FRANCO SUSPENSION UPHELD: New York Mets closer John Franco will have three days off, courtesy of National League president Len Coleman.

Coleman heard Franco's appeal of a three-game suspension on Thursday and on Friday upheld it.

The left-hander was suspended for bumping umpire Angel Hernandez in a game July 5. Hernandez had called Michael Tucker safe at home with the winning run in a 3-2, 11-inning victory by the Atlanta Braves over Franco and the Mets. Franco was also fined $1,500.

PIRATES-RANGERS TRADE: Right-hander Esteban Loaiza was traded Friday from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Texas Rangers for minor league infielder Warren Morris and right-hander Todd Van Poppel.

BLUE JAYS PROMOTE PHILLIPS: Tony Phillips, who pleaded guilty to a cocaine possession charge last year, is back in the big leagues as the struggling Toronto Blue Jays promoted him from the minors Friday.


AGGIE RECEIVER SENTENCED: Utah State wide receiver Ricky Brumfield left a 1st District courtroom in handcuffs Friday after being sentenced to spend 15 days in jail on charges of third-degree burglary.

Judge Gordon Lowe also sentenced Brumfield to 30 days community service and ordered him to pay an $1,800 fine.

The charges stem from an incident where Brumfield was caught taking a portable stereo out of an apartment.

Rebecca Lorenz said she and her roommate were going up the stairs to their apartment on June 30 when they passed Brumfield carrying a boom box she believed was hers.

As she approached the door another man quickly left the apartment. Lorenz found her boom box, television, videocassette recorder and wallet were missing.

In April, Brumfield was ordered to stand trial on charges of second-degree felony burglary and one count of misdemeanor theft, but shortly before the trial was to start last month he entered a plea bargain agreement.

The misdemeanor charge was dropped, and Brumfield pleaded guilty to the third-degree burglary charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

RUNNING BACKS SIGN ON: The Green Bay Packers came to terms Friday with free agent running back Raymont Harris. No terms of the deal with Harris were disclosed, said Paula Martin, a spokeswoman for the Packers.

Harris had been an unrestricted free agent since the Chicago Bears dropped his tag as the team's transition player in April. Harris gained 1,033 yards in 13 games for the Bears last season, but injuries have kept him out of 22 of 48 games the last three years.

Also, running back Robert Edwards, New England's first pick in last April's NFL draft, signed with the Patriots on Friday for a reported $5.7 over five years.

Also, the Miami Dolphins signed a five-year contract with top pick John Avery. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


BOWMAN RELEASED: Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman was released from the hospital on Friday in excellent spirits after undergoing an angioplasty Thursday, his doctor said.

But Bowman, 64, needs to lower his cholesterol and blood pressure before he can make a decision on whether he will return as Red Wings coach next season, Dr. William O'Neill, William Beaumont Hospital's chief of cardiology, said Friday.


MORRISON CHARGED: Former champion boxer Tommy Morrison was charged Friday with drunken driving, running a red light and driving with a revoked license.

Morrison, 29, was arrested before dawn Thursday in Broken Arrow, Okla. He is in the midst of appealing a six-month jail term levied in January for a 1997 Delaware County drunken driving case.

Morrison, a former WBO heavyweight champion, left boxing in 1996 after testing positive for the AIDS virus. He staged a brief comeback to raise money for his Knockout AIDS Foundation.

TYSON APPLIES FOR LICENSE: Mike Tyson, who hasn't fought since Nevada revoked his license for biting Evander Holyfield's ears during a championship bout last year, has applied for a boxing license in New Jersey.

Tyson's attorney, Anthony Fusco Jr., said the former heavyweight champion has strong ties to the state, where he once lived and made Atlantic City one of his favorite fighting venues. The state Athletic Control Board has scheduled a July 29 hearing in Trenton to consider the license application. Fusco said Tyson will attend the hearing.

Auto racing

TORONTO MOLSON-INDY: One of the few things Alex Zanardi hasn't accomplished this season is winning a pole.

On Friday, he took a step toward remedying that situation, grabbing the provisional pole for the Toronto Molson-Indy with a lap of 105.480 mph on the 1.721-mile temporary road circuit.

PEP BOYS 400: Tony Stewart did precisely what was expected Friday by dominating the first open-wheel practice session in 29 years at Dover, Del., Downs International Speedway.

The defending IRL champion and current points leader had a fast lap of 184.445 mph in the morning practice, easily topping the competition and further establishing him as the driver to beat Sunday in the Pep Boys 400k.

NASCAR BUSCH: Robert Pressley edge Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Friday in winning the pole position for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Kenwood Home & Car Audio 300 at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Pressley, who went out 13th among the 43 cars which ran qualifying laps, had a lap of 174.073 mph to hold off Earnhardt by .080 mph.