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National

  • 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.”

  • Hernandez tosses perfect game in Seattle's 1-0 win

    SEATTLE (AP) — King Felix now has a crowning achievement.

    Felix Hernandez pitched the Seattle Mariners' first perfect game and the 23rd in baseball history, overpowering the Tampa Bay Rays in a brilliant 1-0 victory Wednesday.

    The Mariners' ace and 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner has long talked of his desire to achieve pitching perfection. He finally accomplished it against the Rays, striking out the side twice and finishing with 12 strikeouts.

    It was the third perfect game in baseball this season — a first — joining gems by Chicago's Philip Humber against the Mariners in April and San Francisco's Matt Cain against Houston in June.

    This also was the sixth no-hitter in the majors this season, three of them at Safeco Field. Humber threw his gem in Seattle, then six Mariners pitchers combined to hold the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless at the park on June 8.

  • McIlroy wins PGA Championship by record 8 strokes

    KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Right down to his red shirt, Rory McIlroy looked every bit the part of golf's next star in another command performance at the PGA Championship.

    McIlroy validated his record-setting U.S. Open win last year by blowing away the field Sunday at Kiawah Island. One last birdie from 25 feet on the 18th hole gave him a 6-under 66 for an eight-shot victory, breaking the PGA Championship record for margin of victory that Jack Nicklaus set in 1980.

    The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland returned to No. 1 in the world, and he became the youngest player since Seve Ballesteros to win two majors. Tiger Woods was about four months older than McIlroy when he won his second major.

    Just like the U.S. Open, this one was never seriously in doubt.