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National

  • Cardinals stun Texas, force World Series to Game 7

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hours after David Freese's home run plunked down on the grass patch beyond the center field wall, long after the ballpark emptied, a message still burned bright on the scoreboard: "See you TOMORROW NIGHT for Game 7 of the World Series!"

    Whatever happens, whether the St. Louis Cardinals or Texas Rangers win, they'll have a hard time topping Thursday night.

    "You had to be here to believe it," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.

    In one of the greatest thrillers in baseball history, the Cardinals twice rallied when they were down to their last strike of the season. First, Freese saved them with a two-run triple in the ninth, then Lance Berkman delivered a tying single in the 10th.

  • West Virginia will join Big 12

    The Big 12 has a replacement lined up for Missouri before it even leaves the conference.
    Acting quickly to make sure it maintains a 10-member lineup, the Big 12 approved bringing in West Virginia to replace Missouri when the Tigers complete their move to the Southeastern Conference, a person with knowledge of the decision said Tuesday.
    The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Big 12 had not announced that the conference board of directors on Monday unanimously approved inviting West Virginia when Missouri’s spot comes open.

     

  • NBA talks resume today

    NEW YORK (AP) — NBA owners and players are meeting for a second straight day, shortly after finishing a 16-hour marathon with a federal mediator.
    The sides resumed talks about 10 a.m. Wednesday, about eight hours after they broke for the night.
    No bargaining had been expected Wednesday or Thursday, since the owners have board meetings schedules. But instead their labor relations committee came back for further discussions with the players’ association executive committee.
    Neither side commented on Tuesday’s talks at the request of mediator George Cohen.

  • Most drivers had no experience at Las Vegas

    The perfect storm: A high-banked oval crowded with the largest field of the season. Inexperienced or impatient drivers racing at more than 220 mph. Absolutely no room for error.
    What was supposed to be a season-ending showdown at Las Vegas Motor Speedway became instead a script for disaster Sunday: a fiery 15-car crash that killed popular two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon and left the shaken auto racing community to deal with uncomfortable questions.
    The drivers knew the Las Vegas race was going to present challenges even before the season began.

  • Hey, stranger! Rangers, Cards meet in World Series

    Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in a matchup of MVP sluggers. Nelson Cruz and David Freese becoming bigger names with each home run swing. Pitching staffs full of shaky starters and shutdown relievers.

    Plus a Rally Squirrel and the Claw.

    The Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals, with a lot of symmetry, are all set to get acquainted in the World Series.

    Leave it to ol' Arthur Rhodes to make the introductions. The 41-year-old lefty specialist began the year with Texas, wound up in St. Louis and is likely to get a ring either way.

    Besides, it takes someone who's been around a bit to remember the last time these teams played.

  • Mountain West, C-USA plan football merger

    The Mountain West and Conference USA are planning to join forces to secure their future in the rapidly changing college football landscape.

    The two leagues expect to merge their football operations into one mega-conference that will probably have between 20 and 24 teams in it when it finally gets going in 2013.

    The name? They'll come up with one.

    Will Boise State and Air Force, among others, stay? They hope.

  • Wolf leads Brewers to big win

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — No more sleepless nights for Randy Wolf.
    The 35-year-old left-hander blames himself for Milwaukee’s division series against Arizona going the distance. He was more relieved than elated after his first career postseason win got the Brewers back to even in the NL championship series.
    He ensured that the pennant will be decided at Miller Park.
    “Just to be able to get another opportunity to pitch again was important,” Wolf said after outfoxing the St. Louis Cardinals for seven innings of a 4-2 victory in Game 4 Thursday night. “It’s kind of a weird word, but it’s redemption to go back out there.”

  • NBA cancels early-season games

    NEW YORK (AP) — Two weeks of NBA games are lost. Many more could be in jeopardy.
    There’s a “gulf” that separates owners and players, and they will have to close it quickly to avoid further damage to the schedule.
    Sticking to his deadline, Commissioner David Stern wiped out the first two weeks of the season — exactly 100 games — after more than seven hours of negotiations Monday failed to produce a new labor deal and preserve the Nov. 1 season openers.
    The cancellations mark the NBA’s first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games.

  • Raiders facing uncertain future

    ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders will have to replace much more than an owner now following Al Davis’ death.
    He was the general manager who hand-picked many of the current members of the Raiders. He was the master technician whose football philosophies are still adhered to by the team more than three decades after he coached his last game. He was the iconic figure who turned his beloved franchise into a global brand whose silver-and-black colors are recognized around the world.
    Most of all, Davis was the driving force behind a franchise that won three Super Bowl titles and was one of the most successful in pro sports until falling on hard times the past decade.

  • Cruz hits grand slam in 11th, Texas beats Tigers

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history, lifting the Texas Rangers over the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in 11 innings Monday for a 2-0 lead in the AL championship series.

    Cruz doubled early, then hit a tying home run in the seventh inning. His second homer of the game was a high drive to left field off Ryan Perry with nobody out in the 11th, and came after a misplay in the Detroit outfield loaded the bases.

    "It was amazing," Cruz said. "First two pitches, I was too aggressive. I hit the ball — foul ball, foul ball. So after that, I told myself just slow down and try to hit a fly ball to the outfield."