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Twins rookie upstages Clemens' return (AP)
Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens yells toward home plate after Minnesota Twins' Michael Cuddyer hit a pop fly during the fifth inning of their Major League Baseball game Thursday, June 22, 2006, in Houston. Michael Cuddyer was out on the play. Clemens left the game after pitching five innings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AP - While Roger Clemens returned to the mound for his 23rd major league season, his Houston Astros teammates got a close look at a future ace in Francisco Liriano.


White Sox manager Guillen fined for slur (AP)
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, right, and third base coach Joey Cora watch the baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals  during the second inning in Chicago, Wednesday, June 21, 2006. 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. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)AP - Ozzie Guillen was fined and ordered to attend sensitivity training Thursday as commissioner Bud Selig punished the outspoken Chicago White Sox manager for using a slur during a tirade against a sports columnist.


Feds identify BALCO founder as source (AP)
San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds drives in a run as he grounds into a double play against the Los Angeles Angels' Scott Shields in the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game in San Francisco on Wednesday, June 21, 2006.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - E-mails seized by federal authorities identify the convicted founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative as a source in the San Francisco Chronicle's reporting on the steroids scandal, according to an online court filing that accidentally revealed confidential information.


U.S. eliminated in 1st round of World Cup (AP)
Ghana's John Pantsil, center, tries an overhead kick during the USA vs Ghana World Cup Group E soccer match at the Franken Stadium in Nuremberg, Germany, Thursday, June 22, 2006. Other teams in Group E are Italy and Czech Republic. USA's Brian McBride is right, Eddie Lewis left. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)AP - Heads bowed, American soccer players walked off the field. There was nothing to celebrate. Three and out. Time to head home.


Thornton edges Jagr in NHL MVP voting (AP)
San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton poses after winning the Art Ross trophy, right, for the League's leading scorer and Hart trophy for the League's most valuable player at the NHL awards in Vancouver, Canada, Thursday, June 22, 2006. (AP Photo/Chuck Stoody,CP)AP - Joe Thornton edged out Jaromir Jagr again.


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.


Raptors hire European as club's VP (AP)
AP - The Toronto Raptors hired Maurizio Gherardini, who built one of the most successful professional basketball teams in Europe, as the club's vice president and assistant general manager Thursday.

Thome solo shot lifts White Sox past Cardinals (Reuters)
Reuters - Jim Thome belted a seventh- inning solo home run to spoil rookie Anthony Reyes' no-hit bid and lift the Chicago White Sox to a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in interleague play on Thursday.

Ghana boots U.S. from World Cup (AP)
Ghana's Razak Pimpong kicks ball away from USA's Oguchi Onyewu, right, during the USA vs Ghana World Cup Group E soccer match at the Franken Stadium in Nuremberg, Germany, Thursday, June 22, 2006. Other teams in Group E are Italy and Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)AP - They were confident. They were hyped. They promised that the world's game had arrived in the United States — and that the world best beware.


Mighty no more: Ducks change name, colors (AP)
Anaheim Ducks players Corey Perry, foreground left, and Todd Marchant display the team's new home and away uniforms as Anaheim Ducks owners Henry Samueli and his wife Susan Samueli, left  to right rear, unveil the National Hockey League club's new logo and jerseys Thursday, June 22, 2006, at the Arrowhead Pond, in Anaheim, Calif. At the same time, the club officially changed its name from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, to the Anaheim Ducks. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)AP - The Ducks are mighty no more.


Early supplemental entries
The NFL player personnel office has approved the paperwork of four supplemental draft prospects.

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.

Saints training camp goes to Mississippi (AP)
The New Orleans Saints are marching to Mississippi. The Saints announced a four-year agreement Thursday to hold training camp at Millsaps College in an attempt to broaden the team's fan base and help new coach Sean Payton build team unity. "We believe by having camp away, it's good for building a bond for coaches and owners and players," owner Tom Benson said.

Manning calls James' departure sad (AP)
Peyton Manning was sorry to see running back Edgerrin James leave the Indianapolis Colts, but he's got an idea about how to bolster the running game. "Everybody has been asking how the running game is going to be this year. I've told them I'm going to try to get involved in the running game more myself," the two-time MVP joked Thursday.

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.

Madison Square Garbage
GM Isiah Thomas made a mess of the Knicks. Now it's up to him to clean things up as head coach – or else.

Knicks fire Brown, name Thomas coach (AP)
Larry Brown is no longer the NBA's dead man walking. His "dream job" as coach of the New York Knicks is over, finally ending what may have been the most drawn-out firing in sports history. Now Isiah Thomas gets the job of coaching the overpriced, underachieving roster he created. The Knicks put Brown out of his coaching misery Thursday, ending weeks of uncertainty by firing the Hall of Fame coach...

Jordan gets to work with Bobcats (AP)
Michael Jordan went to work for the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday, overseeing a pre-draft workout as part-owner of the team. Jordan, who's been given decision-making power on personnel decisions, helped conduct on-court drills during most of the workout. He retreated to a balcony overlooking the practice court by the time reporters were allowed in and declined to speak to the media.

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.

Clean start: Nowitzki shaves head, beard (AP)
Don't worry Mavs fans: Dirk Nowitzki was bored, not despondent, when he took a razor to his head the day after the NBA finals. "It's summertime," Nowitzki said Thursday, showing off a clean-shaven face and head. "Sitting home yesterday, I was disappointed, obviously, frustrated. I had to do something." On the day the Dallas Mavericks were hoping to host a winner-take-all Game 7 against the Miami...

Bucks sign Krystkowiak as assistant (AP)
The Milwaukee Bucks signed Larry Krystkowiak to a multiyear contract Thursday to be an assistant coach. Krystkowiak, who played for the Bucks during four of his nine seasons in the NBA, joins Milwaukee's coaching staff after two seasons as head coach at the University of Montana. "From an NBA perspective, Milwaukee is very dear to my heart," Krystkowiak said.

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.

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

Joe Thornton named NHL MVP (AP)
Joe Thornton edged out Jaromir Jagr again. Thornton, who beat out Jagr for the scoring title by two points, took the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP on Thursday with Jagr again relegated to runner-up. "I was a big hockey fan so I would always watch these awards and Wayne (Gretzky) would always take it home and obviously Mario (Lemieux) and Mark (Messier) as well," Thornton said after accepting the...

Mighty no more: Ducks unveil new look (AP)
The Ducks are mighty no more. The NHL team will take the ice next season as the Anaheim Ducks, wearing new uniforms with different colors and a redesigned logo. The makeover cuts the team's final remaining ties to former owner The Walt Disney Co., which sold the Ducks last year to Orange County residents Henry and Susan Samueli.

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...

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.

Stewart tired of talking about injury (AP)
His broken right shoulder blade is getting to be a sore subject for Tony Stewart.

Accident leaves Riggs in doubt for Sonoma (AP)
Bill Elliott will stand by as a possible replacement for Evernham Motorsports driver Scott Riggs this weekend at Infineon Raceway following an accident in which the NASCAR Nextel Cup driver sustained cuts to both feet while unloading a jet ski in an oyster bed.

Notes: Gilliland ready for next challenge (AP)
David Gilliland's victory last weekend at Kentucky Speedway is considered by many the biggest upset in the...

Racing-based reading program spurs kids to read more (AP)
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – When he was in kindergarten last year, Dakota Cole was like most boys in his class: He...

Maturity making difference for youngster Kahne (AP)
A year ago, Kasey Kahne was mired in a sophomore slump and the conventional wisdom was that, besides struggling...

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.

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