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Yankees Take Opener Against Red Sox (AP)
Boston Red Sox' Jason Varitek, right, is out at the plate as New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada (20) makes the tag in the third inning Friday, Sept. 9, 2005, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)AP - With fellow catcher Jason Varitek bearing down on him, Jorge Posada planted himself on home plate and wouldn't budge. No way the New York Yankees are about to let Boston end their reign in the AL East without making a stand.


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Wild-Card Chasers Get Help From Clemens (AP)
Houston Astros' Roger Clemens reacts to a pop out from Milwaukee Brewers' Doug Davis in the third inning of Friday Sept. 9, 2005 game Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)AP - In a crowded race for the National League wild card, the teams chasing the Houston Astros could use any help they can get. Some came Friday night from an unlikely source: Roger Clemens.


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Royals' Pitcher Greinke Ejected From Game (AP)
Kansas City Royals starter Zack Greinke pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005, in Detroit. Greinke (4-16) won for the first time since July 19, as the Royals beat the Tigers 12-2. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)AP - Kansas City Royals pitcher Zack Greinke was ejected from Friday night's game against the Detroit Tigers with two outs in the sixth inning after throwing a pitch over the head of Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez.


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U.S. Open Final a New Chance for Clijsters (AP)
Kim Clijsters, of Belgium, returns to Maria Sharapova, of Russia, at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. Clijsters won, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)AP - The Kim Clijsters who faces Mary Pierce for the U.S. Open title isn't the same Kim Clijsters who lost three Grand Slam finals in an eight-month span two years ago. Not even close.


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UCI Scolds World Doping Over Armstrong (AP)
Cyclist Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, walks out of  the Tour de France's anti-doping control bus after the 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Les Deux Alpes and La Plagne, French Alps, in this July 24, 2002 photo. Cycling's governing body said Friday, Sept. 9, 2005, it had received no evidence of doping by Lance Armstrong and criticized world doping authorities and a French sports newspaper for making allegations against the seven-time Tour de France champion. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)AP - Cycling's world governing body criticized world doping authorities and a French sports newspaper for alleging seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong used performance-enhancing substances six years ago.


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Saints Try to Win One for a Lost City (AP)
AP - Their own dome is trashed, and so is their city. Their fans are scattered here and there, and so are their families.

Timberwolves Re-Sign Anthony Carter (AP)
AP - Free agent guard Anthony Carter re-signed Friday with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - Florida at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m EDT). Brett Myers (12-7) starts for the Phillies against Jason Vargas (5-3).

Chelsea Accused by FA of Drug Testing (AP)
AP - Defending champion Chelsea was accused of misconduct by England's Football Association on Thursday for doing independent drug tests on some of its players.

Minnesota Wild Sign Stoner, Veilleux (AP)
AP - The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Clayton Stoner to a rookie contract and left wing Stephane Veilleux to a multiyear contract Friday.

Season's greetings
We will finally get the chance to see if T.O. and Donovan McNabb can get along.

Owens, McNabb finally resolve feud (AP)
Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb have resolved their feud, according to the enigmatic All-Pro wide receiver. Owens said Friday in a radio interview on Miami's 790 AM that he spoke to McNabb and the two Philadelphia Eagles stars are ``getting along just fine.'' ``We both have a mutual respect for each other and I think we probably understand that both of us may have been wrong in the situation, but...

Four games for Saints in Alamodome? (AP)
A shortage of hotel rooms, caused by Hurricane Katrina victims who fled the New Orleans area, is the main obstacle to the New Orleans Saints playing three of their home games at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, a school official said Friday. The Saints reportedly are negotiating to play four games in San Antonio, where they have set up a temporary home since fleeing Katrina.

Patriots top Raiders 30-20 in NFL opener (AP)
The New England Patriots lost two linebackers and two coaches in the offseason. They still know how to win, thanks in large part to two stars they didn't lose. Tom Brady threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns and Richard Seymour helped make a game-turning defensive play as the Patriots opened their quest for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl victory by beating Oakland 30-20 on Thursday...

Eagles' Westbrook ends contract talks (AP)
Move over T.O. Brian Westbrook is making his way to the top of the line of disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles. The Pro Bowl running back cut off contract talks with the Eagles because the two sides are far apart on a long-term extension, expressing disappointment management ``hasn't stepped up to the plate.'' ``Me and my agent have told the Eagles' management that we're no longer interested in talking...

Dolphins TE McMichael pleads guilty (AP)
Miami Dolphins tight end Randy McMichael pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months probation on a charge related to a July argument during which police say he gave his wife a bloody nose. McMichael, 26, of Weston, Fla., entered the plea through his attorney to misdemeanor criminal trespass on Thursday, the Augusta Chronicle reported on its Web site Friday.

Chiefs QB Green says he's ready to go (AP)
Two weeks after undergoing surgery to restore circulation in his leg, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green pronounced himself 100 percent fit. ``I feel really good,'' he said Thursday. ``It's amazing how quick the turnaround has been, how quickly it came back.'' Doctors implanted a stent in an artery after conducting a battery of tests to learn why he was experiencing numbness in the left leg...

NFL reduces Doss suspension to one game (AP)
The NFL on Thursday reduced the suspension of Indianapolis Colts safety Mike Doss from two games to one game. League spokesman Steve Alic said the decision came after Doss appealed the penalty. The reduction, an unusual move by the NFL, was contingent on Doss' meeting with conditions imposed by the league, but Alic would not elaborate on those conditions.

Giants sign RB Barber to extension (AP)
New York Giants running back Tiki Barber said he signed a two-year contract extension with the team Thursday. The new contract goes through the 2008 season. Barber's agent, Mark Lepselter, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday. Under terms of his previous contract, Barber was scheduled to earn $4.25 million this season and in 2006.

Coroner: Herrion died of heart disease (AP)
The Denver County coroner's report confirmed what Thomas Herrion's family and friends already believed: The San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman died of a heart attack that was unpredictable and probably unstoppable. Herrion had heart disease and evidence of previous heart trouble when he collapsed and died after a preseason game in Denver Aug.

Out of Africa come hoop lessons
Steve sees first-hand how basketball is bridging cultural, racial and religious divisions in South Africa.

Auerbach still hospitalized, improving (AP)
Boston Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach was alert and comfortable after being hospitalized earlier this week for an unspecified ailment, a team spokesman said Friday. The 87-year-old coaching great has been in and out of the hospital over the past month for tests and a successful surgical procedure, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said.

Chatman honors Gunter at Hall of Fame (AP)
Sue Gunter never sought accolades. She shunned the limelight and shrugged off awards, even though she received plenty. But this was different. The longtime LSU head coach learned in April she was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. By then, emphysema had taken its toll and she could barely talk that day.

Jones joins Cavs with four-year deal (AP)
Damon Jones is ready to give the Cleveland Cavaliers something they've needed: a top 3-point shooter. Jones passed his physical Thursday after agreeing to a four-year, $16.1 million contract. In acquiring Jones, who made 225 3-pointers for the Miami Heat last season, the Cavaliers took another step in their effort to avoid missing the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season.

NBA officials visit Oklahoma City (AP)
NBA representatives toured the Ford Center and met with local officials Friday about the possibility of temporarily moving the displaced New Orleans Hornets to the city. Mayor Mick Cornett said five NBA officials walked around the facility and discussed possible terms of a lease should the team decide to play its 41-game home schedule at the arena, which seats 19,675 for basketball.

Nets sign forwards Padgett, Murray (AP)
The New Jersey Nets signed free-agent forwards Lamond Murray and Scott Padgett, all but completing the offseason changes to their roster. The 6-foot-7 Murray, 32, averaged 11.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 10 seasons with the L.A. Clippers, Cleveland and Toronto and shot 44 percent from 3-point range last season for the Raptors.

Shaq, wife coordinate relief effort (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal and his wife Shaunie are coordinating a major relief effort designed to help some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Through Saturday, the O'Neal family will have collection boxes set up at eight El Dorado furniture stores in South Florida, and are asking the public to donate toiletries and other personal health items that will be transported to Baton Rouge, La.

Nuggets ink G Earl Watson (AP)
The Denver Nuggets signed free agent guard Earl Watson on Wednesday, bringing in the four-year veteran to bolster their backcourt. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ``Earl is one of the up-and-coming guards in this league and we're happy to have him,'' general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said. The 6-foot-1 Watson joins the Nuggets after three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he averaged a...

Penguins sign Crosby to three-year deal (AP)
By adding No. 1 overall pick Sidney Crosby to a team already restocked with talented free agents, the Pittsburgh Penguins feel they've turned back the clock to the early 1990s -- when they were two-time Stanley Cup champions and perennial contenders. The terms of Crosby's three-year contract, $850,000 in salary each season with the chance to double that with performance incentives, were dictated...

Al MacInnis retires after 23-year career (AP)
St. Louis Blues defenseman Al MacInnis retired after a 23-year career on Friday, citing the NHL lockout last season and not an eye injury that forced him to miss virtually all the 2003-04 season. ``My health is good and my will is strong,'' MacInnis said at a news conference, his voice breaking several times.

Forsberg, Hatcher to miss most of camp (AP)
Philadelphia's Peter Forsberg and Derian Hatcher will miss most of the Flyers' training camp with injuries that will sideline each about two to three weeks. Forsberg, who signed as a free agent last month, will have surgery Monday to remove an infected bursa in his right ankle. The Flyers said Forsberg is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Leafs sign F Czerkawski to one-year deal (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed unrestricted free agent forward Mariusz Czerkawski to a one-year contract Friday. Czerkawski had 25 goals and 24 assists with the New York Islanders two years ago. He 15 goals and nine assists in 46 games for Djurgarden in Sweden last season. The 33-year-old native of Radomsko, Poland has played 710 career NHL games for Boston, Edmonton, Montreal and the Islanders...

McKee accepts Sabres qualifying offer (AP)
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jay McKee accepted his one-year qualifying offer Friday, nearly a month after the NHL-imposed deadline. McKee will earn $1.6 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2006. The two sides had decided to extend the deadline twice in the hopes of working out a long-term contract, but were unable to do so.

D Ruslan Salei signs with Mighty Ducks (AP)
Defenseman Ruslan Salei has signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The 30-year-old Salei has 25 goals and 61 assists in 516 NHL games -- all with the Ducks. He ranks third on the team's all-time games played list and is the active leader. Salei spent last season with Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Elite League.

Sabres D Patrick ends 21-year career (AP)
Veteran Sabres defenseman James Patrick, who spent 21 years in the NHL, retired Thursday and accepted an assistant coaching position with the team. Patrick, who broke into the league with the New York Rangers in 1983, spent the last six seasons with the Sabres. He was hoping to play at least one more year before last season was erased by the lockout.

Time for a crew chief change?
Robbie Loomis addressed speculation he may be leaving as the head of Jeff Gordon's crew.

The pressure is on for NASCAR's bubble drivers (AP)
The pressure is on the drivers still trying to fill out the field for NASCAR's championship title hunt.

Harvick wins Busch Series Emerson Radio 250 (SportsTicker)


Harvick wins Busch race at Richmond (AP)
Kevin Harvick pulled away from Paul Menard in a two-lap dash to the finish Friday night for his third Busch Series victory of the season.

Points leader Truex has tough night Richmond (AP)
Busch series leader Martin Truex Jr. was knocked from the race at Richmond International Raceway after just over 200 laps Friday night, tightening the points race and leaving him furious with Mike Wallace.

Loomis might be leaving as Gordon's crew chief after this season (AP)
The future of Jeff Gordon's crew chief is up in the air when his contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs out at the end of this season, and Robbie Loomis said Friday that he ``probably'' won't be making the calls next season for the No. 24 team.

Harvick wins pole; Contenders set for Chase battle (AP)
Kevin Harvick grabbed the pole Friday night for the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, but most of the attention was on drivers positioning themselves for a final shot at earning a berth in the Chase for the championship.

Harvick wins pole for NASCAR Chevy Rock & Roll 400 (SportsTicker)


Martin to return in 2006 (AP)
The only thing that brought a frown to Mark Martin's face after his victory in the International Race of Champions event was a question about his future.

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