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Archive for Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wedge out at Cleveland

October 1, 2009

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— Eric Wedge lost his job and kept his uniform.

Wedge was fired Wednesday as manager of the Cleveland Indians, who are in the final days of a terrible season that began with enormous expectations.

Despite being told he would not be back next season, Wedge will manage the remainder of his seventh year with Cleveland.

“I still wanted to finish what we started this year,” said Wedge, who led the Indians to one playoff appearance since 2003 and went through two rebuilding projects with the midmarket club. “I felt it was the right thing to do. It’s been a long run here as managers go. It will be a tough day.”

General manager Mark Shapiro said he and owners Larry and Paul Dolan came to a collective decision on Wedge’s future “fairly recently” and that Cleveland’s coaches were told Tuesday night that they would not be retained for the 2010 season. Wedge is under contract for 2010.

Wedge’s firing had been rumored for weeks, and although him still being around makes for an awkward situation, he’s glad to have some resolution.

“It’s been a big elephant in the room for a while,” he said.

BASEBALL

Blue Jays hit by layoffs

Toronto — Another round of layoffs hit the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, with cuts made all across the business side of the organization. Interim CEO Paul Beeston, just back in the office after a vacation, said the total number of cuts was less than two dozen although he would not divulge a specific figure.

The entire baseball operations department was untouched by this latest purge, which comes some 10 months after about 40 people lost their jobs last December.

Nats consider Riggleman

Washington — Nationals GM Mike Rizzo says interim manager Jim Riggleman is a “legitimate candidate” to get the job on a permanent basis for 2010. Riggleman was promoted from bench coach in July to replace fired manager Manny Acta.

NFL

Vick re-signs with Nike

New York — Michael Vick is back with Nike two years after the company severed ties over the quarterback’s involvement in a dogfighting ring.

“Mike has a long-standing, great relationship with Nike, and he looks forward to continuing that relationship,” his agent, Joel Segal, said Wednesday.

Segal would not reveal terms of the agreement. Nike declined a request for comment.

The deal was announced during a panel discussion at the Sports Sponsorship Symposium by Michael Principe, the managing director of BEST, the agency that represents Vick.

The endorsement is the latest step forward for Vick as he seeks to rehabilitate his career and his image after serving 18 months in federal prison.

Chiefs sign two defenders

Kansas City, Mo. — The winless Kansas City Chiefs have now made seven transactions in two days, signing linebacker David Herron and cornerback Mike Richardson on Wednesday.

Herron made three starts and appeared in 16 games from 2007-09 with Minnesota. Richardson was on injured reserve his rookie season in 2007 but appeared in 10 games with New England last year.

On Tuesday, the Chiefs (0-3) traded quarterback Tyler Thigpen to Miami for an undisclosed draft choice. They have also signed former Arizona tight end Leonard Pope and added tackle Chris Patrick to the practice squad. They also have released: cornerback Ricardo Colclough, linebacker Monty Beisel and tight end Tom Crabtree. The Chiefs entertain the New York Giants (3-0) on Sunday.

Tomlinson back at practice

San Diego — LaDainian Tomlinson was back at practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining his right ankle in the season opener, an encouraging sign for a San Diego Chargers team that has struggled to run the ball. After missing two straight games for the first time in his career, Tomlinson hopes he can play Sunday night at Pittsburgh.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ISU’s Reynolds out for year

Ames, Iowa — Iowa State wide receiver Darius Reynolds is out for the season after breaking his ankle in practice. Reynolds, the Cyclones second-leading receiver, fractured the fibula on his right ankle on Tuesday. He is scheduled to have surgery on Friday.

The loss of Reynolds, a junior-college transfer in his first season at Iowa State, is a big blow to the Cyclones’ passing game. Reynolds has 13 receptions for 72 yards in four games.

Iowa State LB charged

Des Moines, Iowa — Authorities say Iowa State linebacker Matt Taufoou has been charged with stealing a wireless computer adapter from a campus book store. University police chief Jerry Stewart says Taufoou is charged with fifth-degree misdemeanor theft in connection with the Sept. 17 incident. Athletic department officials say Taufoou has been disciplined according to the school’s Student-Athlete Discipline Policy. He is eligible to play on Saturday against Kansas State.

Injured USC tailback alert

Los Angeles — Southern California tailback Stafon Johnson rested and tweeted Wednesday, two days after sustaining a frightening throat injury in a weightlifting accident. Johnson is still recovering from seven hours of reconstructive surgery Monday after a weight bar fell on his neck, crushing his larynx and throat. The senior received a visit from the seventh-ranked Trojans’ coaching staff, although his family is limiting his visitors.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

No decision on Vols forward

Knoxville, Tenn. — Coach Bruce Pearl says Tennessee forward Emmanuel Negedu likely will remain hospitalized for another night as his doctors and guardians review tests and make decisions about his playing future. Negedu was revived by members of the Volunteers’ training staff after a post-workout collapse at the Tennessee training facilities. Tennessee staff have not confirmed reports that the 20-year-old did not have a pulse after collapsing.

NBA

Cavaliers’ West absent

Independence, Ohio — Delonte West was absent from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight day Wednesday while he deals with personal issues. The team confirmed the absence as unexcused.

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