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Sports briefs for May 13, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Boston’s Victorino cleared to play Tuesday

Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino was cleared to return to the lineup Tuesday after undergoing an examination as Massachusetts General Hospital.

The team announced Victorino was cleared but there was no definitive verdict on whether he will be in the lineup at the outset of the team’s road trip Tuesday in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Rays.

Victorino was taken to the hospital Sunday following a fourth-inning collision with the right field wall. In pursuit of a home run by Toronto’s Emilio Bonafacio, Victorino slammed into the wall and clutched his ribcage. He has also had back issues for the past three weeks and only returned to the lineup regularly on May 3.

Keenan to coach Russian team

Former NHL coach Mike Keenan has signed a contract to coach in Russia.

Keenan, currently an analyst for the MSG Network, announced via Twitter from the Ural Mountains on Monday morning that he will coach Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the K.H.L.

“Just signed contract with Magnitogorsk of KHL,” he wrote. “Looking forward to new coaching opportunity!”

Metallurg Magnitogorsk later announced the signing on its website.

Keenan coached the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames from 1984-2009. He won a Stanley Cup during his one season with the Rangers in 1994.

Keenan is known as “Iron Mike” because of his tough style that has worn quickly on players. However, he is fifth on the NHL’s all-time coaching wins list with 672.

Chiefs hire Ault, Pistol offense creator, as consultant

The Pistol offense has invaded the NFL, and now its creator — retired Nevada coach Chris Ault — is joining the league, too.

Ault was hired as a consultant by the Kansas City Chiefs, his agent, Bob LaMonte, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. LaMonte also represents head coach Andy Reid, whose roots are decidely deep in the West Coast offensive scheme.

Ault’s most famous pupil is Colin Kaepernick, the former teammate of Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith. Kapernick unseated Smith for the starting job with the San Francisco 49ers last season and, following a runner-up finish that culminated in losing Super Bowl XLVII, the 49ers dealt Smith to the Chiefs for a multiple draft picks.

Ault, 66, devised the offensive scheme, he said in February, with between-the-tackles running in mind. The formation is a variation of the traditional shotgun. The quarterback takes the snap four yards behind the center and a running back is typically aligned two or three yards behind the quarterback. Some teams have modified the Pistol scheme to implement multiple running backs, motion with the fullback or tight end as a lead blocker and flexing receivers into the backfield.

Postolos steps down as Astros president/CEO

Houston Astros president and CEO George Postolos resigned on Monday, the team announced.

Postolos served in that capacity since November of 2011 and played a significant role in Jim Crane’s purchase of the team from former owner Drayton McLane.

“I am very proud of what Jim accomplished with my help — acquiring a major league franchise with a strong and diverse ownership group, developing and implementing a good plan for the team’s future, and assembling a first rate management team,” Postolos said in a statement. “I look forward to helping other investors pursue their objectives in sports knowing that Jim and the Astros organization are off to a great start and well positioned for future success.”

Postolos plans to return to his consulting practice.

CBS Sports reported that Postolos was not well-liked within the organization. However, the Houston Chronicle reported before the season that Postolos, Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow have been on the same page regarding the rebuilding of the young team.

Allen, James head NBA All-Defensive team

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen and Miami Heat forward LeBron James highlight the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

The NBA announced Monday that Allen received 53 points in the voting while James tallied 52. Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (37 points), Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (46), New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (24) and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (24) rounded out the first team.

Allen was part of a Grizzlies defense that allowed a league-low 89.3 points per game. James had 17 games with at least three steals, and 10 games with at least two steals and two blocks. Ibaka paced the league with 3.03 blocks per game. Paul led the NBA with 2.41 steals per game. Chandler and Noah were part of two of the strongest defenses in the NBA. The Knicks were seventh in opponent scoring at 95.7 points per game and the Bulls third, allowing 92.9 points per game.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team includes Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and Grizzlies center Marc Gasol.

Jackson not likely to run Raptors front office

Phil Jackson’s chances of becoming the Toronto Raptors’ president of basketball operations are “remote,” according to Sportsnet.ca.

Jackson, winner 11 NBA championships as a coach, has ties to MLSE head Tim Leiweke, which run the Raptors. Jackson coached the Los Angeles Lakers when Leiweke headed AEG, which operates the Staples Center.

Jackson met with MLSE last week. Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo may resign this week.

It has been reported that Jackson has interest in running a team’s front office.

However, Jackson reportedly wants to keep his options open, including waiting out the proposed sale of the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group, before making a decision.

Tigers place Jackson on DL; recall Garcia

A day after being rested with a right hamstring injury, Detroit Tigers center fielder and leadoff hitter Austin Jackson was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The move was retroactive to Sunday, and the Tigers recalled outfielder Avisail Garcia from Triple-A Toledo.

Jackson’s absence hurts the Tigers at the top of their batting order and defensively.

Don Kelly has started in center field the past two games Jackson has missed, Andy Dirks has experience in center and Garcia can play there as well.

Nix steps down as Bills GM

Buddy Nix stepped down as general manager of the Buffalo Bills and into a new role as special assistant with the team.

Nix was the Bills general manager since 2009.

“I’ve made this decision to step away from the general manager’s position because I feel it is the right time,” Nix said in a statement released by the team. “By the ‘right time’ I mean I think we have a good young roster, an excellent head coach with a good staff, and it’s time to let someone else handle these responsibilities and move forward together.”

Under Nix, the Bills drafted running back C.J. Spiller, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and quarterback EJ Manuel in the first round in the last four years.

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