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Sports news briefs
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• Paterno’s son: JoePa upbeat, fought cancer to end
: STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Joe Paterno’s son says that as recently as last Wednesday his father was anxious to leave the hospital and start planning a vacation with his wife, Sue.

Scott Paterno said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press that his father remained upbeat to the end, but by Friday afternoon his health had worsened.

The family announced Saturday that the former Penn State football coach was in serious condition. Paterno died Sunday morning.

Scott Paterno says that despite getting fired in November, his father still loved the school and his lasting message would be, “Let’s build this thing up.”

He said his Dad was confident until the end and did not die broken-hearted.

President Barack Obama spoke with the Paterno family on Monday and said he would keep them in his prayers.

• PSU’s O’Brien: An ‘honor’ to follow Paterno: STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Bill O’Brien says it’s an honor to follow the late Joe Paterno as Penn State’s next head coach.

In an interview Monday, O’Brien says he will create his own identity and that no one will ever replace Paterno, who won 409 games and two national championships.

Paterno died Sunday at age 85 just 65 days after his son Scott said his father had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

O’Brien says he never got to speak with Paterno in person following his hiring Jan. 7.

The two did talk by phone soon after O’Brien arrived. O’Brien says he wanted Paterno to know he would work hard to preserve the traditions of winning and academics in the new Penn State regime.

• AP source: Navy to join Big East in 2015: A person with knowledge of the decision says Navy will announce Tuesday it’s joining Big East football in 2015.

ESPN and first reported the news Monday night.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made.

The Big East has been courting Navy, a football independent, for months and service academy officials had made it known they liked the idea of joining.

But when the Big East added Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and Central Florida as full members in December, the Midshipmen were not ready to get on board.

Those schools will begin competing in the Big East in 2013.


• Danica Patrick won’t run Indy 500 this year
: CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Danica Patrick will not run the Indianapolis 500 this season.

Patrick will instead compete in the Coca-Cola 600, which is NASCAR’s longest race of the year.

She announced the addition to her 2012 NASCAR schedule Monday.

Patrick has left IndyCar for a full-time move to NASCAR. She’s running a full season in the second-tier Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports and 10 races in the elite Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Patrick says she’d like to return to the Indy 500 in the future and would be interested in running both events on the same day. She says she just couldn’t make it work this season.


• Dodgers bidders starting to talk with each other
: NEW YORK (AP) — Some bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers have started talking with each other about combining their groups, even before initial offers for the bankrupt team were submitted Monday.

Two bidders said talks about possible group mergers were ongoing. They both spoke on condition of anonymity because Blackstone Group, which is managing the sale for owner Frank McCourt, made them sign nondisclosure agreements.

Blackstone will analyze all of the initial bids and then select up to 10 to forward to Major League Baseball, which already has started due diligence on some. Those picked must pay MLB $25,000 to cover the costs of baseball’s investigation.

The actual cash paid in a sale figures to be depressed by the team’s debt, which stands at $573 million, according to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

• Seattle, New York finalize Pineda, Montero deal: SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees have finalized their four-player trade sending All-Star pitcher Michael Pineda to the Yankees in exchange for young slugging prospect Jesus Montero.

The Mariners and Yankees completed the deal on Monday after all players completed physicals with their new teams. Seattle also sent 19-year-old pitching prospect Jose Campos to New York with 24-year-old pitcher Hector Noesi coming back to Seattle.

Pineda was an All-Star in his rookie year after a blistering start to his first season, before going through expected rookie struggles. Pineda went 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA and led all of baseball in holding right-handed batters to just a .184 average. He struck out 173 in 171 innings.

Seattle hopes Montero is the key to solving some of its offensive woes.

• Crane mulling name, uniform changes
: HOUSTON (AP) — New Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is considering changing the name of the franchise as well as its uniforms.

Crane says the team will conduct a study to decide whether or not to change the name. He says switching uniforms is something they are “highly considering.”

Any changes wouldn’t happen until 2013 when Houston makes the move from the National League to the American League.

Crane’s comments came at an event to announce several fan initiatives. The biggest move is a 5 percent rebate on full-season and 27-game season ticket accounts that are renewed by Jan. 31. The cheapest at the park will be cut from $7 to $5.

The Astros will also allow fans to bring water and a small amount of food inside the stadium.

• Posada to announce retirement today: NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees say Jorge Posada is going to announce his retirement todayat Yankee Stadium.

The 40-year-old five-time All-Star catcher will end his 17-year big league career with the team that drafted him rather than pursue another team. Posada became a free agent after a trying season in New York, the final year of a four-year, $52 million contract.

The Yankees announced Posada’s decision in a statement Monday. Sports radio station WFAN first reported his plans two weeks ago.

The clubhouse leader helped the Yankees win five World Series titles. For his career, Posada hit .273 with 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs. But he lost his catching job this year and his playing time diminished.


• Rams hire Schottenheimer as off coordinator
: ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams have hired Brian Schottenheimer as its new offensive coordinator and Gregg Williams will run the defense.

New Rams coach Jeff Fisher announced the staff additions Monday.

Schottenheimer spent the past six seasons in the same position with the New York Jets. Williams spent the past three years as defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.

The Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003, and they had the NFL’s worst offense last season. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels recently left to return to the Patriots.

Fired Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is taking over the Saints’ defense.