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Original Issue

Sports Beat

Call it Bernie-mania. Sir Paul McCartney has signed
guitarist--and Yankees centerfielder--Bernie Williams to his
music publishing company, MPL Communications. Williams's first
album, The Journey Within, a collection of original jazz songs
with guest appearances by Bela Fleck, David Benoit and Ruben
Blades, will be released on July 15, and the deal gives MPL
rights to Williams's compositions for use in film, television and
commercials. "When I heard his CD, I was blown away," says
McCartney, who first learned of Williams's musical talent while
attending a Yankees game in 1999. "It's a home run." Williams and
the aforementioned guests will play at Chicago's House of Blues
as part of All-Star week two days before his CD is released.

--Lawyers for Karla Knafel, Michael Jordan's ex-girlfriend, say
they'll fight last week's dismissal of her $5 million breach of
contract case against His Airness. Knafel claimed that
Jordan--who paid Knafel $250,000 after she gave birth to a baby
in the early 1990s that both Jordan and Knafel mistakenly thought
was his child--reneged on an unwritten promise to pay her $5
million for her silence when he retired from the NBA. Judge
Richard Siebel ruled that any promise Jordan may have made
(Jordan denies making it) is unenforceable under the law. "The
judge either didn't believe Karla's story or didn't want to
believe her story," said Blake Hannafan, Knafel's lawyer. "We
will appeal."

--Andy Roddick certainly had his head in the game when he defeated
Andre Agassi for the first time last Saturday, but it just may
have been his hat that made the difference in the outcome.
Instead of the usual nerdy-looking white visor, which tended to
make his hair spike upward in a way that only Don King could
love, Roddick was wearing a white baseball cap with a gray Reebok
logo. The change in headgear was a mandate from Roddick's new
coach, Brad Gilbert, who himself favors a Metallica cap. "Brad
just told me the visor wasn't very intimidating," says Roddick.
"I couldn't come up with a good one-liner in my defense, so it's
gone." ... Talk about getting busted: David Horton, the
24-year-old fugitive from justice whose parole officer spotted
him giving lip service on the big-screen Kiss Cam at the Great
American Ballpark during a May 7 Reds game, has been sentenced to
4 1/2 years in prison for violating his parole on cocaine
trafficking charges. Said sentencing judge Melba Marsh, "Lo and
behold, you're found on the Kiss Cam, smooching it up, an image
shown the world over. How stupid [are you]?"... Rockets guard
Steve Francis has begun a tour (he was in Virginia last week) to
promote his record label, Isoh Entertainment, and its first two
artists, T'Neq, a 17-year-old female R&B singer, and Lil Jah, an
18-year-old male rapper. Francis, 26, started Isoh last year with
a business associate from Houston. "I'm not looking for it to
happen overnight," said Francis, "but eventually, I want to be a
big fish in the pond."... Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca received
a memorable Father's Day gift when his 13-year-old son, Matt,
played the U.S. and Canadian national anthems on the violin
before Sunday's home game against the Cubs. Matt, who played his
grandfather's violin, hopes to attend Julliard.


COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT LONGHITANO (SQUIRREL) PICTURE THIS Some runners have the luxury of a rabbit, but, of course, times are tough and everybody is cutting back. Still, that squirrel was flying as it took the lead on the last lap of the girls' 800-meter race at the CYO Area E Track and Field Championship at Upper Dublin High in Fort Washington, Pa.



The Class A Hagerstown Suns are promising a free funeral to the
fan who comes up with the most creative idea for his or her own


Spurs forward, after going 0 for 9 from the floor in Game 4 of
the NBA Finals: "I was about two bricks short of a mansion."