Baker won't return as Nationals manager

(Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- WASHINGTON --The Washington Nationals have won four National League East division titles since 2012 under three different managers.

But the Nationals are still looking for a postseason series win and some stability in the dugout, as the club announced Friday that manager Dusty Baker will not return in 2018 after his two-year contract expired.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said he called Baker on Friday morning and the former All-Star outfielder handled the news with professionalism. The previous manager, Matt Williams, also lasted just two seasons.

Rockets PG Paul out 2-4 weeks

(TSX / STATS) -- Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul will miss two to four weeks due to a bruised left knee, according to multiple reports on Friday.

The nine-time All-Star was hampered by the knee in Tuesday's season-opening victory over the Golden State Warriors before sitting out the following night's game against the Sacramento Kings. (MORE)

Verlander tries to save Astros' season

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- From the moment he waived his no-trade clause and accepted relocation to Houston, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander was deemed a franchise savior, an ace capable of leading his new club to the promised land of its first World Series championship.

On Friday night at Minute Maid Park, the Astros will hand Verlander the ball with their postseason lives hanging in the balance. Following three consecutive road losses to the New York Yankees, the Astros return home for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on the brink of elimination and with Verlander standing in the gap. (MORE)

Bucs say QB Winston will start Sunday

(TSX / STATS) -- TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed only to watch quarterback Jameis Winston throw footballs one day this week to know he is well enough to start Sunday's game at Buffalo.

Winston, who suffered an AC joint sprain in his right throwing shoulder in last Sunday's 38-33 loss at Arizona, took every rep with the first-team offense Friday - the first day he had thrown passes since the injury. (MORE)

Kuechly to sit Sunday due to concussion

(TSX / STATS) -- The Carolina Panthers ruled out middle linebacker Luke Kuechly for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears as he remained in the NFL's concussion protocol.

Kuechly suffered a concussion in last Thursday night's 28-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He did not get clearance over the last week for practice, even though he was seen participating in some individual drills. (MORE)

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