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Red Sox select Valentine to take over as team's new manager

  • November 30, 2011, 11:50 AM

The Boston Red Sox have picked Bobby Valentine to be their next manager and the sides were working to complete a contract, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. Several media outlets in Boston, citing anonymous sources, reported earlier in the evening that Valentine would be the team's new manager.

An announcement could come by Thursday.

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NBA ready to unlock its doors, begin negotiating with agents

  • November 30, 2011, 11:48 AM

MIAMI (AP) -- NBA arenas are about to be unlocked.

For the first time since the lockout began on July 1, NBA players are going to be welcomed back to their team facilities, said league spokesman Tim Frank. The league sent a memo to clubs Tuesday announcing the move, plus giving teams permission to begin speaking with agents at 9 a.m. Wednesday - though deals cannot yet be offered, and no contracts can be signed before Dec. 9.

Teams may host "voluntary player workouts" and physicals. Training camps will not open until Dec. 9, and the regular season is expected to begin Christmas Day with marquee matchups, including a Miami-Dallas rematch of last season's NBA finals.

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Urban Meyer to coach Ohio State

  • November 30, 2011, 11:47 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) If Ohio State did not come calling, Urban Meyer says he was planning to stay away from coaching for at least another year.

Meyer, the former Florida coach and native Buckeye, was officially hired Monday by Ohio State, a program with a glittering past that has suffered through a difficult year of NCAA violations.

"If not for the coaching position at Ohio State, I would not have coached this year,' he said.

Meyer resigned as Gators coach after last season, citing health concerns and a desire to spend more time with his family.

"A year ago in my mind I was convinced I was done coaching," he said.

He added that he is feeling great.

"I've been checked out and I'm ready to go," he said. "I've been to a place and I don't want to go back."

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Drew Brees and Saints blow out Giants, 49-24

  • November 29, 2011, 3:10 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Drew Brees took a few triumphant strides toward the goal post with the ball in his hand and rose up for an imitation, Michael Jordan-style dunk over the crossbar.

He had to settle for a finger-roll instead.

It was one of the few times Brees came up short Monday night as the New Orleans Saints made everything look easy in a 49-24 victory over the slumping New York Giants , who have lost three straight.

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Paul Ulane

First and Goal: NFL Week 12

Please excuse any typos you may see in this week’s edition of First and Goal. I guzzled so much turkey and stuffed so much stuffing into my face that I can hardly type. Then again, nothing gets me over my holiday feast drowsiness like talking about the NFL, so let’s get down to the league’s biggest stories from Week 12.

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Steelers defense holds on for 13-9 win over Chiefs

  • November 28, 2011, 10:20 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Ben Roethlisberger joked that the broken thumb on his throwing hand was "still attached" Sunday night. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin thought the injury was a non-issue, and perhaps it was given the way the former Pro Bowl quarterback played.

One thing is certain: The Chiefs sure wish it had been a bigger problem.

Roethlisberger threw a short touchdown pass to Weslye Saunders in the first half, and the Steelers took advantage of four turnovers by Chiefs quarterback Tyler Palko in a 13-9 victory that allowed them to keep pace with Baltimore atop the loaded AFC North.

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Tebow leads Broncos to 16-13 OT win over Chargers

  • November 28, 2011, 10:18 AM

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Tim Tebow wasn't watching as San Diego's Nick Novak lined up to attempt a 53-yard field goal that would have given the Chargers an overtime victory over the Denver Broncos .

He was praying, of course.

Did Tebow ask for a miss?

"I might have said that. Or maybe a block. Maybe all of it," the Denver quarterback said with a laugh.

Whatever, it worked.

Novak missed wide right. Tebow moved the Broncos down the field and Matt Prater kicked a 37-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in overtime to lift the Broncos to a 16-13 victory Sunday over the Chargers, who've lost six straight games for the first time in 10 years.

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