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Grieving Clemens Wins Following Mom's Death (AP)
Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens gets teary eyed during a press conference following the Astros 10-2 win over the  Florida Marlins to give Clemens his 12th win of the season Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, in Houston. Clemens' mother had died earlier in the day, she was 75. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)AP - Roger Clemens won this one for his mom. Bess Clemens died Wednesday morning in Georgetown, Texas, from complications of emphysema. By the evening, the Astros' ace was back on the mound in Houston, trying to win a big game for his team.


Yankees Keep Pace in AL East (AP)
New York Yankees' Hideki Matsui lines an RBI double off Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Mark Hendrickson during the first inning Wednesday night Sept. 14, 2005 in St. Petersburg, Fla.  Yankees' Derek Jeter scored on the hit. Catching for Tampa Bay is Toby Hall. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)AP - The New York Yankees finally won consecutive games against the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and kept pace in both the AL East and wild-card races.


Monarchs Draw First Blood in WNBA Finals (AP)
The Sacramento Nicole Powell slips inside the Connecticut Sun's Katie Douglas on her way in for a shot in the second half of Game 1 of the WNBA Championships in Uncasville, Conn. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005.  The Monarchs defeated the the Sun 69-65 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.   (AP Photo/Bob Child)AP - A subdued Lindsay Whalen leaned back on her locker, her left leg wrapped and hooked to machine that provided compression and cooling for her ailing knee. The Connecticut Sun guard had just played 25 minutes with a broken bone, but it was disappointment, not pain etched across her face. Yolanda Griffith and the Sacramento Monarchs had just handed the Sun a 69-65 loss in the opener of the best-of-five WNBA Finals.


QB Palmer Looking Golden in Second Season (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer throws a pass during practice, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2005, at training camp in Georgetown, Ky. One game into the season Palmer ranks among the NFL's top passers. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)AP - As the cornerstone of the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive line, right tackle Willie Anderson is expected to provide the coaches with updates on how the young quarterback is coming along.


Despite Injury, McNabb Plans to Play Sun. (AP)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb laughs during practice, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, in Philadelphia. McNabb didn't practice Wednesday because of his bruised chest. But he says he'll play in Philadelphia's home opener against San Francisco on Sunday. McNabb was injured in the first quarter in the Eagles' 14-to-10 season-opening loss at Atlanta on Monday night. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)AP - Donovan McNabb is in the middle of another controversy. McNabb didn't practice Wednesday because of a bruised chest, but the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback said he'll play in Philadelphia's home opener against San Francisco on Sunday.


Bengals, Vikes Players Begin Yappin' (AP)
AP - There are times when it seems an outbreak of laryngitis is the only way to get Minnesota cornerback Fred Smoot to stop talking. Well, Freddy is really ready to shine this week — both in pass coverage and in, uh, friendly conversation. Cincinnati's on the schedule, and never-shy receiver Chad Johnson is the assignment.

Hornets' Season Home Remains Undecided (AP)
U.S. Air force Maj. Gen. David B. Poythress, Adjutant General, Georgia Department of Defense, is silhoueted in the door of a helicopter as he flies near the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005. Poythress and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue toured the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina and visited with Georgia Guard troops helping in the aftermath of the storm. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)AP - Finding a temporary home for the New Orleans Hornets is one of the NBA's last major pieces of unfinished business as the opening of training camps draws near.


Clemens Pitches in Late Mother's Honor (AP)
Bess Clemens looks up at her son New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens after throwing out the first pitch before a game against the  Chicago White Sox, in this Aug. 26, 2003 file photo at Yankee Stadium in New York. Bess Clemens died in Georgetown, Texas, because of complications from emphysema, the Houston Astros said. She was 75. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)AP - In the final hours of her life, Rogers Clemens' mother was talking about baseball.


FC Dallas Beats Fire 1-0 in U.S Open Semis (AP)
AP - Ronnie O'Brien's unassisted goal in the 20th minute led FC Dallas to a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in the semifinals Wednesday night of the U.S Open Cup.

Fla. Coach Happy to Be Back Behind Bench (AP)
AP - Since joining the Florida Panthers, Jacques Martin has worked in a variety of capacities. He scouted minor leaguers, evaluated junior players and those in European leagues, and he helped revamp a roster that lacked big-game experience. Now, he's getting the chance to do what he likes best: coach.

Golden oldies
Some of the NFL's thirtysomethings enjoyed successful blasts from the past in Week 1.

McNabb questionable, says he'll play (AP)
Donovan McNabb is in the middle of another controversy. McNabb didn't practice Wednesday because of a bruised chest, but the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback said he'll play in Philadelphia's home opener against San Francisco on Sunday. ``Nothing will stop me from being on that field,'' said McNabb, who was injured in the first quarter in the Eagles' 14-10 season-opening loss at Atlanta on Monday...

Giants make Saints feel at home on road (AP)
Joe Horn and the Saints won't be fooled. They'll be far from home, no matter how much New Orleans flavor is added to Giants Stadium. ``It's cool. But don't get me wrong, the New York Giants are still playing a home game,'' the Saints wide receiver said Wednesday. The teams will play Monday night in a game originally scheduled to be played at the Superdome.

Falcons CB Mathis hurts knee, out Sunday (AP)
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Kevin Mathis, who was kicked out of the season opener against Philadelphia after a scuffle in pregame warmups, won't be playing this week, either. Mathis injured his left knee in practice Wednesday, and the Falcons fear it could be serious. He was on crutches in the locker room and being sent for an MRI exam.

Ravens sign Stewart as backup to Wright (AP)
Kordell Stewart worked diligently to stay in shape this summer, hopeful some NFL team would give him the opportunity to extend his career. His effort was rewarded Wednesday. The Baltimore Ravens signed Stewart to play behind Anthony Wright, who will replace an injured Kyle Boller as the starter Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

Chiefs RB Larry Johnson arrested (AP)
Larry Johnson turned himself in to face an assault charge after an altercation with his girlfriend at a bar, the latest in a series of troubles with the law for the Kansas City running back and other Chiefs players. Police Department spokesman Darin Snapp said Johnson was cited Monday for domestic abuse assault.

Superdome to be cleaned, decontaminated (AP)
Experts will have to clean and decontaminate the Louisiana Superdome before the stadium's future can be determined. Superdome officials took their first look at the Superdome, which was wrecked while housing thousands of people seeking refuge from Hurricane Katrina, on Friday. Those officials said Tuesday that mounds of trash have been removed from the Superdome's concourses and the interior is...

Falcons building rivalry with Eagles (AP)
The Atlanta Falcons were heading back to the locker room after pregame warmups when Ike Reese gave some inside info to his new teammates. ``They're going to stomp on our logo,'' Reese said, motioning back to his former teammates, the Philadelphia Eagles. Sure enough, the Eagles gathered on the 50-yard line, hopping up and down on the Falcons' odd-looking emblem.

Saints to play in Baton Rouge, Alamodome (AP)
The New Orleans Saints will have two homes away from home this season. With the Superdome damaged and rendered unusable by Hurricane Katrina, the Saints will play four home games in Baton Rouge, La., and three more in San Antonio, where they've already set up operations for the season. Owner Tom Benson was pleased that the Saints would have some semblance of a home-field advantage.

Cowher not convinced by Steelers offense (AP)
Those eight quarters watching a going-nowhere offense last month weren't erased from Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher's mind by 11 mostly effective passes by Ben Roethlisberger. Cowher isn't ready to proclaim the Steelers' offensive problems solved, even though they scored on six consecutive possessions during a season-opening 34-7 rout of Tennessee on Sunday made possible mostly by Willie...

The wisdom of Hubie
After spending some time with Hubie Brown, you quickly learn why he's in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Shaq assists Miami police in arrest (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal provided an assist to police over the weekend, trailing a man who allegedly assaulted a gay couple before alerting an arresting officer. The 7-foot-1 Miami Heat center, who is in the process of becoming a Miami Beach reserve officer, was driving on South Beach around 3 a.m. Sunday. He saw a passenger in a car yell anti-gay slurs at the couple, who were walking, said Bobby Hernandez,...

Nets closer to Brooklyn with MTA vote (AP)
The New Jersey Nets moved closer to making a new home in Brooklyn on Wednesday when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to sell an 8.3-acre railyard to team owner and real-estate developer Bruce Ratner. Ratner will pay $100 million for the downtown Brooklyn site where urban planner Robert Moses once turned down the Dodgers' push for a domed baseball stadium, helping prompt the team's...

Arrest warrant issued for Dennis Rodman (AP)
A judge signed an arrest warrant Wednesday for former NBA star Dennis Rodman after he missed a court appearance on two alleged traffic violations. District Court Administrator Christine Yuhas said Rodman could be arrested if he returns to Colorado. The warrant was first reported by the Rocky Mountain News.

Bobcats F Sean May has knee surgery (AP)
Charlotte Bobcats forward Sean May had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and will not be ready to play when training camp begins next month. May, the former North Carolina star selected 13th overall in the NBA draft, is expected to be ready in time for Charlotte's Nov. 2 season opener. ``We are fortunate that this was a minor injury and caught early,'' Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff...

Celtics G Tony Allen has knee surgery (AP)
Boston Celtics guard Tony Allen had a small piece of cartilage removed from his right knee, and it's not know whether he'll return in time for the season opener. Allen had the procedure on Tuesday and will begin rehabilitation immediately, but will probably miss training camp next month, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said.

Nuggets re-sign DerMarr Johnson (AP)
The Denver Nuggets on Tuesday re-signed DerMarr Johnson, one of four players who shared off-guard duties last season. Johnson started 40 games last season at shooting guard and played in 71 games, averaging 7.1 points and 2.1 rebounds. Terms of his deal were not released. ``He played a key role in our success last season and continues to get better,'' general manager Kiki Vandeweghe said in a...

Moe has surgery for prostate cancer (AP)
Denver Nuggets assistant coach Doug Moe had surgery for prostate cancer Monday. The 66-year-old Moe was diagnosed with cancer recently, around the time Denver head coach George Karl was given a clean bill of health after also have prostate cancer surgery himself. Moe is Denver's winningest coach with 432 victories from 1980-90.

Ron Francis retires after 23 seasons (AP)
Ron Francis wasn't going to play forever. It just seemed that way. The four-time all-star announced his retirement Wednesday, ending a 23-year career in which he won two Stanley Cups and ranked as one of the NHL's career leaders in games played, goals, assists and points. ``I think you always hope you can play forever, but you always realize that time will come,'' Francis said of retirement.

Great One feels like a beginner again (AP)
Wayne Gretzky gave a hint of his coaching style Tuesday when he opened training camp with a greeting to Phoenix Coyotes players, then went into the stands at Glendale Arena to watch two scrimmages while his assistants oversaw the line changes. Gretzky, who stayed on as the team's managing partner for hockey operations despite announcing on Aug.

Messier retires, ends 25-year career (AP)
In 1979, Glen Sather had no idea his 18-year-old fourth-line winger would grow up to be Mark Messier -- the second-leading scorer in NHL history. ``He didn't have superstar written all over him, but he had the desire to play,'' Sather said Monday, shortly after Messier announced his retirement following a 25-year career.

Oilers re-sign F Ryan Smyth (AP)
Forward Ryan Smyth re-signed with the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, agreeing to a $7-million, two-year deal. Smyth, who would have been eligible for free agency after the season, was already in camp under a one-year deal while his agent and Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe worked on a longer contract.

Crosby completes first NHL practice (AP)
John LeClair took a break and watched whenever he wasn't in a drill. So did Mark Recchi. Mario Lemieux, not accustomed to being only the second-most visible player during a Pittsburgh Penguins practice, took an extra peek or two himself. All eyes were on prospect nonpareil Sidney Crosby at the Penguins' first training camp practice Wednesday, including those of his much older and more accomplished...

Lemieux: Penguins will still lose money (AP)
The Pittsburgh Penguins expect to lose at least $7 million this season despite a more favorable NHL labor agreement, player salary concessions and a big jump in ticket sales created by adding rookie Sidney Crosby. Owner-player Mario Lemieux said Tuesday his ownership group decided to increase the payroll by about $9 million, from $22 million in 2003-04 to about $31 million, in an accelerated...

Dallas Stars back on ice (AP)
Within the first 30 seconds of the Dallas Stars' first scrimmage of training camp, two goals had already been scored. Maybe those new rules intended to increase scoring chances will really work. Or maybe these guys had that much energy built up after the NHL's lost season. ``The greatest thing is the players' spirits are unbelievable,'' coach Dave Tippett said.

Trading Paint: Feeling left out
The Chase is about to begin, but some NASCAR fans are talking about those who aren't even in it.

Loomis leaves Gordon's team to join Petty Enterprises; Eury Jr. returns to Earnhardt (AP)
Robbie Loomis stepped down as Jeff Gordon's crew chief Wednesday, four days after the team failed to make NASCAR's Chase for the championship.

Gordon's crew cheif Loomis joins Petty Enterprises (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Jeff Gordon's championship hopes are gone. So is his crew chief.

Eury Jr. named crew chief for Earnhardt Jr. (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have the final 10 races to see what might have been.

Eury Jr. to move back to Earnhardt's team beginning this week (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be reunited with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. beginning with this week's event in New Hampshire, a team official said Wednesday.

NASCAR, ISC seek dismissal of Kentucky Speedway lawsuit (AP)
NASCAR wants a federal judge to dismiss a $400 million lawsuit filed by Kentucky Speedway, calling the action ``a study in contradictions and irony.''

Truex docked 25 points, fined for actions at Richmond (SportsTicker)
Martin Truex Jr. apparently hasn't learned anything from his co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Truex docked points and fined for obscene gesture at Richmond (AP)
Reigning Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. was penalized $10,000 and 25 points by NASCAR on Tuesday for using an obscene gesture during last week's race.

Roush has five in Chase, but Stewart is man to beat (AP)
Tony Stewart was in a good place before the final race to set the field for NASCAR's Chase for the championship, his spot atop the standings secure.

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