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Puckett in Critical Condition After Stroke (AP)
Former Minnesota Twins player Kirby Puckett dispalys his plaque during the 2001 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Sunday, Aug. 5, 2001, in Cooperstown, N.Y.  Puckett had a stroke at his Arizona home Sunday, March 5, 2006, and was taken to a hospital for surgery, the team announced from its spring training camp. (AP Photo/John Dunn,file)AP - Hall of Fame outfielder Kirby Puckett was in critical condition after having surgery for a stroke, a nursing supervisor said early Monday.


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Alexander Signs 8-Year Deal With Seahawks (AP)
Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander carries the ball during the NFC championship football game against the Carolina Panthers in Seattle in this Sunday, Jan. 22, 2006 file photo.    (AP Photo/John Froschauer)AP - NFL Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander has agreed to a $62 million, eight-year contract to remain with the Seattle Seahawks, his agent said Sunday night.


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NFL, Players Union Extend Deadline (AP)
NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw talks with reporters in Detroit in a  Friday, Feb. 3, 2006 photo.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, file)AP - NFL labor negotiations took yet another surprising turn late Sunday when the league and union agreed to postpone free agency another 72 hours, giving the sides more time to try to reach agreement on a contract extension.


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Redskins, Linebacker Arrington Part Ways (AP)
AP - The Washington Redskins parted ways Sunday night with three-time Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington, who agreed to a contract buyout so that he could become a free agent, The Associated Press has learned.

Tiger Woods Snares 1-Shot Victory at Doral (AP)
Golfer Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the fourth tee Sunday, March 5, 2006, during the final round of the  Ford Championship at Doral in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)AP - Tiger Woods knew he had to keep making birdies to stay ahead of the pack, and he delivered the kind of shots that make him so difficult to beat. Everything changed on the 18th hole Sunday in the Ford Championship.


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Free agency period delayed again after talks fail (Reuters)
Reuters - The National Football League and its players union broke off negotiations on extending the NFL's labor agreement once again on Sunday, but later agreed to postpone the start of the free agency period another 72 hours.

Lewis Paces SuperSonics to Rout of Jazz (AP)
Seattle SuperSonics' Robert Swift ,center, leaps to block Utah Jazz Matt Harpring's shot attempt during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 5 , 2006, in Seattle. Also defending is Sonics' Rashard Lewis, left. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)AP - Earl Watson threw behind-the-back passes to Rashard Lewis for open 3-pointers, and ally-oops to Chris Wilcox that brought the crowd to its feet.


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Baseball signs off on new Nationals ballpark (Reuters)
Reuters - Major League Baseball signed a lease for a new ballpark for the Washington Nationals on Sunday, a major step in ensuring the team remains in the capital.

Manchester City Beats Sunderland 2-1 (AP)
Manchester City's Georgios Samaras, right, challenges for the ball against Sunderland's Danny Collins during their English Premier League soccer match at The City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 5, 2006. (AP Photo/Jon Super)AP - U.S. captain Claudio Reyna started for Manchester City for the first time in more than two months Sunday, playing in a 2-1 victory over Sunderland in the English Premier League.


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Rookie McClement Leads Blues Past Canucks (AP)
Vancouver Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi (44) and Ryan Kesler knocks down St. Louis Blues Mark Rycroft during the third period NHL action in Vancouver, Sunday, March 5, 2006. (AP PHOTO/CP, Richard Lam)AP - The St. Louis Blues have an easy explanation for their surprising dominance of the Vancouver Canucks this season.


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Gentler Hurricanes
MIAMI – Miami's pro day included a lot of potential draft picks but lacked the first-round punch of some recent years.

NFL, union again postpone free agency (AP)
NFL labor negotiations took yet another surprising turn late Sunday when the league and union agreed to postpone free agency another 72 hours, giving the sides more time to try to reach agreement on a contract extension. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the delay would give owners a chance to consider the union's latest proposal during a meeting Tuesday in Dallas.

Alexander, Seahawks agree on $62M deal (AP)
NFL Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander has agreed to a $62 million, eight-year contract to remain with the Seattle Seahawks, his agent said Sunday night. Jim Steiner said the deal is the richest ever for an NFL running back and will pay the league's leading rusher over $15.1 million in guaranteed cash, through signing and other bonuses and 2006 base salary.

Redskins, Arrington agree to buyout (AP)
The Washington Redskins parted ways Sunday night with three-time Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington, who agreed to a contract buyout so that he could become a free agent, The Associated Press has learned. Arrington agreed to give up more than $4 million in his contract rather than restructure it in a way that would allow him to remain with the Redskins, an official with knowledge of the...

Labor twist may let Raiders keep Collins (AP)
The Oakland Raiders had all but parted ways with Kerry Collins on Sunday night until the NFL bought them some time to reconsider the quarterback's future with the club. The league and union surprisingly agreed to postpone free agency until Thursday to give owners a chance to consider the union's latest proposal during a meeting Tuesday in Dallas.

Jets restructure Pennington's contract (AP)
Chad Pennington finally resolved his contract with the Jets. That might have been the easy part for the often-injured quarterback compared to what looms ahead. Pennington agreed to a restructured deal Sunday after weeks of talks, a move that provides salary-cap relief while giving him a guaranteed $3 million in 2006 with $6 million in playing time bonuses.

Army promises thorough Tillman review (AP)
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday promised the family of former NFL player Pat Tillman that investigators will examine all the facts surrounding his death in Afghanistan. Gen. Peter Pace said the Army was launching a criminal investigation into the April 2004 death of Tillman -- an Army Ranger shot by fellow soldiers in what previous military reviews had concluded was an accident...

Raiders round out Shell's coaching staff (AP)
New Oakland Raiders coach Art Shell announced his coaching staff Saturday, selecting as his offensive coordinator one of his former assistants who has not coached in the NFL in more than a decade. Tom Walsh, who was fired by the Raiders along with Shell following the 1994 season, will try to energize an offense that scored just 51 points in the final five games of a 4-12 season in 2005.

Dallas' big D-lemma
SAN ANTONIO – To beat the Spurs, the Mavericks need to do more than just play great defense.

Diaw lifts Suns to 10th straight win (AP)
After completing his second career triple-double, Phoenix Suns center Boris Diaw credited his defense for his strong play. Diaw had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and helped limit Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki to three points in the fourth quarter as the Suns extended their winning streak to a season-high 10 games with a 115-107 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday.

McGrady hurt again in Rockets' win (AP)
Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy believes Yao Ming has improved his all-around game. Yao showed some of that Sunday as he scored 32 points and had 13 rebounds as the Houston Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers for the ninth straight time, 102-84 Sunday night. Yao had his team-leading 21st double-double, including 17 points in the third quarter, to help rally the Rockets from one point down at the...

LeBron's big second half powers Cavs (AP)
Don't tug on Superman's cape. Don't touch LeBron James' headband. Those are the rules. Next time, the Chicago Bulls will know better. James scored 27 of his 37 points in the second half, and took exception to the Bulls knocking his headband askew as the Cleveland Cavaliers had one of their best performances since the All-Star break, a 91-72 win over Chicago on Sunday night.

Bryant to be centerpiece of U.S. team (AP)
Kobe Bryant will be the centerpiece of the new-look USA Basketball team that is expected to improve upon a disappointing bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. Bryant brings NBA championship credentials and high-powered scoring, joining Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and 20 other players selected Sunday for a possible spot on the world championship and 2008 Beijing Olympic teams.

Jackson's layup lifts Pacers over 76ers (AP)
Stephen Jackson atoned for a bunch of misses with one clutch play. Jackson's layup with 2.9 seconds left lifted the Indiana Pacers to a 94-93 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. Allen Iverson had 33 points and nine assists, but couldn't lead the Sixers to their third straight victory. Anthony Johnson had 18 points and Jackson scored 15 for Indiana, which has won three of four.

Garnett powers Wolves past Warriors (AP)
The Minnesota Timberwolves didn't fold in the fourth quarter for a change. For the Golden State Warriors, it was the same story despite another new starting lineup. Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and tied his season high with 21 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a strong scoring performance by Jason Richardson and defeated the Golden State Warriors 103-90 Sunday.

Wizards top Kings, end three-game skid (AP)
The Washington Wizards are too concerned about making the playoffs to be distracted by milestones. Antawn Jamison had 31 points and eight rebounds and the Washington Wizards beat the Sacramento Kings 117-107 Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak. The victory was No. 100 with the Wizards for coach Eddie Jordan, who became the 10th active NBA coach to notch 100 victories with his current team.

Peterson, Raptors stop 6-game slide (AP)
Paul Pierce told former teammate Mike James he'd win the game with a 3-pointer. James wasn't about to let that happen. James scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, and Morris Peterson had 27 points as the Toronto Raptors ended a six-game losing streak with 111-105 victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday night.

Lewis, SuperSonics rip Jazz 113-81 (AP)
Earl Watson threw behind-the-back passes to Rashard Lewis for open 3-pointers, and ally-oops to Chris Wilcox that brought the crowd to its feet. With its new lineup, the Seattle SuperSonics are having fun for the first time this season. Lewis led six Seattle players in double figures with 22 points in just three quarters, and the SuperSonics rolled past the Utah Jazz 113-81 Sunday night.

Power rankings
Who has time to bemoan North America's failures in Turin when so many NHL teams are in the playoff hunt?

Hurricanes' Cole has fractured vertebra (AP)
Carolina left wing Erik Cole will miss at least the rest of the regular season with a compression fracture in a vertebra in his neck caused when he was driven headfirst into the boards by Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik during a 7-5 Hurricanes victory Saturday night. Cole, tied for second on the team in scoring, will be out at least 6-to-8 weeks -- a major loss for what currently is the team with the...

Stars maintain dominance of Blackhawks (AP)
The Dallas Stars have made beating the Chicago Blackhawks look automatic and easy. Jason Arnott scored twice and Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow each had a goal and two assists as Dallas extended its unbeaten streak against Chicago to 13 games with a 7-2 win over the Blackhawks on Sunday night. The Stars haven't lost to Chicago since Jan.

Wild give Lemaire 400th career win (AP)
Marian Gaborik rarely kills penalties. After his latest performance, it might become a much more common appearance. Gaborik's second career short-handed goal, scored in the third period, was the winner as the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 on Sunday. With the Wild killing a four-minute power play, Gaborik took a pass from Wes Walz on a 2-on-1 break and snapped a 3-3 tie to give...

Pronger powers Oilers past Predators (AP)
Chris Pronger's slap shot and the Edmonton Oilers' power play both clicked at the right time. Pronger got Edmonton even in the third period and then scored 4:17 into overtime to lift the Oilers to a 3-2 victory Sunday over the Nashville Predators. The defenseman netted both goals on the power play as Edmonton used three man-advantage tallies to win its second straight following a four-game losing...

McClement helps Blues sweep Canucks (AP)
The St. Louis Blues have an easy explanation for their surprising dominance of the Vancouver Canucks this season. Figuring out why they've been better since trading their best players is tougher. "We just outworked them," goalie Curtis Sanford said after the Blues completed a season sweep of Vancouver with a 4-1 win Sunday night.

Blue Jackets top Ducks in SO, end slide (AP)
The Columbus Blue Jackets are big fans of the new NHL shootout. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks are not. Rick Nash scored the only goal of the shootout, and the Blue Jackets ended a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks on Sunday. Nash initially stumbled with the puck as he approached the Anaheim goal, but recovered to beat Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a backhander on the...

Brodeur reaches milestone in Devils' win (AP)
Martin Brodeur has made winning a habit more so than any other goalie in NHL history. Brodeur made 26 saves to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night, becoming the first goalie to win 30 games for 10 straight seasons. He is the only goalie to have more than eight straight 30-win seasons.

Senators win seventh straight over Leafs (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs' playoff hopes took a double hit on Saturday night. Dany Heatley scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Ottawa Senators again showed their dominance of the Maple Leafs with a 4-2 victory on Saturday night. After the game, Toronto center Eric Lindros announced he'll need surgery after reinjuring his right wrist.

Leafs' Lindros to undergo wrist surgery (AP)
Maple Leafs forward Eric Lindros will undergo surgery after tearing a ligament in his right wrist Saturday against the Ottawa Senators. Lindros hurt the wrist earlier this season and recently returned after missing 26 games. He aggravated the injury when he took a slap shot in the second period Saturday, and didn't return in the third.

Mexico City Observations
MEXICO CITY – Denny Hamlin and Boris Said had a great time in Mexico, but Kevin Harvick couldn't wait to get out.

Hamlin takes second NASCAR Busch Series race in Mexico (AP)
Denny Hamlin pitted early, then stayed out of trouble Sunday to hold on and win the second NASCAR Busch Series race in Mexico.

Pruett, hometown star Diaz win Grand Am in Mexico City (AP)
Pole sitter Scott Pruett and hometown driver Luis Diaz turned in a near-flawless performance Saturday for a victory in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. A crash on lap 73 led to a fight between Chris Bingham and JC France. Bingham, in the No. 40 Pontiac, tried to pass France's No. 59 Porsche on the inside, triggering contact that sent both cars into the wall around the eighth and final...

Mishap aboard horse leaves Mexican driver Jourdain with minor leg injury (AP)
Second-year Busch Series driver Michel Jourdain Jr. has raced stock cars, semi-truck prototypes and touring cars and made a name for himself in open-wheel competition.

Harvick happy heading back to Mexico (AP)
Kevin Harvick is sold on stock car racing in Mexico. The NASCAR Nextel Cup star, who finished second to Martin...

Report: NASCAR Hall of Fame headed to Charlotte (AP)
Atlanta and Daytona Beach still feel good about their chances to land NASCAR's Hall of Fame, even though a report from Charlotte says that city has already locked up a deal to build the shrine to stock car racing.

Race for NASCAR Hall of Fame not exactly wide open (AP)
The race for the rights to NASCAR's Hall of Fame is in its closing laps, and chairman Brian France remains insistent that three cities are still in contention.

Kenseth wins California race (AP)
Greg Biffle was the class of the field, and Tony Stewart had a car capable of winning.

Cranky Stewart spars with media at California Speedway (SportsTicker)
FONTANA, California (Ticker) - Just two weeks into the NASCAR season, defending champion Tony Stewart is back to his old, hot-tempered self.

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