Sports

On the Air - November 8, 2007

NEW YORK -- Pedro Martinez's neighbors in the Dominican Republic are desperate.

They've been driven from their humble homes, with families separated and children displaced after small shacks all over the island were washed away in the catastrophic floods from Tropical Storm Noel.

People are hungry. They're exhausted. Hundreds are sleeping on the floor at Martinez's old high school, short on clothing and water and everything else they need.

"It's devastating. The area was just totally wiped out," Martinez said Wednesday on a conference call from his ravaged country. "They don't have anything. They're just waiting for us to bring anything, something to eat."

Martinez and New York Mets teammate Moises Alou are trying to help. The star pitcher returned to his Dominican hometown of Manoguayabo, touring storm-battered houses and visiting a shelter for evacuees.

Martinez had planned to begin his offseason training program Wednesday in Florida, but he's staying home until next week so he can attempt to provide more assistance. He pleaded for others to chip in, too.

"I'm like the mayor here. People just run up to me and, I can't. I can't. I'm not enough," Martinez said. "I'm asking for help. I'm crying out, HELP! I can't do it by myself."

• NFL -- Receiver Chris Henry allegedly was involved in an altercation with a parking attendant on the eve of rejoining the Cincinnati Bengals from his eight-game suspension.

Henry practiced with the Bengals and will be eligible to play Sunday in Baltimore. Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the first half of the season for repeatedly violating the NFL's conduct policy.

• TENNIS -- Serena Williams retired with a left knee injury after one set and defending champion Justine Henin advanced to the semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Championships.

Williams was treated by the tournament doctor before the start of the ninth game. She retired after losing the first set 6-4 to seventh-ranked Anna Chakvetadze.

If Williams is not fit to face Henin today, Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli will replace her for the last two matches of the round-robin tournament.

• The International Tennis Federation is investigating allegations that Tommy Haas was poisoned before Germany's Davis Cup match against Russia.

Haas was forced out of his match against Mikhail Youzhny with a suspected stomach virus. Russia won both reverse singles matches Sept. 23 to win the semifinal series 3-2 and reach the Davis Cup final.

German teammate Alexander Waske said he was told by a Russian who manages numerous athletes that it was poisoning, not a virus.

• WINTHROP WOMEN'S SOCCER -- Junior goalkeeper Dimitra Poulos, junior forward Chelsea White, senior midfielder Ashley Hallmon and freshman Katie Perkinson received all-conference accolades at the annual Big South banquet Wednesday.

Poulos, who leads the Big South in saves and saves per game, was voted to first-team All-Big South for the second time in three years. She made the second team as a freshman in 2005.

White, Winthrop's all-time leading scorer, was selected second-team all-BSC for the second straight year. White ranks in the conference top 10 as well as leading Winthrop in goals, assists and points this season.

Hallmon, who holds a 3.87 grade-point average while majoring in business administration, was appointed to the all-academic team for the first time in her career. She has played in all 17 games while starting 13. Perkinson, who started nine of the 10 games she played in this season, made the all-freshman team.

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