Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had never had a batting average higher… (Ben Margot / Associated…)
Melky Cabrera ended the debate over whether a suspended drug cheat should be able to win a batting title. The San Francisco outfielder asked Major League Baseball officials to disqualify him and on Friday they agreed.
With less than two weeks left in the regular season and Cabrera on track to win the National League batting championship, MLB and the players' association reached a deal on a one-season-only change in the rule governing the individual batting, slugging and on-base percentage champions.
Serving a 50-game suspension, Cabrera entered Friday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP, was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive test for testosterone and is missing the final 45 games of the regular season.
"He was just manning up and saying he was wrong," said McCutchen, who is four points ahead of San Francisco's Buster Posey. "It was man of him to do that. I guess he thought that was the right thing to do, and I commend him for doing that."
Cincinnati Reds Manager Dusty Baker missed a third straight game Friday because of problems caused by an irregular heartbeat. Doctors in Chicago advised him to spend one more night in a hospital there before traveling to Cincinnati for a series against the Dodgers.
Clippers hire Gerald Madkins for front office
In their quest to continue to change the team's culture, the Clippers have hired highly-thought-of Gerald Madkins to be the team's director of basketball operations, said NBA executives Friday who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Madkins, who has worked in the NBA for 10 years, will work in the front office alongside Gary Sacks, who was recently named the Clippers' general manager.
Madkins spent the last two seasons with the New Orleans Hornets as their director of player personnel. He served as the director of scouting for the Houston Rockets for two years, as the director of West Coast college scouting for the Seattle SuperSonics for one year and as a scout for the New York Knicks from 2003 to 2007.
Madkins played at UCLA from 1987 to 1992 and was an assistant coach with the Bruins for two years.
— Broderick Turner
The Philadelphia 76ers named Tony DiLeo general manager.
DiLeo had been working as senior vice president and assistant general manager. He will work alongside team President Rod Thorn. Thorn has only one year left on his contract. Thorn has a provision in his contract that will allow him to become a consultant after his contract expires.
Beach volleyball stars April Ross and Jen Kessy, coming off their silver-medal showing at the Olympics in London, withdrew from the Jose Cuervo tour stop in Huntington Beach.
Organizers were informed of their withdrawal on Friday afternoon. Kessy apparently was suffering from a shoulder injury, officials said. The Orange County natives were scheduled to play on Saturday in main-draw action and this was to have been their first appearance on the Cuervo tour this year.
— Lisa Dillman
James Buescher completed a NASCAR Trucks season sweep at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, using strong restarts to stay in contention before he broke free to win the wreck-filled race.
It was the fourth career series victory for Buescher, who also won at the track June 28. Parker Kligerman was second, followed by rookie Ty Dillon, Joey Coulter and Brian Scott.
Jeff Gordon will start from the pole for the NASCAR race at Loudon, N.H., on Sunday as he tries to move up in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Gordon ran a lap at 134.911 mph in qualifying Friday. Kyle Busch was second, at 134.753 mph.
Gordon heads into the race Sunday ranked 12th in the Sprint Cup standings. Points leader Brad Keselowski qualified 15th.
Defending champion Lexi Thompson shot a three-under 69 to take a one-stroke lead into weekend play in the Navistar LPGA Classic at Prattville, Ala.
The 17-year-old Thompson had a 12-under 132 total on the links-style Senator course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. She matched the tournament record Thursday with a career-best 63.
Mindy Kim and Mi Jung Hur were a stroke back. They played in the same group and each shot 65.
Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge involving his then-wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada.
Johnson was sentenced Friday to a year's probation and a counseling course under a plea deal with prosecutors. Johnson also must pay Lozada unspecified restitution.