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Pettitte returns to Yankees in $16M deal (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_baseball_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061208/capt.ny16312082147.aptopix_yankees_pettitte_baseball_ny163.jpg?x=123&y=130&sig=exqnrVZLiGoBj4.CDOKpaQ--" align="left" height="130" width="123" alt="Houston Astros starting pitcher Andy Pettitte throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday, April 27, 2005, in Pittsburgh. Pettitte's agents and the New York Yankees were working Friday, Dec. 8, 2006, toward agreement on a contract that would return the left-hander to New York, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar,file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Andy Pettitte's new baseball home is one he knows oh so well. Pettitte bolted from his hometown Houston Astros and came back to the Bronx on Friday, reaching a preliminary agreement on a $16 million, one-year contract with the Yankees.</p><br clear="all"/>

The Allen Iverson era is all but over (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn76ers_iverson_out"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061209/capt.ny17012090011.76ers_iverson_out_basketball_ny170.jpg?x=104&y=130&sig=3e4iDEzVYIwwqy7QfkVm7A--" align="left" height="130" width="104" alt="Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson, reacts during game against Winterthur FC Barcelona at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, in this Oct. 5, 2006 file photo. Iverson's tumultuous career in Philadelphia took another turn Friday when the 76ers sent him home and ruled him out of their next two games, and the former MVP hinted that a trade may be best for both sides. With his name swirling in heavy trade rumors, Iverson didn't play Friday against Washington, and 76ers president Billy King said the All-Star would not play on Saturday. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)" border="0" /></a>AP - Allen Iverson is no longer Philadelphia's headache. Then again, maybe it's the other way around. Either way, this much is sure: One of the great players in franchise history has likely played his last game for the 76ers. Iverson wants out and Philadelphia will grant his wish.</p><br clear="all"/>

Stars line up to make pleas for Iverson (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061209/capt.mnah10912090353.jazz_timberwolves_basketball_mnah109.jpg?x=117&y=130&sig=Uu8MPgSKMcHt2WS6Tu_9bw--" align="left" height="130" width="117" alt="Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett, top, celebrates with teammates Ricky Davis, center, and Trenton Hassell (23) during the final seconds of their 110-103 win over the Utah Jazz in an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Friday, Dec. 8, 2006. Garnett had a game-high 31 points. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)" border="0" /></a>AP - Once word got out that the Allen Iverson-Chris Webber pairing was nearing an end, other stars let it be known they wanted to be part of the next 1-2 punch.</p><br clear="all"/>

Hurricanes promote Shannon to head coach (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_co_ne/fbc_miami_shannon"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061208/capt.ny21012080401.miami_shannon_football_ny210.jpg?x=91&y=130&sig=Wlx09msWzl4OcgY24eOIGA--" align="left" height="130" width="91" alt="Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon laughs during a reception before the Frank Broyles Award ceremony Wednesday, Dec.12, 2001, in Little Rock, Ark. Longtime Miami defensive coordinator Shannon will replace the fired Larry Coker as coach of the Hurricanes, The Miami Herald reported on its Web site Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath,file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Randy Shannon started at linebacker for the 1987-88 Miami Hurricanes, whose trash-talking, run-up-the-score swagger made them beloved and reviled across the land. As Miami's new head coach, Shannon says he's not keen on such bad-boy behavior.</p><br clear="all"/>

Rodriguez spurns Tide; hunt starts anew (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_co_ne/fbc_alabama_coach"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061208/capt.ny15112081750.w_virginia_alabama_coach_football_ny151.jpg?x=95&y=130&sig=9n_.uzT6PEmsdo9M8MOIpA--" align="left" height="130" width="95" alt="West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez watches play during the second half of a college football game versus Cincinnati in this Nov. 11, 2006 file photo, in Morgantown, W.Va. Rodriguez was still handling his West Virginia responsibilities, promoting the Mountaineers' Gator Bowl appearance even as he weighed a job offer from Alabama. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)" border="0" /></a>AP - Rich Rodriguez couldn't bear to leave West Virginia. And once again, Alabama failed to get its man.</p><br clear="all"/>

Parker rushes past Hall-of-Fame Steelers (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_parker_s_big_night"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061208/capt.pagp11012080408c.correction_browns_steelers_football_pagp110.jpg?x=130&y=87&sig=NJ1xM.Sg0MlGAlEULKXElw--" align="left" height="87" width="130" alt="*8 CORRECTS TO 223 YARDS NOT 221 **Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker celebrates a third-quarter touchdown against the Cleveland Browns in NFL football action in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006. Parker rushed for 223 yards, the most by any Steelers back in history.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)" border="0" /></a>AP - Franco Harris. Jerome Bettis. John Henry Johnson. They are among the top rushers in NFL history &#151; two are Hall of Famers, and Bettis may join them some day &#151; and each is high up on the Pittsburgh Steelers' single-game yardage list. Remarkably, none ever had a game like Willie Parker did. Make that two games.</p><br clear="all"/>

Iverson statement on game absence (AP)
AP - The following statement was released by Allen Iverson on his absence at the 76ers-Wizards game on Friday:

Cubs GM Hendry released from hospital (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_cubs_hendry_released"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061207/capt.ny15312071251.cubs_hendry_hospitalized_baseball_ny153.jpg?x=106&y=130&sig=_DJz_G08eCMhwUo4tN.Q1w--" align="left" height="130" width="106" alt="Jim Hendry, general manager for the Chicago Cubs, tosses the baseball back to a Chicago Cubs fan after he autographed the ball before the Cubs baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis, in this April 23, 2006 file photo. Hendry was hospitalized Wednesday Dec. 6, 2006 at baseball's winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.. Hendry wasn't feeling well and spoke by phone with Cubs team physician Dr. Stephen Adams, who recommended that the 51-year-old GM go to a hospital to be examined. Hendry was expected to remain in the hospital overnight. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)" border="0" /></a>AP - Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was released from an Orlando Fla., hospital Friday, two days after an angioplasty during the baseball winter meetings.</p><br clear="all"/>

ESPN, ABC to televise Euro Championship (AP)
AP - ESPN and ABC will televise soccer's 2008 European Championship under an agreement announced Friday by the Union of European Football Associations.

Selanne, Penner help Ducks ice Capitals (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061209/capt.2797f5f553934783bddcf815fc23ec91.ducks_capitals_hockey_vzn105.jpg?x=130&y=91&sig=uUcdDHOrJKcVQkkk.j8YCg--" align="left" height="91" width="130" alt="Anaheim Ducks' Teemu Selanne (8) watches his goal against Washington Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig during the third period hockey of an NHL hockey game Friday, Dec. 8, 2006, in Washington. At right is Capitals' Shaone Morrisonn (26). Anaheim won 6-1. (AP Photo/Linda Spillers)" border="0" /></a>AP - Led by balanced scoring and goalie Olie Kolzig's superb play, the Washington Capitals won four consecutive games against some of the NHL's top teams. Then the Capitals faced the Anaheim Ducks, who demonstrated why they own the league's best record.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mirror image of self
The Panthers and Giants have gone from being Super Bowl contenders to injury-ravaged teams just trying to stay in the wild-card mix.

Delhomme misses third straight practice (AP)
Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme did not practice for a third straight day Friday with a right thumb injury, making it more likely Chris Weinke will start for the Panthers in Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Delhomme, who has ligament damage in the thumb of his throwing hand, said he had hoped to practice Friday.

Patriots' Seau plans to return next year (AP)
New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau, out for the year after his third straight season-ending injury, said he plans to return next year for an 18th season. Seau's season ended after he broke his arm against the Bears on Nov. 26. Seau, who turns 38 next month, signed a one-year deal with the Patriots this summer after a brief retirement.

Redskins RB Betts signs $11M extension (AP)
Running back Ladell Betts signed a five-year, $11 million contract extension with the Washington Redskins on Friday, opting to remain in Clinton Portis' shadow rather than test free agency after a career-best season. Betts, getting a regular chance to start while Portis is on injured reserve, has rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games for the first time, including a career-high 155 last week...

Bears make plans without DT Harris (AP)
The Chicago Bears say it will take a team effort to overcome the likely loss of their second Pro Bowl defender this season. The Bears lost safety Mike Brown six games into the season. Now it's defensive tackle Tommie Harris who is unlikely to return. "It's going to be tough to replace him. It's going to be like Mike Brown, you're not going to replace him," linebacker Brian Urlacher said Friday.

Time Warner files suit against DirecTV (AP)
A bitter dispute between cable and satellite TV over the broadcast of NFL games has intensified, with Time Warner Cable Inc. accusing DirecTV Group Inc. of deceptive trade practices. The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan claims DirecTV lied about the accessibility of NFL broadcasts in an attempt to pry away customers from Time Warner Cable.

Parker runs for 223 yards, Steelers win (AP)
Franco Harris. Jerome Bettis. John Henry Johnson. They are among the top rushers in NFL history -- two are Hall of Famers, and Bettis may join them some day -- and each is high up on the Pittsburgh Steelers' single-game yardage list. Remarkably, none ever had a game like Willie Parker did. Make that two games.

Broncos' Elam sounds OK, Wilson is 50-50 (AP)
Broncos kicker Jason Elam said he's playing. Middle linebacker Al Wilson isn't sure. Elam said his injured left hamstring feels much better and that he will play Sunday against San Diego. "I wish I had another week to get it completely better, but I feel good and should be OK," Elam said on Friday. Wilson, who injured his neck running into teammate Gerard Warren against Seattle last Sunday night,...

Keyshawn Johnson fined for helmet toss (AP)
Carolina Panthers receiver Keyshawn Johnson was fined $5,000 by the NFL on Friday for throwing his helmet late in the fourth quarter of this week's loss at Philadelphia. Johnson was upset that pass interference wasn't called on Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard, who was covering Johnson and intercepted Jake Delhomme's pass in the end zone with 25 seconds left to preserve the Eagles' 27-24 win.

Cowboys claim S Parrish off waivers (AP)
The Dallas Cowboys claimed veteran safety Tony Parrish off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers and released rookie kick returner Skyler Green. Parrish, who was picked up Thursday, is a nine-year veteran with 30 career interceptions. He was an All-Pro selection in 2003 when he had nine interceptions for the 49ers.

Mavs, C's eye A.I.
The Mavericks and Celtics have emerged as the early leaders to trade for disgruntled 76ers star Allen Iverson.

Sixers chairman says A.I. will be traded (AP)
Allen Iverson is no longer Philadelphia's headache. Then again, maybe it's the other way around. Either way, this much is sure: One of the great players in franchise history has likely played his last game for the 76ers. Iverson wants out and Philadelphia will grant his wish. "It's just time for him to go his way and for us to go our way," Sixers chairman Ed Snider said Friday night.

Suns top Celtics for ninth straight win (AP)
A night after needing two overtimes to escape New Jersey with a win, the last thing the Phoenix Suns wanted was another extra session. So with their game against the Boston Celtics coming down to the wire yet again, the Suns buckled down and played their best basketball of the night when it mattered most Friday night.

Bulls win seventh straight, top Raptors (AP)
No one needed to remind Luol Deng where the Chicago Bulls were just two weeks ago, when they were gripped by a six-game losing streak and wrapped in a headband controversy. They batted away the negative vibe like a shot begging to be blocked, and now they're playing like Eastern Conference contenders.

Billups' 31 power Pistons past Magic (AP)
The Detroit Pistons had too much late-game experience for the improving Orlando Magic. Chauncey Billups scored a season-high 31 points to lead the Pistons to their second impressive road win in two nights, an 87-83 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night. Playing the Eastern Conference-leading Magic (14-7), the former champions solved some early ball control problems and took advantage of...

Smith, Anthony lead Nuggets past Heat (AP)
Injury, illness and irritability deprived the Denver Nuggets of three of their big men Friday night. None of it mattered thanks to J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony, the top-scoring tandem in the NBA. Smith scored a career-high 37 points and tied a franchise record by making seven 3-pointers in the first half, and Anthony added 32 points in the Nuggets' 123-107 victory over the Miami Heat.

Parker, Ginobili spark Spurs in rout (AP)
Maybe Manu Ginobili should always come off the bench. For that matter, maybe Tony Parker should stick to passing instead of shooting -- at least for the first half. The two San Antonio players had stellar performances Friday night as the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 111-82. Parker had a career-high 15 assists, besting his previous record of 14, which also came against the Clippers in December...

O'Neal-less Pacers defeat Blazers 108-95 (AP)
Jamaal Tinsley quietly has been proving his doubters wrong this season. The point guard had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Indiana Pacers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-95 on Friday night. Tinsley, who was the subject of trade rumors in the offseason and has been criticized for often being injured in recent years, has been the Pacers' most durable player this season.

Walton helps Lakers win without Bryant (AP)
The Los Angeles Lakers proved once again that they can win a game without Kobe Bryant. They just don't want to make a habit of it. Luke Walton scored a career-high 25 points and Lamar Odom had 15 rebounds for the Pacific Division-leading Lakers, who muddled through without their injured eight-time All-Star and beat the Atlanta Hawks 106-95 on Friday night.

Garnett, Wolves deny Sloan's 1,000th win (AP)
Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson -- the possibility of that combination lifted Garnett's spirits just minutes after a big victory over Utah. "Bring it on, I love 'The Answer,"' Garnett said Friday night. "We welcome A.I. with open arms. Where's Kevin McHale?" Garnett had a season-high 31 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over the league-leading Jazz 110-103.

Brodeur ties Hall for third in shutouts (AP)
Martin Brodeur doesn't think much about the NHL's greatest goaltenders, but he continues catching them on the career shutout list. Brodeur recorded his 84th career shutout to tie Glenn Hall for third place overall and the New Jersey Devils beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 for their fourth straight win Friday night.

Selanne, Marchant lead Ducks in rout (AP)
Here's how well things are going for the Anaheim Ducks this season: They bring up journeyman Shawn Thornton from the minors, and he scores 57 seconds into his first game back in the NHL. Thornton netted his first goal since the 2003-04 season, Teemu Selanne added his team-high 16th goal and an assist in the third period, and league-leading Anaheim beat the Washington Capitals 6-1 Friday night for...

Oilers' Roloson notches another shutout (AP)
Marc-Andre Bergeron capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play in the first period, then Dwayne Roloson and his defense did the rest to give the Edmonton Oilers a rare win in Texas. Roloson stopped 22 shots for his second straight shutout to help the Oilers end Dallas' six-game home winning streak with a 2-0 victory over the Stars on Friday night.

Canucks waste big lead but win in OT (AP)
A rejuvenated power play put the Canucks in position to win early and bailed them out late. Daniel Sedin scored Vancouver's fourth power-play goal with 1:58 left in overtime and the Canucks recovered after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Friday night.

Lecavalier, Lightning rip Thrashers 8-0 (AP)
The Tampa Bay Lightning were just looking for a win. Vincent Lecavalier made sure it was an impressive one. Lecavalier had three goals and two assists, helping the Lightning stop a four-game losing streak with an 8-0 victory over the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night. "We were looking to win one game," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said.

Lundqvist carries Rangers by Pens in SO (AP)
This is the kind of shootout that Henrik Lundqvist loves. Coming off a disappointing outing four days earlier when he allowed four goals on eight shots in one period, Lundqvist made 28 saves and stopped all three Pittsburgh attempts in the shootout to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Penguins on Thursday night.

Red Wings rally past Blues in overtime (AP)
Pavel Datsyuk wanted to pass the puck, but it rolled on him and he couldn't. So he took a shot and it went in. His goal 3:23 into overtime completed a comeback from a three-goal deficit and gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Datsyuk picked up a loose puck in his own zone and skated the length of the ice on a 2-on-1 with Nicklas Lidstrom and beat Blues...

Wild G Fernandez getting back on track (AP)
Last month, Minnesota's decision to give Manny Fernandez a three-year, $13 million contract to be the full-time goalie wasn't looking too good. But seasons are long, slumps are common, and Fernandez appears to have righted himself this week after a miserable stretch. Over a 16-game period from Oct. 29 through last Saturday, Fernandez earned only one victory against eight defeats.

Bruins win fourth straight, top Leafs (AP)
Toronto blew a third-period again, allowing Boston to get its fourth straight win against the Maple Leafs. Brad Stuart, Wayne Primeau, and Patrice Bergeron each scored in the final period and the Bruins beat Toronto 3-1 on Thursday night. "It seems like we step up our game when we play against them," Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said.

Sakic, Clark power Avs past Sharks 5-2 (AP)
Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche may be down in the standings, but they're far from out. Just when their season seemed to be slipping away, they score a big win over one of the NHL's elite. Sakic and Brett Clark each had two goals and an assist, and the Avalanche snapped out of a slump with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Boys just wanna have fun, too


Biffle dislocates shoulder in crash (AP)
Greg Biffle dislocated his right shoulder in a fiery accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was unable to attend the Busch Series banquet Friday night.

Andretti eyes another Indy 500 at age 44 (AFP)
Michael Andretti, who was three laps away from winning his first Indianapolis 500, plans to try again next May but the retired US racer must find financing for his one-race bid.

The Year of Harvick: Driver concludes career-best season (AP)
Kevin Harvick started the season looking for a brief escape from the uncertainty surrounding his career.

As Cup drivers crash Busch party, questions linger about NASCAR's junior series (AP)
The best of the Busch Series gathered Thursday to celebrate a successful season for NASCAR's junior varsity series.

Top drivers prepare in Homestead for 24 Hours of Daytona race (AP)
Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Sam Hornish Jr. tested their prototype cars Wednesday for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series 24 Hours of Daytona race. "It's been a blast," Gordon said. "Yesterday, I was pretty excited just to be able to drive a car that performs like this on a road course. It's a lot of fun.

Richert to serve as Vickers' crew chief at Team Red Bull (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Brian Vickers is looking for a fresh start at Team Red Bull. At least he can rely on a crew chief with a proven track record.

Drag racer Dwayne Wilcox dies at 66 (SportsTicker)
TORRANCE, California (Ticker) - Dwayne Wilcox, one of drag racing's early stars, died Saturday of kidney failure. He was 66.

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