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Giambi and Griffey Earn Comeback Awards

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Friday, October 7, 2005

Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds were named Major League Baseball's comeback players of the year yesterday after both players missed half their team's games in 2004.

Giambi, 34, received the most votes in an Internet poll from fans among American League candidates as the first baseman hit 32 home runs and batted .271. Injuries last year limited Giambi to 12 homers and a .208 batting average.

Fans Griffey, 35, in the National League after the outfielder hit .301 with 35 home runs. In 2004, he batted .264 with 16 home runs.. . . .

Former Oakland manager Ken Macha , a native of Pittsburgh, is expected to meet in the next couple of days with Pirates General Manager Dave Littlefield to discuss the team's managerial opening. Littlefield said he also expects to schedule a meeting with former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy . . . .

Television cameraman Larry Rodriguez , hospitalized following a tirade by the Texas Rangers' Kenny Rogers in June, has sued the pitcher. Rodriguez, who works for Dallas-Fort Worth station KDFW, alleged in a personal injury lawsuit filed Wednesday that Rogers injured him in an unprovoked attack on June 29. The Rangers said this week they will not offer the 40-year-old pitcher a new contract.

· AUTO RACING: NASCAR suspended crew chief Glenn Darrow indefinitely yesterday for violating its substance abuse policy.

Darrow, crew chief for Tony Raines 's Nextel Cup car, was tested for banned substances last Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. The results were positive, leading to an automatic suspension.

NASCAR did not identify the substance. Darrow is the second person suspended by NASCAR this season for failing a substance abuse test. Busch Series regular Shane Hmiel will not be allowed to return to NASCAR before 2007 after failing a test earlier this season. It is Hmiel's second suspension.

· GOLF: Coming off his first victory in 19 months last weekend in Scotland, Colin Montgomerie shot a 6-under-par 64 for a three-shot lead in the American Express Championship in San Francisco.

Tiger Woods , Vijay Singh and eight others were at 67. It was the first test at Harding Park, a Municipal course that had not hosted golf's best players since the late 1960s and is relatively short at 7,086 yards. . . .

In Auburn, Calif., Cristie Kerr had consecutive eagles in a career-best, 9-under 62 to take a four-stroke lead in the first round of the Longs Drugs Challenge.

Beth Daniel , Becky Iverson and Marilyn Lovander opened with 66s, and Lindsey Wright also was 5 under through 17 holes when play was suspended by darkness.


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