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Life without Albert: Cards lose slugger (AP)
This is a 2005 file photo of Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.  Pujols, last year's NL MVP and this season's major league leader in home runs and RBIs, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, June 4, 2006, with a strained muscle on his right side. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)AP - This is a much larger challenge for the St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols will be out indefinitely with a strained muscle on his right side.


French teen Monfils ousts Blake in Paris (AP)
USA's James Blake disputes a call as he plays France's Gael Monfils in their third round match during the French Open tennis tournament, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Sunday June 4, 2006. Monfils won 6-2, 6-7, 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)AP - Irritated by the home crowd's heckling, James Blake took the unusual step of inviting a spectator out of the stands to see for himself that one of French teen Gael Monfils' shots landed out.


Kenseth rallies to win Dover (AP)
NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth reacts as he climbs out of his car to a shower of Gatorade after winning the Neighborhood Excellence 400  Sunday, June 4, 2006, at the Dover Speedway in Dover, Del. (AP Photo/Russell Hamilton Jr.))AP - Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray made it a 1-2 finish for Roush Racing.


Bourdais makes it 4 straight wins (AP)
Sebastien Bourdais celebrates his victory of the Road Runner 225 Champ Car auto race at the Milwaukee Mile Sunday, June 4, 2006, in West Allis Wis.   (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)AP - The Milwaukee Mile is no longer the racetrack Sebastien Bourdais would most like to forget.


Carl Pettersson wins Memorial by 2 shots (AP)
Carl Pettersson,left, of Sweden receives a trophy from Jack Nicklaus after Petterson won the Memorial golf tournament Sunday, June 4, 2006 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)AP - Sunday at the Memorial felt like a series of bonuses to Carl Pettersson.


Nicholson arrested, charged with theft (AP)
A.J. Nicholson of Florida State crosses the finish line in the 40-yard dash  during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, in a Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006 photo. Cincinnati Bengals linebacker A.J. Nicholson was charged Saturday with burglarizing the apartment of a former Florida State teammate. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, file)AP - Cincinnati Bengals linebacker A.J. Nicholson was charged Saturday with burglarizing the apartment of a former Florida State teammate.


Mavericks head to NBA finals for 1st time (AP)
Jody Duran, of McKinney, Texas, looks through a collection of Dallas Mavericks Western Conference Championship shirts for a correct size at a sporting goods store in Plano, Texas, Sunday, June 4,  2006. In their 26th season, the Dallas Mavericks are finally headed to their first NBA finals, starting Thursday night against the Miami Heat in Dallas.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP - Like most longtime Dallas Mavericks fans, Mark Cuban remembers the bad old days, when "postseason play" meant being part of the draft lottery.


Rookie Rheinecker pitches Rangers to win (AP)
Texas Rangers starting pitcher John Rheinecker delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, June 4, 2006. The Rangers won 10-2. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - John Rheinecker is gaining more knowledge with each start he makes for the Texas Rangers. His latest victory could accelerate his learning curve.


World Cup: Angola's top priority defense (AP)
AP - Angola's top priority before it faces Portugal in the first round of the World Cup will be strengthening its defense. And the United States will be its first test.

Hurricanes' Rutherford has seen ups, downs (AP)
Carolina Hurricanes' president and general manager Jim Rutherford speaks during a news conference, Sunday, June  4, 2006, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/ Karl DeBlaker)AP - Jim Rutherford found a parking lot party he just couldn't pass up.


The OK Corral
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys are focused on Terrell Owens' positives, not his negatives. For now, anyway.

Bengals WR Henry faces DUI charges (AP)
Bengals receiver Chris Henry was charged with speeding and drunken driving early Sunday, his third scrape with the law since December. Henry registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.092 on a breath test and was clocked at 82 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone, said Sgt. Craig Cvetan, a State Highway Patrol spokesman.

Smiles usher in Owens era in Dallas (AP)
Terrell Owens returned Friday to his two favorite places: the football field and the spotlight. Entering the locker room before his first formal workout with the Dallas Cowboys, Owens smiled wide when he saw the throng of cameras and reporters waiting for him. He excused himself to get some lip balm, smeared it on, then kept grinning throughout a 15-minute chat that might still be going on if a...

Seven yards for Williams in CFL debut (AP)
Ricky Williams looked less like an NFL rushing champion and every bit like a running back less than a week into training camp with a new team. The former Miami Dolphins star was held to just 7 yards on four carries in his first CFL game Friday night as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Toronto Argonauts 31-3 in the exhibition opener for both clubs.

Vanderjagt glad to be with Cowboys (AP)
What kicker Mike Vanderjagt gives Dallas might be the same thing the Cowboys provide him: a sense of security. The NFL's most accurate kicker felt unappreciated toward the end of his eight seasons with Indianapolis, where his last attempt was a badly missed 46-yard field goal in the playoffs that would have forced overtime against eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh.

Jets' Chrebet officially retires (AP)
When Wayne Chrebet showed up for his first day of training camp, a security guard stopped him, incredulous that he would have any business on a football field. It was 1995, and Chrebet was an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra, hoping to make it with the team that practiced across the street from where he spent his college days.

Bengals LB Nicholson arrested, charged (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker A.J. Nicholson was charged Saturday with burglarizing the apartment of a former Florida State teammate. The 21-year-old Nicholson also was charged with grand theft and vandalism. He was being held at the Leon County jail on $16,000 bond, with a first appearance before a judge scheduled Monday, a spokesman with the Sheriff's office said.

Redskins S Taylor avoids jail (AP)
Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor reached an agreement with prosecutors to drop felony charges against him and pleaded no contest Thursday to two misdemeanors in an assault case, avoiding any jail time that might have derailed his NFL career. The deal calls for Taylor to be placed on 18 months' probation, talk about the importance of education at 10 Miami-Dade County schools and contribute...

Howard's end
PHOENIX – The Suns' hope for a Game 7 ended when Josh Howard's defense took Steve Nash out of Game 6.

Heat begin preparing for Mavericks (AP)
The Miami Heat hit rock bottom on a February night in Texas, courtesy of a 36-point pounding inflicted by the Dallas Mavericks. Pat Riley called it painful. Shaquille O'Neal was embarrassed. Others used much saltier terms. "I wasn't thinking about the world championship that night, let me tell you," Riley said.

Nowitzki rallies Mavs into NBA finals (AP)
Avery Johnson put the "D" in Dallas. Then the coach put the Mavericks in the NBA finals for the first time in the franchise's 26-year history. Dirk Nowitzki shook off an awful start and the Mavericks' defense shut down Phoenix in a second-half comeback, beating the Suns 102-93 on Saturday night to win the Western Conference finals 4-2.

Shaq four wins away from fourth title (AP)
Dwyane Wade was in the hospital, and Shaunie O'Neal was rightly concerned. The biggest game of the Miami Heat's season -- maybe the biggest in franchise history -- was only hours away. Wade, the team's leading scorer, had IVs pumping fluids into his body, the Detroit Pistons' confidence was growing by the second, and memories of Miami's missed chance in 2005 crept into her head.

Mavericks reach finals for first time (AP)
They were once the model franchise. Then they were the Mav-wrecks. Now they're headed to the NBA finals for the first time. In their 26th season, the Dallas Mavericks finally headed to the championship round, thanks to an impressive 102-93 comeback victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night that ended the Western Conference finals in six games.

Bell not a factor as Suns are eliminated (AP)
Phoenix guard Raja Bell played the last three games of the Western Conference finals on one leg. The Suns lost two of them, including a 102-93 season-ending loss to Dallas in Game 6 on Saturday night. "It's pretty disappointing, man," said Bell, who partially tore his left calf. "What can you do? You go out and you give it your best, and if it's not good enough, you've got to accept the fact that you...

Pistons hope title runs will continue (AP)
Coat hangers clanging in the Detroit Pistons' locker room provided just about the only sound shortly after the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions were dethroned by Miami. The Pistons won a league-high and franchise-record 64 games during the regular season, had four All-Stars for the first time in franchise history, and were favored to win a title for the second time in three years.

The thin blueline
Buffalo never had a chance in Thursday's Game 7 – if you believe the injury report.

Stanley Cup finals anything but normal (AP)
If it takes awhile to get into the spirit of these Stanley Cup finals, don't blame it all on the NHL lockout or a pair of unlikely contenders. Muggy weather and Muppets are culprits, too. On the eve of the NHL championship opener Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers were adjusting to the weather down South, where temperatures in the upper 80s felt more like a day at the beach than a skate on a frozen pond.

After long layoff, Oilers ready to play (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers have been waiting. And skating. And waiting some more. Since winning the Western Conference championship on May 27, it took three days to find out that the finals would start on Monday. Then, another two days went by before they learned that their opponent would be the Carolina Hurricanes.

Injured Cole feels sting of sitting out (AP)
Erik Cole has traded the bulky white neck brace for a blue no-contact practice jersey, proof that he's recovering from the broken bone that prematurely ended a career season. He feels blessed that he's improving, but also feels the sting of sitting out while the Carolina Hurricanes prepare for the Stanley Cup finals.

Weight, Recchi big pickups for 'Canes (AP)
Cory Stillman has that right-place, right-time knack. Two years ago, after helping the Lightning win the Stanley Cup, the 11-year veteran forward hoped to stay with Tampa Bay. Fortunately for him and the Carolina Hurricanes, that didn't work out. When the Lightning let Stillman walk away as a free agent, the Hurricanes made him part of their plan to retool the roster for the new-look NHL.

McKee recovering from leg infection (AP)
A serious leg infection forced Jay McKee to miss the Buffalo Sabres' final game Thursday, but the defenseman was walking around Saturday as players cleaned out their lockers. McKee was given intravenous antibiotics every four hours to fight the strange infection on his shin. The Sabres lost 4-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With success, Hurricanes win back fans (AP)
A year ago, the Carolina Hurricanes were winding up a season that wasn't. The National Hockey League and its players' union were still fighting to reach a labor deal. A lockout had left arenas across North America dark for a year, and fans were worried they'd stay that way for another. It would take another month and a half of negotiations before both sides agreed to return to the ice.

Chelios signs, Wings waiting on Yzerman (AP)
The NHL's oldest player has at least another season in him. Chris Chelios signed a one-year contract Wednesday with the Detroit Red Wings. He will be a 45-year-old defenseman next year in the middle of his eighth season with the team and 23rd in the league. The three-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman played in 81 games last season and had a plus-22 rating.

Dover Observations
DOVER, Del. – It was a wild finish at Dover on Sunday, but more fans should have been there to enjoy it.

Kenseth rallies with three laps left to win at Dover (AP)
One day after turning 30, Jamie McMurray came close to giving himself the perfect belated birthday gift: a trip to Victory Lane.

Kenseth wins NASCAR Neighborhood Excellence 400 (SportsTicker)

Stewart needs Rudd after 38 laps at Dover (AP)
Tony Stewart said he's ready to go 500 miles at Pocono.

Krohn Racing wins six-hour Rolex race at Watkins Glen (AP)
Jorg Bergmeister pulled away from Alex Gurney on a restart with just over six minutes left to win the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Saturday. The restart in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race, which was plagued by intermittent rain, came after the eighth caution.

Burton wins Busch Stonebridgeracing.com 200 (SportsTicker)

Burton charges from 36th to win Busch race at Dover (AP)
Jeff Burton had the biggest come-from-behind win ever in a Busch Series race at Dover International Speedway, overcoming a 36th-place starting position for his second victory of the season Saturday.

Rudd looks to shoulder the road for injured Stewart (AP)
DOVER, Del. – Ricky Rudd was NASCAR's "Iron Man," leaving a legacy as the most durable driver in the sport.

Martin wins truck race at Dover (AP)
No wonder Mark Martin wants to run the full Craftsman Truck Series schedule so badly. He's having a blast racking up the wins.

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