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1 hour ago NBA players union elects female executive director

Michele Roberts has watched basketball for as long as she can remember. It was an easy choice growing up in a home with one TV and two older brothers.

When she saw an interview last year with an NBA player and noticed how passionately he talked about trying to improve his embattled union, she wanted to be more than a fan. She wanted to be involved.

Now the Washington trial lawyer is the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

Roberts was elected Tuesday as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and she's eager to provide the leadership it needs after a few difficult years.

"They were looking for, not a man, not a woman, they were looking for a personality," Roberts said in a phone interview. "I think I'm that personality and I intend to be what I have been in my entire practice, singularly devoted to this union. And that's what they were looking for.

"Someone, whether it be a boy or a girl, who understood that this was their union, and they intended to run it, and they were looking for someone who appreciated that and was not going to deviate from that."

Roberts received 32 of 36 votes at a meeting of players in Las Vegas, defeating tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.

It capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened under another search committee at the urging of some players and agents.

More than 100 players reconvened in Las Vegas this week, and after some tense moments leading up to the vote, Roberts emerged as the winner.

"Obviously, I would've preferred that it happen sooner rather than later, but I completely understood when there were questions raised about the process," Roberts said. "Frankly, I would not have wante

10 hours ago Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) Vin Scully is staying in the booth for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 86-year-old Hall of Fame announcer will return for his record 66th season with the team in 2015. The announcement was made by in Korean, Spanish and English by players Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yasiel Puig and Justin Turner on the Dodger Stadium video board in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against Atlanta.

The news was greeted with loud cheers and a prolonged standing ovation for Scully, who stood and waved to fans from his booth, where he hugged his wife, Sandi.

A decision about Scully's future has become an annual rite of passage in recent years as he evaluates his health and his family's wishes in considering whether he wants to continue.

"God willing, I will be back next year," he said in a statement released by the team. "Naturally there will come a time when I have to say goodbye, but I've soul-searched and this is not the time."

Scully's consecutive years of service make him the longest-tenured broadcaster with one team in sports history. He calls all nine innings of the team's home games and road games in California and Arizona for the Dodgers' new television home on SportsNet LA, while the first three innings of his games are simulcast on the radio.

Scully and the Dodgers have been invisible to 70 percent of Los Angeles television viewers so far this season. Only customers of Time Warner Cable Inc. and a couple of its partners have been able to watch the team's games. Subscribers of major providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T have been shut out.

"I'm obviously not alone in saying that I'm overjoyed Vin will be coming back to the booth in 2015," team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. "Our fans deserve the very best and Vin's voice, knowledge, experience and passion for broadcasting Dodger baseball are second to none."

Scully began his professional broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brookly

10 hours ago Police: Abraham asleep at wheel during DUI arrest

ATLANTA (AP) Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area.

Abraham has been absent from the team's training camp since Friday.

DeKalb County Jail records show that the 36-year-old was taken into custody June 29 and released the same day.

Abraham was driving a black, 2013 Dodge Challenger that had stopped in the center southbound lane of a suburban Atlanta road the afternoon of June 29, Brookhaven, Georgia police said in an incident report. Abraham smelled of alcohol and failed voluntary sobriety tests - including reciting a portion of the alphabet. Police said Abraham remained asleep for several minutes after police arrived, despite an officer shouting and pounding on his doors and windows.

After Abraham woke up, he told investigators he was coming from the Pink Pony - a local strip club - and the person who was supposed to pick him up hadn't arrived, police said in the report.

The records show Abraham was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as stopping, standing or parking in a prohibited place.

Records from the jail do not indicate whether the case had been resolved as of Tuesday, nor do they list an attorney for Abraham.

The Cardinals have said only that Abraham has been absent from camp for personal reasons.

This is not the first brush with the law for Abraham, who has also played for the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets.

In 2012, he was arrested on an obstruction charge in Atlanta after he repeatedly refused to leave an area taped off by firefighters and police. A police report said he appeared intoxicated, smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and slurred his speech. It was not immediately clear whether that case had been resolved.

And in 2003, Abraham pleaded guilty to driving while impaired in New York after he drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and light pole. Police ha

10 hours ago NBPA votes Roberts as first female exec director

Michele Roberts has watched basketball for as long as she can remember. It was an easy choice growing up in a home with one TV and two older brothers.

When she saw an interview last year with an NBA player and noticed how passionately he talked about trying to improve his embattled union, she wanted to be more than a fan. She wanted to be involved.

That got her started toward becoming the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

Roberts was elected early Tuesday morning as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and the Washington trial lawyer is eager to provide the leadership it needs after a few difficult years.

"They were looking for, not a man, not a woman, they were looking for a personality," Roberts said in a phone interview. "I think I'm that personality and I intend to be what I have been in my entire practice, singularly devoted to this union. And that's what they were looking for.

"Someone, whether it be a boy or a girl, who understood that this was their union, and they intended to run it, and they were looking for someone who appreciated that and was not going to deviate from that."

Roberts received 32 of 36 votes at a meeting of players in Las Vegas, defeating tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.

It capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened under another search committee at the urging of some players and agents.

More than 100 players reconvened in Las Vegas this week, and after some tense moments leading up to the vote, Roberts emerged as the winner.

"Obviously I would've preferred that it happen sooner rather than later, but I completely understood when there were questions raised about the process," Robert

10 hours ago Report: Browns' Gordon hires lawyer, preps appeal

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Josh Gordon has a new, high-profile teammate to help him fight the NFL.

Facing an indefinite suspension for marijuana use, Cleveland's talented wide receiver has hired attorney Maurice Suh to represent him at his appeal hearing with the league this week, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Suh, who helped Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman win an appeal for a suspension in 2012, will be with Gordon in New York on Friday, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

ESPN first reported Suh's hiring.

Gordon is facing an indefinite ban under the league's substance abuse policy. While he awaits his hearing, the Pro Bowler has been at training camp with the Browns. He has declined interview requests.

Suh helped Sherman win his appeal of a substance abuse violation on the grounds of a faulty test.

According to the person who spoke to the AP, Gordon will contend failed test results were caused by secondhand marijuana smoke. Gordon's attorney also is expected to point out that Gordon only tested positive once despite being tested over 70 times, and even then two samples taken did not match.

ESPN and profootballtalk.com were first to report Gordon's plans to clear his name.

Gordon, who failed at least three drug tests in college for marijuana, was suspended for two games last season for what he claimed was for a prescribed cough medicine. Despite the suspension, he still led the league in yards receiving and broke several team records. The 23-year-old reportedly checked into rehab following a recent DWI arrest in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Browns are eager to find out if they will have Gordon at all this season.

Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron said the uncertainty has weighed on Gordon as he waits to learn his fate.

"He's trying to be positive," Cameron said af

10 hours ago Peterson says he's got 5-year, $70 million deal

PHOENIX (AP) Cornerback Patrick Peterson says he has reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, with $48 million guaranteed.

Peterson revealed the terms via twitter Tuesday night. The Cardinals announced the deal a short time later, but did not disclose the terms.

The agreement keeps Peterson under contract with Arizona through 2020.

Peterson has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons in the NFL, first as a kick returner then the last two years at cornerback, after Arizona made him the No. 5 pick overall out of LSU in 2011.

He had two years left on his original contract after Arizona had picked up its fifth-year option earlier this year.

The personable, self-proclaimed best cornerback in the NFL probably wanted the world to know his deal exceeded those of cornerbacks Joe Haden of Cleveland and Richard Sherman of Seattle.

Haden signed a five-year, $68 million contract with $45 million guaranteed and Sherman got a four-year, $56 million deal with $40 million guaranteed.

Peterson is the first to reach agreement in the initial class of the players subjected to a fifth-year option on their contract. Under the latest collective bargaining agreement, players picked 1 through 10 have a fifth-year option on their contracts that clubs can exercise.

That group includes Cam Newton and J.J. Watt.

In fact, Peterson is the first of any 2011 first-round pick to reach an agreement on an extension. A news conference with Peterson was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

"Want to thank my family, friends and teammates, all of (hash)P2Nation and the best agent in the biz," Peterson said in another tweet.

Peterson has jousted with Sherman over who is the best cornerback in the NFL. Peterson laid his claim to the fact he plays all over the field, defending the opponent's best receiver. Sherman plays on one side.

Both were first-team All-Pro selections last s

Yesterday Rose returns as US basketball team opens camp

LAS VEGAS (AP) Derrick Rose says he feels old.

The 25-year-old point guard's rigorous play on Monday during the U.S. basketball team's first practice dictated otherwise.

"I was joking with Kyle Korver, I told him `I'm getting old, man. I've got to stretch, I've got to use rollers and stuff.' He looked at me kind of weird," Rose said laughingly. "But I feel a lot more mature. I've been preparing for this for a long time. I've dedicated my whole summer to this. I think I've sacrificed a lot for this moment."

Rose, the Chicago Bulls star who is coming off two knee injuries that kept him out for much of the last two seasons, said he played roughly nine minutes of the team's scrimmage during a two-hour practice. He added he was excited about how he felt physically.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski was elated with Rose's play, saying he was most impressed with his defensive pressure and tenaciousness.

"I think Derrick was a great excitement for us, because you hear about how he's worked out, but to see him today, I mean, he put it all out," Krzyzewski said. "He was playing to exhaustion. That was a big plus for today, to see him. I was pleased that he didn't hold anything back. He played his butt off."

Rose, who played just 10 games last season before his season was ended by a torn meniscus in his right knee, said he's spent much of the summer in Chicago working out, other than a few promotional days in Los Angeles for adidas. He was happy to be back on the court, playing against and alongside other NBA players.

"I work out a couple hours a day (and) I know how much work I've put into this; I'm just excited to be here," Rose said. "Going out there competing and having fun, to tell you the truth, just having fun, I think that's the key."

The 2011 MVP also said he's felt no pressure to prove himself to anyone, and isn't trying to play outside the realm he was accustomed to before his initial injury.

"I think last year I

Yesterday Recovered from illness, Serena ready for return

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Serena Williams finally realized what happened days later, when she was allowed to get out of bed.

Williams said she was barely aware of how sick she was as she tried to play through a viral infection that caused her to lose equilibrium during a women's doubles match with sister Venus at Wimbledon. It was only later, when she was able to clear her head, that she realized the seriousness of her situation.

"It was interesting and I was scared after," Williams said. "I didn't realize how I felt until later. In the moment I didn't realize how sick I was. It's weird but that's the fight in me. I never know when to say when."

She would have continued had not Venus insisted she get off the court.

"She kept saying, `walk off the court, I'm the older sister and I say you have to leave."' Williams said. "I'm feeling really good right now and I'm happy to be here."

Williams said she will undergo a series of tests at the end of the season.

"I was really ill," she said. "I got to thinking about a lot of things and because of family history, I'll get the tests done and we'll go from there."

Williams apparently expected to play in Bastad the following week until her mother nixed the idea.

Doctors wouldn't let her leave her room, so she got some much-needed rest before resuming a full schedule that included a working vacation and a movie shoot.

"I was going to stay in Europe and play in the tournament," she said. "Going to Croatia was unexpected. I'm glad I went. It was so pretty."

Williams' long-time hitting partner Sascha Bajin suggested the trip, telling her "there are more tennis courts than people there. And there were tennis courts everywhere you looked."

She practiced in the morning and took it easy the rest of the day.

"I was running and swimming and jumping in the ocean," Williams said. "I tried to stay away from the sharks. That's pretty good motivation. I didn't

Yesterday Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers confirmed Byron Scott is their new coach Monday night.

The Lakers finally made the long-anticipated announcement in a news release. Scott will be introduced at a news conference Tuesday at the Lakers' training complex.

Scott told reporters last weekend he had been hired by the Lakers, who have been without a coach since Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30. Scott is the 25th head coach in the 16-time NBA champions' franchise history.

General manager Mitch Kupchak said he conducted "an extensive and thorough search" with owner Jim Buss.

"We're proud to welcome Byron back to the Lakers family as our next head coach," Kupchak said. "Byron has proven himself at the highest levels of the game as both a player and a coach in his almost 30 years of NBA experience. His leadership skills and track record for success make him the ideal person to lead this franchise forward."

Scott is 416-521 as a head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He has won three division titles, and he was the NBA's coach of the year in 2008.

Scott also was a shooting guard for the Lakers for 11 seasons, playing alongside Magic Johnson during the Showtime era. He was a teammate of Lakers star Kobe Bryant during his final NBA season, and Bryant has endorsed Scott for his new job.

"I am ecstatic to once again be a Laker and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mitch and the Buss family," Scott said. "I know firsthand what it takes to bring a championship to this city, and as someone who both grew up in L.A. and played the majority of my career here, I know how passionate and dedicated our fans are. I will give everything I have to fulfill the championship expectations that our supporters have for us, and that we have for ourselves."

Scott spent last season as an analyst on the Lakers' television network, watching their disintegration during a 55-loss seas

Yesterday Jeter moves up to 7th on MLB's all-time hits list

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Derek Jeter remembers the playoff games in Texas - the good and the bad. Now the Yankees captain has another milestone to go with them there.

In the opener of his last series in Texas on Monday night, Jeter took over seventh place on the MLB career hits list after three hits of Rangers ace Yu Darvish.

Jeter got a standing ovation in the first inning, then singled on the first pitch Darvish threw him. Jeter added a ground-rule double in the third for his 3,419th career hit to match Carl Yastrzemski for seventh on the MLB career list, then broke that tie with a single in the seventh.

Next on the MLB career list is Honus Wagner with 3,430 hits.

Jeter's rookie season in 1996 ended with the Yankees winning the World Series after clinching their opening playoff series in Texas, just like they did in 1998 and 1999. Then, in 2010, the Rangers got their first AL pennant with a home win over New York in Game 6 of the AL championship series.

"We've had some battles here in the postseason," Jeter said before Monday night's game. "We played some tough Texas teams. On the way to the World Series, we had to go through some Texas teams. There was a team in particular that stopped us in our quest to go."

The Rangers will honor Jeter in a pregame ceremony before the series finale Wednesday night. The Yankees captain has 103 hits in 71 regular-season games at Texas.

Yesterday Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

In allowing the deal to go forward, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas sided Monday with Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, who negotiated the record sale after the NBA banned the 80-year-old billionaire for making offensive remarks about blacks.

Shelly Sterling sought the probate judge's approval to ink the deal after taking over the family trust that owns the team because doctors found Donald Sterling had signs of Alzheimer's disease and couldn't manage his affairs.

The judge said Shelly Sterling had negotiated a good deal and the removal of her husband as a co-trustee was in good faith and not part of a secret plan to seize the team.

Shelly Sterling hugged her lawyer and wept after the judge explained his ruling from the bench.

"I can't believe it's over," she said. "This is the best thing."

An unusual provision of the ruling bars Donald Sterling from seeking a court-ordered delay of the sale as he appeals. His lawyers plan to seek permission from an appellate court to file an appeal.

Sterling was not in court for the ruling. Bobby Samini, one of his lawyers, said Sterling reacted calmly to the news and told his lawyers they had to keep battling on other fronts. Sterling testified during the case that he would fight the NBA until his death.

With lawsuits pending in state and federal courts, the ruling in Los Angeles County Superior Court is unlikely to put an end to the bizarre saga that began in April when a recording surfaced of Sterling scolding his young girlfriend for bringing black men to Clippers games.

The NBA moved quickly to ban Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million.

Sterling was apologetic after the audio recording went viral, but his mea culpa backfired when he criticized Lakers great Magic Johnson

Yesterday Judge rules against Sterling, OKs $2B sale of Clips

LOS ANGELES (AP) A judge has ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and cleared the way for the $2 billion sale of the team to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Judge Michael Levanas sided Monday with Sterling's estranged wife in the case that arose after the 80-year-old billionaire was banned by the NBA for making offensive remarks about blacks.

Shelly Sterling sought the court's approval for the deal she negotiated after taking control of a family trust and removing her husband as a trustee after two doctors found he had Alzheimer's disease and couldn't manage his affairs.

Donald Sterling claimed his wife deceived him about the medical exams.

Sterling has vowed to fight the NBA until his death and is expected to continue to wage court battles to stop the sale.

Jul 28, 2014 Byron Scott says he will be LA Lakers' new coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they're apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days.

Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday that no deal has been reached.

Scott, who won three NBA titles as a shooting guard for the Lakers, told KCBS-TV he will take over the club, which hasn't had a coach since Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30.

"It feels fantastic," he told KCBS. "This is a dream come true. I always wanted to coach the Lakers, especially when I got to coaching. It's so unreal. I have to thank (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak), (owners) Jeanie and Jim Buss to give me this opportunity."

Yet Kupchak and the Buss siblings remained mum Sunday, extending their strange coach-less summer to the final days of July.

ESPN.com first reported Scott would take over the Lakers with a four-year, $17 million contract.

Scott is undoubtedly qualified for the job after stints as a head coach with New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland. He was Kobe Bryant's teammate during Bryant's rookie year with the Lakers in 1996-97, and the superstar endorsed Scott for the job earlier this month.

"He was my rookie mentor when I first came in the league, so I had to do things like get him doughnuts and run errands for him, things like that," said Bryant, who played just six games last season. "We've had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years."

Scott also spent last season as a television commentator on the Lakers' own network, watching the franchise's implosion up close.

Los Angeles finished 27-55 last season, compiling the most losses in the 16-time NBA champions' history. The Lakers had their worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers' 1957-58 season, missing the playoffs for just the third time in 38 seasons as the NBA's most glamorous franchise was reduced to ineptitude.

Scott

Jul 28, 2014 It's 'Jeff Gordon Day' at IMS for record 5th time

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago.

Gordon nailed the final restart of the race to pass Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne with 17 laps remaining in Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was no given because restarts have been Gordon's Achilles heel for several years.

But he slid past Kahne and easily pulled away for a NASCAR-record five wins at historic Indy. This victory comes on the 20th anniversary of Gordon's win in the inaugural Brickyard 400, and on "Jeff Gordon Day" as declared by the Mayor of Indianapolis.

The win moves Gordon into a tie with Michael Schumacher, whose five Formula One victories at Indy had been the gold standard.

Jul 28, 2014 LeBron deep-sixes number; will be No. 23 with Cavs

LeBron James will go back to wearing jersey No. 23 in his return to Cleveland.

James tweeted "23 it is! It's only right I go back. 23(equals)6 We still family 6." The tweet included an Instagram post with photos of James holding his No. 23 Cavaliers jersey on draft night, him later in a new version of the Cavs' jersey and a one of him in his high school jersey.

James wore No. 6 in four seasons with Miami and with the U.S. Olympic team. He used No. 23 in high school and during seven seasons in Cleveland.

About 10 days ago, James turned to social media to help him choose which number he'll wear next season with the Cavaliers. James wrote "6 or 23...." on his Twitter account.

Jul 28, 2014 Vincenzo Nibali wins 2014 Tour de France

Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Italian in 16 years to triumph in cycling's greatest race by chiseling a lead over his main rivals a few seconds at a time and dominating them in the mountains.

The 29-year-old Sicilian, who called himself "a flag-bearer of anti-doping" during the race, finished in the pack behind Marcel Kittel, who won the 21st stage in a sprint finish.

PHOTOS: Crashes of the 2014 Tour de France

Nibali's victory comes after the pre-race favorites -- 2013 champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador -- crashed out with injuries in the first half of this year's Tour.

Astana team leader Nibali is only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours -- France, Italy and Spain. The last Italian to win the Tour de France was Marco Pantani in 1998.

After cruising after Kittel, a German who got his fourth stage win, Nibali got pats on the back, kissed his wife and infant daughter, and was mobbed by cameras as race organizers hustled him away to prepare for the final awards ceremony.

"Unbelievable," said Kittel, whose victories bookended this Tour. He won Stage 1 when British rival Mark Cavendish crashed out in the final sprint.

TDF Live 2014: Watch every Tour stage live | Full stage replays
Highlights | Standings | Stages | Teams |
Jul 27, 2014 Star-studded 2014 Hall of Fame class inducted in Cooperstown

Cooperstown got a little tougher and a lot louder Sunday afternoon as managers Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame alongside Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas.

It was a banner class for the Hall only a year after no living candidate earned enough votes for induction.

La Russa enters the Hall as the third-winningest manager of all time. He was picked as manager of the year four times and won 12 division titles, six pennants and World Series titles in 1989, 2006, and 2011.

More coverage: Six new plaques | Watch: Thomas' emotional speech | Why new rules?

Signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, La Russa's six-year major league career as an infielder was forgettable. But after earning a law degree at Florida State University and giving managing a try in the minor leagues, he found his niche, was elevated to manage the Chicago White Sox in 1979, and his managing career took off. He won two championships with St. Louis and one with Oakland.

By the time he retired, La Russa was third all-time in victories as a manager with 2,728, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw and 224 wins more than his National League rival in Atlanta.

The feisty Cox, who also spent four years in Toronto, was a four-time Manager of the Year, three in the NL and one in the AL, and holds the major league record with 159 ejections. During his time in Atlanta, the Braves won an unprecedented 14 straight division titles and earned 15 playoff appearances.

Of course, it helped to have arms like Gla

Jul 27, 2014 Star-studded 2014 Hall of Fame class inducted in Cooperstown

Cooperstown got a little tougher and a lot louder Sunday afternoon as managers Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame alongside Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas.

It was a banner class for the Hall only a year after no living candidate earned enough votes for induction.

La Russa enters the Hall as the third-winningest manager of all time. He was picked as manager of the year four times and won 12 division titles, six pennants and World Series titles in 1989, 2006, and 2011.

Signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, La Russa's six-year major league career as an infielder was forgettable. But after earning a law degree at Florida State University and giving managing a try in the minor leagues, he found his niche, was elevated to manage the Chicago White Sox in 1979, and his managing career took off. He won two championships with St. Louis and one with Oakland.

By the time he retired, La Russa was third all-time in victories as a manager with 2,728, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw and 224 wins more than his National League rival in Atlanta.

The feisty Cox, who also spent four years in Toronto, was a four-time Manager of the Year, three in the NL and one in the AL, and holds the major league record with 159 ejections. During his time in Atlanta, the Braves won an unprecedented 14 straight division titles and earned 15 playoff appearances.

Of course, it helped to have arms like Glavine and Maddux on the mound two out of every five days. The pair of aces combined to win 438 games in Atlanta.

Glavine won 305 games and two Cy Young Awards, and posted five seasons with 20 or more victories. Only three left-handers have more wins -- Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Eddie Plank. Glavine was on the mound when the Braves won Game 6 to clinch the 1995 World Series and give the city of Atlanta its lone major sports title.

A teammate on that ’95 team, Maddux als

Jul 27, 2014 Baseball HOF cuts election eligibility to 10 years

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire will have less time to remain eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot under changes made Saturday.

The Hall of Fame's board cut a player's eligibility from 15 years to 10, which gives McGwire a maximum of two more appearances on the writers' ballot. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, shunned so far along with other Steroids Era stars, can be considered up to eight more times each by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4 last year in his second ballot appearance, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Bonds, a seven-time MVP and baseball's career home runs leader, fell from 36.2 percent to 34.7.

McGwire dropped from 16.9 percent to 11, down from a peak of 25.6 in 2008. Sosa, who hit 609 homers, dropped from 12.5 percent to 7.2 - close to falling below the 5 percent threshold for remaining on the ballot.

Three players with 11-15 years will remain eligible: Don Mattingly (15th year in 2015), Alan Trammell (14th) and Lee Smith (13th).

This is just the second change in voting rules since 1985, when the 5 percent threshold for remaining on the ballot was instituted. In 1991, players on baseball's permanent ineligible list were barred from the ballot, a move that prevented career hits leader Pete Rose from being considered. Rose agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation by Major League Baseball concluded he bet on the Cincinnati Reds to win while managing the team.

Members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point are eligible to vote. Under another change announced Saturday, eligible voters will be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct, and their names will be made public, but not their individual votes.

Dan Le Batard, an ESPN host and Miami Herald columnist, was kicked out of the BBWAA for one year and bar

Jul 27, 2014 Tulowitzki's name bungled in giveaway gaffe

DENVER (AP) Troy Tulowitzki has a tough name to spell, even at his own ballpark.

The Colorado Rockies handed out 15,000 jerseys with the All-Star shortstop's name misspelled in a giveaway gaffe Saturday night at Coors Field.

The second "t" was missing, so the backs read "Tulowizki."

"Is there something wrong with it?" fan Jordan Deuschleman asked. "I didn't notice with the name being so long."

The club issued a statement apologizing for the mistake. The team said it was aware of the misspelling, but decided to hand out the jerseys before the game against Pittsburgh.

"Acknowledging that many fans came to the game for the jersey, rather than disappoint them, we decided to go ahead and hand them out," the Rockies said.

Some fans didn't bother with the game, usher Leon Thomas said.

"Many of the fans got here early. Took the shirt and left. They recognized it was a collector's item," he said. "There were only so many handed out. They were gone fast."

The Rockies said fans can exchange them for corrected jerseys at a September date to be announced.

Tulowitzki leads the majors in hitting at .340. He is currently on the disabled list.

Jul 27, 2014 Giants acquire righty Jake Peavy from Red Sox

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The San Francisco Giants boosted their rotation for the stretch run by acquiring right-hander Jake Peavy from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday for a pair of minor league pitchers.

The 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner will start Sunday night's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants held a half-game division lead in the NL West against their rival going into Saturday night's middle game at AT&T Park.

The Giants have plenty of familiarity with Peavy, who pitched for manager Bruce Bochy with the San Diego Padres in the playoffs in 2005-06.

"It's great to be reunited with Jake," Bochy said by text message. "Look forward to working with him again."

San Francisco missed the playoffs in 2013 after winning the World Series in 2010 and '12, and the club is committed to making another special October run.

The 33-year-old Peavy pitched one of his best games last Aug. 25 at Dodger Stadium. He tossed a three-hitter with five strikeouts and one walk in an 8-1 Red Sox victory.

San Francisco received cash from Boston and is sending right-hander Heath Hembree and lefty Edwin Escobar to the World Series champion Red Sox in the swap. Both players were optioned by the Red Sox to Triple-A Pawtucket.

"It provides Jake an opportunity to step right into a more ready pennant race out in the west," Boston manager John Farrell said. "And we get two pitchers back we like."

Peavy (1-9, 4.72 ERA) has been hurt by poor run support this season, receiving two runs or fewer of support in each of his past eight starts. He is in the final season of a $29 million, two-year contract.

"Going to miss him," Boston's Mike Napoli said. "A great competitor. A great teammate. His record doesn't really show the kind of pitcher he is."

Peavy is earning $14.5 million this season, with the Red Sox paying more than $3 million of his remaining salary for the year - $5.15 million.

Six weeks on the disa

Jul 27, 2014 Pack signs Nelson to extension after 1st practice

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Jordy Nelson had a secret on the way to the first practice of Packers training camp.

It didn't take long for the rest of his teammates to find out.

Green Bay's leading receiver now has a deal commensurate with his production after signing a contract extension just before taking the field Saturday morning.

"So I was like the last one in the locker room and waiting on the paperwork to come down to get it done. That way, I had some security when I went out to practice," Nelson said. "That was a little bit different, and knowing no one knew (but) me the whole time I'm riding down there and on the field."

Soon enough, Nelson told fellow receivers and the quarterbacks. Coach Mike McCarthy found out in the middle of practice. Right about the time that Nelson was making a pretty touchdown catch on a long corner pass from Aaron Rodgers, word filtered out on social media.

The Packers didn't divulge terms when announcing the signing after the end of practice, and NFL.com reported it was a four-year, $39 million deal with an $11.5 million signing bonus.

"He said he re-signed and he was really happy," Rodgers said. "Now he can buy all the land in Kansas. I'm very happy."

Nelson, a Kansas native who attended Kansas State, posted career-bests of 85 catches and 1,314 yards last season. The 2008 second-round pick has developed into one of the top receivers in the league with his ability to make sideline catches.

Rodgers thinks Nelson has top-notch instincts and reactions.

"So it's fun to see Jordy re-sign for four more. I told him that that's five (years) for him and I've got six left, so we're going to have to do one more after that and stick around a little bit longer," Rodgers said.

The signing secures the team's top player at a position that had several high-profile departures in recent years. Reliable veteran James Jones left for Oakland in free agency in the offseason. After the 2012

Jul 27, 2014 Kevin Love withdraws from Team USA

Kevin Love still doesn't know where he will play next season, his NBA future hanging in the air while a seldom-used league rule complicates a potential trade to Cleveland.

The only thing certain from a basketball standpoint for Love is that he won't be playing for Team USA this summer.

Love had to withdraw from Team USA's roster while the Minnesota Timberwolves field offers for their three-time All-Star, a process that was extended when Cavaliers rookie Andrew Wiggins signed his contract this week.

Love is the latest All-Star to pull out of Team USA, which begins its training camp in Las Vegas next week to prepare for the FIBA World Cup in Spain. In recent weeks the Americans have lost Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. They have 18 players remaining and will choose 12 for the World Cup of Basketball roster.

Love, who won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2010 world championship and was one of the first players to commit to play this summer, told USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo that he would be unavailable for training camp that starts Monday.

"He wants to play but it's a little bit of a sign of the times when you look at the league in terms of contracts, rumored trades," Colangelo said. "All of those circumstances put players in a funny position."

The Cavaliers have been in pursuit of Love since before the draft. Their chances of landing Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer and has told the Timberwolves he wants to play for a contender, increased exponentially when LeBron James chose to return to play in Cleveland.

The Timberwolves have demanded Wiggins, the No. 1 overall draft pick, in a package in return for Love and the Cavaliers have gradually softened on their position to include the dynamic 19-year-old wing player in trade talks.

Under NBA rules, Wiggins cannot be traded until 30 days after he signed his contract with the Cavaliers. That means an

Jul 26, 2014 Manziel has 'fun' on first day of Browns camp

BEREA, Ohio (AP) There were No. 2 jerseys everywhere, ringing the practice fields in various shapes, sizes and colors.

On the first day of training camp, Browns fans came out by the thousands, many of them to get their first live look at the popular and polarizing quarterback who electrified college football and who may one day lead Cleveland back to pro football glory.

They all came to see Johnny Manziel.

Strutting around the field with his usual swagger, Manziel went through his first training camp practice on Saturday, a workout that finally allowed the focus to be on his playing ability after months of his social life making headlines. A day after acknowledging he "made some rookie mistakes" with his off-the-field exploits, Manziel zipped passes and showed some of the elusiveness that earned him his Johnny Football nickname while at Texas A&M.

"I have fun playing this game," Manziel said. "I have fun going out on this field playing football. It's what I live for, it's what I love to do."

On Friday, Manziel, who will battle Brian Hoyer for Cleveland's starting job, said he wished he had done some things differently during the offseason, when his wild weekends partying in Las Vegas nightclubs brought both he and the Browns some unwanted publicity. Manziel vowed to be all about football now, and his every move will be dissected over the next few weeks as he and Hoyer compete.

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam hopes Manziel sticks to his word and changes his behavior.

"Johnny said it himself, he made some mistakes," said Haslam. "We expect better from him. I'm sure he'll perform and now we're anxious to see what he can do on the field, which is what really counts."

Haslam, whose Pilot Flying J truck-stop company has been at the center of a federal investigation for fraud, rattled off the names of famous athletes like LeBron James, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Derek Jeter as examples of athletes Manziel should t

Jul 26, 2014 Mercedes drivers fastest in Hungarian GP practice

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time in the first and second practices for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday, with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg second.

Hamilton's best lap of 1 minute, 24.482 seconds was 0.238 seconds faster than Rosberg's in the second session.

The Mercedes drivers, who have won nine of the 10 races this season, were the only ones finishing below 1:25 and were over a second faster than in the first practice. Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was third.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was fourth in the second practice, nearly a second off Hamilton's pace, followed by Kevin Magnussen of McLaren, Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and surging Valtteri Bottas of Williams.

Gaining pole position for Sunday's race is considered a huge plus on the twisting Hungaroring circuit, where passing opportunities are very limited. Hamilton is looking to win his third race in a row and his fifth overall on this track.

Despite far outpacing the rest of the field, Hamilton said neither the soft nor medium Pirelli tire compounds had been satisfactory during the first two practice sessions on the famously dusty circuit.

"Neither tire was good, to be honest," said Hamilton, the 2008 F1 champion who completed 38 laps in the second practice, among the most of all drivers. "They both have very poor grip."

Hamilton said Mercedes was being careful about avoiding excessive tire wear during the practices.

"It feels like you have to slow down too much now, to the point that it's a bit boring," Hamilton said, adding that he expected a "tough day" during the last practice and the qualifying session on Saturday.

The British driver, who crashed during qualifying a week ago for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim due to brake failure, could be heard complaining about the brakes again during practice over the team radio. Later, however, he did not seem too concerned.

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Jul 26, 2014 Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

One night only in a guest star role for Team Penske,

The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

Montoya is not looking for a good points day on Sunday and doesn't care about a top-10 finish. It's checkered flag or bust.

Although he won the Indy 500 in 2000, Montoya was winless in seven NASCAR starts at the Brickyard and let two near-victories slip away.

Jul 26, 2014 Rams: No restrictions on Bradford

ST. LOUIS (AP) At times, Sam Bradford forgot all about his surgically repaired left knee.

Except for a brace, the St. Louis Rams have no restrictions in training camp for their quarterback, either. The first overall pick of the 2010 draft missed the last nine games last season and is a key to a franchise seeking a breakthrough season.

"I feel great, my knee really feels good," Bradford said after the first full-squad workout in unseasonably cool weather Friday night. "They feel good about having no limits.

"If it starts getting a little sore and we need to pull back we can always do that, but out of the gate I'm going to try to do everything."

Coach Jeff Fisher said Bradford was so impressive in conditioning tests, he finished ahead of players who should have bested him.

"Guys that you would think would do a lot better. How does that sound?" outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar said, laughing. "We've got the general on offense back,"

Bradford was eased back into the mix during OTAs last month and became a full participant the final week. He realizes there might be a little more trepidation before the preseason opener, but added, "At this point, I haven't noticed anything."

During the month off for players, Bradford worked out with five young receivers to come to his home in Norman, Oklahoma, and footed the bill, too.

The Rams (7-9) are entering their third season under Fisher and general manager Les Snead and seeking a breakthrough for a franchise that hasn't fielded a winning team since 2003.

"I'm going on Year 5 and there's some guys in there that have been there longer than I have," Bradford said. "No one steps on the field to lose. I think we want it just as bad as the city and fans do."

A crowd estimated at 1,484 attended the workout with temperatures in the high 70s with a cooling breeze after a storm threatened for several hours but failed to materialize. Temperatures are expected to be ba

Jul 26, 2014 Mets RHP Matsuzaka returns to NY for elbow exam

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Mets say pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is returning to New York to have his right elbow examined.

Mets manager Terry Collins said Friday that the 33-year-old Matsuzaka felt something in his elbow a day earlier.

Matsuzaka pitched two innings and gave up three earned runs in the Mets' 9-1 loss at Milwaukee on Thursday night.

"He said when he was loosening up, he could feel it a little bit, thought it was nothing that he couldn't pitch through, but when the game was over it bothered him pretty good," Collins said before Friday night's game against the Brewers.

Matsuzaka is 3-3 with a 3.87 ERA in 28 games this season. He's made nine starts.

Jul 26, 2014 Panthers QB Newton practices, not 100 percent yet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said that while his surgically repaired ankle is getting better, it's not completely healed.

The Pro Bowl player participated in his first full practice Friday night at Fan Fest since undergoing surgery in March.

Newton looked sharp throwing passes but struggled with his footwork and timing on handoffs. He didn't appear to run with a limp until after practice when he jogged over to sign autographs for some of the 36,315 fans in attendance at the team's downtown stadium. The event signaled the official start of training camp for the NFC South champions.

"I can't stress enough that I'm not 100 percent yet," Newton said.

At one point Carolina's trainer Ryan Vermillion came over to check on the fourth-year quarterback during practice, but Newton said it was just precautionary.

"It's just going to take treatment and time," Newton said, adding that his rehab is right on schedule.

Coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers will take it slow with Newton, making sure to avoid any potential setbacks.

He said Newton will continue to undergo treatment on a daily basis, but was thrilled to see the team's leader back on the field.

Rivera said he hopes to have Newton available for all four preseason games.

"It was good to see Cam out there," Rivera said. "He's a little rusty in terms of his quarterback to running back exchange. But he's working himself back in and he has to work those techniques. But it was nice to see him make some nice throws."

Rivera said Newton's footwork still needs to improve.

"A big thing is developing that footwork and getting that flexibility back in that ankle," Rivera said. "As he practices and goes through day by day we have to be smart with it. I think he will work back into shape pretty soon."

Newton had surgery in March after experiencing soreness in his left ankle following Carolina's 23-10 NFC divisional pla

Jul 26, 2014 Browns WR Gordon reports to camp, hearing looms

BEREA, Ohio (AP) Josh Gordon's off-field issues didn't put him out of shape.

The embattled Pro Bowl wide receiver reported to Browns training camp Friday and passed his conditioning test as he awaits an appeal hearing with the NFL on a possible suspension.

Gordon is scheduled to meet with the league Aug. 1. He's facing a one-year ban for violating the substance abuse policy for at least the third time. Gordon was suspended for the first two games last season, but still led the league with 1,646 yards receiving and scored nine touchdowns.

He entered the league with a history of marijuana abuse after failing two drug tests in college. Gordon reportedly entered a rehab clinic following a recent DUI arrest in Raleigh, North Carolina, and spent two weeks at a clinic in California.

Browns coach Mike Pettine would not confirm if Gordon had been to rehab, but cornerback Joe Haden said he was glad his teammate would take the necessary steps to get well.

"I'm happy for him," he said. I'm here for J.G. I love him like a brother. We're just here for support and for him to do that is a big step. That means that something's going on and he's trying to fix a problem."

Looking fit and fast, Gordon participated with Cleveland's other veterans in the grueling conditioning test.

As Pettine, general manager Ray Farmer and the team's quarterbacks, rookies and injured players looked on, Gordon and others ran 20 sprints they had to finish in mandated times.

Mammoth defensive tackle Phil Taylor did not complete the sprints, and tight end Gary Barnidge looked woozy as he was helped off the field by trainers before being driven on a cart to the team's headquarters.

Safety Donte Whitner finished the test by doing a somersault over the goal line. He slowly walked into the training facility escorted by a trainer.

It's the first time in years the Browns have had their conditioning test open to the media.

Pettine sai