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Cities Make Final Pitches for 2012 Games (AP)
AP - The five cities bidding for the 2012 Olympics made their final pitches Wednesday with messages of support from presidents, prime ministers and sports celebrities.

Cardinals Clobber Diamondbacks 7-1 (AP)
AP - Albert Pujols drove in two runs with three hits — including a double and his 22nd homer — to extend his hitting streak to 17 games and lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Ramirez Hits 20th Grand Slam in BoSox Win (AP)
AP - Manny Ramirez hit his 20th career grand slam and Boston also got home runs from David Ortiz and Bill Mueller in a 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Colon Outpitches Maddux, Braves Beat Cubs (AP)
AP - Rookie Roman Colon outpitched Greg Maddux in his much-anticipated return to Atlanta, leading the Braves past Chicago 5-1 on Tuesday night, the Cubs' sixth straight loss.

Armstrong Takes Tour De France Lead (AP)
AP - In a thrilling finish — during which the overall race leader crashed into a barricade — Lance Armstrong and his Discovery Channel mates set a record of 35.54 mph Tuesday while winning the team time trial at the Tour de France. The victory handed the 33-year-old Texan the lead after only four stages, along with his favorite Tour outfit — the yellow jersey.

Hall of Fame Coach Hank Stram Dies at 82 (AP)
AP - Even in declining health, Hank Stram was able to inspire his former players.

Nuggets Sign 1st-Round Picks Hodge, Kleiza (AP)
AP - The Denver Nuggets signed first-round draft picks Julius Hodge and Linas Kleiza to multiyear contracts Tuesday.

Yankees turn on power in 12-3 rout of Orioles (Reuters)
Reuters - Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui homered to inspire the New York Yankees to their fourth successive win, a 12-3 demolition of the visiting Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

Revolution Rallies to Tie Galaxy 1-1 (AP)
AP - Andy Dorman scored in second-half injury time, rallying the New England Revolution to a 1-1 tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday night.

NHL's Complaints Given to NLRB Attorneys (AP)
AP - The NHL's complaints to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the players' association of threatening to decertify agents for representing replacement players, have been forwarded to the board's legal counsel.

Offseason notebook: Still armed and dangerous
Who'll be this year's Drew Brees, the QB who fares much better than expected? Here are five candidates.

Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram dead at 82 (AP)
Even in declining health, Hank Stram was able to inspire his former players. During his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003, the former Kansas City Chiefs coach was so weak he had to be pushed onto the stage in a wheelchair. But a video montage of his career and a prerecorded speech offered powerful reminders of Stram's passion for football, moving many in the crowd to tears.

Owens won't be on Kings' summer team (AP)
Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens won't play for Sacramento's summer-league team next week because the NFL club will not give permission. Owens, the talkative All-Pro who's embroiled in a contract dispute with the Eagles, had recent discussions with the Kings about another foray into basketball, his favorite sport.

Chiefs agree to terms with CB Ambrose (AP)
The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Ashley Ambrose on Friday. The 13-year veteran started six games for the New Orleans Saints last year. Ambrose was drafted in the second round by Indianapolis in 1992 and has also played for Cincinnati and Atlanta. The 34-year-old Ambrose has played in 192 regular-season games, recording 550 tackles and 42 interceptions.

Tice fined $100K for scalping tickets (AP)
Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for scalping his Super Bowl tickets. Running backs coach Dean Dalton and special teams coach Rusty Tillman were also each fined $10,000 for scalping their tickets. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue notified the three coaches of their punishment in a letter.

Kraft gives Super Bowl ring to Putin (AP)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he likes the way Vladimir Putin is quarterbacking Russia -- and that's why he gave him his diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring. Kraft was among a group of U.S. business executives who met with the Russian president Saturday at Konstantinovsky Palace near St.

Lions DE Kalimba Edwards pleads guilty (AP)
Detroit Lions defensive end Kalimba Edwards pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and failing to produce a driver's license during a traffic stop in May, and was sentenced to one year of probation. Edwards entered the pleas Wednesday to the two misdemeanor charges, the court said Thursday. Because of the pleas, a felony charge of resisting and obstructing police was amended to the...

Ravens' Suggs acquitted in assault case (AP)
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was acquitted of an assault charge from a playground altercation. ``I wasn't shocked when I heard the verdict,'' Suggs said Wednesday. ``You all have watched me grow up here. I've never once been in trouble.'' Suggs, who left Arizona State early, was the No. 10 pick in the 2003 NFL draft.

Is Nate next?
Ray Allen's decision to remain a Sonic could mean coach Nate McMillan will be sticking around Seattle.

Agent: Sonics, Allen agree to $85M deal (AP)
Ray Allen's best season in the NBA translated into a huge payday for the SuperSonics star. Allen agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension with Seattle on Tuesday, his agent said. The contract includes $80 million in salary and $5 million in bonuses, although terms of the bonuses and the yearly breakdown of salary hasn't been determined.

Brown's agent and Pistons talk (AP)
Larry Brown's agent and Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars spoke Tuesday about the coach's future with the team, but did not reach a resolution. ``Joe Glass and I have started talking about Larry's situation and we are continuing to discuss the matter,'' Dumars said in a statement released by the team.

Celtics sign first-round pick Green (AP)
The Boston Celtics signed first-round draft pick Gerald Green on Sunday. The Celtics took Green with the 18th overall selection in last week's NBA draft. The 19-year-old Green is expected to play for Boston next week in the Reebok Vegas Summer League. The 6-foot-8 forward entered the draft out of high school.

Wade's emergence not limited to court (AP)
Just two years ago, Dwyane Wade was borrowing money for his son's diapers. Owning a waterside home was beyond the realm of fantasy for someone who didn't always have birthday and Christmas presents as a kid. Forget gifts -- there were times as a youngster when his family went without food. Everything's so different now for the Miami Heat guard.

Knicks sign Frye and Robinson (AP)
The Knicks on Saturday signed Channing Frye and Nate Robinson, two of their three first-round picks. Terms were not disclosed. Frye, a center from Arizona, was the eighth overall pick in Tuesday's draft. The 22-year-old player from White Plains, N.Y., averaged 13.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in four seasons with the Wildcats.

Blazers sign Webster to multiyear deal (AP)
Portland Trail Blazers first-round pick Martell Webster, the first high school player taken in the NBA draft, has signed a multiyear contract, the team said Saturday. Details were not disclosed. Webster, the sixth overall selection last Tuesday in the NBA draft, will participate in the 2005 Reebok Vegas Summer League July 6-15 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nev., team officials said.

Owens won't be on Kings' summer team (AP)
Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens won't play for Sacramento's summer-league team next week because the NFL club will not give permission. Owens, the talkative All-Pro who's embroiled in a contract dispute with the Eagles, had recent discussions with the Kings about another foray into basketball, his favorite sport.

Bucks sign Bogut to multiyear contract (AP)
The Milwaukee Bucks signed the NBA's No. 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut to a multiyear contract Friday. The 20-year-old Australian, who was college player of the year at Utah last season, will take part in the Bucks' summer camp workouts and play in the Minnesota Summer League July 15-19, general manager Larry Harris said.

Suns: Kurt Thomas won't slow us down (AP)
The Phoenix Suns introduced new forward Kurt Thomas on Friday and sent a message to fans who loved last season's up-tempo style -- the team got tougher, not slower. ``We don't want to lose what we had last year,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said. ``So parts of the game will have that, and parts of the game will have some other stuff.

Ex-Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert charged with assault near Windsor (AP)
Famed former Detroit Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert is in legal trouble again over what police say was a fight with an officer. Ontario provincial police were was called to Probert's Windsor-area home around 9 a.m. Friday by a caller who said the 40-year-old retired hockey star had become violent and was damaging property.

Report: NHL forms new competition committee (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - Despite the inability to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the NHL and the Players Association apparently have found one thing in which they can agree on.

Panthers sell AHL affiliate San Antonio, Coyotes ink deal (SportsTicker)
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) - The San Antonio Rampage had one whirlwind of a day.

NHL's complaints forwarded to labor board's legal counsel (AP)
The NHL's complaints to the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the players' association of threatening to decertify agents for representing replacement players, have been forwarded to the board's legal counsel. That decision was made this week because the case has national prominence and could set a precedent in labor matters outside of hockey, Elbert Tellem said Thursday.

Ducks offer Babcock a one-year contract extension (AP)
The Mighty Ducks offered coach Mike Babcock a one-year contract extension Thursday and then waited for his answer. ``He has asked for time to think about it, which I understand,'' new Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. Babcock's original deal, a two-year contract with a one-year extension, expired Thursday.

Panthers sell interest in AHL franchise (AP)
The Florida Panthers sold their interest in the San Antonio Rampage, a franchise that will become the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes. Spurs Sports & Entertainment in San Antonio obtained full ownership of the Rampage, who signed a multiyear affiliation deal with the Coyotes. ``We look forward to working with the entire Coyotes organization, one that is closer geographically to San Antonio,''...

Lemieux, Sakic, Yzerman, Iginla head Team Canada invitees (SportsTicker)
TORONTO (Ticker) - Team Canada has rounded up the usual suspects for the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Ogrean returns to USA Hockey as executive director (SportsTicker)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Ticker) - Dave Ogrean has returned to his former position of executive director of USA Hockey.

Turek signs with HC Ceske Budejovice (AP)
Former NHL goaltender Roman Turek signed a contract with HC Ceske Budejovice on Thursday. Club president Jaroslav David said Turek signed a contract with HC Ceske Budejovice for the two next seasons. The Czech canceled his contract with the Calgary Flames in April. Turek played for the club before his eight seasons in the NHL and during the NHL lockout last season.

WWD: Pepsi 400
Tony Stewart reigned after the rain stopped at Daytona.

Edwards fastest in first day of NASCAR testing (AP)
Carl Edwards' introduction to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2 1/2 -mile oval was a fast one.

Lehto-Wermer win at Lime Rock (AP)
The Champion Audi Racing team of JJ Lehto and Marco Werner won the American LeMans Series New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Monday. Lehto, from Finland, beat teammate Emanuele Pirro by 1.7 seconds. Pirro shared driving duties with Frank Biela. The tandem of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta finished third overall and won the GT1 class.

Deep into the night, Stewart rules at Daytona (AP)
Tony Stewart climbed from his car, started scaling the fence and didn't stop until he reached the top. The unusual celebration capped an extraordinary night at Daytona International Speedway.

Stewart wins Pepsi 400 in dominating fashion (SportsTicker)


Stewart finally wins at Daytona (AP)
After numerous frustrating finishes, Tony Stewart finally won at NASCAR's most famous track.

Martin wrecks, ends final Daytona start early (AP)
Mark Martin looked up at the mammoth replay screen, shook his head in disgust and then walked into his hauler.

Todd Bodine wins NCTS O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 (SportsTicker)


Extra race a possibility as F1 looks to repair relations in US (AFP)
Formula One could return to the United States at the end of the year in a bid to repair its tarnished image, said McLaren team principal Ron Dennis.

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