Detour to Salon Transforms an Idol

New York Met catcher Mike Piazza sported a shocking new 'do when he showed up at Wrigley Field for Monday night's game against the Chicago Cubs. His long, dark hair is gone, replaced with a short, spiky cut that's bleached bright, bright blond.

How bright? Think Day-Glo.

"Bring back Billy Idol!" Piazza said, laughing. "It's not a big deal. . . . There's no statement or nothing, I'm just having fun."

With a few hours to kill before the game, Piazza went to a salon downtown. His initial plan was to cut his hair short, figuring it would be cooler now that the weather is getting warmer.

But as he sat in the chair, he decided to dye his hair too. And not just a highlight here and there. No, he went for the whole thing.

"I don't usually do things halfway," he said. "I was getting a little bored. Figured I'd liven things up a little bit. I figured the worst thing it could do was change our luck a little bit."

After Monday's 2-1 loss, the Mets are 11 games below .500 and 10 1/2 games back in the National League East. Piazza, who didn't play, is batting .265.


Trivia time: Who is the only major leaguer to collect 500 hits with four teams?


Driver error: From Richard Petty says Dale Earnhardt "was an exciting driver to watch, but he really didn't win that many races. He wasn't that dominant of a driver. He wasn't a standout, but he met the criteria fans wanted in excitement."

For the record, Earnhardt won seven Winston Cup series, the same as Petty.


Blimey! In a recent one-day cricket match between visiting Australia and England, the Aussies won convincingly by eight wickets. England was all out for a meager 176 runs, then Australia eclipsed that total with only two of a possible 10 wickets having fallen.

It got so bad for England that every time a new batsman came to the crease, the PA system blared out Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."


Collector's nightmare: Todd McFarlane is well aware that his $2.7-million investment in Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball might become worthless if Barry Bonds breaks the mark this season.

"Yeah, I'm getting those calls already," McFarlane told the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. "I'm the village idiot . . . the fool who will have a $4 baseball if Bonds hits 71."


Best-case scenario: Detroit Tiger first baseman Tony Clark, when asked, after his first triple in four years, what it would take for him to get an inside-the-park home run: "Two outfielders would have to fall down. And when they throw the ball in, the guy catching it has to lose it in the sun. And then I need a generous call from the official scorer."


Looking back: On this date in 1990, Jennifer Capriati, 14, defeated Helen Kelesi, 6-3, 6-1, in the first round to become the youngest winner of a match in Wimbledon history.


Trivia answer: Rusty Staub with the Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, Mets and Tigers.


And finally: An ancient Roman field was transformed into a jubilant sea of red and yellow Sunday as tens of thousands of soccer fans, many barechested and bikini-clad, celebrated AS Roma's first league title in 18 years with a daylong party.

The official Roma celebration, capping a week of late-night, car-honking parades through the capital's streets, culminated Sunday with an evening concert and a promised strip-tease by die-hard Roma fan and movie star Sabrina Ferilli.

"My gift to the city," Ferilli said a few hours before she was carried out onto the stage.

By the start of the concert, the ANSA news agency estimated more than a million people--or one-third of Rome's population--had poured into the famed Circus Maximus, where chariot races and fights were staged 2,000 years ago.

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