Valentine says he felt undermined by coaches
NEW YORK — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine’s job was safe for at least one final game.
General manager Ben Cherington would not discuss the status of the Red Sox’s beleaguered first-year manager before Boston’s season finale, a 14-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Cherington said. “We have a game tonight. We’ve said many times, Bobby’s the manager of the team until the end of the year, and we’ll talk about it after the season. That’s what we’ll do.”
Valentine had a trying first year with the Red Sox, who finished 69-93. He was signed to a two-year deal to help revive an organization that was eliminated from playoff contention on the last day of the season in 2011 after a September collapse. Instead, because of injuries, a lack of pitching depth and underperformance, Boston has lost its most games since 1965 and finished last in the AL East for the first time since 1992.
On Wednesday, Valentine told Boston radio station WEEI that some of his coaches were not loyal to him and undermined him at times this season, his first as a major league manager since 2002.
Reds’ Cueto will start Game 1 against San Francisco
ST. LOUIS — Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker confirmed Wednesday that right-hander Johnny Cueto will start the opener of the NL division series against San Francisco.
Cueto went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA this season.
The first two games in the best-of-five series will take place Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco.
Baker also indicated that Bronson Arroyo (12-10, 3.74 ERA) will likely start Game 2, followed by Mat Latos (14-4, 3.48) in Game 3.
Baker had been setting up the rotation well in advance of the series opener.
Grizzlies VP of operations Davis found dead
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dana Davis, vice president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies, has been found dead in his apartment. He was 56.
The Grizzlies confirmed Davis’ death in a statement Wednesday night without elaborating. The Commercial Appeal reported Davis had not been heard from since Tuesday, prompting team personnel to enter his apartment Wednesday with officers from the Memphis Police Department, where they found Davis.
Davis, who was nicknamed “Double D,” oversaw player development programs for the Grizzlies and handled the travel schedule, accommodations and security on the road.
Owner Michael Heisley said Davis was an original member of the management team when he bought the Grizzlies in 2000 and added that he would be greatly missed.
Davis also had served on the board of the National Civil Rights Museum.
No progress made as NHL, NHLPA resume talks
NEW YORK — NHL labor talks resumed Tuesday at the league office, but no progress was made as both sides continued to focus on secondary matters and not the core economic issues that continue to divide owners and players.
“Today,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, “was not overly encouraging.”
There are no further talks scheduled.
Steve Fehr, special counsel to the players’ association, and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey represented the NHLPA and arrived at headquarters in the morning without speaking to reporters. Daly met the media after the meetings broke up.
“No progress to report,” Daly said. “No progress made.”
Djokovic, Radwanska reach China Open quarterfinals
BEIJING — Two-time champion Novak Djokovic reached the China Open quarterfinals after dismissing Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday.
Djokovic, the 2009 and 2010 champion in Beijing, faces Jurgen Melzer on Friday after the Austrian defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 7-6 (9), 2-6, 6-1.
Florian Mayer of Germany also made the last eight.
Women’s defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska needed more than two hours to put away Spanish qualifier Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Second-ranked Maria Sharapova downed Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2, 6-2, and Slovenian qualifier Polana Hercog rallied from 5-1 down in the third set to beat Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (3).
In another third-round match, Ana Ivanovic was ousted 6-4, 6-3 by Romina Oprandi of Switzerland, who replaced an ill Serena Williams in the draw. Also, Jelena Jankovic fell to Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-5, 6-4.
Murray advances to quarterfinals at Japan Open
TOKYO — Defending champion Andy Murray advanced to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open by beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2 Wednesday.
The third-ranked Murray broke Lacko in the third and seventh games of the second set and closed out the match on serve.
Seventh-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland also advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6 (1), 6-7 (6), 7-5. Chardy saved three match points in the second-set tiebreaker but was broken in the 11th game of the final set.
Also, third-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia rallied to beat Gilles Simon of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round, and fourth-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina defeated Bulgarian qualifier Grigor Dimitrov 6-2, 6-1.
From wire sources