Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Nats Sold...Barkley Admits Gambling Problem...Astros Beat Cards

Major League Baseball at long last picked someone to buy the Washington Nationals, choosing a group that's led by real estate developer Theodore Lerner and includes former Atlanta Braves executive Stan Kasten. "This has been a long journey. ... While I do apologize for the time, I think history will prove it maybe was time well spent," commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday in announcing the $450 million agreement.
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Charles Barkley estimated that he's lost about $10 million gambling over the years in an interview Wednesday. "My agent has really worked with me to try to get it where I can go and gamble and have fun," Barkley told ESPN. "That's easier said than done. Do I have a gambling problem? Yeah, I do have a gambling problem. But I don't consider it a problem because I can afford to gamble."
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Roy Oswalt pitched eight strong innings and Lance Berkman drove in three runs to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. Oswalt (5-1) gave up only four hits, but three were solo home runs. He struck out five and walked none.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Arnold Wants Two Teams In LA....Steroid Kid Hits Another...Daly Tells All

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he wants the NFL to return to the Los Angeles area with two teams. After meeting with a group of NFL owners, Schwarzenegger said he was there to make sure "we're getting not only one NFL team to the Los Angeles area, Southern California, but to actually get two teams. That's why I came. Why limit it?"
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The Padres were in a perfect situation to challenge Barry Bonds: a three-run lead in the eighth inning with nobody on base. Giants fans got what they came to see, and now Bonds is two home runs from tying the Babe.

Bonds hit his 712th homer in San Francisco's 5-3 loss to San Diego on Tuesday, moving him even closer to matching Babe Ruth's total for second place on the career list.
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Typical of how he plays, John Daly holds nothing back in his new book. There are stories of how he lost 60 pounds in college by drinking a fifth of whiskey and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. One of the longest chapters is devoted to sexual exploits with his four wives and a woman he calls "Almost Ex No. 4." In a harrowing account, he writes about the time his father put a gun to Daly's head in a drunken rage.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Boston Hammers Yanks...Daly Into Gambling...Edmonton Wins in NHL

David Ortiz hit a three-run homer to ruin Johnny Damon's return to Fenway Park, leading the Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees 7-3 Monday night in the first game of the season between the two rivals.

Fans chanted "Johnny! Johnny!" after the Yankees center fielder watched helplessly from a few feet away as Ortiz's 11th homer sailed into the Red Sox bullpen in the eighth.
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John Daly says he has lost between $50 million and $60 million during 12 years of heavy gambling, and that it has become a problem that could "flat-out ruin me" if he doesn't bring it under control.

Daly discussed his addiction to gambling in the final chapter of his autobiography, "John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough," to be released next Monday.
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The Edmonton Oilers sent home the NHL's best team in the regular season, rallying Monday night to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 and win the first-round playoff series in six games.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kobe Wins At Buzzer...McNair Being Traded...Bush Hero In New Orleans

The Los Angeles Lakers may no longer be a one-man team, but they know where to go with the ball when the game is on the line. Kobe Bryant's 17-foot jumper as time expired in overtime gave the Lakers an improbable 99-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday and a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.
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Steve McNair's tenure with the Tennessee Titans could be over within the next 24 hours. His agent said Sunday the team is considering releasing McNair or possibly trading him to the Baltimore Ravens. "We could have something worked out later today or tomorrow," agent Bus Cook said. "We're working on some things."
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For a moment, Reggie Bush wasn't sure what to make of the rock-star ovation he got when he walked through the restaurant door. "As soon as I got in there, there was a bunch of fans screaming and yelling. I thought it was staged," Bush said Sunday during a television interview at the Zurich Classic PGA tournament here, recalling his visit a night earlier to one of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurants. "It's been great. Everyone I've run into has welcomed me. People here are so nice."

Friday, April 28, 2006

Steve Howe Killed...Minor Leaguer Suspended 50 Games...Maddux Wins Five Straight

Steve Howe, the relief pitcher whose promising career was derailed by cocaine and alcohol abuse, died Friday when his pickup truck rolled over in Coachella, Calif. He was 48.
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Mets minor league pitcher Yusaku Iriki was suspended for 50 games Friday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, making him the first player to be penalized under Major League Baseball's toughened steroid rules.

The 33-year-old Iriki agreed to a one-year, $750,000 deal with the Mets in January after spending his entire career in Japan. He was playing at Triple-A Norfolk this season and was on the Mets' 40-man roster.
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At age 40, a fitter and trimmer Greg Maddux pitched his way into new territory. Twice facing bases-loaded jams, Maddux escaped the big inning Friday to win his fifth straight start as the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2. He's 5-0 for the first time in a long and distinguished career that will some day end in Cooperstown

Thursday, April 27, 2006

No Celebration for Bonds...Sluman Tied for Lead in Zurich Open...Draft Day Looms

Barry Bonds will have to wait until he passes Hank Aaron before baseball throws a party for him. Major League Baseball is not planning any celebration for Bonds if and when he tops Babe Ruth's mark of 714 home runs, commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday.
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Jeff Sluman strapped on snow skis for the first time and tore knee ligaments on his first run down a beginner's slope in Sun Valley. Four weeks later, he was back on the familiar green turf of the PGA Tour and surprised by the results.

Sluman birdied his last six holes Thursday in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the first nationally televised sporting event in the city since Hurricane Katrina. He finished with a 6-under 66, giving him a five-way share of the lead among early starters at English Turn and putting a temporary stop to the relentless teasing from his peers.
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Two days before the NFL draft, even the players who will be picked at the top are tired of listening to the chatter and reading the gossip. In other words, just get on with it. "There's so much uncertainty I don't even pay attention to what they're saying anymore," Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, said Thursday during an NFL-sponsored media session for six of the top prospective draftees. Those players have spent the last few days in New York at similar events leading up to Saturday's lottery at Radio City Music Hall.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Prima Donna Favre Says he Will Return...Bush Signs Deal..Nats Pitcher Sent to AAA

The Green Bay Packers haven't reeled in any big-time free agents, but that didn't prevent them from pulling off their biggest offseason move of all: Convincing Brett Favre to return.

"The Green Bay Packers are very pleased that Brett has come to this decision, and look forward to a successful 2006 season," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement, confirming a report by ESPN Tuesday night that Favre had told the team he was returning.
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Reggie Bush inked a contract even before the NFL draft. The USC star running back and Heisman Trophy winner, expected to be the No. 1 pick in Saturday's draft, signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Adidas on Wednesday.
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Left-hander Billy Traber was optioned back to Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday after lasting 1 1/3 innings in his second start for the Washington Nationals, who claimed right-hander Zach Day off waivers from the Colorado Rockies.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ricky Out for 2006...Duke Player Faces Other Charge...Williams Turns Pro

Ricky Williams will sit out another season. The NFL suspended the troubled Miami Dolphins running back for one year Tuesday after he violated the league's substance abuse policy for the fourth time.

Williams met April 10 with NFL counsel Jeff Pash in an attempt to have the league overturn the test. He had been participating in the offseason training program at the Dolphins' complex, and he was there working out shortly before league announced that his appeal had been rejected.
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A Duke University lacrosse player charged with raping a stripper in North Carolina was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in Washington on an unrelated assault charge from last fall.

The assault charge against Collin Finnerty, 19, could have been dismissed if he completed 25 hours of community service and stayed out of trouble, but a Washington judge decided his arrest in the rape case violated that agreement.
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Connecticut's Marcus Williams, one of the nation's top playmakers, joined Saint Louis center Ian Vouyoukas and Texas point guard Daniel Gibson on Tuesday in declaring early for the NBA draft.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fans Want More Steroid Control...Artest Booted...SMU Hires New Coach

More than half of America's baseball fans say the sport has not done enough to curb the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, an AP-AOL Sports poll found.

And two-thirds of baseball fans either have unfavorable or mixed views about Barry Bonds, who is under a cloud of suspicion about steroids use as he chases baseball's career record for home runs.
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Ron Artest of the Sacramento Kings was suspended one game without pay for hitting Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs in the head with his forearm.

The suspension was announced Monday by the league. Artest will miss Game 2 of the Western Conference series on Tuesday. He didn't play in the postseason last year after an early season suspension for a brawl in Detroit while playing for Indiana.
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SMU hired former national coach of the year Matt Doherty on Monday to try reviving a program that hasn't gone to the NCAA tournament in 13 years.

Doherty, coming off a 15-13 season at Florida Atlantic, replaces Jimmy Tubbs, who was fired April 6 after two losing seasons and an internal investigation that uncovered NCAA violations.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bush Investigation...Appleby Goes Wire to Wire...Yim Wins LPGA

The Pac-10 said Sunday it will investigate the reported connection between a home where Reggie Bush's family lived and a man who sought to market the Southern California star tailback. Bush's family allegedly lived in the house in Spring Valley, Calif., owned by a man who had sought to handle the star tailback's professional marketing while Bush was still playing for USC, Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday. The website reported that the family moved out of the house this weekend after questions over its ownership arose.
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Stuart Appleby made it look easy in the Shell Houston Open. Appleby shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday to cap a wire-to-wire victory and join Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only two-time winners on the PGA Tour this year.
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Annika Sorenstam's right hand flew off the club on the follow-through, the first sign that something was amiss. Then, as everyone watched in disbelief, the ball sailed toward the trees along the right side of the fairway — and the dreaded out-of-bounds line. The greatest closer in women's golf had just given one away. Tied for the lead, Sorenstam knocked her tee shot at No. 17 on the wrong side of the stakes and wound up with a double bogey that allowed Sung Ah Yim to claim her first LPGA Tour victory in the Florida's Natural Charity Championship on Sunday.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Barry Hits Homer...Arringtons Signs Big One...Annika Leads

Barry Bonds found his elusive power stroke in Denver's thin air. Bonds homered for the first time this season Saturday night at Coors Field, sending a belt-high fastball from right-hander Aaron Cook 384 feet to left for his 709th career home run.

After circling the bases, Bonds knocked fists with teammates Moises Alou and Pedro Feliz and manager Felipe Alou as he descended into the third-base dugout to jeers and a scattering of applause.
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LaVar Arrington signed with the New York Giants on Saturday, giving him a chance to play twice a year against his former team and helping fill a huge gap at linebacker for the NFC East champions.

Arrington agreed to a $49 million, seven-year deal late Friday, according to Kevin Poston, one of his agents. Poston didn't say how much was guaranteed but Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi indicated that it includes performance bonuses.
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Whether it's one stroke or 10, Annika Sorenstam looks awfully imposing at the top of a leaderboard. That's where she was going into the final round at Eagle's Landing Country Club.

Shrugging off a couple of rain delays, Sorenstam shot an 8-under-par 64 on Saturday her third straight round in the 60s and grabbed the lead at the Florida's Natural Charity Championship.

Friday, April 21, 2006

San Diego Says No...Spying Caper...Pujols Hits 1,000

Cash-strapped San Diego doesn't have the money to help the Chargers build a new stadium, Mayor Jerry Sanders said Friday, opening the door for Southern California's only NFL team to leave the city it has called home for 45 years.

Sanders said he plans to ask the City Council to amend the Chargers' lease to allow the team to begin looking at sites elsewhere in San Diego County before the end of the year. If the team fails to find a new home in the county before Jan. 1, the Chargers would be free to negotiate a deal anywhere in the country.
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Nothing like a little spy scandal to spice up the football rivalry between West Virginia and Marshall.Heading into only their second matchup in 83 years and it took the governor's involvement to help set this September's game school officials on both sides confirm a West Virginia student was caught spying at a Marshall practice this month.
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Albert Pujols tied Todd Helton for the second-fastest active player to reach 1,000 hits, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning against Chicago on Friday night.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Moe Found Guilty...Yankees Become Billionaires...Appleby Leads

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Moe Williams, charged last fall after a raunchy team boat party that tarnished the team's season, was found guilty of disorderly conduct Thursday.

A jury found him not guilty of two other misdemeanors _ indecent conduct and lewd or lascivious behavior. Williams was accused of touching the breasts of a dancer in a public space during the boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka.
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The New York Yankees became the first baseball team valued at more than $1 billion in the annual estimates made by Forbes magazine.

The Yankees' value increased 8 percent to $1.026 billion, the magazine estimated in its May 8 issue, which was released Thursday. New York had revenue of $354 million last year before paying $77 million in revenue sharing and $34 million in luxury tax.
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Stuart Appleby thinks he has 10, maybe 15 years left on the PGA Tour. He's determined to make the most of them.

The 34-year-old Appleby shot a 6-under 66 on The Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Shell Houston Open.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gonzaga Gone...49ers Get First Round Pick...Nelson to Hall Of Fame

Gonzaga All-America forward Adam Morrison declared for the NBA draft Wednesday, passing up his senior season for a chance to be a lottery pick.

The 6-foot-8 floppy-haired, mustachioed forward, who led Division I in scoring last season at 28.1 points per game, is a diabetic and said uncertainty over his future health prospects was a factor in his decision.
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The San Francisco 49ers added a second first-round pick in next week's NFL draft by trading their second- and third-round picks to Denver on Wednesday for the 22nd overall selection.

The 49ers, who already have the No. 6 pick after last season's 4-12 finish, sent the 37th and 68th overall choices to the Broncos, giving San Francisco two first-round picks for the first time since 2000.
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Larry Nelson, overlooked as a Ryder Cup captain and often forgotten despite his remarkable journey from Vietnam War veteran to three-time major champion, finally got his due Wednesday when he was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame. "Of all the awards, nothing can top this," Nelson said.
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