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Yankees Rally to Defeat Devil Rays 9-5 (AP)
New York Yankees' Jorge Posada (20) and Bernie Williams (51) congratulate Robinson Cano after Cano hit a grand slam off Tampa Bay Devil Rays' starter Seth McClung during the sixth inning Thursday night, Sept. 15, 2005 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)AP - Alex Rodriguez hit his 42nd home run and Robinson Cano erased a four-run deficit with a grand slam, helping Aaron Small and the New York Yankees rally to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 9-5 Thursday night.


Cardinals Clinch Another NL Central Title (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, left, pulls out starting pitcher Jeff Suppan (37) during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs as teammates Yadier Molina, second from left, David Eckstein (22) and Abraham Nunez (3) look on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)AP - The St. Louis Cardinals clinched another NL Central title Thursday night in what has become a customary experience under manager Tony La Russa.


Slumping Angels Lose Fourth Straight Game (AP)
Detroit Tigers' Curtis Granderson watches his inside-the-park three-run homer against the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth inning Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)AP - Curtis Granderson gave Detroit the lead with a three-run inside-the-park homer and Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe also homered in the Tigers' 8-6 victory over the slumping Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.


Aybar Helps Dodgers Defeat Giants 7-1 (AP)
The Los Angeles Dodgers' Jayson Werth, left, scores on a bases-loaded 2-RBI single by Willy Aybar as San Francisco Giants' catcher Mike Matheny takes a late throw, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005,l in San Francisco.  Giants pitcher Brad Hennessey backs up the play.  AP Photo/Dino Vournas)AP - Rookie Willy Aybar drove in a career-high three runs, Jose Cruz Jr. hit an RBI triple and Derek Lowe won his third straight decision in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.


Lance Armstrong Says He Will Stay Retired (AP)
Six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, and Hein Verbruggen, president of the International Cycling Union, attend the launch of the Cycling Pro Tour, in Paris, in this March 5, 2005 photo. World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound said Thursday, that  Verbruggen supplied L'Equipe with documents the French sports newspaper used to accuse  Armstrong of doping at the 1999 Tour de France. Pound said he received a letter from  Verbruggen, head of the cycling body, known by its initials UCI, saying he had provided L'Equipe's reporter with forms indicating Armstrong had tested positive for EPO during his first Tour victory. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)AP - The nasty tug of war between the bosses of the international cycling union and the World Anti-Doping Agency over who leaked information to a French newspaper that accused Lance Armstrong of doping at the 1999 Tour de France claimed its first casualty Thursday.


Nine players fined for part in pre-game brawl (Reuters)
Reuters - Nine players from the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons were fined by the NFL on Thursday for their part in a brawl that erupted just prior to the kickoff of the season's first Monday night game.

20 NBA Stars Playing in Euro Championship (AP)
AP - The NBA will be well represented at the European Basketball Championship, led by the host nation with five players.

Delmon Young Calls Devil Rays 'Cheap' (AP)
AP - Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect Delmon Young said Thursday that critical statements he made about the organization for not promoting him to the majors this month were not aimed at players on the last-place team.

U.S. Open Cup Final to Be Played in Calif. (AP)
AP - The Los Angeles Galaxy will host the U.S. Open Cup final against FC Dallas on Sept. 28 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Blue Jackets Forward Out at Least 2 Weeks (AP)
AP - High-scoring Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is expected to be out at least two weeks after spraining an ankle during a scrimmage.

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

McNabb practices, says he's ready to go (AP)
Donovan McNabb had no pass rush to elude, no threats to his bruised chest. Philadelphia's five-time Pro Bowl quarterback had all the time he needed to hit Terrell Owens on a nice sideline pattern and Greg Lewis on a deep route during a routine practice. While Thursday's practice was a fine first test for McNabb, the true measure of his condition will come in the next few days when he finds out how...

Ten players fined for MNF actions (AP)
Nine players were fined for their roles in a fight before Monday night's game between the Eagles and Falcons, with Atlanta defensive tackle Chad Lavalais drawing the biggest fine -- $7,500 -- for a hit on Donovan McNabb during the game. Lavalais was fined for using his helmet on McNabb, who hurt his chest on the play.

Falcons CB Mathis out for the season (AP)
This week can't end soon enough for Atlanta Falcons cornerback Kevin Mathis. The NFL fined Mathis and Philadelphia linebacker Jeremiah Trotter $5,000 each Thursday for their roles in a pregame fight between both teams Monday night. Both players were ejected before kickoff, but Mathis suffered a far worse setback on Wednesday.

Giants: Sympathy won't extend to field (AP)
On Monday, the New York Giants will play a home game that really isn't a home game, on a day when they normally would not even put on helmets and pads. But that deviation from normalcy is minor compared to what their opponents, the New Orleans Saints, have experienced since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast more than two weeks ago and forced them to set up temporary headquarters in San...

Bailey to extend games streak Sunday (AP)
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, who hasn't missed a game in his seven-year NFL career, practiced in pads Thursday and said he expects to keep the streak going Sunday against San Diego despite a dislocated shoulder. ``If I'm in pads during the week, I'm probably going to play,'' Bailey said. ``So, there's no doubt that I'll probably be out there.

McNair gives injured McNabb advice (AP)
Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb was a little reluctant to reach out to Steve McNair to ask for advice on how to handle his chest injury. Turns out, the Titans quarterback was more than happy to offer some rehab recommendations. McNair even made the first call. McNabb suffered a bruised chest in the first quarter in the Eagles' 14-10 season-opening loss at Atlanta on Monday night.

Saints to pay LSU $1.2M to use stadium (AP)
Playing four times in Tiger Stadium will cost the New Orleans Saints about $1.2 million, LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said Wednesday. That works out to about $300,000 per game. It will be used to cover game expenses and wear and tear on the field. Bertman said LSU will realize little, if any, profit.

Warner: No extra motivation to face Rams (AP)
Kurt Warner made his fame as quarterback of the St. Louis Rams, then lost his starting job before moving on. For the first time since that uncomfortable separation two years ago, Warner will go against the Rams, directing the Arizona Cardinals in a matchup Sunday of NFC West teams trying to avoid 0-2 starts.

Billick: Boller is Ravens' starter (AP)
The toe injury that forced Kyle Boller out of Sunday's game against Tennessee will not cost him his job as Baltimore Ravens quarterback. Eager to clarify his remark Wednesday that Anthony Wright ``will be our starting quarterback until circumstances change,'' coach Brian Billick emphasized Thursday that his confidence in Boller has not waned.

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

Home for Hornets an NBA uncertainty (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. After a busier-than-average summer, the past couple of weeks have been relatively calm. Among the few free agents still unsigned are Chicago's Eddy Curry and Minnesota's Latrell Sprewell, and among those looking to quell rumors is Boston boss...

NBA stars highlight Euro Championship (AP)
The NBA will be well represented at the European Basketball Championship, led by the host nation with five players. More than 20 NBA players will be part of the 16-nation, 10-day tournament that opens Friday in four cities. Serbia-Montenegro is loaded with talent even though its best player, Sacramento Kings All-Star Peja Stojakovic, decided not to play.

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.

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...

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.

Jazz introduce newest member, Brown (AP)
Devin Brown took the blame when the lights went out for a moment during his news conference Wednesday. ``Sorry. I was shooting a little bit earlier,'' quipped Brown, whose new team -- the Utah Jazz -- can only hope his shooting touch is that good. The Jazz on Wednesday introduced the 26-year-old Brown, who played in 135 NBA games with San Antonio and Denver over the past three seasons and averaged...

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,...

Crosby gets three assists in scrimmage (AP)
Sidney Crosby needed all of a half period to get his name on the training camp score sheet. Crosby, the NHL's No. 1 draft pick and a prospect many are comparing to the likes of Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, had a game-high three assists in leading his team to a 4-1 victory in a camp game Thursday. ``I've watched him skate a little in the past week, and I know how good he is,'' said Lemieux, the...

Blue Jackets' Nash to miss two weeks (AP)
High-scoring Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is expected to be out at least two weeks after spraining an ankle during a scrimmage. Nash, who tied Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kovalchuk for the NHL lead in goals in 2003-04, went feet first into the boards on Wednesday. He was helped from the ice and taken to Grant Medical Center, where X-rays revealed no broken bones, the team said.

Ovechkin to make debut Wednesday at home (AP)
Top overall 2004 draft pick Alexander Ovechkin won't travel with the Washington Capitals for their first two exhibition games, instead making his preseason NHL debut at home next week. Ovechkin's place on the team is secure, and coach Glen Hanlon said Thursday he wants to use games at Carolina on Friday and at Buffalo on Saturday to get extended looks at players fighting for roster spots.

Flyers F Kapanen to miss 10 weeks (AP)
Philadelphia Flyers forward Sami Kapanen needs surgery on his injured right shoulder and is expected to miss 10 weeks. The 32-year-old Kapanen said he was hurt several weeks ago in a scrimmage. The Flyers said Kapanen will have surgery on Tuesday in Philadelphia. The Flyers now have three players sidelined.

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.

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.

Stewart in positive mood heading into the Chase (AP)
A smiling Tony Stewart greeted fans at a Times Square sports bar, truly relaxing for probably the last time this season. Stewart and defending NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch were among 10 drivers making a pit stop Thursday to promote The Chase for the Championship, which begins Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Letarte to make crew chief debut at New Hampshire with Gordon (AP)
Steve Letarte has spent 10 years training to be a crew chief. His time is finally here and it comes under a glaring spotlight: Letarte will make his debut this weekend in New Hampshire running four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon's team.

Busch running away with rookie honors (AP)
Kyle Busch has turned the rookie of the year race in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series into a one-man show.

Former champion on a tear as Chase begins (AP)
The way that Matt Kenseth won his championship in 2003 often is pointed to as the reason NASCAR went to a...

Fisher starting from scratch in stock cars (AP)
It's been a long, strange journey for Sarah Fisher from most popular driver in the Indy Racing League to the...

Bill Sawyer happy in return to racing roots (AP)
SALUDA, Va. – The warmup laps are under way at Virginia Motor Speedway, and the burly man in the shorts...

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.

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