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Athletics and Angels Keep Pace in AL West (AP)
Oakland Athletics' Scott Hatteberg, right, is congratulated after hitting a three-run home run off New York Yankees' Jorge DePaula in the second inning by teammates Bobby Lielty (23) and Jay Payton (16) Friday, Sept. 2, 2005, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)AP - After finishing their big three-game matchup against each other, the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels opened weekend series with impressive wins and stayed remained tied for the AL West lead.


Durham Helps Giants Defeat D'backs 6-3 (AP)
San Francisco Giants' Ray Durham comes away with just the handle of his bat as he hits an RBI single off Arizona Diamondbacks' Brandon Webb during the fourth inning Friday, Sept. 2, 2005, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Roy Dabner)AP - Ray Durham homered and drove in four runs to back a solid outing by Jason Schmidt, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 Friday night.


Guerrero Leads Angels to 4-1 Win Over Ms (AP)
Los Angeles Angels' Vladimir Guerrero, left, gets a hug from Orlando Cabrera after the Angels' 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday, Sept. 2, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif. Guerrero hit his 300th career homer. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)AP - Vladimir Guerrero hit his 300th career homer, his first in almost three weeks, and Darin Erstad homered for the first time in nearly two months to lead the Los Angeles Angels over the Seattle Mariners 4-1 Friday night.


Serena to Play Sister Venus at U.S. Open (AP)
Serena Williams, left, reaches to make a return against Francesca Schiavone, of Italy, background, at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)AP - The bling don't mean a thing if she ain't got that swing. Serena Williams had it all — the $40,000 diamond chandelier earrings upgraded with 3-carat studs, the 10-carat diamond choker, the sweet swings that had been missing in her comeback — as she flashed her best tennis of the U.S. Open on Friday. Williams, taking on a seeded player for the first time in the tournament, avenged a loss to Italy's Francesca Schiavone at Rome in May with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.


Lions Lose Garcia in Only Preseason Win (AP)
Detroit Lions quarterback Jeff Garcia is carted off the field after he was injured during the first half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Don Heupel)AP - Joey Harrington better be ready and able now. The Detroit Lions won their only preseason game Friday night, and it was costly. Backup quarterback Jeff Garcia will miss at least six weeks after breaking his left leg in Detroit's 21-7 victory at Buffalo.


Cowher Concerned About Steelers' Offense (AP)
AP - Finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers are acknowledging what's been evident for weeks: Their starting offense, most notably Ben Roethlisberger, looks confused and unpolished, a worrisome prospect with the opener barely a week away.

Cavaliers' Varejao to Miss Start of Year (AP)
AP - Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao had arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair his dislocated right shoulder and is expected to miss the start of the season.

Yanks' Mussina Hopes to Return This Season (AP)
AP - Mike Mussina acknowledged there's a possibility he might miss the rest of the season with a sore right elbow, but the New York Yankees right-hander thinks he'll probably return this month.

U.S., Mexico Eye Spot in World Cup (AP)
AP - Bruce Arena remembers. So does Pablo Mastroeni. And Oguchi Onyewu. They don't dare forget the last time the United States met Mexico in a World Cup qualifying game.

Penguins Sign Defender Lyle Odelein (AP)
AP - Lyle Odelein signed Friday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been looking for a steady and physical defender to complement a group of mostly offense-minded defensemen.

A helping hand
Peyton Manning has engineered his most important drive … to assist the relief effort in his native Louisiana.

Saints at Giants Stadium for home opener (AP)
The New Orleans Saints, driven from the Superdome by Hurricane Katrina, will play their home opener against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. It is not clear, however, when the game will be played. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Friday the game, scheduled for Sept. 18, is being moved to the Giants' home in East Rutherford, N.J.

Deion calls on athletes to offer relief (AP)
Although everyone has been displaced from the campus, Tulane will be going ahead with its sports programs this fall. University president Scott Cowen said Friday that students from the university in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans are being allowed to continue classes at hundreds of schools associated with ``nine of the leading higher education associations.'' That will allow the teams to compete.

Bruschi will 'definitely play next year' (AP)
With his focus on the season opener Thursday night, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick still can look forward to something good in 2006 -- the return of linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Belichick said Friday discussions he's had with Bruschi, who suffered a mild stroke in February, are similar to the player's comments in a published interview that he would play in 2006 after skipping the 2005...

Manning sits as Bengals rout Colts (AP)
Peyton Manning warmed up, then headed to midfield for the pregame coin toss, politely shaking the hands of five Cincinnati Bengals along the way. Coach Tony Dungy made sure the Bengals wouldn't touch him again. The winless Colts rested their entire starting offense and all but two players on defense Friday night, playing it safe instead of playing for real.

Lions lose Garcia to broken leg (AP)
Lions backup quarterback Jeff Garcia will miss at least six weeks after breaking his left leg in Detroit's 21-7 preseason victory against Buffalo on Friday. Coach Steve Mariucci said X-rays revealed Garcia broke his fibula, but he also fears the player might have severely hurt his ankle. Mariucci said the team will know more after Garcia has further tests Saturday.

Chiefs cut WR Freddie Mitchell (AP)
Wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, who helped the Philadelphia Eagles get to the Super Bowl last season, had his contract terminated Friday by the Kansas City Chiefs. The outspoken Mitchell, who had 22 catches in the 2004 regular season and seven more in the playoffs, had been released by the Eagles in March and signed with the Chiefs.

Culpepper drives Vikes past Seahawks (AP)
Daunte Culpepper gave coach Mike Tice just what he desired Friday night: one quarter of production from the Minnesota offense. Culpepper led the Vikings on two long drives in the first quarter, the second resulting in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by the big quarterback, as the Vikings beat the Seattle Seahawks 23-21.

Colts reach agreement with Corey Simon (AP)
The Indianapolis Colts, hoping to fix their one glaring weakness, reached a multiyear agreement Thursday with Corey Simon, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle released by Philadelphia in a contract dispute. Simon wanted a long-term deal with Philadelphia and refused to sign a one-year franchise tender. The Eagles removed the franchise tag on the former first-round draft pick Sunday, making him an...

Commish: Saints unlikely to play in N.O. (AP)
NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue says it's unlikely the Saints will play in New Orleans this season after the devastation Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath inflicted on the city. ``At this point you have to proceed on the assumption ... that they may be unable to play in New Orleans at all for the entire season,'' Tagliabue said Thursday in an interview with CNBC.

Oklahoma City offers to host Hornets (AP)
Oklahoma City offered to become the home of the New Orleans Hornets this season following the devastation by Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Mick Cornett acknowledged Friday that a Louisiana site would be the obvious choice for the Hornets. But he suggested Oklahoma City's Ford Center, which does not have a major league tenant, as an option.

Lakers tab Abdul-Jabbar as special asst. (AP)
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA MVP and the leading career scorer in league history, has been hired by the team as a special assistant coach. The 58-year-old Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for 20 seasons -- six with the Milwaukee Bucks and 14 with the Lakers. He scored 38,387 points before retiring in 1989.

Finley officially signs with Spurs (AP)
Prized free agent Michael Finley officially signed with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday. ``We are extremely pleased to have a player of Michael's caliber joining our franchise,'' coach Gregg Popovich said. ``He brings an All-Star level of talent to the floor and a high degree of character to the locker room.'' The 32-year-old swingman had been courted by several rising powers...

Raptors waive F Lamond Murray (AP)
The Toronto Raptors waived small forward Lamond Murray on Friday. Murray barely played during his three seasons in Toronto, averaging 6.0 points, 2.7 rebounds in 95 games. The 11-year veteran had one-year and $5.25 million left on his contract. Toronto general manager Rob Babcock wanted to clear a roster spot and allow Murray to sign with another team.

Yao signs $75M extension with Rockets (AP)
Yao Ming signed a five-year contract worth more than $75 million Thursday, keeping the 7-foot-6 center with the Houston Rockets through the 2010-11 season. The extension, the maximum allowed under the NBA's new labor deal, ended days of speculation about Yao's future. Owner Leslie Alexander called the agreement ``as important as anything I've done as an owner.'' ``I think he could become one of...

Bulls, Chandler agree to contract (AP)
Tyson Chandler and the Bulls agreed Thursday to a multiyear contract, keeping the restricted free agent and former No. 2 overall draft pick in Chicago. The team declined to release the length of the contract or the terms, but Chandler said it's a six-year deal. ``I'm ecstatic that this contract is done,'' said Chandler, who was drafted out of high school in 2001.

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,...

Habs give G Theodore three-year deal (AP)
The Canadiens re-signed goaltender Jose Theodore to a three-year, $16 million contract on Friday. Theodore, who will turn 29 on Sept. 13, is entering his ninth season with the Canadiens. Montreal's second choice, the 44th overall, in the 1994 entry draft, he played in a career-high 67 games with the Canadiens in 2003-04 and had a career-best 33 wins with a 2.27 goals-against average.

Wings not close on Datsyuk, Zetterberg (AP)
As the NHL moves toward resuming play, the Detroit Red Wings are not close to re-signing restricted free agents Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg. ``We're nowhere near a deal with either player,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday. ``We've made a number of offers and they've made offers, but we still have a long way to go to reach deals.'' It's a priority for the Red Wings to...

Thrashers sign goalie Mike Dunham (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers added some insurance in net Friday, signing veteran goalie Mike Dunham. Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen is only 21 and backup Pasi Nurminen was lost for the season with a career-threatening knee injury, leaving the team without adequate depth and experience at the position. The 33-year-old Dunham has played 358 NHL games over eight seasons with New Jersey, Nashville and the New...

Devs assistant Carpenter to miss season (AP)
New Jersey Devils assistant coach Bobby Carpenter said Thursday he will not coach with the team this season, citing personal reasons. Carpenter said several factors influenced his decision, including his father suffering a stroke in June and the need to undergo several operations. ``There are some things I have to get done that would affect the way I do my job,'' Carpenter said.

Penguins sign D Lyle Odelein (AP)
Lyle Odelein signed Friday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been looking for a steady and physical defender to complement a group of mostly offense-minded defensemen. Odelein, 37, has played for four teams since being chosen as the Columbus Blue Jackets' first team captain in 2000, also playing for the Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers.

Canucks re-sign F Jarkko Ruutu (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks re-signed winger Jarkko Ruutu on Thursday to a one-year contract worth $600,000. In three seasons with the Canucks, the Finn had 13 goals and 21 assists in 185 games. Ruutu spent the 2004-05 season with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish league, where he had 10 goals and 18 assists. ``We are very excited to once again have Jarkko Ruutu in our lineup,'' Canucks general manager Dave...

Ovechkin comes to D.C., signs with Caps (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin, the No. 1 pick in last year's NHL draft, arrived in the nation's capital Wednesday and signed his three-year contract with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals also signed defenseman Jeff Schultz, another first-round in the 2004 draft. Ovechkin, 19, agreed to terms Aug. 5, and is scheduled to be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday.

Sadler's last stand
FONTANA, Calif. – If Elliott Sadler is to reignite his charge toward the Chase, he needs to come up big Sunday.

NASCAR joins in Hurricane Katrina relief effort (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Sadler can use another win at California Speedway (AP)
Elliott Sadler needs something good to happen on the racetrack Sunday.

Gordon leads opening California practice (AP)
Three-time California Speedway winner Jeff Gordon led the opening NASCAR Nextel Cup practice session Friday night on the 2-mile oval.

NASCAR drivers and teams contributing to Hurricane relief (AP)
Several of NASCAR's drivers and teams have set up programs and funds for contributions to the relief effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gas prices hurting NASCAR teams, too (AP)
Rising gasoline prices are having just as big an impact on NASCAR's teams as they are on everyone else in the...

Super Bowl champion QBs teaming up (AP)
FORT WORTH, Texas – Troy Aikman didn't win a game as a rookie starting quarterback in the NFL, and Roger...

Racing pioneer Marlin was one of NASCAR's good ol' boys (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Long before the huge salaries, private planes and luxury homes, racing was a mere hobby...

One-time open wheel powerhouse second tier in NASCAR (AP)
When Chip Ganassi made the jump from open wheel racing to the top stock car series part way through the 2000...

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