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Sports briefs, Oct. 5


Fall car show, races set Saturday at Winterport Dragway

WINTERPORT — Winterport Dragway will hold its 10th annual Fall Car Show Drag Race and Swap Meet Saturday.

Racing will also be held with the Gassah Guys Nostalgia Reunion along with divisional races such as the hot road lawn mower shootout, the ATV/quad challenge, the bikes and sled shootout and the Darling’s Ford gamblers race.

The track opens at 8 a.m. with car show registration 8-11 a.m. and judging from 9 a.m. to noon. Time trials for racing begins at 8:30 a.m. with eliminations at 12:30 p.m.

Francona to replace McCarver for 2 Fox ALCS games

NEW YORK — Fox analyst Tim McCarver will miss the first two games of the AL championship series because of a medical procedure and will be replaced by former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

McCarver will have a “minor heart-related procedure” later this week, the network said Wednesday. He’s expected to rejoin announcer Joe Buck for Game 3 next Tuesday.

Francona is free after the Red Sox announced last Friday they would not pick up his contract option after eight seasons and two world championships. Boston blew a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race, going 7-20 in September.

In the 2004 ALCS, Francona led the Red Sox to a comeback from a 3-0 series deficit against the Yankees en route to the franchise’s first title since 1918.

McCarver, who turns 70 on Oct. 16, has called the last 21 MLB postseasons. A two-time All-Star, the former catcher played in the majors from 1959-80, winning the World Series with St. Louis in 1964 and ’67.

Francona’s father, Tito, was McCarver’s teammate with the Cardinals from 1965-66.

Rex Ryan breaks out ‘HOF blazer’ for Jets-Pats game

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Rex Ryan is a Hall of Famer, and he’s got the jacket to prove it.

The New York Jets coach walked into his news conference Wednesday wearing a navy blazer with a big logo slapped on the left side of the chest with “SWOSU Hall of Fame 2011” below a logo of an angry bulldog.

“What it is is a Hall of Fame blazer,” Ryan said with a big grin, before pulling out a letter from Southwestern Oklahoma State University that congratulated him on being among this year’s inductees.

Ryan was a defensive end for the Bulldogs and graduated from SWOSU in 1986.

He jokingly says the honor means Sunday’s game between the Jets and Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots “boils down to two Hall of Famers butting heads.”

Jets’ Burress sits out practice with elbow issue

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Plaxico Burress insists his swollen left elbow won’t keep him out of his first game in the Jets-Patriots rivalry.

The New York wide receiver did not practice Wednesday after the elbow swelled up in the middle of the night. He fell on it during the Jets’ 34-17 loss at Baltimore last Sunday, and Burress woke up around 3 a.m. Wednesday because of the sudden swelling.

“I just had a little soreness, a little stiffness, a little swelling,” Burress said. “So they just held me out for today and I’ll be ready to go (Thursday) and Friday. So it’s nothing serious, just a little swelling, a little soreness, but it’s nothing to keep me out of the game.”

Coach Rex Ryan said the elbow needed to be drained, but Burress said he had an ultrasound taken to make sure it was OK.

Burress, who has 10 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns, has also dealt with a sprained ankle and tightness in a hamstring since signing with the Jets as a free agent in late July. He had a long layoff from football after serving a 20-month prison term on a gun charge after accidentally shooting himself in the leg in November 2008.

Linebacker Calvin Pace also didn’t practice Wednesday because of an issue with his abdomen. Ryan said he should be fine to play against the Patriots. He and Burress worked off to the side with trainers during practice.

Center Nick Mangold was limited, but said his high right ankle sprain is improving. He participated in some drills in full pads with the first-team offense and hopes to play after missing the last two games.

“I’d say pretty good,” Mangold said of his chances of playing. “We’ll see. It’s day by day, but it’s looking good.”

Mangold added that if the Jets had been playing Wednesday, he thought he would be able to go.

Linebacker Garrett McIntyre (concussion) didn’t practice, although Ryan said he’s getting better after being injured at Baltimore. Rookie defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was limited with a sore shoulder, as he has been the last couple of weeks.

QB Moore likely to get 1st Dolphins start

DAVIE, Fla. — Even by Miami Dolphins standards, Matt Moore has been through a lot of losing lately.

Moore’s in his first year as the backup quarterback for the Dolphins, and they’re 0-4. Last year he was with the Carolina Panthers, who went 2-14.

For some of those games Moore played the role of spectator, but he’ll likely play quarterback in the Dolphins’ next game Oct. 17 at the New York Jets. First-stringer Chad Henne watched practice for the second day in a row Wednesday as the Dolphins awaited a final diagnosis on the severity of his left shoulder injury.

After being hurt Sunday, Henne expressed optimism he would quickly be back in the lineup. But the Dolphins haven’t ruled out the possibility he’ll miss the rest of the season.

Rangers’ Sean Avery clears waivers, sent to AHL

NEW YORK — Sean Avery’s days with the New York Rangers appear over.

The noted agitator cleared waivers Wednesday and was assigned to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The move clears his $1.93 million from the team’s salary cap.

Avery was in the final season of the contract he originally signed with the Dallas Stars. He didn’t play in New York’s final two exhibition games in Europe, and it became inevitable he would be cut.

Rangers coach John Tortorella said Tuesday the club had better players than Avery. It is not known if the forward will report to the AHL team or try to join a club in Europe.

The Rangers were busy Wednesday solidifying the roster that will open the regular season Friday in Sweden against the Los Angeles Kings.

All-Star defenseman Marc Staal was placed on the injured list because of lingering effects from a concussion on Feb. 22 when he was hit by brother Eric, a star forward with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Staal, who stayed home from Europe to skate and practice, had already been ruled out of the opening two games in Sweden. He would be eligible to play Oct. 15 against the New York Islanders, but there is no timetable for his return.

Filling his place on the blue line will be 20-year-old rookie Tim Erixon, who was recalled from Connecticut after being sent down on Saturday. Erixon, acquired from Calgary in June, had two assists and a plus-3 rating in five preseason games with the Rangers.

Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel also cleared waivers and remained on the Rangers’ 23-man roster, giving New York eight defensemen.

NCAA: Recruiting violations led to BSU suspensions

BOISE, Idaho — NCAA officials say improper benefits and recruiting violations led to the suspensions of two Dutch-born Boise State football players.

The NCAA issued a statement Wednesday outlining the reasons behind the one-game suspension for Bronco safety Cedric Febis and the four-game suspension for receiver Geraldo Boldewijn.

The Idaho Statesman first reported that an investigation of defensive lineman Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe is still pending.

NCAA officials say Febis was penalized for “recruiting violations and impermissible transportation.”

Boldewijn was penalized after receiving $700 in illegal benefits, including a car and driver’s insurance coverage. He has repaid those benefits and is eligible to play this week when the No. 5 Broncos travel to Fresno State.

All three players are from Amsterdam and played football at Boise-area high schools before enrolling at Boise State.

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