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Freel, Reds Steal Victory From Dodgers (AP)
AP - Ryan Freel went 3-for-4 and set a Cincinnati record with five stolen bases, and Ken Griffey Jr. homered and drove in two runs to lead the Reds to a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

Rangers Defeat Orioles 11-8 in 11 Innings (AP)
AP - Gary Matthews hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning to complete his first career two-homer game, and the Texas Rangers overcame a milestone shot by Sammy Sosa to beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-8 on Wednesday night.

Mets Avoid 3-Game Sweep, Beat Rockies 9-3 (AP)
AP - Marlon Anderson hit two homers, Ramon Castro homered and had three RBIs and Victor Zambrano pitched seven strong innings to help the New York Mets avoid a three-game sweep to baseball's worst team with a 9-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Knicks to Introduce Larry Brown As Coach (AP)
AP - The Knicks' deal with Larry Brown is done. Brown's agent worked out the final details of contract language with team executives Wednesday, clearing the way for the Knicks to introduce Brown as the 22nd head coach in franchise history.

Comets Come Back to Defeat Liberty 71-69 (AP)
AP - Michelle Snow's jumper with 0.3 seconds left capped Houston's 15-point second-half comeback and lifted the Comets to a 71-69 victory over the New York Liberty on Wednesday night.

Fins' Guard Jeno James Taken to Hospital (AP)
AP - Miami Dolphins guard Jeno James became lightheaded and sick to his stomach following practice Wednesday night and was taken to a hospital as a precaution, a person close to the player said.

Turiaf Should Be Able to Resume Career (AP)
AP - Los Angeles Lakers second-round draft pick Ronny Turiaf should be able to resume his basketball career after undergoing heart surgery.

Solid Pitching Helps Mariners Beat Tigers (AP)
AP - Jamie Moyer worked eight solid innings for his 201st career win and Richie Sexson homered twice, leading the Seattle Mariners over the Detroit Tigers 9-3 on Wednesday night.

Crew Edges Past Fulham in Exhibition Game (AP)
AP - Brian McBride said it was strange being on the other side at Crew Stadium. The forward who left MLS for the English Premier League last year, played a scoreless second half for Fulham on Wednesday night in a 2-1 exhibition loss to his former team, the Columbus Crew.

Panthers Trade Hordichuk to Predators (AP)
AP - The Florida Panthers traded left wing Darcy Hordichuk to Nashville on Wednesday for the Predators' fourth-round pick in this weekend's NHL Draft.

The true chosen ones
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Chicago's running game will have to rescue Rex Grossman before he can save the Bears.

Alexander, Seahawks agree on deal (AP)
Running back Shaun Alexander has signed the Seattle Seahawks' tender as their franchise player, avoiding a possible training holdout. Alexander signed the $6.32 million contract on Tuesday, the team said on its Web site. ``We're excited to have him in the fold,'' club president Tim Ruskell said in a statement on the Web site.

Walker reports to Packers' camp (AP)
Javon Walker showed up at the Green Bay Packers' training camp on Wednesday in a surprising twist to his push for a new contract. ``Tell everybody I'm coming in,'' Walker told a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at Austin-Strabel airport. Walker wouldn't elaborate on whether there had been any change in his contract status.

Smith signs lucrative deal with 49ers (AP)
Alex Smith has a contract befitting the NFL's next great young quarterback. And because he signed it before training camp, the San Francisco 49ers have plenty of time to figure out whether he's ready for the role. Smith inked his six-year contract with the 49ers on Tuesday, formally agreeing to a deal worth $49.5 million.

Panthers acquire Redskins' Gardner (AP)
The Carolina Panthers may have found a replacement for Muhsin Muhammad on Wednesday, acquiring wide receiver Rod Gardner from the Washington Redskins. The deal is contingent upon Gardner passing a physical Thursday in Charlotte, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. Carolina did not say what it traded for Gardner.

Michaels to stay with MNF at ESPN (AP)
Al Michaels is staying with Monday Night Football when it moves from ABC to ESPN for the 2006 NFL season, parting with John Madden after four seasons in the booth together. Michaels has been the play-by-play man on Monday Night Football since 1986, the last three with Madden as analyst. After this season, Madden is moving to NBC, which is taking over the Sunday night time slot in 2006 for what the...

Browns sign quarterback Charlie Frye (AP)
Charlie Frye, the fourth quarterback selected in April's NFL draft, has agreed to a four-year $5 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, his agent said Wednesday night. Frye's signing leaves wide receiver Braylon Edwards, the No. 3 overall pick, as the Browns' only unsigned rookie. The club opens its first training camp under new coach Romeo Crennel on Friday.

James keeps Colts waiting (AP)
Another training camp, more suspense from Edgerrin James. Months of speculation about whether the two-time NFL rushing champ would report on time Wednesday ended shortly after the Indianapolis Colts held their first meeting and officials announced he had arrived. But James took the mysterious route. Instead of driving into the players' parking lot at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, James...

Rinse cycle
Larry Brown loves to clean up other people's messes. That's why he wants to coach the washed-up Knicks.

Larry Brown lands ``dream job'' (AP)
A month of drama for Larry Brown ended with him landing his ``dream job.'' At an age when many people are pondering retirement, Brown moved ahead into yet another chapter of his itinerant coaching career Wednesday when his agent finalized a contract with the New York Knicks. Brown will sit alongside team president Isiah Thomas when the Knicks introduce the 22nd coach in franchise history at a news...

Karl to have prostate cancer surgery (AP)
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl is scheduled to undergo prostate cancer surgery in Salt Lake City on Thursday. Nuggets spokeswoman Teri Washington said Tuesday that Karl, who was diagnosed with cancer near the end of last season, expects to be released from the hospital on Sunday. ``They caught the cancer early.

Turiaf should be able to resume career (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers second-round draft pick Ronny Turiaf should be able to resume his basketball career after undergoing heart surgery. Turiaf underwent surgery at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif., on Tuesday, and Dr. Craig Miller said that he was able to repair Turiaf's enlarged aortic root without having to replace the heart valve.

NBA pushes back signing date again (AP)
The NBA pushed back the free agency signing date again Monday, forcing dozens of players to wait another several days before they can begin signing contracts. The moratorium on signings was supposed to end Thursday at 6 p.m., but now will likely last until Monday or Tuesday. ``The NBA is continuing to make progress with the players' association toward finalizing the collective bargaining agreement,...

Pacers sign European star Jasikevicius (AP)
European star Sarunas Jasikevicius preferred a chance to go for an NBA title with the Indiana Pacers over an opportunity to play alongside one of his best friends with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 29-year-old point guard, who won three consecutive Euroleague championships, agreed to a three-year deal with the Pacers, his agent, Doug Neustadt, said Monday.

Original Knick Hertzberg dead at 82 (AP)
Sidney ``Sonny'' Hertzberg, an original member of the New York Knickerbockers and the leading scorer for the Boston Celtics in the 1949-50 season, died at his home in Woodmere, N.Y. He was 82. Hertzberg died Monday, a Knicks spokesman said. His daughter, Lois Nevitt, told the New York Daily News the cause was heart failure.

Cavaliers pointing to Jaric at guard (AP)
The Cavaliers' low-speed pursuit of a point guard has taken a sudden turn. With free agent Sarunas Jasikevicius agreeing to a three-year contract with the Indiana Pacers, Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry has one less option to choose from in his search to fill the Cavaliers' most problematic position the past few years.

Beil's Spiel: Resurrecting the dead
The NHL is back, after showing fans what it's like going over a cliff on a Zamboni.

Lawmakers criticize new NHL drug policy (AP)
The drug policy in the NHL's new labor deal was criticized for ``loopholes'' and ``inadequate testing'' by the heads of the congressional committee that grilled Mark McGwire and has proposed legislating steroid testing in pro sports. House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican, and ranking Democrat Henry Waxman of California wrote a letter Wednesday to NHL...

Stars plan to buy out Turgeon (AP)
The Dallas Stars released center Pierre Turgeon on Wednesday and plan to buy out his contract if no team claims him off waivers in 24 hours. The buyout would be for $2.97 million, two-thirds what he was to make under the five-year, $25.5 million deal he signed before the 2001-02 season, team spokesman Jason Rademan said.

Waddell named GM of '06 US Olympic team (AP)
Don Waddell will be looking for wins, not friends when he picks the 2006 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Waddell, the only general manager in Atlanta Thrashers history, added a new title Tuesday when he also assumed the GM duties for the team that will compete in the Turin Games in February. He along with Paul Holmgren, Philadelphia's assistant GM, and Jim Johannson, a two-time Olympic player, will pick...

Senators keeping Hasek around (AP)
The Ottawa Senators are hanging on to Dominik Hasek. General manager John Muckler said Wednesday the Senators exercised their one-year option on the 40-year-old goaltender, who is due to make $2.28 million this season. Hasek did not play during the lockout, other than skating with the Binghamton Senators, Ottawa's AHL farm team, during training camp.

NHL returns with busiest night ever (AP)
The NHL will return to the ice with the busiest night in the league's 88-year history. Not wanting fans to have to wait one extra day to see their teams, the NHL has scheduled 15 games -- including all 30 clubs -- on opening night Oct. 5. Before the lockout that wiped out all of last season, the record for games in a day was 14, done nine times but not since 2003.

Red Wings GM, Yzerman to meet this week (AP)
Steve Yzerman will meet this week with Detroit general manager Ken Holland to discuss whether the 40-year-old center will play a 22nd season for the Red Wings. ``I want Steve to play this year,'' Holland said during Tuesday news conference. ``With the new coaching staff, I think he will be a tremendous asset to the coaches with his leadership in the locker room and as an incredibly determined...

Tampa gives coach, GM long-term deals (AP)
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed coach John Tortorella and general manager Jay Feaster to long-term contract extensions Tuesday, keeping together the duo that helped guide the franchise to its first Stanley Cup in 2004. ``Before the Stanley Cup Championship, and since, both have exhibited qualities to make you want to keep this team together for a long time,'' team president Ron Campbell said.

Stand-up guys
Two of the sport's greats are taking their final bows – and entertaining all of us.

Geoffrey Bodine works to promote bobsledding (AP)
John Morgan has lived and breathed bobsledding as a driver, broadcaster and coach. But he says he's never seen...

Woman racer holds no grudge after rivals' protest snub (AFP)
Danica Patrick said she holds no grudge against four rival Indy Racing League drivers for a protest last weekend but it's clear the honeymoon is over for the much-publicized rookie.

Indy-car team drops English racer Manning (AFP)
Britain's Darren Manning, a former Formula One test driver, was fired as a driver by the Indy Racing League's Ganassi Racing team after a season of struggles.

NASCAR crew chiefs fined (AP)
Derrike Cope's crew chief was fined $5,000 Tuesday for using an illegal part at Pocono Raceway.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to run at Talladega in fall of '06 (AP)
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will hold its first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 2006, creating a three-event weekend and taking on college football.

NASCAR crew chiefs fined for violations (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Crew chiefs Kenneth Glen and Shane Wilson were fined Tuesday by NASCAR for violations discovered at pre-qualifying inspections last week at Pocono Raceway.

Carmichael takes mile-high motocross win (AP)
Ricky Carmichael won his 22nd straight 250cc race with a victory in the AMA Motocross Championship at Thunder Valley Motocross Park on Sunday. The Makita Suzuki rider from Havana, Fla., is unbeaten since July 2003 and stretched his series lead to 76 points. ``Its great to get a win at a new track,'' Carmichael said.

Time running out for Gordon and Earnhardt (AP)
Time is running out for Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to qualify for NASCAR's chase for the Nextel Cup championship.

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