The supervisor is Vin Cherwoo, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630; Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EST.
CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears are back in the playoff race, and they can thank Josh McCown for that. McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns, and the Bears scored on their first eight possessions to grab a share of the NFC North lead with a 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on a frigid Monday night. The Bears (7-6) retired Hall of Famer Mike Ditka's number at halftime and pulled even with Detroit in the division race on a night when the game-time temperature was in single digits and the wind chill factor was below zero. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 650 words by 4 a.m.
— CHICAGO — FBN--Ditka Day. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 523 words.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox made the biggest news on the first day of the winter meetings, an indication of the timeout in the trade-and-signings market. The trio of retired managers was elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday in a unanimous vote by the expansion era committee. The other big news was the retirement of two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay after 16 seasons at age 36. But after all the deals last week, there were almost no new transactions. By Ronald Blum. UPCOMING: 725 words by 4 a.m.
— LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — BBO--Hall of Fame. By Howie Rumberg. SENT: 937 words.
— LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — BBO--Hall of Fame-Cox. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 977 words.
— LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — BBO--Hall of Fame-La Russa. By R.B. Fallstrom. SENT: 858 words.
— LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — BBO--Hall of Fame-Torre. By Howie Rumberg. SENT: 1,146 words.
— LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — BBO--Hall of Fame-Miller. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 539 words.
— BBO--Halladay Retires. By Rob Maaddi. SENT: 750 words.
— BBN--Marlins-Saltalamacchia. SENT: 458 words.
Somehow, some way, Marvin Miller is going to have the last laugh. There was nothing funny about the decision Monday by the baseball Hall of Fame's expansion-era committee to leave Miller on the ballot, where he's languished since 2001, and out of the Cooperstown shrine. Three very worthy retired managers went in unanimously and there's no quibbling with the selection of Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox. Yet crowded as the ballot was, of the dozen names the committee had to choose from, the simple fact is that none may have been more deserving than Miller. By Sports Columnist Jim Litke. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 a.m.
Wake Forest has hired Dave Clawson from Bowling Green as its next football coach, a person familiar with the situation said. The person said a news conference to introduce Clawson was expected Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. The hiring comes three days after Clawson led Bowling Green (10-3) to an upset of then-No. 16 Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference championship game and one day after the Falcons were invited to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 516 words.
NEW YORK — Jameis Winston will have plenty of company at the Heisman Trophy ceremony — though he's not expected to have much competition. The Florida State quarterback was among a record-tying six Heisman finalists revealed Monday, along with Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Alabama's AJ McCarron, Auburn's Tre Mason and Boston College's Andre Williams. The winner will be announced Saturday night, with Winston the overwhelming favorite to win the award and become the second freshman — and second in two years — to be selected. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 765 words.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots must get used to playing without Rob Gronkowski again. The star tight end who missed the first six games while recovering from surgeries is done for the season after being placed on injured reserve Monday with a damaged right knee. Gronkowski was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Patriots' 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he was hit on the knee by safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception. By Howard Ulman. SENT: 656 words.
TEMPE, Ariz. — Hold off on that rocking chair for John Abraham. The 35-year-old outside linebacker obviously isn't finished with his brilliant career yet. Abraham had three sacks, one for a safety, in the Arizona Cardinals' 30-10 victory over St. Louis on Sunday. He has 11 sacks for the season — most for a Cardinal in nine years — and moved ahead of Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal to ninth on the NFL career list with 133. UPCOMING: 660 words by 4 a.m.
ST. LOUIS — The Rams are in a familiar spot, playing out the string in December and assured of the franchise's 10th consecutive season without a winning record. With some of their goals missed, the players will just have to keep pushing. Draft-day speculation is heating up about what should be done with the two first-round picks, one of them representing the final payoff from the Robert Griffin III deal with the Redskins. Maybe 2014 will be St. Louis' breakthrough. By R.B. Fallstrom. UPCOMING: 645 words by 4 a.m.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Bills coach Doug Marrone is maintaining his faith and patience in EJ Manuel despite the rookie quarterback's latest dud. That doesn't mean Marrone is anywhere close to being satisfied with Manuel's development, and the lack of consistency the first-round pick out of Florida State has shown in failing to string together one good outing after another. Manuel's performance is under the microscope a day after a 27-6 loss at Tampa Bay that pushed the Bills (4-9) to the brink of extending the NFL's longest active playoff drought to 14 consecutive seasons. By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 683 words by 4 a.m.