The Washington Nationals have reportedly decided to take the interim tag off manager Jim Riggleman and give him the job on a full-time basis. The team's Web site and other media sources report the club will hold a news conference Thursday at Nationals Park to make the announcement. Riggleman and Bobby Valentine were reportedly the final two candidates for the position. Riggleman, who turned 57 on Monday, was named interim manager of the Nationals on July 12, replacing Manny Acta. Riggleman went 33-42 after taking over.
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins won his third straight Gold Glove Award on Wednesday, when the National League winners were announced. Joining Rollins in the infield were Los Angeles second baseman Orlando Hudson, who took home his fourth Gold Glove, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres and Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. In the outfield, Philadelphia center fielder Shane Victorino took home his second straight Gold Glove and was joined by a pair of first-timers in Houston's Michael Bourn and Los Angeles' Matt Kemp. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright took home the award, becoming just the sixth battery to do so.
Ken Griffey Jr. will return for a 22nd major league season, as he has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners. Financial terms were not released, but it is believed to be similar to the $2 million plus incentives pact he received last year. Griffey, who will turn 40 on November 21, appeared in 117 games for the Mariners this past season, but hit just .214 with 19 home runs and 57 runs batted in, while serving primarily as the team's designated hitter. For his career, though, Griffey ranks fifth all-time with 630 home runs and 16th in RBI with 1,829. He is a 10-time All-Star and also won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1990-1999 to go with his career .285 batting average and .541 slugging percentage.
The Boston Red Sox announced Wednesday longtime catcher Jason Varitek has exercised his player option for the 2010 season. Varitek signed a one-year deal with Boston prior to last season that included a dual club and player option for 2010. While the Red Sox declined the $5 million club option on the three-time All-Star, Varitek opted to cash in on his $3 million clause. The 37-year-old backstop figures to play behind Victor Martinez, who had his 2010 option picked up by Boston earlier in the week.
Week 10 of the NFL seasons kicks off Thursday night in San Francisco as the 49ers host the Bears. Chicago is 4-4, but has lost three of its last four contests, including a 41-21 decision at home against Arizona on Sunday. The 49ers are also struggling, and at 3-5 they've lost four in a row. That includes a 34-27 defeat at home against Tennessee on Sunday. This contest will be the first for Chicago against 49ers head coach Mike Singletary who spent 12 seasons (1981-92) in a Bears uniform before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Brady Quinn will be the starting quarterback when the Cleveland Browns host the Baltimore Ravens on Monday. Browns head coach Eric Mangini made the announcement Wednesday to go back to Quinn, who had started the first three games of the season for the now 1-7 Browns. Derek Anderson started the past five games under center for the Browns, who have lost three straight since their lone win of the season on October 11 against Buffalo. In that victory over the Bills, Anderson completed just 2-of-17 passes for 23 yards. He has connected on only 42.9 percent of his throws for 681 yards with two touchdowns and nine interceptions this season, while Quinn has completed just 59.7 percent of his passes for 409 yards with one touchdown and three picks.
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Joselio Hanson has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. The league did not specify what substance Hanson used, but a Philadelphia newspaper reported his suspension was handed down for taking a diuretic before the NFC Championship game last season, citing sports attorney David Cornwell. The suspension is effective immediately, and Hanson will be eligible to return to the Eagles' active roster on Monday, December 7, a day after they play at Atlanta.
Buffalo's Trent Edwards will get the start Sunday against the Titans after missing the team's last two games with a concussion suffered in Week 6 against the Jets. The Bills are coming off their bye week. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been filling in for Edwards, and in two starts has completed 26-of-45 passes for 240 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Washington Redskins running backs Ladell Betts and Clinton Portis did not practice on Wednesday. Portis missed his reps because of the concussion suffered during the 'Skins' 31-17 setback to Atlanta last Sunday, while Betts did not participate due to an ankle problem.
A couple of Big East teams gunning for win number seven meet Thursday night, as the 23rd-ranked South Florida Bulls play on the road against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Bulls enter the contest on a high note, as they got back on track with a 30-19 upset of then 20th-ranked West Virginia back on October 30th. For the Knights, they have yet to be ranked this season, but at 6-2 overall, are on the cusp of moving into the top 25.
Making a rare appearance in Australia, Tiger Woods shot a six-under 66 to earn a share of the lead Thursday at the JBWere Masters. Woods collected seven birdies through 17 flawless holes, then made a bogey on the last while playing his first round in the country in 11 years. He was joined in first place by Australia's James Nitties and South Africa's Branden Grace. The trio held a one-shot lead over Cameron Percy of Australia and New Zealand's Doug Holloway. Woods was just 22 years old when he made his Presidents Cup debut at Royal Melbourne in 1998, the last time an Australian gallery had an up-close look at him.
Charismatic Russian Marat Safin played his final ATP tennis match on Wednesday, as he suffered a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 loss at the hands of U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in Paris. The 29-year-old Safin announced before this season started that 2009 would be his final campaign on tour. The former world No. 1 star tallied a pair of major championships, at the 2000 U.S. Open and 2005 Australian Open, and was a runner-up at two other Grand Slam events -- the 2002 and 2004 Aussie Opens. The '05 Aussie Open marked his last title on any kind on the circuit. The ultra-talented but oft-injured and erratic Muscovite wound up with 15 career singles titles.