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Blue Jays Defeat Angels 2-1 in 18 Innings (AP)
AP - The Blue Jays and Angels went to extra innings in consecutive games. In the second contest, they really went extra innings. On Thursday night, they played the longest game of the season with Orlando Hudson's RBI single in the bottom of the 18th inning giving Toronto a 2-1 victory.

Carlos Beltran Booed in Return to Houston (AP)
AP - Carlos Beltran admitted he couldn't ignore the boos in his first trip back to Houston since signing with the New York Mets in the offseason. Beltran was booed relentlessly throughout the Astros' 3-2 victory Thursday night that pulled them into a tie for the NL wild card lead. Beltran went 0-for-4 and was jeered when the lineups were announced before the game, during each at-bat and every time a ball came his way in center field.

Brown Plans to Sharpen Defense, Rebounding (AP)
AP - Larry Brown made a few things clear at his first public appearance as coach of the New York Knicks: Isiah Thomas will still have final say on personnel moves, Herb Williams will be the coach in case of emergency, and patience will be a necessary commodity for everyone.

Goodenow Caps Career With Players Union (AP)
AP - In the end, it was all about timing for Bob Goodenow. Or so he said. If only NHL players had stuck together a little longer, maybe six months, maybe another year, they could've gotten the deal they wanted. The one without a salary cap — the one Goodenow promised. But it wasn't to be.

Rookie Nick Watney Leads Buick Open by One (AP)
AP - Tiger Woods' two dominant runs came to a startling halt. Woods followed up his five-shot victory at the British Open and eight straight rounds in the 60s at Warwick Hills with a 1-under 71 Thursday in the first round of the Buick Open.

Patriots Lose Linebacker Ted Johnson (AP)
AP - Antonio Gates didn't show up in San Diego. John Abraham was absent in New York. A bunch of high draft picks also stayed away as teams opened training camps. Those are not permanent situations. The champion Patriots losing yet another key player is.

Sportsview: Welcome Back Larry Brown (AP)
AP - The gypsy king of basketball returned home to find his name already in lights outside the world's most famous arena.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - St. Louis at L.A. Dodgers (10:40 p.m. EDT). Matt Morris (11-3) goes for his 12th win.

Chelsea Holds Off D.C. United 2-1 (AP)
AP - D.C. United came out strong and unintimidated against the champions of English soccer. A monumental upset actually seemed possible. Then United scored. United 1, Chelsea 0. Loud chants of "D.C." echoed among the 31,473 fans.

Blackhawks Sign Four Picks From 2003 Draft (AP)
AP - The Chicago Blackhawks have signed top pick Brent Seabrook and three other players. Financial terms of the signings Thursday of the players selected in 2003 were not disclosed.

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

Report: Broncos sign RB Clarett (AP)
True to his word, Maurice Clarett will be on time for training camp, and once he reports to the Denver Broncos, he'll have a chance to make some big-time money. According to a report on ESPN.com, the oft-embattled tailback, a third-round draft pick by the Broncos, signed a deal Thursday full of incentives that could earn him up to $7 million over the life of the four-year contract.

Saints, McAllister agree to extension (AP)
Deuce McAllister agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, a deal the star running back said will make him one of the NFL's highest paid players at his position. ``I basically know that they're putting everything on my shoulders and I'm big enough that I can carry it,'' McAllister said.

Patriots LB Ted Johnson retires (AP)
The blurred vision, the memory loss and the sleeplessness were too much for Ted Johnson to ignore. So he gave up the game he loves, retiring from the New England Patriots rather than risk irreparable brain damage. Johnson's surprise announcement came Thursday, the day before he was to start his 11th NFL training camp, all with the Patriots.

Chargers TE Gates a no-show at camp (AP)
All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates was a no-show when San Diego Chargers veterans reported for training camp Thursday, joining holdout rookie Shawne Merriman as the team's only unsigned players. Gates, who went from being an undrafted rookie to All-Pro in just two seasons, has yet to sign a $380,000 contract the Chargers tendered him as an exclusive rights free agent during the offseason.

Contract issues a distraction for James (AP)
Edgerrin James still likes playing football. He just doesn't like playing the games that come with it. The three-time Pro Bowler and two-time NFL rushing champion said Thursday he was ready for another big season -- even though he'd prefer to have a long-term contract with the Indianapolis Colts. ``I play football, that's the easy part,'' he said.

Walker arrival avoids headache for Pack (AP)
Now that top receiver Javon Walker has reversed course and reported to training camp, the Green Bay Packers can go about deciding who will be throwing him all the passes. Brett Favre, who normally takes it easy at camp, needs plenty of work -- the three-time MVP quarterback was excused from all offseason throwing to focus on re-energizing his 35-year-old body and his spirit after yet another...

Gardner trade to Panthers complete (AP)
Rod Gardner passed his physical with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, completing his trade from the Washington Redskins for a sixth-round draft pick. The move clears $2.1 million of salary cap space for the Redskins, who need the money to sign first-round draft picks Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell.

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

Brown says Knicks job will be his last (AP)
Larry Brown made a few things clear at his first public appearance as coach of the New York Knicks: Isiah Thomas will still have final say on personnel moves, Herb Williams will be the coach in case of emergency, and patience will be a necessary commodity for everyone. ``It's going to be ugly early, I can promise you that.

Nuggets' Karl has prostate surgery (AP)
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl had prostate surgery Thursday, the team said. The surgery, which took about five hours, was performed at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, said Nuggets' spokeswoman Teri Washington. ``George's surgery was very successful and he expects a full recovery,'' said Rick Majerus, the former Utah men's college basketball coach, who was with Karl in...

Turiaf 'feeling fine' after surgery (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers second-round draft pick Ronny Turiaf is ``feeling fine,'' the former Gonzaga star said Thursday while recovering from heart surgery. In a statement released from Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Northern California, Turiaf said: ``My surgery went well.'' Turiaf underwent surgery Tuesday to repair an enlarged aortic root.

Blazers, Dixon agree to three-year deal (AP)
Free agent Juan Dixon has agreed to a three-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, ending his three-year stay with the Washington Wizards, an official in the league told The Associated Press on Thursday night. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the deal is worth $8 million. The contract cannot be formally announced by the team until the NBA's collective bargaining agreement...

Pistons exercise option on Milicic (AP)
The Detroit Pistons exercised their team option on Darko Milicic on Thursday, keeping the 20-year-old center under contract for the next two seasons. ``We are pleased to have Darko Milicic signed through the 2006-07 season and we look forward to seeing his continued growth as a player,'' said Joe Dumars, the Pistons' president of basketball operations.

Nets get closer to Brooklyn move (AP)
The New Jersey Nets moved a step closer to New York on Wednesday when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to enter exclusive negotiations with team owner Bruce Ratner, who wants to build a towering arena complex over an MTA railyard near downtown Brooklyn. The MTA board gave Ratner 45 days to increase his $50 million cash bid for the eight-acre railyard, which the agency has had...

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,...

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

Goodenow stepping down as head of NHLPA (AP)
In the end, it was all about timing for Bob Goodenow. Or so he said. If only NHL players had stuck together a little longer, maybe six months, maybe another year, they could've gotten the deal they wanted. The one without a salary cap -- the one Goodenow promised. But it wasn't to be. Goodenow, the NHL Players' Association's executive director, stepped down from his post Thursday just one week after...

Shanahan decides to return to Red Wings (AP)
Brendan Shanahan decided to stay with the Detroit Red Wings, exercising an option Thursday on the final year of his contract. Shanahan will make about $2.3 million -- after the 24-percent cut NHL players agreed to take -- during the upcoming season as the league resumes play after a lockout wiped out the previous year.

Blues make qualifying offer for Pronger (AP)
The St. Louis Blues have submitted qualifying offers for defenseman Chris Pronger and 11 other players. Pronger, a restricted free agent, has until Aug. 15 to sign the team's offer of $7.2 million. Beginning Monday, he can sign an offer sheet with another team. The Blues made qualifying offers to several other players Wednesday: Forwards Eric Boguniecki, Mike Glumac, Colin Hemingway, Ryan Johnson,...

USA Hockey sets Olympic camp roster (AP)
Bill Guerin, Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight were among 39 players USA Hockey invited Thursday to its September camp in Colorado Springs, the first step toward selecting a team for next year's Olympics in Turin. The roster includes four goaltenders, 14 defensemen and 21 forwards, though previous Olympians such as Chris Chelios, Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick and Brian Leetch are not on the...

Predators sign C Greg Johnson (AP)
The Nashville Predators signed veteran center Greg Johnson, the team's all-time leader in games played, on Thursday. Johnson has played 434 games and posted 82 goals and 219 points for the franchise since arriving in the 1998 expansion draft. He started with Detroit in 1993-94 and later played for Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Lightning re-sign Taylor, Cibak (AP)
The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed free-agent centers Tim Taylor and Martin Cibak to multiyear deals on Thursday. The 36-year-old Taylor scored seven goals and added 15 assists in 82 games as part of the Lightning's penalty kill unit in 2003-04. He added two goals and three assists in 23 playoff games during the team's Stanley Cup title run.

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...

Busch report
David Green has clawed into the top 10 without bullying his way around the track.

Federal judge throws out Ford lawsuit against NASCAR driver Kahne (AP)
A federal judge has dismissed a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne by Ford Motor Co.

Indy-car title quest concerns counter Wheldon's racing style (AFP)
England's Dan Wheldon enjoys a 68-point edge in the Indy Racing League entering Sunday's Indy 400, but thoughts of a series title force him to adopt more conservative strategies than he likes.

Former Cup drivers enjoying Craftsman Truck Series (AP)
Bobby Hamilton spent 12 years racing in NASCAR's top stock car series without ever finishing better than ninth...

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...

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.

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