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Baseball notebook: Cooper can’t finish season

Cecil Cooper was fired by Houston with 13 games left.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Cecil Cooper was fired by Houston with 13 games left. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

The Houston Astros fired manager Cecil Cooper on Monday with 13 games remaining in another disappointing season.

Third-base coach Dave Clark was named interim manager. The Astros were 70-79 heading into Monday’s home against St. Louis.

General manager Ed Wade said the change couldn’t wait until the end of the season.

Wade added that more changes could be coming for a franchise just four years removed from its only World Series appearance.

The 59-year-old Cooper was hired on Aug. 27, 2007, to replace Phil Garner. Houston went 171-170 under Cooper, who was the bench coach under Garner between 2005-07.

Giants prospect charged with murder

A top prospect for the San Francisco Giants was charged with murder in the death of a 25-year-old man last weekend at a bar in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Angel Villalona, who received a club-record $2.1 million bonus when he was signed by the Giants in 2006, wore a bulletproof vest to his hearing at a court in the city of La Romana. He pleaded innocent to the murder charge.

The 19-year-old Villalona could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty in the Saturday night shooting death of Mario Felix de Jesus Velete.

Scheduling conflict at Metrodome

The NFL said it will not reschedule this season’s Packers-Vikings game in case a Major League Baseball tiebreaker game is played at the Metrodome.

Green Bay is scheduled to play at Minnesota on Monday night, Oct. 5, pitting Brett Favre against his old team in front of a national TV audience.

If the Minnesota Twins are able to catch Detroit and host the Tigers in a tiebreaker game to determine the A.L. Central winner, however, Major League Baseball would prefer that Monday night slot.

Clearing the bases

Toronto shortstop Marco Scutaro will likely miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed a tear in his right heel. … The Chicago Cubs have activated outfielder Reed Johnson from the 15-day disabled list and called up former first-round draft pick Tyler Colvin to replace the suspended Milton Bradley on the roster. The team also designated right-hander Thomas Diamond for assignment.

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