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Minor leaguer takes Clemens deep (AP)
Pitcher Roger Clemens throws to the plate in the first inning for the Lexington Legends in their game against Lake County, Tuesday, June 6, 2006, in Lexington, Ky. Clemens will pitch for the Class A team in his first start since coming out of retirement to play for the Houston Astros.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)AP - A pitching legend, pitching as a Legend, began his latest comeback Tuesday night on an unfamiliar mound in the low minor leagues with — what else? — a strikeout.


White Sox beat division-leading Tigers (AP)
Chicago White Sox's Alex Cintron (8) follows through on a three-run home run scoring Joe Crede and Jermaine Dye against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning of a Major League baseball game in Chicago, Tuesday, June 6, 2006. The White Sox won 4-3. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - Alex Cintron noticed a pattern, and then it was just a matter of waiting for his pitch. Cintron hit a three-run homer off reliever Fernando Rodney in the eighth inning to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.


Vaidisova upsets Venus at French Open (AP)
Czech Republic's Nicole Vaidisova returns the ball to USA's Venus Williams in their quarterfinal match during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Tuesday June 6, 2006. Vaidisova won 6-7, 6-1, 6-3. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)AP - Teen sensation Nicole Vaidisova pulled off her second successive upset Tuesday at the French Open, beating Venus Williams 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-3 to earn her first Grand Slam semifinal berth.


Royals make pitcher Hochevar No. 1 pick (AP)
This handout from the University of Tennessee shows baseball player Luke Hochevar.  Hochevar was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the No. 1 overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft Tuesday, June 6, 2006. (AP Photo/University of Tennessee)AP - Luke Hochevar held out for a year, gave the draft another try and came out on top. The Kansas City Royals made the big right-hander the overall No. 1 pick Tuesday, a year after Hochevar and agent Scott Boras failed to reach a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Feds search house of Arizona reliever (AP)
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jason Grimsley follows through on a pitch during a game against the San Diego Padres, seen in this Tuesday, May 16, 2006, file photo in Phoenix. Authorities who cracked the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid scandal here are eying Grimsley and others for steroid use, according to court documents unsealed late Tuesday, June 6, 2006, in San Francisco. Grimsley's house was searched earlier Tuesday. (AP Photo/Roy Dabner)AP - Federal investigators searched Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Jason Grimsley's house Tuesday as part of their investigation of steroid use in baseball.


McNair agent: Decision time for Titans (AP)
Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, left, arrives with his agent Bus Cook at team's facility for an arbitration hearing in Nashville, Tenn., in this May 16, 2006, file photo. Cook said Tuesday that it's time for Titans to either pay, trade or cut McNair. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey/file)AP - Steve McNair's agent said Tuesday it's time the Tennessee Titans do something with their quarterback.


Mavs' Nowitzki has way of bouncing back (AP)
Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, drives the ball against the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball game in Dallas, Thursday, June 1, 2006. Nowitzki goes into Game 1 of the NBA finals against the Miami Heat, Thursday, June 8,  averaging 28.4 points and 11.9 rebounds this postseason. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)AP - As the Miami Heat try to find ways to handle Dirk Nowitzki, they'll no doubt look at his mistakes that cost the Mavericks playoff games against San Antonio and Phoenix. The Heat would be wise to heed what happened next.


Rangers road warrior Millwood wins again (AP)
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Kevin Millwood throws against Kansas City Royals' Doug Mientkiewicz in the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 6, 2006, in Kansas City, Mo. The Rangers won 6-2. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)AP - Kevin Millwood sure seems at home on the road.


Berlin showcased as World Cup beckons (AP)
A pedestrian walks along what was once part of the wall separating East from West BerlinTuesday, June 6, 2006 in Berlin. This section of wall, painted with numerous murals, is now known as the East Side Gallery. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)AP - Barbed wire and concrete once obscured the Brandenburg Gate, a stark symbol of a world divided when it stood abandoned behind the Berlin Wall. Now, it's hidden by scaffolding and a stage where thousands of Berliners and out-of-towners will watch the World Cup soccer tournament on huge TV screens.


Will Oilers turn to Conklin or Markkanen? (AP)
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jussi Markkanen, of Finland, is shown during practice for the Stanley Cup hockey finals against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday, June 6, 2006 in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)AP - A group of Edmonton players swarmed around Ty Conklin, peppering him with rubber and looking to expose any vulnerability. Upper left corner. Lower right post. Stick side. Glove hand. Between the pads.


Diamonds in the rough
Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks tops the list of potential candidates for the July 13 supplemental draft.

Favre returns to practice for Packers (AP)
Brett Favre was back on the field Tuesday, a day after being held out of a voluntary practice. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he planned to hold the quarterback out of Monday's practice all along -- despite comments last week that led most to believe Favre would take part in all four practices this week.

Agent: Titans need decision on QB McNair (AP)
Steve McNair's agent said Tuesday it's time the Tennessee Titans do something with their quarterback. "Keep him under the contract he has, trade him, cut him or start trying to get a new deal done with the starting point being what's on the table from the Ravens," agent Bus Cook said Tuesday. "They don't want to do any of those things.

Texans hire Broncos' Smith as GM (AP)
The Houston Texans hired Rick Smith as general manager on Monday, reuniting the former Denver assistant GM with new coach Gary Kubiak. Smith becomes the second general manager in Texans history, following Charley Casserly, who resigned following the draft. Casserly is considered the front-runner to become the NFL's vice president for football operations, succeeding Art Shell, who left to become...

Boller remains Ravens starting QB (AP)
Until he hears otherwise, Kyle Boller will consider himself the Baltimore Ravens' starting quarterback. Boller knows all about the team's pursuit of Steve McNair, who has already worked out a prospective five-year deal with the Ravens. But McNair is still property of the Tennessee Titans, so Boller worked with Baltimore's first-team offense Tuesday during the first day of a three-day minicamp.

Contract year not changing Brian Dawkins (AP)
No matter his contract situation, Brian Dawkins doesn't plan to play or act any differently. The five-time Pro Bowl safety could be entering his final season with the Philadelphia Eagles. But Dawkins isn't going to hold out for a new deal or cause any problems. "Whether it's a contract year, whether it's the first year after a contract, whether it's the third year on a four-year deal, I'm going to...

Saints deal LB Watson to Bills (AP)
The New Orleans Saints traded linebacker Courtney Watson to the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday in exchange for tight end Tim Euhus. It's the second time this year that Watson has been traded. He was sent to Miami earlier this offseason but the deal was voided when Eddie Moore, the player the Saints had obtained, failed a physical.

Broncos TE Trusty out for the season (AP)
Denver Broncos tight end Landon Trusty will miss the 2006 season with a torn ligament in his right knee. Trusty, a second-year pro who signed with the Broncos on Jan. 9 after spending last season in San Diego, was placed on the reserve/injured list with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Trusty was active for four weeks with the Chargers and spent 13 weeks on their practice squad.

No place to hide
Members of the Heat and Mavericks are about to learn that the harsh glare of the NBA Finals spotlight can take a toll.

Wade misses second consecutive practice (AP)
Battling a sinus infection, Miami guard Dwyane Wade did not work out with the Heat on Tuesday. Wade attended practice, "but didn't do anything ultra-live," Heat coach Pat Riley said. Wade went to team meetings and planned to fly with the Heat to Dallas later Tuesday. Miami will practice in Dallas on Wednesday, then play Game 1 of the NBA finals there against the Mavericks on Thursday night.

Mavs have tough task with O'Neal (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal has always given himself colorful, timely nicknames. With his Miami Heat about to open the NBA finals against the Dallas Mavericks, here's a new one he could consider: The Mavs Masher. He certainly has the numbers to back it up. Over 36 career games against Dallas, O'Neal has averaged 29.3 points.

Riley's retooled roster intensifies Heat (AP)
A few days ago, Pat Riley was asked if he felt vindicated by his bold, roster-revamping moves last summer. The Miami Heat coach has heard that question often lately, and his answer is usually about the same. "It's working," he said. "We'll find out if it has worked." Riley demands excellence from himself and those around him.

Nets pick up coach Frank's '07-08 option (AP)
The New Jersey Nets have exercised the option on coach Lawrence Frank's contract for the 2007-2008 season, the team said Tuesday. Frank signed a four-year, $10 million contract extension at the beginning of the 2004-2005 season. He led the Nets to a 49-33 record and the Atlantic Division title for the second time in three years this season.

Mavs' Nowitzki has way of bouncing back (AP)
As the Miami Heat try to find ways to handle Dirk Nowitzki, they'll no doubt look at his mistakes that cost the Mavericks playoff games against San Antonio and Phoenix. The Heat would be wise to heed what happened next. The Mavericks didn't lose another game in each series, and Nowitzki more than atoned for each flub.

Wade first '03 star to play for title (AP)
The comparisons leave Dwyane Wade sheepish. He knows they're almost inevitable, though. Wade hails from Chicago, grew up a Bulls fan. A Bulls jersey with the number 23 hangs in his arena. His acrobatic, high-flying moves are reminiscent of a certain six-time NBA champion. His body is sleek, muscular. And he has that uncanny knack of taking games over when his team needs it most.

Dumars wants same nucleus for Pistons (AP)
Joe Dumars hopes to take his chances at competing for a title next year with the top six players the Detroit Pistons have had the past two seasons. If Detroit is able to re-sign Ben Wallace, an unrestricted free agent, the Pistons president of basketball operations said he expects to keep the team's nucleus intact to make another run after falling short of the NBA finals for the first time since...

One and done?
Edmonton saw its starting goalie skate off with an injury Monday. Did its Cup hopes follow him out the door?

It's now Conklin or Markkanen for Oilers (AP)
A group of Edmonton players swarmed around Ty Conklin, peppering him with rubber and looking to expose any vulnerability. Upper left corner. Lower right post. Stick side. Glove hand. Between the pads. At the other end of the rink, Jussi Markkanen faced a similar barrage, managing to stop some of the shots with various parts of his heavily padded body.

Ward clutch after early Game 1 struggles (AP)
The Carolina Hurricanes were still grumbling Tuesday about how poorly they played, despite coming away with a win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals against Edmonton. And if it wasn't for rookie goaltender Cam Ward, they knew it could have been much worse. "We got outshot, outchanced, we got outplayed, plain and simple.

Ailing child's fight drives Laviolette (AP)
The Carolina Hurricanes are finding extra inspiration from an unexpected source in the NHL playoffs. Julia Rowe, a 6-year-old friend of coach Peter Laviolette's three children, is battling leukemia for a second time. Laviolette has publicized her fight to raise awareness about the disease. "The family is just terrific and they're big 'Canes fans," Laviolette said.

Ratings low, but Bettman likes TV deal (AP)
Gary Bettman spoke glowingly about the state of the NHL, hours before the start of a Stanley Cup final very few were expected to watch on television. "Things are good, our vital signs are strong and we have tremendous optimism about the future of our game," the commissioner said Monday night before the Edmonton Oilers faced the Carolina Hurricanes in the opener of the best-of-seven series.

Coyotes hire Samuelsson as assistant (AP)
The Phoenix Coyotes hired former NHL defenseman Ulf Samuelsson as an assistant coach Monday, replacing Rick Bowness. Bowness spent the last seven seasons with the Coyotes and served as interim head coach for the final two months of the 2003-04 season. He replaced the fired Bob Francis and had a 2-12-3-3 record.

Rutherford saw ups and downs with 'Canes (AP)
Jim Rutherford found a parking lot party he simply couldn't pass up. The former NHL goalie-turned-general manager has seen many ups and downs with the Carolina Hurricanes franchise that moved in a hurry from Hartford, Conn., and tried to set up shop in multiple areas in the heart of ACC basketball country.

Halfway there
With 13 races down, some teams are headed for the Chase while others are in trouble.

Bill Elliott to drive three races for Toyota this season (AP)
Bill Elliott will run three races this season for Red Bull Racing as a warmup for its 2007 debut as one of Toyota's initial teams.

NASCAR takes playing hurt to a new level (AP)
Ricky Rudd once had to duct tape his swollen eyes open to race. Davey Allison, driving with a broken hand, had to glue Velcro onto his cast and the steering wheel so he could grip 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.

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