Thursday's Sports in Brief

Thursday's Sports in Brief
October 5, 2012, 5:51 am
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BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox found out too late that Bobby Valentine wasn't the manager to straighten out a clubhouse of coddled veterans.

They didn't take long to decide that he isn't the right guy to nurture a rebuilding team into a contender, either.

The Red Sox fired Valentine on Thursday, less than one year after he was hired to bring order to the clubhouse that disintegrated during the 2011 pennant race. Instead, Valentine clashed with players, coaches and the media while riding the team to a last-place finish and its worst record in almost 50 years.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling might have to sell or give up the famed blood-stained sock he wore on the team's way to the 2004 World Series championship to cover millions of dollars in loans he guaranteed to his failed video game company.

Schilling, whose Providence-based 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy in June, listed the sock as collateral to Bank Rhode Island in a September filing with the Massachusetts secretary of state's office. The sock is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez won the 2012 Warren Spahn Award in a tiebreaker over Tampa Bay's David Price.

The award is given to the top left-handed pitcher in the major leagues using a formula based on wins, strikeouts and ERA.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Phillies promoted Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg to their coaching staff as third-base coach and infield instructor.

Sandberg had spent the past two seasons managing Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Sandy Alomar Jr. interviewed to become the Indians' next full-time manager.

Alomar, who guided Cleveland in its final six games after Manny Acta was fired, spent most of the day meeting with owner Paul Dolan, general manager Chris Antonetti and other front office members at Progressive Field.

Antonetti was impressed with the job Alomar did in his short stint replacing Acta, who was dismissed after Cleveland collapsed from contention in the second half of the season.

SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Mariners will not retain hitting coach Chris Chambliss for 2013 after another season during which their offense was among the worst in baseball.

Chambliss was Seattle's hitting coach the past two seasons. The 63-year-old previously was the hitting coach for the New York Yankees and Mets, St. Louis and Cincinnati.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Some Minnesota lawmakers hope to force the release of Lou Gehrig's medical records, saying they might provide insight into whether the Yankees star died of the disease that came to take his name or whether repetitive head trauma played some kind of role.

Their effort comes despite opposition from Mayo Clinic, which holds the records, and skepticism from experts that the records alone would prove anything.

PRO FOOTBALL

Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt will sit in a private box somewhere at the Louisiana Superdome on Sunday night and watch Drew Brees try to set an NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass.

Not to mention get the Saints out of their worst slide in years.

The trio suspended trio for their roles in the bounties scandal - coach Payton for the season, general manager Loomis for eight games, interim coach Vitt for six -got permission from the NFL to attend the Saints game against San Diego, but can't interact with Brees or the other players.

Brees tied Hall of Famer John Unitas' mark of 47 straight, set from 1956-60 by throwing for three scores in a loss at Green Bay last weekend. Then he asked Commissioner Roger Goodell about allowing the coaches and GM to attend on Sunday.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Rams receiver Danny Amendola injured his right shoulder on a diving attempt at a catch in the second quarter of a 17-3 loss against Arizona.

A TV camera caught Amendola flinging his helmet into a wall with his left hand while walking in a tunnel, likely en route to an X-ray machine.

Amendola missed virtually all of last season after dislocating his left elbow in the opener.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - What seemed inevitable for the NHL has become reality. The league canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, the second time games have been lost because of a lockout in seven years.

The announcement was made in a two-paragraph statement. It isn't clear if those games will be made up, allowing for a complete 82-game regular season, if a deal can be struck soon with the locked-out players.

Unable to work out how to split $3 billion in hockey-related revenues with the players' association, the NHL wiped out 82 games from Oct. 11-24 - beginning with four next Thursday, which would have been the league's opening night.

PRO BASKETBALL

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is supporting wife Ashley's move to join the group of minority owners being assembled by prospective Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert J. Pera, and a person familiar with the deal says former NBA player Penny Hardaway also will be part of the group.

Manning and Hardaway join a minority group that includes singer and actor Justin Timberlake and a couple of Memphis businessmen, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Pera's purchase of the Grizzlies is pending approval by the NBA.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Houston Rockets first-round draft pick Royce White is a no-show at training camp and said he and the team are working on a plan to address his fear of flying.

The 6-foot-8 White was the 16th overall pick after one season at Iowa State. White suffers from anxiety and fear of flying. He says on Twitter that he's working with the team on an ``innovative plan'' to balance treatment with the NBA schedule.

White said he has an agreement with the team to take a bus to select games. KRIV-TV reported that the agreement is pending league approval. The Rockets would not comment beyond a statement that said they ``are committed to Royce's long term success and we will continue to support him now and going forward.''

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina says Roy Williams' second kidney tumor isn't cancerous.

The school announced the test results a day after the Hall of Fame men's basketball coach had a biopsy of the tumor discovered on his left kidney. The school says the tumor is an oncocytoma, which is a benign growth often indistinguishable from kidney cancer on X-rays that doesn't spread like a cancerous tumor would.

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Chris Walker took over as Texas Tech's interim head basketball coach, replacing Billy Gillispie.

GOLF

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Ryan Moore matched the course record and his career best with a 10-under 61 in the first round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ, France (AP) - Retired champion Lorena Ochoa shot a 1-under round of 69 at the Lacoste Ladies Open.

Ochoa is playing at the request of the sponsor. She was ranked No. 1 for three years and won two majors among 27 victories before retiring from full-time golf in April 2010 to focus on her family and charities.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Big Ten has determined that a Michigan State player did not violate the conference's conduct policy after Ohio State sent in film that appeared to show him trying to gouge the eyes of a Buckeyes player.

DALLAS (AP) - TCU quarterback Casey Pachall was suspended indefinitely hours after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated - his second brush with trouble this year and one that clouds the 15th-ranked Horned Frogs' push for a Big 12 title.

Coach Gary Patterson announced the suspension, saying his quarterback ``obviously needs help.''

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and two teammates have been suspended for Saturday's home game against Vanderbilt after they were arrested by campus police for allegedly smoking marijuana near the school's football stadium.

Two other players in the SUV driven by Green-Beckham - ranked by some recruiting services last year as the nation's top high school player - were also suspended by coach Gary Pinkel, though they were not arrested. All are freshmen.

AUTO RACING

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) - Kyle Busch apologized to manufacturer Toyota for his profanity-laced rant about the fuel mileage at Dover.

Busch had to make a late stop in Sunday's race that he believed cost him the win. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin also had to stop for gas, but winner Brad Keselowski in a Dodge and Jimmie Johnson in a Chevrolet got better mileage and didn't have to stop.

Busch unleashed a string of profanities directed at Toyota on his in-car radio, and did not do media interviews after the race.

TENNIS

TOKYO (AP) - Former champion Tomas Berdych advanced to the Japan Open quarterfinals with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Alejandro Falla of Colombia.

Berdych was joined by Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, Milos Raonic of Canada and Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

BEIJING (AP) - Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and No. 2 Maria Sharapova reached the China Open quarterfinals with straight-set wins.

Azarenka beat Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-3, 6-3, while Sharapova defeated Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog 6-0, 6-2.

Azarenka will face Romina Oprandi of Switzerland, while Sharapova will play Angelique Kerber of Germany. Kerber beat former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.