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Raiders Name Tony Sparano Interim Coach


David Lee/Thinkstock(ALAMEDA, Calif.) -- The Oakland Raiders are turning to offensive line coach Tony Sparano to handle the head coaching duties on an interim basis, the team announced on Tuesday.

Sparano previously was the head coach of Miami from 2008-11, leading them to a 29-32 record. He guided the Dolphins to the AFC East division title in 2008 with an 11-5 record.

The Raiders fired Dennis Allen on Monday night after compiling a record of 8-28 during his two-plus seasons at the helm.

Sparano becomes the Raiders' eighth head coach since 2003. Oakland has not had a winning record or a postseason berth in 11 seasons.

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NFL Says Officials Were Wrong to Penalize Chiefs S Husain Abdullah


iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The NFL said on Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following a touchdown in Monday night’s 41-14 win over the New England Patriots.

Early in the fourth quarter, Abdullah intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and returned it for a TD. He proceeded to drop to his knees in prayer. The sixth-year NFL veteran is a devout Muslim.

The NFL says according to the rulebook, “players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.”  But “the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play,” according to the league.

Abdullah took the entire 2012 season off to join his brother in a pilgrimage to Mecca.

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Yankees Brace for the Return of Alex Rodriguez


Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While the New York Yankees just lost shortstop Derek Jeter to retirement, they'll be getting back third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod will be removed from the restricted list at the end of the World Series after his year-long suspension because of his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

Still, Yankees manager Joe Girardi isn't sure how much play they can get out of A-Rod.

"We have to see where he is at," he said Monday. "I think that is the thing that we have to do. I believe he is going to be 40 next summer, and we need to see where he is physically at."

The Yankees and Rodriguez both decided it'd be best for both parties to remain apart during the season even though he could have been with the team.

The Yankees still owe Rodriguez $61 million over the next three seasons and will make an additional $6 million if he hits six more home runs, which would tie him for 4th place on the All-Time list.

Rodriguez has been one of the best players of his generations, but his connection to PEDs has tainted his playing career. In 20 seasons, Rodriguez has hit 654 home runs.

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NFL Suspends Colts Safety LaRon Landry for Four Games


David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Colts defense has been dealt another blow as the NFL has suspended safety LaRon Landry for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Landry will be eligible to return to the team on Oct. 27, the day after the team plays the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After a disappointing first season with the Colts, the 29-year-old Landry has been solid so far this season. In four games, Landry recorded 23 tackles and 1.0 sack.

Landry is in his eighth NFL season, and the Colts are his third team after previously playing for the Washington Redskins and New York Jets.

This is the second time a Colts player has been suspended in recent memory for a PED violation. Defensive end/linebacker Robert Mathis was suspended for four games. He then torr his Achilles tendon while he was working out during suspension.

The Colts have the 21st ranked defense through four games and are one of the worst teams in stopping the pass.

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Raiders Fire Head Coach Dennis Allen


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- After a 0-4 start to the season, the Oakland Raiders have fired head coach Dennis Allen.

Allen ends his tenure like the six head coaches that preceded him, with a losing record. In his two-plus seasons under the helm, Allen went just 8-28.

Dating back to November 2013, the Raiders have lost ten-straight games and are 0-4 for the first time since 2006. The Raiders lost by 20 or more points in nine of Allen's 36 games as coach.

"It's a tough deal, especially for him," tight end David Ausberry told ESPN. "As we all know, this is the NFL and it keeps growing. So we just all got to as a team pull together and keep going forward. That's all we really can do."

Since Allen was hired back in 2012, the Raiders have a .222 winning percentage, which is the second-worst mark in the NFL over that time.

Since 2001, the Raiders have had seven head coaches, the most in the NFL during that time.

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A.J. Hinch Hired as Astros New Skipper


Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros hired A.J. Hinch as their new skipper.

"I am extremely excited to bring in A.J. as our new manager," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said at a news conference Monday. "Throughout our process, we searched for a person with previous Major League experience who could effectively lead our young, growing nucleus of talented players. I have no doubt that A.J. is the right person to do that. He brings experience as a Major League player, Major League manager and player development executive. His skillsets and leadership abilities will be enormous assets in our clubhouse and to our entire organization."

The 40-year-old Hinch was the Arizona Diamondbacks skipper from May 2009 to July 2010. During that time, he recorded an 89-123 record before being fired.

Hinch takes over a team that finished last season 70-92, which was good for fourth in the AL West.

Like many current managers, Hinch is a former major league catcher. He played seven seasons in the big leagues with the Athletics, Tigers, Royals, and Phillies.

Hinch takes over for Bo Porter, who held the job for nearly two seasons.

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Orton Takes Over at QB in Buffalo


Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.) -- After losing two straight, the Buffalo Bills have decided it was time to make a change at quarterback.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone declared Monday that Kyle Orton will start at quarterback Sunday versus the Detroit Lions instead of EJ Manuel.

Manuel has started all four games for the Bills this season, leading them to a 2-2 record.

"It's not all EJ's fault, but we need to get better production, obviously, out of that position," Marrone said. "We have to make adjustments. We've got to make some changes, because we can't keep going in the direction that we're going."

The Bills selected Manuel with the 16th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then he has started 14 games, leading the Bills to a 6-8 record while throwing for 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The 31-year-old Orton takes over after playing in three games for the Dallas Cowboys last season. During that time, he completed 64.7% of his passes for 398 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

 

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Bruins Re-Sign Krug and Smith


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Boston Bruins re-signed defenseman Torey Krug and forward Reilly Smith Monday.

The two players each received one-year contracts worth an annual cap figure of $1.4 million.

The signings mark the end of a long negotiation between the players and the B's.

"It was definitely tough," Smith said of the contract talks. "At times, you think you're fighting a three-way battle. You've got your own ideas, your agent is advising how he probably should and they've been in the business a long time and that's probably the advice you should take. The Bruins also have their ideas and ideologies of how they want the whole situation to go, so you're kind of bouncing ideas with everyone. Me and Torey were bouncing ideas off each other the whole time, because we just wanted to get to camp. It seems like it all worked out."

The re-signing of Krug and Smith is huge for a Boston team that finished last season with the most points in the NHL.

Krug, 23, played in 79 games last season recording 14 goals and 26 assists.

As for the 23-year-old Smith, he played in 82 games last season, scoring 23 goals and handing out 31 assists, mainly playing on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

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Charles Returns To Help Chiefs Destroy Patriots


Jason O. Wastson/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Jamaal Charles' ankle seemed just fine Monday night. Charles, who missed the Kansas City Chiefs game last week against the Miami Dolphins with a high ankle sprain, caught two touchdowns and ran for another to help the Chiefs rout the New England Patriots 41-14.

"Coach said he was going to look for me, and see how it feels during the game," Charles said, "and I guess I started feeling like myself. He didn't want to take me out."

Charles finished the game with 18 rushes for 92 yards, and teammate Knile Davis had 16 carries for 107 yards in the win.

The Chiefs (2-2) never allowed the Patriots (2-2) to get comfortable on offense, constantly pressuring Tom Brady, who had three turnovers -- two interceptions and one fumble -- in the loss.

"It was just a bad performance by everybody," Brady said. "We need to make sure we never have this feeling again. We've got to figure out what we have to do better."

Alex Smith completed 20 of 26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns for Kansas City, whose fans set the record for loudest outdoor sports venue in the first half, according to the Guinness World Records. The Chiefs' fans hit a noise level of 142.2 decibels, which tops the previous record of 137.6 set by the Seattle Seahawks' fans last season.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 9/29/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs 41 (2-2) - New England Patriots 14 (2-2) 

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