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Yanks Beat Brewers; A-Rod Hits 400th Homer (AP)
AP - Alex Rodriguez became the youngest member of the 400-homer club and a change in their routine got the New York Yankees back on the winning track with a 12-3 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

Royals Nab 4-1 Victory Over Giants (AP)
AP - Tony Graffanino tripled, drove in a run and scored twice and Matt Diaz added two RBIs in the Kansas City Royals' 4-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

Red Sox Defeat Cardinals 4-0 in Wet Rematch (AP)
AP - David Wells threw eight innings of four-hit ball and the Boston Red Sox got big hits from David Ortiz and Jason Varitek in a 4-0 rain-delayed victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

Ex-Baylor Player Pleads Guilty to Slaying (AP)
AP - Former Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing teammate Patrick Dennehy.

Brown, Popovich Square Off in NBA Finals (AP)
AP - Rasheed Wallace gained a full realization of the depth of the friendship between coaches Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich when the Detroit Pistons were trying to come up with a strategy to stop a specific opponent.

Sanders signs one-year deal with Ravens (Reuters)
Reuters - Deion Sanders passed a physical and signed a reported $1.5 million deal Wednesday to play one more season with the Baltimore Ravens for one more season.

Spurs shy superstar sets sights on another NBA crown (AFP)
AFP - When Gregg Popovich was trying to entice Tim Duncan to San Antonio in 1997, they visited a picturesque beach in Duncan's native Virgin Islands and talked about the future.

Rodriguez reaches 400 homer milestone (Reuters)
Reuters - Alex Rodriguez belted two home runs on Wednesday to become the youngest player in major league history to reach 400, powering the New York Yankees to a 12-3 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers in Interleague play at Miller Park.

U.S. Overpowers Panama 3-0 (AP)
AP - The United States cut through Panama's defense like the canal that divides the isthmus. Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan and Brian McBride overwhelmed Panama with first-half goals, and the Americans won Wednesday night's qualifier 3-0 to move into commanding position to secure their fifth straight World Cup berth.

Cam Neely Elected to Hockey Hall of Fame (AP)
AP - Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, the late Valeri Kharlamov and Murray Costello were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Six Points: Imperfect storms
Ex-Hurricane stars Sean Taylor and Kellen Winslow Jr. are making waves for all the wrong reasons.

Sanders signs one-year deal with Ravens (AP)
Deion Sanders signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens after passing his physical Wednesday, then announced himself ready for another season. ``Feeling good, looking good,'' Sanders said. ``If women weren't present, I'd take off my shirt and show you how good I look. Trust me, 37-year-olds can't do what I do.'' ``I don't have personal, selfish goals,'' he added.

Niners also made earlier offensive video (AP)
The in-house video featuring racist jokes, lesbian soft-porn and topless blondes that embarrassed the San Francisco 49ers last week wasn't the first offensive video the team's disgraced public relations director made. The team acknowledged Tuesday that a video made in 2003 by Kirk Reynolds contained ``objectionable content showing bikini-clad women.'' A copy of the video, obtained by San Francisco...

Rams release controversial OT Turley (AP)
Kyle Turley, who missed last season with a back injury and then clashed with coach Mike Martz in the offseason, has been released by the St. Louis Rams after failing a physical. The offensive tackle was designated as waived, failed physical, by the team earlier this week, although there has been no official announcement.

Miami's Bowens fails physical, waived (AP)
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Tim Bowens was waived Wednesday after failing a physical, a move the team said was a precursor to retirement for the 12-year veteran. Bowens, the last player remaining from Don Shula's tenure with the Dolphins, played in just two games last season because of a herniated disc in his back.

Verba buys his way out of Cleveland (AP)
Frustrated that he can't get a new contract, offensive tackle Ross Verba will be released by the Cleveland Browns once he repays a $465,000 roster bonus. Verba and the Browns have agreed to the amicable split rather than drag out a contract dispute that began when the eight-year veteran said the club reneged on a promise to redo his current deal, which will pay him $2.9 million in 2005 and 2006.

Holmgren back at practice for Seahawks (AP)
Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren was back at practice Wednesday after taking a day off after being checked for discomfort in his chest. Holmgren went to a hospital late Monday afternoon, but tests showed no damage. He took Tuesday off, then returned to the team Wednesday during its three-day passing minicamp.

Lewis' request to attend minicamp denied (AP)
Jamal Lewis' request to attend the Baltimore Ravens' minicamp next week has been denied by the Atlanta halfway house where he is spending two months after a prison term for a federal drug conviction. The rules of the star running back's stay at the halfway house say he can only leave for work in northern Georgia, which would prevent him from traveling to Maryland to attend the workouts, which...

Sneak preview
Game 1 of the NBA Finals will give us a glimpse of just how intense the series will be.

Rasheed: Brown and Popovich are 'homies' (AP)
On a fundamentally flawless summer day in 1997, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich reclined on the white sands of St. Croix to discuss life, basketball and their future together. Neither the inexperienced coach nor his new No. 1 draft pick dared to imagine their next eight years in San Antonio would include MVP awards for Duncan, widespread acclaim for Popovich -- and two championships with an imminent...

Bulls' Skiles agrees to four-year deal (AP)
On a day when he appeared headed out of town, Scott Skiles reversed course and decided to stick around as the Chicago Bulls' coach for four more seasons. It was a quick turnaround. And it came on a day when newspapers reported contract negotiations between Skiles and the Bulls had broken down. ``I'm relieved, happy it's over,'' Skiles said Tuesday after the agreement was announced.

Rasheed roars into another finals (AP)
Reporters are clueless, and some officials are blatantly biased. The NBA doesn't like this finals matchup, and most fans outside Detroit don't believe the Pistons have any chance to win another championship. The NBA Finals haven't even begun, but Rasheed Wallace's dry-ice wit and blue vocabulary are in top form.

Resilient Pistons set to defend title (AP)
The Detroit Pistons had to get past more than just the Miami Heat to have a chance to defend their title in the NBA Finals. They had to respond to reports and rumors about coach Larry Brown's next move; deal with his two health-related absences; experience one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history and the fallout from it; and rise above a tendency to be complacent.

Bowen ready to apply pressure in Finals (AP)
Bruce Bowen has already done a lot of defensive heavy-lifting this postseason. In the first round, the San Antonio Spurs' perimeter ace covered Carmelo Anthony, and after that, it was Ray Allen and then Shawn Marion. The result has been the same -- each of these prolific scorers saw his production drop, which helped the Spurs win each series and advance to the NBA Finals.

Turiaf thinks he's ready for NBA (AP)
This time, Ronny Turiaf thinks he's ready. There's no hesitation in his voice, no sense of doubt. He's confident he made the right decision a year ago when he withdrew from the NBA draft at the deadline and returned to Gonzaga for his senior season. And now, he's sure he's ready to jump to the next level.

Sting of loss will linger with Heat (AP)
Their arena was dark and quiet Tuesday, matching the collective mood of the Miami Heat. Players still stinging from a Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference finals congregated for the last time in the locker room, listened to team president Pat Riley talk about excellence always needs time to build, then limped in their different directions to begin an offseason none of them were ready for.

Wade scores 20 despite injured rib (AP)
Dwyane Wade's pain wasn't limited to his strained right rib muscle. Wade grimaced throughout Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, occasionally clutching his right side, and clearly wasn't his usual self. Regardless, he managed to get 20 points and four assists. And it was all in vain, not enough to propel the Miami Heat into the NBA Finals for the first time.

Sore ankles and all, Duncan hits stride (AP)
Tim Duncan seems to be peaking at the right time. The San Antonio Spurs' star forward posted his lowest numbers as a pro this year, and then missed a dozen late-season games with a sprained ankle. But Duncan's production has steadily increased in each of the three playoff rounds as his health has improved.

Stumped by the suits
We should be watching playoff hockey. Instead we're left with "Stump The Schwab."

Phantoms 2, Wolves 1 (AP)
The Phantoms are one win away from bringing a championship to title-starved Philadelphia. OK, so it's not the Super Bowl, the World Series or even the Stanley Cup. But the Phantoms' 2-1 win over the Chicago Wolves in Game 3 of the Calder Cup finals Wednesday night has the Flyers' top AHL affiliate a win away from a title.

Report: NHL, Players Association agree on salary cap (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - The lengthy NHL labor dispute may be on the verge of coming to an end.

NHL group will recommend changes tried during research camp (AP)
A select group of NHL club executives will mull over experiments to bring more offense into the game. A three-day research camp concluded Wednesday, and several recommendations for rules changes could come out of the camp. Use of shootouts during the regular season, reintroduction of tag-up offsides, stiffer obstruction rules and smaller equipment for goaltenders have the strongest chance of being...

Neely elected to Hockey's Hall of Fame (AP)
Former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, the late Valeri Kharlamov and Murray Costello were named to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Neely and Kharlamov, a former Russian superstar who died in 1981, will enter in the players category. Costello, former president of the Canadian Hockey Association, goes in as a builder, or someone who contributed to the advancement of the game.

Neely, Kharlamov named to Hockey Hall of Fame (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - Injury problems may have shortened the career of Cam Neely, but it didn't keep him out of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The wait continues for Dino Ciccarelli

Anderson a top candidate for Hockey Hall of Fame (AP)
Glenn Anderson should be an automatic choice for the Hockey Hall of Fame, his former coach Glen Sather says. ``I don't even think there should be a debate about him,'' Sather said. Anderson left the NHL in 1996 after scoring 498 regular-season goals and 93 playoff goals and earning six Stanley Cup rings, including five when Sather ran the Edmonton Oilers.

Minor league player pleads guilty in stick-swinging assault (AP)
A minor league hockey player pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault causing bodily harm for swinging his stick at an opponent who was left bleeding and convulsing on the ice. Hamilton Bulldogs forward Alexander Perezhogin agreed to the plea bargain, which was being reviewed by a judge and called for a conditional discharge with one year's probation.

Shootouts, smaller goalie equipment coming to NHL whenever it restarts (AP)
When the NHL finally returns to the ice, the tie game will probably be a thing of the past. ``If they don't have a shootout, I'll be shocked,'' New York Islanders general manager Mike Milbury said Tuesday. ``That's an easy one. ``The fans want it, and it's the least we can do after spitting at them for the last 12 months.'' Fans in the AHL and other minor leagues have grown to enjoy shootouts.

Oilers ask permission to suspend operations of AHL team for one year (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers have asked the American Hockey League for permission to suspend operations of their top minor league team for one year. Club officials said Monday the Edmonton Road Runners, who also play in Rexall Place, could affect the Oilers' ticket sales next season if the NHL resumes play this fall.

Trading Paint: Foggy vision
Jerry suggested Dale Earnhardt Jr. get glasses, and the No. 8 fans aren't happy about it.

Co-founder of Bristol Motor Speedway dies (AP)
Larry Carrier, who helped start the race track now known as Bristol Motor Speedway, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 82. A developer, Carrier worked with Carl Moore and R.G. Pope in building the half-mile oval track, which opened in 1961. Carrier bought the track out of bankruptcy in 1985, gave ESPN exclusive rights to broadcast Bristol's night race for years, and built the seating capacity...

Crew chief Ford to work with Leffler (AP)
Joe Gibbs Racing has hired crew chief Mike Ford to oversee the No. 11 NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevrolet driven by Jason Leffler.

Mike Ford takes over as Jason Leffler's crew chief (SportsTicker)
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Less than a month after being bounced as Dale Jarrett's crew chief, Mike Ford has found work with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Biffle dominates to win NASCAR MNBA RacePoints 400 (SportsTicker)

Roush expected big year from his drivers (AP)
Jack Roush figured his drivers would have an outstanding season. Greg Biffle has been fishtailing around everyone's expectations.

Stewart calls Gordon a whiner after bump in Dover (AP)
Tony Stewart says he's tired of Jeff Gordon's ``whining,'' and isn't worried about retaliation for the spinout Sunday that dropped the four-time champion from the top 10 in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings.

Kyle Busch wins second straight NCTS event (SportsTicker)

Truex Jr. wins Busch Series MBNA RacePoints 200 at Dover (SportsTicker)

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