Sports briefs: Oct. 24

October 24, 2012 


Marlins' firing of Guillentook root in April interview

Ozzie Guillen was fired Tuesday after one year as manager of the last-place Miami Marlins, whose promising season began to derail in April when his laudatory comments about Fidel Castro caused a backlash.

Miami's next manager will be the fifth for owner Jeffrey Loria since early 2010. The Marlins still owe Guillen $7.5 million for the three years remaining on his contract.

The franchise was supposedly transformed by an off-season spending spree, but a dismal June took the Marlins out of contention for good, and management dismantled the roster in July.

The season went sour from the start. Guillen's comments praising Castro in a magazine interview angered Cuban Americans, who make up a large segment of the Marlins' fan base. "That was a very, very hard situation for me and the people around me," Guillen said in September. "It was maybe the worst thing I ever did."

The Castro episode was a factor in the decision to fire Guillen, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said.


Lance deletes Tour titles from Twitter bio

Lance Armstrong is a prolific user of Twitter, keeping his nearly 3.8 million followers up to date about what's going on in his life.

He has yet to respond to Monday's news that the International Cycling Union has stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles for allegedly taking part in what the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency calls a massive doping program. But sometimes actions speak louder than words. As recently as Monday night, Armstrong's Twitter bio read: "Father of 5 amazing kids, 7-time Tour de France winner, full time cancer fighter, part time triathlete."

It has since been changed to: "Raising my five kids. Fighting Cancer. Swim, bike, run and golf whenever I can."

The Tour de France is no longer mentioned.

Auto racing

Earnhardt cleared to return to racing

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was cleared Tuesday for this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway after missing the last two weeks to recover from a pair of concussions. NASCAR's most popular driver was examined by neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty one a day after he ran 123 laps at half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. "He hasn't had a headache since Oct. 12, and we have not been able to provoke any symptoms since that time," said Petty, who consults with NASCAR and is Earnhardt's personal physician. Petty sidelined Earnhardt after the driver went to see him complaining of a lingering headache following a 25-car accident on the last lap of the Oct. 7 race at Talladega.


Harrington takes Slam lead with 66

Padraig Harrington, a playoff loser the two times he qualified for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, gave himself a chance Tuesday to win as an alternate. Harrington made seven birdies for a 5-under 66 at Port Royal in Southampton, Bermuda, to take a two-shot lead over Masters champion Bubba Watson going into the final round of the 36-hole exhibition for the year's four major champions.

U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson had a 69. Keegan Bradley, who replaced PGA champion Rory McIlroy, rounded out the four-man field with a 72.


Notre Dame gives Golson OK to play

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson was cleared to start Saturday against Oklahoma after missing last week's game. Golson suffered a concussion in the win over Stanford and didn't play last Saturday against Brigham Young. Coach Brian Kelly said Golson passed post-concussion tests last week but didn't practice. Kelly waited until Golson went through a workout before he declared him ready to play. "He feels great, very confident," Kelly said.

Idaho State suspended Coach Mike Kramer for one game Tuesday for violating university policy. The suspension comes as Pocatello and campus police continue to investigate an Oct. 3 practice incident in which Kramer is accused of shoving senior wide receiver Derek Graves to the turf. The second-year coach will miss Saturday's game at Montana. Associate head coach Don Bailey will serve as the team's acting coach.

The Missouri athletics department is tightening employee use of school-issued credit cards after an audit found a series of improper purchases, including bills for more than $7,600 from a Las Vegas strip club. Director of video operations Michael Schumacher, who was representing Mizzou at a professional conference but traveled alone, has repaid the money. Spokesman Chad Moller said "responsive and appropriate disciplinary action was taken."

High school

UK target Wiggins to play at Scott Co.

Major UK recruiting target Andrew Wiggins will play a game at Scott County High School on Nov. 18.

Wiggins, the No. 1 player in the class of 2014, will lead Huntington Prep (W.Va.) against Christian Faith Center Academy (N.C.).

The last word

Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox batted .204 this season, 40 points higher than in 2011. His 41 homers were 30 more homers than he hit the previous year. And the 96 runs he drove in were more than twice his total of a year earlier.

None of that was lost on the designated hitter who on Tuesday was named by The Sporting News as the American League comeback player of the year. Said Dunn:

"It's an award I hope I never win again."

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