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Sept. 28, 2011 at 5:05 PM
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Guillen introduced as Marlins' manager

MIAMI, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Ozzie Guillen, released as manager of the Chicago White Sox Monday, was introduced Wednesday as the manager of the Florida Marlins.

Guillen, 47, replaces Jack McKeon, who took over the Marlins in June after Edwin Rodriguez suddenly resigned.

McKeon, at 80 the second-oldest man to manager a major-league team, said Monday he wouldn't return as manager for 2012.

Wednesday's announcement came just before the Marlins' final game of the season and in Sun Life Stadium. The team will move to a brand new stadium next year.

"Welcome to a new era in Marlins baseball," team owner Jeffrey Loria said.

"I've known Ozzie for 20 years and I could not be happier that he's going to lead us into the new stadium."

Guillen was released from his contract with the White Sox with a year left on the agreement. The White Sox will reportedly receive two minor leaguers from the Marlins as compensation.

Guillen's deal with Florida covers four seasons and is worth $10 million.

He managed the White Sox for eight seasons, building a 678-617 record and taking the team to its first World Series championship in 88 years with a sweep of the Houston Astros in 2005. Chicago was 78-82 under Guillen this year.

Canadian charged in banana incident

LONDON, Ontario, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A hockey fan has been charged with throwing a banana onto the ice during an NHL pre-season game while a black player was playing, police said Wednesday.

London, Ontario, police Chief Brad Duncan said Chris Moorhouse, 26, of London, is charged with engaging in "a prohibited activity on premises" under the Trespass to Property Act, the London Community News reported.

The chief said if convicted, Moorhouse could be fined up to $2,000. No date was set for his appearance in Provincial Offenses Court.

The incident occurred Thursday during a pre-season game between Philadelphia and Detroit. The Flyers' Wayne Simmonds, who is black, was about to make a shootout shot when the banana flew out of the stands. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had condemned the episode as an apparent racial incident.

But Duncan, who said Moorhouse has expressed remorse, said the banana toss "did not meet the threshold" of a hate crime.

"As chief of the London Police Service, I ask that members of the public allow the court process to unfold and that no one take matters into their own hands," Duncan said.

"Like any others, I was disgusted by the incident."

Seattle, Oakland to play in Japan

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday Seattle and Oakland will open the 2012 regular season with two games in Tokyo.

The Mariners and Athletics will square off at the Tokyo Dome March 28-29.

It will be the fourth time Major League Baseball has opened a season with games in Japan. The New York Mets and Chicago Cubs played there in 2000, followed by the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay in 2004, and Boston and Oakland in 2008.

"Major League Baseball is very pleased to give Japanese fans a chance to see the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics, two franchises with great popularity in Japan," Selig said in a statement. "Opening Series 2012 will be an excellent opportunity to bring the game of baseball to fans across the globe and to celebrate the many contributions to the game by Japanese players. Most importantly, with the shared love of baseball between our nations, I believe that we can use this event to further assist the ongoing relief efforts throughout Japan."

The two big league teams also will play exhibition games against Japanese teams.

While Oakland and Seattle will return to the United States to wrap up exhibition play, the two games in Japan will count as regular-season games.

It means the two clubs won't play games that had been scheduled April 8 and July 5 in Oakland.

The Athletics and Mariners had been slated to play in Japan in 2003 but the trip was called off after the United States went to war in Iraq.

Eagles' Vick says he'll play Sunday

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, nursing a hand injury, said Wednesday as far as he's concerned he'll play Sunday against San Francisco.

"I think there's a 100 percent chance that I'll be out there this weekend," Vick said after participating in the team's morning walk-through session and before taking part in an afternoon practice.

"I just want to be there for my teammates and hold myself accountable for my responsibilities and what I have to do as a quarterback. Regardless of what I have to go through, I just want to be out there."

Vick said his swollen right hand is still painful after being hit in the Eagles' loss to the New York Giants Sunday but a scan showed there is no break as initially feared. He also suffered a concussion the week before against Atlanta.

"The most important thing this week will be to protect the ball," Vick said. "The good thing is I don't run with the ball in my right hand ... . I just have to take care of the football. Even if I have two hands that are 100 percent, you still can't turn the ball over."

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