ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Brandon Stokley was ready for a reunion,
not retirement. The 14th-year wide receiver rejoined the Denver Broncos – and old pal Peyton Manning – this offseason after missing almost all of
2011. Stokley played in just two games for the New York Giants last
year before a strained thigh led to an injury settlement. Instead
of helping the Giants win another ring, he spent his winter back
home in Castle Rock, Colo., wondering if his NFL career was over.
He kept in shape, and when Manning signed with Denver, the
Broncos quickly brought back his sidekick slot receiver who played
with the four-time MVP in Indianapolis from 2003-06.
Stokley, who played in Denver from 2007-09, said he’s, well,
stoked, to be back with the Broncos and Manning.

DENVER (AP) – Pinch hitter Jason Giambi launched a three-run
homer off Scott Elbert in the ninth inning, lifting the Colorado
Rockies to an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
With first base open and one out, the Dodgers elected to pitch
to Giambi. Carlos Gonzalez was waiting on deck – he’d hit two home
runs off NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw earlier in the game.DENVER

(AP) – The Denver Nuggets figure the way to quit getting
beaten inside and out by the Los Angeles Lakers is to get them
running up and down the court.
Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum combined for 65 points in Los
Angeles’ 104-100 victory Tuesday night that gave the Lakers a 2-0
lead in the best-of-seven series that shifts to the Pepsi Center on
Friday night.

NEW YORK (AP) – A former U.S. attorney hired by the NFL to
evaluate its investigation of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty
program says the evidence shows payments were handed out and
received for some hits on targeted opponents.
Mary Jo White says Thursday in a conference call that evidence
in the league’s investigation of the three-year bounty system
provided “an unusually strong record” and came from people with
“firsthand knowledge and corroborated by documentation.”
When asked twice whether any players actually were paid for
hits, White confirmed they were without going into specifics.
She adds the players “always had the option to say no,” but
didn’t. White was asked in December by the NFL to examine the evidence.
She concluded that “the factual basis for the sanctions is quite
strong in my opinion.”

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Dave Weaver was in his usual seat, 20
rows behind home plate, drinking a beer and shouting instructions
to his son in the quiet lulls between pitches. His wife, Gail, was
alongside him, calmly enjoying a little night baseball.
It really could have been any night in three lives filled with
similar evenings at ballparks all across Southern California.
Instead, Jered Weaver made an ordinary Wednesday at Angel
Stadium unforgettable for the close-knit family that put him on
that mound. The Los Angeles Angels ace threw his first no-hitter in dazzling
style, allowing just two baserunners while beating the Minnesota
Twins 9-0 with a merciless array of pitches first taught to him by
his father.