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Rob Gronkowski Cleared for Week 1 against Dolphins


Elsa/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said he's ready to go for their season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

Gronkowski had reconstructive surgery on his left knee during the offseason and doctors gave him the green light on Monday.

"Super excited, super pumped. I feel mentally and physically ready, for sure. No doubt about it," Gronkowski said Monday. "My mentality now is I'm ready to go, I'm ready to be out there, I'm ready to hit, I'm ready to start going."

Gronkowski plans on wearing a knee brace on Sunday, but doesn't see that stopping him from being productive.

"It feels good to be out here now this week, preparing for the Dolphins, knowing that I put myself in the best situation the last few weeks and few months to get back out here," he said. "That was my plan the whole time -- to work as hard as I could so I'd be ready for this week."

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Astros Fire Bo Porter


Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday.

Porter was in the midst of his second year and bench coach Dave Trembley was also let go.

"Bo's passion and energy are unparalleled, and his desire to win unquestioned," General manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "This decision was not made because of our current level of competitiveness in the Major Leagues. I recognize that our win-loss record is largely a product of an organizational strategy for which I am responsible.

"... What we will seek going forward is a consistent and united message throughout the entire organization. It is essential that as an organization we create an atmosphere at the Major League level where our young players can come up and continue to develop and succeed. Ultimately, I am responsible for creating that culture, and I will do everything in my power to do so-even when it means making difficult moves like the one we made today."

The Astros were 59-79 and owned the second worst record in the league.

"This was not an easy decision to make," owner Jim Crane said in a statement. "We wish Bo nothing but the best in the future. Jeff has my full support moving forward. Our goal to bring a championship to Houston remains."

Tom Lawless takes over as interim manager. 

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49ers Ray McDonald Arrested for Domestic Violence


Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Francisco 49ers find themselves with another player in trouble with the law. Defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning on charges of domestic violence.

San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol confirmed the arrest occured following a call at 2:48 a.m. local time. McDonald later posted bail and was released from the Santa Clara Sherrif's Department. San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said the team takes "such matters seriously" while a league source told ABC News the NFL is aware of the incident.

The 29-year-old defensive lineman reportedly had an altercation with his fiancé at a party celebrating his birthday. The fiancé showed police bruising on her body which led to McDonald's arrest. This incident comes in the same week that teammate Aldon Smith was suspended by the NFL nine games for multiple off-field run-ins, including a DUI last September. McDonald was also arrested for DUI in 2010.

On Thursday, the NFL publicized new policies regarding domestic violence. First-time offenders will be suspended six games while a second arrest could mean a lifetime ban.

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Ryan Mallett Traded to Texans


Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Houston Texans have acquired quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots for a conditional sixth or seventh-round pick in 2016, a source said on Sunday.

Mallett had served as the primary backup for Tom Brady in each of the last two seasons after being drafted in the third round in 2011. A 6'6" quarterback out of Arkansas, Mallett will enter Houston as the backup for vetern Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

The Texans will wavie Case Keenum in order to make room for Mallett and still have rookie Tom Savage on the depth chart. It was a rookie in New England that led to the trade as Jimmy Garoppolo completed 46 of 79 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns in the preseason.

During limited action this year, Mallett was just 14-for-26 passing in three games one touchdown.

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Kahne Wins in Atlanta; Stewart Crashes in Return


Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images(HAMPTON, Ga.) -- With only two races remaining before the NASCAR "Chase for the Cup", Kasey Kahne cemented his spot in the new postseason format, winning the Oral B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kahne had to hold off Matt Kenseth on a green-white checkered, but got a good jump on the restart to take the checkered flag. Kenseth did end up qualifying for the Chase on points by finishing second. Denny Hamlin finished third while Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-5.

The 34-year-old first took the lead off a restart with 23 laps remaining and again surged to the front of the pack on the final restart. Harvick, who won the Nationwide race on Saturday, led 195 laps but made contact with Joey Logano on the final restart denying him a weekend sweep.

Making his return to NASCAR three weeks after a crash that killed Kevin Ward, Jr. at a dirt track race in upstate New York, Tony Stewart blew out his right front tire on lap 172, ending his night in 41st place. 

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Chiefs Sign Smith to Four-Year Deal


Jason O. Watson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Kansas City Chiefs have apparently found their quarterback of the future, signing Alex Smith to a four-year contract extension. Multiple media reports say the deal is worth approximately $68 million.

Smith was acquired last season in a trade with San Francisco for a third round pick in 2013 and 2014. The extension will keep the signal caller in Kansas City through the 2018 season as he still has one year remaining on his current contract. 

"It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term," Kansas City general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here."

The 30-year-old posted one of the best seasons of his career last season, throwing for 23 touchdowns and a career-high 3,313 passing yards. In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith helped the team to an 11-4 record and a spot in the playoffs.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 8/31/14


(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 4 (69-67) - New York Yankees 3 (70-65) 

Boston Red Sox 3 (60-76) - Tampa Rays 0 (66-71)

New York Mets 6 (64-73) - Philadelphia Phillies 5 (62-74)

Cincinnati Reds 3 (66-71) - Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (71-65)

Chicago White Sox 6 (62-75) - Detroit Tigers 2 (74-62)

Baltimore Orioles 12 (79-56) - Minnesota Twins 8 (59-77)

Houston Astros 3 (59-79) - Texas Rangers 2 (53-83)

St. Louis Cardinals 9 (73-63) - Chicago White Sox 6 (61-76)

Los Angeles Angels 8 (83-53) - Oakland Athletics 1 (78-58)

Seattle Mariners 5 (73-62) - Washington Nationals 3 (77-58)

Los Angeles Dodgers 7 (77-60) - San Diego Padres 1 (64-71)

Arizona Diamondbacks 6 (57-79) - Colorado Rockies 2 (54-82)

San Francisco Giants 15 (74-62) - Milwaukee Brewers 5 (73-63)

Atlanta Braves 1 (72-65) - Miami Marlins 0 (66-69)

Cleveland Indians 4 (70-64) - Kansas City Royals 2 (74-61) Suspended in the top of the 10th due to rain

NCAAF: (10) Baylor 45 (1-0) - SMU 0 (0-1)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Kasey Kahne wins the Oral B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

NASCAR Camping World Truck: Ryan Blaney wins the Chevrolet Silverado 250

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Athletics Acquire Adam Dunn From White Sox


Brian Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Oakland Athletics acquired power-hitter Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn and cash considerations Sunday.

According to ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney, the A's will pay Dunn approximately half of the remaining $2.5 million that is owed to him this season.

The 34-year-old Dunn can help an Athletics' team that has ranked 20th in runs scored since trading away slugger Yoenis Cespedes on July 31.

Dunn is playing in his 15th major league season. During that time he's compiled a .237 batting average, 460 home runs, 1,158 RBIs and a .365 on-base percentage.

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ESPN: Sam Clears Waivers


Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Defensive end Michael Sam cleared waivers Sunday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history. He came up short when he was cut by the St. Louis Rams Saturday, when all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. That put Sam on waivers until noon Sunday, meaning any team in the league could have picked him up. But the deadline passed meaning Sam is now clear to join a NFL team's practice squad.

Sam was cut Saturday in favor of undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks. After he was cut, Sam commented on Twitter.

"The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known," Sam tweeted Saturday. "The journey continues."

Sam, who was selected by the Rams in the seventh-round of this year's draft, had 11 tackles and three sacks in four preseason games.

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Will Power Wins IndyCar Series Championship


BananaStock(FONTANA, Calif.) -- Will Power captured the 2014 IndyCar Series title after finishing ninth in Saturday night’s race at Fontana.

The driver of the number 12 car finishes the year with three victories, eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes for 671 points. Helio Castroneves ends the season second in the championship standings, 62 points behind Power.

It is Power’s first series championships. He came into the final race in 2010 and 2012, leading in the points standings, but failed to clinch the title.

Tony Kanaan took home the checkered flag in the 500-mile race for his first win of the season. Scott Dixon finished in second followed by Ed Carpenter, Juan Pablo Montoya and James Hinchcliffe to round out the top five. 

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