Orioles

AP Source: Cardinals get OK to interview Haley

AP Source: Cardinals get OK to interview Haley

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) With Andy Reid no longer in the picture, the Arizona Cardinals have received permission to interview Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley for their head coaching job, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person asked not to be identified because the situation has not been made public.

Haley, former head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, was offensive coordinator for Arizona in the Cardinals' Super Bowl run in the 2008 season and has a good relationship with Cardinals President Michael Bidwill.

Bidwill had identified Reid as a candidate earlier this week but the longtime Philadelphia coach, fired by the Eagles on Monday, was close to finalizing a deal to coach the Chiefs and called off all other interviews.

The other known candidates for the Arizona job are Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

The formal interview for Horton was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday. McCoy is to be interviewed in Denver this weekend. Horton also interviewed with Buffalo and Cleveland and McCoy is believed to have interest from other teams, as well.

The window to interview McCoy is narrow because the Broncos are in the playoffs but have a bye this week.

Other candidates are most likely in the picture for the Cardinals, although no names have surfaced. The interview timetable suggests no decision until next week, at the earliest. The Cardinals also are looking for a new general manager to replace the fired Rod Graves. Steve Keim, the team's vice president for player personnel, is a leading candidate.

Bidwill emphasized at his Monday news conference that his search ``is not going to move at lightning speed.''

``And you don't want it to,'' he said, ``because you learn a lot during your due diligence period.''

Bidwill fired Ken Whisenhunt after six seasons as coach. Whisenhunt directed the Cardinals to their only Super Bowl appearance in his second season and Arizona won its second straight NFC West title the following year. But this season's team, after a 4-0 start, lost 11 of 12 to finish 5-11 for the second time in three seasons. While the defense under Horton was among the NFL leaders in several categories, Arizona's offense was the worst in the NFL.

Perhaps that's why two of the three known candidates for Whisenhunt's old job have offensive credentials - Haley and McCoy.

Haley was the coordinator of the high-scoring Cardinals team that made it to the Super Bowl, combining with quarterback Kurt Warner to create one of the NFL's most entertaining offenses. Haley's emotional nature was apparent to everyone, even with occasional sidelines shouting matches with Warner, who shrugged them off as no big deal and just part of the way the team operated.

Haley's success in Arizona led to his hiring as head coach of the Chiefs in 2009. In his second season with Kansas City, the Chiefs went 10-6 and won the AFC West. But he was fired after the team went 5-8 in 2011.

In February of last year, Haley returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh as coach Mike Tomlin's offensive coordinator. He had a sometimes bumpy relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who apologized after criticizing Haley in the aftermath of a late-season overtime loss to Dallas.

McCoy has been the Broncos' offensive coordinator since 2009. In 2011, he tweaked the offense to adapt to quarterback Tim Tebow, then went back to his usual approach when the team signed Peyton Manning. The result has been an offense that propelled Denver to a 13-3 record and a first-round playoff bye.

Horton, whose coaching background is entirely on defense, told reporters after his two-day interview was completed with Arizona on Wednesday that he was not concerned about being pigeonholed as a defensive coach only.

``I think I'm a coach of men,'' he said. ``I talk about a plan to build a team. I don't talk about `Hey, I can build this offense or this defense and good luck with the rest of the team.' Whether you're an offensive coach, you've got to have a defensive guy who can do something on that side. It all blends together. I think that's a zero issue.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Quick Links

Orioles clean house, fire 11 members of scouting and front office departments

usatsi_12884864.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Orioles clean house, fire 11 members of scouting and front office departments

Baltimore Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias is dedicated to altering the direction of the organization and that was reciprocated Friday with the firing of 11 members of the scouting and front office departments.  

"We're in a period of change right now with the industry and we're in a period of change right now with the Orioles," Elias said. "Sometimes to make changes you've got to make changes."

Among those relieved were baseball operations director Tripp Norton, scouts Dean Albany, Jim Howard, John Gillette, Nathan Showalter, and Buck Showalter. 

Elias acknowledged the uphill battle ahead of filling numerous voids but insists it's just a part of the job 

"We're going to be very busy bringing people into this organization," he said. "This is just the organization moving along and adapting to the sport today."

Just one day removed from a judge confirming that the Orioles owe the Nationals nearly $300 million, Elias insisted this move isn't to save money.

"There are changes going on in the scouting business in terms of greater availability of information in general, video and data," Elias said. "There are instances where we will replace people's roles kind of man for man, head for head, spot for spot, but there's other instances where we're reconfiguring the way the scouts go about their business."

The O's will look completely different from this point out and players won't be the only changes.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Sleep-deprived Nationals win one they probably shouldn’t have in Chicago behind Aníbal Sánchez

Sleep-deprived Nationals win one they probably shouldn’t have in Chicago behind Aníbal Sánchez

The clubhouse wears have never been packed so quickly. Washington was sprinting as a group to get out of Pittsburgh on Thursday night following another three-hour-plus game with a 1:20 p.m. local start looming in Wrigley Field on Friday.

Max Scherzer finished his postgame comments in less than four minutes, then quickly moved to get cleaned up and join the others. Most lockers were vacant by the time media members reached the clubhouse, which wasn’t long after the game ended. 

Despite the scramble for minutes saved, Friday was supposed to be a loss. Las Vegas knew. The players and management knew. It was a bad spot. Night game, onto a plane, then a day game against a team which played at home the previous afternoon, and was 44-19 there -- the second-best home record in the National League. 

And yet, Nationals 9, Cubs 3, and it wasn’t that close.

Some bloops fell, some situations turned out lucky. Though, Aníbal Sánchez dominated. No voodoo or charms were involved.

He went through 8 ⅓ innings before being removed after 112 pitches. He was provided a shot to finish the game -- just 15 National League pitchers have a complete game this season -- but couldn’t. A rare Anthony Rendon throwing error cost him an out, then his opportunity for a solo close to the afternoon in Chicago.

Sánchez threw 31 four-seam fastballs, 31 cutters and 28 “splitters” among his 112 pitches. He worked as a marionettist, pulling strings to change positions and outcomes throughout the day. Matt Grace finished the game. No high-end reliever was used, resetting a bullpen which had to cover five innings in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The offense beat up Jon Lester. He didn’t make it out of the fifth inning. Everyone in the lineup -- including Sánchez -- picked up a hit. Trea Turner’s single extended his on-base streak to 30 games.

Sánchez’s work piggybacked on what the other starters did against woeful Pittsburgh. Nationals starters have allowed two earned runs in the first five games of this seven-game road trip. The offense has averaged 8.2 runs in that span. It’s hard to fathom they lost once with both sides operating in such fashion.

All of this is just a continuation of a massive turnaround. Washington is 52-26 since its nadir May 24. Only the Dodgers -- who host the Yankees on Friday night -- have a better record in that span, and by just a half-game. They have won 10 of 12 and 13 of 17. Fivethirtyeight.com now gives the Nationals a 90 percent chance to make the postseason (this includes the wild-card game).

Wins like Friday emphatically move that needle. The Cubs are trying to wind their way into the postseason. They were also set up for a clear advantage thanks to the schedule. Instead, Sánchez, throwing as slow as 68 mph and as fast as 91, controlled the day, the offense rolled through the afternoon and everyone was ready for bed after a surprise win.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: