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NHL and Players' Association Hold Talks (AP)
AP - Negotiators from the NHL and the players' association met until early Monday morning and planned to return to the bargaining table just hours later as they inched toward a deal that would end the lockout.

Suppan Jack of All Trades As Cardinals Win (AP)
AP - Jeff Suppan pitched into the seventh inning, had two hits and drove in a run to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Sunday night.

Homers May Be Scarce at All-Star Game (AP)
AP - Steve Rogers remembered the first time he walked into Comerica Park.

Mariners Top Angels for Improbable Sweep (AP)
AP - Miguel Olivo and Richie Sexson hit two-run homers in a five-run fourth, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-4 Sunday to complete an improbable four-game sweep of the AL West leaders.

Pedro Pitches Mets Past Outmatched Pirates (AP)
AP - Pedro Martinez made it look so effortless and easy in his first start in Pittsburgh in nearly eight years, maybe he should think about pitching in the All-Star game after all. Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give Martinez the only runs he needed against a once-familiar and oft-beaten opponent, and the New York Mets avoided a sweep by beating the outmatched Pirates 6-1 Sunday.

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.

Longtime Boston Herald Sports Writer Dies (AP)
AP - Edward G. Gillooly Jr., a sports writer who covered the Boston Celtics for nearly three decades, has died. He was 71.

Cards' Rolen Pulls Out of All-Star Game (AP)
AP - St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen pulled out of Tuesday's All Star game to rest a problematic right shoulder and was replaced on the National League roster by Houston's Morgan Ensberg.

Honduras Edges Colombia, 2-1 (AP)
AP - Wilmer Velasquez scored twice in a 4-minute span late in the second half, helping Honduras rally for a 2-1 victory over Colombia in the first round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday.

Legace Says Hockey Needlessly Lost Season (AP)
AP - Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace criticized players' union head Bob Goodenow on Saturday for failing to reach a labor deal that could have saved the canceled 2004-05 season.

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.

Bobby Simmons agrees to join Bucks (AP)
The Milwaukee Bucks are suddenly a desired destination in the NBA. Forty-eight hours after coveted free agent Michael Redd rebuffed Cleveland's offer and chose to stay in Brew Town to play alongside No. 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut, free agent Bobby Simmons decided to join them. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the agreement is for about $47 million over five...

Kobe Bryant back in Nike ads (AP)
Nike is using photos of Kobe Bryant for the first time since his arrest two years ago for an alleged assault on a female employee at a Colorado resort. ``Nike agrees with most NBA observers that Kobe ranks among the very best players in the NBA, and his training and preparation are key elements of his game,'' said Nike spokesman Rodney Knox.

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...

Warrick signs with Grizzlies (AP)
The Memphis Grizzlies agreed to terms with first-round draft pick Hakim Warrick on Saturday. Warrick, the 19th pick overall in the draft, signed a two-year deal with team options for the third and fourth years. The 6-foot-9 forward played four seasons at Syracuse, averaging 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

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.

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.

NHL and players' association hold marathon talks in New York (AP)
Negotiators from the NHL and the players' association met until early Monday morning and planned to return to the bargaining table just hours later as they inched toward a deal that would end the lockout. A source close to the talks told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that there was ``still lots to do'' and that discussions would likely stretch past Monday.

Legace: ``We lost a season for no reason.'' (AP)
Detroit Red Wings goalie Manny Legace criticized players' union head Bob Goodenow on Saturday for failing to reach a labor deal that could have saved the canceled 2004-05 season. ``We lost a season for no reason,'' Legace told The Associated Press. ``We should've crumbled last September when the owners wanted a salary cap.'' Despite at least one report indicating the NHL's labor situation is...

NHL again denies deal has been reached with union (AFP)
The National Hockey League moved for the second straight day to squelch reports that it has reached a tentative agreement with the players union on a new labour contract.

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.

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.

Chicagoland observations
Junior finally broke through on Sunday. Tires continued to just break.

Earnhardt gets big win at Chicagoland (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun his tires while the sellout crowd of about 100,000 howled in approval. Through the clouds of thick, white smoke, it was clear to see that this victory was a long time coming.

Earnhardt Jr. wins USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicago (SportsTicker)


Tires a big problem at Chicagoland (AP)
With temperatures in the 90s, this wasn't a good day for tires.

Setzer takes advantage of break and wins Built Ford Tough 225 (SportsTicker)


Driver released from hospital after qualifying crash (AP)
Rick Crawford missed the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway after crashing during qualifying, ending his series-record streak of consecutive starts at 210.

Harvick wins NASCAR Busch Series USG Durock 300 (SportsTicker)


Harvick wins Busch race at Chicagoland (AP)
Angry runner-up Greg Biffle called winner Kevin Harvick a ``chicken'' and a ``punk'' after the NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway.

US Grand Prix appeal date announced (AFP)
Formula One's governing body the FIA confirmed that an International Court of Appeal hearing over their criticism of seven Michelin-shod teams will be heard on September 28.

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