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National

  • 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.

  • Golf: Lefty develops a convenient case of Open amnesia

    SANDWICH, England (AP) — Let's all welcome a newcomer to the British Open ... Mr. Phil Mickelson of the United States.

    Uhh, come again?

    Lefty is hardly an Open rookie. When he tees off Thursday, it will be his 18th appearance in golf's oldest major, which makes him one of the more experienced players in the field.

    But Mickelson has developed a convenient case of amnesia this week, preferring to ignore a record that includes only one top-10 finish and more time scuffling than actually contending for the claret jug.

  • Soccer: U.S. all the rage after its upset win

    DUSSELDORF, Germany (AP) — The U.S. women’s soccer team shared the Yankee Stadium scoreboard with Derek Jeter, made an appearance on “Good Morning America” and can now count Tom Hanks, Lil Wayne and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers among their list of star-studded admirers.
    Like Mia, Brandi and Foudy more than a decade before them, Hope, Abby and the rest of the Americans have become quite the sensation thanks to their performance at the World Cup.
    Now the trick is to keep it going.
    The Americans play France in the semifinals Wednesday. Win, and they’ll face either Japan or Sweden in Sunday’s final with a chance to become the first team to win three Women’s World Cup titles.

  • Baseball: Hitting, scoring are both way down in MLB

    PHOENIX (AP) — Scoring in the first half of the season dropped to its lowest level in 19 years and the major league batting average shrunk to its smallest midseason figure since 1985, confirmation that the Steroids Era has ended and that a new Age of the Pitcher is taking hold.
    There were 8.4 runs per game prior to the All-Star break, according to STATS LLC, down 6 percent from last year’s 8.9 at the midpoint and 20 percent from the peak of 10.5 in 2000.
    “The pitchers in the National League — it’s crazy,” San Francisco’s Pedro Sandoval said Monday, a day before the All-Star game. “We’ve got Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.”

  • Tennis: Federer, Nadal and Williams all advance

    WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams — players with a combined 12 Wimbledon titles — all won in straight sets Saturday to move into the fourth round and keep up their pursuit of even more championship trophies at the All England Club.
    Six-time champion Federer beat David Nalbandian 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to move closer to equaling the record of seven Wimbledon singles titles held by Pete Sampras and 1880s player Willie Renshaw. Two-time winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal committed only three unforced errors in a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-0 victory over Gilles Muller, a 92nd-ranked wild card from Luxembourg.

  • Basketball: Cavaliers take Irving as first pick of draft

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Kyrie Irving probably secured his spot atop the NBA draft when he went to Cleveland and beat his future coach in a shooting contest.
    Yet even surrounded by family and friends from his nearby hometown, Irving couldn’t relax Thursday.
    “When David Stern came up there and said that the Cleveland Cavaliers have five more minutes on the clock, that felt like the longest five minutes of my life,” Irving said.
    Imagine how Jimmer Fredette felt.
    The sweet-shooting NCAA player of the year had to wait 2½ hours from the time he was picked by Milwaukee to the time he officially became a member of the Sacramento Kings after being involved in the biggest trade of draft day.