Baseball briefs

Bosox fire three coaches, Stanley also leaving
Boston The Boston Red Sox fired Tommy Harper, Bob Kipper and fan favorite Dwight Evans from their coaching staff Friday in moves that cement manager Grady Little’s control of and future with the Red Sox.
The team also said bench coach Mike Stanley would leave the team for personal reasons. Pitching coach Tony Cloninger and third base coach Mike Cubbage were retained.
No replacements were named, but Little and interim general manager Mike Port said they had begun talking to possible replacements.
Evans, 50, spent 19 of his 20 years as a player with the Red Sox, retiring after the 1991 season. He rejoined the Red Sox organization in 2001 as a player development consultant was promoted to hitting coach last December by then-manager Joe Kerrigan.

Mr. October wonders about managers, GMs
Anaheim, Calif. Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson thinks old teammate Willie Randolph deserves a major league managing job and not just any old one, either.
Randolph, the Yankees’ third-base coach, is considered a candidate by several teams and interviewed for the Detroit Tigers’ opening this week.
“How many times does Willie Randolph have to win a World Series before he gets a job?” Jackson said in Anaheim, where the playoff series between the Yankees and Anaheim Angels resumed Friday.
“And why does he have to take a job in Detroit, Milwaukee or Tampa? Why can’t he get a good opportunity? Everyone on (former NFL coach) Jimmy Johnson’s staff in Dallas got a head coach’s job. What about the third-base coach of the Yankees?”
The Tigers, Brewers and Devil Rays all lost 106 games last season and fired managers Luis Pujols, Jerry Royster and Hal McRae.

Piniella will return as Mariners manager
Seattle Lou Piniella will manage the Seattle Mariners next season, a team spokesman said Friday.
Piniella, who led the Mariners to a 93-69 record and third place in the AL West, has been rumored to be a candidate for managerial openings with the New York Mets, the Texas Rangers and his hometown team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Piniella is signed with the Mariners through the 2003 season.

Indians’ Shapiro to meet with skipper Skinner
Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Shapiro will meet this weekend with Joel Skinner, Cleveland’s interim manager since July 11, to discuss the past season and the club’s future.
Skinner took over as Cleveland’s manager the day after the All-Star break. He replaced Charlie Manuel, who was fired by Shapiro after he demanded to know if he was going to have a job beyond 2002.
Skinner, 41, led the Indians to a 35-41 record after taking over Manuel.
Shapiro is reportedly interested in talking to Anaheim pitching coach Bud Black, a former Kansas City Royal, about the Indians’ job.

Star Cuban pitcher defects in Mexico
Havana One of Cuba’s star pitchers has defected during the America Series tournament in Mexico, Cuban sports officials confirmed Friday.
Jose Ariel Contreras and coach Miguel Valdes were last seen in Saltillo, Mexico, during Cuba’s 6-0 victory against the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
Cuba’s National Institute of Sports and the Cuban Federation of Baseball said Valdes “deserted, shamelessly betraying the trust deposited in him by our people.”
The statement said Valdes was joined by Contreras.