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Francona scores job as Indians manager

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CLEVELAND -- Terry Francona was hired Saturday as manager of the Cleveland Indians.

Francona, who won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox, will take over a team that collapsed in the second half this season after a promising first four months.

The 53-year-old will be introduced as Cleveland's 42nd manager during a Monday news conference at Progressive Field, the Indians said in a statement.

Cleveland chose Francona over Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the club's interim manager for the final six games after Manny Acta was fired on Sept. 27. Francona and Alomar were the only candidates to interview for the Indians' opening.

Francona has worked as an analyst for ESPN this season. His father, Tito, played for the Indians from 1959-64.

Iron Mike upset

LONDON -- Three days after he was banned from New Zealand, Mike Tyson criticized the decision to revoke his visa because of his rape conviction.

The former heavyweight champion was to travel to Auckland in November before authorities on Wednesday denied him entry. Tyson had been hoping to perform his one-man show called "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth."

"I just wanted to go down there and just have a show," Tyson said. "Unfortunately that had to happen. It's one of those things in life that happens. It's life on life's terms and everyone has to deal with that and those uncertainties."

Tyson had wanted to meet New Zealand's indigenous Maori people, the inspiration for his prominent facial tattoo.

"The people wanted me to come," he said. "If it was a fair organization, a fair fight I would be there but I got vetoed by the higher power."

Tyson served three years in prison after the 1991 rape of an 18-year-old woman in an Indianapolis hotel room.

Daly 23 shots worse

LAS VEGAS -- Jonas Blixt birdied six of the last seven holes Saturday for a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Ryan Moore and Brendon de Jonge in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Moore had a bogey-free 65, and de Jonge birdied four of the last five for a 66 to match Blixt at 19-under 194 in the Fall Series opener at TPC Summerlin.

John Daly, tied for sixth at 10 under after a season-best 63 on Friday, had a 15-over 86 to drop to last among the 72 players who made the cut. He had a quadruple bogey, a triple bogey, two double bogeys, six bogeys and two birdies in his worst round of the season.

Raonic reaches final

TOKYO -- Milos Raonic of Canada outsted top-seeded Andy Murray to move into the final of the Japan Open, edging the defending champion 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4) on Saturday.

Raonic, seeded 6th and ranked 15th, will meet Kei Nishikori in Sunday's final after he routed unseeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-2, 6-2 in just over one hour.

Nishikori, ranked 17th, defeated Baghdatis for the first time after having lost three previous matches to the Cypriot.

Nishikori and Raonic will play for the first time in the final, with the Japanese seeking his first title of the season.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 7, 2012 B12

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