National sports briefs: Kyle Busch gets new chief
CHARLOTTE ó Kyle Busch will have a new crew chief after this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, with Joe Gibbs Racing replacing Steve Addington on Tuesday after a season that fell far short of expectations.
Busch fell eight points shy of claiming a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship because of an inconsistent “regular season.” Although he had four wins at the Chase cutoff, he also had 12 finishes outside the top 20.
Addington, who guided Busch to 12 victories in 68 races, will crew chief Sunday’s race at Talladega and then be replaced by Dave Rogers. A Nationwide Series crew chief for JGR, Rogers will call the final three races of this season for Busch as preparation for 2010.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ó Jeff Fisher has stayed away from a quarterback controversy all through the Tennessee Titans’ dreadful start.
Now, team owner Bud Adams reportedly wants a change. Adams informed Fisher he wants Vince Young to start over Kerry Collins this weekend against Jacksonville, according to the Tennessean.
Fisher had stuck with Collins throughout the 0-6 start as the best chance to win.
HOUSTON ó Brad Mills is the new manager of the Houston Astros.
The 52-year-old Mills has been Terry Francona’s bench coach in Boston for the past six seasons. He’ll manage in the majors for the first time, though he’s managed a total of 11 seasons in the minors, with affiliates for the Chicago Cubs (1987-92), Colorado Rockies (1993-96) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2002).
– NEW YORK ó Sports fans in New York overwhelmingly chose to watch a decisive baseball playoff game over a regular-season football matchup Sunday night.
The Yankees’ chance to clinch a World Series berth went up against the Giants’ meeting with the Arizona Cardinals. Fox said Monday that its coverage of Game 6 of the AL championship series was watched by 26.4 percent or 40 percent of households with TVs in use at the time.
The numbers for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” were 9.3 and 14.
CHARLOTTE ó Raja Bell wants to tough it out without being a liability. The Charlotte Bobcats likely need their starting shooting guard if they want a realistic shot at the playoffs.
Tuesday was a day of optimism for both sides, with Bell hopeful he’ll be able to play this season with a torn ligament in his left wrist and put off surgery that would sideline him up to four months.
“I’m going to (sit out) for another week to see if it continues to progress as it has, then I’ll probably wind up playing,” Bell said after participating practice with his non-shooting hand heavily taped. “If it doesn’t, then we’ll go back to the drawing board.”