National Sports Briefs: Unhappy Busch looking ahead
Kyle Busch is finding it a little hard to adjust to being out of the spotlight after spending the regular season dominating NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.
“I wrote us off after the second week,” he said before last week’s race at Atlanta.
The 23-year-old won eight of the first 26 races this season, building a 207-point lead over Carl Edwards that was all but erased when the points were reset for the 10-race Chase for the championship.
Little has gone right for Busch since.
After starting the Chase with finishes of 34th, 43rd and 28th, Busch was all but eliminated from contention. Heading into Texas this weekend, he is last in the 12-man Chase, a whopping 465 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
At this point, Busch ó the driver a lot of fans love to hate ó isn’t having much fun.
“It’s frustrating to have to come to the racetrack every week and not have a shot for a championship,” he said. “It is what it is and we’ll have to go back at it next year.”
MILWAUKEE ó Ken Macha was hired Thursday as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, taking over from Dale Sveum following the team’s first postseason appearance since 1982. The 58-year-old Macha, who managed Oakland to a pair of AL West titles, agreed to a two-year contract.
– CHICAGO ó Ken Griffey Jr.’s $16.5 million option was declined Thursday by the Chicago White Sox, making the No. 5 home run hitter in major league history eligible for free agency.
PORTLAND, Ore. ó After missing all of last season because of knee surgery, Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden injured his foot in his first regular-season NBA game and will be sidelined two to four weeks.
The team said Wednesday that MRI and computerized axial tomography scans confirmed Oden has a mid-lateral foot sprain.
Oden was injured in the first quarter of the Blazers’ 96-76 season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
“I was trying to go get a rebound, and kind of came down on Derek Fisher’s foot on like the third play of the game. I kind of fell and didn’t think twice about it,” he said after the game.
Oden missed four field goals and two free throws in 13 minutes of play. So he is still searching for his first NBA point.
CHICAGO ó Disgraced track star Marion Jones says she often thinks she would have won gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics even if she hadn’t taken performance-enhancing drugs.
Jones gave her first post-prison interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” broadcast Wednesday.
Jones said she made a mistake by lying to prosecutors when they showed her a designer steroid and asked if she’d taken it. She maintains she thought it was flaxseed oil.
She was released last month from a Texas federal prison after completing most of her six-month sentence for lying about steroid use.
SONOMA, Calif. ó Nick Price made a 25-foot putt on the 18th hole to pull even with David Eger at 6-under 66 atop the leaderboard Thursday in the opening round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
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