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Fired After weeks of lopsided losses and blown leads, the Columbus Blue Jackets fired second-year coach Scott Arniel. General manager Scott Howson announced the firing Monday. Assistant coach Todd Richards will serve as interim coach for the remainder of a season in which the Blue Jackets have won just 11 times in their first 41 games, worst record in the NHL.

Out The Chicago Blackhawks say forward Patrick Sharp, among the NHL’s top 10 scorers, will be out 3-4 weeks with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Sharp was injured late in the first period of Sunday’s overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Withdrawn Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open, prolonging her absence from the tennis tour because of Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain. Williams hasn’t played competitively since Aug. 29 at the U.S. Open. She expects to return next month.

Suspended San Francisco Giants catcher Drew Stiner has been suspended for 50 games under baseball’s minor league drug program after testing positive for a banned amphetamine. Stiner is on the roster of San Francisco’s Arizona League farm team. He was a 43rd-round draft pick last year from Owasso High School in Oklahoma.

Transferring A person with knowledge of the situation tells the Associated Press that former Auburn tailback Michael Dyer is transferring to Arkansas State. Auburn football coach Gene Chizik suspended Dyer indefinitely before the Chick-fil-A Bowl for violating unspecified team rules.

Awarded Georgia senior cornerback and return specialist Brandon Boykin has won the 2011 Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile football player. Boykin had 55 tackles, including 11 for loss, with three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a safety for Georgia. He also had 850 kickoff return yards and 180 punt return yards. Boykin also had 103 yards rushing with a touchdown and five catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns on offense.

Agreed All-Star second baseman Howie Kendrick has agreed to a $33.5 million, four-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels, passing up a chance to hit the free-agent market after next season.

Died Former Yankees third baseman Andy Carey, a member of the New York dynasty of the 1950s that won four straight American League pennants and two World Series, has died at 80. Daughter Elizabeth Carey tells the New York Times he died Dec. 15 in California of Lewy body dementia.

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