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National sports briefs: Indians pick Acta for manager

Associated Press
CLEVELAND ó Manny Acta’s record didn’t overwhelm the Cleveland Indians. They looked much deeper than at his wins and losses ó lots of losses.
Acta, fired as the Washington Nationals manager in July after 21/2 seasons, was hired on Sunday by the Indians, who gave him a three-year contract with a club option for 2013. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The club will introduce the 40-year-old Acta ó the Indians’ 40th manager ó at a news conference otoday.
ESPN
Baseball analyst Steve Phillips was fired by ESPN on Sunday night, less than a week after he admitted having an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant at the cable network.
A representative for Phillips also announced the former Mets general manager was entering a treatment facility “to address his personal issues.”
KIFFIN SPEAKS
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said he chose not to run another play before the Volunteers attempted a potential game-winning field goal against Alabama in part because of the penalty disparity between the two teams.
Terrence Cody blocked a low kick by Daniel Lincoln on a 44-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game to preserve the Crimson Tide’s 12-10 win over the Vols on Saturday. The narrow win dropped Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) from the top spot in The Associated Press poll to No. 2.
Kiffin began milking the clock with about 35 seconds left, and Jonathan Crompton grounded the ball with 4 seconds to set up the attempt.
“You run another play and you throw an interception or they throw another flag on us ó I wasn’t going to let the refs lose the game for us there and some magical flag appear,” Kiffin said Sunday.
Tennessee (3-4, 1-3), which entered as one of the least-penalized teams in the nation, was flagged eight times for 68 yards, while Alabama was charged with one 10-yard penalty.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
NEW YORK ó Flip-flop.
Florida regained the top spot Sunday in The Associated Press poll from Alabama, which was ranked No. 1 for a week ahead of the Gators.
The Crimson Tide needed a blocked field goal on the last play to beat Tennessee 12-10 on Saturday, while Florida pulled away from Mississippi State in the fourth quarter for a 29-19 victory.
The Gators received 30 first-place votes to Alabama’s 23.
“I thought it was only fair that I use the same standard for Alabama that I did for Florida a week earlier,” said Mike Strain of the Tulsa World.

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