Friday’s Sports Briefs
CHICAGO (AP) Joe Maddon was hired as manager of the Chicago Cubs, hours after the team fired Rick Renteria.
Maddon opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay after Andrew Friedman left the Rays’ front office to take over the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball operations on Oct. 14.
Maddon had a 754-705 record in nine seasons in Tampa Bay, leading the club to four playoff appearances, two AL East titles and a five-game loss to Philadelphia in the 2008 World Series.
Renteria had two years left on the contract he signed with the Cubs last November. Cubs President Theo Epstein said Renteria deserved to come back next season as the Cubs continue their rebuilding effort, but Maddon’s unexpected decision to opt out of his contract with the Rays changed the equation.
Renteria was offered another job within the Cubs’ organization and Epstein praised him several times after leading Chicago to a 73-89 in his only season as a major league manager.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco became the Valley of the Giants for the third time in five years as hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets for rain-soaked parade honoring the World Series champions.
In steady drizzle mixed with clouds of orange, black and white confetti, players waved, snapped photos and mugged for the roaring crowds from the top of double-decker buses, a change from the classic convertibles and cable cars that transported them along their now-familiar parade route in 2012 and 2010.
Elated fans of all ages, some of whom staked out viewing spots hours before the spectacle’s noon start time, pressed against metal barriers, stood on rooftops and climbed onto street lamps festooned with orange, black and white balloons, to cheer their hometown heroes.
NEW YORK (AP) – A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies both declined their $15 million mutual option, leaving the pitcher to decide whether to exercise his $12.75 million player option.
The 37-year-old Burnett went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA in 34 starts during his first season with the Phillies and has said he isn’t sure whether he wants to pitch next season. He has until Monday to decide on the option.
Ten more players became free agents, raising the total to 130, and up to 13 more could join them by Monday, depending on option decisions.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo’s $13 million option was exercised by the Milwaukee Brewers, who also exercised their half of third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s $14 million option. Ramirez has until Monday to decide on his half of the mutual option.
Milwaukee voided Rickie Weeks’ $11.5 million salary for 2015, making the second baseman eligible for free agency. The Brewers had the right to void the salary because Weeks did not have 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14 combined, with at least 600 this year.
Tampa Bay exercised a $7.5 million option on infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist, a two-time All-Star who is set to become the first player to spend 10 seasons with the Rays.
Baltimore declined a $17.5 million mutual option on outfielder Nick Markakis, who gets a $2 million buyout, and a $5 million option on catcher Nick Hundley.
The Los Angeles Dodgers declined a $14 million option on right-hander Chad Billingsley, who gets a $3 million buyout. Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson exercised a $10 million player option.
Kentucky is No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the second straight season.
The Wildcats lived up to expectations last season, overcoming a midseason slump to reach the national championship game, where they lost to Connecticut.
With most of that team back and another stellar recruiting class in place, Kentucky received 52 first-place votes from the 65-member panel to become the fourth team to earn consecutive preseason No. 1s.
Arizona was No. 2, receiving five first-place votes. No. 3 Wisconsin, with most of its team returning from last year’s Final Four run, had eight first-place votes but was 35 points behind Arizona in overall points.
Duke was fourth, followed by Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, Louisville, Virginia and Texas.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigned, setting the stage for new leadership at the top of one of the nation’s most prominent athletic departments.
Brandon’s departure comes amid a dismal football season and concerns over the school’s handling of everything from its concussion protocol to student seating at games.
Football coach Brady Hoke’s future has been in doubt for a while thanks to his team’s lack of progress, but Brandon also became a target of disgruntled fans and students.
University President Mark Schlissel, who officially took over in September, said at a mid-October regents’ meeting that he wanted to do an in-depth review of Michigan athletics. Displeasure with Brandon and Hoke was already mounting at that point, with the football team struggling and the department still being criticized for its handling of quarterback Shane Morris’ head injury in a Sept. 27 game against Minnesota.
Brandon, a former university regent, became Michigan’s athletic director in 2010, stepping down as CEO of Domino’s Pizza Inc. and returning to his alma mater to take over the sports program.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Tony Stewart had NASCAR’s first 200-mph qualifying lap on an intermediate track, and Matt Kenseth took the pole for the Sprint Cup race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Stewart turned a lap at 200.111 mph in the second of three qualifying rounds before dropping off to sixth in the final round on the high-banked 1 1/2-mile oval. Kenseth topped the eight drivers eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with a final-round lap of 199.299.
Jeff Gordon will be outside on the front as one of five Chase qualifiers starting in the top 10. The others are Kevin Harvick (fifth), Ryan Newman (seventh), and Joey Logano (10th).
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Kyle Busch passed German Quiroga off a restart in a two-lap shootout in the Camping World Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway for his seventh victory in nine series starts this year.
Jeb Burton was second, followed by Timothy Peters, Tyler Reddick and points leader Matt Crafton.
Busch led 80 of the 152 laps for his third series victory in the 1 1/2-mile oval.
Racing in the series for the first time since winning at Chicagoland on Sept. 13, Busch has 42 wins in 124 Truck races. He has 140 victories in NASCAR’s top three series, winning 29 times in Cup and a record 69 times in Nationwide. He has 14 victories this year, also winning once in Cup and six times in Nationwide.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – John Force topped Funny Car qualifying in the NHRA Toyota Nationals.
The 65-year-old Force powered his Ford Mustang to a 4.039-second pass at 318.54 mph. The 16-time series champion began the weekend 36 point behind leader Matt Hagan with two events left. Richie Crampton led in Top Fuel, Erica Enders-Stevens in Pro Stock and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A federal judge seems to think Native Americans offended by the Washington Redskins’ team name are properly being sued by the NFL franchise.
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee suggested during a hearing that it would be unprecedented to dismiss the team’s lawsuit against five Native Americans who complained about the name to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
A trademark office board decided in June to cancel some of the Redskins’ trademarks, citing federal regulations against protecting words and images that are disparaging or offensive. The team could have challenged the ruling in appellate court in Washington, but sought help instead in a venue that gives it more options, by going to a trial court to sue the Native Americans who complained in the first place.
The team has used the Redskins name since 1933, and has asked the judge to reverse the trademark board’s removal of protections of six trademarks the team registered between 1967 and 1990. The team argues that the name is not offensive, and that canceling its trademarks would violate its free speech rights and take its property without compensation.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Golden State Warriors and shooting guard Klay Thompson have agreed to a four-year maximum contract extension worth about $70 million, a person with knowledge of the deal said.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made, also said there is no opt-out clause for either side. Thompson and the team had until the end of the day to get a deal done or Thompson could have become a restricted free agent next summer, when the Warriors would’ve had an opportunity to match any offer sheet he signed.
Thompson averaged 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Jay Haas birdied four of the last six holes for an 8-under 62 and a four-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
The 60-year-old Haas, the oldest player in field limited to the top 30 players on the money list, had his 38th straight round of par or better to break Loren Roberts’ tour record.
Haas won two weeks ago in North Carolina to become the 18th player to win a Champions Tour event at 60 or older. He had a 12-under 128 total on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course.
First-round leader Tom Pernice Jr. was second after a 67.
PARIS (AP) – Canada’s Milos Raonic beat Roger Federer for the first time, topping the 17-Grand Slam champion 7-6 (5), 7-5 to reach the Paris Masters semifinals.
Raonic will face Tomas Berdych, a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4 winner over Kevin Anderson. In the other quarterfinals, top-ranked Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 7-5, 6-2, and Kei Nishikori topped David Ferrer 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – Carla Suarez Navarro advanced to the semifinals in the season-ending Tournament of Champions, beating Tsvetana Pironkova 7-6 (2), 6-1.
KELOWNA, British Columbia (AP) – Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya won the women’s short program at Skate Canada International, and Spain’s Javier Fernandez topped the men’s field.
Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford led in pairs, and teammates Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje topped the ice dance standings.