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National

  • NFL refs back to work Thursday after deal--Video Extra

    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL's regular officiating crews are back. Their return couldn't have come soon enough for many players, coaches and fans.

    After two days of marathon negotiations — and mounting frustration throughout the league — the NFL and the officials' union announced at midnight Thursday that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June.

    The deal came on the heels of Seattle's chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday night in which the replacement officials struggled. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was at the bargaining table Tuesday and Wednesday, said the regular officials would work the Browns-Ravens game at Baltimore on Thursday night.

    "We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week's games," NFL Referees Association president Scott Green said.

    And plenty of players echoed that sentiment.

  • NFL upholds disputed touchdown

    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL has upheld the Seahawks’ 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
    The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle’s last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.
    The NFL says Seahawks receiver Golden Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have clinched a Packers victory, but that cannot be reviewed by instant replay.
    The replacement officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL says that once that happened, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.
    On the final play, Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into a scrum in the end zone. Tate and Jennings both got their hands on the ball, though the Packers insisted Jennings had clear possession for a game-ending interception.

  • AP Top 25 College Football Poll 9-23-12

    The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 22, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

  • New officials impacting Vegas oddsmakers

    LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Casinos think this weekend’s NFL games will be the highest-scoring ever thanks to the league’s replacement officials.
    Oddsmakers say casinos are changing their expectations as interim referees add new variables to the game, changing its pace and the approaches taken by coaches.
    Casinos haven’t fully changed lines yet because there have been only two weeks of games and referees might adjust how they call games based on weekly feedback from the league. But oddsmaker Mike Colbert of Cantor Gaming says home teams will deserve an extra half-point in their favor if games are called all year the way they were officiated in Week 2.
    “It’s starting to concern us a bit,” Colbert said. “(Officials) should have no influence on the total or the side.”
    Penalties were skewed in favor of home teams during the first two weeks this year, with visitors getting 55.1 percent of 419 penalties. Last year began in a similar fashion— visitors took 54.8 percent of 407 total penalties through the first two games — before evening out over the rest of the season. Penalties were relatively even between home and road teams for all of 2010 and 2011, and it’s anybody’s guess how this year’s penalties will split.

  • The AP top 25 college football poll 9-16-12

    The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 15, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

  • Serena Williams Comes Back to Win US Open
  • The AP top 25 college football poll

    The Top 25 teams in The Associated Press college football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Sept. 8, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote, and previous ranking:

  • Boston makes big swap with LA

    BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox sent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford to the Dodgers on Saturday, parting with the high-priced stars in a nine-player trade that was the biggest swap in Los Angeles’ history.
    The floundering Red Sox also Boston also sent infielder Nick Punto and cash to the Dodgers. The Red Sox acquired first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and two players to be named.
    “We continue to do everything in our power to strengthen our team for the stretch drive in an effort to reach the postseason,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. “This trade today exemplifies ownership’s commitment to making the team as good as possible not only for 2012 but for many seasons to come.”
    The Dodgers are chasing San Francisco for the NL West title and are in the midst of the wild-card race. The trade came less than a week before the Aug. 31 deadline for teams to have players under their control in order for them to be eligible for the postseason.

  • USC Returns to No. 1 in AP Top 25 Football Poll
  • Cabrera suspended for 50 games

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Melky Cabrera’s 50-game suspension comes just as reliever Guillermo Mota is nearing his return to the Giants from a 100-game performance-enhancing drug penalty of his own.
    Yes, San Francisco now accounts for two of the four suspensions this season under the major league drug program — and suddenly the Giants are back in the spotlight for performance-enhancing drugs several years after the club had finally moved forward from the Mitchell Report and BALCO mess.
    “Unfortunately, these things happen in baseball,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “There’s not a lot you can do about it. I guess the best thing we can do is keep educating players so these things don’t happen. I can’t dwell on these things.”
    Cabrera, the 28-year-old MVP of last month’s All-Star game, was suspended 50 games Wednesday following a positive test for testosterone. That puts an abrupt end to what had been a remarkable regular season and throws the Giants’ playoff hopes into doubt.
    “Ultimately, it was just a bad decision,” catcher Buster Posey said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”