After 14 major league seasons, outfielder David Justice, 36, a three-time All-Star. Justice played on World Series-winning teams twice, as a Yankee in 2000 and as a Brave in 1995, when his home run in the sixth inning of Game 6 broke a scoreless tie and gave Atlanta the championship. A career .279 hitter with 305 home runs and 1,017 RBIs, Justice reached the playoffs 10 times, including last year with the A's. Justice, who was married to actress Halle Berry from 1992 to '96 and who is known as GQ for his stylish dress, hinted at retirement after Oakland's first-round loss to the Twins. He confirmed his decision last week, citing "a diminished desire to play." As general manager Billy Beane plans to offer Justice an off-the-field position with the team.
By Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's Organizations, the WNBA players' association's goal of seeking more equitable working conditions in the league's new collective bargaining agreement. The players want free agency and a larger share of league revenue, among other things. According to the WNBPA, players earned less than 15% of revenue generated by the still unprofitable league, compared with 55% or more earned by athletes in other sports. "It is unacceptable that WNBA players are in such an inferior position," said Burk. Says NBA senior vice president Tim Andree, "I'm very glad Martha Burk is a WNBA season-ticket holder and that [she] has taken an interest. Both sides are working toward a deal." The previous agreement expired last Sept. 15.
From the Champions Tour's Royal Caribbean Classic last Friday, Fuzzy Zoeller, for hitting practice shots on the 6th tee. Zoeller, who was filming a lesson for a local TV station after his round had ended, was moved to the empty 6th tee by tournament officials because the practice tee was too congested. When the cameraman asked Zoeller for help with a shot showing impact between club and ball, Zoeller hit three balls into an adjacent lake. A tour official happened past and disqualified Zoeller for violating Rule 7-1b, which forbids competitors from practicing on the course between rounds.
For minor cuts and bruises after being involved in a car accident that killed three women, Devil Rays righthander Jesus Colome, 25. Colome was driving with two friends in a sport utility vehicle on a highway outside his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic last Thursday night. According to police, the car carrying the three women turned into Colome's lane, causing the collision. Neither of Colome's passengers was seriously hurt. Colome had been scheduled to return to Tampa Bay on Sunday but instead stayed in the Dominican Republic to console and help the families of the victims. "This could affect my career," he said. "I don't know whether I feel O.K. to play this season." Colome went 2-7 with an 8.27 ERA in 32 relief appearances last season.
From the Kentucky Derby, Vindication, the 2-year-old champion of 2002 and the early favorite in the race. Undefeated in four starts last year, including October's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (right, with Mike Smith up), Vindication, a son of Seattle Slew, damaged a ligament in his left foreleg while training at Santa Anita Park. He will not train for at least two months, and his handlers say that the Triple Crown, which runs from May 3 to June 7, is out. "Everyone at the barn is devastated," says trainer Bob Baffert. "We're still in denial." The injury continues a thoroughbred jinx: In the 18-year history of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, its winner has never gone on to wear the roses in Kentucky. Spectacular Bid, in 1979, was the last 2-year-old champion to win the Derby.