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The Bounce: After airborne car, NASCAR says safety is still adequate

<h4>One that got away </h4></p>
<p>The Florida Marlins' Cody Ross fails to catch a ball off the center field wall during Monday's game against the Mets in New York. David Wright stretched the hit into a triple.

<h4>One that got away </h4>

The Florida Marlins' Cody Ross fails to catch a ball off the center field wall during Monday's game against the Mets in New York. David Wright stretched the hit into a triple.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Despite injuries to fans from flying debris, NASCAR is satisfied with its safety standards, saying the fence at Talladega Superspeedway did what it was supposed to do – keep Carl Edwards’ car out of the grandstands.

In a spectacular last-lap accident, Edwards’ car sailed upside-down into the frontstretch fence, which bowed but held, before the battered vehicle returned to the track. Blake Bobbitt, one of seven injured by the debris, remained hospitalized Monday with a broken jaw.

“One of our primary goals over the years is to build a retaining fence that keeps the cars and parts and pieces out of the spectator areas. Nothing is bullet- proof,” NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Monday. “The retaining fence did what it’s supposed to do. There was some debris that went into the grandstand that fortunately did not (cause) serious injury. If there is something we come up with as we analyze this accident . . . we’ll make it as safe as we humanly can.”

Bonds welcomed in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds received a warm welcome from San Francisco Giants fans in his first appearance at AT&T Park this season.

Bonds sat between team CEO William Neukom and president Larry Baer in the front row next to the Giants’ dugout during Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Baseball’s career home run king with 762, Bonds appeared relaxed as he smiled and waved during a standing ovation following the first inning.

The team showed a compilation of his home runs on the scoreboard as a tribute. The longtime Giants slugger also popped into the team’s broadcast booth and provided some in-game commentary.

Bonds was at the ballpark on Aug. 9 last season when the Giants celebrated the 50th anniversary of their move from New York to San Francisco – also with the Dodgers in town.

Bonds hasn’t played in the majors since 2007. His perjury trial has been delayed at least through July and likely beyond, as an appeal filed by prosecutors over key evidence for the trial winds through the legal system.

The seven-time NL MVP has pleaded not guilty to lying to a grand jury in 2003 when he testified that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.

James’ stay over in Az?

The Cardinals drafted two running backs over the weekend, which is expected to lead to the release of running back Edgerrin James.

The Cardinals were holding on to James to make sure they were covered at running back. With selection of Chris “Beanie” Wells in the first round and LaRod Stephens-Howling in the seventh, the club now has five backs on the roster, excluding James.

James could be released before the team’s mandatory minicamp this weekend.

Stafford hits the big time

NEW YORK – Detroit Lions top pick Matthew Stafford appeared on Monday night’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” reading the Top Ten list.

The quarterback, who starred for three years at Georgia, was taken with the first pick by the Lions in the NFL draft Saturday. Stafford will try and help the Lions overcome the first 0-16 season in NFL history.

“If the Lions win one game this year, I’m a hero,” Stafford joked on the show.

Detroit desperately needed a quarterback to help turn around a team which has had the worst eight-year stretch in the league since World War II.

Rodman must pay $225,000

LAS VEGAS – A federal judge in Las Vegas has ordered former NBA star Dennis Rodman to pay a former casino employee $225,000 for grabbing and humiliating her at work in March 2006.

A lawyer for 28-year-old Sara Ure says Rodman never responded to the civil lawsuit filed against him in November 2007.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones entered a default judgment against Rodman on Monday.

Armstrong to miss event

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Lance Armstrong is going to miss this week’s Tour of the Gila cycling race in New Mexico. Organizers blame what they say is a rarely enforced International Cycling Federation rule.

Race director Jack Brennan says the UCI plans to enforce a rule that prohibits top-level professional teams from competing in national-level events such as the 23rd Tour of the Gila.

The decision means Armstrong, who had planned to enter, won’t participate. The race runs Wednesday through Sunday in Silver City.

China lands WGC event

SHANGHAI, China – The HSBC Champions in China has been elevated to a World Golf Championship this year with a new qualifying criteria and a $7 million purse, the highest ever for a golf tournament in Asia.

Tiger Woods already has said he will play, along with defending champion Sergio Garcia. The HSBC Champions began in 2005 and had been sanctioned by every major golf tour except the PGA Tour.

That changes with its designation as the fourth World Golf Championship, and the only one not staged in the United States.

Woods was runner-up his first two times playing the HSBC Champions, and will return for the Nov. 5-8 event.

“It is an event that symbolizes the amazing progress of golf in Asia, and its new World Golf Championships status underlines how firmly China has established its place on the global golf calendar,” Woods said. “I enjoy playing around the world when possible, and having a WGC event in China is very important to the global growth of the game.”

The world’s No. 1 player has won every WGC event at least once since the series began in 1999.

The HSBC Champions again will be played at Sheshan International Golf Club. It will not count as official money in the United States.

Cops subdue ex-NBA star

NEW YORK – Former NBA star Jayson Williams was zapped with a stun gun by police in his swank hotel suite Monday after the reportedly suicidal athlete resisted attempts by officers to take him to a hospital.

Police were called to the hotel in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood around 4 a.m. when a female friend reported the former New Jersey Nets player was acting suicidal.

When officers arrived, the 6-foot-10, 325-pound Williams appeared drunk and agitated, police said. There were empty bottles of prescription drugs strewn around his disheveled hotel suite and suicide notes.

The Bounce

<br />
<h4>QUOTABLE </h4>
<p>‘I don’t think I’ve ever had a team play defense like that. Defensively, when you play this well, offense just happens.’ </p>
<p>GEORGE KARL, </p>
<p>Denver coach, after Denver beat New Orleans 121-63 in an NBA playoff game Monday night” width=”448″ height=”640″ /><p class=


'I don't think I've ever had a team play defense like that. Defensively, when you play this well, offense just happens.'


Denver coach, after Denver beat New Orleans 121-63 in an NBA playoff game Monday night




Margin of victory for Denver Monday in the Nuggets’ 121-63 win over New Orleans in an NBA playoff game. It tied the mark for the widest margin in the postseason. Others:

58: Minneapolis 133, vs. St. Louis 75, March 19, 1956

56: L.A. Lakers 126, at Golden State 70, April 21, 1973

50: Milwaukee 136, vs. San Francisco 86, April 4, 1971



Praise for UA’s Roth, not so much for Britton

Re: UA softball player Laine Roth

• Congratulations on your four great years at Arizona and . . . for winning two national championships and counting. Keep your spirits up. CLAUDIA44

Re: Ex-Wildcat Eben Britton picked by Jacksonville

• Boo hoo. Enjoy your contract, you’ll get between $3-$5 million or so, better than everyone else that’s not a whiny, pampered athlete. TRODELPOST

Re: Britton says he’ll lead Jaguars to Super Bowl

• I guess just like he led Arizona to the Rose Bowl. ROBBOBOSO



1987: The NBA awards expansion franchises to Charlotte, N.C., and Miami for 1988, and Minneapolis and Orlando, Fla., for 1989.

1995: Michael Jordan, in his first playoff game since his return from retirement, scores 48 points and Chicago beats the Charlotte Hornets 108-100.

2007: JaMarcus Russell, the big-play quarterback from LSU, is the first pick by the Oakland Raiders in the NFL draft.

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