Astros’ new CEO announces
firing of GM, team president
The Houston Astros have fired general manager Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith.
The moves come less than a week after the sale of the team from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane was officially completed.
The team announced the moves late Sunday night in a statement from new chief executive officer and team president George Postolos.
Postolos said “with the change in ownership, we would like a fresh start in baseball operations.”
The search for a new general manager will begin immediately. Assistant general manager Dave Gottfried will serve as interim general manager but will not be considered for the job full time.
The Astros, who will move from the National League Central to the American League West in 2013, were 56-106 last year for the worst record in franchise history.
Kuchar, Woodland team up
to give U.S. win at World Cup
Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland ended the United States’ 11-year drought in golf’s World Cup by shooting a 5-under-par 67 to win by two strokes in Hainan, China.
The American pair fired six birdies in the alternate-shot final round to finish at 24-under 264, notching the 24th U.S. win in the history of the tournament.
English pair Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had the final day’s best round with a 63 to tie for second at 266 with Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka (69).
Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell led by two strokes going into the final round but could manage only an even-par 72 to finish tied for fourth with Australia, the Netherlands and Scotland.
The American victory was the first since Tiger Woods and David Duval claimed the title 11 years ago. The event was annual up until 2009, and this year’s tournament was the first in the new biennial format.
Also: Greg Chalmers won the Australian PGA Championship for his second straight major tournament victory Down Under, beating Australian countrymen Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser with a par on the first hole of a playoff in Coolum, Australia.
Chalmers, the Australian Open winner two weeks ago, shot 5-under 67 to match Allenby (68) and Fraser (69) at 12-under 276. American Bubba Watson, in contention throughout the weekend, had a 77 to drop into a tie for 12th at 281.
Hennie Otto shot even-par 72 for a 14-under 274 total and a one-stroke victory over Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (68) at the South African Open in Johannesburg.
Long shot Ultimate Eagle
nabs win in Hollywood Derby
A day after winning the Citation Handicap with the favorite Jeranimo, trainer Mike Pender and owner B.J. Wright completed a weekend stakes double with long shot Ultimate Eagle in the $250,000 Hollywood Derby at Hollypark Park in Inglewood, Calif.
Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Ultimate Eagle, at 14-1, led all the way and won by three-quarters of a length, covering 1¼ miles on the turf in 2 minutes, 1.43 seconds. Imagining took second and Western Aristocrat third, while favorite Wilcox Inn was never a factor and took eighth in a field of 11 3-year-olds.
Also: Travis Lulay led the British Columbia Lions to the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup title, throwing two second-half touchdown passes in a 34-23 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Gary Speed, who took over as Wales soccer coach just 11 months ago after playing for his country a record 85 times, has died. He was 42.
The Football Association of Wales announced Speed’s death Sunday without giving the cause.
Mark Webber won the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo after Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel struggled with a gearbox problem.
Vettel, who long ago secured the Formula One season title, still finished second after letting Webber get past him almost halfway through the race at the 2.6-mile Interlagos track.
Al Chinn of Auburn, Wash., won the Super Pro title in the Las Vegas Bracket Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s drag strip. Brad Burton won the Pro title, and Chris Johnston won the Sportsman division. Jesse Adams of Yuba City, Calif., took the Not-So-Ultimate Gambler.
In Saturday races, North Las Vegan Carl Cannavo won the Super Pro event, Las Vegan Robin Harris won the Pro category, and Don Sefton won the Ultimate Gambler event.
Brittney Griner scored 26 points as the top-ranked Baylor women’s basketball team beat sixth-ranked Tennessee 76-67 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Olympic gold-medal skier Lindsey Vonn and her husband are ending their marriage of four years. Vonn confirmed that she and Thomas Vonn have started divorce proceedings. Her husband also serves as her chief adviser.