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France extends Spain's World Cup agony (AP)
France's Patrick Vieira (4) scores his team's second goal past Spain goalie Iker Casillas (1) and Sergio Ramos, center, during the Spain vs. France World Cup Round of 16 soccer match at the World Cup stadium, Tuesday, June 27, 2006, in Hanover, Germany.  (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)AP - French fans had not celebrated with such abandon in a World Cup stadium since 1998. Then again, Zinedine Zidane had not played a game like this one in eight years.


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Brazil wins behind Ronaldo's record goal (AP)
Brazil's Ronaldo, right, scores past Ghana's John Pantsil during the Brazil vs Ghana Round of 16 World Cup soccer match at Dortmund's Stadium, Germany, Tuesday, June 27, 2006. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)AP - Ronaldo broke free early, flashed past Ghana's flailing goalkeeper and poked the ball into the net.


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Clemens pitches well, loses to Tigers (AP)
Houston Astros starter Roger Clemens wipes his brow in the seventh innnig of their baseball game against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, June 27, 2006, in Detroit. Clemens was pulled a short time later and his record dropped to 0-2 with their 4-0 loss. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP - The Rocket pitched against the ballclub his manager dubbed "the hottest team on the planet" and got burned.


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Lovefest begins for Agassi at Wimbledon (AP)
Andre Agassi blows a kiss to the crowd, after defeating Boris Pashanski of Serbia, in their Men's Singles, first round match on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Tuesday June 27, 2006.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)AP - A homemade necklace proclaiming "Daddy Rocks" has replaced the thick gold chain and dangling earring Andre Agassi sported when he won Wimbledon in 1992. A shaved head glistens where tresses once flowed underneath a sponsor-touting ballcap.


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With Bargnani at top, NBA draft a mystery (AP)
NBA Draft prospect Andrea Bargnani, of Italy, is pictured during a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA fitness clinic Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at Baruch College in New York.  The NBA Draft is Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)AP - As Andrea Bargnani told a curious media contingent about himself Tuesday, Tyrus Thomas sat a few feet away and was asked what he knew about the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.


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Ravens, Reed agree to 6-year extension (AP)
AP - Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agreed to terms Tuesday on a six-year, $40 million contract extension with the team.

Italian Bargnani eager for draft dream to start (Reuters)
Reuters - Andrea Bargnani of Italy said he was excited and nervous about launching his NBA career at Wednesday's draft and surprised by the hordes of reporters crowding around him at media day.

Giants' Morris masters interleague play (AP)
San Francisco Giants starter Matt Morris throws to the Texas Rangers in the first inning of an interleague baseball game in San Francisco on Tuesday June 27, 2006.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)AP - For the second time in a week, Mark Teixeira thought he had a game-winning or go-ahead hit in the ninth inning for Texas.


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AP Blog: Access to players lacking a bit (AP)
England national soccer team player Owen Hargreaves speaks during a World Cup news conference at Mittelbergstadion in Buehlertal, Germany, Tuesday June 27, 2006.  England face Portugal in a World Cup quarterfinal match in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday July 1, 2006.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)AP - Now that the World Cup is underway, AP writers will be filing periodic, behind-the-scenes reports during soccer's largest spectacle:


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Cuban, Marino may buy Penguins (AP)
Jordan Staal puts on a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey after the team drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver, Canada., Saturday, June 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Chuck Stoody, CP)AP - Mark Cuban is known for baiting NBA officials, and Dan Marino is the most prolific passer in NFL history. But the Pittsburgh natives now want to expand into a different sport in their hometown — hockey.


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Not so hot
BEAUMONT, Texas – The results of ex-J.C. All-American David Dixon didn't match his workout's scorching conditions.

Ravens, S Reed agree to extension (AP)
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agreed to terms Tuesday on a six-year, $40 million contract extension with the team. Reed was entering the final year of his original contract. The agreement ended off-and-on talks that began last season. Reed's agent, Greg Genske, said his client will receive a $15 million signing bonus in the largest deal ever given to a safety.

NFL adds amphetamines to steroids policy (AP)
The NFL has toughened up its drug policy, adding amphetamines to the list of banned performance-enhancers starting this season. Amphetamines were previously listed as a "substance-abuse drug," but are now in the same category as steroids and other enhancers that carry much stronger penalties. This season will serve as a transition year, where a first positive test would bring a warning and put a...

NFL, union face suit over hedge fund (AP)
Seven current and former NFL players have sued the league and its union to recover $20 million they lost in an alleged fraud scheme, claiming the union endorsed the services of an investment firm even though its manager had liens against him. In a lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, the players said the league and the NFL Players Association are liable for the losses because of...

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.

Ricky Williams struggles as Argos lose (AP)
Suspended NFL star Ricky Williams ran for 14 yards on eight carries Friday night in his second regular-season game for the Toronto Argonauts, a 16-9 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Williams, playing in the CFL after he was suspended by the NFL for one year after a fourth positive drug test, also had one catch for a yard.

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.

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.

Pacers' Stojakovic becomes free agent (AP)
Indiana Pacers forward Peja Stojakovic opted out of the final year of his contract on Tuesday but wants to return to the team. Stojakovic took advantage of the early termination clause in his six-year deal and became a free agent in hopes of getting a raise and long-term contract, his agent said. His current deal would have paid him more than $8.1 million next season.

Bench warrant for Wizards' Arenas lifted (AP)
Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas missed a court hearing Tuesday on a charge of resisting an officer without violence, and a warrant was briefly issued before the arraignment was rescheduled. Neither Arenas, the Wizards' leading scorer, nor his attorney showed up for the morning arraignment. Miami-Dade County Judge Samuel Slom issued a bench warrant for the player's arrest and set a $2,000...

Plenty of questions in NBA draft (AP)
As Andrea Bargnani told a curious media contingent about himself Tuesday, Tyrus Thomas sat a few feet away and was asked what he knew about the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. "I don't know much, but I hear he's a great player though," Thomas said. "He has to be a good player to be here." Texas forward LaMarcus Aldridge is the other player prominently mentioned as the one who could be called...

Raptors likely to keep top pick in draft (AP)
The Raptors most likely will keep the top pick in the NBA draft, with their choices believed to be down to Italian forward Andrea Bargnani or Texas forward LaMarcus Aldridge. "At this point, it seems to be that we are more or less locked in at the No. 1 spot," general manager Bryan Colangelo said Tuesday.

Coach Scott signs extension with Hornets (AP)
Hornets coach Byron Scott signed a three-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep him with the team through the 2008-09 season. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but in 2004, Scott signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Hornets, with a team option for a fourth year. Scott said earlier this week that the new deal included bonuses for wins, reaching the playoffs and...

Dolan: Isiah has one year to fix Knicks (AP)
With two first-round picks in the NBA draft, Isiah Thomas has a chance to help the New York Knicks start building a promising future. Forgive Thomas if he isn't thinking that far ahead right now. With Thomas seated next to him, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan delivered a warning Monday that he is prepared to make another coaching change next season if he doesn't see improvement in the...

Even after title, Heat looking to future (AP)
As with any championship team, there is already sentiment around the Miami Heat to bring the entire roster back for next season's title defense. But that hardly ever happens, in any sport, and center Shaquille O'Neal knows change is inevitable for the Heat, too. "Everybody's going to take care of their individual business," O'Neal said.

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

Bruins fire coach Mike Sullivan (AP)
Mike Sullivan was fired Tuesday after two seasons as coach of the Boston Bruins, incoming general manager Peter Chiarelli's first major move with the team. No replacement was announced. The Bruins finished last in the Northeast Division last season. In 2003-04, Sullivan's first season, they lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Cuban, Marino join bid to buy Penguins (AP)
Mark Cuban is known for baiting NBA officials, and Dan Marino is the most prolific passer in NFL history. But the Pittsburgh natives now want to expand into a different sport in their hometown -- hockey. The two have joined with a New York City financier in trying to buy the NHL's Penguins from Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux's group, which is selling the two-time Stanley Cup champions even as the team...

Raycroft passes physical with Leafs (AP)
Andrew Raycroft passed his physical Tuesday with the Toronto Maple Leafs, making his trade from the Boston Bruins official. Toronto acquired the 26-year-old goalie at the NHL draft on Saturday in exchange for goalie prospect Tuukka Rask. "It's going to be a great experience," said Raycroft, an Ontario native from Belleville.

Hurricanes re-sign D Frantisek Kaberle (AP)
Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle re-signed with the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, a week after scoring the winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Edmonton Oilers. The 32-year-old Czech agreed to a four-year contract for $2.2 million a year. Kaberle led Carolina's defensemen in scoring during the regular season, finishing with 44 points (six goals, 38 assists) in 77 games.

NHL cap officially increased to $44M (AP)
The NHL salary cap was increased to $44 million as expected, the league and players' association said Tuesday. The increase is about $5 million per team. The minimum also increased to $28 million, up from $21.5 this past season. The new midpoint will be $36 million. The cap is up because league-wide revenues totaled more than $2.1 billion, exceeding preseason projections of $1.8 billion.

Trade unites Demitra, Gaborik on Wild (AP)
Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik have always dreamed about playing together in the NHL. The fellow Slovaks saw the results when they teamed up, both for Dukla Trencin in the Slovak Extraliga and for the Slovakian Olympic team in Turin, Italy, where they teamed with Atlanta's Marian Hossa to form an electrifying line.

Habs re-sign G Huet to two-year deal (AP)
Goaltender Cristobal Huet re-signed with the Canadiens on Monday, agreeing to a two-year contract after a season in which he helped Montreal make the playoffs and had a league-best .929 save percentage. His strong play allowed general manager Bob Gainey to deal struggling former Hart Trophy winner Jose Theodore and his big contract to Colorado.

WWD: Dodge/Save Mart 350
SONOMA, Calif. – Once again, Jeff Gordon is the king of the NASCAR road.

Gordon earns road racing victory (AP)
Jeff Gordon called crew chief Steve Letarte with two pieces of important news Sunday morning.

Gamble pays off for Terry Labonte, team owners (AP)
Fuel strategy paid off for Terry Labonte on Sunday at Infineon Raceway, where the two-time NASCAR champion benefited from some late cautions and a little luck to nurse his car the final 50 laps on a tank of gas.

AP Newsbreak: Vickers to drive Toyota for Team Red Bull in 2007 (AP)
Brian Vickers will drive for Team Red Bull in 2007, positioning himself to be the future of Toyota as the Japanese automaker prepares for its Nextel Cup debut, The Associated Press has learned.

Gordon wins NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge/Save Mart 350 (SportsTicker)


Menard holds on for first Busch victory (AP)
Paul Menard found himself being pushed by Kevin Harvick with less than three laps to go at the Milwaukee Mile on Saturday night.

Menard wins AT&T 250 for first Busch Series triumph (SportsTicker)


Benson wins NCTS Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 (SportsTicker)


Benson goes back-to-back with Milwaukee victory (AP)
After winning his first career NASCAR Craftsman Trucks series race last week, Johnny Benson told his crew the same thing any other greedy racer would.

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