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MLB FIRES MARKETING EXEC: On the eve of the World Series, baseball fired its chief marketing executive, Greg Murphy, who quickly ran afoul with the teams and the staff of the commissioner's office, making many misteps because of his lack of baseball experience.

BEANE IS NEW A'S GM: Sandy Alderson, the longest-serving active general manager in the majors, was replaced by assistant GM Billy Beane on Friday, the Oakland Athletics announced. Alderson retains the title of president and will continue to oversee day-to-day operations of the team.

NAEHRING REJOINS BOSOX: Nearly four months after he was sidelined with an elbow injury, Tim Naehring rejoined the Boston Red Sox roster Friday - two weeks after the season ended.


UCONN GOING DIV. I-A: The University of Connecticut board of trustees voted Friday to upgrade the football program to Division I-A and build a campus stadium that could seat 35,000 spectators. The legislature now must approve the plan to move from Division I-AA and build on a 100-acre site on the north side of the campus before the university can accept an invitation to the Big East conference.


REID STILL WAITING: South Alabama missed a self-imposed Friday deadline to name a replace-ment for former basketball coach Bill Musselman.

Assistant coach Tommy Wade will be in charge when South Alabama begins practice on Saturday. Wade is one of the candidates who interviewed for the job. Another is former BYU coach Roger Reid.


NHL FINES OILERS, CANUCKS: The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks were each fined $10,000 as a result of an altercation at the end of their game earlier this week, the NHL said.


EUROPEAN INDOORS: At Zurich, Switzerland, playing before startled home fans, a weary Martina Hingis was beaten by Lisa Raymond in the European Indoor Championships on Friday. "I didn't feel too well," Hingis said after the 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 loss.

CZECH INDOORS: At Czech Republic, Croatia's Goran Ivanisevic beat Bohdan Ulihrach of the Czech Republic in straight sets Friday to advance to the semifinals of the $975,000 ATP Czech Indoor tennis tournament. The third-seeded Croatian won 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.

LYON GRAND PRIX: At Lyon, France, Fabrice Santoro won 11 consecutive games in routing fourth-seeded Felix Mantilla 6-1, 6-1 Friday in the quarterfinals at the Lyon Grand Prix tournament.

MARLBORO CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Hong Kong, Boris Becker of Germany defeated American Jonathan Stark 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Marlboro Tennis Championships.


PGA DISNEY CLASSIC: Only in the Disney Classic, on a course like Lake Buena Vista in Florida , could Payne Stewart walk away with a 5-under-par 67 for the second-round lead Friday - and wonder what went wrong.

Len Mattiace, two strokes back after a 66, knows the feeling.

He was 2-under after nine holes when he turned to a friend and said, "I feel like I'm 3-over and going to shoot 78."

Not until Stewart had changed out of his knickers was he able to put his round into perspective. He had a two-day total of 131, and a two-stroke lead over Mattiace and Andrew Magee.

Brad Bryant, the 1995 Disney winner, was in a group at 10-under 134 that also included Phil Blackmar, Bill Glasson, Joe Durant and John Cook.

LPGA WORLD: Chris Johnson, Juli Inkster, Helen Afredsson of Sweden and Australian Karrie Webb shared the lead midway through the LPGA Samsung World Championship of Women's Golf after a windswept Friday at Lakeside Country Club in Seoul, South Korea.

Inkster and Webb got off to shaky starts. Webb had four bogeys on the first five holes but settled down to shoot a 74 and be at 141, while Inkster made two bogeys on the first five holes and also managed a 74 and a share of the lead.

DUNHILL CUP: Nick Price withdrew from the Dunhill Cup after 12 holes Friday because of a muscle injury, forfeiting his match, but Zimbabwe still defeated Spain 2-1 and the United States shutout Japan 3-0 at St. Andrews, Scotland.

The injury to Price means Zimbabwe will begin its match today against New Zealand trailing 1-0. The winner of that match will advance to the semifinals. The U.S. team will advance with a victory over England.