Weekday Morning Sports – Tuesday, 9/30/14

Sports Radio 1400 WSJM     @wsjmsports      wsjmsports.com     Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MLB – Major League Baseball
Tonight- American League Wild Card Playoff
Oakland (Lester 16-11) at Kansas City (Shields 14-8), 8:07 p.m. (TBS)

MLB – MLB crowds drop slightly for 2nd straight year
Major League Baseball attendance has dipped slightly for the second straight season. The 30 teams drew 73,739,622 for an average of 30,458, the commissioner’s office said Monday, a 0.2 percent drop from last year’s average of 30,515. Teams averaged 30,895 in 2012, down from a peak of 32,785 before the Great Recession. Total attendance of 73.74 million was down from 74.03 million last year and 74.86 million in 2012 but was still MLB’s seventh-highest. Pittsburgh, in the playoffs for the second straight season following a 21-year absence, set a team home record at 2.44 million, drawing about 6,000 fans more than during PNC Park’s opening season in 2001. Kansas City made the playoffs for the 1st time since 1985 and drew 1.96 million for its highest total since 1991.

MLB – Gardenhire fired after 13 seasons in Minnesota
The Minnesota Twins have fired manager Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons and six AL Central division titles. The Twins finished first in their first three seasons under Gardenhire and captured back-to-back division crowns in 2009 and 2010. Gardenhire was the 2010 AL manager of the year, but the team has averaged 96 losses the last four seasons.

NFL – National Football League – Week 4
Last Night
Kansas City Chiefs 41, New England Patriots 14

Chiefs 41, Patriots 14 – Chiefs humble Pats
Jamaal Charles ran for 92 yards and a touchdown as the Kansas City Chiefs handed Tom Brady his second-worst regular-season loss as New England’s quarterback, beating the New England Patriots 41-14. Charles also grabbed a pair of scoring passes from Alex Smith, who threw for 248 yards and three scores for the 2-2 Chiefs. The only other time Brady has lost a game by at least 27 points was September of 2003 in a 31-0 shutout by the Bills in Buffalo.

NFL – Raiders Allen first coaching casualty of the season
A person with knowledge of the move has confirmed to The Associated Press that Dennis Allen is out as head coach of the Oakland Raiders after just two-plus seasons and an 8-28 record. The decision comes one day after the team lost its 10th straight contest dating to last season, 38-14 to Miami in London. The Raiders went 4-12 in each of their two full seasons under Allen and haven’t had a winning season since capturing the 2002 AFC championship.

NFL – Detroit Lions alone atop NFC North after 4 games
The view from the top is no longer unfamiliar territory for the Detroit Lions. Jim Caldwell’s team claimed sole possession of first place in the NFC North with a 24-17 win at the New York Jets on Sunday. Now 3-1, Detroit started with the same record last season and was alone in first place entering Week 10, ultimately squandering the division lead and missing the playoffs. Caldwell said Monday the Lions have shown grit early this season, doing the little things necessary to win entering Sunday’s home game against Buffalo (2-2).

NFL – Bills bench quarterback Manuel, to start Orton
The Buffalo Bills have benched starting quarterback EJ Manuel. Coach Doug Marrone says Kyle Orton will start Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Manuel was the Bills’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and had started 14 games over the past two seasons. Manuel threw an interception that was returned for a momentum-changing touchdown Sunday during the Bills’ 23-17 loss to Houston.

NHL – National Hockey League Preseason
Last Night
Detroit Red Wings 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 0

Red Wings 3, Maple Leafs 0 – Mrazek helps Red Wings beat Maple Leafs 3-0
Petr Mrazek made 27 saves, and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in a preseason game on Monday night. Riley Sheahan had a goal and an assist, and Nick Jensen and Tomas Jurco also scored. James Reimer stopped 14 shots for Toronto. Jensen and Sheahan each had a power-play goal in the second period.

NCAA Football – Michigan AD apologizes for mistakes with QB injury
Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon says a “serious lack of communication” led to ailing quarterback Shane Morris playing Saturday against Minnesota when he should not have. Brandon apologized for mistakes that “created a circumstance that was not in the best interest of one of our student-athletes.” Brandon says medical staff and coaches on the sideline did not see the fourth-quarter hit Morris took from Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran, who was called for roughing the passer. A wobbly Morris briefly looked as though he was having trouble standing, but the sophomore remained in for the next play and threw an incompletion before coming out of the game.  Brandon says Morris had been treated for a sprained ankle earlier in the game, and medical staff on the sideline believed that was why he stumbled.

NBA – Bulls’ Rose sees 1 way to quiet doubters… play
Bulls star Derrick Rose understands the concerns surrounding his knees. He sees only one way to ease them. The 2011 NBA MVP is ready to go after being sidelined the past two seasons by knee injuries. Rose says the only way to quiet his doubters is to “actually be on the court and actually playing.” Besides getting their point guard back, the Bulls brought in Pau Gasol to help ease some of the scoring load and defend the rim. They also added Nikola Mirotic and drafted Doug McDermott, giving them more shooting options. But Rose still remains a question mark with practices starting Tuesday and the opener Oct. 29 at the New York Knicks.

NBA – Detroit Pistons C Gray out with cardiac problem
Detroit Pistons center Aaron Gray is out indefinitely after suffering a cardiac episode last month.  Gray had the problem, which he didn’t discuss in detail, after a voluntary practice session at the Palace. He said Monday he is still undergoing testing to find out exactly what needs to be done. He says there is no timeline on his return.  Gray was signed during the summer to back up Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe at center. The Pistons have signed Hasheem Thabeet to a non-guaranteed contract to provide some depth at the position.

NASCAR – Stewart never considered retiring after Ward death
Tony Stewart never considered retiring from racing following the death of Kevin Ward Jr. The three-time NASCAR champion talked with reporters Monday at his first news conference since a grand jury decided last week not to charge him in Ward’s death. The 20-year-old driver was struck and killed by Stewart’s car during a sprint car race in upstate New York on Aug. 9. Stewart admitted that he has not been fully engaged with Stewart-Haas Racing, the race team he co-owns. He missed three races following Ward’s death as he secluded himself at his Indiana home, but has been back since the Aug. 31 race at Atlanta. He says he never thought about ending his racing career because “that would take the life out of me.”

MCCAA – Junior College Sports
Last Night
Men’s Soccer
Lake Michigan College 2, Lakeland CC 0

Women’s Soccer
Muskegon 2, Lake Michigan College 1

Women’s Soccer
Lake Michigan College at Alma College, 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Volleyball
Kellogg CC at Lake Michigan College, 6:30 p.m.

MHSAA – High School Sports

Girls Volleyball
St. Joseph 3, Berrien Springs 0                      (25-15, 25-15, 25-21)
South Haven 3, Allegan 0                              (25-7, 25-8, 25-19)

Bridgman Mini-Invitational
Pool play
Michigan Lutheran 2, River Valley 0
Paw Paw 2, Michigan Lutheran 0
Bridgman 2, Michigan Lutheran 0
Paw Paw 2, Bridgman 0
Bridgman 1, River Valley 1
Paw Paw 2, River Valley 0

1st place: Paw Paw 3, Bridgman 0
3rd place: Michigan Lutheran 2, River Valley 0

Boys Soccer
Bangor 8, Bloomingdale 0
Paw Paw 8, Vicksburg 0
Hartford 3, Lawton 0

Boys Tennis – Wolverine Conference Crossovers
Plainwell 6, South Haven 2
Three Rivers 8, Coloma 0
Otsego 8, Berrien Springs 0
Allegan 6, Edwardsburg 2
Sturgis 7, Paw Paw 1
Vicksburg 7, Dowagiac 1

Girls Golf
Wolverine Conference Jamboree at Island Hills
1.       Plainwell               204
2.       Sturgis                  204
3.       Three Rivers          223
4.       Vicksburg               223
5.       Allegan                 231
6.       Otsego                  237
7.       Dowagiac               242
8.       South Haven           283

Boys Soccer
Kalamazoo Central at St. Joseph
Lakeshore at Mattawan
Cassopolis at Lake Michigan Catholic

Girls Golf
South Haven Invitational at Hawkshead, 9:00 a.m.
Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Michigan Lutheran, Lake Michigan Catholic, South Haven, Comstock, Kalamazoo Hackett, Loy Norrix, Napoleon, Hillsdale Academy, Jackson Lumen Christi, GR Northpointe Chrisitian,

Girls Swimming
Portage Northern at St. Joseph
Otsego at South Haven
Mattawan at Bridgman/Lakeshore

Cross Country
South Haven, Edwardsburg at Three Rivers
Red Arrow Conference Jamboree at Riverview Park
Lake Michigan Catholic, Countryside, River Valley, Eau Claire, New Buffalo

MHSAA – High School Football
Division 3
School                                                    Total Points
1. Zeeland West (5)                              (5-0)   50
2. DeWitt                                               (5-0)   45
3. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s                   (5-0)   40
4. Grand Rapids Christian                    (4-1)   33
5. St. Johns                                           (5-0)   31
6. G.R. Forest Hills Northern            (5-0)   26
7. East Grand Rapids                             (3-2)   17
8. Petoskey                                            (4-1)   9
   9. Lakeshore                                      (4-1)  5            
(tie) Gaylord                                          (4-1)   5
Others receiving votes: 11, Byron Center (4-1) 4. 11, Coldwater (5-0) 4. 13, New Boston Huron (4-1) 2. 13, Allen Park (4-1) 2. 13, St. Joseph (3-2) 2.

Division 4
School                                             Total Points
1. Saginaw Swan Valley (4)                  (5-0)   49
2. Lansing Sexton (1)                           (5-0)   46
3. Cadillac                                             (5-0)   40
4. Williamston                                      (5-0)   34
5. Whitehall                                          (5-0)   31
6. Grand Rapids South Christian        (3-2)   23
7. Richmond                                           (4-1)   15
8. Dearborn Heights Robichaud           (5-0)   11
9. Goodrich                                           (4-1)   9
10. Kalamazoo Hackett                       (4-1)   8
Others receiving votes: 11, Vicksburg (4-1) 5. 12, Yale (4-1) 4.

Division 7
School                                                     Total Points
1. Ishpeming (5)                                   (5-0)   50
2. Detroit Loyola                                 (5-0)   45
3. New Lothrop                                     (5-0)   40
   4. Decatur                                           (5-0)   33           
5. West Iron County                            (5-0)   30
6. Homer                                               (5-0)   25
7. Elkton-Pigeon Bay Port Laker         (5-0)   20
8. Whittemore-Prescott            (5-0)   17
9. Royal Oak Shrine                             (4-1)   4
(tie) Traverse City St. Francis            (3-2)   4
(tie) Union City                                     (3-2)   4
Others receiving votes: 12, Marlette (4-1) 2. 13, Gobles (4-1) 1.

Division 9 – 8-Man
School                              Total Points
1. Peck (8)                     (5-0)  80
   2. Lawrence                  (5-0)  66           
3. Rapid River                (5-0)  57
(tie)Cedarville               (5-0)  57
5. Deckerville               (5-0)  39
Others receiving votes: 11, Portland St Patrick (5-0) 8. 12, Bellaire (5-0) 7.
13, Battle Creek St Philip (5-0) 6.