Sports briefs, Sept. 26

Posted Sept. 26, 2011, at 11:08 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 09, 2011, at 10:35 a.m.

Cony bowler earns berth in national tourney

AUGUSTA — Steve Babb of Augusta knocked down 1,214 pins in six games in the Maine State Junior Gold tourney Saturday at Sparetime Recreation Center to earn a spot at the North Pointe National Junior Gold Championships.

Bowlers under 20 years of age from around the state competed in the tourney for the right to attend the national tourney, where bowlers attract attention from colleges and can advance for a berth on Team USA.

More qualifying events for the national competition will be scheduled in Maine and are open to all United States Bowling Congress youth bowlers.

Maine Junior Gold is looking for sponsors to help pay for entry fees and expenses for possible national qualifiers. Those seeking more information may contact Bonnie at 234-4049 or via email at bookadvice@gmail.com

Brady sets mark for yards passing

NEW YORK — Tom Brady has the most yards passing for any three-week span in NFL history.

The New England quarterback has thrown for 1,327 yards, surpassing the 1,257 Drew Brees compiled in 2006. Brady also beat Kurt Warner’s 1,221 yards in 2000 that were the most for the first three weeks of a season.

Brady has thrown for 517, 423 and 387 yards as the Patriots have gone 2-1. He also has 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

At his current pace, Brady would throw for more than 50 TDs, the record he set in 2007, and more than the 5,084 yards Dan Marino had in 1984.

Mauer says he wishes he could play, turns to 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer says he’s sure there’s nothing wrong with him more than the pneumonia that prematurely ended his rough season.

But Mauer insisted Monday that the illness is too much for him to play, that he’d be on the field if he could.

Mauer was diagnosed with mild pneumonia on Sept. 16, and doctors recommended medication plus two weeks of rest. He came down with an upper respiratory infection on Sept. 2 before developing a cough and deciding to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Mauer was also out of action for two months earlier while recovering from weakness and soreness in his legs.

The 2009 AL MVP played in only 82 games this season, batting .287 with 15 doubles, three home runs and 30 RBIs in 296 at-bats.

Losses, lack of support cited in UNM coach firing

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs says the football team’s bad record, a lack of fan support, and off-the-field events led to the firing of head coach Mike Locksley.

Krebs said at a news conference Monday that he told Locksley on Sunday about his decision because he didn’t “see any good ending to this story.”

The firing comes after a rocky tenure by Locksley, who faced a sexual harassment suit, a suspension after he punched another coach, and most recently, criticism after police arrested a man on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in an SUV registered to Locksley’s wife.

The Lobos are 0-4 this season. They were 2-26 under Locksley.

Krebs said Locksley will be paid for this season and $150,000 a year for the next two years.

McKeon says he’ll retire at end of season

MIAMI — Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon says he’ll retire after the season, ending at age 80 a three-month career comeback.

He’s already plotting his next return.

The retirement announcement had been anticipated, and McKeon made it Monday before the team’s final series of the year. He’s the second-oldest manager in major league history, and he joked he hopes to come back in a few years to surpass Connie Mack, who managed the Philadelphia Athletics until age 87.

“I’ll still be on call,” he said with a chuckle. “Hopefully in 2017 or ‘18 I’ll be back. That would be the big motivation — to beat Connie.”

McKeon also came out of retirement in 2003 and led the Marlins to an improbable World Series title five months later. He retired again at age 74 following the 2005 season, but returned in June as interim manager after Edwin Rodriguez resigned.

“If I had to take a poll of my family, they wouldn’t have wanted me to come back this year,” McKeon said. “But out of my loyalty to the organization, I just had to.”

He took over when the Marlins were 32-40 and led them to .500 in early August before a wave of injuries hit and they sank to last place in the NL East.

“I’m disappointed I couldn’t work the magic we had in ‘03 here, but I think you guys understand the circumstances,” McKeon said.

The next manager will be the fourth since early 2010 for the Marlins, who move into a new ballpark next season.

McKeon’s old-school tactics caused some grumbling this year by players two generations younger, but he was always quick to note the same approach worked in 2003. The Marlins’ astounding success that season made McKeon a folk hero with fans, and he still gets big ovations when he walks to the mound to change pitchers.

McKeon began his professional baseball career as a minor league catcher in 1949 and managed 2,269 games in the minors. He took his first big league managerial job with Kansas City in 1973 and has also managed Oakland, San Diego and Cincinnati, nearly leading the Reds to a wild-card berth in 1999, when he won NL Manager of the Year.

He’s seventh in victories among active managers. Through Sunday his career record was 1,050-988, with a franchise-record 280 wins for Florida.

McKeon wants to remain with the franchise as a consultant. His more immediate plan is to fly home to his wife, dog and yard in North Carolina.

“I’ll probably leave Friday,” he said, “and on Saturday I’ll get back on the mower.”

Jets’ Sanchez broke nose, Cromartie bruised lung

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has a “minor break” in his nose but has no limitations and will play in New York’s next game at Baltimore, while cornerback Antonio Cromartie has a bruised lung and ribs and his playing status is uncertain.

The team also announced Monday that tight end Jeff Cumberland is out for the season after tearing an Achilles’ tendon in New York’s 34-24 loss at Oakland at Sunday.

Sanchez was hit in the face by a Raiders defender in the third quarter of the game and finished by wearing a visor, which he will do for the next few weeks including next Sunday’s game.

Cromartie was hurt in the second half, and taken to a hospital for further evaluation before flying home with the team.

WR Kenny Britt has torn right ACL, out for season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee receiver Kenny Britt has a torn ACL in his right knee and will need season-ending surgery.

“Unfortunately like we had hoped it wasn’t, he tore his ACL and his MCL so he will be out for the season, which is very unfortunate for him and obviously for him,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said Monday. “He was off to a great start this year. As we all know, he’s a special player. He’s got a lot of work ahead of him. But he’s young. We know that he’ll be back next year.”

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the Titans (2-1) who are tied with Houston atop the AFC South with a two-game winning streak. The injury leaves Tennessee with four receivers, and team officials already are looking for someone to fill the spot on the roster. Munchak said they will be working out receivers Tuesday and should have a player added by Wednesday.

Replacing Britt will not be easy.

The first-round pick out of Rutgers in 2009 was off to the best start of his career with his 289 yards receiving ranked fifth in the NFL even though his knee buckled underneath him in the second quarter of Sunday’s 17-14 win over Denver.

Matt Hasselbeck called it horrible news for Britt. The quarterback said everyone feels bad for someone who has worked so hard and was enjoying a tremendous start to the season.

“Personally from the day I got here, he was one of the guys that I really tried to invest a lot of my time and energy into,” Hasselbeck said. “He’s probably the most talented player on this team at any position. He could be really special. I think he’s showed glimpses of that, and he was really on fire and off to a great start. So for me, all that work all that investment is going to have to wait.”

The Titans kept only five receivers on the roster in the final cuts, and Marc Mariani didn’t catch a pass in a game last season as a rookie when he was a Pro Bowl returner. Nate Washington is tied for third in the NFL with 21 receptions and 12th with 258 yards passing. The other three receivers came into this season with a combined 35 career catches.

Tennessee currently is seventh in the NFL, averaging 310.7 yards passing per game with Hasselbeck off to the best start of his career in his 13th season. He has thrown for 932 yards so far, and only Warren Moon has started with more yards passing with this franchise.

AP Source: NBA sides to meet again Tuesday

NEW YORK — A person familiar with the plans says representatives for NBA players and owners will meet Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday.

The players’ association has canceled a regional meeting with players Tuesday in Miami so its negotiators can meet with league officials in New York instead, the person told The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because the details are supposed to remain confidential.

The bargaining session, first reported by CBSSports.com, comes just days after the league canceled 43 preseason games scheduled for Oct. 9-15.

From Staff and Wire Reports

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