Sports Briefs 10-9-12: Francona gets fresh start with Indians

TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer Published:

CLEVELAND -- Terry Francona could have waited to manage somewhere else. At some point, a more talented team in a major market with a massive payroll would make him an offer.

But if he was going back, there was only one team for him.

And when the Cleveland Indians called, Francona was on his way.

"I knew it was right for me," he said.

Francona, who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles, was introduced Monday as the new manager of the Indians, who crashed in the second half this season after contending for four months. It's a family reunion of sorts for Francona, who has ties with the Indians stretching back over 50 years.

His father, Tito, played six seasons in Cleveland and Francona spent a year working as an assistant in the Indians' front office after he was fired by Philadelphia.

Francona, who signed a four-year contract, is inheriting an Indians team that finished 68-94 and 20 games out of first place in the AL Central. Cleveland went 18-45 after July 27, an inexplicable collapse that cost Manny Acta his job.

• Football

Throat slashed: Authorities say a Chicago fan who came to Jacksonville for the Bears-Jaguars football game had his throat slashed inside a bar. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says 42-year-old William C. "Chris" Pettry died early Sunday inside Fionn MacCool's, an Irish-themed restaurant.

Twenty-seven-year-old Matthew Hinson is being held without bond on a murder charge. The Florida-Times Union reported on Monday that witnesses told detectives Hinson cut Pettry's throat after the victim had been talking with the suspect's wife. Detectives say Hinson then put the bloody knife in his pocket and calmly walked out of the restaurant.

On death bed: Alex Karras' condition has deteriorated and the NFL team he played for is extending its sympathies. The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News reported the former All-Pro defensive lineman and actor has been given only a few days to live because of recent kidney failure.

The 77-year-old Karras has been suffering from dementia. He is among the many former NFL players suing the league regarding the treatment of head injuries.

Out indefinitely: Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is out indefinitely after injuring his left knee during the No. 10 Beavers' victory over Washington State on Saturday. Backup Cody Vaz will start for the undefeated Beavers when they play a nonconference game against BYU this weekend.

Mannion had his knee in a brace and watched from the sidelines at practice on Monday. Coach Mike Riley said an MRI has indicated the 6-foot-5, 212-pound quarterback will require surgery.

Groh fired: With Georgia Tech's season falling apart, coach Paul Johnson knew he would have to make a change at defensive coordinator. He decided not to wait.

Former Virginia and New York Jets coach Al Groh was fired Monday by the Yellow Jackets, who had lost three games -- all of them while surrendering more than 40 points.

• Elsewhere

Roster change: Jozy Altidore was dropped Monday from the U.S. roster for a pair of critical World Cup qualifiers after disappointing U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann in games and practice over the last year. Klinsmann instead selected Seattle's Eddie Johnson and San Jose's Alan Gordon to join Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez and Landon Donovan as attacking players on his 24-man roster for games at Antigua and Barbuda on Friday and home against Guatemala on Oct. 16.

OSU on television: NBC Sports Network will televise nationally the Carrier Classic preseason college basketball event being held next month on the South Carolina coast.

The event is being played on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant. The men's game between Ohio State and Marquette will be aired live on the network at 7 p.m. Nov. 9. The women's game between Ohio State and Notre Dame will be shown in a delayed telecast at 11 p.m.

Money for college: Don Larsen has the perfect way to pay for his grandchildren to finish college. The 82-year-old former Yankees pitcher will auction off the pinstriped uniform he wore 56 years ago Monday when he threw the only perfect game in the World Series.

One of Larsen's grandkids is in college and the other is a freshman in high school.

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