KENDALL JOINS BREWERS: Catcher Jason Kendall and the Milwaukee Brewers reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday on a one-year contract.
The deal, which includes a 2009 option that could become guaranteed, is subject to Kendall passing a physical. Milwaukee made the move one day after trading catcher Johnny Estrada, to the New York Mets for reliever Guillermo Mota.
Kendall hit .270 with 19 RBIs in 57 games with the Chicago Cubs after a midseason trade from Oakland. Prior to the trade, Kendall batted .226 with 33 RBIs for the Athletics.Estrada, who was acquired in a trade with Arizona last offseason, hit .278 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs for Milwaukee last season but was considered a defensive liability.
VAZQUEZ, RANGERS AGREE: Infielder Ramon Vazquez and the Texas Rangers agreed Wednesday to an $810,000, one-year contact.
Vazquez was called up in May when Hank Blalock was diagnosed with a nerve problem in his shoulder that required the surgical removal of a rib and sidelined him for 3 1/2 months.
Vazquez made 61 of his 85 starts at third base and played in 104 games, hitting .230 with a career-high eight home runs and 28 RBIs. He started at every infield position.The 31-year-old Vazquez is a career .250 hitter in seven seasons with Seattle, San Diego, Boston, Cleveland and Texas.
UNC COACH EXTENDED: North Carolina and coach Butch Davis agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2014 season, school officials said Thursday.Davis also will receive a raise of $291,000 that will push his annual income to about $2.1 million. The raise and extension are expected to be approved next week by the university's board of trustees.
ENGLAND FLOPS: England will miss next year's European Championship in a huge embarrassment to the nation that invented modern soccer.
Needing only a tie at home in its final qualifier, England allowed two quick goals, got an equalizer off David Beckham's cross and then lost to Croatia 3-2 Wednesday night.
It's the first major tournament England will miss since the 1994 World Cup and is likely to lead to the departure of coach Steve McClaren, who benched Beckham for the first half and started a new goalkeeper in a pair of debated moves.
McClaren, much criticized since replacing Sven-Goran Eriksson, is unlikely to stay on Graham Taylor quit six days after England failed to qualify for the '94 World Cup.Russia (7-2-3), in a game played simultaneously, won 1-0 at Andorra to climb one point ahead of the English (7-3-2) and finish second to Croatia (9-1-2) in Group E.
TYSON UPDATE: Mike Tyson ate sloppy joes and read the mobster epic "American Gangster" during his 24-hour jail term for a DUI conviction.
The former heavyweight champion was released Wednesday morning, sheriff's officials said. Tyson was held apart from the 1,500 other inmates and in a secluded part of Tent City, an open-air jail.
The 41-year-old boxer had faced four years, three months in prison. He pleaded guilty Sept. 24 to one count of felony cocaine possession and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. The charges stem from his arrest last year after leaving a Scottsdale club.
Police said they saw Tyson brush a white powder off his dashboard, and they found baggies of cocaine in his pockets and in his car.
Tyson also must serve three years' probation, perform 360 hours of community service and undergo drug testing.