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Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards grimaces as he is attended to on the field after an injury during the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide


In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 photo, the abandoned beach volleyball Olympic venue is seen in Neo Faliro, southern Athens. As Greece groans under a cruel depression, forecast to end this year, the 10-year anniversary once again raises the question of whether the Athens Games were too costly an undertaking for a weak economy. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)ATHENS, Greece (AP) — In an obscure corner of a park sits a forlorn reminder that, 10 years ago, Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics. The crumbling miniature theater is inscribed with the words "glory, wealth, wisdom, victory, triumph, hero, labor" — and it is where visiting Olympic officials planted an olive sapling that would bear their names for posterity.


The Ray and Lucy Hand Digital Studio is being constructed on the ground levee of the Brenda Lawson Athletic Center in Knoxville, Tenn., Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/The Knoxville News Sentinel, Saul Young)The Southeastern Conference's new network debuts Thursday, promising more than 1,000 live events this year and a reach that includes most major television providers in the South.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Ajit Pai called the NFL's television blackout rules "outdated," and urged his fellow Federal Communications Commission representatives to vote in favor of having them repealed to address fan concerns.

This undated photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Johathan Koppenhaver who appeared in UFC's Ultimate Fighter TV show in 2007. Las Vegas police say the former UFC fighter is the primary suspect in a domestic dispute that resulted in serious injuries. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)LAS VEGAS (AP) — Police are looking for a mixed martial arts fighter and porn actor after his girlfriend posted graphic photos of her swollen and beaten face online and said the man, known as War Machine, beat her and a friend so severely that she feared for her life.


FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014, photo, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, left, shakes hands with former NBA players Bill Russell, right, and "Downtown" Freddie Brown as Omar Lee looks on during an NCAA college basketball game between Washington and Oregon State in Seattle. Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The team says the sale closed Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, after a California court confirmed the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the franchise. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Ballmer officially became the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.


Tiger Woods winces after tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — U.S. captain Tom Watson said he would be foolish not to consider Tiger Woods as one of his three wild-card selections for the Ryder Cup, a decision that ultimately would be based on Woods' words instead of his actions.


A small memorial of flowers is seen at Canandaigua Motorsports Park Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Canandaigua, N.Y. On Saturday night, Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr., 20, a sprint car driver who had climbed from his car and was on the track trying to confront Stewart during a race at the track in upstate New York. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said his department's investigation is not criminal and that Stewart was "fully cooperative" and appeared "very upset" over what had happened. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. (AP) — Kevin Ward Jr. was crafting a reputation as a wheelman, the kind of driver who could race vehicles on any track without fear.


A Palestinian boy rides a donkey next to the destroyed Nada Towers residential neighborhood in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)LONDON (AP) — The International Tennis Federation ruled Tuesday that Davis Cup matches will be moved out of Ukraine and Israel because of security issues in both countries.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission says it's time to repeal NFL television blackout rules.

Adam Scott of Australia watches his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in LouisvilleAdam Scott has confirmed he will return to Sydney for the Australian Open in November with the intent of making amends for his final-hole disappointment last year. Scott's return is a major coup for organizers after world number one Rory McIlroy committed to returning to defend his title at The Australian Golf Club from November 27-30. McIlroy snatched the Stonehaven Cup from Scott at the final hole last year, depriving Scott of a rare "triple crown" of Australian titles after he won the Australian Masters and Australian PGA Championship in an end-of-year swing through his home country. "I finished such an amazing month on such a disappointing note, and the result just gutted me for weeks in not winning the Australian Open," Scott said in a media release on Thursday.


Damian Lillard (No. 16) of the USA drives to the basket against the Dominican Republic during their game at Madison Square Garden in New York, on August 20, 2014The United States hammered the Dominican Republic 105-62 in a basketball World Cup tune-up at Madison Square Garden in New York. Wednesday's lopsided contest gave US coach Mike Krzyzewski a prime opportunity to tinker with his star-studded lineup. He was without Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, who was a late scratch after returning to the game for the first time in eight months on Saturday in an exhibition win over Brazil in Chicago.


The San Francisco Giants' Angel Pagan (R) and Michael Morse during their game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Illinois on August 20, 2014The San Francisco Giants became the first team in 28 years to win a Major League Baseball protest, and will finish out a rain-shortened game at the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were leading 2-0 on Tuesday night after four-and-a-half innings -- the minimum for a regulation game. The Giants, who are in the thick of the playoff race, claimed that not enough was done to dry the infield in a timely manner. "We appreciate Major League Baseball's careful review of our protest that will allow last night's game to be continued tomorrow," Giants president Larry Baer said in a statement.


By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) - Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw revealed he has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in a video that shows him dumping a bucket full of ice water over his head as part of an ALS fundraiser. "I’m here today to stand up and fight with all of you against this disease,” he said in the video posted on Tuesday, before dousing himself as part of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS - amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After taking the challenge, Shaw, 30, called on the Titans organization, Penn State head coach James Franklin, the school's football team and his Clarenceville, Michigan, community to do the same. Shaw was drafted by the Carolina Panthers from Penn State and also played for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in action during the pro am event prior to The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 20, 2014 in Paramus, New JerseyTop-ranked Rory McIlroy tries to become only the fifth player in PGA history to win four consecutive starts when the season-ending US tour playoffs begin Thursday with The Barclays. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland won last month's British Open and followed with his first World Golf Championships title at Akron, Ohio, before claiming the PGA Championship two weeks ago for his fourth major title. Four players in PGA history have produced win streaks of at least four tournaments, with Byron Nelson claiming the record at 11 wins in 1945, Tiger Woods taking a career-best seven in a row in 2006 and early 2007, Ben Hogan having a run of six in a row in 1948 and Jack Burke winning four straight in 1952.


Adam Scott of Australia during the pro am event prior to The Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club on August 20, 2014 in Paramus, New JerseyAdam Scott confirmed Wednesday that he will contest the Australian Open in November, and try to expunge the memory of letting slip victory to Rory McIlroy last year in Sydney. Scott was the reigning Masters champion when he teed it up at Royal Sydney last December. He had captured the Australian PGA and Australian Masters titles, and was looking to become only the second player behind fellow Australian Robert Allenby to capture the 'Big Three' of Australian golf. "I finished such an amazing month on such a disappointing note, and the result just gutted me for weeks in not winning the Australian Open," Scott said as he prepared to defend at The Barclays this week in suburban New York.


Retired NFL referee Mike Carey, the first African-American referee assigned to the Super Bowl, did not work games involving the Washington Redskins after 2006 because of his belief the team's name is a racial slur. Carey, who began his career as a referee in 1995 when he was promoted from side judge, told the Washington Post in remarks published on Wednesday that he asked the league not to be appointed to Redskins games. "The league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington," Carey was quoted as saying. "It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me." Carey, one of the league's most respected officials and who was the referee of the Super Bowl following the 2007 season, said he never went to Commissioner Roger Goodell with his request, but he did talk instead with the person who assigns officials to games.
Seven Miami-area teenagers who sneaked into NBA star Ray Allen's home last week were charged on Wednesday with trespassing, according to the Florida state attorney's office. The first-degree misdemeanor charges are punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Ray Allen earlier questioned the decision of law enforcement officials when they said they were unable to charge the seven 18- and 19-year-olds with burglary or trespassing.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand hits a shot at the Wegmans LPGA Championship on August 17, 2014 in Pittsford, New YorkNew Zealand's Lydia Ko, a 17-year-old seeking her third consecutive LPGA Canadian Women's Open title, tees off Thursday trying to join Meg Mallon and Pat Bradley as three-time winners. "The first year it kind of came on as a surprise and the next year it was kind of the same situation," Ko said. Ko comes off a third-place finish at last week's LPGA Championship, her second-best major finish. I have been pretty pleased with how everything is going," Ko said.


Steve Stricker hits off at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on August 1, 2014 in Akron, OhioSteve Stricker will not be serving as a last-minute substitute for the injury-nagged United States at next month's Ryder Cup after saying he will not play again until December. The 47-year-old American was selected as an assistant captain for Tom Watson's squad that will try to reclaim the trophy from Europe next month at Gleneagles, Scotland. With Stricker ranked among the top 25 and sharing seventh at the PGA Championship earlir this month, Watson played coy about Stricker's chances to help out in a pinch, saying he asked Stricker to pack his clubs for the trip to Britain.


Tiger Woods of the U.S. talks to Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland on the tee of the 12th hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin in this file photoBy Larry Fine PARAMUS New Jersey (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy, the hottest golfer on the planet, is not thinking about taking the torch from Tiger Woods as the sport's next dominant player, but the easy-going Northern Irishman says he has already sparred with Woods over a potential rivalry. McIlroy, winner of the British Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship in his last three starts, spent a day earlier this week with fellow Nike spokesman Woods in the New York area. The due were promoting some new irons and also appeared on a late-night talk show ahead of The Barclays, which opens the FedExCup playoffs starting on Thursday.


US golfer Jim Furyk plays from a green-side bunker on the 18th hole during his fourth round 65, on the final day of the 2014 British Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, north west England on July 20, 2014American Jim Furyk will complete the field for the 32nd PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the annual 36-hole showdown between the year's major tournament winners after he was named as the fourth player on Wednesday. Furyk will join Masters champion Bubba Watson of the United States, US Open winner Martin Kaymer of Germany and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, the British Open and PGA Championship winner, in the elite field October 14-15 at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda.


By Larry Fine PARAMUS, New Jersey, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy, the hottest golfer on the planet, is not thinking about taking the torch from Tiger Woods as the sport's next dominant player, but the easy-going Northern Irishman says he has already sparred with Woods over a potential rivalry. McIlroy, winner of the British Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship in his last three starts, spent a day earlier this week with fellow Nike spokesman Woods in the New York area. The due were promoting some new irons and also appeared on a late-night talk show ahead of The Barclays, which opens the FedExCup playoffs starting on Thursday. It was a good day." McIlroy grew up idolising Woods, as did so many of the young golfers now on tour who watched the American amass 14 majors, and he feels it may be premature to write Woods off, despite his major title drought dating back to the 2008 U.S.

NFL: Preseason-Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions(Reuters) - Journeyman Brian Hoyer got the nod over charismatic rookie Johnny Manziel on Wednesday when the Cleveland Browns named their starting quarterback. The two had been vying for the job for most of the off-season before Browns coach Mike Pettine and his staff opted for Hoyer, mainly because of his previous experience in the National Football League (NFL) and his leadership qualities. "He was the clear leader from the beginning," Pettine, who consulted with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains before reaching a decision, said in a statement.


Handout shows the exterior of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GeorgiaBy David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A new museum in Atlanta honoring the greatest U.S. The College Football Hall of Fame has received an overhaul after being relocated from South Bend, Indiana, near the University of Notre Dame and is due to open on Saturday. "This facility is the new age of hall of fames,” said Kevin Butler, the only kicker among the 948 players in the College Football Hall of Fame. "What they’ve done is taken the technology that we use in everyday life and joined it with the history of college football," said Butler, an Atlanta businessman who played for the University of Georgia and in the National Football League.


NFL: Preseason-Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys(Reuters) - The Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable National Football League (NFL) team for an eighth consecutive year, more than double the average league value, according to an annual survey by business magazine Forbes The Cowboys, whose total revenue during the 2013 season was $560 million, are worth $3.2 billion, a whopping rise of 39 percent over last year, Forbes said in a statement on Wednesday. ...


NFL player Chris Kluwe speaks onstage at the fifth annual PFLAG National Straight for Equality Awards, at Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, on April 4, 2013Former punter Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement that will stop the ex-Viking from suing the team over his release. Kluwe had accused the Vikings of cutting him in May of 2013 because of his vocal support of marriage equality and gay rights. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. As part of the settlement, Minnesota have agreed to provide financial support for human rights causes.


Phil Mickelson of the U.S. hits his second shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in LouisvilleFive-times major winner Phil Mickelson, nearly done with a mostly disappointing season, has set his sights on 2015 and a campaign to realize a golfing dream at the Rio Olympics the following year. Mickelson showed signs of a revival with his rousing runner-up finish to Rory McILroy at the PGA Championship and said on Tuesday that his sights were already trained on Rio. “I know that I've made great strides this year in driving the golf ball ... but it's been a terrible year for my wedge and short irons. I also had a very poor year putting,” he told reporters at Ridgewood Country Club, site of this week’s FedExCup playoffs opener, The Barclays.


Bubba Watson of the U.S. chips on to the eighth green during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in LouisvilleBy Larry Fine PARAMUS New Jersey (Reuters) - Twice Masters champion Bubba Watson says the thrill of merely making a Ryder Cup is no longer enough for him and that it is high time the U.S. "As a kid growing up, your whole dream was to be on the PGA Tour and then make the Ryder Cup team," Watson told reporters on Tuesday ahead of Thursday's first round of The Barclays, the opening event of the FedExCup playoffs. "I think sometimes ... we get so excited about making the team, and now not having a victory, not tasting a victory, that drives me to try to win one, to try to win a Ryder Cup," the emotional left-hander said. Watson will be appearing in his third successive Ryder Cup, carrying in a personal 3-5-0 record after losses at Celtic Manor in Wales in 2010 and at Medinah in 2012, when Europe triumphed after a rousing, record-tying Sunday comeback.


All-Star Mike Trout of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels has tweeted about her. So has National Basketball Association MVP Kevin Durant. Photos of Davis have adorned the front pages of newspapers in Philadelphia and New York. The right-hander with the calm demeanor, the smooth windup and the 70 mile-per-hour (113 km-per-hour) fastball gets her next shot under the bright lights on Wednesday when her Philadelphia "Taney Dragons" team, which represents the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, faces a team from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Amjyot Singh (C) of India dunks the ball against Iran in their men's Asian Basketball Championships game in Manila on August 5, 2013Two US lawmakers have launched a campaign urging FIBA to reconsider their policy after two Sikh players were asked to remove their turbans during an international basketball match. In a letter sent Tuesday to International Basketball Federation (FIBA) president Yvan Mainini, American Congress members and co-authors of the letter, Joe Crowley and Ami Bera, called the policy "discriminatory," stating the turban "is essential to their faith." "We are concerned about recent reports indicating that Sikhs are not able to participate in International Basketball Federation (FIBA) games while wearing a turban, which is essential to their faith, and ask you to change this discriminatory policy," the letter stated.


Phil Mickelson of the U.S. hits his second shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in LouisvilleBy Larry Fine PARAMUS New Jersey (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar are primed for a chance to win this week's Barclays, the first installment of the four-event FedExCup playoffs, and derail the magical run of Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, ranked first in the world and first in the FedExCup standings after winning the British Open, WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship in succession, begins a quest for a fourth victory in a row when the elite 125-man field tees it up on Thursday for the first round at Ridgewood Country Club. Mickelson bounced back from a sub-par season with a second-place finish earlier this month behind the 25-year-old McIlroy in the PGA Championship at Valhalla for his ninth runner-up showing at a major. "The PGA was a big week for me because it was the first time this year my game was back," Mickelson told reporters on Tuesday at the tree-lined course designed by A.W. Tillinghast.


NBA: Los Angeles Clippers-Fan FestivalBy Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has left the software company's board in order to spend more time on his newly acquired Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, but said he plans to hang on to his 4 percent stake in Microsoft. "I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time," Ballmer said in a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made public by Microsoft on Tuesday. Ballmer, 58, paid an NBA-record $2 billion for the Clippers.


By Mark Lamport-Stokes (Reuters) - The Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement with former punter Chris Kluwe over his claim that he was released by the team last year due to his support of same-sex marriage. Though terms of the resolution were not disclosed, the Vikings said they will "provide continued financial support for human rights and anti-hate causes" and enhance their "sensitivity training policy". "We are glad a resolution of this matter has been reached, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to create positive awareness of these issues," Vikings chairman Zygi Wilf said in a statement on Tuesday. Kluwe, who was released by the Vikings in May 2013 despite having established several punt records for the team, said: "I'm pleased that the issue has been resolved.

Meilutyte of Lithuania celebrates winning the women's 100m Medley final during the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championship in HerningLondon Games gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte cruised through to the women's 100 meters breaststroke final at the Youth Olympic Games on Tuesday, while China surged to the top of the medals table on the third day of competition in Nanjing. Lithuanian Meilutyte, the world record holder over 50m in the discipline, will swim for her second gold of the Games on Wednesday before hopping on a plane to Berlin bound for the European Championships. Also making waves on Tuesday was Swiss sharp shooter Sarah Hornung, who took gold in the women's 10m air rifle competition after a tense duel with Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso. "I just knew if I could fight again, I would reach it." Canadian Tony Gil was also on target when he notched a hole-in-one at the Games' golfing competition.


(adding dropped word in intro) NANJING, China Aug 19 (Reuters) - London Games gold medallist Ruta Meilutyte cruised through to the women's 100 metres breaststroke final at the Youth Olympic Games on Tuesday, while China surged to the top of the medals table on the third day of competition in Nanjing. Lithuanian Meilutyte, the world record holder over 50m in the discipline, will swim for her second gold of the Games on Wednesday before hopping on a plane to Berlin bound for the European Championships. Also making waves on Tuesday was Swiss sharp shooter Sarah Hornung, who took gold in the women's 10m air rifle competition after a tense duel with Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso. "I just knew if I could fight again, I would reach it." Canadian Tony Gil was also on target when he notched a hole-in-one at the Games' golfing competition.

Tiger Woods of the United States catches a golf ball while warming up on the practice range at the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville(Reuters) - Tiger Woods made himself unavailable for the U.S. Ryder Cup team because he did not think he could win a point in the matches, the former world number one said on Tuesday. His form this year would have left him relying on a wildcard pick from skipper Tom Watson for next month's matches against holders Europe at Gleneagles in Scotland and he pulled out of contention last week.


NBA: Los Angeles Clippers-Fan FestivalBy Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With his trademark top-of-the-lungs, high-fiving, rambunctious enthusiasm, former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer introduced himself to Los Angeles Clippers fans on Monday, promising a new era for the NBA team after former owner Donald Sterling was banned for life over racist remarks. Ballmer, 58, who paid an NBA-record $2 billion for the Clippers, greeted the several thousand gathered at the team's Staples Center home with the primal screams that punctuated meetings at the Seattle technology company. Ballmer, who said he will be a courtside fixture at games, took over the Clippers last week, ending Sterling's 33 years of ownership that were marked by decades of losing and second-tier status to local rival, the Lakers. The NBA banned Sterling for life in April, days after his privately taped remarks imploring a girlfriend not to publicly associate with black people were published.


NBA: New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks(The Sports Xchange) - The New York Knicks will add Jim Cleamons to new coach Derek Fisher's staff, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Cleamons, a longtime NBA assistant, served on former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew's staff last season. Knicks president Phil Jackson and Cleamons have a long history of working together - first with the Chicago Bulls and then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Cleamons was on Jackson's coaching staff for numerous NBA titles. ...


NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons(The Sports Xchange) - Atlanta Falcons rookie offensive tackle Jake Matthews officially moved from the right side to the left on Monday. The switch was expected after veteran Sam Baker went down with a season-ending knee injury in Saturday's preseason game against the Houston Texans. Matthews, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, played left tackle for one year at Texas A&M after being on the right side. Lamar Holmes took over for Matthews at right tackle during Monday's practice in Flowery Branch, Ga. - - - Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer confirmed, as expected, that quarterback Matt Cassel will make his third straight preseason start Saturday at Kansas City.


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