James still undecided
UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James is likely to anger one set of fans, and send a second into wild celebration if and when he makes his choice of staying in Miami or returning to Cleveland.
In the four years since leaving his northeast Ohio home, the four-time NBA MVP became a key cog in the "Big 3" with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Now the question is: Does he wants to stay in South Beach with the Heat or head back to the Cavaliers, whose owner and fans scorned his 2010 decision?
James, who is said to have flown from Las Vegas to Miami, is expected soon in Brazil for a long-planned trip to the World Cup finals. It's still not clear when any announcement will be made by James.
UNDATED (AP) — There's only one afternoon game on the schedule as the Atlanta Braves travel to Chicago to face the Cubs in the first game of a three-game series before the Major League Baseball All-Star break. Alex Wood will be on the mound for the Braves, while the Cubs counter with Jake Arrieta.
In other games in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Cardinals are coming off a 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh while the Brewers lost by the same score to the Phillies. The Washington Nationals are in Philadelphia to play the Phillies, who have won four straight. The Miami Marlins are in New York to play the Mets, while the Cincinnati Reds open a series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The L.A. Dodgers host San Diego and Arizona visits San Francisco.
In the American League, the Chicago white Sox are on the road against the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees, after losing 9-3 to the Indians, travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles, who hold a three-game lead in the AL East.
The Blue Jays visit the Tampa Bay Rays, the L.A. Angels continue their series in Texas against the Rangers, Houston hosts the Boston Red Sox, the Royals face Detroit in Kansas City and Oakland is at Seattle.
In inner-league play, the Minnesota Twins are in Denver to take on the Colorado Rockies.
Cards lose Molina...Yanks' Tanaka has partially torn elbow ligament
UNDATED (AP) — Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina (YAH'-dee-ehr Moh-LEE'-nuh) will undergo surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. The injury will force him to miss between eight and 12 weeks. Molina was injured Wednesday when he planted his hand for balance after sliding feet-first into third base.
Elsewhere around the majors:
— Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, and the New York Yankees are hoping their rookie sensation will be able to pitch again this season. Yanks GM Brian Cashman says Tanaka could return in six weeks, but didn't rule out the possibility of Tommy John surgery if the right-hander doesn't respond to a rehab program.
— Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo were voted by fans onto the rosters for Tuesday's All-Star game. In another change, Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (EYE'-bar) will replace Kansas City outfielder Alex Gordon, who has a sprained wrist.
— Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is expected to miss six weeks after he has surgery today to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb suffered Wednesday night.
— The New York Yankees have placed outfielder Carlos Beltran on the seven-day concussion list. He was hit in the face with a ball during batting practice Wednesday.
— The Royals placed left-hander Jason Vargas on the disabled list a day after he underwent an appendectomy.
— Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain.
Irving lands new deal with Cavs
UNDATED (AP) — As they work on trying to entice LeBron James back to Cleveland, the Cavaliers have wrapped up the services of All-Star guard Kyrie (KY'-ree) Irving for another five years. The deal is worth $90 million. Irving averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds a game in 71 games last season. The former No. 1 overall pick was also voted MVP of the NBA's All-Star game.
In other NBA signings:
—The Toronto Raptors have re-signed guard Kyle Lowry to a multiyear contract. Lowry posted career highs with 17.9 points and 7.4 assists per game in helping the Raptors to a club-record 48 victories and their second Atlantic Division championship.
— Center Marcin Gortat (MAHR'-chin GOHR'-taht) has signed his five-year, $60 million contract to remain with the Washington Wizards. He averaged 13.2 points and a team-leading 9.5 rebounds after he was acquired in a preseason trade with the Phoenix Suns.
— Free agent center Chris Kaman has signed a two-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers that is reportedly worth $9.8 million. The burly 7-footer has averaged 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over an 11-year NBA career.
— The Phoenix Suns have reached an agreement with forward P.J. Tucker on a three-year contract worth $16.5 million with the third year only partially guaranteed. Tucker was the Suns' top defender in their turnaround season last year.
— Staying home was important to Jordan Farmar, so he moved from the Lakers to the Clippers as the backup to Chris Paul. He officially signed a two-year contract worth a reported $4.2 million.
Blue Jackets star extends contract
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Brandon Dubinsky to a six-year contract extension worth a reported $35.1 million through the 2020-21 season.
The 28-year-old Dubinsky has scored 18 goals with 52 assists with a +7 plus/minus rating in 105 games the past two seasons. He was at his best in last season's six-game playoff series with Pittsburgh, scoring a goal with five assists while frequently matched up against Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
The Columbus Dispatch reported details of the contract, worth $5.85 million per season.
LPGA-WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN
Wie falters in opening round
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — Ayako Uehara of Japan has the lead after the first round of the Women's British Open. Her 4-under 68 was one stroke better than Mo Martin at the start of today's second round.
U.S. Women's open champion Michelle Wie had a tough time with the high rough and pot bunkers on the Royal Birkdale course, shooting a 3-over 75.
Rose makes a move
ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) — Justin Rose fought off swirling winds and the effects of hay fever to shoot a 3-under 68 at the Scottish Open and make headway on the leaders midway through today's second round.
While playing partner Lee Westwood shot 73 to likely miss the cut at 3 over, Rose rolled in three birdies on the benign front nine and held on grimly coming back in to move to 5-under-par overall.
That put the 2013 U.S. Open champion two strokes behind overnight leader Rory McIlroy, who is among the afternoon starters at 7 under.
PGA-JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
Three-way tie at the top
SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — Zach Johnson, Rory Sabbatini and Brian Harman all shot an 8-under 63 to stake claim to the first round lead at the PGA's John Deere Classic. They lead Todd Hamilton, William McGirt and Steven Bowditch by one shot.
There's a little extra pressure this week. The top finisher not previously eligible for the British Open will earn a spot next week at Royal Liverpool for this year's Open, provided he's among the top five and ties.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Germany's Greipel wins stage
REIMS, France (AP) — Andre Greipel (greh-PEHL') of Germany has won the 120-mile, mostly flat sixth stage of the Tour de France as the pack entered Champagne country. Italy's Vincenzo Nibali has retained the yellow jersey.
Demolition plans in the works
HOUSTON (AP) — They say it's more a concept than a plan but the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo have developed a $66 million proposal to demolish the historic Astrodome and replace it with a green space and "Astrodome Hall of Fame."
The Texans and the rodeo propose to have the project completed in time for the 2017 Super Bowl at neighboring NRG Stadium, the NFL team's home venue.
But Leroy Shafer, chief operating officer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, told The Associated Press there is no timetable because the plan is not being placed before the Harris County commissioners for a decision on the county-owned stadium.