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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Michael Phelps launches comeback in 100 butterfly (Yahoo Sports)  

24 Apr 2014, 9:14 am

Michael Phelps speaks to the media after practice, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz. Phelps is competing in the Arena Grand Prix at Mesa on Thursday as he returns to competitive swimming after a nearly two-year retirement. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Returning to swimming after a 20-month retirement, Michael Phelps is easing back into the sport he once dominated by racing one of his best events. The 18-time Olympic gold medalist will swim the 100-meter butterfly at the Arena Grand Prix on Thursday, his first competition since retiring after the 2012 London Games. Phelps is the world and American record holder in the event, which includes rival Ryan Lochte and four-time Olympian Roland Schoeman of South Africa.


 

 

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Aldridge's 43 lifts Blazers over Rockets 112-105 (Yahoo Sports)  

24 Apr 2014, 2:15 am

Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard (12) dunks during the first half in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LaMarcus Aldridge's son JJ, who turned 5 on Wednesday, texted him after the Portland Trail Blazers' playoff win and told him he looked like Spider-Man on one of his dunks. To the Houston Rockets the Portland star probably looked like a superhero on more than just that one play. Aldridge continued his dominance against the Rockets, scoring 43 points to lift the Trail Blazers to a 112-105 victory and a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series. Aldridge has made the most of the return to his home state and put the Trail Blazers in control heading home for Game 3 in Portland on Friday.


 

 

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Kane leads Blackhawks past Blues, 4-3 in OT (Yahoo Sports)  

24 Apr 2014, 2:07 am

Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning goal during overtime period in Game 4 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series against the St. Louis Blues in Chicago, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The Blackhawks won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Patrick Kane had his shot all along. What Kane got back on Wednesday night was his legs, and the result was a familiar one. Kane scored his second goal of the game at 11:17 of overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 to even their first-round playoff series at two games. Patience, play recognition, delays, just at a different level you don't see often,'' Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.


 

 

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Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1 (Yahoo Sports)  

24 Apr 2014, 12:27 am

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 23: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates during a game against the San Antonio Spurs during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2014 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Blowing their playoff opener turned out to be great therapy for the Dallas Mavericks. Eighth-seeded Dallas rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece. Dallas didn't relent in Game 2 after watching a 10-point lead evaporate in the final eight minutes of the series opener Sunday. ''Game 1 actually helped a lot more than today,'' Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said.


 

 

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Pineda tossed for pine tar; Red Sox beat Yanks 5-1 (Yahoo Sports)  

24 Apr 2014, 12:14 am

New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The pine tar on Michael Pineda's neck was a stain for the New York Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman was ''embarrassed.'' Manager Joe Girardi called it ''poor judgment.'' And Pineda was ''sad'' and vowed not to do it again. The Yankees' right-hander was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on Wednesday night.


 

 

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Dubinsky, Foligno lift CBJ to 1st home playoff win (Yahoo Sports)  

23 Apr 2014, 11:24 pm

Columbus Blue Jackets celebrate their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of a first-round NHL playoff hockey series Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets defeated the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

In the dressing room after Brandon Dubinsky's late goal forced overtime, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno half-jokingly said he'd get the winner. Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation and Foligno's wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session - from right over the top of the Stanley Cup painted under the ice - gave the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. Asked if he had called the goal, Foligno laughed. I'm going to thank my lucky stars.'' The Blue Jackets overcame a 3-0 deficit for their first home playoff victory in the franchise's 13 seasons, sending the series back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Saturday night tied 2-2.


 

 

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Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97 (Yahoo Sports)  

23 Apr 2014, 10:59 pm

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, left, drives as Charlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few seconds afterward. Miami took Charlotte's best shot, and survived. James scored 32 points and added eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 20 points and the Heat wasted two big leads before hanging on to beat the Bobcats 101-97 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series. ''We haven't played our best basketball.'' Dwyane Wade scored 15 points, and had a steal in the final seconds to seal the win for Miami.


 

 

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Wild's Matt Cooke gets 7-game suspension from NHL (Yahoo Sports)  

23 Apr 2014, 10:06 pm

Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Cooke reaches to control the puck against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The NHL cracked down hard on Matt Cooke, suspending the Minnesota Wild left wing for seven games Wednesday for his knee-to-knee hit that injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie. The Avalanche lead the Wild 2-1 with Game 4 looming Thursday, so Cooke will be out for this first-round series and more. He played a key part for the Wild in Game 3 in quieting Avalanche stars Nathan MacKinnon, Paul Stastny and Gabe Landeskog, matching up against that line often. But Cooke crossed the line, the league ruled, by sticking out his knee to clip Barrie in open ice early in the second period.


 

 

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Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers (Yahoo Sports)  

23 Apr 2014, 9:32 pm

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2013, file photo,k Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tries to get away from Green Bay Packers' C.J. Wilson during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Green Bay, Wis. As Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Packers on Sept. 4. That Thursday game is the first of four prime-time games on opening weekend. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)

Mike McCarthy promises there won't be any bad memories plaguing his Green Bay Packers when they open the NFL season on Sept. 4 at Super Bowl champion Seattle. The last time Green Bay visited CenturyLink Field was in Week 3 of the 2012 season, a 14-12 Seahawks victory clinched on what now is often dubbed the ''Fail Mary.'' Russell Wilson's desperation pass on the final play was called a touchdown reception for Golden Tate by the replacement officials. ''It will be about the 2014 Green Bay Packers. It's the third straight season the Packers have traveled to face the defending Super Bowl champions.


 

 

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Pacers say practice got physical before Game 1 (Yahoo Sports)  

23 Apr 2014, 6:58 pm

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 22: Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers looks on against the Atlanta Hawks in the East Conference Quarter Finals Game Two at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 22 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner were unified on three points Wednesday. Yes, they scrapped during a practice before Game 1 of their first-round series against Atlanta. Pacers players and coaches all described the physical confrontation between Stephenson and Turner through their own prisms, but nobody - including Stephenson and Turner - called it a fight.


 

 

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Sports News Headlines - Yahoo! News  

Teen Chinese golfer getting used to attention  

24 Apr 2014, 7:59 am SHENZHEN, China (AP) — One year after his stunning debut at the Masters, Chinese 15-year-old golfer Guan Tianlang is growing accustomed to being in the spotlight.  

Dyson enjoys happy return to China, shares lead with Quiros  

24 Apr 2014, 7:40 am

Simon Dyson of England hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during a practice round for the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta(Reuters) - Englishman Simon Dyson, who was handed a suspended two-month ban for cheating in December, fired a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of the first round lead at the European Tour's China Open on Thursday. The Englishman fired six birdies and a lone bogey in his round in Shenzhen to end the day tied with big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros at the top of a congested leaderboard. "The first nine holes I played was the best I have played for quite some time," Dyson told the European Tour. It was a good start and very pleasing." The 36-year-old has enjoyed previous success in China, winning the event in 2000 as well as the Hong Kong and Macau Opens.


 

 

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Golf-Dyson enjoys happy return to China, shares lead with Quiros  

24 Apr 2014, 7:38 am Englishman Simon Dyson, who was handed a suspended two-month ban for cheating in December, fired a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of the first round lead at the European Tour's China Open on Thursday. The Englishman fired six birdies and a lone bogey in his round in Shenzhen to end the day tied with big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros at the top of a congested leaderboard. "The first nine holes I played was the best I have played for quite some time," Dyson told the European Tour. It was a good start and very pleasing." The 36-year-old has enjoyed previous success in China, winning the event in 2000 as well as the Hong Kong and Macau Opens.  

Announcer relishes role as voice of Kentucky Derby  

24 Apr 2014, 4:12 am

New track announcer Larry Collmus checks out his booth high atop the grandstand at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Collmus replaces British announcer Mark Johnson, who had called Churchill races since 2009. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — From his perch with a panoramic view of the world's most famous racetrack, the new voice of Churchill Downs will sit out one of the most anticipated moments of the tradition-soaked Kentucky Derby.


 

 

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Pineda says he'll learn from ejection for pine tar  

24 Apr 2014, 3:40 am

Home plate umpire Gerry Davis, right, confers on the mound with New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, left; shortstop Derek Jeter (2); and others in the second inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Pineda was ejected after umpires found with a foreign substance on his neck.(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)BOSTON (AP) — The pine tar glistened on Michael Pineda's neck, improving his grip and inviting trouble.


 

 

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Stars even with Ducks after 4-2 win in Game 4  

24 Apr 2014, 3:12 am

Anaheim Ducks' Frederik Andersen (31) stands by the net as Dallas Stars' Cody Eakin (20) celebrates his goal with Antoine Roussel (21 and Jordie Benn (24) in the third period of Game 4 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Dallas. The Stars won 4-2. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)DALLAS (AP) — The young Dallas Stars keep overcoming early 2-0 deficits. With their latest comeback in Game 4, they are now even with the top-seeded Anaheim Ducks.


 

 

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Michael Phelps launches comeback in 100 butterfly  

24 Apr 2014, 3:09 am

Michael Phelps swims during a training session Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz., as he prepares to compete for the first time since retiring after the 2012 London Games. The 22-time Olympic medalist is entered in three events at the Arena Grand Prix starting Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt York)MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Returning to swimming after a 20-month retirement, Michael Phelps is easing back into the sport he once dominated by racing one of his best events.


 

 

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Aldridge's 43 lifts Blazers over Rockets 112-105  

24 Apr 2014, 2:15 am

Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge (12) reacts after making a basket against the Houston Rockets during the third quarter in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Houston. Portland won 112-105. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge's son JJ, who turned 5 on Wednesday, texted him after the Portland Trail Blazers' playoff win and told him he looked like Spider-Man on one of his dunks.


 

 

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Kane leads Blackhawks past Blues, 4-3 in OT  

24 Apr 2014, 2:07 am

Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning goal during overtime period in Game 4 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series against the St. Louis Blues in Chicago, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The Blackhawks won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane had his shot all along. Same for his dazzling puck-handling skills and the vision that sees the plays before they happen.


 

 

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Heat take 2-0 series lead over Bobcats  

24 Apr 2014, 1:42 am

LeBron James (R) of the Miami Heat and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of the Charlotte Bobcats during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at AmericanAirlines Arena on April 23, 2014LeBron James scored 32 points and Chris Bosh tallied 20 points as the host Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 101-97 to take a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series. The Bobcats cut Miami's lead to 10 points at halftime Wednesday after shooting 50 percent from the field in the second quarter. But the Heat led by seven heading into the fourth and then held on for the victory. Miami now takes a comfortable series lead into game three on Saturday in Charlotte.


 

 

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Mavericks beat mistake-prone Spurs to level series  

24 Apr 2014, 1:40 am

Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs drives around Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at the AT&T Center on April 23, 2014Monta Ellis tallied 21 points and Shawn Marion scored 20 as the Dallas Mavericks routed the error-prone San Antonio Spurs 113-92 to level their opening round NBA playoff series at 1-1. Dallas took advantage of some sloppy play by the Spurs and could easily be ahead two games to none in the Western Conference series. San Antonio turned the ball over 24 times Wednesday, leading to 33 Dallas points.


 

 

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Mavs roll past Spurs 113-92, even series at 1-1  

24 Apr 2014, 12:27 am

Dallas Mavericks' Monta Ellis (11) is pressured by San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, right, as he tries to score during the first half of Game 2 of the opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Blowing their playoff opener turned out to be great therapy for the Dallas Mavericks.


 

 

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Yankees Pineda ejected after foreign substance found on neck  

24 Apr 2014, 12:24 am

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees-Game Two(Reuters) - New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning against Boston on Wednesday after the umpire found a foreign substance on his neck. Pineda, who missed the last two seasons because of injury but has enjoyed a strong start to the year with an ERA of 1.83, was also at the center of controversy in the Yankees win over the Red Sox on April 10. He was believed to have used a foreign substance during that game but was not checked by the umpire.


 

 

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Super Bowl champ Seahawks in NFL opener  

23 Apr 2014, 11:32 pm

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passes during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014New York (AFP) - The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers will kick off the 2014 National Football League's regular season, the league announced.


 

 

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Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97  

23 Apr 2014, 10:58 pm

Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) grabs his neck after being elbowed by Charlotte Bobcats' Josh McRoberts during the second half in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bobcats 101-97. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few seconds afterward.


 

 

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Seahawks to open NFL season vs. Packers  

23 Apr 2014, 9:32 pm

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2013, file photo,k Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tries to get away from Green Bay Packers' C.J. Wilson during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Green Bay, Wis. As Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Packers on Sept. 4. That Thursday game is the first of four prime-time games on opening weekend. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Mike McCarthy promises there won't be any bad memories plaguing his Green Bay Packers when they open the NFL season on Sept. 4 at Super Bowl champion Seattle.


 

 

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Seahawks and Packers to kick off new season  

23 Apr 2014, 9:22 pm

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey(Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks open the defense of their Super Bowl crown and kick off the 2014-15 season at home against the Green Bay Packers, the National Football League (NFL) announced on Wednesday. The September 4 league opener will mark the Packers' first visit back to CenturyLink Field since the infamous 'Fail Mary' game in 2012 when replacement officials bungled a touchdown call in the endzone that led to an unlikely Seattle win. "Kickoff Weekend" will also feature a Monday Night doubleheader with the Detroit Lions hosting the New York Giants and the San Diego Chargers traveling to Arizona to face the Cardinals.


 

 

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Pujols insists he's not thinking beyond next at-bat  

23 Apr 2014, 7:38 pm

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols spits in the dugout during Game 2 of the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoffs against the Milwaukee Brewers in MilwaukeeBy Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One day after joining baseball's exclusive 500 home run club, Albert Pujols insists he is not concerned with reaching another longball milestone. Let the fans and the media talk about 600 or 700 home runs, Pujols said, adding that he's not even thinking about homer number 501. It's still going to be the same goal that I've had from day one - and that's about winning," the Los Angeles Angels slugger told reporters Wednesday. Pujols clubbed two homers against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, the second enabling the 34-year-old first baseman to become the 26th major leaguer to hit 500 home runs.


 

 

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Knicks looking for hometown discount from Anthony  

23 Apr 2014, 6:31 pm

New York Knicks forward Anthony slam dunks in front of Indiana Pacers forward George in second half NBA game in New YorkPotential free agent Carmelo Anthony will be asked to give the New York Knicks a discount on his next contract in order to help build a title contender, team president Phil Jackson said on Wednesday. Anthony, who finished the 2013-14 NBA season second on the scoring list with an average of 27.4 points a game and was one of the few bright spots in New York's 37-45 campaign, could declare himself a free agent on July 1. "I'd like to appeal to his better nature about winning," Jackson told reporters at the Knicks practice center. "That's the beginning of team play." Jackson, the Hall of Fame coach who won a record 11 NBA titles in charge of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, came out of retirement last month to run the Knicks, the team he broke in with as a player.


 

 

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Oldest ex-Major League Baseball player dies in Cuba at 102  

23 Apr 2014, 6:13 pm

File photo of veteran baseball player Conrado Marrero standing next to Humberto Rodriguez, president of the Cuban Sports Federation in HavanaBy Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Conrado Marrero, at 102 the oldest former Major League Baseball player and a patriarch of Cuban baseball known for his quick wit and goofy pitching delivery, died on Wednesday at his home in Havana. Marrero, who played for the Washington Senators, was two days short of his 103rd birthday. He had been in declining health for weeks and was unresponsive for some time on Wednesday before dying, his grandson Rogelio Marrero said. After an outstanding career in Cuba in the 1930s and 1940s, Marrero debuted in the Major Leagues with Washington in 1950, four days before his 39th birthday.


 

 

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Cuban baseball legend Marrero dies just short of 103rd birthday  

23 Apr 2014, 5:31 pm

Cuban baseball legend Conrado Marrero celebrates his 100th birthday on April 25, 2011, at his home in HavanaCuban baseball legend Conrado Marrero, who played in the US big leagues in the 1950s and was the oldest living MLB veteran, died Wednesday in Havana just two days shy of his 103rd birthday. "Early this afternoon, Conrado Marrero Ramos, one of the best pitchers in Cuban baseball history, passed away," said official news portal Cubadebate. But at 102, the US major league has said he was its oldest living ex-player. Marrero, who hailed from the central province of Villa Clara, played with the now-defunct Washington Senators from 1950-1954, after getting his (late) start in the Cuban league.


 

 

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'Big Easy' Els returns to a favored PGA Tour haunt  

23 Apr 2014, 5:07 pm

South Africa's Ernie Els hits from the sand on the second hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta(Reuters) - Four-times major winner Ernie Els returns this week to one of his favorite cities, where he shares the alluring nickname of 'The Big Easy,' to make his eighth career start at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. At a PGA Tour event where he has always enjoyed a "good vibe," the smooth-swinging South African lost out to American Jason Dufner in a playoff for the title in 2012, then tied for 15th last year at the TPC Louisiana. "At the forefront of my mind right now is making sure I put all my efforts into trying to produce a better performance at this week's Zurich Classic," Els wrote on his blog. "Pete Dye has always been one of my favorite designers and courses like TPC Louisiana just seem to fit my eye." Els, a 19-times winner on the PGA Tour, will aim to feed off those positive memories in front of supportive fans as he seeks his first victory on the U.S. circuit since the 2012 British Open.


 

 

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Pettersen back to LPGA in pursuit of No. 1 Park  

23 Apr 2014, 4:33 pm

Suzann Pettersen of Norway hits a shot at Mission Hills Hainan in Haikou, on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, on March 8, 2014World number two Suzann Pettersen, back after missing three events with a back injury, resumes her chase of top-ranked Park In-Bee when the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic opens Thursday. South Korean star Park has ruled the rankings for the past 54 weeks but is being chased by Norway's Pettersen and American Stacy Lewis, ranked third -- all seeking their first tour win of the season. Pettersen hurt her back after the LPGA Founders Cup and missed the year's first women's major at Rancho Mirage as well as a tuneup event and last week's LPGA stop in Hawaii, where she was defending champion. "I was trying to make it for Hawaii, but at the same time, I can’t rush something that I can’t control."


 

 

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Slovenian guard Dragic named Most Improved NBA Player  

23 Apr 2014, 2:39 pm

Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns high fives fans as he walks off the court following an NBA game at US Airways Center on April 14, 2014 in Phoenix, ArizonaPhoenix guard Goran Dragic, whose career-high 20.3 points a game helped the Suns win 23 more games this season than last, was named the NBA's Most Improved Player on Wednesday. Indiana's Lance Stephenson was a distant second with 158 points, three more than Anthony Davis of New Orleans. The Slovenian international who averaged only 9.5 points before this season, added 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds a game as well as sinking a career-best 50.5 percent of his shots from the floor. His stats included 40.8 percent scoring from 3-point range -- making him the only NBA player with 50 percent overall accuracy and 40-percent success from beyond the arc.


 

 

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Buffalo Bill cheerleaders join NFL push-'em-back, sue over wages  

23 Apr 2014, 2:22 pm By Curtis Skinner NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders have sued the New York state football team, claiming it violated state wage laws by forcing them to work hundreds of hours without pay, cover their own travel expenses and spend hundreds of dollars on uniforms. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court by the former Buffalo Jills, is the third case this year brought against National Football League teams claiming wage violations. It follows similar suits brought by members of the Oakland Raiderettes and Cincinnati Ben-Gals. The five cheerleaders, who worked between 2010 and 2014, said in the complaint that the team and two companies that managed the cheer squad took unlawful deductions from their wages (including the cost of uniforms), forced them to work up to 840 unpaid hours a year - the equivalent of 21 40-hour weeks - at practices and promotional events and made them pay $650 for their uniforms.  

Suns' Dragic voted league's most improved player  

23 Apr 2014, 12:34 pm

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks(Reuters) - Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, whose breakout campaign helped his team to a 23-win improvement, was named the National Basketball Association's most improved player, the league said on Wednesday. Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada. Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) finished second while Anthony Davis (155 points, 16 first-place votes) of the New Orleans Pelicans was third. Dragic, who entered the 2013-14 campaign with a career scoring average of 9.5 points, averaged a career-best 20.3 points to go with 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds.


 

 

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Wizards edge Bulls while Pacers, Raptors equalize  

23 Apr 2014, 1:49 am

Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls fouls Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the United Center on April 22, 2014Bradley Beal scored a game-high 26 points to spark Washington over Chicago 101-99 in overtime, giving the Wizards their best NBA playoff start in 32 years. Brazilian forward Nene scored 17 points Tuesday and John Wall added 16 as the Wizards seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series with games three and four Friday and Sunday in Washington. It's the first time in franchise history that Washington won the first two games on the road to open a series and the first time since 1982 they won the first two games in a playoff series. East top seed Indiana and Toronto each won at home Tuesday to level their first-round matchups, with the Pacers beating Atlanta 101-85 and Toronto downing Brooklyn 100-95 to deadlock each series at 1-1.


 

 

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Youth served as DeRozan leads 'Northern Uprising'  

22 Apr 2014, 11:59 pm

NBA: Playoffs-Brooklyn Nets at Toronto RaptorsBy Steve Keating TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Raptors have promoted their return to the NBA postseason after a six-year absence as a 'Northern Uprising' and on Tuesday they backed up the marketing campaign with a 100-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets. The victory was the Raptors' first in the post-season since 2008 and sends the best-of-seven Eastern conference first round series back to Brooklyn for Game Three on Friday level at 1-1. "We're going to be the underdog again and we have to do the same thing there." The series is clearly defined, a classic matchup pitting Brooklyn's veteran savvy against the young Raptors enthusiasm. The Nets won Game One when future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett stepped up late in the match but on Tuesday the Raptors' young guard DeMar DeRozan showed the way with 30 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter.


 

 

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Pujols blasts two homers to join 500 club  

22 Apr 2014, 11:42 pm

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Washington Nationals(Reuters) - Albert Pujols belted two homers to reach the 500 home run milestone as he powered the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-2 win over Washington at Nationals Park on Tuesday. Pujols drilled a three-run shot over the fence in the first inning for his 499th then added the landmark blast on a two-run drive in the fifth. He became the 26th player in Major League history to reach the milestone and the Washington crowd saluted the 34-year-old with a standing ovation. After the game, Pujols took to Twitter to thank his fans and followers.


 

 

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Tanaka triumphant in Yankees-Red Sox debut  

22 Apr 2014, 11:26 pm

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees pitches against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Fenway Park on April 22, 2014New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was a winner in his first Major League Baseball game against the archrival Boston Red Sox, striking out seven in 9-3 victory. Tanaka surrendered his only runs on back-to-back home runs by David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the fourth inning Tuesday and improved to 3-0 in the young season with his first triumph at historic Fenway Park. Jacoby Ellsbury, who helped the Red Sox win two World Series titles in seven years with Boston, went 2-for-5 with a triple and a double and drove in two runs in his first Fenway appearance for the Yankees, who signed the star outfielder to a seven-year deal for $153 million.


 

 

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University of New Mexico running back arrested for rape, kidnapping  

22 Apr 2014, 4:55 pm

Bernalillo County Public Safety/Metropolitan Detention Center photo of Crusoe GongbayBy Joseph J. Kolb ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A University of New Mexico football player has been arrested on suspicion of raping and kidnapping a fellow student, officials said on Tuesday. Crusoe Gongbay, 20, surrendered to university police on Monday and faces two counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration and one count of kidnapping. He is being held on $50,000 bond, Lieutenant Tim Stump of the university police said. Head Football Coach Bob Davies suspended Gongbay, a 5-feet 11-inch (1.8-meter), 205-lb (93-kg) running back from Rockville, Maryland.


 

 

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Four players banned for Pirates-Brewers brawl  

22 Apr 2014, 4:04 pm

Martin Maldonado of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait on photo day at the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training Complex in Maryvale, Arizona on February 23, 2014Major League Baseball issued suspensions Tuesday to two players each from the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers after their benches-clearing brawl during the third innings of a game last Sunday. Brewers reserve catcher Martin Maldonado was handed the worst penalty, a five-game ban, after knocking Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider with a right cross to the face during the melee. Snider was banned for two games for his role in the scrap at the Pirates' home ballpark. Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Gomez, who flipped his bat and stood at home plate to admire the ball he had hit off Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to thereby spark the major fight, was suspended for three games.


 

 

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San Antonio's Popovich named Coach of the Year  

22 Apr 2014, 2:42 pm

Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 26, 2014 in Miami, FloridaGregg Popovich, who guided the San Antonio Spurs to the league's best record this season, was named Tuesday as the NBA Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. The Spurs, sparked by big man Tim Duncan and backcourt stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, finished with a 62-20 regular-season mark to claim a home-court edge throughout the NBA playoffs. Jeff Hornacek of Phoenix was second with 339 points and 37 first-place nods with Chicago's Tom Thibodeau third on 159 points with 12 first-place votes.


 

 

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Spurs coach Popovich named Coach of the Year  

22 Apr 2014, 11:56 am

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs(Reuters) - Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was voted NBA Coach of the Year, becoming the third three-time winner of the award, the National Basketball Association announced on Tuesday. Popovich's Spurs posted the NBA's best record at 62-20 to secure homecourt advantage through the postseason as he claimed the coaching honor for the second time in three seasons and joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as a three-time recipient. After steering the Spurs to a 15th successive season with 50 or more wins, Popovich totaled 380 points, including 59 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters from the United States and Canada.


 

 

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Golf-European Ryder Cup points table  

22 Apr 2014, 11:48 am April 22 (Reuters) - European Ryder Cup points table on Tuesday: World points list 1. Sergio Garcia (Spain) 203.86 2. Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) 157.41 3. Luke Donald (England) 130.28 4. Ian Poulter (England) 122.96 5. Justin Rose (England) 102.97 European points list 1. Victor Dubuisson (France) 2,297,434 2. Jamie Donaldson (Wales) 2,165,473 3. Thomas Bjorn (Denmark) 1,932,606 4. ...  

Golf-PGA Tour FedExCup points table  

22 Apr 2014, 11:48 am April 22 (Reuters) - PGA Tour 2014 FedExCup points table onTuesday (U.S. unless stated): 1. Jimmy Walker 2,046 points 2. Bubba Watson 1,840 3. Matt Kuchar 1,436 4. Patrick Reed 1,364 5. Dustin Johnson 1,334 6. Harris English 1,290 7. Jordan Spieth 1,173 8. Chris Kirk 1,152 9. Matt Every 1,051 10. Zach Johnson 1,040 11. Webb Simpson 971 12. Kevin Stadler 936 13. Ryan Moore 902 14. Will MacKenzie 880 15. John Senden (Australia) 844 16. Kevin Na 834 17. Brian Stuard 801 18. Matt Jones (Australia) 798 19. Graham DeLaet (Canada) 777 20. Jason Day (Australia) 769 (Compiled by Caroline Helly)  

Golf-Dawson to retire next year as R&A chief executive  

22 Apr 2014, 10:57 am LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - Peter Dawson will retire next year as chief executive of the Royal and Ancient (R&A), the body which governs golf outside the United States said on Tuesday. Dawson, who has led the R&A for 16 years, will step down in September 2015 and also relinquish the role of secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, a members club whose headquarters overlook the Old Course. The R&A organises The Open Championship, golf's oldest Major, and assumes responsibility, along with the USGA, of the rules of the game. ...  

Grizzlies, Clippers win to level NBA playoff matchups  

22 Apr 2014, 3:00 am

Zach Randolph (R) of the Memphis Grizzlies blocks the shot by Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Two of their Western Conference quarter-finals, during the NBA Playoffs, at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, on April 21, 2014Oklahoma City (AFP) - Zach Randolph scored eight of his 25 points in overtime to spark the Memphis Grizzlies over Oklahoma City 111-105, equalizing their NBA playoff series at one win each.


 

 

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Toronto Raptors exec Ujiri fined for obscenity  

21 Apr 2014, 11:10 pm

Mirza Teletovic (R) of the Brooklyn Nets defends against Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors in Game One of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, on April 19, 2014Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri was fined $25,000 by the NBA for using obscene language in public before a playoff game against Brooklyn, league commissioner Adam Silver said. Ujiri apologized for his pre-game profanity to Toronto fans outside the Air Canada Centre, where the visiting Nets beat the Raptors 94-87 in the opener of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.


 

 

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Bulls' Noah named league's defensive player of the year  

21 Apr 2014, 7:21 pm

Chicago Bulls center Noah and Chicago Bulls guard Belinelli celebrate after they beat Brooklyn Nets to advance to next round in Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference Quarterfinals basketball playoff series in New York(Reuters) - Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was named the National Basketball Association's defensive player of the year on Monday, the first player from the franchise to earn the award since Michael Jordan in 1988. Noah, whose father Yannick won the 1983 French Open tennis championship, was the centerpiece of a Chicago defense which held opponents to a league-low 91.8 points per game during the 2013-14 regular season. The 29-year-old received 555 out of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 first-place votes, from a panel of 125 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and ...


 

 

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