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NHL, Players OK Agreement to End Lockout (AP)
AP - Open the arenas, break out the skates and fire up the Zamboni. The NHL is back. After losing an entire season to a lockout, players and owners ended an all-night bargaining session Wednesday by reaching their goal: a tentative deal, expected to include a salary cap, that virtually ensures hockey will return this fall.

The Chases Resume in Major League Baseball (AP)
AP - From opening day through the All-Star game, they were baseball's feel-good story. Now it gets serious for the Washington Nationals. "It was tough in the first half, and it will be even tougher in the second half," manager Frank Robinson said. "Everybody's going to be coming for us."

Red Sox, Yankees Ready to Renew Rivalry (AP)
AP - The uniforms will be familiar when baseball's biggest rivalry resumes Thursday night. Some players inside them won't be. Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera will be wearing Yankees road jerseys. Chad Bradford, Alex Cora and Adam Stern will be sporting Red Sox home outfits.

One British Open Rule: Beware of Bunkers (AP)
AP - The names Tiger Woods must master at this British Open are not the usual suspects he faces at other major championships, like Vijay Singh or Phil Mickelson or Ernie Els.

Wie Advances in APL Play on Late Birdie (AP)
AP - Michelle Wie took another step toward a possible Masters invitation.

Titans' Top Draft Pick Jones Arrested (AP)
AP - Tennessee Titans top draft pick Adam "Pacman" Jones surrendered to police Wednesday on charges of assault and felony vandalism stemming from a fight at a nightclub.

Larry Brown, Pistons Continue to Talk (AP)
AP - Even after his first face-to-face meeting this month with the Detroit Pistons, Larry Brown's future with the team is still undecided.

A's Deal Bradford, Byrnes for OF Payton (AP)
AP - The Oakland Athletics refused to rest on their recent surge, acquiring outfielder Jay Payton and pitchers Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick on Wednesday in two All-Star break trades.

Soccer: Romo's OT Goal Gives Chivas Win (AP)
AP - Issac Romo scored with less than 10 seconds left in the second 15-minute overtime period, giving CD Chivas a 3-2 victory over the Charlotte Eagles in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night.

Schoenfeld Named Head Coach of Wolf Pack (AP)
AP - Hartford Wolf Pack general manager Jim Schoenfeld was named head coach of the team Wednesday.

Six Points: Most improved
Miami, Oakland and Kansas City made significant upgrades but aren't the NFL's most improved team.

Titans' top pick 'Pacman' arrested (AP)
Tennessee Titans top draft pick Adam ``Pacman'' Jones surrendered to police Wednesday on charges of assault and felony vandalism stemming from a fight at a nightclub. Jones was released from custody after posting bond. He did not comment to reporters as he left the jail. His agent, Michael Huyghue, said in a statement that Jones had been advised not to comment and the cornerback regretted any...

Redskins' Taylor can travel before trial (AP)
A judge allowed Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor to travel to training camp, and state prosecutors did not offer a plea deal Tuesday at a court hearing to discuss charges the player pointed a gun during a dispute over an all-terrain vehicle. Taylor and his father appeared at a court hearing during which prosecutors restated they were charging him with a single felony count of aggravated...

Chiefs CB Warfield suspended four games (AP)
Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield has been suspended for the first four games of the 2005 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The 29-year-old was arrested Sept. 20, 2004 in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan. Police said Warfield had a blood alcohol level of .189 percent, more than double the state's .08 percent legal limit.

Dolphins TE McMichael arrested (AP)
Miami Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael is facing charges for the second time in 13 months for allegedly hitting his wife. McMichael was arrested early Saturday morning in Columbia County after witnesses told police that he had given his wife, Cawanna, a bloody nose. The 26-year-old McMichael was taken to the Columbia County Detention Center, where he was charged with simple battery and criminal...

Courtney Brown tries again with Broncos (AP)
Scanning the dozens of players warming up and going through drills on a hot, summer day, it is easy to pick out Courtney Brown. He is the most impressive physical specimen on the field. That story is the same this year with the Denver Broncos as it was the last five in Cleveland and the four before that at Penn State and probably the four before that at Macedonia High in South Carolina.

Bum Phillips recovering from bypass (AP)
Former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips was in intensive care Monday after recent heart surgery and his doctors expect him to make a full recovery. Doctors discovered blockage in Phillips' arteries and performed triple bypass surgery on Friday after he was taken to the hospital with chest pains. No evidence of heart damage was found, said Dr.

Bettis, Fields among PFWA winners (AP)
Carolina linebacker Mark Fields and Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis are among the winners of the Pro Football Writers Awards, announced Monday. Fields, who returned to the NFL after battling cancer, won the George Halas Award. It's given to a player who performed despite injury or personal problems off the field.

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

Brown and Pistons still in limbo (AP)
Larry Brown's first face-to-face meeting with the Detroit Pistons since the team failed to defend its NBA title produced no clear answers about whether he would return for a third season. The Hall of Fame coach, his agent, Pistons owner Bill Davidson and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars got together Wednesday morning and decided they needed to talk again Thursday.

Haslem, Heat agree to five-year deal (AP)
Udonis Haslem got his wish. He's staying home. With work on Shaquille O'Neal's multiyear deal to stay in Miami progressing nicely, the Heat have completed another of their top offseason tasks. Haslem, the team's starting power forward, said Wednesday he's agreed to a five-year contract that could be worth more than $33 million.

Bucks give C Gadzuric six years, $36M (AP)
The Milwaukee Bucks are spending the big bucks this summer. Dan Gadzuric's agent said the 6-foot-11 center will sign a six-year, $36 million contract to stay with the Bucks once the league-wide moratorium on player movement ends later this month. That means the Bucks have committed some $200 million in player contracts since July 2.

Hawks sign No. 2 pick Marvin Williams (AP)
The Hawks signed No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Williams on Tuesday. The North Carolina forward, Atlanta's highest selection since picking first in 1975, is the last of the top 10 draft picks to sign. The 6-foot-9 Williams played one year for the NCAA champion Tar Heels before leaving early for the draft.

Vegas OKs bid for 2007 NBA All-Star game (AP)
Tourism officials have approved a $4.5 million bid to host the NBA All-Star game in 2007, hoping to persuade the league to make Las Vegas the first city without a team to hold the event. The board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority authorized the bid during a meeting Tuesday. Memphis, Tenn., is the only other city with a confirmed interest in hosting the All-Star weekend in 2007 or...

Wizards owner Pollin has heart surgery (AP)
Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin had heart bypass surgery last week and is recovering at a Cleveland hospital, a team spokesman said Tuesday. ``He sailed through the surgery. It couldn't have gone any better,'' spokesman Josh Sekine said. ``His family said that he's doing well and looks good. He looks healthier than ever, they said.'' The 81-year-old Pollin had a bypass procedure 25 years ago,...

Report: Ilgauskas to re-sign with Cavs (AP)
Free agent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas will re-sign with the Cavaliers, getting a five-year deal that could be worth up to $60 million, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on its Web site Monday. Agent Herb Rudoy told the paper, ``Z intends to sign back with Cleveland. Z is thrilled with the idea of coming back.'' Messages seeking comment were left on Ilgauskas' cell phone and at Rudoy's office by...

Pacers' Granger to sit out summer league (AP)
Lingering soreness from an old knee injury will keep first-round pick Danny Granger from playing with the Indiana Pacers in the Minnesota summer league. Granger tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee his senior year at New Mexico. He missed three games and had surgery. Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said Granger's knee is about 80 percent, but the 6-foot-8 forward won't compete in contact drills...

Artest vows to put team ahead of temper (AP)
Ron Artest arrived at the Indiana Pacers' rookie-free agent camp Monday pledging to be a smarter player focused on helping his team win an NBA title. The star forward spoke to the local media for the first time since a Nov. 19 fight in Detroit resulted in a nearly season-long suspension. That night, Artest went into the stands at The Palace and attacked a Pistons fan after he was hit with a cup of...

Game on!
The NHL's owners and players finally reached labor peace. Let the games and damage control begin.

NHL, union reach deal in principle (AP)
The NHL is about to find out if it was missed. Rebounding from an entire season lost to a lockout, hockey players and owners reached a long-awaited agreement Wednesday that virtually ensures the NHL will be back on the ice in the fall. It's not the deal players' association executive director Bob Goodenow wanted when he took on this fight, but the union is expected to approve it.

Coyotes waiting for Gretzky to decide (AP)
The Phoenix Coyotes expect a decision soon from Wayne Gretzky on whether he will coach the team in the upcoming season. The NHL's all-time leading scorer and nine-time MVP -- and managing partner of the Phoenix franchise -- has said he would wait until a new collective bargaining agreement was in place before deciding whether to take on the coaching job.

Crosby sweepstakes set to start (AP)
The New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets have the best chance of drafting Sidney Crosby first overall in the 2005 NHL draft. Each of those teams will have the maximum three balls in the lottery barrel while the other 26 teams will have either two or one each.

Fans take wait-and-see approach to deal (AP)
The NHL has its work cut out for it. While waiting for the players to ratify the six-year deal that has ended the lockout, the league has to make sure the fans come back, too. ``Hockey in Chicago is almost a forgotten sport,'' Tony Gray, a bartender in downtown Chicago said Wednesday. ``I think it's going to take a lot to get that fan base back.'' The deal between the league and the union still...

Pat Burns has second bout with cancer (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.

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...

Lewis won't 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.

Trading Paint in midseason form
We're halfway through the Nextel Cup season, and Junior and Jamie McMurray are on readers' minds.

Kentucky Speedway sues NASCAR (AP)
Kentucky Speedway filed suit Wednesday against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., alleging the companies have violated federal antitrust laws by illegally restricting the awarding of Nextel Cup races.

Changing times: Track to go partly smoke-free at fall Cup race (AP)
First, NASCAR traded smokes for cell phones for sponsorship of its top series. Now, one of the circuit's biggest tracks is going partly smokeless.

Fans could shun A1 GP series after Indianapolis F1 fiasco: official (AFP)
US spectators may shy away from the inaugural A1 GP series after last month's Formula One fiasco at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, a senior official said.

Five crew chiefs fined for Chicago infractions (AP)
NASCAR fined the crew chief for Johnny Sauter $15,000 on Monday after Sauter's car failed inspection at Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR fines five crew chiefs combined $38,000 (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Five Nextel Cup crew chiefs were fined a combined $38,000 by NASCAR on Monday for violations prior to the Pepsi 400 earlier this month.

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.

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