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Damon, Yankees Reach Preliminary Deal (AP)
Boston Red Sox's Johnny Damon waves to the crowd prior to the start of the game against the New York Yankees in this April 11, 2005 file photo in Boston. The New York Yankees grabbed center fielder Johnny Damon away from the rival Boston Red Sox, reaching a preliminary agreement Tuesday night on a $52 million, four-year contract. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)AP - The New York Yankees grabbed center fielder Johnny Damon away from the rival Boston Red Sox, reaching a preliminary agreement Tuesday night on a $52 million, four-year contract.


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Joe Paterno Chosen As AP Coach of Year (AP)
Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, center, is congratulated by fans as he runs off the field after upseting Ohio State, 17-10, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2005, in State College, Pa. Thanks to a rebound season that saw Penn State go 10-1, win the Big Ten title and earn a spot in the BCS' Orange Bowl, coach Joe Paterno is the easy winner as The Associated Press' college football Coach of the Year, announced Tuesday Dec. 20, 2005.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)AP - Joe Paterno doesn't have to say "I told you so." JoePa, who turns 79 on Wednesday, got an early birthday present Tuesday when he was an overwhelming choice as The Associated Press college football coach of the year.


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Shaq Gives Riley Win in Miami Homecoming (AP)
Miami Heat coach Pat Riley, left, talks with Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, right, before the start of the Heat's NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Miami, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)AP - Pat Riley didn't want a homecoming party. Shaquille O'Neal gave him one anyway. O'Neal hit his first eight shots and finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds in only 24 minutes, and the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-92 Tuesday night in Riley's first home game since replacing Stan Van Gundy as coach.


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Lamoriello Gets First NHL Win As Coach (AP)
New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello stands behind players Brian Gionta, left, and Zach Parise duirng the first period against the New York Rangers in NHL hockey actionTuesday, Dec. 20, 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lamoriello was making his debut as the interim head coach of the Devils. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Brian Gionta and Alexander Mogilny scored 16 seconds apart in the third period, and the New Jersey Devils rallied behind general manager-turned-coach Lou Lamoriello, 3-1 over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.


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Southern Miss Wins New Orleans Bowl (AP)
Southern Mississippi running back Cody Hull (28) tries to get away from Arkansas State's Jamarrow James (43) during the first half of the New Orleans Bowl in Lafayette, La., Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005. The football game was moved to Lafayette, La., from New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina. Hull had a short gain on the play. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)AP - Southern Mississippi's win in the New Orleans Bowl was a lot like the rest of the Golden Eagles' season — a struggle.


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Sherman Confident Loss Won't Affect Future (AP)
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman hangs his head as he paces the sideline during the third quarter of their NFL game Monday, Dec. 19, 2005 against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore.(AP Photo/Chris Gardner)AP - Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman isn't concerned that Monday night's lopsided loss to Baltimore will jeopardize his future with the team.


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Suns Win, Tie for First in Pacific (AP)
Phoenix Suns guard Eddie House, right, shoots a three-point field goal over Seattle Supersonics guard Luke Ridnour , left, in the second quarter Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - Shawn Marion scored 29 points to lead five Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns rolled past the Seattle SuperSonics 111-83 on Tuesday night.


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Damon to Yankees, Jones to Cubs (AP)
Minnesota Twins right fielder Jacque Jones (11) makes a basket catch of a fly ball hit by Detroit Tigers' Omar Infante in the fifth inning in this July 24, 2005 file photo, in Detroit. Jones and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a $16 million, three-year contract on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005 one day after the outfielder rejected the Minnesota Twins' offer of salary arbitration.  (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP - Johnny Damon bolted from Boston and reached a preliminary agreement to join the rival New York Yankees, while the Chicago Cubs added Jacque Jones to their outfield on a busy night in baseball as more players switched teams Tuesday.


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FIFA Threatens Soccer Clubs Over Racism (AP)
Barcelona's Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho, left, and Samuel Eto'o, from Cameroon, right, show their FIFA world player trophies and Argentinean Leo Messi, center, with his Golden Boy Trophy before their Spanish League soccer match against Celta Vigo at Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday Dec. 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)AP - Soccer clubs that fail to control racist fans were threatened by FIFA president Sepp Blatter with relegation, suspension and expulsion.


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Lamoriello Back Behind Devils Bench (AP)
New Jersey Devils' general manager Lou Lamoriello watches action from the bench against the New York Rangers during the second period in NHL hockey actionTuesday, Dec. 20, 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lamoriello was making his debut as interim head coach. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Lou Lamoriello gave it the old college try behind the New Jersey Devils' bench.


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One-two punch
The Colts lost their bid for a perfect season. Now, they could lose their No. 1 ranking if they are beaten by No. 2 Seattle.

Colts look to protect Manning better (AP)
Colts left tackle Tarik Glenn showed up early this week to watch the grim footage of the team's first loss. In Glenn's opinion, the videotape could double as a horror movie. Two-time MVP Peyton Manning was constantly picking himself off the ground after being dragged down from behind or clobbered as he threw.

Benson, Tagliabue discuss Saints future (AP)
The NFL remains focused on returning the New Orleans Saints to Louisiana next season, the league said after a Tuesday meeting between team owner Tom Benson and commissioner Paul Tagliabue. A committee of eight owners also met for about an hour to discuss the future of the team, displaced by Hurricane Katrina just before the season began.

Calm Boller leads Ravens to lopsided win (AP)
Inside the Baltimore Ravens huddle Kyle Boller had a completely different demeanor Monday night. He should have. The Baltimore Ravens were blowing out Green Bay, 48-3. Still, this wasn't the erratic, frenzied Boller who committed three turnovers in a 12-10 loss to the Denver Broncos the previous week. In a game that set a franchise record for points scored, touchdowns (six) and margin of victory, the...

Sherman confident he stays with Packers (AP)
Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman isn't concerned that Monday night's lopsided loss to Baltimore will jeopardize his future with the team. Even after an embarrassing defeat in a nationally televised game got one of his colleagues fired last month, Sherman is confident the success he's had with the Packers won't be overshadowed by a single loss.

Belichick doesn't plan to rest regulars (AP)
Don't expect to see Tom Brady or Tedy Bruschi in street clothes in the New England Patriots' next game. Even though the team has clinched a playoff berth, coach Bill Belichick plans to stick with his regulars against the New York Jets on Monday night. "We're treating this like a regular week," Belichick said.

Raiders' Jordan doubtful against Broncos (AP)
Oakland Raiders running back LaMont Jordan is listed as doubtful to play in Saturday's game at Denver because of turf toe. Jordan, in his first season with Oakland, injured the big toe on his right foot on a pass play in Oakland's third snap of last Sunday's 9-7 home loss to the Cleveland Browns. He continued to play, then re-aggravated the injury on a long run in the third quarter.

L.T., Chargers urging Raiders to win (AP)
No longer in control of their playoff destiny, LaDainian Tomlinson and the rest of the San Diego Chargers will be cheering for their biggest rivals on Saturday. "I am definitely pulling for the Raiders," Tomlinson said Tuesday. "I don't ever recall saying, 'I'm going for the Raiders.' " But thanks to an unexpected home loss to the Miami Dolphins two weekends ago, the Chargers (9-5) are on the...

Seahawks still have plenty to play for (AP)
The Seahawks have crossed into uncharted territory with a first round bye and a divisional playoff game at home. There will be no rest-or-not-to-rest controversy here, however. These Seahawks are not so new to the postseason posturing that they don't realize this: They have yet to capture what they really need -- home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Simms says sprained left thumb is fine (AP)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms practiced Tuesday and said the sprained thumb on his throwing hand will not keep him from playing this week against the Atlanta Falcons. "I'm young and I'm resilient," the third-year pro said. "It's a physical sport. You expect to get hit and be ready to go the next week." Simms was sacked seven times in last Saturday's 28-0 loss to the New England...

Turning up the Heat
While Miami played inconsistently with Shaquille O'Neal out, it was only a matter of time before it rejoined the elite.

Bogut's OT jumper lifts Bucks over Spurs (AP)
Rookie Andrew Bogut made a fadeaway jumper as time expired to give the Milwaukee Bucks a 109-107 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night. The No. 1 pick in the 2005 NBA draft also scored the tying basket with 14 seconds left in overtime and finished with 19 points. Maurice Williams scored 28 points and Michael Redd added 20 for the Bucks, who had lost six of their last seven...

Hamilton gets Pistons to 20 wins (AP)
The Detroit Pistons didn't have much energy, playing their fourth game in five days. Their experience made up for it. Richard Hamilton scored 23 points and Tayshaun Prince added 21 to lead Detroit over the Portland Trail Blazers 93-89 on Tuesday night. The Pistons improved to an NBA-best 20-3 with their fifth straight win -- and the same five starters they have had for nearly two years.

Riley wins home debut with Heat (AP)
Pat Riley didn't want a homecoming party. Shaquille O'Neal gave him one anyway. O'Neal hit his first eight shots and finished with 28 points in only 24 minutes, and the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-92 Tuesday night in Riley's first home game since replacing Stan Van Gundy as coach. It was Miami's second-biggest home win of the season; the Heat had outscored opponents in their first 11 home...

Jones' 3s power Cavs past Jazz (AP)
Damon Jones finally lived up to his own endless hype. The self-described "best shooter on the planet" made four 3-pointers in a span of 3:17 in the third quarter, and LeBron James added 25 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers roughed up the Utah Jazz 110-85 on Tuesday night. Jones' flurry of 3s helped the Cavaliers blow the game open, allowing coach Mike Brown to give James some unexpected rest and...

Marion paces balanced Suns attack (AP)
Shawn Marion scored 29 points to lead five Phoenix players in double figures and the Suns rolled past the Seattle SuperSonics 111-83 on Tuesday night. Eddie House, the Suns' energizer and designated shooter off the bench, added 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Boris Diaw had 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Rockets' Yao has surgery on infected toe (AP)
Houston center Yao Ming is expected to miss several games after undergoing surgery Monday on his infected left big toe. The 7-foot-6 Yao, who is averaging 19.9 points and nine rebounds, flew from Los Angeles to Houston on Sunday, missing the Rockets' game against the Lakers. Yao's toe is infected with osteomyelitis, a common inflammation of the bone caused by bacteria, the Rockets said.

Mourning out with respiratory infection (AP)
Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning missed Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks with an upper respiratory infection. It's the first game Mourning hasn't been available for this season. He entered Tuesday leading the NBA in blocked shots (3.56) and ranks third in field-goal percentage (.557), plus has averaged 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in 27 minutes per outing.

Carter leads Nets to third straight win (AP)
Vince Carter got the New Jersey Nets off to a quick start. Carter scored 35 points and added nine assists and seven rebounds, leading the Nets over the Los Angeles Clippers 99-85 Tuesday night for their season-high third straight victory. "My motive every game is to come out and jump-start our team right away at the start of the game," Carter said.

Knight shakes off injury, lifts Bobcats (AP)
The Charlotte Bobcats were sore and short-handed, but that didn't stop them from outhustling the Chicago Bulls. Brevin Knight shook off a bruised right forearm and finished with 20 points and 10 assists, and the Bobcats beat the Bulls 105-92 Tuesday night. Raymond Felton scored a season-high 21 points to go with six assists as the Bobcats (8-18) won for the third time in four games and beat the...

Power rankings
With Marty Turco and Mike Modano playing like Olympians, the Stars have been anything but mediocre.

Kovalev returns, helps Habs to SO win (AP)
Alex Kovalev fueled the rally in regulation, then helped complete the Montreal Canadiens' biggest comeback in eight years during the shootout. Kovalev scored Montreal's second shootout goal after notching a goal and two assists as the Canadiens beat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Tuesday night. "I know everybody's tired," Kovalev said.

Kings C Roenick out 4-6 weeks (AP)
Los Angeles Kings center Jeremy Roenick will be out four to six weeks with a broken finger, an injury he found out about a day after not being selected to the U.S. Olympic hockey team. "I found out this morning," Roenick told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. "I have to go back (to Los Angeles) for surgery." Roenick broke the finger during Monday night's 4-3 shootout win over Vancouver.

Lamoireillo gets first win with Devils (AP)
When the final buzzer sounded after a much-needed win for the New Jersey Devils, Martin Brodeur brought the final puck over to boss Lou Lamoriello. The general manager-turned interim coach was perfectly pleased by his first NHL win behind the bench. The souvenir was just a bonus. "I was happy to give it to him," Brodeur said after making 30 saves in a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.

Preds stay dominant at home, top Avs (AP)
When the Nashville Predators hit the ice for warm-ups coach Barry Trotz knew his team wasn't at the concentration level he wanted. The first seven minutes proved he was right. But a power play goal by Steve Sullivan at 7:42 of the first period gave the Predators the energy they needed to take a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Colorado Avalanche.

Staal lifts Hurricanes by Lightning (AP)
How badly does Eric Staal want on Team Canada? Consider his latest effort for the Carolina Hurricanes. "He's trying to yell it as loud as he can," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's standing on top of the mountain, screaming. I don't know if anybody will hear, but you've got to love the way he took charge of the game." Staal scored two goals and had a brilliant assist to set up Matt Cullen's...

Wings outlast Blue Jackets in SO (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings had to wait a long time for a shootout, but it turned out to be worth it. Going into its 35th game of the season as the only NHL team not to have been involved in a shootout, Detroit got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams after a scoreless five-minute overtime period for a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Phyllis Gretzky, mother of Wayne, dies (AP)
Phyllis Gretzky, the mother of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, died Monday night, the Phoenix Coyotes said. She was 64. She was diagnosed with lung cancer late in 2004 and died two nights after her son took an indefinite leave of absence as coach of the Coyotes to return home to Ontario to be with her.

Hockey mourns loss of Gretzky's mom (AP)
Flags flew at half-staff on city buildings Tuesday in the hometown of Wayne Gretzky as local residents mourned the death of his mother. Phyllis Gretzky died Monday night after a battle with lung cancer. She was 64. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the hockey world is grieving. "Phyllis Gretzky's influence on her family no doubt matches Wayne's impact on hockey," Bettman said in a statement.

Old and new on U.S. Olympic hockey team (AP)
Twelve newcomers and a 44-year-old defenseman will be shooting for the United States' first Olympic gold medal in 26 years. Chris Chelios is the old man of the group, chosen Monday night in St. Paul, Minn. The 23 NHL players will head to the Turin Olympics in search of gold that has eluded the United States since 1980.

Offseason capsules: Truex, Stremme and Yeley
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field, starting with some of the rookie class.

Auto Racing 2005: Stewart grows up amid youth movement (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - In a season where youth was not only served it was showcased, Tony Stewart topped the auto racing headlines by simply growing up.

Kyle Busch to run full season in NASCAR Busch Series in 2006 (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Despite making a splash in his first season on NASCAR's premier series, Kyle Busch has some unfinished business in the Busch Series.

Judge: Speedway lawsuit against NASCAR will stay in Kentucky (AP)
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky Speedway's $400 million antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR will be heard in Kentucky and not moved to a Florida court.

Talladega Superspeedway to get first repaving since 1979 (AP)
Talladega Superspeedway will be repaved next year, the first time since 1979, and several drivers say they're looking forward to a smoother ride.

NASCAR champ to drive midget races under his own name (AP)
Tony Stewart will drive a midget car again, and won't try to fool anybody. The two-time NASCAR champion will drive in a pair of U.S. Auto Club indoor midget car races at Fort Wayne, where he won a 60-lap feature a year ago under an assumed name in an old junker he bought during a poker game the night before.

Iowa Speedway project gets more financing (AP)
NEWTON, Iowa - An Iowa-based construction company said it has obtained the financing to complete construction of...

Price of returning racing to North Wilkesboro is $12 million (AP)
A grass-roots group is lobbying to return racing to North Wilkesboro Speedway, but a $12 million price tag might be too steep for Wilkes County. That's the asking price of Bruton Smith and Bob Bahre, who own the former NASCAR track. A group calling itself Save the Speedway, which wants to bring racing back to the .625-mile oval, retired an online petition last week after gathering 4,582 signatures.

NASCAR's Pacific Northwest expansion plan faces tough road (AP)
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Is the land of lattes ready to join NASCAR Nation? The sport's leaders are betting on it with a...

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