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BASEBALL BRIEFS

HOBSON FIRED: Butch Hobson was fired as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies' top minor-league team, days after a newspaper published court documents showing he admitted using cocaine.

Hobson, a former third baseman and manager of the Boston Red Sox, had been on leave as manager of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons of the International League.He faces cocaine possession charges after DEA agents said they found 2.6 grams of cocaine worth about $120 inside his shaving kit in a Pawtucket, R.I., hotel in May.

If convicted, Hobson, 44, faces up to three years in jail and a $5,000 fine. He insists he is innocent.

RANGERS-MARLINS TRADE: The Texas Rangers acquired right-hander John Burkett from the Florida Marlins for minor-league right-hander Ryan Dempster and a player to be named.

The 31-year-old Burkett was 6-10 with a 4.32 ERA in 24 starts this season.

LITTLE WORLD SERIES: Eight Western Boys Baseball Association (WBBA) teams, featuring players ages 9-12, are competing for top honors in the 41st annual "Little World Series" this week in Morgan. Vernal Blue, Logan American, Sandy, Washington Terrace, Idaho Falls Valley, Santa Monica Southern, Alpine and Syracuse began tournament play Wednesday. The championship game is set for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.