Postseason picture:

Wednesday's Sports In Brief

AP - Sports

PRO FOOTBALL

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -- Before Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin left the team saying he was bullied, he told multiple people that he was considering quitting football, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

One of the people said Martin considered giving up the sport because he was mistreated by other offensive linemen. That person said Martin, who sought counseling for emotional issues, now plans to continue playing. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the organization has said little about Martin's departure.

After practice Wednesday, several players questioned why Martin left and supported guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended by the team and was accused of being Martin's main tormentor.

HOUSTON (AP) - Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will take over as Houston's interim head coach and try to help the team end a six-game skid with Gary Kubiak out indefinitely after suffering a mini-stroke this weekend

It's a familiar position for Phillips, a 30-plus-year NFL coaching veteran, who was last a head coach in Dallas and has twice served as an interim head coach in the league. The first time came in 1985 when his father Bum Phillips stepped down with the Saints, the second was in 2003 when Dan Reeves resigned as Atlanta's coach with three games left.

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Jonathan Vilma's season is over and his future on the football field is in doubt.

The New Orleans Saints placed Vilma to injured reserve, ending his season - and possibly his career - only three days after he had returned for his first game of this season.

Vilma began the season on short-term injured reserve because of an arthroscopic procedure in August on his left knee, which has troubled him through multiple surgeries over the past two-plus seasons.

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns wide receiver Greg Little accused Ravens safety James Ihedigbo of choking him during a pileup in Cleveland's 24-18 win Sunday.

After a running play in the first quarter, Little found himself on his back at the bottom of a stack of players. He said Ihedigbo, who was on top of him, put his hands around his neck and choked him.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - Clarence ''Ace'' Parker, the oldest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died. He was 101.

Parker died Wednesday, according to Bryan Johnson of B.W. Foster Funeral Home in Portsmouth.

A Portsmouth native, Parker played football, basketball and baseball at Duke, then was a first-round draft choice of the National Football League's Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937. Instead of pursuing a gridiron career, Parker opted to play baseball for Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics.

In his first at-bat, the shortstop hit a home run at Fenway Park, becoming the third player in major league history to homer in his first at-bat.

He later traded baseball for football, starring for the Dodgers from 1937-41, and winning the most valuable player award in 1940.

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OLYMPICS

MOSCOW (AP) - A rocket carrying the Olympic flame successfully blasted off from earth ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

NASA Live TV showed the rocket, emblazoned with the pale blue Sochi 2014 logo, launching from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome on a clear morning in Kazakhstan.

The torch will make its way to the International Space Station before being taken into space itself - making it the Olympic flame's first spacewalk in history.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Nick Saban says he remains ''very committed to the University of Alabama'' and disputed an account of his agent's conversation with Texas early this year.

The Crimson Tide coach was asked about an Associated Press report regarding his agent's conversation in January about possibly replacing Mack Brown at Texas.

Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, indicated that the coach would consider leaving Tuscaloosa for the Texas job during a January phone call, according to an email sent by former Texas Regent Tom Hicks.

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BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Cubs are set to hire San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as their manager, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hiring has not been announced. The team was expected to make it official on Thursday.

NEW YORK (AP) - World Series MVP David Ortiz won his sixth Silver Slugger award as the top designated hitter in voting by major league managers and coaches.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer each were selected for the fifth time.

Silver Slugger awards are given to the top offensive player at each position in the American and National Leagues.

WINDSOR, Colo. (AP) - Police say Colorado Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort had an alcohol concentration level more than three times the legal limit when he was pulled over for speeding Monday in Windsor.

The Greeley Tribune (http://bit.ly/1baO2aX) reports that Monfort submitted to a breath test and recorded a breath alcohol concentration level of 0.284.

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PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Knicks center Tyson Chandler is expected to miss 4-6 weeks because of a broken bone in his right leg.

The team said that tests showed no ligament or nerve damage and surgery is not required. Chandler left in the first quarter of a 102-97 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday.

He has a small fracture in the fibula in his lower leg.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee center Larry Sanders injured a thumb in an off-court incident that is being investigated by police.

''We are aware of an incident from Saturday evening,'' the Bucks said in a statement before their game against Cleveland. ''The matter is under investigation and Larry Sanders is cooperating fully. At this time we will have no further comment.''

Sanders sat out the game against the Cavaliers.

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kevin Ware, the guard whose gruesome right leg injury in the NCAA Midwest regional final became a rallying point during Louisville's championship run, saw his first action since last spring, scoring six points in 10 second-half minutes as the No. 3 Cardinals went on to a 90-61 exhibition victory over Pikeville.

The 6-foot-2 Ware entered the game with 13:49 remaining to a standing ovation from 19,227, moving deliberately at first before picking up the pace on a couple of breaks. He was cheered every time he touched the ball, and fans groaned nervously when he took a tumble.

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TENNIS

LONDON (AP) - Just nine months after returning from a career-threatening knee injury, Rafael Nadal clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time by beating Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) at the ATP finals.

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SKIING

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) - Lindsey Vonn says her surgically repaired right knee felt ''really good'' after her first day of downhill training.

Vonn took five runs along the two-mile track at the U.S. Ski Team's speed center. She said she mostly cruised along the course just to get used to going that fast again.

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