• Indians fire manager Manny Acta: Someone had to be blamed for the Indians’ collapse. Manager Manny Acta took the fall. Acta, hired by Cleveland in 2009 after two losing seasons as Washington’s manager, was fired Thursday by the Indians, who dropped from contention in July to last place in the AL Central. Cleveland was within three games of first place on July 21 before losing 21 of 25, going 5-24 in August, and eventually sliding all the way to the bottom of its division. It certainly wasn’t all Acta’s fault, but there were times when the Indians seemed to be going through the motions and a lack of effort isn’t a positive reflection on any manager. Acta went 214-266 in nearly three seasons with the Indians, who are just 21-50 in the second half this season. Acta had one season left on his contract.
• Astros hire new manager: Bo Porter was hired as Houston’s manager on Thursday, and the Astros hope he can help orchestrate a turnaround with this team similar to the one he’s been a part of in Washington. Porter, who was the Nationals third base coach this season, replaces Brad Mills, who was fired last month. Porter will remain with the postseason-bound Nationals for the remainder of their season. Porter will lead the rebuilding effort of a young team that has the worst record in the majors, wrapping up its second straight 100-loss season. The Astros are in their first season under new owner Jim Crane and are moving from the National League to the American League next year.
• Giants won’t bring back Cabrera for postseason: The San Francisco Giants have informed Melky Cabrera’s agent they won’t bring the suspended outfielder back at any point this postseason. Manager Bruce Bochy made the announcement before Thursday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco’s final regular-season home game. Bochy said the NL West champion Giants will go into the best-of-five divisional series with the current roster. Cabrera’s suspension takes him through the first five games of the playoffs, so he would have been eligible in the NL championship series if San Francisco advanced.
• NHL cancels rest of preseason games: The NHL canceled the rest of the preseason Thursday, just a day before negotiations were set to resume in an effort to end the lockout. The league announced its second cancellation of preseason games in a two-sentence statement. NHL owners locked out players Sept. 16 when the collective bargaining agreement expired. The NHL had already called off all the exhibition games scheduled in September. The regular season is supposed to begin Oct. 11.
• Strahan, Ogden, Lynch nominated for Hall: John Lynch, Michael Strahan and Morten Andersen are among 13 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Safety Lynch, defensive end Strahan and kicker Andersen join offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and 121 other total nominees for induction. The list will be whittled to 25 semifinalists in late November. Fifteen finalists from the modern era will be announced in early January, with elections taking place Feb. 2, 2013, the day before the Super Bowl.
• Victim one in Jerry Sandusky trial has book deal: A key witness against convicted child molester and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, known in court papers as Victim 1, has a book deal and will soon reveal his identity, a publisher announced Thursday. Ballantine Bantam Dell said that “Silent No More: Victim #1’s Fight for Justice Against Jerry Sandusky," is coming out Oct. 23. The memoir will be co-written by the victim’s mother and psychologist and “will share how he survived years of shame and secrecy, harassment and accusation, before reporting Sandusky’s actions to the authorities, and will offer a hopeful and inspiring message for victims of abuse," Ballantine announced. Victim 1, now 18, will reveal his identity on the day of the book’s release in an interview with ABC’s Chris Cuomo. Financial terms for the book were not disclosed. But Ballantine, an imprint of Random House Inc., plans a donation to a charity for victims of child abuse.
• UCI chief concerned over wait in Armstrong case: The head of cycling’s governing body says the wait to receive the U.S. evidence in Lance Armstrong’s doping case is a “cause for concern." Cycling body UCI complained Thursday about what it sees as a delay in receiving the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s files that led the agency to wipe out years of Armstrong’s results, including his seven Tour de France titles. USADA also banned him from sanctioned competition for life. USADA said Wednesday it would send its “reasoned decision" to the UCI by Oct. 15, and that the cycling body already knows that. The files had previously been expected to be turned over by the end of September. Still, UCI President Pat McQuaid said in a statement that: “The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA’s continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern. It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings." USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said UCI will get everything it’s looking for.
• California law will aid injured student athletes: Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation making California the first state to mandate financial protections for student athletes who suffer career-ending injuries in some of the state’s top college sports programs. SB1525 protects athletes at the four universities that receive more than $10 million annually in sports media revenue — the University of Southern California, UCLA, Berkeley and Stanford. They will have to give academic scholarships to students who lose their athletic scholarships if they are injured while playing their sport.
— From wire reports