Millen era over in Detroit: Lions fire team president
The Detroit Lions fired president Matt Millen, more than seven years after the former linebacker and TV analyst took over one of the NFL's most mediocre franchises and made it the worst. Millen's teams won a league-low 31 games since he took over in 2001, but his boss, owner William Clay Ford, refused to get rid of him until now. Bill Ford, son of the team owner, said Monday that he would fire Millen if he had the authority. Detroit was routed in each of its first three games this season. The 0-3 start dropped Millen to 31-84, giving the Lions at least 10 more losses than any other team over the past seven-plus seasons. The front office will be led by executive vice president Tom Lewand, who will report to the owner on business issues. The team also promoted general manager Martin Mayhew, who will report to the owner on football matters.
Giants: : The team suspended wide receiver Plaxico Burress for a game for missing a practice and not calling to explain his absence. Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, insisted Burress had a family emergency Monday and will appeal the ban to the NFL Players Association. Burress will not be allowed to practice until after the Oct. 5 game against the Seahawks. ... Dick Lynch, who starred at cornerback during the Giants' glory years in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was a longtime radio analyst for the team, died yesterday morning in New York. He was 72. Lynch had been treated for leukemia.
Browns: : Coach Romeo Crennel said the 0-3 team is sticking with Derek Anderson at quarterback - for now. Anderson's job security slid into crisis mode after a 14-for-37 performance in a 28-10 loss Sunday to the Ravens, his former team.
Buccaneers: : Matthew Tryson Bryant, the 3-month-old son of kicker Matt Bryant, died yesterday morning. "I don't have a lot of details," coach Jon Gruden said after practice. "It's just a horrible tragedy."
Et cetera: : Jets quarterback Brett Favre was uncertain how limited he will be by a sore ankle during practices this week. Favre rolled the ankle during New York's 48-29 loss at San Diego on Monday night. ... Cornerback Al Harris has a "serious" spleen injury that requires a cautious approach, but he hasn't been ruled out for the rest of the season, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ... Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said Damon Huard will get the nod at quarterback against the Broncos on Sunday. ... The Rams released cornerback Fakhir Brown and signed cornerback Jason Craft. ... Bills wide receiver Roscoe Parrish will miss up to six weeks after having surgery on his right thumb. ... The Saints released reserve quarterback Joey Harrington.
Tigers reliever Jones announces retirement
Detroit Tigers reliever Todd Jones is retiring, he announced in his own column in the Sporting News. Jones, 40, went on the disabled list in July with an injured right shoulder. He was activated for one game in mid-August and went back on the DL. Jones has 319 career saves - 14th all time - with eight teams.
Et cetera:: Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew, who went on the DL on Aug. 18 with a strained lower back, returned, playing right field against the Indians. Drew left for a pinch runner after he singled to start the third inning. .. Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, 36, is done for the season because of a sore left shoulder. He won Sunday night, beating the Orioles in Yankee Stadium's finale. .. Brewers interim manager Dale Sveum said Yovani Gallardo will start tonight against the Pirates. Gallardo, who hasn't pitched since May 1, was activated Tuesday from the DL (right knee). ... Lou Piniella, 65, plans on managing the Cubs next year. "I've got a year to go on my contract, and we'll see where it goes from there," he said. ... The Dodgers activated shortstop Rafael Furcal (back) from the 60-day DL and put right-hander Brad Penny (shoulder) on the 60-day DL.
Chinese gymnasts' ages in Sydney looked into
China's gold-medal gymnasts aren't the only ones whose ages are getting a closer look. International gymnastics officials' investigation into the eligibility of the Chinese women's team in Beijing has been expanded to include members of the 2000 squad, which won the bronze medal in Sydney, the Associated Press reported. Officials are examining whether Yang Yun and Dong Fangxiao, in particular, were old enough to compete.
Cycling: : Anti-doping expert Don Catlin has been hired to test Lance Armstrong anytime, and the results will be posted online. Armstrong, ending a three-year retirement to race for the Astana team, also said he will compete in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia, in January.
McKay:: Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff and former Oriole B.J. Surhoff have joined the lineup for the Babe Ruth Museum tribute event honoring sportscaster Jim McKay. Hoff, Surhoff, Sugar Ray Leonard, Dominique Dawes, Michael Phelps, Dorothy Hamill and boxing guru Bert Sugar will headline "A Champions' Tribute to Jim McKay" on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the new Hilton hotel in downtown Baltimore. Tickets are $150 for members of the Babe Ruth Museum and $175 for nonmembers. For more information, go to www.BabeRuthMuseum.com or call 410-727-1539, extension 3013. McKay died June 7 at age 86.
Boxing:: Tickets for Oscar De La Hoya's welterweight bout Dec. 6 with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas almost completely sold out, guaranteeing the second-largest gate revenue in boxing history. The total gate revenue will be nearly $17 million.
Soccer: : Brazilian stars Marta, Daniela and Cristiane were chosen in the first round of the Women's Professional Soccer international draft. Marta was taken by Los Angeles. Daniela went to St. Louis, and Cristiane was chosen by Chicago. Japan's Homare Sawa was taken by Washington.