Raiders deny reports Cable is choice

The Raiders denied reports Wednesday that they have decided to make interim head coach Tom Cable the real thing.

ESPN and reported the Raiders would make Cable their head coach.

"We have not made a decision at this time," Raiders senior executive John Herrera said. "That's really all I can say."

A source close to Cable said the interim head coach had yet to be told he is the Raiders' choice.


Diamondbacks make deal with Garland

Free-agent righthanded pitcher Jon Garland and the Arizona Diamondbacks have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract that includes a club option for 2010, a deal that would guarantee the pitcher about $7 million.

Garland, 29, is 106-89 with a 4.47 ERA in nine seasons, the first eight with the Chicago White Sox. Last year, he went 14-8 with a 4.90 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels.

• Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit will miss at least half the season after surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff.

• The Seattle Mariners traded righthanded pitcher Aaron Heilman to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Ronny Cedeno and lefthanded pitcher Garrett Olson. Heilman was acquired last month from the New York Mets.

• Relief pitcher David Weathers and the Cincinnati Reds agreed on a one-year contract worth $3.9 million.


Evidence goes beyond 'cream' and 'clear'

Federal prosecutors preparing for Barry Bonds' perjury trial are said to have evidence that links Bonds to the use of performance-enhancing drugs other than the "cream" and the "clear," the designer substances that have become synonymous with the Bonds case.

A person who has reviewed the evidence said that the authorities detected anabolic steroids in urine samples linked to Bonds.

The evidence could be significant because questions have been raised about whether the "clear" was technically a steroid under federal law when Bonds testified before a federal grand jury in November 2003.


NASCAR faulted in plane crash

Sloppy record-keeping by NASCAR led to a deadly plane crash in 2007, federal investigators said Wednesday.

NASCAR's aviation unit allowed a plane to take off on July 10, 2007, even though the day before a pilot had turned off the plane's radar system in midflight because it was producing a burning smell. An electrical problem led to a crash near Orlando that killed five people.

The plane wasn't inspected after the first incident, staff investigators told the National Transportation Safety Board Wednesday. Federal regulations require an inspection before the plane is flown again.


Williams sisters not on U.S. Fed Cup team

Serena Williams and her sister Venus were not on the U.S. roster submitted Wednesday for Fed Cup first-round matches against Argentina next month.

U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez invited the siblings, but they declined.

Among the players Fernandez selected was Fed Cup rookie Bethanie Mattek, a native of Rochester, Minn. Jill Craybas, Melanie Oudin and Liezel Huber also were picked for the series against Argentina on Feb. 7-8 in Surprise, Ariz.


Grandma's Marathon to allow headphones

Grandma's Marathon has reversed itself and will allow runners to wear headphones.

Officials of the Duluth road race decided to allow headphones and other electronic devices on the 26.2-mile course after USA Track and Field lifted a two-year ban.

Sled dog racing: Montana musher Jason Barron won the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in northeastern Minnesota for the second consecutive time. Barron, 37, of Lincoln, Mont., was first to the finish line in Duluth on Wednesday.


Golf: Colin Montgomerie, a Scot known for surliness but also for Ryder Cup success as a player, will be Europe's captain at next year's Ryder Cup tournament in Wales. ... Ginn Resorts is ending all golf sponsorships immediately because of the poor real-estate economy. The LPGA Ginn Open's $2.5 million purse was the third-largest on that tour in 2008.

College football: Bobby Bowden signed a one-year contract to coach a 34th season at Florida State.

Television: ESPN's top executive told employees he's instituting a hiring freeze and won't give raises to top executives.

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 KOs) and Ricky Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) agreed to fight for Hatton's 140-pound title on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. ... Antonio Margarito was temporarily suspended because the California State Athletic Commission announced it found a "plaster-like substance" in the boxer's hand wraps before his Saturday night loss to Shane Mosley in Los Angeles.