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In Brief

BASEBALL

McNamee’s estranged wife testifies in Clemens trial

Eileen McNamee presented herself as a soft-spoken first-grade schoolteacher who never nagged her now-estranged husband about Roger Clemens. She went on to contradict the government’s key witness many times – and even came up with a different brand of beer to associate with the crucial evidence in the perjury trial of the former pitcher.

On a day in which the judge lost his temper twice with Clemens’ lawyers, the defense turned Wednesday to the soon-to-be ex-wife of Brian McNamee. This was the woman who McNamee testified harangued him with the words “You’re going to go down! You’re going to go down! You’re going to go down!” – pestering him until he saved medical waste from an alleged steroids injection of Clemens so that he wouldn’t be the fall guy in any sort of drug investigation.

She says she never said anything of the sort. She said McNamee didn’t tell her back then that he was injecting Clemens, and that she wasn’t especially bothered by the extended time her husband spent away from home working with the seven-time Cy Young Award winner. Brian McNamee said the days apart had become a source of friction in the marriage.

“I probably complained once in a while,” Eileen McNamee said. “But I did not fuss about it.”

Clemens is charged with lying when he told Congress in 2008 that he never used steroids or human growth hormone. Brian McNamee is the only witness to claim firsthand knowledge of Clemens using those substances.

Also: Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected to start Saturday against the Washington Nationals, one day short of a year after he had reconstructive elbow surgery. Matsuzaka had Tommy John surgery last June 10. He made eight rehab starts and will replace right-hander Daniel Bard, sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday.

Roy Halladay is continuing his recovery from a shoulder injury as planned after a second opinion confirmed the original diagnosis for the Philadelphia Phillies ace right-hander. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is still expected to miss six to eight weeks because of a strained muscle on the right side of his back.

Philadelphia also activated Jim Thome from the disabled list. Thome, a member of the 600-homer club, had been sidelined with a lower back strain since April 29.

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said the blood clot in his right calf has cleared up and he will have surgery on his injured knee Tuesday. Baseball’s career saves leader was at Yankee Stadium before New York’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, walking without a limp despite having a torn anterior cruciate ligament and damaged meniscus. Rivera, 42, said he should be ready to play at the beginning of next season.

The Detroit Tigers put catcher Alex Avila on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.

The Baltimore Orioles signed 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer to a minor-league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk. The Colorado Rockies released Moyer at the end of last month, a month after he became the oldest pitcher to win as a starter.

A friend who witnessed a vicious attack on a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium testified in Los Angeles that he threw his body over his friend’s head to prevent further attacks by a raging assailant.

Corey Maciel, a fellow paramedic who came with victim Bryan Stow from Northern California to cheer for the Giants, testified at a preliminary hearing for two men charged with the attack. Stow has been permanently disabled with brain damage.

Defendants Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood showed no reaction to the testimony being heard by a judge to determine if there is sufficient evidence to order them to stand trial on mayhem and assault charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.

FOOTBALL

Jags wideout Blackmon apologizes for DUI charge

Sitting between new Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey and general manager Gene Smith, Jacksonville rookie receiver Justin Blackmon stared at the ground for much of an 18-minute news conference, looking every bit like a kid in trouble.

Blackmon apologized for his “poor judgment,” vowed to learn and grow from his latest alcohol-related arrest and insisted he doesn’t have a drinking problem. Nonetheless, he swore off alcohol for now.

The first-round draft pick was arrested during a traffic stop in Stillwater, Okla., early Sunday after a breath test allegedly showed his blood alcohol content to be three times the legal limit. He appeared in an Oklahoma courtroom Monday and pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. Blackmon was allowed to remain free on $1,000 bond. His next court date is July 24, three days before training camp.

Also: Tom Coughlin, at 65 the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl, will get at least three more shots at adding to his total after signing a two-year contract extension through the 2014 season with the New York Giants.

A jury dominated by people with Penn State loyalties was selected to decide Jerry Sandusky’s fate in the child sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university and led to football coach Joe Paterno’s downfall.

The seven women and five men who will hear opening statements on Monday include an engineering administrative assistant at Penn State, a dance teacher in the continuing education program and a professor who has been on the faculty for 24 years.

Others on the jury include: a Penn State senior; a retired soil sciences professor with 37 years at the university; a man with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the school; and a woman who has been a season ticketholder since the 1970s.

Sandusky, a 68-year-old former assistant football coach, is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year span.

MISCELLANEOUS

UNLV’s Zorich takes 13th in 800 at NCAA track meet

UNLV’s Brett Zorich finished 13th in the semifinals of the women’s 800-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Zorich fell short of advancing to the finals, but her time of 2 minutes, 4.54 seconds ranks No. 2 in school history.

UNLV hammer thrower Amanda Bingson, ranked No. 1 in the nation, will open her attempt at a nation title in qualifying today.

Also: Kyle Busch stayed out of trouble to win fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Tony Stewart’s dirt-track charity race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Wrecks reduced the 26-car field to 15 cars for the final 16 laps of the Prelude To The Dream on the half-mile oval owned by Stewart. Kasey Kahne was leading until he hit Bobby Labonte in Turn 3 after Labonte spun out. Busch was running second at the time and took advantage for his first Prelude victory after four top-five finishes. Stewart, the defending Sprint Cup champion, took second.

Twenty-six drivers, including 14 from the Sprint Cup series, competed in late-model stock cars in the 40-lap event.

Sammy Ventura of Syracuse, N.Y., remained in the lead after three rounds of the Professional Bowlers Association Senior U.S. Open at the Suncoast Bowling Center. Ventura had an 18-game pinfall total of 4,295, leading 55 players who advanced to today’s final qualifying round. Two-time event champion Wayne Webb of Columbus, Ohio, was in second at 4,271.

Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight contender Brian Stann suffered an injury and will be forced out of a fight against Hector Lombard that was supposed to serve as the main event on the UFC on Fox 4 card on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles, according to several reports.

The organization has yet to confirm the development.

BJ Penn has apparently decided to end his brief retirement. The former UFC champion and future Hall of Famer accepted on his website a challenge from rising welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald. The two will likely fight at UFC 152 in Toronto on Sept. 22.

Vladimir Krutov, one of the Soviet Union’s all-time great ice hockey players and part of the national team’s formidable KLM Line, died at age 52. The Russian Hockey Federation did not give a cause of death.

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