Headlines from around the world of sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost greets fans before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds formally announces his retirement during a news conference, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Dodds, who has been with Texas for 32 years, will step down in August 2014. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
NFLPA checking if Bucs leaked info on Freeman
TAMPA, Fla. – The NFL Players Association wants to determine if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leaked information about quarterback Josh Freeman being in the NFL’s substance abuse program.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said yesterday, “We are sufficiently concerned about what we’ve heard to begin an investigation.”
Freeman said in a statement released by his agent late Monday that he voluntarily entered the substance-abuse program and submitted to random testing more than a year ago after mistakenly taking Ridalin instead of Adderall to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The Bucs benched the fifth-year pro last week after Freeman played poorly in the team’s first three games, all losses. The quarterback believes someone within the Bucs organization leaked information about him being in the league’s drug testing program.
Cashman: Yankees want Girardi back
NEW YORK – Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said the team wants Joe Girardi back as manager.
Hired after the 2007 season, Girardi’s contract expires at the end of October. Crippled by injuries, New York had its poorest record since 1992 and finished tied for third in the AL East at 85-77.
Speaking two days after the season ended, Cashman said yesterday that “he knows we’d like to have him stay and continue as manager of the New York Yankees as we move forward.”
Cashman said he thinks Girardi “likes it here,” and the GM will meet today with the manager’s agent. Cashman wouldn’t say if he would give the Chicago Cubs permission to speak with Girardi about their managerial opening.
Royals, Yost agree on two-year extension
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Royals and Manager Ned Yost agreed to a two-year contract extension after wrapping up an 86-76 season, the best finish for the franchise in 24 years.
Yost’s contract was set to expire after the season, and the Royals announced the extension yesterday.
Yost has been the manager in Kansas City for the past four years, and has been instrumental in helping to bring along one of the youngest rosters in the major league. Progress was evident after the All-Star break this season, when the Royals went 43-27 down the stretch.
Astros shuffle coaching staff
HOUSTON – The Houston Astros said in a statement yesterday they are not renewing the contracts of first base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez and are reassigning pitching coach Doug Brocail.
Team officials said the 46-year-old Brocail will become a special assistant to General Manager Jeff Luhnow and serve as his senior pitching adviser. Brocail had a 24-year pitching career and spent the past two as Astros pitching coach after a half-season in an interim role.
The 51-year-old Clark spent five seasons on the Astros coaching staff, four as third base coach and the last at first base.
Martinez, 58, was a four-time All-Star pitcher. He spent six seasons as a pitching coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system before joining the Astros in 2013.
MLB attendance drops 1.2 percent this year
NEW YORK – Major League Baseball’s average attendance fell 1.2 percent this year, with the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies experiencing big drops.
The average was 30,514, down from 30,895 last year and the peak of 32,785 in 2007. Total attendance of 74.03 million was down from 75.86 million last season but was the sport’s sixth-highest.
There were 37 postponements this year, up from 21 in 2012.
Westbrook has knee surgery, out 4-6 weeks
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will miss the first 4-6 weeks of the NBA season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee yesterday.
General Manager Sam Presti said Westbrook had knee swelling that would not subside, and the procedure was intended to solve the problem once and for all. He said doctors found that the source of swelling was due to a loose stitch and Westbrook’s meniscus has healed properly.
The team said the procedure was successful.
Russell had surgery in May to repair cartilage in his right knee after he was hurt in Game 2 of Oklahoma City’s first-round playoff series with Houston. He had never missed a game in his five NBA seasons before the injury.
Texas AD Dodds says he’s ready to retire
AUSTIN, Texas – After 32 years of building Texas into the wealthiest college program in the nation, Longhorns Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said he’s ready to retire.
Dodds and Texas President Bill Powers formally announced yesterday that Dodds will retire Aug. 31, 2014. Powers said a search for his replacement begins right away.
Since 1981, the 76-year-old Dodds has overseen a program that won 14 men’s national championships and 108 conference titles. Texas has expanded and improved athletic facilities, moved from the old Southwest Conference to the Big 12 and signed a $300-million agreement with ESPN to create the Longhorn Network.
Football Coach Mack Brown is under fire after three sub-par seasons and a 2-2 start this year. Dodds said any major charges should be made by his replacement.
NASCAR fines Piquet Jr. for anti-gay slur
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NASCAR fined Nelson Piquet Jr. $10,000 yesterday and ordered him to attend sensitivity training for using an anti-gay slur on social media.
The Nationwide Series driver posted the remark on Instagram Sept. 25 in a post that has since been deleted.
Piquet apologized in a statement. “I sincerely apologize to everyone for my poor choice of words last week. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone,” the Brazilian said in a statement.
Former Wimbledon finalist Nalbandian retires
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian of Argentina has announced his retirement from professional tennis due to injuries.
The 31-year-old achieved a career-highest ranking of No. 3 and was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2002, losing to Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. He reached the semifinals or better at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Speaking at a press conference in Buenos Aires, he cited persistent shoulder problems as the main reason for his decision.