National Sports Briefs
NEW YORK ó Derek Jeter sure is stuffing his trophy case this year.
The steady Yankees shortstop won his fourth Gold Glove on Tuesday, joining New York first baseman Mark Teixeira among the American League players rewarded for fantastic fielding.
“I’ve always taken a great deal of pride in my defense, and being honored with a Gold Glove is an accomplishment I will never overlook,” Jeter said.
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter and Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki both won for the ninth straight season. First-time winners included Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria, Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones and Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle.
Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer and Detroit second baseman Placido Polanco each earned their second award.
– BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. ó Vin Scully said Tuesday he will continue in the broadcast booth for the Los Angeles Dodgers through the 2010 season, then decide whether he will walk away.
The Hall of Fame announcer told The Associated Press that he still loves the job he’s had with the team since 1950, but that it’s hard to be away from his wife during a long season.
“I’m trying to figure out if I can walk away,” he said. “I’m the horse pulling the wagon with a lot of people on the wagon, so I’m really not sure. God willing, I’ll do next year and then we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Scully, who turns 82 on Nov. 29, and his wife Sandy celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary Tuesday. He spoke to the Hollywood Radio & Television Society, while she stayed home because of a bad back.
– COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. ó Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog, Gene Mauch and Danny Murtaugh are among the former managers who will be on the ballot when the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee votes next month.
MINNEAPOLIS ó A federal appeals court on Tuesday backed the judge who ruled against the NFL and let quarterback Michael Vick keep more than $16 million in roster bonuses from the Atlanta Falcons.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed Judge David Doty’s order saying Vick had already earned the bonuses before his dogfighting conviction, so the money wasn’t subject to forfeiture. Vick served 18 months in prison and is now with the Philadelphia Eagles.
– KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó The Kansas City Chiefs have run out of patience with Larry Johnson’s off-the-field problems and released the former Pro Bowl running back the day he was due to come back from his second suspension in a year.
Johnson, who turns 30 on Nov. 19, was just 75 yards away from breaking Priest Holmes’ team rushing record. A No. 1 draft choice out of Penn State in 2003, Johnson was one of the best running backs in the NFL in 2005 and 2006, rushing for more than 1,700 yards each year.
But he was dogged by controversy and frequently at odds with coaches and fans. On Oct. 25, in what turned out to be his final episode with the Chiefs, he posted on his Twitter account several insults to fans, questioned coach Todd Haley’s credentials and used a gay slur.
– CHARLOTTE ó The Carolina Panthers have signed linebacker Kelvin Smith off their practice squad and placed linebacker Thomas Davis on season-ending injured reserve.
EUGENE, Ore. ó Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli spoke for many of his fellow Ducks when he voiced relief that the whole LeGarrette Blount saga is over.
Only it really isn’t. Now the question is how No. 14 Oregon will work Blount back into an offense that has become accustomed to his absence.
Blount was suspended by coach Chip Kelly a day after the season opener for punching Boise State’s Byron Hout. He missed eight games before his reinstatement on Monday.
“It’s always good to close that chapter and get all that stuff behind us. Just to have him out here on the field in a white jersey really brings it to a close,” Masoli said.
Blount is practicing this week as the fifth-string running back on Oregon’s roster. He’ll be eligible to play Saturday night when the Ducks host Arizona State at Autzen Stadium, but when, and if, he’ll appear remains to be seen.
– CLEMSON, S.C. ó Nobody at Clemson is talking about Tampa this week.
Coach Dabo Swinney says everyone knows how close the No. 24 Tigers are to making the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.
If Clemson beats North Carolina State and Boston College loses to Virginia, the Tigers would win their first Atlantic Division crown. Wins over the Wolfpack and Cavaliers next week and Clemson is off to Tampa no matter what Boston College does.
The Tigers have been here before, finishing one game behind the winner each year since the ACC split into divisions in 2005.
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford says the word Tampa hasn’t been said in the locker room this week.
CHARLOTTEó Charlotte forward An’Juan Wilderness will miss two to four weeks with a strained left calf, while freshman guard Gokhan Sirin will serve a one-game suspension in Friday’s season opener.
The 49ers are also concerned about starting point guard DiJuan Harris, whose status against UNC Asheville is uncertain because of a sprained right ankle suffered in practice last week.