New owner says he won’t change Astros’ name: HOUSTON (AP) — New Houston Astros owner Jim Crane says he won’t change the team’s name.
Crane said last week he was considering a switch. But he emailed a video message to season-ticket holders on Monday saying, “one thing that we are not going to change is the name.”
He says he made the decision after receiving “strong feedback and consensus among season-ticket holders and many fans.” He then added that “the Houston Astros are here to stay.”
The team was established in 1962 as the Colt .45s and has been called the Astros since 1965 when the name was changed to coincide with the move to the Astrodome.
Crane and his staff have been looking for ways to improve the team, which finished a franchise-worst 56-106 last season, and the fan experience since the sale from Drayton McLane was completed in late November.
Murray St to take on Saint Mary’s in BracketBuster: Undefeated Murray State will get a big test in a few weeks, when the 10th-ranked Racers take on No. 18 Saint Mary’s in one of several BracketBuster matchups.
Murray State, the only remaining undefeated Division I team at 21-0, will host the Gaels (21-2) on Feb. 18.
The BracketBuster is a showcase for mid-majors, with the games televised on ESPN. This year’s pairings include 13 games with teams from 14 conferences.
Other matchups include No. 13 Creighton (20-2) hosting Long Beach State (16-6), Wichita State (18-4) at Davidson (15-5), Nevada (18-3) at Iona (17-5) and Akron (14-7) at Oral Roberts (20-4) — all on Feb. 18.
Former Colts coach Caldwell hired by Ravens: OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell has been hired by the Baltimore Ravens to be their quarterbacks coach.
The 57-year-old Caldwell was fired by the Colts on Jan. 17 following a 2-14 season. He went 26-22 in three years with Indianapolis, including a Super Bowl appearance.
After working with Indianapolis standout quarterback Peyton Manning for 10 seasons, Caldwell will turn his attention toward improving Ravens QB Joe Flacco and teaming with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to improve Baltimore’s passing game.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh says Caldwell “will be an excellent fit with our team, coaching the quarterbacks and helping with our offense.”
Before taking over as head coach at Indianapolis, Caldwell spent seven seasons as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Under his direction, Manning won three NFL MVP awards.
Women’s Professional Soccer suspends 2012 season: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Women’s Professional Soccer won’t play the 2012 season amid a legal dispute with an ousted owner.
The league says its Board of Governors voted Monday to suspend the season with hopes of resuming in 2013.
In October, the WPS terminated its South Florida franchise after clashing with owner Dan Borislow all season. A Florida judge ruled earlier this month that the league failed to follow its own dispute procedures when it terminated the franchise. Another court hearing is set for Wednesday.
WPS CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan says owners chose to cancel the season over possibly working with Borislow in the league again. She says “we have diverted so many resources into litigation.”
The league has played three seasons.
Bettman says he’s seen a “sensational” reaction from the crowd at each shootout game he’s attended over the years.
Hockey purists often complain about using a skills competition to settle the score after 65 minutes of hard work by both teams. Coaches and players are never happy about a shootout loss when their team dominates the game during regulation.
Still, no one seems to like ties and everyone loves a shootout if they win.
BARRICHELLO HAS NO PLANS BEYOND 2-DAY INDYCAR TEST: Rubens Barrichello says he has no plans for 2012 beyond his two-day IndyCar test with KV Racing Technology.
The Formula One driver spent Monday testing the new Dallara DW12 at Sebring International Raceway.
The test was put together in part by fellow Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan.
Barrichello says he wants to race somewhere this upcoming season, but does not yet know where he will land. He split with Williams earlier this month when the F1 team tabbed Bruno Senna for Barrichello’s seat.
Barrichello says he is enjoying his time in the IndyCar, which he referred to as “a beast.”
As to the theory that Barrichello doesn’t want to race on oval tracks, the driver said he is willing to discuss the prospects going forward.
ALLMENDINGER CAPS BIG OFFSEASON WITH DAYTONA WIN: DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It has been a hard five years for AJ Allmendinger since his move to NASCAR turned out to be anything but successful.
Even so, no driver has had a better offseason than “The Dinger.”
He was tabbed last month by Penske Racing to replace Kurt Busch in one of the top seats in the Sprint Cup Series. Then on Sunday, he anchored the winning team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Allmendinger drove the final stint for Michael Shank Racing to win the prestigious sports car race for the first time in his career.
He hopes the victory is the first of many this year.
Allmendinger won five races in 2006, his final season in the Champ Car Series. He moved to NASCAR the next year.