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Marlins Rookie Makes Grand Debut (AP)
Florida Marlins' Jeremy Hermida follows through on his pinch-hit grand slam in his first major league at-bat off St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Al Reyes in the seventh inning Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005, in Miami. Hermida became the first player in more than a century and only second ever to hit a grand slam in his first major league at-bat in the Marlins' 10-5 loss  (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)AP - Marlins rookie Jeremy Hermida became the second player to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat and the first to do it as a pinch-hitter, connecting in the seventh inning off St. Louis' Al Reyes in Florida's 10-5 home loss Wednesday night.


Big Unit Outpitches Rookie Hernandez (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Randy Johnson reacts to Seattle Mariners' Jose Lopez being forced at second base to end the seventh innng Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 at Safeco Field in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)AP - The Mariners know they have something special in Felix Hernandez. Randy Johnson made sure everyone in Seattle didn't forget what they used to have.


Homeless Saints Could Face Vagabond Season (AP)
A man pushes his bicycle through flood waters near the Superdome in  New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 31,  2005. Hurricane Katrina left much of the city under water.  Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many resident remained in the city and had to be rescued from flooded homes and hotels.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)AP - There is only one certainty about the New Orleans Saints' future: They will live and work out of the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio for a while.


Hornets Staff Relocates to Houston (AP)
AP - Some members of the New Orleans Hornets' front office have relocated to Houston and are working out of the Toyota Center.

Jenkins Rides Nadal Hard at U.S. Open (AP)
Scoville Jenkins, of the United States, stumbles as he tries to hit a return to Rafael Nadel, of Spain, during their men's singles match at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2005. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)AP - Remember the name — Scoville Jenkins — and file away his game as one to watch in the future. He's fast, he's flamboyant and he gave French Open champion Rafael Nadal fits in a compelling duel between 19-year-olds before fading to a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 defeat Wednesday night in the second round of the U.S. Open.


Panthers Should Have Bite Back in 2005 (AP)
AP - No team was ravaged by injuries in 2004 more than the Carolina Panthers. Yet, they almost made the playoffs after a 1-7 start. Imagine how a healthy Carolina might do?

Finley Decides to Sign With Spurs (AP)
Dallas Mavericks' Michael Finley, left, shoots over Phoenix Suns' Quentin Richardson during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals May 11, 2005, in Phoenix. Finley, a free agent, has decided to sign with the San Antonio Spurs. Phoenix Suns president Bryan Colangelo said he was informed of the decision by Finley's agent Henry Thomas on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005.(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)AP - Michael Finley was being pursued by several rising powers in the NBA. Ultimately, he decided to join the team that's already on top, the San Antonio Spurs.


Johnson Leads Yanks to 2-0 Win Over M's (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Randy Johnson throws against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 at Safeco Field in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)AP - Randy Johnson outpitched 19-year-old rookie Felix Hernandez with a performance the New York Yankees desperately needed. The five-time Cy Young Award winner limited his former team to three hits in seven innings, leading the Yankees to a 2-0 victory over Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.


Boca Juniors Win Supercup Competition (AP)
Roberto Schiavi, of Argentina's Boca Juniors, kisses the trophy after winning the Recopa final in Manizales, Colombia, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)AP - Boca Juniors of Argentina won the Supercup competition 4-3 on aggregate despite losing 2-1 Wednesday night to Colombia's Once Caldas.


NHL Sets TV Schedule for Upcoming Season (AP)
AP - The NHL returns to TV on Oct. 5 when the Outdoor Life Network broadcasts the opening night game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers.

The unbearable likeness of QBing
OWINGS MILLS, Md. – For Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle, Kyle Boller's struggles are strikingly similar to their ex-Titan teammate.

Homeless Saints may face vagabond season (AP)
There is only one certainty about the New Orleans Saints' future: They will live and work out of the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio for a while. Beyond that, question marks abound. It's highly unlikely they'll be able to hold their home opener Sept. 18 at the Superdome -- and they may not be able to play there at all this season after the stadium was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina refugees headed to Astrodome (AP)
A slow exodus from the smelly and sweltering Superdome began Wednesday as bedraggled refugees boarded giant trucks and then buses for a trip to more comfortable surroundings in the Houston Astrodome. The evacuation was kept almost secret to avoid a stampede. People were taken a few at a time through a garage, then to trucks that plowed through 4 feet of water and delivered them to the buses.

Colts LB Pope gets one-year suspension (AP)
The Indianapolis Colts expected linebacker Kendyll Pope to make a contribution this season, but they'll have to wait at least one more year to get him on the field. Pope was suspended for the season by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Pope missed all but two games in 2004 because of a hip flexor injury.

Favre family home destroyed by Katrina (AP)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre spent most of the last two days nervously waiting to hear from family members in his hometown of Kiln, Miss., in the heart of the Gulf Coast area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The Packers said Favre finally spoke to his mother, Bonita, late Tuesday afternoon when she was able to reach him with the help of a Houston television station in the area...

Packers RB Green avoids trial (AP)
Running back Ahman Green traveled with the Green Bay Packers to Tennessee on Wednesday for their final preseason game after agreeing to undergo counseling and perform community service to avoid a trial on a domestic violence charge. Green signed an agreement Wednesday to ``complete meaningful counseling'' and perform 100 hours of community service.

Falcons cut WR Peerless Price (AP)
Peerless Price knew that NFL teams would make two rounds of cuts this week, so he asked coach Jim Mora to gauge his future with the Atlanta Falcons. Not good, Mora said. Less than 2 1/2 years after sending a first-round draft pick to Buffalo and rewarding the receiver with a $37 million contract, the Falcons waived Price on Tuesday.

Agent: Warrick signs with Seahawks (AP)
The Seattle Seahawks signed former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Peter Warrick to a one-year, $1.4 million contract on Wednesday, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. Warrick passed a physical and signed a deal that included a $900,000 base salary, a $500,000 signing bonus and the opportunity to earn $880,000 in incentives, Rosenhaus said.

Clarett cut made official by Broncos (AP)
The Denver Broncos released Maurice Clarett, quarterback Danny Kanell and veteran defensive linemen Luther Elliss and Raylee Johnson on Tuesday, making official moves they earlier told the players about. Also released were tight end Patrick Hape, quarterback Chad Friehauf, wide receivers B.J. Johnson and Romar Crenshaw, running back Kris Briggs, linebacker Markus Steele, guards Tim Stuber and...

Bears cut QB Hutchinson (AP)
In a span of five days, Chad Hutchinson went from starting quarterback to out of a job. Hutchinson, demoted on Sunday to fourth string after two shaky outings as the Chicago Bears' starter, was cut Tuesday, two days before the final preseason game. Hutchinson had moved into the starter's role when Rex Grossman broke his ankle Aug.

Finley decides to sign with Spurs (AP)
Michael Finley was being pursued by several rising powers in the NBA. Ultimately, he decided to join the team that's already on top, the San Antonio Spurs. On Wednesday, Finley ended weeks of courting by San Antonio, Phoenix, Miami and Minnesota by letting them all know he'll be wearing the silver and black of the reigning champions.

Reports: Yao inks 5-year, $75M extension (AP)
Amid reports that Yao Ming has agreed to terms of a five-year contract extension worth more than $75 million, the Houston Rockets said they would conduct a conference call Thursday. The team said Wednesday that Yao and Rockets owner Leslie Alexander would participate in the call. The deal that will keep the 7-foot-6 center with the Rockets through the 2010-11 season was first reported by Houston...

Webber fined $100K in booster case (AP)
Philadelphia 76ers player and former Michigan star Chris Webber was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine Wednesday, nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to a federal criminal contempt charge in the University of Michigan booster scandal. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds fined Webber the maximum allowed after she ruled that Webber's conviction should be treated as a misdemeanor rather than a felony,...

Union to launch Katrina relief effort (AP)
The NBA players' association said Tuesday it is launching an immediate effort to assist in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. ``We are in the process of contacting every player in the league to solicit their support and ideas on how we can make a difference as quickly as possible,'' said union president Antonio Davis of the Chicago Bulls.

Traylor fails physical, won't join Nets (AP)
Free agent forward Robert Traylor failed a physical and will not join the New Jersey Nets this season. Team president Rod Thorn declined to announce further details Tuesday. The 28-year-old Traylor became a free agent in June when the Cleveland Cavaliers declined to pick up the option on his $1.76 million contract for the upcoming season.

Moe has prostate cancer, set for surgery (AP)
Denver Nuggets assistant coach Doug Moe has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will have surgery next month. ``The prognosis is good and I expect to be in training camp,'' Moe said Monday in a statement released by the team. Moe's diagnosis comes five weeks after Denver head coach George Karl had successful surgery to treat the same cancer.

Healthy Karl pays more attention to life (AP)
Among the thousands of notes and messages George Karl has received since he had surgery for cancer was one that says, ``most people go through life not paying attention to it.'' Karl insists he has been paying much more attention of late. Five weeks removed from a successful operation to stop prostate cancer, the Denver Nuggets' coach is feeling fine.

Thrashers sign Hartley to extension (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers gave coach Bob Hartley a one-year contract extension through the 2006-07 season on Wednesday. Since he was hired midway through the 2002-03 season, Hartley has posted a 52-56-13 record, including a franchise-best 33-37-8-4 record in 2004-05, his first full season. ``We feel that with Bob's leadership, professionalism and winning track record, he is the coach that will guide...

Rangers-Flyers begins NHL's TV schedule (AP)
The NHL returns to TV on Oct. 5 when the Outdoor Life Network broadcasts the opening night game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers. The league released its television schedule for NBC and OLN on Wednesday as it prepares to resume play after last season was wiped out by a lockout.

Sullivan named assistant on Olympic team (AP)
Boston Bruins head coach Mike Sullivan has been named an assistant coach on the 2006 United States Olympic men's ice hockey team, USA Hockey announced Wednesday. Sullivan joins the staff of head coach Peter Laviolette, who coaches the Carolina Hurricanes. ``We're pleased to have someone with Mike's knowledge and passion on board to assist in guiding our Olympic team,'' said Don Waddell, Team USA...

Pens accept Tarnstrom arbitration award (AP)
The Pittsburgh Penguins accepted the $1.6 million salary awarded defenseman Dick Tarnstrom in arbitration and signed their leading scorer from the 2003-04 season to the one-year deal on Monday. By re-signing Tarnstrom, the Penguins chose not to trade him or walk away from the arbitration award and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Bruins sign D Gill to one-year contract (AP)
Restricted free agent defenseman Hal Gill resigned with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year contract. The 30-year-old Gill has 19 goals and 68 assists in seven seasons with the Bruins. He played 31 games for Lukko Rauma in Finland during the recent NHL lockout. ``He is one of our steadiest and most reliable players,'' general manager Mike O'Connell said.

Caps sign D Muir, acquired from Kings (AP)
Defenseman Brian Muir signed a contract Tuesday with the Washington Capitals, who acquired him from the Los Angeles Kings this month. Muir has five goals, 15 assists and 167 penalty minutes in 181 games over nine NHL seasons. He's played for the Kings, Oilers, Devils, Blackhawks, Lightning and Avalanche.

Sabres' Peters admits andro use in 2003 (AP)
Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters briefly and legally used the steroidlike supplement androstenedione two years ago to help him make the team. Peters did not break any laws or NHL rules at the time and has stopped using the performance enhancer since the Food and Drug Administration banned its sale in April 2004, his agent, Steve Bartlett, said Thursday.

Tried and Truex
Busch points leader Martin Truex Jr. is riding high heading into California this weekend.

Rookie Sorenson docked 50 points, crew chief Pattie suspended (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Rookie Reed Sorenson's bid for a Busch Series championship has been dealt a serious blow by his own crew.

Pattie suspended six races for soaking tires at Bristol (AP)
Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson's crew chief was suspended for six races Tuesday for soaking tires at Bristol Motor Speedway.

After 1,272 lefts, why Dale Jarrett turned right (AP)
The short answer to why there are so many crashes in NASCAR: Strip away the 800-horsepower engines, the flame-retardant suits, the 3,400 pounds of steel and the drivers go about their business pretty much like everybody else. They laugh, they cry, they win a few and lose all the rest. They show up at work, get their feelings hurt, get mad, and sometimes, they get even.

Two to go: Chase race heats up after Bristol (AP)
Jeff Gordon is in, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is out and Matt Kenseth suddenly is knocking on the door.

Kenseth wins NASCAR Nextel Cup Sharpie 500 (SportsTicker)

Zanardi wins first race since losing legs (AP)
Alex Zanardi won his first race Sunday since losing both legs in an accident in Germany in 2001. Zanardi captured the seventh race of the world touring cars championships in his BMW 320i. The former Formula One driver and two-time CART champion lost both legs in a collision during a CART race on Sept.

Kenseth wins at Bristol, strengthens bid to make Chase (AP)
Matt Kenseth's season was in shambles two months ago, his chances of racing for the Nextel Cup title slim to none.

Riggs hired to drive third car for Evernham Motorsports (AP)
Scott Riggs was hired Saturday to drive a third car for Evernham Motorsports, the highest-profile job of his racing career.

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