With punishment by the NBA, the 28 referees who protested the suspension of a colleague by wearing their jerseys inside out with his number (62) on their backs. Referee Michael Henderson was suspended for three games last week after erroneously whistling a shot-clock violation against the Nuggets late in the Lakers' 112-111 win in Denver. Explaining the refs' Friday protest, union spokesman Lamell McMorris said, "An unprecedented job action was taken against one of their colleagues, so an unprecedented response was necessary." A league statement said referees who protested would be subject to "appropriate discipline."
At 86, Roque Maspoli, whose stellar goalkeeping helped Uruguay defeat Brazil 2-1 in the final game of the 1950 World Cup, one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament. As 200,000 astonished fans looked on in Rio de Janeiro, Maspoli repeatedly stonewalled the attacking home side, which had scored 13 goals in its previous two games. "Maspoli performed acrobatic prodigies in goal," English soccer historian Brian Glanville wrote in 1973. "Time and again, [ Brazil's] Zizinho, Ademir and Jair, that terrifying trio, worked their sinuous way through the blue walls of Uruguay's defense. Time and again...an interception by the flying Maspoli frustrated them."
To conspiracy to commit mail fraud, former major league umpire Al Clark. An ump from 1977 to 2001, Clark admitted to I selling hundreds of baseballs that he had falsely I claimed came from games I he worked during his career. Among the bogus spheres were those Clark said were used in Nolan Ryan's 300th win and in Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,131st consecutive game. Clark faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine and has already been ordered to pay $40,000 in restitution to people he duped. According to prosecutors, Clark made the balls look more authentic by rubbing them with mud from the same New Jersey creek that supplies the mud used to take the shine off all major league game balls.
As player-development instructor for the Yankees, Darryl Strawberry, 41. The oft-troubled slugger was hired by owner George Steinbrenner in November, but he decided last week that his involvement with the Without Walls International Church of Tampa didn't leave him time for baseball. "I just walked away from a $70,000 job because I want to serve God," he said. "I always put money first. This is God's time."