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National

  • Cavaliers sign Kirk

    It was reported this afternoon that the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent Alex Kirk to play for the upcoming season.

    Kirk, a former Los Alamos standout and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico, was inked to a a free agent contract today. Terms of the contract were not immediately disclosed, although Kirk's agent, Graham Boone, said it was a multi-year deal with part of the money being guaranteed.

    Kirk played for the Cavaliers during the 2014 NBA Summer League. He played all five games of the Summer League for the Cavs, playing an average of 15.4 minutes in those games.

    More information on the signing will be in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Tiger Watch is on at Valhalla

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Joe LaCava walked nearly every blade of grass on the 18th green at Valhalla Golf Club, jotting notes in his yardage book after stepping off the distances from every edge of the green to every possible pin position. It was just like any other Monday at a major.
    The caddie just didn’t know whether any of this information would be useful in the PGA Championship.
    LaCava was awaiting word on whether his boss, Tiger Woods, would be healthy enough to play the final major of the year.
    “I’m optimistic,” LaCava said after he finished charting the entire golf course. “I’m hoping he plays. So I’m just doing whatever work I would normally do.”
    The caddie was at Valhalla. So was his car, a silver SUV parked in the spot assigned to the four-time PGA champion.
    As for Woods?
    Stay tuned. His agent, Mark Steinberg at Excel Sports Management, said in an email that Monday would be too early for doctors to decide whether Woods could or even should play this week after another back injury.
    The PGA of America said that Woods would not have his previously scheduled news conference Tuesday morning.

  • HGH use is rising among teens

    NEW YORK (AP) — Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale national survey.
    In a confidential 2013 survey of 3,705 high school students, being released Wednesday by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 11 percent reported using synthetic HGH at least once — up from about 5 percent in the four preceding annual surveys. Teen use of steroids increased from 5 percent to 7 percent over the same period, the survey found.
    Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, depicted the numbers as alarming but not surprising, given the extensive online marketing of performance-enhancing substances and near-total lack of any drug testing for high school athletes.
    "It's what you get when you combine aggressive promotion from for-profit companies with a vulnerable target — kids who want a quick fix and don't care about health risk," Tygart said in an interview. "It's a very easy sell, unfortunately."
    Nine percent of teen girls reported trying synthetic HGH and 12 percent of boys.

  • Will Bills be living on a prayer?

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Rocker Jon Bon Jovi is part of a Toronto group that has retained a banking firm and submitted paperwork expressing interest in buying the Buffalo Bills, three people who have reviewed documents regarding the sale process told The Associated Press on Friday.
    It is unclear if the group would eventually want to move the NFL team to Toronto. The club is on the market after Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson died in March.
    The three people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Friday because the process is private and the Toronto group has not revealed its intentions.
    The group includes Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family. Tanenbaum is chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which controls the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors. The Rogers family includes Edward Rogers, who is deputy chairman of Rogers, the Toronto communications giant.
    The group is on a list of prospective buyers who have submitted a nondisclosure agreement form to Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the Bills sale. The Toronto group has retained the Goldman Sachs banking firm to assist in the bid.
    Bon Jovi previously expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise but never specifically mentioned the Bills. This is the first real indication linking him to Tanenbaum and Rogers.

  • Baseball gears up for 2nd half of year

    Sure, it was great for a couple days. The cheers for Derek Jeter. The power of Giancarlo Stanton. The excellence of Mike Trout in the American League’s 5-3 victory.
    Baseball’s All-Star party in the Twin Cities was a long series of smiles for players and fans. But the break is over now, and the real fun begins Friday night.
    Heading into the second half of the season, there are all sorts of compelling stories from coast to coast. It could be one fun summer in California, where Oakland begins the weekend with the best record in the majors, and the Giants, Angels and Dodgers are in prime playoff position. The trade deadline is in two weeks, and the recovery of several key injured players could dramatically affect a couple of divisions.
    The A’s bearded collection of shaggy misfits and stars is looking for the franchise’s first World Series title in 25 years. Sensing an opportunity, general manager Billy Beane got an early jump on the deadline when he acquired pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel in a deal with the Chicago Cubs on July 4.
    The blockbuster trade created an awkward scene at the All-Star game, where Samardzija was introduced with the NL reserves and then joined his new teammates in the AL dugout.

  • McIlroy takes early lead at Open

    HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Tiger Woods is back at the majors.
    Seems like he was never away.
    After a shaky start to the British Open, Woods ripped through Royal Liverpool on Thursday much like he did eight years ago, when he won the claret jug for the third time. A 30-foot birdie from the fringe of the 11th green got him going. Four more birdies in the next five holes carried Woods to a 3-under 69, leaving him just three shots behind Rory McIlroy.
    Not bad for a guy playing his first major of the year, who went months without being able to swing a club after back surgery.
    “I’m only going to get better,” Woods said. “I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.”
    For McIlroy, it was another blistering start.
    The question now: Can he keep it going?
    McIlroy took advantage of the prime scoring conditions more than anyone, a 66 putting him in the familiar position of first-round leader. He has played the opening round in a cumulative 55-under par this year, including three 63s and a course-record 64 at last week’s Scottish Open.

  • Woods tries to get back to form at Open

    HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Tiger Woods was an hour into his practice round Tuesday at the British Open when he stood on the fifth tee with a foreign object in his hand.
    In golf vernacular, it’s called a driver.
    Woods smashed it into the wind on the 528-yard hole and didn’t need to watch where it landed to realize it was in the middle of the fairway. Later in the round, he hit another driver off the tee. That’s twice as many than he hit over 72 holes when he won at Royal Liverpool eight years ago.
    “This is a different golf course when what we played in ‘06,” Woods said. “It was hot, ball was flying. It was very dusty. Now we’re making ball marks on the greens, which we weren’t doing then.”
    So much has changed in so many areas.
    Royal Liverpool, green and thick this time around, is still a firm and bouncy test of links golf. But it’s nothing as it was in 2006, when the fairways were so baked and brown that Woods hit only one driver in four rounds. That was on the 16th hole of the first round, and the ball wound up in the 17th fairway.
    He still made birdie.
    But it’s not just the golf course.

  • Kirk, Cavs start tourney Thursday

    It’s been an interesting last few days for the Cleveland Cavaliers, to say the very least.
    With nothing else going on, it’s been a productive, noteworthy first few days for Cleveland at the NBA Summer League, winning three pool play games ahead of a tournament-play format coming up at the NBA’s workouts in Las Vegas, Nev.
    In most years, that would be what Cleveland fans would be gabbing about.
    But this isn’t most years.
    Friday, it was announced that LeBron James, the dominant player in the NBA, would be returning from a four-year stint in Miami to Cleveland, where he spent the first seven years of pro career.
    Come this fall, he and former Los Alamos standout Alex Kirk could find themselves teammates in Cleveland.
    Kirk, who graduated from Los Alamos High School in 2010 and played for the University of New Mexico until his graduation this past May, is on Cleveland’s Summer League roster. Kirk was offered a spot on the roster after he went undrafted in the June NBA draft.
    While the NBA Summer League is rather informal, Kirk and other young players hoping to nab a roster spot would like to impress coaches and scouts during these games for a crack at playing pro ball full time.

  • Fans can pour own beer at All-Star Game

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It's BYOB at the home of the Minnesota Twins for this week's All Star Game.
    As in, Be Your Own Bartender.
    Just in time for the Home Run Derby, Target Field in Minneapolis put in two self-serve beer machines in the stands behind first and third base, letting thirsty fans pick a brew, pour and pay by the ounce. The pour-your-own stations are unique among the 100-plus stadiums and arenas in the four major professional sports in the United States — though not the first of their kind, a concessions consultant said.
    They're not about boosting sales, cutting labor costs or shortening lines, said Delaware North Companies general manager Pete Spike, who provides concessions at Target Field. And it's too early to say whether the machines are the future of beer concessions — or even whether Target Field will add more.
    For now, they're just something new.
    "It's a novelty. That's one thing that parks have lost over the years," Spike said. "You used to be able to get ice cream in a special package you couldn't get anywhere else. Now, you can get it everywhere. This is merely something fun."

  • LeBron heading back to Cleveland

     

    CLEVELAND (AP) — If LeBron James was going to win another NBA title, heal broken hearts and continue building his legacy, he knew there was only one place to go.

    To Ohio. Home.

    Four years after he left for Miami, a widely criticized departure that damaged his image and crushed a long-suffering city's championship hopes, James is coming back to play for the Cavaliers to try and end Cleveland's half-century title drought. He's returning to his basketball roots, to the people who know him best to make good on a promise.