In Brief


‘Sunday Night Baseball’ team
of Miller, Morgan cut by ESPN

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are out as announcers on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” after 21 seasons.

“Over the last two decades, Joe went from Hall of Fame player to one of his sport’s top analysts, and Jon’s Hall of Fame voice and tremendous knowledge of the game have connected with baseball fans everywhere,” ESPN executive vice president Norby Williamson said in a statement Monday. “We owe them our deepest thanks for an outstanding body of work.”

The network did not give a reason for their dismissal or announce replacements.

Also: The Detroit Tigers and shortstop Jhonny Peralta agreed on an $11.25 million, two-year contract with a club option for 2013.

Peralta gets $5.25 million next year and $5.5 million in 2012. The Tigers have a $6 million team option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.

Peralta hit .253 with eight home runs in 57 games with the Tigers this season after being acquired from Cleveland in July.

The Oakland Athletics won the bidding for negotiating rights to Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma.

The A’s bid was accepted by the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League under the bidding treaty between Major League Baseball and the Japanese commissioner’s office. Oakland has 30 days to reach a contract agreement.

The 29-year-old righty was 10-9 with a 2.82 ERA in 28 games this season, with four complete games and one shutout.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner will be on the Hall of Fame veterans committee ballot next month with former New York manager Billy Martin.

Steinbrenner owned the Yankees from 1973 until his death in July, and the team won seven World Series championships, 11 American League pennants and 16 AL East titles during his turbulent and blustery reign.

Martin had five stints as Yankees manager under Steinbrenner, who fired him four times and let him resign once.

Former union head Marvin Miller will also be on the ballot, along with players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub. Retired Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle and Philadelphia general manager Pat Gillick is also on the 12-man ballot.


U.S. women blank Costa Rica,
stay alive for 2011 World Cup

Lauren Cheney scored an early goal, Abby Wambach added two, and the United States stayed alive in qualifying for next year’s Women’s World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in Cancun, Mexico.

The top-ranked U.S. had been 19-0 in qualifying before Friday’s stunning 2-1 defeat to Mexico in the semifinals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region. That defeat forced the two-time champions into a must-win third-place game against the No. 47 Ticas.

Now the U.S. will play 11th-ranked Italy, the No. 5 team in European qualifying, in a home-and-home, total-goals series for the final berth in the tournament. The first match is at Padova, Italy, on Nov. 20 and the second at Bridgeview, Ill., on Nov. 27.

Also: Former President Bill Clinton will take part in the final presentation of the U.S. bid to host the 2022 World Cup. The Americans put their case before FIFA’s executive committee on Dec. 1.

The United States, which hosted the tournament in 1994, faces competition from Qatar, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the event.


UNLV women’s basketball
fends off Grand Canyon

The UNLV women’s basketball team withstood Grand Canyon’s torrid 3-point shooting early in the game, earning a 68-61 victory at Cox Pavilion in the Lady Rebels’ lone tuneup for the regular season.

The Antelopes hit 11 3-pointers, including an 8-for-11 effort from long distance in the first half, when they led by as many as 10 and were up 38-33 at halftime. But UNLV clamped down in the second half, allowing Grand Canyon to hit just 3 of 12 from beyond the arc.

Kelli Thompson paced UNLV with 24 points, and the Lady Rebels outrebounded the Antelopes 60-39. Lenita Sanford (13), Sandrine Nzeukou (11) and Jamie Smith (10) each reached double digits in rebounds.

UNLV opens the season Friday at 5:30 p.m. against Southern Utah at the Thomas & Mack Center, part of a doubleheader with the UNLV men’s team, which faces UC Riverside.

Also: Marc Morse, who served as infield coach under former College of Southern Nevada baseball coach Tim Chambers, has been named the school’s interim athletic director.

Morse, a 1996 graduate of Bishop Gorman High School where he played for Chambers, replaces Chris Sheff, who was relieved of his duties as AD and baseball coach last week after questions arose about possible rules violations within the baseball program.

Tour de France winner Alberto Contador will be investigated for doping during this year’s race.

Contador tested positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol in the final week of his third Tour victory in July. The decision in Geneva, Switzerland, came after six weeks of deliberation between the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency. The cycling body provisionally suspended the Spaniard in September.

Tiger Woods returned to his mother’s home country of Thailand for a four-man charity skins tournament and won only one hole in another disappointing performance.

Colombian golfer Camillo Villegas won the most money at the World Golf Salutes King Bhumibol Skins Tournament in Bangkok, taking five skins for $109,800. Paul Casey won nine skins for $92,400, and local golfer Thongchai Jaidee claimed three skins for $90,000.

Woods earned $6,600 for his lone skin.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal said the shoulder injury that forced him out of the Paris Masters won’t prevent him from playing at the ATP World Tour finals later this month.

Nadal said he has a small case of tendinitis in his left shoulder and that he withdrew from the final Masters tournament of the season to avoid risking a serious injury before the London event.

Former top-25 player Taylor Dent, 29, retired from professional tennis. Once ranked as high as 21st, Dent had three back operations in 2006 and 2007 that derailed his career. He then made a comeback and climbed back into the top 100 in 2009.


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