Sports briefs: No. 756 for sale — or not?

What started out as a layover in San Francisco has turned into a profit deal for Matt Murphy. The Queens, N.Y., resident says he is thinking about keeping the ball Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit for the record-breaking 756th homer. “Part of me might want to sell it, but I really am leaning towards keeping it. It’s just too valuable, sentimental,” he said on NBC’s “Today.”

Finally, Beckham debuts

Following months of hype, weeks of anxiety over an ankle injury and a cameo in a made-for-ESPN exhibition game, David Beckham finally played his first meaningful match as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham withstood a downpour and played the final 21 minutes in the Galaxy’s 1-0 loss to the D.C. United in a Major League Soccer match at RFK Stadium in Washington. “It felt a lot better tonight than it has for a while,” the 32-year-old British midfielder said of his injured left ankle. “It’s difficult after eight weeks doing hardly anything, but I was happy to be back on the field tonight.” Beckham’s appearance couldn’t help the stagnant Galaxy offense, which has been shut out in back-to-back games. L.A. is 3-6-5, the second-worst mark in MLS. A sellout crowd of 46,868 included England manager Steve McClaren, who is keeping tabs on Becks as the national team has an upcoming exhibition and two European Championship qualifiers.

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