Reeling Texans Release Veteran Safety Reed
Houston — The Houston Texans released nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed and put running back Arian Foster on injured reserve Tuesday, the latest blows in a disaster of a season.
Reed missed the first two games after hip surgery and was recently relegated to a backup role. On Friday, he expressed his displeasure at not starting. On Sunday, after Houston’s seventh straight loss, he publicly criticized the team and said they had been outplayed and outcoached in the team’s first full game without coach Gary Kubiak, who is recovering from a mini-stroke.
Interim coach Wade Phillips, who is the team’s defensive coordinator, seemed unhappy when asked about Reed’s comments on Monday.
“Everybody has their own feelings about what’s happening,” Phillips said. “They have their own ideas about what’s happening or didn’t happen. We try to keep everything in house.”
The 35-year-old Reed was signed to a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason after he spent his entire 11-year career with Baltimore. The Texans courted him in an effort to beef up what they saw as an elite defensive unit that needed an upgrade in the secondary to make an expected run at the Super Bowl.
But Reed never showed the playmaking ability he had become known for in Baltimore and had just 16 tackles this season.
The Texans (2-7) have gone from Super Bowl contenders to AFC bottom-feeders. Besides Kubiak’s health problems, quarterback Matt Schaub was benched and standout linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season to an injury.
Time Changes Announced
New York — The AFC West showdown between the Broncos and Chiefs on Dec. 1 is moving to a late-afternoon time slot.
The NFL announced Tuesday that the game would start at 4:25 p.m. EST on CBS. The Patriots-Texans matchup will shift to 1 p.m. on the network.
The game between New England and Houston shaped up as a matchup of reigning division champs in the preseason, but the Texans have struggled to a 2-7 record.
Chiefs WR Arrested
Riverside, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was arrested outside Kansas City over the weekend on charges of speeding and possessing marijuana, authorities said Tuesday.
Bowe was pulled over for going about 48 mph in a 35 mph zone, police in suburban Riverside said. Police said the officer smelled “a strong odor of marijuana from inside of the vehicle,” and asked Bowe and two passengers to get out of the car.
The officer then used a police dog to search for illegal substances in the car and found a bag with Bowe’s wallet and two containers holding what the officer suspected was marijuana..
Veteran Infielder Retires
Toronto — Blue Jays infielder Mark DeRosa is retiring after a 16-year major league career.
The team announced DeRosa’s decision in a statement Tuesday, less than two weeks after Toronto exercised his $750,000 club option for next season.
The 38-year-old utilityman batted .235 in part-time duty last season, his only year with the Blue Jays. He had seven home runs and 36 RBIs in 204 at-bats over 88 games.
DeRosa finishes his career with a .268 average, 100 home runs and 494 RBIs in 1,241 games with Atlanta, Texas, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington and Toronto. He appeared in the playoffs six times and hit .358 with a .980 OPS in 22 games.
DeRosa grew up in New Jersey and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he quarterbacked the football team.
MLB Confident About Replay
Orlando, Fla. — Get ready for expanded instant replay for umpires’ calls next year. Major League Baseball says it’s virtually certain all the new systems will be in place for opening day.
MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre met with general managers Tuesday and said he expects approval from owners, players and umpires by January.
“We expect to be all on the same page by the time we need to have it,” he said.
Virtually all umpires’ calls other than balls and strikes, checked swings and some foul tips will be reviewable. The system was tested last week during Arizona Fall League games, with two major league umpires reviewing video and making the final call.
Owners are expected to give their go-ahead Thursday for funding and then approve the rules when they meet in January.
Baseball started using video review in 2008 but limited it to home run calls — whether a ball went over a fence or was fair.
Under the system that’s been in place, three of the four umpires at a ballpark watched video provided them by MLB. Starting next year, challenged calls will be reviewed at a central location.
Torre: Action Possible Against Plate Collisions
Orlando, Fla. — Major League Baseball Executive Vice President Joe Torre said momentum is gaining toward taking action that would help prevent collisions at home plate.
Speaking Tuesday after a meeting of big league general managers, Torre said a written proposal will be developed that will be discussed at the winter meetings next month.
Torre said it was too early to determine exactly what the proposal would be and that it wasn’t clear whether a rules change could be made for the 2014 season.
Discussion to limit or ban collisions has intensified since San Francisco catcher Buster Posey was injured in 2011.
Turner Field Faces Wrecking Ball
Atlanta — The city of Atlanta will demolish Turner Field and rebuild in its place a large-scale development after the Braves leave for a new stadium in the suburbs in 2017, the mayor said Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference, Mayor Kasim Reed didn’t provide specifics on the future project, but made clear that the stadium would not be left vacant when the Braves depart.
The mayor said Atlanta had hoped to keep the team in the city but could not afford to do so. He says the city would have had to take on $150 million to $250 million in debt to make the improvements the Braves wanted at Turner Field.
The Braves unexpectedly announced Monday they are moving in 2017 to a new 42,000-seat, $672 million stadium about 10 miles from downtown in suburban Cobb County, apparently swayed by a lucrative financial package.
Byrd Lands in Philly
Marlon Byrd is cashing in on his comeback season.
Byrd and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed Tuesday to a $16 million, two-year contract, a deal that comes less than a year after he was playing in Mexico’s winter league.
The 36-year-old outfielder hit a career-high 24 homers last season for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh, which acquired him on Aug. 27. He batted .364 with one homer and five RBIs in six playoff games after hitting .291 during the season with 88 RBIs, one short of his career best.