Less than two years ago, the Houston Astros were celebrating their first National League pennant. On Monday, they were starting over. Manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura were fired by owner Drayton McLane, who said the franchise “needed a fresh start” after a plunge to the bottom of the NL Central.
Gary Sheffield was put on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a sore shoulder that caused him to slump during the second half. While Sheffield is hitting .279 with 24 homers and 71 RBIs in his first season with Detroit, he is batting just .220 (27-for-123) with three homers and 13 RBIs since the All-Star break.
Kevan Barlow, a former 49ers and Jets running back who signed with his hometown Steelers earlier this year, was among 10 players released Monday during Pittsburgh’s first roster cutdown. The moves trimmed the roster to 75 players. The Steelers must reach the season-opening 53-man limit by Saturday, two days after their preseason finale at Carolina.
One-time special teams Pro Bowler David Tyree of the New York Giants will be sidelined up to six weeks with a broken left wrist. Tyree will have surgery, coach Tom Coughlin said Monday, adding that the team was willing to keep him on the roster in hopes of getting him back. The five-year veteran was hurt Saturday during the 20-12 preseason loss to the New York Jets.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter returned to practice Monday, less than three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and he was optimistic he’ll play in the season-opener Sept. 9 at Washington. “I didn’t do too much. I just ran around a little bit and tested it out,” said Porter, who was limited in drills.
Adrian Chip, a 3-year-old bay colt, has drawn the No. 5 post position for the finals of the $724,770 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday. The American-born, Swedish-owned Adrian Chip won one of the eliminations in 2:01.2 on Saturday. Primary As, a 3-year-old bay colt who won the other elimination in 1:58.2, has drawn the sixth hole.
Baseball might have several more late shows as sequels to last week’s 3 a.m. thriller between the New York Yankees and Tigers. Mike Port, major league baseball’s vice president of umpiring, said the game was started at 11:06 p.m. Friday following a 4-hour rain delay based on an e-mail he sent earlier in the week.
Even though he has become a part-time player for the Texas Rangers since joining the 600-homer club, Sammy Sosa still plans for his comeback to be longer than one season. “If it’s not here, it will be somewhere else, believe me,” said Sosa, who has started only 10 of the Rangers’ last 26 games. “I feel great.
Jose Contreras’ first victory as a starter in more than two months came courtesy of an unexpected power outburst from his White Sox teammates. With Chicago trailing Tampa Bay 4-0 headed into the bottom of the seventh Monday, A.J. Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe hit consecutive homers off Edwin Jackson, who’d sailed through the first six innings.
Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith has earned the job as the Baltimore Ravens’ third-string quarterback. His place on the team, however, is not yet guaranteed. The Ravens cut former UCLA quarterback Drew Olson on Monday, leaving Smith alone on the depth chart behind starter Steve McNair and backup Kyle Boller.
Cornerback Asante Samuel returned to the New England Patriots on Monday, moving closer to ending a contract dispute that had cost him a month of the preseason. Samuel, who tied for the NFL lead with 10 interceptions last season, was at Gillette Stadium taking a physical on Monday, coach Bill Belichick said.