ERRANT REPORT: A Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster broke into game coverage with the errant report that actor James Earl Jones had died.

Lanny Frattare said he misunderstood when his producer relayed of the news of the death of James Earl Ray, who was convicted of killing Martin Luther King Jr. Frattare corrected the mistake shortly after it was made during KDKA-AM's coverage of Thursday's Giants-Pirates game.


SURGERY FOR HOYING: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Bobby Hoying had surgery to remove an abscess that developed after his emergency appendectomy last week in Ohio.


NBA COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: The NBA and the players union held their third formal collective bargaining session, with discussions moving toward such non-economic issues as drugs and discipline.

Owners voted in March to reopen the six-year collective bargaining agreement, which would have had three years remaining. If no new agreement is reached before July 1, a lockout or a moratorium on signings is expected.

WEBBER'S DRIVING: Washington Wizards forward Chris Webber temporarily maintained his Maryland driving privilege after a hearing before an administrative law judge at the Motor Vehicle Administration office.

Judge Stephen Nichols said he will review the case further and issue a final decision within 30 days. Webber was charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest, marijuana possession, driving under the influence of drugs and several other traffic offenses after being stopped in Landover on Jan. 20 for allegedly speeding while on his way to practice.


NEW NHL TEAM LOGO: This thrasher appears to be as fierce as an eagle.

The Atlanta Thrashers, who will join the NHL in 1999, unveiled their logo on Thursday: a furious-looking bird with a tornado-like whirlwind for a body and a hockey stick brandished menacingly from its tail feathers.

9 NHL PLAYERS NAMED: Nine NHL players, none from the Olympic team, will play for the United States in next month's world championships.

Matt Cullen and Ted Drury of Anaheim were picked for the national team along with two New York Islanders, Tom Chorske and Bryan Smolinski; and two Carolina players, Bates Battaglia and Adam Burt.

Also selected were Darby Hen-drick-son of Toronto, Eric Weinrich of Chicago and Garth Snow of Vancouver. The rest of the team will be made up of players from the minor and European leagues and U.S. college teams.


MONTE CARLO OPEN: Looking nothing like a player intent on reclaiming the No. 1 ranking, Pete Sampras was routed 6-1, 6-1 by Fabrice Santoro in the Monte Carlo Open - the American's worst loss in eight years.

Sampras, ranked No. 2, still has a chance to overtake No. 1 Marcelo Rios. Rios has an injured elbow and is not playing this week, meaning the Chilean will forfeit the top spot.

However, Petr Korda, ranked No. 3, could leapfrog Sampras and Rios to No. 1 if he makes it to the title match. The Czech beat Albert Costa 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in another third-round match.

U.S. CLAY COURT: Defending champion Michael Chang beat Franco Squil-lari 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships.


GREENSBORO CLASSIC: Hal Sutton shot a 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Chris Perry and South Africa's David Frost after the first round of the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic.

Fuzzy Zoeller, Brad Faxon, Scott Verplank and Bob Estes opened with 67s on the Forest Oaks course. New Zealand's Frank Nobilo, the defending champion, shot a 71, and Masters winner Mark O'Meara and John Daly had 72s.

LAS VEGAS SENIOR CLASSIC: Dale Douglass, a 62-year-old playing on a tour dominated by players in their early 50s, shot a 6-under-par 66 on the TPC at Summerlin to take a two-stroke lead in the Las Vegas Senior Classic.

South Africa's Hugh Baiocchi opened with a 68, and Bob Eastwood and Vicente Fernandez shot 69s, all at Summerlin. Defending champion Hale Irwin shot a 2-under 69 on the TPC at The Canyons.