Television ratings for the World Series increased 14% but were still the second lowest in history.
The New York Yankees' four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves on NBC got a 16.0 national rating and a 26 share, up from a 14.1 rating and 24 share for the Yankees' sweep of the San Diego Padres last year on Fox, the network said in New York.
Before last year, the low had been a 16.4 rating for the 1989 earthquake-interrupted World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. New York's 4-1 victory in Wednesday night's Game 4 got a 17.8 rating, up 7% from last season.
NBC estimates that more than 63 million people watched Game 4, the second-highest rated World Series game in three years. Game 7 of the 1997 Series between the Florida Marlins and Cleveland Indians had a 24.5 rating.
Meanwhile, the Yankees will hold their third ticker-tape parade in four years today in New York.
Less than a day after his Braves lost the Series to the Yankees, outfielder Otis Nixon was among 20 players who filed for free agency. Cincinnati Red outfielder Greg Vaughn, who hit 45 homers and drove in 118 runs, was the biggest name to file.
Five players filed from the AL West champion Texas Rangers: second baseman Luis Alicea, left-hander Jeff Fassero, outfielders Tom Goodwin and Roberto Kelly, and third baseman Todd Zeile.
Four more filed from the the NL Central champion Houston Astros, beaten by Atlanta in the opening round: catcher Tony Eusebio, shortstop Ricky Gutierrez, outfielder Stan Javier and right-hander Brian Williams.
Atlanta batting coach Don Baylor appears likely to be hired as manager of the Chicago Cubs, but the team declined comment. Baylor also reportedly has an offer from the Milwaukee Brewers. . . . After an awkward week of wrangling over terms, Jack McKeon accepted a one-year contract extension with the Reds that was less than he thought he deserved after leading the small-market club to 96 wins and a near-playoff berth. McKeon, 68, apparently received a slight increase over the $500,000 he made this year instead of the multiyear deal he sought. . . . The Philadelphia Phillies claimed pitcher Hideo Nomo off waivers, giving them five days to convince the former Dodger National League rookie of the year to stay. The Brewers had put Nomo on unconditional release waivers after he turned down a two-year, $8.5-million contract. . . . Umpires will vote next month on whether to keep their leader Richie Phillips and their union or form a new one. Results of the secret-ballot election will be announced Nov. 30. . . . The Reds' Barry Larkin won his ninth Silver Slugger Award, and the Seattle Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. and the New York Mets' Mike Piazza won their seventh. The awards are voted on by major league managers and coaches, who are asked to pick the best players at each position based solely on offense.
Showing the game that has taken him to No. 1 in the world, top-seeded Andre Agassi beat Dutchman Sjeng Schalken, 6-4, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals of the $2.45-million Eurocard Open at Stuttgart, Germany. Earlier, third-seeded Todd Martin and No. 5 Greg Rusedski also gained spots in the quarterfinals. Martin beat Czech Jiri Novak, 6-2, 6-4, and Rusedski ousted Germany's Tommy Haas, 6-4, 6-3. Romanian Andrei Pavel, a wild-card entry, defeated Czech qualifier Daniel Vacek, 6-4, 7-5, and will face Agassi.
In a topsy-turvy second-round match, Romania's Irina Spirlea defeated Anna Kournikova, 6-0, 0-6, 6-1, in the $520,000 Generali Ladies tennis tournament at Linz, Austria. Top-seeded Mary Pierce of France edged Sylvia Plischke of Austria, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.
Former NBA player and assistant coach T.R. Dunn, an assistant since July, was promoted to coach by the WNBA's Charlotte Sting. . . . Ernie Kent, Oregon men's basketball coach, signed a four-year contract that could pay him more than $420,000 a year. . . . Charlotte Hornet forward Derrick Coleman, 32, could lose his driver's license for one year for refusing to allow a breath or blood sample after being charged with driving while impaired following a Wednesday morning traffic accident. . . . More than two weeks after its scheduled opening was delayed by structural problems, Alltel Arena in North Little Rock, Ark., welcomed fans for its first event, a minor league hockey game.