Reds fire manager Baker
CINCINNATI – One very bad week clinched Dusty Baker’s fate. The Reds decided they weren’t going to bring him back.
Not after they ended the season with six losses in a row, including the wild-card playoff game. Not after they failed to get past the opening round of the playoffs for the third time in a row. Not with all the booing at Great American Ball Park.
Instead of keeping Baker around for one more try, the Reds fired him on Friday, parting ways with the manager who led them to their best stretch of success since the Big Red Machine but couldn’t get them deep into the postseason.
“Maybe the time is long enough because I was starting to get quite a few jeers and some hate mail and stuff,” Baker said during a conference call. “So maybe it was time for me to move on.”
Browns’ Hoyour out for season
CLEVELAND – Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer will miss the rest of the season with a torn right knee ligament.
Hoyer, who began the year as Cleveland’s No. 3 quarterback and led the Browns to wins in two straight starts, was injured at the end of a scramble in the first quarter of Thursday night’s 37-24 victory against Buffalo. Hoyer had sparked the first-place Browns (3-2) after replacing Brandon Weeden.
Hoyer’s knee was bent awkwardly when he slid on an 11-yard run and was hit from the side by Bills rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.
Hoyer waited five seasons for a chance to start, and he quickly became a fan favorite because he’s from Cleveland and grew up rooting for his hometown team.
Weeden replaced Hoyer against the Bills and rallied the Browns to their third straight victory.
Harvick takes poll at K.C.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kevin Harvick turned the fastest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, and will sit on the pole for the first time since the 2006 season.
Harvick, who is tied for fourth in points, negotiated brutal crosswinds entering Turn 3 that ruined several good qualifying runs to post a lap of 187.526 mph on Friday. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second-fastest at 187.480 mph, followed by Jimmie Johnson with a lap of 187.162 mph.
Harvick was fastest in practice earlier in the day, and his first pole since Sept. 17, 2006, gives him the first pit stall for Sunday’s race. That could prove especially important at a place where track position is of the utmost importance. Matt Kenseth qualified seventh.
NBA suspends Kidd for 2 games
NEW YORK – Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd was suspended Friday for two games after pleading guilty in a drunken driving case.
The NBA announced Kidd will miss the first two games of the season. The Nets open at Cleveland on Oct. 30 and host the defending champion Miami Heat on Nov. 1.