Around the world of sports, Oct. 23, 2012
Panthers GM Hurney fired after team’s 1-5 start
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers fired General Manager Marty Hurney following the team’s 1-5 start this season.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson says in release that it was an “extremely difficult decision” and that “Marty made every effort to bring success to the Panthers and took the team to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games.” He says “unfortunately, we have not enjoyed the success we hoped for in recent years.”
Carolina has not made the playoffs since 2008.
Hurney had been the Panthers’ GM since 2002.
Chiefs to start Quinn over Cassel at quarterback
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Brady Quinn will take over as the Kansas City Chiefs’ starting quarterback and Matt Cassel will serve as the backup beginning with Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
Quinn started in the Chiefs’ loss at Tampa Bay two weeks ago because Cassel was still feeling the effects of a concussion sustained the previous week against Baltimore.
The Chiefs were off last week and that gave Coach Romeo Crennel an opportunity to evaluate both of them along with the team’s miserable 1-5 start.
Packers’ Woodson out six weeks with broken collarbone
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson has a broken collarbone and will be out approximately six weeks.
Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed the severity of the injury yesterday, a day after the team’s 30-20 win at St. Louis.
The 36-year-old Woodson broken his clavicle in the 2011 Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh. McCarthy says Woodson is nervous about his latest injury.
Redskins bring back Cooley after Davis injury
ASHBURN, Va. – Tight end Chris Cooley passed a physical exam and agreed to rejoin the Washington Redskins.
Cooley’s return to the Redskins yesterday comes a day after tight end Fred Davis was lost for the season with an Achilles tendon injury during Washington’s 27-23 loss at the New York Giants.
Cooley was released in August by the Redskins, the team he spent his entire eight-season NFL career with. He is a two-time Pro Bowl pick and his 428 catches are the franchise record for a tight end.
Kaeding finished with Chargers, who sign Alexander
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers placed kicker Nate Kaeding on injured reserve and plan to release him when he’s healthy.
Kaeding kicked in the first three games before injuring his groin. In 2011, he blew out his left knee on the season-opening kickoff.
He is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, making 180 of 207 field goal attempts, or 87 percent.
Kaeding’s roster spot went to wide receiver Danario Alexander, who signed a one-year deal.
Browns guard Pinkston still in hospital
BEREA, Ohio – Cleveland Browns guard Jason Pinkston remains hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs.
Pinkston was rushed to the Cleveland Clinic on Thursday with the life-threatening condition. He had been feeling poorly for most of last week and had gotten ill during the previous Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. The 25-year-old will likely miss the remainder of this season, and the Browns were expected to place the second-year player on injured reserve.
Panthers place CB Gamble on injured reserve
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Panthers Coach Ron Rivera says the team has placed nine-year veteran cornerback Chris Gamble on injured reserve with a torn right labrum in his right shoulder.
Gamble, the team’s all-time leader in interceptions, sat out the last two games with the injury.
Rivera says Gamble will need surgery.
Goodell: League could drop Pro Bowl
NEW YORK – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will consider dropping the Pro Bowl if the level of play doesn’t improve.
Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s “Town Hall” last night, Goodell said: “If we cannot accomplish that kind of standard (of high play), I am inclined to not play the Pro Bowl.” The league still would select a Pro Bowl team through voting by players, coaches and fans, but “just not play the game.”
The Pro Bowl will take place in January, a week before the Super Bowl, after the players lobbied to keep it, promising to upgrade their performances. Goodell and others were disappointed in the quality of last year’s Pro Bowl, won 59-41 by the AFC and missing any semblance of hard hitting.
Padres to move in portion of Petco’s fences
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres plan to bring in portions of the outfield wall at Petco Park and move the visitor’s bullpen from right-field foul territory to behind the home bullpen beyond the fence in left-center.
Chairman Ron Fowler says the change is needed because Petco Park is “the most extreme run-suppressing ballpark” in the majors. He said it will still be a pitcher’s park, but just not as extreme.
The wall will be moved in 11 feet from the right-field porch to the right-center gap and lowered to match the rest of the outfield wall. The out-of-town scoreboard on the right-field wall will be relocated to a new spot above right field as part of seating modifications.
In left-center, the fence will be moved in from 402 feet to 390 feet to allow for the visiting team’s bullpen to be relocated.
Twins add Brunansky, Cuellar, Steinbach to staff
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Twins hired Tom Brunansky as their hitting coach, Bobby Cuellar to be the bullpen coach and Terry Steinbach as a bench coach and catching instructor.
Brunansky, the right fielder on Minnesota’s 1987 World Series championship team, was the hitting coach for Triple-A Rochester this year, and Cuellar was the pitching coach. Steinbach has been a guest spring training instructor but not a full-time coach until now.
GMs pick Heat, LeBron to repeat in poll
NEW YORK – NBA general managers predict the Miami Heat to repeat as NBA champions and LeBron James to win another MVP award.
The GMs gave high marks to the Los Angeles Lakers’ moves and picked them to win the Western Conference, but the Heat got 70 percent of the votes to win the 2013 championship.
Those were among the results of the annual NBA.com GM Survey, released Monday. All 30 executives were polled and could not vote for their own teams or players. Responders voted the Hornets’ Anthony Davis as the likely Rookie of the Year and the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich as the league’s best coach.
Wyoming coach Christensen suspended 1 week, fined
LARAMIE, Wyo. – Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen has been suspended one week and fined $50,000 for his actions following an Oct. 13 loss to Air Force.
Athletic Director Tom Burman said yesterday that it’s important to send the right message to the team about taking responsibility for your actions.
Christensen confronted Falcons Coach Troy Calhoun on the field after Air Force’s 28-27 victory.
He accused the Falcons of faking an injury to their starting quarterback in the fourth quarter so they could set up the next play without taking a time out. Air Force took the lead on the next play when backup quarterback Kale Pearson scored on a bootleg.
Assistant head coach Pete Kaligis will serve as interim head coach this week and will lead the Cowboys against No. 21 Boise State on Saturday.
Simpson sees no need for belly ban
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson said he isn’t worried about a potential rule that would outlaw long putters. He said he already is practicing with a conventional putter when he’s at home.
The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club are discussing whether to ban putters that are anchored to the belly or the chest. Three of the last five major champions have used long putters – Simpson, British Open champion Ernie Els and PGA champion Keegan Bradley.
Simpson said a ban on long putters will make it tough on a lot of golfers, and not just tour professionals. He also said PGA Tour statistics show that the best putters are not using the longer clubs.
Federer wins in first round at Swiss Indoors
BASEL, Switzerland – Roger Federer eased to victory in the first round of his hometown Swiss Indoors event yesterday, beating Germany’s Benjamin Becker, 7-5, 6-3.
Federer, the defending champion who is seeking his sixth Basel title in seven years, served 10 aces against the 83rd-ranked qualifier.
The top-ranked Swiss is heavily favored to claim his seventh title this year after U.S. Open champion Andy Murray pulled out with a back injury on Friday. The Briton’s withdrawal elevated Juan Martin del Porto of Argentina to No. 2 seed.
In other matches, third-seeded Richard Gasquet of France rallied past Robin Haase of the Netherlands, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; Julien Benneteau of France beat Russia’s Andrey Kuznetzov, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3; and Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot defeated Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, 6-4, 6-4.
Hewitt beats Monaco in first round at Valencia Open
VALENCIA, Spain – Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt beat Juan Monaco of Argentina, 6-3, 6-4, in the opening round of the Valencia Open yesterday, ending a 10-match losing run against top-10 opponents.
The Australian wild-card entry broke the 10th-ranked Monaco twice in the opening set and three times in the second at the indoor hard-court tournament. The loss makes it difficult for the Argentine to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Hewitt will next face Ivan Dodig after the Croatian qualifier beat Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, 6-2, 7-6 (6).
John Isner outlasted Fabio Fognini of Italy, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5, helping the American remain in the hunt for a spot at the World Tour Finals. The 11th-ranked Isner will face Albert Ramos of Spain, who beat Rajeev Ram of the United States, 6-3, 6-3.
Fernando Verdasco beat Tommy Robredo, 6-3, 6-4, in an all-Spanish match and will play Marin Cilic of Croatia. David Goffin of Belgium beat Pablo Andujar of Spain, 6-2, 6-2.