The Marlins, who plan to move into a baseball-only stadium in Miami next year, are closing the upper deck at Sun Life Stadium for all but two games the rest of 2011. The team, which ranks last in attendance in Major League Baseball at 17,101 per game, will open the seats for "Bark in the Park" night on Aug. 12, when fans can bring dogs to the game, and possibly for the Sept. 28 home finale.

Abby Wambach headed in a corner kick by Lauren Cheney in the 79th minute to break a 1-1 tie and lead the United States to a 3-1 victory over France Wednesday in the semifinals of the Women's World Cup in Moenchengladbach, Germany.

The United States returns to the World Cup final for the first time in 12 years, since the 1999 victory over China on penalty kicks.

Three minutes after Wambach's goal, Alex Morgan broke free and chipped a left-footed shot over sliding French goalie Berangere Sapowicz for a 3-1 lead.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who recently signed an endorsement deal with Nike, is on the verge of a three-year, $1.55 million contract with MusclePharm, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. Said MusclePharm director of team development Joseph Lawanson: "We don't have any problem considering him at all. And for us to consider him, we're confident that he has rehabilitated himself."

If you're under the age of, let's say 30, what you are about to read will literally make zero sense.

Ready for it?

There was a time when Chris Berman was a fresh, funny and very nearly revolutionary figure in television.



KIRK MINIHANE

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Ravens running back Ray Rice and Steelers safety Ryan Clark engaged in a Twitter back and forth Monday. Rice started the battle when he speculated that Steelers receiver Hines Ward will miss the teams' Week 1 game due to his weekend DUI arrest. After a couple of exchanges, it ended with Clark writing: Thought we were all better than that. Wouldnt speak negative of you. I'll find you! It's not hard. God bless.

On the same Sunday that oft-troubled Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated, former Bengals running back David "Deacon" Turner, 56, was shot and killed by police outside a convenience store in Bakersfield, Calif. Turner, who has had numerous run-ins with the law since leaving the NFL in 1980, allegedly attempted to flee an officer who had detained him while investigating a report of teenagers asking adults to purchase alcohol and cigarettes.

George Kimball, a Boston Herald sports columnist and boxing writer from 1980-2005, died Wednesday night at 67 after a six-year battle with cancer. Kimball was diagnosed in 2005, four months after retiring from the Herald. Kimball authored and edited several books about boxing, and he continued to contribute boxing articles to the Herald after his retirement.

ESPN NHL analyst and former player Matthew Barnaby was sentenced to 500 hours of community service and continued anger management counseling after an incident in May involving his estranged wife. Barnaby allegedly kicked and damaged the garage door in an attempt to get inside his former house, but he did not make contact with his estranged wife or her boyfriend inside. He agreed to reduced charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, charges that will be dismissed if Barnaby serves his sentence.

Let's be honest: Sportswise, this isn't shaping up to be the best summer ever. Maybe it's just the post-Stanley Cup hangover talking. Moving past the hockey season is proving to be one of those half-a-bottle-of-Bayer-plus-some-hair-of-the-dog brain killer.



JERRY THORNTON

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The latest major media outlet to question the NBA's accounting practices is The New York Times, which ran a piece Tuesday claiming the league is grossly exaggerating its losses — in fact, insisting that the league is "fundamentally a healthy and profitable business." Wednesday morning, the league fired back, claiming the numbers used in the report (which came from Forbes and Financial World estimates) "do not reflect reality" and detailing the alleged inaccuracies.