager, Mike Rizzo. In perhaps the understatement of the season, Rizzo says he feels the Nats have "underachieved."

Acta joins Colorado's Clint Hurdle and Arizona's Bob Melvin as major league managers who have been fired this season.

Lemaire back with Devils

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Jacques Lemaire (zhahk leh-MEHR') is returning for a second stint as coach of the New Jersey Devils. Lemaire led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 1995. He was hired to replace Brent Sutter (SUH'-tur), who resigned after two seasons with New Jersey.

Lemaire coached the Devils from 1993 to 1998. The 63-year-old coached the Minnesota Wild from 2000 through the end of this past season, when he resigned.

Lemaire has won 11 Stanley Cups as a player, coach and executive.

In other NHL news:

The New York Rangers have traded Finnish left winger Lauri Korpikoski to the Phoenix Coyotes for Russian right winger Enver Lisin. The Rangers also are bringing back forward Ryan Callahan, who had a career high 22 goals last season.

Griffin gets 27 and 12 in summer league debut...Bibby, Pachulia re-up with Hawks

(AP) - Los Angeles Clippers center Blake Griffin didn't wait long to show why he was the top pick in last month's NBA draft. Griffin scored seven points in the opening 75 seconds of the Clippers' first NBA Summer League game and finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 93-82 victory over the L.A. Lakers' summer league team.

In other NBA news:

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed unrestricted free agents Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia (pah-CHOOL'-yuh) as the team tries to keep pace with the NBA's other Eastern Conference powerhouses Boston, Orlando and Cleveland.

The Phoenix Suns have reached a contract agreement with free-agent center Channing Frye and will announce the deal at a news conference Tuesday. He has averaged 8.2 points per game in four seasons with the New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers.

The Denver Nuggets acquired Arron Afflalo (uh-FLAH'-loh) and Walter Sharpe from Detroit in exchange for a future second-round draft pick. The Nuggets also received cash in Monday's deal. The Pistons freed up close to $1.8 million in salary cap space.

The Orlando Magic have retained backup center Marcin Gortat (GOOR'-taht), matching the $34 million, 5-year deal offered by Dallas.

Bucs sign DT Miller, release QB Griese...Ravens' WR Mason retiring

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed third-round draft pick Roy Miller, a defensive tackle from Texas. He was the 81st overall selection in the draft. His signing leaves the Bucs with one unsigned pick, first-rounder Josh Freeman.

To make roster space for Miller, the Bucs released backup quarterback Brian Griese (GREE'-see). The 34-year-old started five games last season.

In another note, Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason has told a sports Web site he is retiring from the NFL. The 35-year-old Mason played eight seasons in Tennessee and four in Baltimore. A Ravens spokesman says Mason has not formally informed the team of his retirement plans.

New woman in charge

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Carolyn Bivens is out as commissioner of the LPGA Tour. She's been replaced by Marsha Evans, who served on the LPGA commissioner's advisory council the past two years.

Evans is a former Naval officer who reached the rank of rear admiral. She also led the Girl Scouts of the USA and then the American Red Cross.

Back in the saddles

TARBES, France (AP) - It's back on the course at the Tour de France Tuesday following a rest day. The overall leader is Rinaldo Nocentini (noh-chehn-TEE'-nee), with Alberto Contador second and Lance Armstrong third.

The 7-time Tour winner Armstrong told a French reporter Sunday that he hasn't ruled out competing in the Tour de France again next year.

Woods and Westwood paired in first round

TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) - The field is set for this week's British Open in Turnberry, Scotland. Tiger Woods is paired with Lee Westwood of England in Thursday's opening round while defending champion Padraig Harrington will play with former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk (FYOOR'-ihk) the first day.

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