Leyland returning in 2013;Phillips doesn't get Gold Glove
Two days after Detroit was swept by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, the Tigers announced Manager Jim Leyland would be back in 2013 with a one-year contract extension.
Leyland, 67, was managing on a one-year deal this year as well.
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"I'm going to be here in 2013, and we'll take that from there," Leyland said. "I did think long and hard about it, because I wanted to make sure that I was going to be doing everything that you need to do to continue to keep this club headed in the right direction."
Leyland leads all active managers with 1,676 wins, a total that puts him 15th on the career list. Next season will be his 22nd as a major-league manager and his eighth in Detroit. He's led the Tigers to the post-season three times and the World Series twice.
Leyland's coaching staff is also expected back.
Detroit is prepared to let closer Jose Valverde and designated hitter Delmon Young leave via free agency. Valverde had a poor post-season, and Young's spot will be taken by Victor Martinez, who is set to return next year from the knee injury that kept him out all of 2012. The Tigers will try to re-sign right-hander Anibal Sanchez, but he will be one of the top starters on the free-agent market.
■ Darwin Barney became the first Cubs second baseman since Ryne Sandberg in 1991 to win a Gold Glove, beating out Brandon Phillips of the Reds and Aaron Hill of the Diamondbacks. Barney went 141 consecutive games without an error. Phillips had won three Gold Gloves in the past four seasons. The awards are voted on by managers and coaches of each league.
The Orioles led the majors with three players winning Gold Gloves: catcher Matt Wieters, shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones. The Yankees were the only other team with multiple Gold Glove winners as second baseman Robinson Cano and first baseman Mark Teixeira took home honors.
■ The Cubs have hired Vanderbilt assistant Derek Johnson as their minor-league pitching coordinator. Johnson spent the past 11 seasons as the Commodores' pitching coach, helping develop Tampa Bay star David Price and also helping the 2011 team reach the College World Series.
Wildcats going to SEC Tourney on a roll
The Kentucky women's soccer team rides a five-game winning streak, including four shutouts, into the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The fourth-seeded Wildcats play fifth-seeded Missouri in a quarterfinal match on Wednesday night at 8:30 in Orange Beach, Ala. UK goalie Kayla King, the SEC Defensive Player of the Week, has a 12-2-0 record this season, allowing only eight goals in 14 appearances. Kentucky's offense is led by sophomore Arin Gilliland, who has seven goals, six assists and a team-high 20 points this season. "Missouri presents a great challenge," UK Coach Jon Lipsitz said. "They are phenomenally coached, well organized in the back, and are lethal up top on attack. We played them well on the road in the regular season (an overtime loss), so we are looking forward to the rematch."
Sermanni takes over U.S. women's squad
When Tom Sermanni shook hands with Pia Sundhage after her last game as coach of the U.S. women's soccer team, he should have asked her for a few tips. Sermanni was hired Tuesday to replace Sundhage, who led the Americans to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and their first World Cup final in 12 years. Sermanni has spent the last eight years as Australia's coach, taking the Matildas to the quarterfinals of the last two Women's World Cups.
"He ... knows the American players, understands our system and knows the process of preparing a team for a World Cup tournament,'' U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.
Sermanni, a 58-year-old originally from Glasgow, Scotland, has spent much of the last 20 years in Australia, where he is credited with transforming the Matildas. In addition to their World Cup quarterfinal spots, the young Aussies won the 2010 Asian Women's Cup.
Chiefs' Cassel back in starting role
Matt Cassel is getting another chance to be the Chiefs' starting quarterback. Cassel will start Thursday night's game at San Diego because Brady Quinn has not been cleared to practice because of a concussion, regaining the starting job — at least for one week — that he lost after a dismal five-game stretch to start the season.
Cassel was scuffling along until he sustained his own concussion a few weeks ago against Baltimore. Quinn took over for a loss to Tampa Bay, and Coach Romeo Crennel made the move permanent during the bye week in hopes of igniting a struggling offense.
He never got much chance to see whether it worked. Quinn was hurt in the first quarter of Sunday's 26-16 loss to the Raiders.
Cassel signed a $63 million, six-year deal in 2009.
The Chiefs (1-6) could use a boost. They've lost four straight overall and still have not led in regulation this season, making them the first NFL team since at least 1940 to play seven games without taking an offensive snap with the lead. They've turned the ball over a league-leading 25 times. Cassel had two more on Sunday when he fumbled a snap early that led to a field goal by Oakland. He's committed 16 turnovers by himself, which puts him ahead of all but three teams in the league: Dallas, Buffalo and Philadelphia.
Vonn's bid to face men takes next step
Lindsey Vonn has moved a step closer to her goal of racing against men as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association wrote to the sport's ruling body asking it to consider the request.
The Olympic downhill champion approached the International Ski Federation in early October with the request to compete in a men's World Cup downhill on Nov. 24 in Lake Louise, Alberta. Vonn, the most successful ski racer of her generation with 53 World Cup wins, has won the women's race there nine times.
The council is scheduled to meet on Nov. 3 in Switzerland.
Utes' Dunn first to get 100-yard returns
It's official: Utah's Reggie Dunn set an NCAA record with two 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns in the win over Cal.
The Utes announced during Saturday's game that the returns were a school record and that he was one of 17 players in NCAA history with two TD returns in the same game. The NCAA confirmed Tuesday that Dunn is the first to have both cover 100 yards. He is the second player in NCAA history with three career 100-yard kickoff returns, the other coming in 2010 against Iowa State
■ Former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson is in a Louisiana jail after a judge revoked his bond in a 2011 simple battery case. The judge's action follows Jefferson's arrest last week with three other ex-players who police say they found with marijuana in an apartment. Jefferson's simple battery charge stems from a pre-season bar fight, accused by authorities of beating a man near the LSU campus in August 2011. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.
State District Judge Chip Moore revoked Jefferson's bond, saying he had a "real problem with what's going on." He did not elaborate.
The last word
The Detroit Tigers faced high expectations this year after signing slugger Prince Fielder in the off-season. By mid-September, Jim Leyland's future as manager seemed uncertain, but the Tigers overtook the Chicago White Sox to win their division and then beat Oakland and the New York Yankees in the American League playoffs.
Leyland is returning in 2013 after a poor showing in the World Series and he is well aware of the criticism from talk-show callers.
"Probably 'Tom in Royal Oak' isn't too happy right now, but that's OK. That's just the way it goes. I'm sorry, Tom, but I'm back."