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Third & Short: Astros contact Clemens' agent

Third & Short: Astros contact Clemens' agent

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Major League Baseball

HOUSTON - The Astros have asked Roger Clemens' agent to meet and discuss a contract that would bring the seven-time Cy Young winner back for a third season in Houston.

The Astros did not offer Clemens salary arbitration in December, leaving the 43-year-old free agent to talk with other teams. Boston, the New York Yankees and Texas are also interested in signing Clemens this season. May 1 was the first day the Astros were eligible to re-sign Clemens, who is considering retirement.

Astros general manager Tim Purpura said he e-mailed Randy Hendricks, Clemens' agent, on Monday to set up a meeting. Purpura said late Monday afternoon that Hendricks was traveling and did not send a response. Purpura said the Astros are ready to make Clemens an enticing offer.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Pete Rose Jr., the son of baseball's career hits leader, was sentenced Monday to one month in prison and five months of home detention for distributing a steroid alternative to his minor league teammates.

Rose faced up to two years in prison and a $1 million fine. Federal judge Robert Echols waived a fine for Rose. Rose's attorney, Jeffrey Brodey, said his client will start his monthlong sentence June 5. Brodey said he'll request that Rose be incarcerated in Cincinnati, where he lives with his wife and children.

The 36-year-old Rose pleaded guilty Nov. 7 to distributing the steroid alternative GBL, a drug he used as a sleep aid, to some of his teammates at the Chattanooga Lookouts. Rose played for the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds in 1997, 2001 and 2002.


ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. - The man accused of throwing the cup that sparked a 2004 brawl between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail on an assault and battery charge.

John Green also was sentenced to two years of probation. The 41-year-old Green was convicted in March of one count of assault and battery for punching former Pacers player Ron Artest during the brawl. Green was found not guilty of a second count that accused him of throwing the cup before Artest charged into the stands.

Just like old times, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal are celebrating. The former Lakers teammates became fathers again Monday when their wives gave birth to girls 6 minutes apart. Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant was born at 4:03 a.m. CDT in Orange County, Calif. Kobe and Vanessa Bryant are already parents to 3-year-old Natalia.

Shaquille and Shaunie O'Neal became parents for the sixth time when Mearah Sanaa O'Neal was born at 3:57 a.m. in a South Florida hospital. It's the third girl for the O'Neals, with Mearah joining sisters Taahirah and Amirah and brothers Myles, Shareef and Shaqir, who turned 3 last month.

PHOENIX - Boris Diaw went from being a throw-in as part of the Joe Johnson trade to winner of the NBA's most improved player award. The Phoenix Suns' versatile Frenchman was a landslide choice with 80 first-place votes in balloting by 124 sports writers and sportscasters. He received 489 overall points, compared with 22 first-place votes and 283 points for runner-up David West of New Orleans.


NEW YORK - Reggie Bush may not be a No. 1 pick, but he moves the goods. Reebok already has received 15,000 orders for a Reggie Bush New Orleans Saints jersey.

The 15,000 jerseys is believed to be the most ordered for a high draft choice. Last year, there were 6,000 early orders for the jersey of Alex Smith, who was taken by San Francisco with the first pick. Bush was expected to be the first overall pick in last weekend's NFL draft. But the Southern California running back dropped to second when Houston took North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams.


Oilers 4, Red Wings 3: EDMONTON, Alberta - The Edmonton Oilers sent home the NHL's best team in the regular season, rallying Monday night to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 and win the first-round playoff series in six games.

Ales Hemsky scored twice, including the winner with 1:06 left in regulation time, capping a comeback from a 2-0 deficit after two periods. It was Edmonton's first playoff series win since 1998 - and another huge early-round disappointment for Detroit.

Fernando Pisani also scored twice for the Oilers. Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Robert Lang scored for the Red Wings. Steve Yzerman's assist moved him ahead of Bryan Trottier into eighth spot with 185 career playoff points.

Men's College Basketball

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel named Bucknell assistant Bryan Goodman as his new director of basketball operations Monday. Goodman, a graduate of Choctaw High School, has been an assistant at Bucknell for the past six seasons. He is the second addition to Oklahoma's coaching staff since Capel was hired as head coach April 11. Capel hired Mark Cline, his former assistant at Virginia Commonwealth, on Saturday.

Et Cetera

NEW YORK - ABC received a Sports Emmy Award for its final season of Monday Night Football during a ceremony Monday night at Lincoln Center.

Monday Night Football was honored as the outstanding live sports series by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences during the 27th annual awards show.

CBS earned the Emmy for outstanding live sports special for its Masters coverage, and NBC took the award for outstanding live event turnaround for the Winter Olympics.

Bob Costas, Joe Buck, Cris Collinsworth and Joe Morgan were honored as outstanding sports personalities. Costas was selected the top studio host for his work with NBC and HBO, Buck took the play-by-play award for Fox, Collinsworth was honored for his work as a studio analyst for HBO, and Morgan as an event analyst for ESPN.

Also, Olympic film producer Bud Greenspan received the sports lifetime achievement award.

College Football

AUSTIN - The 2005 national football championship earned Texas coach Mack Brown an invitation to the Capitol on Monday. The House and Senate saluted the Longhorns' championship team with resolutions honoring the squad that went 13-0 and captured the national title with a 41-38 win over two-defending champion Southern Cal on Jan. 4 in the Rose Bowl. It was Texas' first outright national championship since 1969.

Appearing with Brown was wide receiver Limas Sweed of Brenham, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Vince Young in Texas' 25-22 win at Ohio State.

Also attending was Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, new university President William Powers Jr. and several other administration and athletic department officials.


John Daly says he has lost between $50 million and $60 million during 12 years of heavy gambling, and that it has become a problem that could "flat-out ruin me" if he doesn't bring it under control.

Daly discussed his addiction to gambling in the final chapter of his autobiography, John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough, to be released next Monday.

He told one story of earning $750,000 when he lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods last fall in San Francisco at a World Golf Championship. Instead of going home, he drove to Las Vegas and says he lost $1.65 million in five hours playing mostly $5,000 slot machines.

The book got the attention of PGA Tour headquarters, and commissioner Tim Finchem met with Daly on Monday at the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte, N.C.

Finchem said the book does not violate PGA Tour regulations, although "it is clear that he continues to be concerned about and grapple with significant personal challenges."


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