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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In Brief

Reds hand Baker 2-year extension

MLB: Reds owner Bob Castellini couldn’t imagine Dusty Baker leaving.

The 63-year-old manager got a two-year contract extension Monday, giving him another chance to take Cincinnati deep into the playoffs. The Reds have been there twice in the last three years, failing both times to get past the division series.

After faltering in Game 5 against San Francisco on Thursday, the team’s first big question of the offseason was whether it would bring back Baker for another try.

“This is Dusty’s team,” Castellini said. “These fellas are poised to go deeper and deeper in the season. To not bring Dusty back or not ask Dusty to come back was out of the question.”

The Reds have the nucleus of their 97-win team returning next season. When the club offered another two-year deal – same as his last contract – Baker quickly agreed.

Joyner joins Phillies as assistant hitting coach: The Philadelphia Phillies have hired former All-Star Wally Joyner to be their assistant hitting coach.

Joyner, previously a batting coach in San Diego during parts of 2007 and 2008, will assist new hitting coach and former Mariner Steve Henderson. The Phillies reshuffled their coaches after finishing 81-81 following five straight division titles.

Yankees Girardi attends father’s funeral: The father of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi was remembered as a hard-working bricklayer at his funeral in Illinois.

Girardi, accompanied by his wife and three kids, and general manager Brian Cashman attended the funeral Monday for Jerry Girardi. He died Oct. 6 at age 81 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.

NHL labor talks to resume today in Toronto

NHL: The NHL and the locked-out players’ union will resume negotiations today in Toronto after a four-day break following two days of meetings last week.

The announcement Monday comes on the same day players missed their first scheduled paycheck of the regular season.

Knight to auction title rings, other items

Memorabilia: Hall of Famer Bob Knight is selling his championship basketball rings and other items for what he considers a very good reason: the education of his grandchildren.

A collection of the former coach’s memorabilia will be auctioned by Steiner Sports Memorabilia. It’s part of a sale that features the jersey Yankees pitcher Don Larsen wore while pitching a perfect game in the World Series.

The auction will feature Knight’s rings from his three NCAA championship teams at Indiana – the undefeated 1976 season and the ones from 1981 and 1987.

The company will also sell a sports coat and a warmup jacket given to Knight as coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in 1984.

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