Friday Sports In Brief
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Royals earned another champagne shower at Kauffman Stadium.
Lorenzo Cain sprinted home from first base on Eric Hosmer’s single in the eighth inning, Wade Davis weathered a 45-minute rain delay and a white-knuckle ninth, and Kansas City beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 to earn its second straight trip to the World Series.
Davis retired Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson on a grounder with runners on second and third to end Game 6 of the AL Championship Series.
The Royals open the World Series on Tuesday night at home against the New York Mets.
After the rain delay, Cain promptly worked a leadoff walk from closer Roberto Osuna, and Hosmer followed with a clean single that Bautista fielded down the right-field line.
Rather than hit the cutoff man, though, Bautista threw to second to keep Hosmer to a single. That gave the speedy Cain, running full speed the entire way and being waved home by third base coach Mike Jirschele, enough time to beat the relay throw from second base with a textbook slide that ignited a sellout crowd.
NEW YORK (AP) – Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has received a cortisone injection in his sore left shoulder, and the team expects him to be ready for the World Series next week.
Cespedes left Wednesday night’s NL Championship Series finale at Chicago in the second inning. The slugger had the injection on Thursday and was told not to participate in baseball activities for 24 hours, Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said. Cespedes did not attend Friday’s voluntary workout at Citi Field.
Mets manager Terry Collins says: ”We’ve got it taken care of. The doctors, they said, look, he’ll be OK, and so tomorrow we’ll find out.”
Collins said he didn’t ask how Cespedes got hurt. Hitting coach Kevin Long said Cespedes thought he did it doing push-ups.
”He didn’t do it playing golf. He didn’t have a bad sand shot or didn’t get stuck in the side of a bunker,” Collins said.
SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Mariners hired former big league catcher Scott Servais as their manager Friday, giving the job to someone with ties to the new front office but no experience running a team.
The 48-year-old Servais replaces Lloyd McClendon, who was fired earlier this month after Seattle went 76-86. Servais will be formally introduced by the team next week.
New Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made the announcement. Servais has worked the past five seasons as an assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Angels and worked alongside Dipoto for most of that time. Dipoto resigned as Angels GM on July 1.
Not only did Dipoto and Servais work together with the Angels, they were teammates for one seasons in Colorado in 2000.
Servais oversaw the Angels’ scouting and player development, and had wanted to be on a major league coaching staff. He joined Dipoto and the Angels in 2011 after spending six seasons as the senior director of player development with Texas. Servais was credited with the growth of slugger Nelson Cruz during the time together with the Rangers – Cruz now plays for Seattle.
(AP) – Gregg Popovich, who has led the San Antonio Spurs to five NBA titles, will replace Mike Krzyzewski as the U.S. basketball coach following the 2016 Olympics.
USA Basketball said that Popovich will take over starting with 2017 training camp and lead the Americans into the 2019 Basketball World Cup and 2020 Olympics if they qualify.
Regarded as one of best coaches, Popovich was the choice when USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo decided to return to an NBA coach. Krzyzewski has led the Americans since 2005.
The Duke coach has guided the Americans to consecutive Olympic gold medals and two world titles. He will stay on as a special adviser to Colangelo.
Popovich was a U.S. assistant in the 2002 world championships and 2004 Olympics, the low point of U.S. basketball. Colangelo was hired to assemble the national team program following the bronze medal in Athens. He selected Krzyzewski as his coach after also considering Popovich.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) – The season opener is four days away and there are doubts LeBron James will be ready.
James still isn’t practicing because of a troublesome back and there’s no guarantee he’ll be on the floor when the Cavs begin their quest for an NBA title on Tuesday in Chicago.
The four-time MVP received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back on Oct. 13, but hasn’t practiced since as he hasn’t been cleared by Cleveland’s medical and training staffs. James, who played in just two of Cleveland’s seven preseason games, said Friday that he’s not positive he’ll be on the floor against the Bulls.
”If everything goes right,” he said. ”We feel like we’re progressing really well and if we can continue to do that, then I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to go.”
NEW YORK (AP) – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is optimistic about the league’s health and relationship with its players, offering hope that the league can avoid another lockout in 2017.
Silver also says he expects the league will reduce the number of preseason games, though doesn’t know how many would be played. The schedule currently allows for a maximum of eight per team.
Owners wrapped up two days of their annual preseason meetings before Silver held a press conference. They are expecting an enormous influx of revenues next year with the beginning of the new national TV deals, valued at about $2.6 billion.
Either side could opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2017, six years after it was approved following a work stoppage. But Silver says he is optimistic ”just because I think things are going so well for the teams and the players.”
(AP) – Andre McGee resigned as assistant coach at University of Missouri-Kansas City, saying he could no longer do the job as he fights ”false” allegations by an escort that he hired dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players while coaching at Louisville.
Not long after McGee announced his resignation, Rick Pitino – his former boss at Louisville – said in a statement from Louisville that the Hall of Fame coach was going to skip ACC media day next week in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the advice of counsel because of the allegations.
”I do not want the allegations we are facing to negatively impact the other 14 institutions on what should be a great event to talk about the approaching basketball season,” Pitino said in the statement. ”I realize that while many would like to question me on the allegations, the NCAA does not permit me to speak on the subject.”
McGee, a former Louisville player, served as a graduate assistant and director of men’s basketball operations at the school before coming to UMKC in 2014.
In his resignation letter to UMKC athletics director Carla Wilson, McGee said he couldn’t perform his duties as a coach for the Kangaroos while also dealing with the allegations in Louisville.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Johnny Manziel is expected to remain Cleveland’s backup quarterback as the NFL investigates whether he violated its personal conduct policy.
Manziel was questioned on Oct. 12 by police in Avon, Ohio, after he and girlfriend Colleen Crowley argued while the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner drove on a highway. Crowley told police that Manziel hit her several times.
Manziel denied striking Crowley, was not arrested and the couple was allowed to leave together. Manziel could be facing a fine, suspension or potential banishment if the league finds he broke provisions in its conduct policy.
A league spokesman said there was no update on its investigation.
Following practice, Browns coach Mike Pettine said Manziel will ”more than likely” back up starter Josh McCown on Sunday when Cleveland visits the St. Louis Rams. The Browns made Manziel active for last week’s game against Denver despite his domestic incident.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Titans rookie Marcus Mariota will not play Sunday against Atlanta as he recovers from a sprained MCL in his left knee. Zach Mettenberger will start at quarterback.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Friday that Mariota has been ruled out after missing practice all week and the rookie’s knee has not quite healed up. Mettenberger practiced as the starter in Mariota’s absence.
”It’s a combination of missing practice and not quite being there (physically),” Whisenhunt said. ”He’s close, but it’s a combination of those two things. We decided that was the best way to go this week.”