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Judge rules against Sterling, OKs $2B sale of Clips
LOS ANGELES (AP) A judge has ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and cleared the way for the $2 billion sale of the team to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Judge Michael Levanas sided Monday with Sterling's estranged wife in the case that arose after the 80-year-old billionaire was banned by the NBA for making offensive remarks about blacks. Shelly Sterling sought the court's approval for the deal she negotiated after taking control of a family trust and removing her husband as a trustee after two doctors found he had Alzheimer's disease and couldn't manage his affairs. Donald Sterling claimed his wife deceived him about the medical exams. Sterling has vowed to fight the NBA until his death and is expected to continue to wage court battles to stop the sale. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:02:48 +0000
Star-studded 2014 Hall of Fame class inducted in Cooperstown
Cooperstown got a little tougher and a lot louder Sunday afternoon as managers Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame alongside Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. It was a banner class for the Hall only a year after no living candidate earned enough votes for induction. La Russa enters the Hall as the third-winningest manager of all time. He was picked as manager of the year four times and won 12 division titles, six pennants and World Series titles in 1989, 2006, and 2011. More coverage: Six new plaques | Watch: Thomas' emotional speech | Why new rules? Signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, La Russa's six-year major league career as an infielder was forgettable. But after earning a law degree at Florida State University and giving managing a try in the minor leagues, he found his niche, was elevated to manage the Chicago White Sox in 1979, and his managing career took off. He won two championships with St. Louis and one with Oakland. By the time he retired, La Russa was third all-time in victories as a manager with 2,728, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw and 224 wins more than his National League rival in Atlanta. The feisty Cox, who also spent four years in Toronto, was a four-time Manager of the Year, three in the NL and one in the AL, and holds the major league record with 159 ejections. During his time in Atlanta, the Braves won an unprecedented 14 straight division titles and earned 15 playoff appearances. Of course, it helped to have arms like Glavine and Maddux on the mound two out of every five days. The pair of aces combined to win 438 games in Atlanta. Glavine won 305 games and two Cy Young Awards, and posted five seasons with 20 or more victories. Only three left-handers have more wins -- Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Eddie Plank. Glavine was on the mound when the Braves won Game 6 to clinch the 1995 World Series and give the city of Atlanta its lone major sports title. A teammate on that 95 team, Maddux also had stints with the Cubs, Padres and Dodgers over a 23-year major league career. Nicknamed "Mad Dog," he won 355 games and four straight Cy Young Awards, leading the NL in innings each season. Known for his pinpoint control, Maddux walked just 999 in 5,008 1/3 innings and ranks 10th in strikeouts with 3,371. He also was a sharp fielder, capturing 18 Gold Gloves, and was an All-Star eight times. While Glavine and Maddux used their smarts and skill to terrorize opposing batters, the massively-built Thomas was simply terrifying. Posnanski on 2014: Maddux the magician | Brain powers Glavine | Thomas had patience Nicknamed "The Big Hurt" for his bat prowess, Thomas won AL MVP awards in 1993 and 1994 and finished his 19-year career with a .301 batting average, 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs. He's also the only player in major league history with seven straight seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 walks, and the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter. Thomas played 16 years for the White Sox and established himself as the best hitter in franchise history. He holds the team record for homers (448), doubles (447), RBIs (1,465), runs (1,327), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568) and on-base percentage (.427). A fantastic player in his own right, Torre became something special in New York. Despite mediocre stints managing the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals (five winning seasons in 15 years), Torre was hired by the Yankees prior to the 1996 season. In 12 years with Torre at the helm, the Yankees won 10 division titles, six AL pennants, and four World Series. Torre also won National League MVP honors in 1971 with a signature season that included 230 hits and a .363 average, 97 runs, and 137 RBIs for the St. Louis Cardinals. Heis the only man to amass more than 2,000 hits (2,342) as a player and win more than 2,000 games (2,326) as a manager, according to STATS. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:15:38 +0000
Vincenzo Nibali wins 2014 Tour de France
Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Italian in 16 years to triumph in cycling's greatest race by chiseling a lead over his main rivals a few seconds at a time and dominating them in the mountains. The 29-year-old Sicilian, who called himself "a flag-bearer of anti-doping" during the race, finished in the pack behind Marcel Kittel, who won the 21st stage in a sprint finish. PHOTOS: Crashes of the 2014 Tour de France Nibali's victory comes after the pre-race favorites -- 2013 champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador -- crashed out with injuries in the first half of this year's Tour. Astana team leader Nibali is only the sixth rider to win all three Grand Tours -- France, Italy and Spain. The last Italian to win the Tour de France was Marco Pantani in 1998. After cruising after Kittel, a German who got his fourth stage win, Nibali got pats on the back, kissed his wife and infant daughter, and was mobbed by cameras as race organizers hustled him away to prepare for the final awards ceremony. "Unbelievable," said Kittel, whose victories bookended this Tour. He won Stage 1 when British rival Mark Cavendish crashed out in the final sprint.

TDF Live 2014: Watch every Tour stage live | Full stage replays
Highlights | Standings | Stages | Teams | TV schedule
NBC Sports Fantasy Cycling Challenge Nibali also won four stages, a feat not equaled by a Tour winner since Lance Armstrong won five a decade ago. He wore the yellow jersey for all but two stages since Stage 1. His 7 minute, 52 second margin over runner-up Jean-Christophe Peraud is the largest since Jan Ullrich of Germany beat second-placed Richard Virenque by just over 9 minutes in 1997. In one of the subplots of this race, Peraud and third-placed Thibaut Pinot became the first Frenchmen to reach the Tour podium since Virenque in that same year. But such comparisons, many cycling insiders have noted, miss the mark. Armstrong, Ullrich and Virenque were three of the big-name riders caught in nearly a generation of doping scandals in cycling. Armstrong, in the biggest scandal ever in the sport, admitted to doping and was stripped of his record seven Tour titles. PHOTOS: Crazy fans of the 2014 Tour de France Nibali and many others in the peloton say that era is past. But his own victories in the 2010 Vuelta and the Italian Giro last year were tarnished by high-profile doping cases involving other riders. While cycling's governing body, the UCI, has made great efforts to halt use of drugs and other performance-enhancers, such as through the biological passport program, few cycling observers believe the pack is fully clean. Many naysayers may argue that Nibali was the best of the riders still in this Tour. Colombia's Nairo Quintana, who won the Giro d'Italia in May, did not ride. Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour champ, was passed over so his Sky Team could focus on Froome. Then Froome and Contador pulled out due to injuries. But even before they left, Nibali had gained a 2-second advantage on them by winning Stage 2, surprising even himself. Then, in Stage 5 after Froome crashed out, the Italian excelled on cobblestone patches that slowed down Contador, who lost more than 2 minutes to Nibali. The Spaniard was forced into a need to attack. PHOTOS: Scenic shots from the 2014 Tour de France On a downhill in Stage 10, Contador crashed and fractured his tibia. But Nibali, who is known as "The Shark of the Strait" -- a nod to the waterway near his hometown of Messina, Sicily -- didn't stop there. He went on to win that stage into La Planche des Belles Filles. It was the first of three stages with uphill finishes that he won, adding one in the Alps (Chamrousse) and another in the Pyrenees (Hautacam). Nibali said this Tour layout, announced last fall, "was almost made to measure for me." The 101st edition began in Yorkshire, England, and guided riders over 3,664 kilometers (2,277 miles) including cobblestones, wind-swept flats and climbs in the Vosges, Alps and Pyrenees. PHOTOS: Tour de France rest day shenanigans With the Arc de Triomphe in Paris as the backdrop, other riders getting TV time on the winner's podium included Peter Sagan of Slovakia, winner of the green jersey given to the race's best sprinter; Rafal Majka of Poland, the best climber; and Pinot, the best young rider born since the start of 1989. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:03:37 +0000

LeBron deep-sixes number; will be No. 23 with Cavs
LeBron James will go back to wearing jersey No. 23 in his return to Cleveland. James tweeted "23 it is! It's only right I go back. 23(equals)6 We still family 6." The tweet included an Instagram post with photos of James holding his No. 23 Cavaliers jersey on draft night, him later in a new version of the Cavs' jersey and a one of him in his high school jersey. James wore No. 6 in four seasons with Miami and with the U.S. Olympic team. He used No. 23 in high school and during seven seasons in Cleveland. About 10 days ago, James turned to social media to help him choose which number he'll wear next season with the Cavaliers. James wrote "6 or 23...." on his Twitter account. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:44:00 +0000
It's 'Jeff Gordon Day' at IMS for record 5th time
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago. Gordon nailed the final restart of the race to pass Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne with 17 laps remaining in Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was no given because restarts have been Gordon's Achilles heel for several years. But he slid past Kahne and easily pulled away for a NASCAR-record five wins at historic Indy. This victory comes on the 20th anniversary of Gordon's win in the inaugural Brickyard 400, and on "Jeff Gordon Day" as declared by the Mayor of Indianapolis. The win moves Gordon into a tie with Michael Schumacher, whose five Formula One victories at Indy had been the gold standard. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:06:00 +0000