Sports Briefs: Former Twins bullpen coach dies at 69

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MINNEAPOLIS - Rick Stelmaszek, the baseball lifer who spent 32 years as a Twins coach, died Monday afternoon, Nov. 6, from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 69.

Stelmaszek worked under five Twins managers as bullpen coach, and won World Series rings as part of Tom Kelly's staff in 1987 and 1991. He worked under Ron Gardenhire from 2002-14, during which time he also scheduled and ran spring training workouts.
His 32 years with the Twins is the longest of any coach in franchise history, and the third-longest in baseball history.
"The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened by the loss of Rick Stelmaszek," the Twins said in a statement. "A true Twins legend, 'Stelly' was widely respected throughout baseball. He was a professional who dedicated his life to Twins baseball and instilled a winning culture into generations of Twins players."
Stelmaszek left the Twins when Gardenhire was fired after the 2014 season. He returned this season to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.
Stelmaszek was living on Chicago's South Side, where he was born and raised. He played 60 major league games, and more than 1,000 in the minors, before becoming a Twins coach.

(STP)

Carroll: Seahawks sticking with K Walsh

The Seattle Seahawks will not bring in another kicker this week after Blair Walsh missed all three of his field goal attempts this weekend, coach Pete Carroll said on Monday.

Carroll was quick to extinguish the fire when asked on his 710 ESPN Seattle radio show if it was a possibility following the Seahawks' 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

"No, we will not," Carroll said. "He's 12-for-13 going into the game, guys. That was a hard day for whatever reason. We didn't kick the ball off very well, either. It was just a hard day to kick the ball for us."

Walsh, who misfired on attempts from 44, 39 and 49 yards, was released by the Minnesota Vikings last year and signed a one-year deal with Seattle in the offseason. The Seahawks, as a result, elected to let longtime kicker Steven Hauschka leave in free agency.

(The Sports Xchange)

Cora introduced as Red Sox manager

Alex Cora was all smiles as he was introduced as the 47th manager of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday.

Cora also became the first minority skipper for the Red Sox, who were the last Major League Baseball franchise to integrate.

"I am Puerto Rican, I can't deny that, and I am the manager of the Boston Red Sox. So history is one thing, but it's a different reality now," the 42-year-old Cora said. "When I got the job I thought about that, but this city welcomed me with open arms from 2005 to 2008. It's a city that has accepted me as I am.

"I don't see that as an obstacle, I see it as an opportunity to open the eyes of many people and show them that we can perform these jobs at a high level.

Red Sox owner John Henry was quick to admit that the team needed change despite winning the American League East Division for the second straight season.

"We didn't just change managers," Henry said. "I think when the end of the season came, we were all of the mind that we needed change. Sometimes an organization benefits from change. We decided that the organization would benefit. John (Farrell) had a tremendous tenure here; back-to-back division championships is a really difficult thing. Sometimes you want change not just because of your results but there's a time and a place for it. We thought this was really the right time."

(The Sports Xchange)

Buccaneers shut down QB Winston for 'couple weeks'

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing it safe by shutting down franchise quarterback Jameis Winston "for a couple weeks" to rest his injured throwing shoulder, coach Dirk Koetter said Monday.

Koetter made the announcement after doctors examined the results of an MRI on Winston's right shoulder.

Winston initially sustained an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder in a 38-33 loss at the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 15. The top overall pick of the 2015 draft then aggravated the injury in Sunday's 30-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who replaced Winston on both occasions, will get the start for the Buccaneers (2-6) on Sunday against his former team—the New York Jets (4-5).

The Buccaneers will activate Ryan Griffin from injured reserve to serve as Fitzpatrick's backup until Winston is ready to resume football activities.

Winston has thrown for 1,920 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in 10 games this season.

(The Sports Xchange)

Another hearing set over Cowboys RB Elliott's ban

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, Nov. 9, will hear Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's latest legal fight requesting an injunction to overturn his six-game suspension.

Elliott received an administrative stay from the New York federal court last Friday, reinstating his eligibility for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He led the Cowboys in rushing with 93 yards on 27 carries and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the 28-17 win after getting another reprieve.

"It was a little rushed—I'm not going to lie," Elliott, who has rushed for 783 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games this season, said after the game.

"I had no idea when I came in on Friday that I was going to have the chance to come in. I really didn't know I was playing this weekend. So I came in Friday and practiced and spent all day Friday watching a lot of film. Saturday, I was just trying to catch up to the team and catch up for what I lost."

If the judges were to make a decision by Friday in which Elliott did not gain a preliminary injunction, then the suspension would start immediately and he would not play this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

Without the injunction or further litigation, Elliott would be out until Week 16 against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 24.

A panel of federal judges will hear Elliott's request for an injunction that overturns Judge Katherine Polk Failla's ruling from last week.

(The Sports Xchange)