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      === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Wednesday, July 23 ===
         === Broncos' Bowlen steps aside due to Alzheimer's disease ===
 Englewood,  CO  ( -  Denver  Broncos  owner Pat  Bowlen  has
 relinquished day-to-day control of the team due to Alzheimer's disease.
 The  team  made the announcement  Wednesday, saying the 70-year-old Bowlen had
 been privately battling the disease in recent years.
 "The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of
 the  team's daily operations due to his condition," the club's statement read.
 "We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to 'Mr. B,' who
 has faced Alzheimer's disease with such dignity and strength."
 Bowlen  had already placed his ownership share into a trust that is controlled
 by  non-family  members with  a long-term  goal for one  his seven children to
 eventually run the franchise.
 "Plans for this trust were arranged by Mr. Bowlen beginning more than a decade
 ago  as part of his succession plan to keep the Broncos in the Bowlen family,"
 the statement continued.
 Daily  operations of the  team will be assumed by club president Joe Ellis and
 John  Elway will continue to run the football department. Ellis, who will take
 on  the role of CEO, has spent the past 17 years with the Broncos, while Elway
 rejoined the club in the front office in January 2011.
 "Mr.  Bowlen has  entrusted Joe and me  to run this franchise the way he would
 want it to run," said an emotional Elway at a news conference Wednesday. "It's
 a  sad, sad  day. Pat's been a mentor.  He's been someone I've looked up to. I
 wouldn't  be where I  am today without Pat Bowlen. I can't say enough for what
 he's done for me."
 Bowlen,  who purchased the team in 1984, told the Denver Post in May 2009 that
 he  was  suffering from short-term  memory loss. The  family and team told the
 paper  early  Wednesday that  his  condition  had developed  into  Alzheimer's
 disease, a brain condition that progressively worsens and has no cure.
 "Pat  has always  wanted the focus to  be solely on the Denver Broncos and the
 great  fans who have supported this team with such passion during his 30 years
 as  owner," said  Bowlen's wife, Annabel, in a statement. "My family is deeply
 saddened  that Pat's health no longer allows him to oversee the Broncos, which
 has led to this public acknowledgment of such a personal health condition.
 "Alzheimer's  has taken so much from Pat, but it will never take away his love
 for the Denver Broncos and his sincere appreciation for the fans."
 Bowlen was one of the leaders in the NFL, serving on ownership committees that
 included labor and broadcasting.
 The  Broncos  have reached  the Super  Bowl six  times during Bowlen's 30-year
 tenure,  winning  back-to-back titles  after the 1997  and '98 seasons. Denver
 lost to Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII in February.
                 === Seahawks WR Rice announces retirement ===
 Renton,   WA  (  -  Seattle  Seahawks  wideout  Sidney  Rice
 announced his retirement on Wednesday, after seven injury-plagued NFL seasons.
 Rice had been cut by the club back in February as a salary-cap measure, before
 being re-signed in April.
 "After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National
 Football  League,  including the last  three for  the Seattle Seahawks, I have
 decided  to  retire from playing in  the National Football League," Rice mused
 in a  statement.  "I have  enjoyed  my  experiences  with  all of  my coaches,
 teammates  and  passionate Seahawks fans. I  take great pride in knowing I was
 one  of the  players signed  to help  build the  foundation of  the team  that
 ultimately  won  the Super  Bowl. I'll  be joining  the 12s  in support of the
 Seattle Seahawks as they take on the challenge to repeat."
 The 27-year-old finished the 2013 campaign on  season-ending  injured  reserve
 thanks to a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in an October 28 win over
 the  St. Louis  Rams. The seventh-year pro totaled 15 receptions for 231 yards
 and three touchdowns in eight games.
 Rice  also saw  the 2011  campaign --  his first  with Seattle  -- end  with a
 stint on IR thanks to a concussion.
 "The  entire  organization would like to  thank Sidney for his leadership over
 the  past three seasons," said club GM John Schneider. "His time as a Seahawks
 player displayed the core values that Pete and I aimed to bring to the program
 and  Sidney is a true champion. We wish him nothing but the best in his future
 Rice,  taken by the Vikings in the second round of the 2007 draft out of South
 Carolina,  ends  his career  having compiled  243 catches,  3,592 yards and 30
 touchdowns  over 81  games (57  starts). He  accumulated 97  receptions, 1,463
 yards and 12 TDs in three seasons with the Seahawks.
 With  Minnesota in  2009, Rice participated in all 16 games and posted career-
 highs in receptions (83), yards gained (1,312) and scores (8).
                  === Chiefs sign RB Charles to extension ===
 Kansas  City,  MO (  - The Kansas  City Chiefs signed Jamaal
 Charles  to  a contract extension  on the eve  of training camp Wednesday that
 should  make the  star running  back one  of the  highest-paid players  at his
 The deal came as Charles was apparently ready to hold out for more money.
 "Jamaal  is  an elite player in  the National Football League," Chiefs general
 manager  John Dorsey said in a statement. "It was important for us to keep him
 here in Kansas City long-term."
 Under terms of the new contract, Charles will make around $5 million more over
 the last two years of a deal he signed in 2010, then $18.1 million for the two
 years covered under the extension, according to and ESPN.
 Charles,  who was set  to earn under $4 million this season, did not report to
 training  camp by a Wednesday afternoon deadline but later joked after reports
 of his new extension surfaced that he had "no intention" of holding out.
 "I  just  ran out of gas  on the way to  camp and my cell phone battery died,"
 Charles tweeted. "It was a long walk I tell ya."
 Charles, 27, rushed for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 70 passes for
 693  yards and seven scores last season. Only Philadelphia Eagles running back
 LeSean McCoy gained more yards from scrimmage.
 The  seventh-year back has gained 5,823 yards on the ground with 29 touchdowns
 and  caught 222 passes for 1,975 yards and 14 scores in 80 NFL games, all with
 the Chiefs.
                       === Gronkowski cleared to play ===
 Foxboro,   MA  (  -  New  England  Patriots  tight  end  Rob
 Gronkowski  has been  medically  cleared  to take  part  in  all workouts  and
 practices during training camp after recovering from knee surgery.
 Patriots  coach Bill  Belichick revealed  the news  during a  press conference
 Wednesday morning.
 "He's been cleared to play," said Belichick.
 Gronkowski  suffered a  torn  ACL last  December  in a  Week  14 game  against
 Cleveland  and underwent  surgery in  January. There  was speculation  that he
 could begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
 The 25-year-old Arizona product played just seven games last year and finished
 the season with 39 receptions for 592 yards with four touchdowns. He began the
 2013  campaign on  the PUP list while recovering from offseason procedures for
 his back and forearm.
 Gronkowski,  entering  his fifth season,  hasn't played  a full 16 games since
 2011,  when he caught  90 passes for 1,327 yards with 17 touchdowns. He played
 just 11 games in 2012 because of a broken arm.
                          === Jets add Jason Babin ===
 Cortland, NY ( - The New York Jets have agreed to terms with
 linebacker/defensive end Jason Babin.
 The  11-year veteran was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars last month after
 leading  the club with 7 1/2 sacks last season. He had just re-signed with the
 Jaguars  in March after  voiding the final two years of his previous deal only
 three days earlier.
 Babin  started all  16 games for Jacksonville  in 2013 and added 40 tackles to
 his  sack total. He  had joined the Jaguars late in the 2012 season and played
 five games for the club after being released by Philadelphia.
 The well-traveled 34-year-old Michigan native has 62 1/2 sacks and 347 tackles
 in  130 NFL  games with Houston, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Tennessee
 and Jacksonville.
 To  make room on the training camp roster, the Jets released cornerback Lowell
 The  Jets  also placed guard Willie  Colon and linebacker Antwan Barnes on the
 active physically unable to perform list with knee injuries.
                  === Eagles T Johnson suspended for PEDs ===
 New  York, NY  (  - Philadelphia  Eagles  right tackle  Lane
 Johnson has been suspended four games without pay by the NFL for violating the
 league's  policy on performance-enhancing substances by taking a medication he
 says he failed to check out properly.
 The  suspension was  reported by media outlets last month and announced by the
 NFL on Wednesday.
 Johnson started all 16 games as a rookie last season after being drafted No. 4
 overall by the Eagles out of Oklahoma.
 He  said in  a statement issued by  the team that he "mistakenly and foolishly
 put  a prescribed medication in my body to help with a medical issue" while he
 was training in April.
 "I  mistakenly failed to  clear it with Eagles trainers and check the NFL list
 of  banned  substances," Johnson said. "I  am extremely sorry for this mistake
 and I will learn from it and be smarter in the future."
 Johnson is eligible to participate offseason and preseason practices and games
 but  will  miss the  first four  regular-season contests against Jacksonville,
 Indianapolis, Washington and San Francisco.
 He can return to the active roster on Monday, Sept. 29.
 "We're  very  disappointed to learn  of his suspension,"  the Eagles said in a
 statement.  "We  have spoken to  Lane about the  details of the suspension. He
 understood  what  he did wrong and  took full responsibility. The key for him,
 however,  is to  learn from that mistake and move forward with his preparation
 for the 2014 season."
                     === Cardinals place Mathieu on PUP list ===
 Tempe,  AZ  ( -  The Arizona  Cardinals placed safety Tyrann
 Mathieu  and tackle Alameda Ta'amu on the physically unable to perform list on
 Mathieu is still recovering from tearing  the anterior collateral ligament and
 lateral  collateral  ligament in  his left  knee during  a game last December,
 which   caused   him  to  be   placed  on  season-ending  injured  reserve  on
 two days later.
 Speaking  shortly  after the injuries  occurred, Cards head coach Bruce Arians
 stated  that  the former LSU star  wouldn't likely to be medically cleared for
 the start of next summer's training camp after undergoing surgery.
 He  finished  his rookie campaign  with 68  tackles, two interceptions and one
 sack over 13 games.
 Ta'amu is also coming off an ACL injury suffered late last season.
 Arizona also released wide receiver Kelsey Pope.
                   === Bengals place Gresham on PUP list ===
 Cincinnati,  OH  ( -  The  Cincinnati  Bengals on  Wednesday
 placed tight end Jermaine Gresham on the physically unable to perform list.
 The  fifth-year  pro recorded 46 receptions  for 458 yards and four touchdowns
 over 14 contests last season.
 An  Oklahoma  product, Gresham has spent  his entire four-year career with the
 franchise, totaling 218 catches, 2,262 yards and 19 scores.
 Defensive  tackle Christo Bilukidi was also sent to the PUP list. The 24-year-
 old  native  of Angola and  Georgia State  product participated in seven games
 last season -- two with Cincinnati -- and totaled five tackles with one sack.
                     === 49ers place Bowman on PUP list ===
 Santa   Clara,  CA  (  -  The  San  Francisco  49ers  placed
 linebacker  NaVorro  Bowman  on  the  physically unable  to  perform  list  on
 Bowman  suffered a torn  ACL in his left knee during the fourth quarter of San
 Francisco's NFL Championship Game loss to Seattle in January. He will continue
 rehabbing his knee throughout training camp.
 The All-Pro started all 16 games last season, totaling 145 tackles, five sacks
 and two interceptions, including one which was taken back for a touchdown.
 Bowman has spent his entire four-year career with San Francisco, compiling 482
 tackles, nine sacks, three interceptions and a touchdown in 64 games.
                  === Browns ink first-round pick Gilbert ===
 Berea,  OH  ( -  The Cleveland  Browns signed defensive back
 Justin Gilbert, the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, on Wednesday.
 Gilbert  totaled 182  tackles, 27  passes defensed,  12 interceptions  and two
 touchdowns in 51 games (39 starts) at Oklahoma State.
 The  22-year-old also  set a Big 12  record with six kickoff return scores and
 finished  second in conference history with 2,861 kickoff return yards with an
 average of 26.3 yards.
 The Browns have now come to terms with all six of their 2014 draft selections.
                 === Avs ink O'Reilly to two-year deal ===
 Denver, CO ( - The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Ryan
 O'Reilly to a two-year contract on Wednesday.
 The deal avoided salary arbitration.
 According  to the Denver Post, O'Reilly will make $5.8 million this season and
 $6.2 million in year two of the deal.
 O'Reilly,  the 2014  Lady Byng  Memorial Trophy  winner for  sportsmanship and
 gentlemanly  conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability, led the
 Avs  with 28 goals and added 36 assists for 64 points last season. He also led
 the  NHL  with 83 takeaways,  marking the second time  in his career that he's
 paced the league in that category (2011-12).
 Additionally,  O'Reilly was  called for  just  one minor  penalty all  season,
 joining  Butch Goring  (1977-78,  Los Angeles)  as the  only  players ever  to
 receive two or fewer PIM over 80 or more games.
 "We are pleased to have Ryan under contract," said Avalanche vice president of
 hockey  operations Joe  Sakic in a statement Wednesday. "We are looking at the
 upcoming training camp and season with a lot of excitement."
 Just 23 years old, O'Reilly has already played five seasons in the league, all
 with the Avs, and has 73 goals and 118 assists for 191 points.
                     === Rangers, Kreider agree to deal ===
 New  York, NY  ( - The New York Rangers agreed to terms with
 restricted free agent forward Chris Kreider on Wednesday.
 Kreider  had  17 goals and 20  assists in 66  games with the Rangers this past
 season,  ranking  second among  NHL rookies  in power-play  goals with six and
 fifth in goals.
 During the Rangers' playoff run, the 23-year-old Massachusetts native recorded
 five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 15 games.
 Kreider has skated in 89 career NHL games, registering 19 goals and 21 assists
 for 40 points. He also has 22 points in 41 Stanley Cup playoff games.
                          === Sabres sign D Benoit ===
 Buffalo,  NY (  - The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Andre
 Benoit to a one-year contract on Wednesday.
 Financial terms of the deal were not released.
 Benoit  played in  79 regular-season  games with  the Colorado  Avalanche last
 season, totaling a career-high 28 points with seven goals and 21 assists.
 For  his career, the 30-year-old has 39 points in 120 games with the Avalanche
 and Ottawa Senators.
               === Veteran D Sarich injured in bike accident ===
 Denver, CO ( - Veteran NHL defenseman Cory Sarich remains in
 a  Calgary hospital after being seriously hurt after his bicycle he was riding
 collided with a car.
 CTV  in  Calgary reports Sarich,  who is  an unrestricted free agent, suffered
 multiple  broken vertebrae  and  a  severe case  of  road  rash. The  accident
 happened  in the  resort town of Invermere, British Columbia, according to the
 TV station.
 "Tks  to everyone who  has shown their love and support for my family. Tks for
 understanding  the lack  of contact from us during this time," Sarich said via
 Sarich added on Twitter that he "will most likely make a full recovery."
 The  35-year-old  Sarich has played in  969 career NHL games, including 54 for
 the Colorado Avalanche last season when he had a goal and nine assists.
                   === Tigers acquire Soria from Rangers ===
 Bronx,  NY ( - The Detroit Tigers received insurance for the
 back end of their bullpen by acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas
 Rangers Wednesday night.
 The Rangers, who have the worst record (40-61) in the majors, will obtain
 pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson.
 Soria has pitched to a 1-3 mark and a 2.70 ERA with 17 saves in 35 appearances
 this  season.  The 30-year-old right-hander  has compiled  a 15-18 mark with a
 2.51 ERA and 177 saves in 359 contests.
 The  two-time All-Star began  his career in Kansas City in 2007 and was signed
 as a free agent by the Rangers prior to the 2013 season.
 By acquiring Soria, the Tigers have a team option of $7 million on him for the
 2015 season.
 The  deal  for the Tigers is  big considering closer  Joe Nathan has an ERA of
 5.89  this season. He's  saved 20 games in 39 appearances this season, but has
 also  blown  five save chances. That's  a big difference from 2013 when Nathan
 had a 1.39 ERA and 43 saves and just three blown chances over 67 appearances.
 The  Tigers are in first place in the AL Central and hold a 6 1/2-game lead on
 second-place Cleveland.
 Knebel, a 22-year-old righty, has pitched in eight games this year and was 0-0
 with a 6.23 ERA. The Rangers announced he will be optioned to Triple-A Round
 Thompson,  a 20-year-old  right-hander, has a combined mark of 6-4 with a 3.13
 ERA in 17 games having pitched as high as the Double-A level. The Rangers said
 Thompson will be assigned from Double-A Erie to Double-A Frisco.
                      === Yankees place Johnson on DL ===
 Bronx,  NY  ( - The  New York Yankees placed infielder Kelly
 Johnson on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left groin.
 Johnson is batting .219 with six homers and 22 RBI this season. He was hurt in
 Tuesday's game against Texas.
 Playing  right field for  the first time, Johnson made a nice running catch in
 right-center field and struggled running to first in his next at-bat.
 The  Yankees, after a 14-inning marathon against the Rangers on Tuesday, added
 bullpen  depth on  Wednesday by selecting the contract of pitcher Chris Leroux
 from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
 To  put Leroux  on the  40-man roster,  the Yankees  designated pitcher  Bruce
 Billings for assignment.
                        === Phillies activate C Ruiz ===
 Philadelphia,    PA    (   -   The   Philadelphia   Phillies
 activated  catcher Carlos  Ruiz  from  the disabled  list  prior to  Wednesday
 night's game against the San Francisco Giants.
 He will catch and bat fifth.
 Ruiz  had been out for nearly a month with a concussion after being hit in the
 head  by  a pitch in  a game against  the Miami Marlins.  He was placed on the
 seven-day disabled list on June 27 and moved to 15-day DL on July 11.
 The  35-year-old  was batting .257 with  two home runs  and 14 RBI in 66 games
 for the Phillies this season prior to his DL stint.
 Philadelphia  also  recalled pitcher  Phillippe  Aumont  from Triple-A  Lehigh
 Valley  after  Tuesday's 14-inning  loss to  the Giants. Aumont  is 0-1 in two
 games  for the Phils this season. He has allowed two hits -- both home runs --
 and four runs in 1 2/3 innings.
 To  make room for Ruiz and Aumont on the roster, the Phillies optioned catcher
 Cameron  Rupp  to  Lehigh  Valley  and designated  pitcher  Jeff  Manship  for
              === Nats recall Walters to fill Zimmerman's spot ===
 Denver,  CO  (  -  The  Washington  Nationals  placed  third
 baseman  Ryan Zimmerman  on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and recalled
 infielder Zach Walters from Triple-A Syracuse.
 Zimmerman, 29, heads to the DL for the second time this season, this time with
 a  right hamstring  strain. He was hitting .362 with a .418 on-base percentage
 in the month of July.
 Walters  hit just .182 with three of his six hits being home runs during a 27-
 game  major-league stint  from April 13-May 27. He has collected 15 homers and
 48 RBI with a .300 average in 60 games for Syracuse.
                  === Pirates place Marte on concussion DL ===
 Pittsburgh, PA (  - The Pittsburgh Pirates placed outfielder
 Starling Marte on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Wednesday.
 Marte  left  Friday's game against  the Rockies  after taking an Adam Ottavino
 fastball  off his  helmet. He  played in  Monday's series  opener against  the
 Dodgers, but was absent from Pittsburgh's lineup on Tuesday.
 The  25-year-old is hitting  .255 with five home runs and 34 RBI over 86 games
 this season, his third with the Pirates.
 Pittsburgh also recalled infielder Brent Morel from Triple-A Indianapolis.
            === Indians send House to Columbus, bring up Ramirez ===
 Minneapolis,  MN (  -  The Cleveland  Indians have  optioned
 pitcher  T.J.  House to Triple-A  Columbus and recalled infielder Jose Ramirez
 from the minor league club.
 House  pitched five  innings in  Monday's 4-3  loss to  Minnesota and  did not
 factor  into the decision  after yielding three runs on six hits. The lefty is
 1-2  with a 4.50 ERA in 10 games, all but one as a starter, for the Tribe this
 Ramirez will join the Indians for the second time this season. He was 2-for-25
 with  an RBI in 11 games during May. In 60 games for Columbus, the 21-year-old
 Dominican  native  was batting .302  with 15 doubles,  five homers and 29 runs
 batted in.
                    === Cards activate Siegrist from DL ===
 St.  Louis,  MO (  - The St.  Louis Cardinals have activated
 pitcher Kevin Siegrist off the 15-day disabled list.
 Siegrist  had been  sidelined since late May because of a left forearm strain.
 He  recently  worked 4  2/3 scoreless  innings over  five appearances during a
 rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield.
 The  lefty  was 1-1 with  a 3.60 ERA  and 27 strikeouts  over 20 innings in 23
 games for the Cardinals this season prior to his DL stint.
 St. Louis optioned pitcher Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis to open a roster
 spot  for  Siegrist. Greenwood  was 1-1  with 4.74  ERA in  nine games for the
 Cardinals  since  his recall last  month, including two perfect innings during
 Tuesday's loss to Tampa Bay.
                         === Angels put Green on DL ===
 Anaheim,  CA (  - The  Los  Angeles Angels  of Anaheim  have
 placed  infielder Grant  Green on the 15-day disabled list because of a lumbar
 Green  tallied his first career walk-off hit in the ninth inning on Sunday, as
 his  single  drove in Josh  Hamilton for a 6-5  win over the Seattle Mariners.
 Green made his first career start at shortstop Sunday.
 Green been called up three times by the Angels from the minors this season. In
 31 contests, he's hitting .313 with a homer and nine RBI.
 The  Angels replaced  Green on the roster by recalling first baseman C.J. Cron
 from Triple-A Salt Lake.
           === Padres' Maybin suspended 25 games for amphetamine ===
 New  York, NY ( - San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin
 was  suspended 25 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for an
 amphetamine  he  says he  was taking to  treat attention deficit hyperactivity
 The suspension, announced Wednesday, is effective immediately.
 Maybin is eligible to return to the active roster on Aug. 20.
 In  a  statement issued by the  Major League Baseball Players Association, the
 outfielder  said he's  been receiving treatment for ADHD for several years and
 previously had a therapeutic use exemption.
 "Unfortunately,  in  my attempts  to switch  back to a  medicine that had been
 previously  OK'd, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested
 positive," Maybin said.
 "I  want to  assure  everyone that  this  was  a genuine  effort  to treat  my
 condition  and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball
 career.  I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I
 will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension.
 "I  apologize  to my family,  friends, fans,  teammates, and the entire Padres
 organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the
 success of my club."
 Maybin,  27, is batting  .247 with a .286 on-base percentage, one home run and
 nine RBI in 62 games for the Padres this season. The eight-year MLB veteran is
 a career .248 hitter.
 "Cameron  has accepted full responsibility for his violation and apologized to
 his teammates and coaches," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We are all looking
 forward to his return."
                     === Astros place OF Springer on DL ===
 Oakland,   CA  (   -  The   Houston  Astros   placed  rookie
 outfielder  George  Springer on the 15-day  disabled list with a strained left
 quad on Wednesday.
 Springer  last played  on Saturday and has  missed the last two games with the
 quad injury and right knee discomfort.
 The  24-year-old, who was selected 11th overall by Houston in the 2011 amateur
 draft, has hit .231 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI.
 Springer  ranks second in both home runs and RBI among rookies, trailing White
 Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in both categories.
 Houston  recalled infielder Marc Krauss from Triple-A Oklahoma for Wednesday's
 game against Oakland.
 Krauss has hit .173 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 39 games this season for
 the Astros.
                      === Cubs option Olt, recall Wada ===
 Chicago,  IL  (  -  The  Chicago  Cubs  optioned  struggling
 infielder  Mike Olt to Triple-A Iowa and recalled left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi
 Wada from Triple-A on Wednesday.
 The  25-year-old Olt, who  was acquired in the Matt Garza deal from Texas last
 July,  had  been on the big  league club since  Opening Day, but hit just .139
 with 12 homers and 30 RBI.
 The  33-year-old Wada  will start  for the  Cubs Wednesday  night against  San
           === Felton sentenced to community service in gun case ===
 New  York, NY  ( - Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton was
 sentenced  to community service after pleading guilty to a gun charge in a New
 York court on Wednesday.
 Felton  will perform 500 hours of community service and was also issued a fine
 of $5,000 after his guilty plea, which stemmed from a February arrest while he
 played for the New York Knicks.
 The  Mavericks acquired  Felton in a trade  with New York last month. Just two
 days  before  the deal,  Felton reached  a plea  agreement with prosecutors to
 avoid  jail time. He will be able to perform his community service outside the
 state of New York.
 Felton,  then playing  for the  Knicks, turned  himself in  to authorities  in
 February,  hours after  a game  against the  Mavericks, and  was charged  with
 felony  possession of  a firearm.  New York  has strict  gun possession  laws,
 which normally carry automatic jail sentences.
 Reports  in  February had  indicated  that  Felton's  estranged wife  and  her
 attorney brought the gun to police. The two were in the middle of a divorce.
 There  was  speculation at the time  that Felton had threatened the woman with
 the weapon, but that was never established.
 Felton  averaged  a career-low 9.7 points  and 5.6 assists for the Knicks last
           === Lewis needs knee surgery, contract with Mavs void ===
 Dallas, TX ( - The Dallas Mavericks have voided the contract
 of forward Rashard Lewis.
 Lewis  had agreed to terms on a veteran minimum contract with the Mavs on July
 19, but a recent physical revealed a knee injury that will require surgery.
 "It came to our attention during Rashard Lewis' physical that he is in need of
 a  medical procedure  on his  right knee,"  Mavericks president  of basketball
 operations Donnie Nelson said. "We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery
 and continued success in his remarkable career."
 Lewis  appeared  in 60  games with  the Miami Heat  last season, averaging 4.5
 points in just over 16 minutes of action.
 Over  his 16-year  career, Lewis has averages of 14.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.
 He is 45.2 percent career shooter, hitting 38.6 percent of his 3-pointers.
                     === Timberwolves re-sign F Hummel ===
 Minneapolis,  MN (  - The  Minnesota Timberwolves  re-signed
 forward Robbie Hummel on Wednesday.
 Hummel,  25, played in  53 games as a rookie last season, averaging 3.4 points
 and 2.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game.
 The  Purdue  product was  selected 58th  overall by Minnesota  in the 2012 NBA
 Draft  and spent  the 2012-13 season with Obradoiro CAB in the Spanish League,
 where he averaged 10.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games.
                       === Nets sign Brown, Jefferson ===
 Brooklyn,  NY  ( - The  Brooklyn Nets  signed a pair of 2014
 draft picks Wednesday, inking guard Markel Brown and forward Cory Jefferson to
 multi-year contracts.
 Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
 Brown,  the  44th overall  pick in the  2014 NBA Draft,  was acquired from the
 Minnesota  Timberwolves on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. He
 completed  his senior  season at  Oklahoma State,  averaging 17.2  points, 5.3
 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
 Jefferson,  the 60th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was acquired from the
 Philadelphia  76ers on draft night in exchange for cash considerations. During
 his final season at Baylor, he averaged 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds.
                        === Hornets sign PG Roberts ===
 Charlotte,  NC  ( - The Charlotte Hornets signed point guard
 Brian Roberts on Wednesday.
 Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 "Brian  is a quality  point guard who we believe will play a key role for us,"
 Hornets  general manager Rich Cho said. "We look forward to having him as part
 of our team."
 In 72 games last season, including 42 starts, Roberts averaged 9.4 points, 3.3
 assists  and  1.9 rebounds.  He spent  the last two  seasons with New Orleans,
 averaging 8.2 points, 3.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 150 games.
           === Pospisil into Atlanta QFs, Istomin, Querrey ousted ===
 Johns  Creek,  Georgia  (  -  Fourth-seeded  Canadian  Vasek
 Pospisil  won  his match at the  Atlanta Open tennis event, but seeded players
 Denis Istomin and Sam Querrey were ousted from the tournament.
 Pospisil  eased past Ukrainian qualifier Illya Marchenko 7-5, 6-3 to reach the
 It's been a big turnaround for Pospisil of late. He sustained a back injury at
 the  Australian Open  in the early part  of the season, and then from February
 through  May  failed to  win a  match in eight  tries. He  has now reached the
 quarterfinals  in three  of his last four  events and has a doubles crown at a
 Grand Slam to boot, teaming with American Jack Sock to capture Wimbledon.
 Slovakia's  Lukas Lacko  dismissed Istomin,  the sixth  seed from  Uzbekistan,
 5-7,  6-1,  6-4; while  Israeli Dudi  Sela took out  the ninth seeded American
 Querrey, 6-2, 6-4.
 Sock  secured a  berth in  the quarterfinals  by dismissing  qualifier Michael
 Venus  of  New Zealand 6-4,  6-2 in 67  minutes in second-round action. Sock's
 next opponent is Lacko, while Sela plays Pospisil.
 The  first  round concluded when  seventh-seeded Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu tackled
 American lucky loser Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-4 at this hardcourt tournament.
 The  top seed  this week  is 6-foot-10  American, reigning  champion and  two-
 time runner-up  John Isner,  who beat 6-foot-8 South African Kevin Anderson in
 last  year's  all-tall Atlanta  finale. Isner  will open  up against wild card
 compatriot  and  Georgia resident  Robby Ginepri, while  Anderson will take on
 Dutch lucky loser Thiemo de Bakker on Thursday.
 The 2014 Atlanta champ will claim $103,000.
                === Robredo, Cilic roll into Umag quarters ===
 Umag,  Croatia  (  -  Reigning champion  Tommy  Robredo  and
 Croatian  crowd favorite  Marin  Cilic  eased into  the  quarterfinals at  the
 Croatia Open tennis event on Wednesday.
 The  second-seeded  Robredo handled  fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4,
 6-4,  while the  third-seeded  2012  Umag champion  and  2011 runner-up  Cilic
 humbled Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-5, 6-3 on the red clay at ITC Stella Maris.
 "It  is good  that I won in  two sets, conditions here are tough with humidity
 and heat," Cilic said. "I have adjusted well to the conditions, but winning as
 fast as possible is always recommended."
 Up  next for the former world No. 5 Robredo will be another fellow countryman,
 Pablo  Carreno  Busta, while  the one-time  world No. 9  Cilic will meet Czech
 slugger Lukas Rosol.
 Also  in the  second round, a fifth-seeded Rosol doused Spaniard Pere Riba 7-6
 (7-4),  6-1  and  Carreno  Busta  moved on  via  walkover  when  eighth-seeded
 Argentine Carlos Berlocq pulled out of the draw.
 On  Thursday, top-seeded  Italian star Fabio Fognini will face Spaniard Albert
 Montanes in the round of 16. Fognini was last year's runner-up to  Robredo.
 The 2014 Croatia Open titlist will collect $105,000.
          === Granollers into quarters; Garcia-Lopez exits Gstaad ===
 Gstaad,  Switzerland  ( -  Former champion Marcel Granollers
 cruised   into   the  quarterfinals,  while  two  seeds,  including  Guillermo
 Garcia-Lopez,  came up  second-round losers Wednesday at the Swiss Open tennis
 The second-seeded Spaniard Granollers grounded Swiss wild card Yann Marti 6-1,
 6-4. The 2011 champ will next face fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Friday.
 Former  top-10 Argentine  Juan  Monaco upended  the third-seeded  Garcia-Lopez
 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 and is now 6-2 lifetime against the Spaniard, while another mild
 upset  came when  Brazilian Thomaz  Bellucci drove  out fellow  South American
 Federico  Delbonis of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 on the red clay at Roy Emerson Arena.
 Bellucci  was  the Gstaad champion  in 2009  and 2012 and  is now 12-2 at this
 Bellucci and Monaco will square off in the quarters.
 Another  second-round  result saw Andujar  level Slovenian Blaz Rola 6-3, 6-3,
 while  one  final first-round affair  saw Swiss  wild card Henri Laaksonen get
 past  French  qualifier Gianni Mina  7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3)  in a match that was
 suspended on Tuesday.
 On  Thursday, top-seeded Russian veteran and reigning champion Mikhail Youzhny
 will  open his  week  with a  second-round match  against  Frenchman Kenny  De
 Schepper.  Youzhny  titled  here  last  year  with  a  victory  over  Dutchman
 Robin Haase in the final.
 The 2014 Swiss Open champ will earn $105,000.
                      === Jovanovski reaches Baku QFs ===
 Baku,  Azerbaijan  ( -  Fifth seed  and 2012 champion Bojana
 Jovanovski  was  an easy second-round winner  Wednesday at the Baku Cup tennis
 The  Serb subdued  Poland's Katarzyna Piter 6-3, 6-1 on the hardcourts at Baku
 Tennis Academy.
 Jovanovski's  quarterfinal opponent  on Friday will be Japanese qualifier Misa
 A  mild  Day 3 upset  came when  France's Pauline Parmentier dismissed eighth-
 seeded Slovak Jana Cepelova, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Parmentier will now appear in her
 first quarterfinal since 2012.
 Some  other second-round  action  saw  Israeli veteran  and  last year's  Baku
 runner-up  Shahar  Peer overtake Serbian  qualifier Vesna Dolonc 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
 and  Eguchi drill  Pole Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-1. The 183rd-ranked Eguchi is
 playing in her first-ever main draw on the WTA.
 Top  seeds  Sorana Cirstea, of Romania,  and Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, will
 see second-round action on Thursday.
 Svitolina  won her  first WTA  title  at this  event last  year, beating  Peer
 in the final.
 The 2014 Baku champ will claim $43,000.
                 === Nibali increases Tour lead in Stage 17 ===
 Saint-Lary  Pla d'Adet,  France ( - Vincenzo Nibali of Italy
 increased  his overall  lead at the Tour  de France on Wednesday with a strong
 third-place finish in Stage 17.
 Poland's  Rafal Majka  won the  stage,  a short  and grueling  124.5-kilometer
 mountain trek through the Pyrenees, finishing atop the Pla d'Adet in a time of
 3 hours,  35 minutes and 23 seconds. It  was his second  stage win of the 2014
 Tour, as he captured Stage 14 last week in the Alps.
 Italy's  Giovanni Visconti was 29 seconds behind in second place, while Nibali
 made  a  move to distance himself  from his nearest competitors in the overall
 classification  with an  attack near  the conclusion  on the  highest category
 climb. He finished third for the stage -- 46 seconds behind the winner.
 Nibali started the day 4 minutes and 37 seconds in front of Alejandro Valverde
 and  now owns  an advantage  of 5:26  over the  Spaniard, who  was another  49
 seconds behind the winner in 10th on Wednesday.
 "I've  got a nice lead, but considering (Thursday's) stage to Hautacam and the
 time  trial,  I preferred to go  and gain a few  more seconds and be even more
 serene, just in case something would happen," Nibali said about why he decided
 to attack rather than remain with the other top riders.
 Frenchmen  Thibaut Pinot,  Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet occupy the
 next  three  places. Pinot, who  was 11th on  Wednesday, is six minutes behind
 Nibali,  while  Peraud finished  alongside  Nibali  on Wednesday  and  remains
 another  eight seconds  behind. Bardet is 7:34 off the pace after placing 12th
 on Wednesday.
 American  Tejay Van  Garderen is still sixth overall after finishing alongside
 Pino and Bardet on Wednesday.
 A trio of Category 1 climbs preceded the highest category finish on Wednesday,
 the shortest non-time trial stage of the 2014 Tour.
 Heading  up  the final  ascent of  the Pla d'Adet  were four riders, including
 Visconti,  who left  the group  with about  nine kilometers  remaining. Majka,
 though, caught him with four kilometers left and the two stayed together until
 the  Polish rider  took off  with about  2 1/2  kilometers to  go and  was not
 "I'm just so happy about this result and the results that we have accomplished
 in  the last couple of days," said Majka, who owns the polka dot jersey as the
 leader in the mountains classification.
 Nibali  had the yellow  jersey group a few minutes behind the lead pack at the
 start  of the final  ascent, but Peraud pulled away and only the yellow jersey
 was  able to keep  up, leaving Valverde with a struggle to maintain his second
 overall position.
 "I  was  able to  recover my  rhythm and to  limit the  damage with Nibali and
 Peraud,"  said Valverde.  "It's true  that I  have close  rivals in  Pinot and
 Peraud,  but Peraud is  the one I fear the most because he's very good in time
 Stage  18 on Thursday  is the last of three days in the Pyrenees and the 145.5
 kilometers from Pau to Hautacam features two climbs of the highest category --
 the first up the Col du Tourmalet before a finish at the top of the Hautacam.
               === Mountaineers, Wolfpack to play in 2018-19 ===
 Morgantown,  WV  ( - West  Virginia and North Carolina State
 made  a joint announcement Wednesday of a home-and-home series between the two
 programs scheduled during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
 "I am excited about this series, because it gives our football program and our
 fans  an outstanding  home-and-home series  with a  team from  the ACC,"  West
 Virginia  director  of athletics  Oliver Luck  said. "WVU has  a lot of alumni
 living  in North  Carolina, especially in the triangle region, so it gives our
 fans  a game that  is close. We have had competitive games over the years with
 NC State, and this is a chance to restart the series."
 The  series will kick off with a game at Carter-Finley Stadium, then switch to
 Mountaineer Field the next year.
 The  schools  have met 10  times previously, with  each winning five times. NC
 State  --  under the guidance  of current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell
 Wilson  --  came away with a  23-7 victory in  the last meeting, in the Champs
 Sports Bowl on Dec. 28, 2010.
                  === Tonalist headlines Jim Dandy Stakes ===
 Saratoga Springs, NY ( - Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist tops
 a  field of  seven 3-year-olds  for Saturday's  $600,000 Jim  Dandy Stakes  at
 Saratoga  Race Course.  The 1 1/8-mile stakes  is the final local prep for the
 $1 million Travers on August 23.
 Trained  by Christophe Clement for Robert Evans, Tonalist will again be ridden
 by Joel Rosario and break from post 4.
 "We  have  him in  the Jim  Dandy, but  we also  want him  to make the Travers
 afterwards,  so we're  just trying to keep  a little bit of room to work after
 the Jim Dandy," Clement said during a conference call on Tuesday.
 The  colt won  the Belmont Stakes at  odds of 9-1 versus 10 other 3-year-olds,
 including  Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome. He came away
 with a head victory in the final jewel of racing's Triple Crown
 "He  gives you the  feeling he tries very hard to the end," Clement added. "Is
 it  because he  tries hard or is it  because he's got the will to win. I'm not
 exactly  sure. But, yes, he always seems to be doing his best from the quarter
 pole to the wire."
 With three wins from five career starts, Tonalist has banked $957,000.
 Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve, trained by Dallas Stewart, has been
 entered  after originally being slated for Friday's Curlin Stakes at Saratoga.
 Owned  by West  Point Thoroughbreds,  the  colt has  drawn post  6 with  Shaun
 Bridgmohan set to ride.
 "He  really  likes this track. I  thought he liked  it a lot as a 2-year-old,"
 Stewart  said. "He  was training here. He  ran here one time, but it was muddy
 and  it just didn't work out good. But he trains very well on it and he worked
 Commanding  Curve is  coming off  a  disappointing ninth-place  finish in  the
 Belmont  Stakes and  is still seeking his second career win. Earlier this year
 he  was sixth  at Fair  Grounds in  the  Risen Star  Stakes and  third in  the
 Louisiana  Derby. He rallied to get second behind California Chrome in the Run
 for the Roses as a 37-1 longshot.
 The colt has earned $542,434 in eight starts.
 Wood  Memorial winner  Wicked  Strong will  start from  the  outside post  for
 trainer Jimmy Jerkens, with regular jockey Rajiv Maragh in the saddle.
 Owned  by Centennial  Farms, Wicked Strong posted fourth-place results in both
 the  Kentucky Derby  and Belmont Stakes (dead-heating with California Chrome).
 The colt will be wearing blinkers for the first time Saturday.
 "I  really  feel he  didn't give  us his  best (fourth  in the Belmont)," said
 Jerkens.  "He's  run very well, but  he needs to  run a little better. If (the
 blinkers)  make  a little bit  of a  difference, it's worth  a try. I like his
 reaction to the blinkers. I think they kept him a little straighter, more into
 the bridle the whole way."
 Wicked Strong has two wins from eight starts for $884,610.
 Here  is the complete field for the Jim Dandy: Cousin Stephen, John Velazquez;
 Legend,  Luis  Saez; Ulanbator,  Julien Leparoux;  Tonalist, Joel Rosario; Kid
 Cruz,  Irad  Ortiz Jr.; Commanding  Curve, Shaun Bridgmohan and Wicked Strong,
 Rajiv Maragh.
 Post time for the Jim Dandy will be approximately 6:01 p.m. ET.
          === San Diego Handicap draws field of 11 thoroughbreds ===
 Del  Mar, CA  ( -  Imperative,  winner of  the Charles  Town
 Classic,  headlines a  field of 11 evenly matched  thoroughbreds for the  73rd
 running of the $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday.
 The  1 1/16-mile  stakes is a prep  for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug.
 Trained  by George  Papaprodromou, Imperative will start from post 2 with Kent
 Desormeaux  again  in the saddle. The  veteran jockey will be making his fifth
 consecutive appearance aboard the 4-year-old gelding.
 Imperative,  owned by KM Racing Enterprise, is coming off a third place finish
 behind  Majestic Harbor in  the Gold Cup at Santa Anita four weeks ago. The 4-
 year-old  son  of Bernardini  defeated Game  On Dude  by 1  1/2 lengths in the
 $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on April 19.
 Earlier  this year he was second to Blingo in Santa Anita's San Antonio Stakes
 and  seventh in the  Santa Anita Handicap behind Game On Dude. The gelding has
 banked  $1,194,620 with three wins, four seconds and two thirds from 16 career
 Dance With Fate is the only 3-year-old in the field and will break from post 6
 with Corey Nakatani on board.
 Trained  by Peter Eurton, Dance With Fate will be making his first start since
 finishing  sixth  in the Kentucky Derby  to California Chrome. He won the Blue
 Grass Stakes after getting second in Golden Gate Field's El Camino Real Derby.
 As  a  2-year-old he  posted seconds  in the Del  Mar Futurity and FrontRunner
 Stakes,  and was eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Dance With Fate has won
 three of nine lifetime starts for $680,050.
 Here  is the  field for  the  San Diego  from  the rail  out: Battier,  Victor
 Espinoza;  Imperative, Kent Desormeaux; Frac Daddy, Joe Talamo; Soi Phet, Mike
 Smith;  You  Know I  Know, Edwin  Maldonado; Dance  With Fate, Corey Nakatani;
 Honduran,  Drayden Van Dyke; Summer Hit, Rafael Bejarano; Handsome Mike, Mario
 Gutierrez; Footbridge, Tyler Baze and Fed Biz, Martin Garcia.
 Post time will be approximately 8:30 p.m. ET for the San Diego.
                        === Stars G Hammon to retire ===
 San  Antonio,  TX (  - San Antonio  Stars guard Becky Hammon
 announced  she will  retire at the conclusion  of this season, her 16th in the
 The  37-year-old  Hammon, a  six-time WNBA All-Star,  holds career averages of
 13.1 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds over 440 games.
 This  is her eighth season with the Stars. She has averaged 8.1 points and 4.1
 assists this season.
 "Becky  Hammon has made a lasting mark on the San Antonio Stars and the WNBA,"
 Stars general manager and coach Dan Hughes said. "She has worked tirelessly to
 become  the  best she  could be on  and off  the floor. She  has inspired in a
 wonderful  way. The beauty of her game has been an amazing thing to have had a
 front row seat for."
 Hammon  was acquired from  the New York Liberty in a draft-night deal in 2007.
 She has made the playoffs 12 times in her career.
 In  league history, Hammon ranks seventh in total points (5,756), second in 3-
 point field goals made (817), fourth in assists (1,663), sixth in games played
 (440), and first in free-throw percentage (89.6, min. 300 attempts).
           === Horsfield, Crocker advance at U.S. Junior Amateur ===
 The Woodlands, TX ( - Stroke play co-medalists Sam Horsfield
 and  Sean Crocker both moved on to the second round of the U.S. Junior Amateur
 Championship as they won their opening matches on Wednesday.
 Horsfield rolled to a 5 & 4 win over David Laskin. Horsfield won the first two
 holes  on the  Nicklaus Course at The  Club at Carlton Woods with pars. Laskin
 birdied the fifth to get within 1-down.
 However, Horsfield won three of four holes from the seventh, two with birdies,
 to  push  his lead to 4-up.  After a pair of  pars, Laskin bogeyed the 13th to
 fall 5-down and when they halved the 14th with pars, Horsfield was the winner.
 Crocker  rallied  from a late  2-down deficit to  beat Dylan McCabe, 1-up. The
 pair  split six of  the first seven holes with Crocker going 1-up three times,
 then McCabe answering to square the match.
 Crocker  took the eighth  and ninth to go 2-up, but McCabe won four holes in a
 row  from the  11th to move 2-up. Crocker  won the 16th with a bogey, then was
 conceded  the  17th to  square things  up. A par  at the  18th was all Crocker
 needed to move on.
 Both Laskin and McCabe made it through a 9-for-5 playoff to get into the match
 play  portion. Justin Conant, Josh McCarthy and Priyanshu Singh were the other
 three that moved on in the playoff.
 Conant  lost 3 & 2 to Will Grimmer, while McCarthy ousted Dominic Foos, 2 & 1,
 and Singh dropped a 4 & 2 decision to Davis Riley.
 Joshua  Sedeno and  Doc Redman both moved  on with 1-up wins in 20-holes. They
 were the only two that needed more than 18 holes to move on.
 William Zalatoris and Braden Thornberry cruised to big 6 & 5 wins, while David
 Snyder earned an easy 6 & 4 victory.
 The  match  play portion  of the  championship continues  on Thursday and runs
 through the 36-hole final on Saturday.
            === Medalist Yin moves on Girls' Junior Championship ===
 Flagstaff,  AZ ( - Stroke-play medalist Angel Yin cruised to
 a  4  & 2 win on  Wednesday and she  moved on to  the second round of the U.S.
 Girls' Junior Championship.
 Yin,  who  had the second-lowest 36-hole  score in U.S. Girls' Junior history,
 took down Julie Luo in their first-round match. The pair traded wins the first
 four holes before Luo won the fifth with a par to go 1-up.
 Yin  poured  in four  consecutive birdies  from the seventh  to move 3-up. Luo
 claimed  12 and 13 to get back within 1-down. Yin answered with three straight
 wins  from  the 14th  to close  out the match  on the  Meadow Course at Forest
 Highlands Golf Club.
 Princess  Mary  Superal rolled to a  dominating 8 &  7 win over Maria Davis on
 Wednesday,  while Kristen  Gillman  and  Samantha Wagner  earned  easy  7 &  5
 victories. Clare Amelia Legaspi rolled to a 7 & 6 win to advance.
 Sofia  Chabon  took down Hannah  O'Sullivan in 21  holes. That was the longest
 match  of the day. Yealimi Noh and Anna Zhou needed 20 holes to advance, while
 Monica  Dibildox, Shannon  Brooks, Gigi Stoll and Yuka Saso all picked up 1-up
 wins in 19 holes.
 Andrea Lee beat Chakansim Khamborn, 4 & 3. Along the way, Lee had holed a rare
 double-eagle on the par-5 fifth en route to her win.
 The championship will conclude with a 36-hole final on Saturday.
 07/23 23:49:13 ET

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