Bill Buckner, whose 2,715 career hits rank second only to Carlos Beltran among former Spokane Indians who played in the major leagues, has died after a long battle with Lewy body dementia, his family said in a statement.
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Jack Russell Spring, a left hander who pitched in the same bullpen as Satchel Paige and against Mickey Mantle before returning home and coaching West Valley to the Spokane area’s only state high school baseball championship in 1978, died on Sunday. He was 82.
Hired Former Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has been hired as the athletics director at Sacred Heart University. The university in Fairfield, Conn., said Friday that Valentine’s appointment will be formally announced on Tuesday. He is a native of Stamford, Conn. Valentine was fired in October after just one season in Boston, when the Red Sox went 69-93. A one-time Pacific Coast League MVP when he played for the Spokane Indians, Valentine managed the Texas Rangers from 1985-92 and the Mets from 1996-2002, leading New York to the 2000 World Series. After managing in Japan, he joined ESPN as an analyst. Last month he signed on to be the part-time co-host of a weekday talk show for NBC Sports Radio that debuts in April. Sacred Heart fields 31 varsity teams – 17 for women and 14 for men. The Pioneers upgraded their varsity programs to NCAA Division I status in September 1999. Daytona 500 Retired NFL linebacker Ray Lewis will serve as honorary starter for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Oscar-nominated actor James Franco will serve as grand marshal and give the command to “start your engines.” Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America, will drive the honorary pace car.
Kevin Youkilis’ teammates came to his defense Monday after Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine questioned Youkilis’ commitment to the game and then apologized to his third baseman. During an interview aired Sunday night on WHDH-TV, Valentine said he didn’t think Youkilis was “as physically or emotionally into the game.”