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Yankees win rights to Japan's Igawa (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_yankees_igawa"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061129/capt.tok80111290246.japan_yankees_igawa_baseball_tok801.jpg?x=96&y=130&sig=evKp6QtOiU8dve1WkBASTg--" align="left" height="130" width="96" alt="Hanshin Tigers left-hander Kei Igawa smiles during a press conference at an Osaka hotel, western Japan, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006 as the Tigers announced that they accepted the New York Yankees' offer. The New York Yankees won the bidding for Igawa when the Hanshin Tigers accepted their offer of slightly more than $26 million (3.01 billion yen, euro19.78 million). (AP Photo/Kyodo News)" border="0" /></a>AP - The New York Yankees got a chance to sign a Japanese pitcher on their second try this offseason, winning the rights Tuesday to Kei Igawa after losing out to the Boston Red Sox two weeks ago for Daisuke Matsuzaka.</p><br clear="all"/>

La Russa says McGwire belongs in Hall (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_hall_mcgwire_la_russa"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061128/capt.151f76abac8149968af2abb3edd9e09d.hall_mcgwire_larussa_baseball_ny160.jpg?x=130&y=104&sig=QtdTe0r2823DNAzasSnhVw--" align="left" height="104" width="130" alt="St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, left, gives first baseman Mark McGwire a hug after the Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs 2-1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, in this Sept. 28, 1997 file photo. (AP Photo/Mary Butkus)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tony La Russa will defend Mark McGwire until the end: To him, Big Mac is a Hall of Famer.</p><br clear="all"/>

Redd puts up 45 as Bucks surprise Lakers (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_bucks_lakers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061129/capt.c86b6b3d25114bcd83bb57e39d69547d.bucks_lakers_basketball_las107.jpg?x=130&y=118&sig=2vVShA22WU06b.6ZMWeBZQ--" align="left" height="118" width="130" alt="Milwaukee Bucks' Michael Redd, left, shoots under Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant during the first quarter of the basketball game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)" border="0" /></a>AP - Michael Redd has blossomed into one of the NBA's prime-time players, though it wasn't always that way. It wasn't until the Milwaukee Bucks traded All-Star Ray Allen to Seattle that Redd had a chance to play regularly.</p><br clear="all"/>

Howland howls and No. 1 UCLA wins (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_long_beach_st_ucla"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061129/capt.c1fc512a6eed4c48999018c71bf1a98f.long_beach_st_ucla_basketball_cajl109.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=0tSD8ECbgAydqfxWSkEeLA--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="UCLA's Josh Shipp dunks the ball against Long Beach State during the second half in an NCAA basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006, in Los Angeles. UCLA won 88-58. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)" border="0" /></a>AP - A Hawaii hangover afflicted UCLA for the first 20 minutes against Long Beach State. The cure was a sharp-tongued halftime rebuke by coach Ben Howland.</p><br clear="all"/>

Ducks, Pronger win in return to Edmonton (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_ducks_oilers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061129/capt.6cc490fe73f2481a9aa56a95680fb4e1.ducks_oilers_hockey__edm108.jpg?x=130&y=94&sig=EWKjtpozJ7iqVg4FNpUmXg--" align="left" height="94" width="130" alt="Anaheim Ducks' Chris Pronger, back right, celebrates his team's overtime 3-2 victory with Shane O'Brien, left, Ryan Gretzlaf, center, and Chris Kunitz, over his teammates from last season, the Edmonton Oilers, during NHL hockey action, at Edmonton's Rexall Place on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006. (AP PHOTO/CP, John Ulan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Jeered and cursed at by Oilers fans all night long, Chris Pronger never took his eyes off the ice. He simply played his steady game, assisted on a key goal and helped the Anaheim Ducks rally past his former team.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bengals say they're better than Ravens (AP)
AP - T.J. Houshmandzadeh sure sounded silly.

Road teams have edge for a night in NBA (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061129/capt.07388655a27241df90955f8ea571148c.grizzlies_nuggets_basketball_dxa107.jpg?x=127&y=130&sig=FGpdAV0Rp9dCVu2fqUxt.Q--" align="left" height="130" width="127" alt="Memphis Grizzlies forward Mike Miller, right, goes up for a basket over Denver Nuggets forward Reggie Evans in the third quarter of the Grizzlies' 108-96 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006. The Grizzlies win broke the Nuggets' five-game winning streak. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)" border="0" /></a>AP - So much for home-court advantage. The road teams had more success Tuesday night in the NBA, winning five of the nine games. Even some of the league's most futile teams away from home got in on the fun, with Memphis and Toronto both picking up their first road victories of the season.</p><br clear="all"/>

Orioles reach deals with relievers (AP)
AP - Adding another pair of relievers, the Baltimore Orioles reached preliminary agreements with Chad Bradford and Scott Williamson on Tuesday and also neared a deal to re-sign first baseman Kevin Millar and add backup catcher Paul Bako.

Red Bulls trade Guevara to Chivas (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061128/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_mls_red_bulls_guevara"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061127/capt.94b03d97cfa34abda308c2383210cc50.mls_red_bulls_guevara_ny165.jpg?x=130&y=123&sig=91agjhd7fOo6DXxobLWtPQ--" align="left" height="123" width="130" alt="New York Red Bulls' Amado Guevara (20) kicks the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer game against the Kansas City Wizards in East Rutherford, N.J. on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006. The Red Bulls won 3-2. The New York Red Bulls traded MVP Amado Guevara to Chivas USA on Monday Nov. 27, 2006 for a designated player slot and a third-round draft pick. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)" border="0" /></a>AP - The New York Red Bulls traded former MVP Amado Guevara to Chivas USA on Monday for a third-round draft pick and a "designated player" slot, which can be used to land an expensive player such as Brazilian superstar Ronaldo or former England captain David Beckham.</p><br clear="all"/>

Pronger helps Ducks rally against Oilers (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061129/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061129/capt.6cc490fe73f2481a9aa56a95680fb4e1.ducks_oilers_hockey__edm108.jpg?x=130&y=94&sig=EWKjtpozJ7iqVg4FNpUmXg--" align="left" height="94" width="130" alt="Anaheim Ducks' Chris Pronger, back right, celebrates his team's overtime 3-2 victory with Shane O'Brien, left, Ryan Gretzlaf, center, and Chris Kunitz, over his teammates from last season, the Edmonton Oilers, during NHL hockey action, at Edmonton's Rexall Place on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006. (AP PHOTO/CP, John Ulan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Chris Pronger kept his poise amid all the boos in Edmonton and made a perfect pass to start Anaheim's comeback.</p><br clear="all"/>

Career opportunities
Kyle Turley returned to the NFL after a two-year absence but could have easily stayed away to pursue other interests.

Holmes won't return to Chiefs this year (AP)
Running back Priest Holmes will not return to the Kansas City Chiefs this season. However, Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson said Tuesday that recent medical tests on Holmes have been encouraging and Holmes hopes to return for the 2007 season. Tuesday was the last day the Chiefs could have activated Holmes.

McNabb has surgery, could miss a year (AP)
Donovan McNabb could be sidelined between eight and 12 months after having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn knee ligament. McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the second quarter of the Eagles' loss to Tennessee last week. It was his third season-ending injury in mid-November in the last five years.

Raiders replace off. coordinator Walsh (AP)
The Oakland Raiders replaced offensive coordinator Tom Walsh on Tuesday, promoting tight ends coach John Shoop to take charge of the team's struggling offense. Walsh is a close friend of coach Art Shell, having served as his offensive coordinator during Shell's first stint as Raiders coach. But Walsh had been out of the NFL since being fired with Shell after the 1994 season and was the recipient of...

Police: Bettis' dad dies of heart attack (AP)
Johnnie Bettis, the father of retired NFL running back Jerome Bettis, died Tuesday at a suburban Detroit hospital of an apparent heart attack, police said. Johnnie Bettis, 61, of Detroit, was stricken while driving in a suburb north of the city around noon, police Lt. Carl Fuhs said. "He apparently felt it coming on," Fuhs said.

Alexander effort has Seahawks relieved (AP)
The field was so white, no one could make out the horse Shaun Alexander rode in on to save his Seahawks. Alexander's 201-yard performance on a career-high 40 carries across the snow-covered turf Monday night did far more than rescue Seattle from a 21-12 deficit in the second half to beat the Green Bay Packers.

Jets OL Jones apologizes for DWI arrest (AP)
New York Jets offensive lineman Adrian Jones apologized to the team and his family Tuesday, three days after being charged with driving while intoxicated. Jones, 25, was fined $20,000 by the team and will be monitored by the NFL as a result of being a first-time offender of the league's substance abuse policy.

Parcells happier without K Vanderjagt (AP)
A day after cutting the NFL's most accurate kicker, Bill Parcells seemed relieved instead of frustrated. Parcells was never impressed by Mike Vanderjagt, the high-priced kicker the Dallas Cowboys signed in March in hopes of solving a long-standing problem. Vanderjagt instead struggled, never gained the coach's confidence and didn't even make it through the season.

Shanahan names Cutler as Broncos starter (AP)
Jay Cutler's been the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback all of one practice and he's already a rattled rookie. Cutler was playing it cool in his first interview at the podium when fellow rookies Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler began heckling him from the side. Cutler tried to keep from laughing and couldn't.

Patriots place Seau on injured reserve (AP)
The New England Patriots placed linebacker Junior Seau on injured reserve Monday after he seriously injured his right arm in Sunday's 17-13 with over the Chicago Bears. The 12-time Pro Bowl selection will miss the rest of the season after coming out of a brief retirement to join the Patriots this summer.

Paying a steep price

Redd scores 45 as Bucks solve Lakers (AP)
Michael Redd has blossomed into one of the NBA's prime-time players, though it wasn't always that way. It wasn't until the Milwaukee Bucks traded All-Star Ray Allen to Seattle that Redd had a chance to play regularly. "That was a big trade at the time because he was an established star, but they had enough confidence in me to put me into the starting lineup at the two-guard position," Redd said...

Rockets overcome McGrady injury in win (AP)
Last season, when Tracy McGrady or Yao Ming were hurt, the Houston Rockets usually collapsed. This season, they've got the supporting cast to win those games. Yao scored 25 points, Shane Battier hit a pair of key 3-pointers and added 17, and the Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 82-75 on Tuesday night.

Kings continue dominance over Clippers (AP)
Tim Thomas launched the last of the Los Angeles Clippers' innumerable awful shots and headed downcourt wearing a bemused grimace. The Clippers are bound to win on the road this season, and they'll probably even win again in Sacramento at some point. It just wasn't going to happen Tuesday night -- not while they put on the worst shooting performance in the NBA this season.

Grizzlies end 17-game Denver drought (AP)
Memphis coach Mike Fratello raised his fists high in the air and let out a little yell at the end of the game. He couldn't keep it in, not after the Grizzlies broke a 17-game losing streak in Denver with a 108-96 victory over the Nuggets on Tuesday night. The Grizzlies also snapped a seven-game road losing streak this season.

Bobcats send Nets to sixth straight loss (AP)
The Charlotte Bobcats earned a rare road win at the expense of the struggling New Jersey Nets. Rookie Adam Morrison scored 22 points and Sean May had a career-high 20 Tuesday night as the Bobcats beat the Nets 96-92, sending New Jersey to its sixth straight loss. Charlotte snapped a two-game losing streak and won for only the second time in seven road games.

Butler, Wizards snap four-game skid (AP)
Caron Butler bailed out Gilbert Arenas and helped the Washington Wizards snap a four-game losing streak. Butler converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:04 remaining and made all 15 free throws to give the Wizards a 96-95 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. "He saw a matchup where he could use his quickness against Josh Smith," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

Bosh leads Raptors to first road win (AP)
The Toronto Raptors found a way to win away from home: Don't give up so many points. Chris Bosh had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and the Raptors had their best defensive effort of the season in a 94-77 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. It was their first win on the road in eight tries. "We're really starting to clog that lane up," Bosh said.

Granger, O'Neal lead Pacers by Blazers (AP)
Indiana coach Rick Carlisle sent Danny Granger to the bench, and Granger responded with his best scoring game of the season. The second-year player from New Mexico scored 21 points as the Pacers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 105-97 Tuesday night. Zach Randolph had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who lost for the eighth time in the last 10 games.

Bulls return home, beat Knicks 102-85 (AP)
Ben Wallace kept his headband out of sight. His injured hand was another story, though, and the Bulls' saga with their center took another turn on Tuesday. Ben Gordon scored 23 points to lead Chicago to a 102-85 victory over the New York Knicks, but Wallace remained the center of attention. "People are going to write and say what they want to say, but that doesn't affect what we do when we step out...

March of the Penguin

Pronger a winner in return to Edmonton (AP)
Jeered and cursed at by Oilers fans all night long, Chris Pronger never took his eyes off the ice. He simply played his steady game, assisted on a key goal and helped the Anaheim Ducks rally past his former team. Ryan Getzlaf scored 2:19 into overtime after teammate Chris Kunitz tied the score with 17 seconds left in the third period, and Anaheim beat the Oilers 3-2 Tuesday night in Pronger's...

Gerber triumphant in return to Carolina (AP)
Martin Gerber made save after save in his return to Tobacco Road. If he had played like this six months ago, he might still be with Carolina. Gerber stopped 29 shots in his first appearance at the RBC Center since he left town, leading the Ottawa Senators to a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

Crosby returns, helps Pens edge Isles (AP)
Sidney Crosby was back, and the Pittsburgh Penguins won a close game instead of losing one. No doubt it wasn't a coincidence. Crosby returned from a three-game injury layoff to set up Colby Armstrong's first two goals of the season, and the Penguins held off the New York Islanders in the third period to win 3-2 Tuesday night.

Huet outplays Auld as Habs win shootout (AP)
Alex Auld waited a long time for his second career shutout, and was left with a hollow feeling afterward. Cristobal Huet stopped two of three shots in the shootout and Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu converted their opportunities against Auld, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Toskala, Sharks blank Blues (AP)
Vesa Toskala followed Evgeni Nabokov's act, giving the San Jose Sharks consecutive shutouts with different goalies. Toskala stopped 29 shots for his second shutout -- Nabokov has three -- in a 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. The Sharks also beat the Devils 2-0 on Saturday and lead the NHL with five shutouts, one more than Anaheim.

Injury still keeping Wild's Gaborik out (AP)
Marian Gaborik is back at practice, but the Minnesota Wild are maintaining a cautious approach toward his return to the lineup. Gaborik, who strained a groin muscle in a game Oct. 20 and has not played since, skated with the team Monday for the first time since the injury and did so again in a short practice on Tuesday.

Holik nets OT winner for Thrashers (AP)
Frantic finishes are quite the norm for the first-place Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers blew a late lead for the second time in three games, but Bobby Holik and his old-school wooden sticks bailed Atlanta out this time in a 5-4 overtime victory against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. "We're getting pretty good at it, unfortunately," Holik said.

Flames ignite power play, beat Avalanche (AP)
The Calgary Flames cured their ailing power play by focusing on the basics. Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist and the Flames scored three power-play goals in a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. Jarome Iginla, Roman Hamrlik, and former Avalanche standout Alex Tanguay also scored for Calgary, which ranked 26th in the league in power-play percentage coming into the game.

Naslund, Luongo help Canucks to win (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks are still struggling to score. At least they took better care of their own end Tuesday night. Markus Naslund scored midway through the second period and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves, giving the Canucks a 1-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the 11th time in 13 games that the Canucks failed to score more than two goals, and the third straight contest they couldn't net...

Rights and wrongs
Whether standing by its guns or standing by helplessly, NASCAR gave its fans plenty to talk about in 2006.

Bank of America revs up plans for NASCAR (AP)
Banking on NASCAR fans' sponsor loyalty to drive more retail business to their ATMs and branches, Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. has signed a five-year deal as the official bank of the popular racing series.

Johnson tells Letterman that penalty wasn't that bad (AP)
David Letterman's idea of cheating is apparently much more severe than Jimmie Johnson's. Johnson appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman," on Tuesday night, and the host grilled NASCAR's new champion about a penalty his team incurred before the season opening race. Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, was fined $25,000 and suspended for four races for making an illegal modifications to...

2006 a time of change for NASCAR (AP)
Jimmie Johnson opened and closed the 2006 season on top, for very different reasons.

NASCAR's new champion lags in fan popularity (AP)
There's an Internet video of a family in its kitchen watching October's last-lap wreck at Talladega. When Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson crash on the final lap, the family flies into an expletive-laden rage against Johnson.

NASCAR owners has formula for winning championships. (AP)
Jack Roush has a unique knowledge of what it takes to win a NASCAR Nextel Cup championship.

Johnson caps dream season by winning Nextel Cup championship (AP)
Not long ago, Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus were considering a split.

Montoya gets "warm welcome" in his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Johnson finally joins NASCAR's elite with first career Cup (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

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