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MLB playoff expansion likely in 2012

November 18, 2010

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Little opposition has emerged to Major League Baseball expanding its playoffs for 2012 as the sport’s top officials discussed the concept during two days of meetings.

While commissioner Bud Selig has yet to formally propose adding two more wild-card teams, he said during the World Series that he was giving the plan serious consideration.

General managers and owners were waiting to hear whether Selig would directly address them on the matter today, when three days of meetings conclude.

Agents for free-agent players also were on hand striking deals. The Florida Marlins finalized an $18 million, three-year contract with catcher John Buck, and the Detroit Tigers reached a preliminary agreement on a $16.5 million, three-year contract with Joaquin Benoit, a deal that could raise prices for setup relievers.

In the second trade of the meetings, speedy outfielder Rajai Davis was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Oakland Athletics for minor-league right-handers Trystan Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar. Oakland last week acquired outfielder David DeJesus from Kansas City, making Davis superfluous.

Also, the New York Mets began interviewing their four finalists for manager. Bob Melvin and Chip Hale were due in Wednesday, followed by Wally Backman and Terry Collins on Thursday.

Boxing

Margarito out of hospital

Dallas — Antonio Margarito has been released from Methodist Hospital, where he had surgery to repair the orbital bone of his right eye that was fractured during his loss to Manny Pacquiao. Margarito had surgery Tuesday and was released from the hospital Wednesday.

Soccer

Agudelo scores in debut; U.S. wins

Cape Town, South Africa — Juan Agudelo became the youngest U.S. player to score in the modern era, giving the Americans a 1-0 victory over South Africa on Wednesday that allowed them to avoid finishing the year with a losing record. Agudelo, who turns 18 Tuesday, scored in the 85th minute of his debut after coming on as a substitute midway through the second half.

College Football

Iowa State QB Arnaud out

Ames, Iowa — Iowa State says doctors have confirmed that senior quarterback Austen Arnaud’s college career is finished. Arnaud suffered a major knee injury in last week’s loss to Colorado and will need total reconstruction of his left knee.

CU coach search begins

Boulder, Colo. — The University of Colorado has assembled a search committee to help find a replacement for fired football coach Dan Hawkins.

Booster had Newton payment plan

Mississippi State booster Bill Bell tells ESPN.com that he received a payment plan from a man who said he represented Cam Newton’s father that was designed to get the quarterback to sign with the Bulldogs.

NFL

Panthers hammered by injuries

Charlotte, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers have scored a league-low nine touchdowns and average an NFL-worst 11.6 points a game.

And those ugly numbers were posted before the media relations staff had to switch to a tiny font to get all the players jammed onto Wednesday’s injury report.

Just how bad are things getting for the woeful Panthers (1-8) in this lost season?

It appears either a rookie sixth-round pick or a journeyman who was a full-time dad this time last week will start at quarterback Sunday against Baltimore with Jimmy Clausen recovering from a concussion. Of course, the rookie Clausen was starting because Matt Moore (shoulder) was lost for the season last week.

Tony Pike or Brian St. Pierre won’t get to hand the ball off to DeAngelo Williams to ease the load. Carolina’s top running back was placed on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday due to a mid-foot sprain.

No. 2 running back Jonathan Stewart (concussion) and third-stringer Tyrell Sutton (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday, either.

The QBs could be without two of the five projected starters on the offensive line going into the season. Left guard Travelle Wharton missed practice Wednesday due to turf toe, and right tackle Jeff Otah (knee) is lost for the season.

Starting middle linebacker Jon Beason (knee) missed practice Wednesday. So did No. 3 receiver Brandon LaFell (concussion).

In other NFL news:

• New York Giants offensive tackle Shawn Andrews, who has replaced the injured David Diehl at left tackle, missed practice on Wednesday because of an undisclosed back problem.

• The Jacksonville Jaguars have been awarded receiver Jason Hill off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers. The Jaguars waived cornerback Chevis Jackson to make room for Hill on the roster.

• Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is limited at practice because of an injured right calf that likely won’t prevent him from playing in New York’s next game Sunday against Houston. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has not practiced after suffering a slight groin tear in the Jets’ 26-20 overtime victory Sunday.

• The San Francisco 49ers have brought back kicker Shane Andrus to fill in again. The 49ers signed Andrus to a one-year deal Wednesday to replace injured starter Joe Nedney.

• The Denver Broncos have released former first-round pick Jarvis Moss.

• The St. Louis Rams have placed rookie Fendi Onobun on injured reserve due to a back injury that didn’t respond to treatment. The Rams signed tight end Derek Schouman.

• Chicago Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will miss tonight’s game against the Dolphins because of a knee problem.

• Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub spent the night in the hospital and missed Wednesday’s practice due to a bursa sac injury in his right knee.

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