Terry Francona's return to the bench may be near. [Francona] is a candidate for the Cleveland Indians' managerial opening, according to major-league sources. The biggest question is whether he will want the job. Sources say that Francona, 53, already has had preliminary contact with the Indians, the team for whom he worked as a special assistant in 2001. The Indians fired Manny Acta on Thursday and replaced him with interim manager Sandy Alomar, Jr., who also will be a candidate for the permanent position. Meanwhile, Francona is unlikely to get the job that friends say he coveted most if an opening occurred -- the Los Angeles Angels' What is not known: Whether the Indians could pay Francona a large enough salary to persuade him to leave [ESPN]. (FOX Sports) Comment
Ricky Rubio has for three weeks now been running on his surgically repaired knee, though his return remains well on the horizon. [Rubio] said he could play his next NBA game by December, nine months after he tore two ligaments there. "I don't know, they say December, but it could be January," he said. "I don't want to say a time because I don't want to rush it. I want to be ready when I am ready." Rubio returned to Vail, Colo., three weeks ago for another checkup with his surgeon and was given approval to begin running again in three- minute segments alternated with walking. He plans one more trip there to see knee specialist Dr. Richard Steadman. "But it's just to shake the hand with the doctor when I'm ready, when I'm ready to roll," he said. (Star Tribune) Comment
Cromartie Island? Six words spilled out of Antonio Cromartie's mouth, six one-syllable affirmations that Darrelle Revis' season-ending knee injury didn't change this fact, in his mind: The Jets still have the best cornerback in the NFL. It's Cromartie. With Revis Island closed for business for the rest of the season, Cromartie told the Daily News Thursday that he is now the best in the business at his position. How many cornerbacks other than Revis are better than him? "None." You're saying you're the second-best corner in the NFL? "Yup." Really? "Yup." You believe that? "Yup." You're better than Nnamdi (Asomugha)? "Yup." Were you better than Nnamdi two years ago? "Yup." (New York Daily News) Comment
Husky fans storm the field after defeating the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal 17-13. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Play of the year?