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Cubs Snap NL's Longest Losing Streak (AP)
AP - The Chicago Cubs snapped the NL's longest losing streak, and they did it against a pitcher tied for the league lead in wins — Dontrelle Willis. Jeromy Burnitz homered and drove in three runs, Matt Murton had two hits in his big league debut and the Cubs ended an eight-game skid by beating Willis and the Florida Marlins 9-6 Friday.

Winn Leads M's to 10-4 Win Over Angels (AP)
AP - Jamie Moyer recorded his 200th major league victory, Randy Winn hit his fifth career grand slam and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-4 on Friday night.

Toronto's Halladay Hit by Line Drive (AP)
AP - Toronto Blue Jays All-Star pitcher Roy Halladay left Friday night's game against the Texas Rangers in the third inning when he was struck in the left shin by a line drive hit by Kevin Mench.

Wie Misses Shot at Historic PGA Tour Cut (AP)
AP - One ill-timed three-putt. A stray tee shot. Just like that, Michelle Wie went from historic to just plain history. On the brink of becoming the first woman in 60 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour, the 15-year-old was out after finding big trouble on two of her last four holes in the John Deere Classic. Her even-par 71 Friday left her at 1 under for the tournament, missing the cut by two strokes. She finished tied for 88th.

Armstrong Heads for Hills With Tour Lead (AP)
AP - They tire the legs and burn the lungs, but the Tour de France's punishing climbs can't come soon enough for Lance Armstrong. After an unnerving first week of fast racing, where crashes are a constant risk, Armstrong is looking to the hills and mountains of eastern France to start winnowing out the field of 185 riders left in the three-week race.

Brown to retire as an Oakland Raider (Reuters)
Reuters - Former Oakland standout wide receiver Tim Brown is planning to retire later this month as a member of the Raiders.

Milwaukee Bucks Hire Terry Stotts as Coach (AP)
AP - Terry Stotts got the job he first sought two years ago. The Milwaukee Bucks hired Stotts as their new head coach Friday after growing tired of waiting for leading candidate Flip Saunders, who is apparently keeping his sights on the Pistons' coaching job should Larry Brown leave Detroit.

Mulder Leads Cards to 3-1 Win Over Giants (AP)
AP - Mark Mulder pitched seven shutout innings in a triumphant return to the Bay area, and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Friday night for their fifth victory in six games.

S. Africa Defeats Mexico 2-1 in 1st Round (AP)
AP - Defending champion Mexico lost a CONCACAF Gold Cup game for the first time since 2002, dropping a 2-1 decision to South Africa in a first-round game on Friday night.

Lewis Out As Coach of Detroit Red Wings (AP)
AP - Dave Lewis will not return as the Red Wings' coach, paving the way for former Anaheim coach Mike Babcock to come to Detroit. Lewis, whose contract expired at the end of June, will not be behind the Red Wings' bench for the first time since 1987.

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.

Tim Brown to retire as a Raider (AP)
Tim Brown will end his prolific NFL career with the Oakland Raiders after all. ``Tim will sign a one-day contract and retire as a Raider,'' team spokesman Mike Taylor said Wednesday. A news conference is planned for later this month to recognize Brown, the former Heisman Trophy winner and longest-tenured player in franchise history.

Packers NT Grady Jackson could hold out (AP)
Nose tackle Grady Jackson could hold out or seek a trade if the Green Bay Packers don't improve his contract, his new agent said Wednesday. The 340-pound Jackson has a year left on a two-year, $2.31 million deal. Drew Rosenhaus said the 32-year-old Jackson is a ``premier player'' on the Packers defense and should be paid that way.

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.

Revamped D-line key to Denver's success (AP)
Gerard Warren sums up the difference between Cleveland and Denver quite simply. ``At Cleveland, we went out there hoping to get better,'' he said. ``Here, we go out there thinking we're going to win a Super Bowl.'' If the Broncos are going to contend for a Super Bowl in 2005, it could come down to the Cleveland castoffs -- Warren, Courtney Brown, Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers, four defensive...

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.

Preventive maintenance
Adding Larry Hughes was the Cavaliers' first step toward convincing LeBron James to stay in Cleveland.

Agent: Hughes leaving Wizards for Cavs (AP)
Free agent Larry Hughes informed the Washington Wizards that he's leaving them to join the Cleveland Cavaliers, the guard's agent said Friday. ``I can confirm that he is committed to coming to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers,'' agent Jeff Wechsler said in a telephone interview. ``We're still negotiating, but we've told Washington that he's not coming back there,'' Wechsler added.

Bucks hire Terry Stotts as coach (AP)
Terry Stotts got the job he first sought two years ago. The Milwaukee Bucks hired Stotts as their new head coach Friday after growing tired of waiting for leading candidate Flip Saunders, who is apparently keeping his sights on the Pistons' coaching job should Larry Brown leave Detroit. The 47-year-old Stotts, whose deal includes three guaranteed years and club options for two more, replaces Terry...

Blazers' McMillan needed new challenge (AP)
It wasn't Paul Allen's millions that lured Nate McMillan out of Seattle. After 19 years in the SuperSonics organization, the new coach of the Portland Trail Blazers just needed a change of scenery. ``This was time for me to move on. I needed a different challenge, a different opportunity,'' said the 40-year-old McMillan, whose news conference at the Washington Park Amphitheatre on Thursday drew...

Redd agrees to re-sign with Bucks (AP)
The Milwaukee Bucks are putting together a talented lineup even without a head coach. Michael Redd, a free agent, agreed Thursday to re-sign with the Bucks and play alongside No. 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut and T.J. Ford rather than return to his home state of Ohio to serve as LeBron James' sidekick. And the coaching situation could be settled soon, although the Bucks refused to comment on reports that...

Brown: 'Nobody seems to believe me' (AP)
After Larry Brown's agent and the Detroit Pistons talked about his future again, the Hall of Fame coach insisted nothing had changed from his perspective. ``I just want to get well and coach the Pistons,'' Brown said Wednesday night in an interview with The Associated Press. ``I've been saying that for a long time, but nobody seems to believe me.

Reports: Horry agrees to deal with Spurs (AP)
San Antonio Spurs forward Robert Horry has agreed to a three-year deal with the NBA champions, according to reports. Horry's agent, Robert Barr, told Houston television station KRIV and the San Antonio Express-News on Tuesday that the three-year deal would allow the Spurs the right to buy Horry out of the third year.

Griffin jailed on probation violation (AP)
Free-agent forward Eddie Griffin was in jail Thursday for violating his probation, a court official said. Griffin, on probation after pleading guilty in a 2003 assault case, was listed as a witness in a disturbance at a club in Houston on Wednesday, state district court coordinator Virginia Cerda said.

Alan Henderson arrested on gun charge (AP)
Dallas Mavericks free agent Alan Henderson was arrested and charged with carrying a gun in his luggage while trying to board a flight over the weekend. The 32-year-old Henderson was released without bail Sunday, a day after his arrest at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a spokesman for the Queens County Criminal Court said.

Bobcats sign first-rounders Felton, May (AP)
Former North Carolina teammates Raymond Felton and Sean May both signed with the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday. The two juniors were taken in the first round of the NBA draft after helping the Tar Heels win the NCAA championship. Felton, the fifth overall pick, averaged 12.9 points, 6.9 assists and 2 steals last season as a point guard.

NHL denies reports of new CBA (SportsTicker)
NEW YORK (Ticker) - The NHL is doing its best job of extinguishing the smoke surrounding a new collective bargaining agreement.

Burns has second bout with cancer, will not coach Devils next season (AP)
Pat Burns will not coach the New Jersey Devils next season after being diagnosed with cancer for the second time in a little more than a year. Burns is resting at his home in New Hampshire after undergoing surgery last week, Devils president Lou Lamoriello said Friday. The three-time NHL Coach of the Year will start chemotherapy soon, Lamoriello said.

Lewis will not return as Red Wings' coach (AP)
Dave Lewis will not return as the Red Wings' coach, paving the way for former Anaheim coach Mike Babcock to come to Detroit. Lewis, whose contract expired at the end of June, will not be behind the Red Wings' bench for the first time since 1987. General manager Ken Holland, who announced the decision Friday at a news conference at Joe Louis Arena, said he broke the news to Lewis a day earlier.

Red Wings fire coach Dave Lewis (SportsTicker)
DETROIT (Ticker) - Dave Lewis will not be behind the Detroit Red Wings' bench when the NHL makes its return.

NHL, players reportedly reach labour agreement (AFP)
A report that the National Hockey League and the players' union have agreed in principle to a new labour contract was denied by the league.

Babcock rejects Mighty Ducks' coaching offer (AP)
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have new owners and a new general manager. Now, they're looking for a new coach. Mike Babcock rejected an offer to remain with the Mighty Ducks, and could be headed to Detroit to coach the Red Wings. ``I received a call from Mike Babcock last night, and he told me he was not going to accept the offer of a one-year extension that I had tendered to him and that he was...

Blackhawks hire Yawney as head coach (AP)
Trent Yawney's to-do list seems daunting to say the least. As the new coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, he'll teach his system, reunite with players who were with him in the minors, learn the new faces and mend fences with fans disillusioned by a lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-2005 NHL season.

Blackhawks name Yawney coach (SportsTicker)
CHICAGO (Ticker) - The Chicago Blackhawks are counting on former player Trent Yawney to turn around their fortunes.

Ex-Red Wings defender Konstantinov becomes U.S. citizen (AP)
Former Red Wings star defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov has become a U.S. citizen. In a private ceremony Wednesday at a federal courthouse in Detroit, U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow swore in Konstantinov, 38, and his wife, Irina, just a few blocks from Joe Louis Arena, the site of many of Konstantinov's on-ice highlights.

Keep the vets around
NASCAR is losing some of its biggest stars to retirement, but there are ways to keep them involved.

Newman takes Busch series pole (AP)
Ryan Newman won the pole Friday for the Busch series race at Chicagoland Speedway, giving him front-row starting positions for both weekend NASCAR events.

Newman captures pole for USG Durock 300 (SportsTicker)


Defending race champ Stewart crashes again (AP)
Maybe Tony Stewart should just skip Fridays at Chicagoland Speedway.

Johnson wins Chicagoland pole (AP)
Nextel Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson won his first pole in more than a year, taking the top spot Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.

Johnson wins pole for USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway (SportsTicker)


Stewart skips qualifying after crash (AP)
Tony Stewart skipped qualifying at Chicagoland Speedway after crashing hard in practice Friday and being checked out at a local hospital.

Atlanta Speedway badly damaged by tornado (AP)
The Atlanta Motor Speedway looks as if it was in a high-speed crash after a tornado caused as much as $40 million in damage. ``Everything but the track surface has suffered some kind of damage, said speedway president Ed Clark, who estimated damage of $25 million to $40 million from the storm Wednesday night.

McMurray to leave Ganassi for Roush Racing in 2007 (AP)
Jamie McMurray will leave Chip Ganassi Racing after his contract expires to drive the No. 6 car for Roush Racing in 2007.

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