National Sports Minute


Looking for a potent left-handed bat to help their push for a playoff spot, the Colorado Rockies signed veteran first baseman Jason Giambi to a minor league contract on Monday. Giambi will play for Triple-A Colorado Springs, then join the Rockies when rosters expand on September 1. A five-time American League All-Star and 2000 AL MVP, Giambi was released by Oakland on August 7 after hitting just .193 with 11 homers and 40 RBI in 83 games. He went on the 15-day disabled list on July 20 with a strained right quadriceps. The 38-year- old slugger is a career .282 hitter with 407 home runs and 1,319 runs batted in. He won top honors in the junior circuit for a 2000 season that included career bests of 43 homers, 137 runs batted in and a .333 batting average with Oakland. After a runner-up finish in the 2001 MVP balloting, Giambi signed with the Yankees and spent seven years with New York. During his time with the Yankees, he was linked to performance-enhancing drugs as part of the BALCO probe in San Francisco.

New York Mets ace Johan Santana will miss his scheduled start Tuesday because of discomfort in his left elbow. Santana is expected to visit team doctor David Altchek on Tuesday. Santana is 13-9 with a 3.13 earned run average in 25 starts this season, his second with the Mets. Since the All-Star break, he is 3-2 in eight starts, and in his last outing against Atlanta on Thursday took the loss after yielding three runs on nine hits in seven innings. Mets manager Jerry Manuel said Nelson Figueroa will get the start for Tuesday's series- opener against Florida.


Single-game sports betting in Delaware was put on hold Monday after a court ruled against the state's plan to implement wagering as a way to help raise state funds. The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the state's plan violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which restricts sports betting. Delaware was one of four states -- Nevada, Montana and Oregon are the others -- exempted from the federal ban on sports betting because it had previously conducted a parlay betting sports lottery on football in 1976. Professional sports leagues, including the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL, as well as the NCAA, claimed Delaware's new plan would violate the federal policy because the exemption does not allow the state to conduct betting on single games. Single-game betting is defined as wagering that involves either a money line or point-spread wager. Parlay betting includes multiple bets. The state can still appeal the ruling.


San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has signed a contract extension through 2015, the team announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not released, though a San Diego newspaper reported the six-year extension guarantees Rivers $38 million and is worth a total of $92 million. The 27-year-old has led the Chargers to the postseason every year since taking over the starting quarterback job in 2006 -- when Rivers was also selected to the Pro Bowl. Last season he led the NFL with a team-record 105.5 passer rating and broke Dan Fouts' club record with 34 touchdown passes. Overall in 2008, Rivers completed 312-of-478 throws for 4,009 yards. In 52 career games -- 48 starts -- Rivers has completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 10,697 yards and 78 scores, with 36 interceptions. He holds a 33-15-0 record.

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Monday that quarterback Carson Palmer is not expected to be available for Thursday's preseason game against St. Louis. Palmer suffered a sprained ankle in the team's preseason opener at New Orleans on August 14 and was inactive for the game in New England last week. The former Pro Bowl signal-caller threw for 133 yards on 7-of-11 attempts with one interception against the Saints. Palmer missed the majority of last season with an elbow injury.

The Miami Dolphins have terminated the contract of tight end Ernest Wilford. After struggling in his first season with the Dolphins as a wide receiver in 2008, Wilford tried to resurrect his career as a tight end this summer. He signed a four-year contract with the Dolphins in February 2008 after playing his first four seasons with Jacksonville. However, the Virginia Tech product played just seven games last year and was a healthy scratch in nine others, finishing the campaign with only three catches for 25 yards. In four years with the Jaguars, Wilford hauled in 141 passes for 1,994 yards with 14 touchdowns.

Running back Edgerrin James is reportedly ready to join the Seahawks. Multiple media sources report James has come to terms on a one-year contract with Seattle and the team could make the announcement Tuesday. According to multiple reports, the Seahawks dumped backup tailback T.J. Duckett to clear a space for the 31-year-old James, who completed his third season with Arizona in 2008. He rushed for just 514 yards and three touchdowns on 133 carries while adding 12 receptions for 85 yards for the NFC champions. Since his signing as a free agent prior to the 2006 season out of Indianapolis, the Miami-Florida product compiled 2,895 rushing yards and 16 scores on 794 carries over 45 games (32 starts).

The San Francisco 49ers named Shaun Hill the team's starting quarterback for the regular season opener, September 13 at Arizona. Entering his third NFL season, Hill won the starting job over Alex Smith, who threw for 914 yards with a pair of TDs and four interceptions in seven games last season. Hill played in nine games last year and compiled a 5-3 record as the starter, completing 181-of-288 passes for 2,046 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.


Preakness Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra will make her next start in the Woodward Stakes versus older males at Saratoga on Saturday, September 5. The filly is perfect in all seven starts this year, including victories at the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose Stakes that came by a combined 40 lengths. Her last start came against three-year-old males in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, where she clobbered the opposition by six lengths.