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Sports in brief


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chipper rejoins braves (in front-office role)

ATLANTA — Chipper Jones is returning to the Braves in a front-office job he describes as "dipping my toe back into the water." The eight-time All-Star third baseman was hired as a special assistant to baseball operations, the Braves said Thursday. Jones' primary focus during the regular season will be helping hitters. Jones, 43, retired as a player after the 2012 season. He said he has been "decompressing" and reached the "undeniable conclusion" he wanted to return to the game.

Rangers: OF Justin Ruggiano agreed to a one-year, $1.65 million deal.


Chelsea ousts $16M manager

Jose Mourinho's "palpable discord" with Chelsea players forced the club to abruptly end his second spell as manager with the team, which is one point above the relegation zone seven months after winning the English Premier League title.

The departure of Mourinho, 52, came 21/2 years after his return to Chelsea and four months into a new four-year contract — signed after winning his third league title — that reportedly made him one of the world's highest-paid coaches in any sport at $16 million a year. Chelsea's worst start for a defending champion (4-9-3, 15 points) was compounded Monday by a 2-1 loss at first-place Leicester. After the match, Mourinho said he was "betrayed" by his players, exposing a locker room rift.

"There obviously seemed to be a palpable discord between manager and players," Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said. "We feel it was time to act."

2015 Women's World Cup: The United States' 5-2 win over Japan in the final was the most-watched soccer game, women's or men's, ever in the United States, with an average TV audience of 26.7 million, the sport's governing body said. It bettered United States-Portugal in the 2014 men's World Cup group stage (18.2 million).

U.S. women: Midfielder Carli Lloyd, whose hat trick led the Americans in the World Cup final, was voted the U.S. Soccer Federation's player of the year.

Rowdies: Midfielder Kalif Alhassan, 25, who played this year with Minnesota after five years with MLS's Portland, signed a one-year deal. No details were disclosed.


Bowling: Gary Faulkner Jr. won the PBA World Championship to become the second black bowler to win a tour title. Faulkner beat top qualifier EJ Tackett 216-178 in the final at Reno, Nev.

Colleges: Marquis Dendy became the first Gator to win the Bowerman Award as the country's top male track and field athlete. He won the long jump and triple jump at the 2014-15 indoor and outdoor NCAA championships.

Cycling: Two-time Olympian Bobby Lea said he will appeal a 16-month doping ban for testing positive at this year's U.S. championships. Lea said he took the prescription painkiller Percocet to help him sleep, not realizing it contained oxycodone, which is banned during competition.

track : Candace Hill, 16, from Con­yers, Ga., became the youngest American to turn pro. In June she ran the 100 meters in 10.98 seconds, the fastest time recorded by an American teenage girl.

Times staff, wires

Sports in brief 12/17/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2015 11:08pm]
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  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.