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Reyes' cycle for naught as Reds rally (AP)
New York Mets Jose Reyes follows through on a home run during the first inning of baseball action against the Cincinnati Reds at New York's Shea Stadium Wednesday June 21, 2006. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)AP - Brandon Phillips didn't know which pitch was coming from Mets closer Billy Wagner. He did know he was going to strike out if it was another high fastball.


Mexico advances to 2nd round despite loss (AP)
Mexico's Omar Bravo, left, collides with Paulo Ferreira during the Germany 2006 Soccer World Cup, Group D, soccer match between Portugal and Mexico at Gelsenkirchen stadium, Germany, Wednesday, June 21, 2006. Portugal beat Mexico 2-1. The other teams in Group D are Angola and Iran. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)AP - Mexico will play in the second round of the World Cup for the fourth straight time.


Guillen apologizes for name calling (AP)
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, right, argues with home plate umpire Mike Everitt after Brian Anderson and Pablo Ozuna were hit by pitches during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Tuesday, June 20, 2006. The White Sox won 20-6. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - Outspoken Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen apologized Wednesday for using a derogatory term in referring to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, then kept up his criticism of the writer.


Blue Jays hand Braves 9th straight loss (AP)
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday, June 21,  2006, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)AP - The Atlanta Braves, desperate for a sign that their bad luck and losing streak might end, instead were given an early indication Wednesday night the misery would continue.


La Russa says Pujols to return next week (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols takes fielding practice before the baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Tuesday, June 20, 2006. Pujols, who is recovering from an injury, is expected to return to the Cardinals lineup soon. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - Albert Pujols should be ready to come off the disabled list and play by Monday when the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game series at home against the Cleveland Indians, manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday.


Roethlisberger visits Steelers offices (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger watches a replay from the sidelines during the fourth quarter of a 20-19 win on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005 against the Baltimore Ravens.   Roethlisberger will be cited for not wearing a helmet and not having a motorcycle license for a traffic accident last week in which he collided with a car, police said Monday June 19, 2006, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)AP - Ben Roethlisberger, accompanied by bodyguards and wearing a hood to cover facial injuries from a motorcycle crash, visited the Pittsburgh Steelers' offices Tuesday, a newspaper reported.


Nowitzki cites Game Three as beginning of the end (Reuters)
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki yells instructions to teammates during first half action against the Miami Heat in Game 6 of their NBA Finals basketball game in Dallas, June 20, 2006. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)Reuters - Dirk Nowitzki knows exactly when the Dallas Mavericks' championship season began to unravel.


White Sox put up another football score (AP)
Chicago White Sox's Jim Thome watches his two-run home run scoring Tadahito Iguchi during the second inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Chicago, Wednesday, June 21, 2006. The White Sox won 13-5. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - The Chicago White Sox are coming up with some impressive offensive numbers against one of the National League's best teams.


U.S. soccer success hinges on win, help (AP)
United States midfielder Bobby Convey stretches at the start of the team's training session in Nuremberg, Germany, Wednesday, June 21, 2006. USA will play Ghana in their World Cup Group E soccer match on Thursday, June 22 in Nuremberg. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)AP - Even before playing Ghana, the United States believed it was in the toughest World Cup group.


NHL owners approve sales of Blues, Coyotes (AP)
AP - The NHL board of governors approved the sale of the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday to a group headed by Dave Checketts, the former president of Madison Square Garden.

Paper chase
FOXBORO, Mass. – Corey Dillon believes he can still make headlines as one of the NFL's elite running backs.

Roethlisberger visits Steelers offices (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger, accompanied by bodyguards and wearing a hood to cover facial injuries from a motorcycle crash, visited the Pittsburgh Steelers' offices Tuesday, a newspaper reported. Roethlisberger stopped by headquarters for the first time since the accident eight days ago to pick up mail and other items.

Bucs QB McCown will have knee surgery (AP)
Tampa Bay quarterback Luke McCown will have knee surgery this week, leaving the Buccaneers in the market for another backup for Chris Simms. McCown partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while scrambling out of the pocket during a workout June 15. He will have surgery in the next couple of days, coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday.

Bengals draft pick Rucker faces charges (AP)
Bengals defensive end Frostee Rucker has been charged with two counts of spousal battery and vandalism. The misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday after an alleged fight between Rucker and his girlfriend at a party he was hosting in Los Angeles last August, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the city attorney's office.

Steelers WR Holmes apologizes for arrest (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes apologized Tuesday for his latest arrest on charges he assaulted a woman. The 22-year-old Holmes was charged by Columbus, Ohio, police Monday with two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and simple assault. It was his second arrest since he was chosen in the first round of the NFL draft.

LenDale White on way back from injury (AP)
Titans rookie running back LenDale White said the hamstring injury that has bothered him since the spring has healed, and he is now working on conditioning. "It feels a lot better getting in there with the team and coming along," said White, who participated in team drills for a second consecutive minicamp practice Tuesday.

Rams acquire QB Ragone from Bengals (AP)
The St. Louis Rams have acquired quarterback Dave Ragone from the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. The left-handed Ragone is expected to compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jeff Smoker for the No. 3 quarterback job, the Rams said Wednesday. He'll likely play behind starter Marc Bulger and backup Gus Frerotte.

Seahawks release 13-year veteran P Rouen (AP)
The Seattle Seahawks released veteran punter Tom Rouen on Monday, after the 13-year veteran played in 12 games for the NFC champions last year. Rouen signed with Seattle on Oct. 5, taking over for Leo Araguz, who was released. Rouen averaged 41.6 yards on 62 kicks, including 20 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

The only Air apparent
DALLAS – In carrying the Heat to the NBA title, Dwyane Wade proved he has what it takes to be the next Jordan.

Triumphant Heat return to Miami (AP)
And after the sixth game, they rested. The Miami Heat began a well-deserved break Wednesday after their triumphant return to South Florida with the NBA championship trophy in tow. The Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-92 in Game 6 Tuesday for the 18-year-old franchise's first title. Finals MVP Dwyane Wade, center Shaquille O'Neal and the other Heat members arrived at Miami International Airport...

LeBron confident about deal with Cavs (AP)
Now that good pal Dwyane Wade has won an NBA title, LeBron James is even more driven to get his first. "It just makes me hungrier," James said Wednesday at the groundbreaking for a $4.7 million housing project on the city's east side that he and his business team are partially funding. "The best team won it this year, D-Wade and the Miami Heat.

Raptors debate who to take with top pick (AP)
Texas forward LaMarcus Aldridge has impressed the Toronto Raptors to the point where they are rethinking who they might take with the first pick in next week's NBA draft. General manager Bryan Colangelo said Wednesday that Aldridge's recent workout in Toronto complicated things. "We like what we see. There is tremendous talent at the top of this draft.

Spurs trade Nesterovic to Raptors (AP)
The San Antonio Spurs traded center Rasho Nesterovic and cash to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday for forwards Matt Bonner and Eric Williams and a second-round pick in 2009. The move creates flexibility for the Spurs on their roster and salary cap. The 30-year-old Nesterovic has $23.5 million and three years left on his contract, while Bonner and Williams are entering the final year of their...

Shaq saw a star in Wade, now NBA does (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal has his fourth NBA championship, Pat Riley his fifth as a head coach. As far as the Heat are concerned, the best thing about Miami's first title is that Dwyane Wade delivered it. These back-and-forth NBA finals saw Riley secure his "showtime" legacy and put the debate over his big gambit to rest.

Mavs leave NBA finals with many regrets (AP)
After three spectacular playoff series, Dirk Nowitzki went into the NBA finals poised to show everyone he could lead the Dallas Mavericks to a championship -- by himself, if he had to. Instead, he watched Dwyane Wade do exactly that for the Miami Heat. Nowitzki played well in spurts, but it wasn't nearly enough.

Hornets, OKC look to solve revenue issue (AP)
Oklahoma City has rejected a $3.2 million settlement offer from the New Orleans Hornets that would prevent wrangling over excess revenues the team owes the city as part of a temporary relocation agreement. In a June 16 letter obtained Wednesday through an open records request by The Associated Press, City Manager Jim Couch informed Hornets president Paul Mott that the city could not accept the...

Southern comfort
RALEIGH, N.C. – When they needed it most, the Hurricanes gathered strength from the unwavering support of the Carolina faithful.

NHL approves sales of Blues, Coyotes (AP)
The NHL board of governors approved the sale of the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday to a group headed by Dave Checketts, the former president of Madison Square Garden. The deal, reached March 24, transfers ownership of the Blues -- the league's worst team this season -- and the Savvis Center from Bill and Nancy Laurie to Checketts and his Sports Capital Partners and Towerbrook Capital Partners.

Hurricanes, fans celebrate winning Cup (AP)
The Carolina Hurricanes and their fans celebrated the first major pro title in the state's history Tuesday, with the 114-year-old Stanley Cup signifying that hockey has found a home in North Carolina. Less than a day after beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in Game 7 of the finals, the Hurricanes took a victory lap around the RBC Center before taking the stage to thank about 30,000 fans who waited...

Avalanche re-sign Sakic to one-year deal (AP)
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic signed a one-year deal Tuesday to stay in Colorado. Sakic, who has played all 17 seasons with the Avalanche franchise, turns 37 next month. He said he thought a one-year contract extension was fair to both sides, but he hopes to play at least two more seasons. Terms were not disclosed.

Canucks hire Vigneault as coach (AP)
Alain Vigneault knew he wanted to coach the Vancouver Canucks almost a year ago after hearing a restaurant full of boisterous fans. Vigneault will get that chance next season after the Canucks hired him Tuesday, promoting the 45-year-old Montreal coach from their minor league affiliate. "I feel really honored and privileged," said Vigneault, who spent last season with the Manitoba Moose, a role...

Stanley Cup a showcase for 'new' NHL (AP)
There was more scoring, plenty of intriguing story lines and hardly anyone watching at home in the U.S. The first Stanley Cup finals of the post-lockout era showcased all the positive steps taken by the NHL to get over its debilitating labor dispute -- but also highlighted the daunting challenge of persuading anyone beyond the hard-core fans to notice.

City of Anaheim keeps name with Ducks (AP)
Days before the Mighty Ducks were to change their name to the Anaheim Ducks, the City Council approved an agreement guaranteeing the word "Anaheim" can't be eliminated from the franchise. The Ducks officially become the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. The agreement, unanimously approved on Tuesday, follows the embarrassment earlier this year when the city failed to keep Angels' owner Arte Moreno from...

Sharks cut ties with LW Scott Thornton (AP)
The San Jose Sharks declined their contract option on veteran left wing Scott Thornton on Wednesday. Thornton had been with the Sharks since 2000, scoring 147 points and recording 439 penalty minutes in 342 games. He skated for Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal and Dallas earlier in his career, playing 836 games over parts of 15 NHL seasons.

Exchanging lacquer
Trading Paint has the week off, but NASCAR fans still have enough on their minds to fill up a mailbag.

NASCAR owner charged with $20 million tax fraud (AP)
A NASCAR team owner is accused of defrauding the government of more than $20 million in taxes.

NASCAR to begin phasing in unleaded fuel (AP)
NASCAR will test unleaded fuel in a Busch Series race next month and hopes to have it in all of its series by the start of 2007.

Gilliland enjoys life in Busch league (AP)
There have been times this year that David Gilliland couldn't help but wonder if he was in over his head, that leaving California for a NASCAR career was maybe a bad idea.

Kahne wins rain-shortened race (AP)
Patience and a very fast race car have turned Kasey Kahne into a force in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series.

Kahne wins rain-shortened NASCAR 3M Performance 400 (SportsTicker)

Lester proud of improvement (AP)
It wasn't 400 miles and he was nowhere near competitive with the leaders, but Bill Lester was plenty happy with his 32nd-place finish Sunday in the NASCAR Nextel Cup event at Michigan International Speedway.

Officials cancel racing in wake of promoter's death (AP)
Race promoter Fred Brownfield's death at the Grays Harbor Raceway forced officials to cancel racing at the track on Saturday. Brownfield died in an accident at the track Friday night, his family confirmed in a statement posted on a Web site for the National Sprint Tour. He was struck by a car while lining up modified stock cars for the main race of the Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals,...

Gilliland overtakes Yeley to win Meijer 300 (SportsTicker)

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