METS FIRE GM: Joe McIlvaine was fired as general manager of the surprising New York Mets, the apparent victim of a personality conflict with co-owner Fred Wilpon and manager Bobby Valentine.

Steve Phillips, 34, was promoted from assistant general manager to the GM job, and will be given a contract through the 2000 season.

FIELDER INJURED: New York Yankees designated hitter Cecil Fielder will miss six to eight weeks after fracturing his right thumb during a head-first slide in Tuesday's win over Cleveland.


NINERS SIGN WOODSON: Free agent cornerback Rod Woodson signed a three-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Woodson, who played brilliantly for 10 seasons with Pittsburgh, suffered a career-threatening knee injury in 1995, but returned last season to start for the Steelers. The 32-year old is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection.

JOYNER JOINS PACK: Free agent linebacker Seth Joyner agreed to terms with the Green Bay Packers on a four-year, $6 million dollar deal. Joyner, 32, was waived by Arizona on June 16 because of salary cap difficulties. The Cardinals had hoped to sign the 12-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowl selection at a reduced salary.

SHARPE, BRONCOS AGREE: Shannon Sharpe signed a three-year, $7.2 million contract with the Denver Broncos that will make him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. The five-time Pro Bowl selection led NFL tight ends in receptions and reception yards (1,062) last season.

CARDS INK KNIGHT: The Arizona Cardinals signed first-round pick, cornerback Tom Knight, to a five-year, $8.22 million contract.

FALCONS SIGN BOOKER: Top draft pick Michael Booker of Nebraska agreed to a five-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons.


LEGG MASON CLASSIC: Andre Agassi, attempting to comeback from a wrist injury, lost to Doug Flach, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Legg Mason Classic in Washington.

Playing for the first time since May 1, Agassi's faltering serve resulted in 15 double faults.

MERCEDES CUP: Thomas Muster, playing for the first time in a month, lost 6-4, 7-5 to Albert Portas in the second round of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. No. 7 seed Boris Becker edged Karim Alami of Morocco 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5), while No. 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov moved on with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Fabrice Santoro of France.