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National

  • Optimism fades in NBA lockout meetings

    NEW YORK (AP) — David Stern returned to the bargaining table Monday and said "nothing" gave him reason for encouragement.

    And for that, the NBA Commissioner pointed the blame in one place.

    "I don't feel optimistic about the players' willingness to engage in a serious way," Stern said.

    So the first meeting to include leadership from owners and players since the lockout began exactly a month ago produced nothing new — except blame.

  • Eagles land biggest free agent prize--video extra

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With one big move after another over two wild days, the Philadelphia Eagles became strong favorites to reach the Super Bowl.

    Trading Kevin Kolb was expected. Signing Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Babin was no surprise. Even getting two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Vince Young to back up Michael Vick hardly turned heads.

    But the stunner came when the defending NFC East champions swooped in from nowhere and landed Nnamdi Asomugha, the biggest prize on the NFL's free-agent market.

    The two-time All-Pro cornerback was seemingly headed elsewhere — the New York Jets courted him aggressively — before the Eagles quietly moved in and signed him to a $60 million, five-year deal on Friday.

  • McNabb, others move on busy day for NFL

    Donovan McNabb’s time in Washington is over after only a year.
    The Minnesota Vikings acquired the veteran quarterback from the Redskins on Wednesday night in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick.
    The deal gives the Vikings a six-time Pro Bowler who will play until first-round draft choice Christian Ponder is ready to take over. The deal also includes a conditional sixth-round pick in 2013.
    Ponder tweeted that he welcomes McNabb to the team and looks forward to learning from him. But he also says he still plans on fighting for the starting job in Week 1.
    McNabb will have to restructure the five-year, $78 million deal he signed with the Redskins because the Vikings don’t have enough room to fit him in their salary cap.

  • NFL players, owners reach deal

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Let’s talk Peyton Manning touchdown passes, not antitrust lawsuits.
    Finally, 4½ months after the NFL’s first work stoppage in 24 years, Commissioner Roger Goodell could say the words fans awaited: “Football’s back.”
    With a frenzy.
    Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith both used that phrase Monday while announcing their agreement on a 10-year deal to end the lockout that began in March.
    Players could report to team facilities today for physicals, meetings and to pick up playbooks. Training camps begin on Wednesday for 10 teams, with the other 22 starting workouts throughout the rest of the week.

  • Players vote to OK deal to end NFL lockout

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Now it can be said with certainty: Get ready for some football!

    NFL players voted to OK a final deal Monday, days after the owners approved a tentative agreement, and the sides finally managed to put an end to the 4½-month lockout, the longest work stoppage in league history.

    "This is a long time coming, and football's back," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "and that's the great news for everybody."

  • Clemens, Bonds sagas are too familiar

    NEW YORK (AP) — Seems you can’t put a baseball star on trial without a mistrial.
    Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens remain perfectly bookended, each with seven major awards, one mistrial and no guilty verdict assured of sticking.
    Victor Conte, whose Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative sparked the government investigations of drugs and athletes, has had enough.
    “It’s a huge waste of federal taxpayer dollars at this point,” he said Thursday during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t know the tab, but probably tens of millions of dollars at this point.”

  • NFL players don’t vote on deal

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest twist in the touch-and-go efforts to end the NFL lockout: Players didn’t vote Wednesday on a full proposal to settle the labor dispute.
    The league, however, said the sides would work through the night to try to have a final agreement ready for ratification Thursday.
    A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press there was agreement among player representatives from all 32 clubs on what items needed to be resolved before any offer would be accepted. A second person, also speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are supposed to be secret, said those players gave what was termed “conditional approval” of the proposal — as it stood Wednesday.

  • Football: New CBA could come very soon

    NEW YORK (AP) — Significant progress on a major sticking point in the NFL labor impasse — soaring rookie salaries — during marathon talks Thursday raised hopes that a tentative agreement could perhaps come within 24 hours, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
    They cautioned, however, that other key issues remained for owners and players to resolve, including free agency and new offseason workout rules.
    After meeting for nearly 15 hours Thursday, Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith, players and owners were back at the negotiating table Friday as they attempted to end the first work stoppage since 1987.

  • Baseball: MLB limps back to work after break

    From Derek Jeter to Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer, you could put together an All-Star team just from the guys who have been stuck on the disabled list this season.
    If 2010 was the Year of the Pitcher, 2011 might just be the Year of the Injury. David Wright, Buster Posey and Zack Greinke have missed big chunks of time as well, and the rash of injured stars may be one of the biggest reasons that all six division races are so close heading into the unofficial second half of the season.
    With so many teams playing short-handed, no one has been able to break away from the pack yet and take command of the pennant race, setting up a 2½ month sprint to the finish.

  • Wambach lifts US to final in 3-1 win over France--video extra

    MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — Somehow, the Americans seem to find a way to win.

    And more often than not, Abby Wambach has something to do with it.

    With time running out and France giving the United States all it could handle and then some, Wambach's winner in the 79th minute put her teammates at ease and set off celebrations on two continents. The 3-1 victory Wednesday night has the Americans in the World Cup final for the first time since 1999, which also just happens to be the last time the United States won soccer's biggest prize.