From news services Cecil Cooper will return as manager of the Houston Astros after receiving a two-year contract Friday that runs through the 2009 season. The 57-year-old was named interim manager when he replaced the fired Phil Garner on Aug. 27. The announcement was made before the Astros opened their final series of the season, against Atlanta. “It’s a great thrill for me,” Cooper said. “I’m very confident I can do this. I know I can do it. We’re going to get it done.” Cooper had worked as Houston’s bench coach since 2005. His promotion comes a week after the Astros named Ed Wade their new general manager to replace Tim Purpura. “I became very comfortable, very quickly being around Coop,” Wade said. “I look forward to a long association.” Houston has gone 13-15 since Cooper took over. Cooper, a first-time big league manager, is the first black manager in Astros history. Red Sox shelve Buchholz Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz won’t pitch for the rest of the year and will miss the postseason because of shoulder fatigue. The 23-year-old right-hander pitched a no-hitter against Baltimore on Sept. 1 in his second major league start, then was sent to the bullpen and made a relief appearance on Sept. 6. He had just one outing after that, starting and losing at Toronto on Sept. 19. Surprise would-be ball savior If Gilbert Arenas has his way, the baseball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th career homer will never be branded with an asterisk. Arenas’ solution? He wants to buy the ball. Fashion designer Marc Ecko bought the ball in an online auction, then set up a Web site so people could vote to determine its fate. Ecko announced the winning choice this week: branding the ball with an asterisk before it’s sent to the Hall of Fame. “I don’t think he should mess up history like that,” Arenas said. “It’s history. It’s still history.” Later Friday, Arenas posted an entry on his blog making the same point. “I’ll buy the ball from you Ecko for $800,000. If Barry Bonds is found guilty, I’ll give it back to you. I’m not going to let you go around like some little superhero,” the blog says. “I’ll put it in my hall of fame. The Gilbert Hall of Fame for Athletes no matter what you did.” Around the leagues Tigers: Carlos Guillen will shift from shortstop to first base next season. “It’s OK,” Guillen said. “I don’t have any problems. I want to help this team get better. We were in the World Series last year, and I want to bring us back.” Manager Jim Leyland said the team was making the move with Guillen’s health in mind. Guillen has been on the disabled list five times since 1999 and has played more than 140 games only once in his career. He agreed in March to a $48 million, four-year contract extension through 2011. Nationals: Washington exercised the 2009 option on Manager Manny Acta’s contract. The 38-year-old Acta, the youngest skipper in the major leagues, has led the Nationals to a 72-87 record going into the final weekend against the Phillies. Yankees: New York completed its buyout of Stephen Swindal, once George Steinbrenner’s designated successor as the team’s boss. Jennifer Steinbrenner, one of the owner’s daughters, filed for divorce from Swindal in March, a month after her husband was arrested early on Feb. 15 and charged with driving under the influence. Swindal was a Yankees general partner and chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises LLC, the holding company for the team and its stake in the YES Network. Hal Steinbrenner, one of the owner’s sons, succeeded Swindal as chairman on Yankee Global Enterprises, a sign of his increased influence in the team’s operations. Hal Steinbrenner also is a director of YES and chief executive officer of Steinbrenner Hotel Properties. Brewers: The commissioner’s office reversed course and revoked the three-game suspension assessed a day earlier Milwaukee reliever Seth McClung. The players’ union appealed the penalty. McClung and Manager Ned Yost were ejected Wednesday night after the pitcher hit Albert Pujols of St. Louis during the eighth inning of a 7-3 loss. John McHale, executive VP of administration, heard McClung’s appeal Friday during a video conference. McClung wrote out his comments for the appeal and had a videotape of the pitch that showed a hitch in his delivery – indicating bad mechanics rather than intent to throw at Pujols. Yost served a one-game suspension Thursday.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!