Rams sign Boller to back up Bulger



The St. Louis Rams signed Kyle Boller on Saturday to be the backup to quarterback Marc Bulger. Boller, 27, spent all of last season, his sixth with the Ravens, on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He was the Ravens' first-round draft pick in 2003. Boller is 10 years younger than Gus Frerotte, whom the Rams had been negotiating with to return as a backup. Boller started 42 games for the Ravens and holds the franchise record of 7,846 yards with 45 touchdown passes and 44 interceptions. His inconsistent play led the Ravens to draft Joe Flacco last year. Boller's best season was 2004, when he started 16 games and passed for 2,559 yards with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Broncos: : Owner Pat Bowlen said in a letter to season-ticket holders that the organization had no choice but to trade Jay Cutler over his insubordination. Bowlen preached a message of team unity in the e-mail, reiterating that he and new coach Josh McDaniels had reached out many times to Cutler, who didn't respond to their overtures. Bowlen, who remained largely silent during the six-week rift that ended with Thursday's trade with the Bears, wrote that anybody who puts himself above the team gets a one-way ticket out of town.


Buccaneers: : Tight end Kellen Winslow's father-in-law, who has Alzheimer's disease, was found safe at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing Saturday, three days after he vanished, police said. It was not immediately clear why Enrique Guzman, 67, of Montebello, Calif., had gone to Mexico.

Calhoun to consider leaving coaching

col. hoops

Jim Calhoun said he will think about getting out of coaching because of "some things thrown around for the past couple of weeks" that have disappointed him. Connecticut's Hall of Fame coach was testy at times during his news conference after an 82-73 loss to Michigan State in the Final Four. Calhoun, 66, said he doesn't plan on leaving the game but added he will give his future a lot of thought because of non-coaching matters. Yahoo Sports recently reported former Connecticut recruit Nate Miles was given lodging, transportation, meals and representation by sports agent Josh Nochimson, and that a UConn assistant coach knew about the relationship between the player and the agent.

AP awards: : Connecticut's Maya Moore became the second sophomore to win the Associated Press' Player of the Year. She has averaged 19.2 points and 8.9 rebounds to lead UConn within two victories of the third undefeated season in school history. Huskies coach Geno Auriemma, who has guided the team to five national championships, picked up his sixth Coach of the Year award.

Morgan State: : Todd Bozeman received the Hugh Durham Award, which recognizes the top mid-major coach. This season, Bozeman led the Bears (23-12, 13-3) to their first NCAA tournament appearance and their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship in three decades.

WNIT: : Jazmine Sepulveda scored 18 points and Shantia Grace had 16, leading South Florida (27-10) to a 75-71 victory over Kansas (22-14) in the Women's National Invitation Tournament final in Lawrence, Kan., giving the school its first postseason championship of any kind.

Azarenka defeats S. Williams in final



A sore leg and erratic strokes were too much to overcome, and top-ranked Serena Williams was upset, 6-3, 6-1, by Victoria Azarenka, 19, in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams said her left thigh began bothering her in the quarterfinals, and she was also bothered by a sprained ankle. Williams was bidding for a record sixth women's title and her third in a row at Key Biscayne. Instead, she fell to 38-2 in the tournament since 2001, with the only other loss to her sister Venus. The result heralded the emergence of Azarenka, a Belarussian who trains in Scottsdale, Ariz., and will improve to a career-high No. 8.

McPherson's 70 gives her one-stroke lead


Kristy McPherson's first LPGA Tour victory might just come in a major. McPherson shot a 2-under-par 70 on a hot, calm day to take sole possession of the lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at 8-under 208. Fellow American and 2007 U.S. Open winner Cristie Kerr (70) was one stroke back at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif. McPherson, 37, has six career top-10 finishes. Defending champion Lorena Ochoa needed a birdie on No. 18 to shoot her best round of the tournament, a 72. She was tied for 15th at 2-over. Michelle Wie had another bad day with her second straight 9-over 81. She was last among the 70 weekend qualifiers at 17-over.

PGA Shell Houston Open: : Bo Van Pelt moved to 11-under to take a one-shot lead through eight holes of his third round in Humble, Texas, just before play was suspended because of darkness. Fred Couples, Paul Casey, Colt Knost and Tommy Armour III were all at 10-under when the horns sounded at 7:34 p.m. The players will resume the round early Sunday, then immediately tee off for the final 18.


Ky. Busch prevails again in Texas

auto racing

Kyle Busch won another NASCAR Nationwide race in Texas. Busch made it three victories in a row at Texas with a dominating performance in Fort Worth, leading a race-record 178 of 200 laps to win the O'Reilly 300. He also became the first polesitter to win a Nationwide race on the 1 1/2 -mile high-banked track. It was Busch's second Nationwide victory this season, and he also has two victories in both the Sprint Cup and truck series. Busch finished 1.447 seconds ahead of Tony Stewart. Brad Keselowski was third.

IndyCar:: Graham Rahal, 20, became the youngest pole winner in the history of the IndyCar Series, taking the top spot for Sunday's season-opening Honda Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Formula One: : Brawn GP's Jenson Button will start from the front of the grid in Sunday's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, making it back-to-back poles for the English driver. Button set a time of 1 minute, 35.181 seconds in Saturday's qualifying in Kuala Lumpur to finish almost 0.1 of a second ahead of Toyota's Jarno Trulli.

United beats Dynamo for first win of season


et cetera

Luciano Emilio scored his second goal of the season early in the second half to give D.C. United its first win, 1-0, over the visiting Houston Dynamo. United (1-0-2) had struggled in the second half of its first two games, getting outscored 3-1 in the two ties. Emilio bucked that trend with his second goal in as many games. He caught up with a ball lobbed into the box by Bryan Namoff, then chipped a shot over goalkeeper Pat Onstad into the top left corner of the goal in the 47th minute. The win was United's first in two years over the Dynamo (0-2-1).

Baseball: : Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said he wants negotiations for a long-term contract to end when the regular season starts. ... The Boston Red Sox optioned right-hander Clay Buchholz to Triple-A Pawtucket and placed right-hander John Smoltz (right shoulder surgery), outfielder Mark Kotsay (right elbow) and shortstop Julio Lugo (right knee surgery) on the 15-day DL.

NHL: : Goalie Tim Thomas celebrated his new four-year contract reportedly worth $20 million with a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers that clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference for the host Boston Bruins.