Lackluster Cavaliers fire GM Grant

The Cavaliers made a big change with another season falling apart, firing general manager Chris Grant on Thursday. Grant was fired a day after the Cavs dropped their sixth straight game, an embarrassing home loss to a Lakers team that started with eight players and finished with five. Vice president of basketball operations David Griffin will serve as acting general manager . . . According to an report, Clippers guard Chris Paul is likely to return on Sunday against the visiting 76ers if he can practice on Saturday without limitations. Paul has been out since Jan. 3 with a separated right shoulder . . . The Connecticut Sun open the WNBA season against the New York Liberty on May 16th at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.


Police look into Fitchburg St. assault

Three members of the Fitchburg State men’s team have been barred from campus while police investigate whether they were involved in a sexual assault. Fitchburg police confirmed the alleged assault occurred off-campus, but they did not say exactly when or where. Police also said the alleged victim was a woman, but did not say if she was a student. The names of the hockey players have not been released because they have not been charged with a crime . . . Predators general manager David Poile was taken to a hospital after being struck by an errant puck during the team’s morning skate in St. Paul. The Predators issued a statement saying Poile would remain in the hospital overnight for observation and evaluation . . . The Blackhawks acquired forwards Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the Islanders for a fourth-round pick in June’s NHL draft.


Hall of Fame slugger Kiner, 91, dies

Ralph Kiner, who slugged his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame and enjoyed a half-century career as a popular broadcaster, died Thursday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 91. Kiner hit 369 home runs during his 10-year career. Kiner, who played for the Pirates, Cubs, and Indians, joined the broadcast crew of the Mets for their expansion season in 1962 and even worked a handful of games last season. Obituary, B12 . . . Catcher Matt Wieters and the Orioles avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $7.7 million, one-year contract. . . . A person familiar with the negotiations said reliever Fernando Rodney and the Mariners agreed to a $14 million, two-year contract. Rodney had 37 saves last season for the Rays . . . Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka obtained a work visa Tuesday and could depart for the United States as early as Sunday. Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees last month . . . The Rockies will retire former first baseman Todd Helton’s No. 17 on Aug. 17. Helton, who retired at the end of last season, spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies . . . A person familiar with the deal said reliever Carlos Marmol and the Marlins agreed to a $1.25 million, one-year contract . . . Former major league outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds was hired by the Players’ Association as special assistant for player program development.


Two more years for FSU’s Winston?


Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston plans to play two more years of college football. His statement came after coach Jimbo Fisher, while talking about the Seminoles’ recruiting class, intimated that Winston would be in Tallahassee two more years. Winston also plans to play baseball next year, which would make it difficult to prepare for the NFL Combine . . . Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio signed a two-year contract through 2015 . . . The Houston Texans hired John Perry to coach tight ends. Perry was head coach at Merrimack the past five years . . . The Minnesota Vikings finalized their assistants, including special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, the target of a discrimination complaint by former punter Chris Kluwe . . . The University of Tennessee won’t be playing a scheduled home-and-home football series with UConn that had been planned for 2015 and 2016. The schools have agreed to reschedule the series, but have not determined when that will happen . . . The United States Golf Association approved the use of distance-measuring devices in all of its amateur championships and their qualifying events, starting this year . . . Rafael Nadal will miss next week’s tournament in Buenos Aires after a stomach virus set back his return from a back injury sustained at the Australian Open . . . Former Portland Timbers soccer forward Eddie Johnson is suing the team for $9.9 million, alleging that he was allowed to practice while he still had concussion symptoms . . . The Boston Athletic Association launched an app that aims to allow runners who can’t participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon to feel like a part of it. The app will allow runners to share photos, post mileage, and connect with athletes.