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Boston fires Valentine after tumultuous year

– The Boston Red Sox thought Bobby Valentine would restore order to a coddled clubhouse that disintegrated during the 2011 pennant race.

Instead, he only caused more problems.

The brash and supremely confident manager was fired Thursday, the day after the finale of a season beset with internal sniping and far too many losses.

Valentine went 69-93 in his only year in Boston, the ballclub’s worst season in almost 50 years.

“I understand this decision,” Valentine said. “This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation.”


Gordon extends sponsorship deal

Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports announced a contract extension through 2014 with sponsor AARP and AARP Foundation as Gordon’s primary sponsor.


Major League news

Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg was promoted to Philadelphia’s coaching staff as third-base coach and infield instructor. … Atlanta will bench catcher Brian McCann for today’s wild-card playoff game against St. Louis. David Ross will start and bat seventh. … The Cubs promoted Shiraz Rehman to assistant general manager. …

Major League Baseball teams averaged 30,895 fans per game, the commissioner’s office said, up from 30,362 last season. … Sandy Alomar Jr., who guided Cleveland in its final six games after Manny Acta was fired, interviewed to become the Indians’ next manager. …

Boston acquired right-hander Rubby De La Rosa and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands from the Dodgers to complete the teams’ Aug. 25 trade.


Manning part of Grizzlies’ buyers

A person familiar with the deal said former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley, have agreed to join the group of minority owners for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Texas Tech hires interim coach

A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press that associate coach Chris Walker will be the interim head coach at Texas Tech, replacing Billy Gillispie.


Miami AD takes job at Nebraska

Shawn Eichorst left his job as athletic director at Miami for Nebraska, where he accepted a five-year contract to succeed Tom Osborne.


Irish will redshirt running back

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters that running back Amir Carlisle will not play this season and will take a medical redshirt. Carlisle, a transfer from USC, broke his ankle during spring practice.

Around campus

The Big Ten determined that Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Allen did not violate the conference’s conduct policy after Ohio State sent in film that appeared to show him trying to gouge the eyes of a Buckeyes player last Saturday. …

Missouri’s Dorial Green-Beckham, Torey Boozer and Levi Copelin were suspended for Saturday’s game with Vanderbilt after they were arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges.


Around the links

Ryan Moore matched the course record with a 10-under 61 on in the first round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. …

South Africa’s Branden Grace shot a course record 12-under 60 in the opening round of the Dunhill Links Championship in Kingsbarns, Scotland. … In Saint-Jean-De-Luz, France, retired champion Lorena Ochoa shot a 1-under 69 in the first round of the Lacoste Ladies Open, which is led by Stacey Keating at 8-under 62 .

Local Mulligan Tour title decided

Gary Heyer finished first at the Mulligan Tour-Fort Wayne championship Sunday. Heyer shot a final-round net 67 to win by six strokes over Tim Heffron in the 36-hole, two-day event at Autumn Ridge Golf Club.