Baseball: Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who directed the Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine to back-to-back championships and won another in Detroit, died Thursday from complications of dementia in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was 76.
Anderson was the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues and the only manager to lead two franchises in career wins.
Anderson’s teams in Cincinnati – featuring Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Rose – won crowns in 1975 and 1976 and rank among the most powerful of all time. Led by Kirk Gibson and Alan Trammell, Anderson won with the Tigers in 1984.
• Giants decline to exercise Renteria’s option: The champion San Francisco Giants declined to exercise their $9.5 million option on World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, instead paying him a $500,000 buyout. The 34-year-old Renteria is considering retirement after an injury-plagued season.
• Red Sox exercise option on Ortiz: The Boston Red Sox have exercised their $12.5 million option on David Ortiz for the 2011 season.
• Blue Jays buy out Gregg’s contract: Toronto paid closer Kevin Gregg a $750,000 buyout, declining a $5.25 million option for next year and options for 2011 and 2012.
• Triple-A Beavers moving to Tucson: The Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League are heading to Tucson, Ariz., for the 2011 season. A group headed by San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad is buying the Triple-A club and announced the move.
Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder to win
NBA: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both had 28 points and 11 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder rebounded from a loss the night before to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 107-106 in overtime at Portland.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 22 points, while Brandon Roy added 19 in a losing effort.
• Blazers pay tribute to Lucas before game: Before the game, Portland held a moment of silence to honor ex-power forward Maurice Lucas – who died on Sunday after a long fight with bladder cancer. They will also wear No. 20 on their uniforms this season in memory of Lucas.
• Blazers’ Oberto retires because of heart problems: Portland center Fabricio Oberto abruptly retired because of a previously diagnosed cardiac condition that caused heart palpitations. Oberto said he wanted to put his health and family in front of basketball.
NCAA gives Michigan 3rd year of probation
College football: The NCAA added a third year of probation for practice and training violations by the University of Michigan’s program, but decided that head coach Rich Rodriguez didn’t fail to promote an atmosphere of compliance with NCAA rules.
The NCAA ordered Rodriguez to attend a rules seminar.
Michigan announced in May that self-imposed sanctions included probation for two years and reduced training time by 130 hours over two years, double the amount of time required by NCAA rules.
• Payment sought in Newton recruitment: A man who said he represented Auburn quarterback and Heisman hopeful Cameron Newton during his recruitment out of junior college last year asked for payment to secure his commitment to Mississippi State, according to former MSU player John Bond.
ESPN.com, which first reported the story, cited unidentified people who said Bond’s former teammate Kenny Rogers – who has separately come under scrutiny from the NFL Players Association – was the one soliciting payment.
Earthquakes win to reach Eastern final
MLS playoffs: Chris Wondolowski scored in the 81st minute, giving the San Jose Earthquakes a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls and a 3-2 aggregate win in the MLS Eastern Conference semifinal series at Harrison, N.J.
Bobby Convey scored twice, connecting in the sixth and 77th minutes, to help San Jose rebound from a 1-0 first-leg loss in California on Saturday night. Juan Pablo Angel, in likely his last game for the Red Bulls, scored in the 78th minute.
Westwood, Woods near lead in Shanghai
Golf: Francesco Molinari ran off four straight birdies toward the end of his round for a 7-under 65 to grab a one-shot lead over Lee Westwood in the HSBC Champions at Shanghai.
Yuta Ikeda, Henrick Stenson and Seung-yul Noh tied for third, all shooting 5-under 67s.
Tiger Woods (68) and defending champion Phil Mickelson (69) were also in the mix after the first round.
• Cook leads Charles Schwab Cup Championship: Defending champion John Cook shot a 7-under 64 at Harding Park to take the first-round lead in the Champions Tour’s season- ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at San Francisco.
Cook had a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk and Tom Pernice Jr. Tom Lehman finished two strokes off the lead after a 66.
EPA denies petition to ban lead in tackle
Fishing: The Environmental Protection Agency denied a petition by several groups to ban lead in fishing tackle, two months after rejecting the groups’ attempt to ban it in hunting ammunition.
The EPA said that the petition did not demonstrate that a ban on lead in fishing tackle was necessary to protect against unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, as required by the Toxic Substances Control Act.
In their petition, the groups had argued that lead from spent hunting ammunition and lost lead fishing gear causes the deaths of 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals a year by lead poisoning.