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IN BRIEF

BASEBALL

Mariners hire Zduriencik as general manager

The Seattle Mariners hired Milwaukee Brewers special assistant Jack Zduriencik as their general manager Wednesday.

The 57-year-old Zduriencik, known for his skill in drafting players, replaces Bill Bavasi, who was fired in June, and takes over for interim GM Lee Pelekoudas.

Zduriencik’s first task with the Mariners will be finding a manager. John McLaren was fired in June, and interim manager Jim Riggleman said he doesn’t expect to return.

Also: The Boston Red Sox will bring back most of their coaching staff for the 2009 season.

First-base coach Luis Alicea is the exception; the team said he will not be offered a contract for next year.

Pitching coach John Farrell, third-base coach DeMarlo Hale, hitting coach Dave Magadan, bench coach Brad Mills and bullpen coach Gary Tuck have been asked back.

The Texas Rangers hired former Oakland A’s manager Jackie Moore as bench coach and Dave Anderson as third-base coach.

Moore, who managed the A’s from 1984 to 1986, was the bench coach for the Houston Astros this year.

The Houston Astros promoted third-base coach Ed Romero to bench coach.

The Astros also hired Dave Clark, the manager of their Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, Texas, to replace Romero. Houston also announced it has retained hitting coach Sean Berry, pitching coach Dewey Robinson, first-base coach Jose Cruz and bullpen coach Mark Bailey.

BASKETBALL

Bulls’ Hughes dislocates shoulder in exhibition

Bulls guard Larry Hughes left Chicago’s 85-75 exhibition victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis with a dislocated right shoulder.

Hughes left the game with 3:16 to play in the third quarter and did not return after getting his arm caught under Minnesota forward Mike Miller as the two dived for a loose ball. Hughes was leading Chicago with 21 points when he left.

Hughes, averaging 13 points per game in the preseason, is fighting for playing time in a crowded backcourt featuring Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon and No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose.

Also: Lakers fans can rest easy. Kobe Bryant’s right knee was a bit sore, but the injury isn’t serious and it’s possible he won’t miss any playing time.

Bryant sat out practice due to the hyperextended right knee he suffered Tuesday in the second quarter of Los Angeles’ 102-98 preseason win over Charlotte in San Diego.

Bryant was injured under the Lakers’ basket when he banged knees with teammate Josh Powell while going for a rebound.

Bryant said he hopes to play tonight when the Lakers face the Bobcats in Anaheim, Calif.

Las Vegas, Albuquerque, N.M., Denver, Salt Lake City and San Diego have been named finalists to host the Mountain West Conference basketball championships from 2011 through 2013.

The conference said the winning city will be announced in June.

Georgia Tech senior guard and team captain D’Andre Bell will have season-ending surgery to correct a spinal condition, but he said he still hopes to complete his college career in the 2009-10 season. Bell started 22 games last season and averaged 6.6 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

MISCELLANEOUS

Vickers, crew chief punished by NASCAR

Brian Vickers was docked 150 driver points and crew chief Kevin Hamlin was fined $100,000 by NASCAR because the Red Bull Racing team dipped its sheet metal in acid to make it lighter than required.

Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz also was docked 150 owner points, and Hamlin and car chief Craig Smokstad were suspended indefinitely.

Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye said the team accepted responsibility and would not appeal the penalties.

The infraction was discovered after the No. 83 Toyota was randomly selected for an inspection following Vickers’ 11th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway.

Also: Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was back in court, again facing the possibility of jail time in a child-support case, but a settlement was reached after he agreed to a $100,000 college fund for his 10-year-old son.

Holyfield also consented to pay private school tuition before college, reinstated health insurance for his son and settled $4,500 in attorney fees, according to Randy Kessler, a lawyer for the child’s mother, Toi Irvin. The agreement was reached before a scheduled hearing in Fayette County Superior Court in suburban Atlanta.

AC Milan is close to signing David Beckham in a loan deal that would allow the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder and former England captain to play in Italy for a few months starting in January.

Beckham is eager to join another club in Europe so he can remain in shape and keep his place on England’s team for World Cup qualifying.

Wendy MacPherson of Henderson and Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., won the doubles championship for the United States team Tuesday in the Pan American Bowling Confederation Women’s Championships in Santiago, Chile.

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