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08/24/2012 - 11:30am
Armstrong officially banned from cycling

As expected, cycling legend Lance Armstrong on Friday was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from the sport for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Although he continues to profess his innocence, Armstrong announced Thursday that he would no longer fight the charges. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said in a release Friday that Armstrong's decision to pass on arbitration requires an automatic lifetime ban and forfeiture of all results from Aug. 1, 1998. Armstrong won the Tour de France from 1999 through 2005.

According to Friday's USADA release

Numerous witnesses provided evidence to USADA based on personal knowledge acquired, either through direct observation of doping activity by Armstrong, or through Armstrong’s admissions of doping to them that Armstrong used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone...

08/24/2012 - 8:10am
Kurkjian: No 'fighting chance' for Valentine

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian joined Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Jon Meterparel on Friday morning to talk about the floundering Red Sox.

Manager Bobby Valentine has become a lightning rod for criticism since before the season even started. Kurkjian, who noted that he's biased in Valentine's favor because he worked with him for a number of years at ESPN, acknowledged that Valentine might not be back for a second season.

"I thought it was a really good hire when it happened, but the more I look at it, the more I think I'm not sure he ever had a fighting chance, with all the injuries, the coaching staff, a young general manager working with him for the first time. I always thought Bobby would be back next year, that this just wasn't a fair fight and he deserves another year to take a look at this. And the more I watch this team, the more I wonder if he's even going to get a second year, which I thought was inconceivable a few months...

08/24/2012 - 7:15am
Mashup: Clemens talks return to MLB

Roger Clemens is flirting with a comeback to MLB. He wants to postpone his Hall of Fame eligibility in order to create more time for his legacy to settle after the ignominious PED accusations made by his former trainer Brian McNamee. Everyone knows this. And it didn't take a great deal of reading in between the lines to figure it out. So, why is Clemens being so coy?

Via Don Burke of the New York Post:

“I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in,” Clemens said. “I wish I could worry about that and look that far ahead.

“It’s a lot of work to get back to where I was five years ago. ... We have some fun things planned. Maybe another surprise or two. We’ll wait and see what happens after Saturday.’’

The hope, from the perspective of Clemens and his supporters, appears to be that voters might have a different...

08/24/2012 - 12:13am
Bobby V on HR: 'No one' called for replay

Vernon Wells acknowledged after the Angels' 14-13 win in 10 innings that his key one-out ninth-inning homer off Alfredo Aceves wouldn't have counted had the Red Sox and manager Bobby Valentine challenged through instant replay. Valentine didn't challenge the home run that started a three-run rally that turned the Angels' two-run deficit into a one-run lead before Cody Ross homered in the bottom of the ninth.  

"I didn't see anybody thinking it was not a home run," Valentine said. "There wasn't anybody on the field that didn't think it was a home run, did they? That's the first I even heard of that. No one even came back with the replay. How does it bounce straight up like that if it's not a home run?"

Told that the ball hit the lip and remained in play, Valentine took a drink of water and shook his head in frustration. 

Said Wells: "When I hit it, I was just thinking it hit off the wall. Then I saw the way...

08/23/2012 - 11:57pm
Valentine: Leaving in Aceves 'wrong decision'

After his team's 14-13 loss to the Angels, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine talked about his decision to bring back Alredo Aceves for the 10th inning after the Sox closer had surrendered three runs while throwing 33 pitches in the ninth.

"It was basically the same thing [Angels manager Mike] Scioscia did," Valentine said. "He's a closer, he gives up a lead. Two left-handers in the bullpen and they had a right-handed lineup. Had three innings left, I didn't want to squeeze another inning out. It obviously was the wrong decision."

After the Red Sox had sent the game into extra innings courtesy a solo home run by Cody Ross in the home half of the ninth, Aceves lasted just four pitches in the 10th. The righty surrendered a leadoff home run to Kendrys Morales before Erick Aybar singled to right field.

Aceves, who was replaced by Craig Breslow, said the problem was a simple as missed fastball location.

"I'm not...

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