McCown steps into Daunte's inferno
The limp is gone. And with that, so is Daunte Culpepper (top) from the Raiders' starting lineup. Josh McCown (bottom) has recovered from a fractured left big toe, and he will start at quarterback for the Raiders on Sunday against the Houston Texans. With the game blacked out locally, fans unhappy with the decision will have to attend the game to voice any displeasure. In his most recent game played Week 3 against Cleveland some fans cheered when McCown was injured, and jeered when he returned to the field. McCown isn't worried about his reception, rather the state of the Raiders' offense. "We've got a job to do and to worry about the kind of reception -- we're 2-5," McCown said. "That's what I'm concerned with, that we're 2-5 and we need to get a win and that offensively we need to produce."
Costa injures knee in Oregon practice
Oregon sophomore and Hilmar High graduate Nathan Costa tore ligaments in his knee during a Ducks football practice Tuesday, according to The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard. Costa, who played sparingly as a freshman, was planning to redshirt this season in hopes of competing for the starting job during spring drills. Oregon coach Mike Bellotti told The Register-Guard that Costa is scheduled for surgery in around two weeks, and the quarterback could return to practice in the late spring, but without contact. Costa tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.
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Hillman gets his first major-league beating
Trey Hillman was on the wrong side of a perfect ending in the Japan Series on Thursday. The Kansas City Royals' new manager (Hillman was hired Oct. 19) and his Nippon Ham Fighters lost 1-0 to the Chunichi Dragons when Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase combined on a perfect game in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series and gave the Dragons the championship of Japanese baseball, four games to one. The first perfect game in the 57 years of the Japan Series gave the Dragons their first title in 53 years.
Giants hire Lansford
Carney Lansford, the former Oakland A's All-Star third baseman, was hired Thursday to become the San Francisco Giants' hitting coach. Lansford, a five-time All-Star who won the 1981 American League batting title with Boston, received a two-year contract to replace Joe Lefebvre on manager Bruce Bochy's staff. Lansford batted .290 during a 15-year career with the Angels, Boston and Oakland. Lansford was hitting coach for the Rockies' Triple-A affiliate this season. He hit .336 for Oakland in 1989, when the A's swept the Giants in the World Series.