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Sports Briefs

NCAA rules against baseball pitch clocks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Pitch clocks won’t be used as a tool to help speed up play in college baseball in 2016.

The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee this month withdrew an experimental rules proposal that would have created a 20-second pitch clock with runners on base. A survey of 25 Division I conferences showed little support for the clock, which the Division I Baseball Committee had recommended using throughout the 2016 tournament.

The average length of nine-inning games in the College World Series increased from 2 hours, 53 minutes in 2012 to 3 hours, 19 minutes in 2015. Game lengths also increased in regionals and super regionals last year.

Major League Baseball this year installed clocks to time between-innings breaks and pitching changes.

 

James limits practice time due to back

INDEPENDENCE (AP) — LeBron James didn’t take part in all of Cleveland’s practice as he remains limited by a back issue.

Cavs coach David Blatt says the team is being “conscientious and cautious” with James, who received an anti-inflammatory injection last week. James didn’t speak to the media following the Cavs’ workout at Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Blatt says James is “fine” heading into the season opener on Tuesday in Chicago. The four-time MVP only played in two of Cleveland’s seven exhibition games, missing the last three after receiving a shot.

Blatt says James will be out there “very soon.”

Power forward Tristan Thompson hasn’t yet rejoined the team after agreeing to a five-year, $82 million contract on Wednesday. The team hopes to have Thompson on the floor on Friday.

 

Mattingly, Dodgers agree to part company

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Don Mattingly won’t return as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers next year after agreeing with his bosses that he and the team needed a fresh start.

Before they came to that decision, the parties discussed extending Mattingly’s contract beyond next year, its final season.

“When we started on Friday we expected him to be our manager in 2016,” Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said Thursday at a Dodger Stadium news conference. “I think that was his thought process also.”

But things clearly changed as the discussions wore on. Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi repeatedly declined to specify why the sides parted ways, all the while expressing their respect and admiration for Mattingly.

“If there is a reason that this happened we would share it,” Friedman said. “It’s not so black-and-white here. There’s a huge middle, and it’s gray there. We’re not hiding anything. It really is how things played out.”

Los Angeles was 446-363 in five years under Mattingly, finishing with a winning record in every season and claiming the last three NL West titles. But the Dodgers have not reached the World Series since winning the championship in 1988.

The 54-year-old former Yankees star ranks sixth in wins among Dodgers managers.

Friedman said he expects to hire a manager by the start of baseball’s winter meetings that run Dec. 7-10 in Nashville, Tennessee. He and Zaidi began discussing possible candidates on Wednesday, including those with and without previous managerial experience. They declined to reveal names.