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Big Unit Tossed but Yankees Escape Jays (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Randy Johnson removes his baseball cap after being ejected during American League action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Friday Sept. 16, 2005. (AP Photo/Adrian Wyld)AP - On a strange night in the AL East, the New York Yankees overcame Randy Johnson's second-inning ejection and the Boston Red Sox became the first team in three years to win on a bases-loaded hit batter.


Bonds, Bagwell Back in the Swing (AP)
Houston Astros' Jeff Bagwell hits a game-winning run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1, Friday, Sept. 16, 2005, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)AP - Barry Bonds wants his home runs to come in meaningful situations — like the ones the Houston Astros have always depended on Jeff Bagwell for. The two sluggers who missed most of the season with injuries showed Friday night that they aren't going to let any rust get in their way of making September contributions.


No. 5 Tennessee a Test for No. 6 Florida (AP)
Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer reacts after his team scored in the third quarter against Texas A&M at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, in this  Jan. 1, 2005 photo. Fifth-ranked Tennessee takes on No. 6 Floirda on Saturday, in Gainesville, Fla.. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)AP - Urban Meyer won several key games at Bowling Green and Utah, beating rivals, ranked teams and bowl opponents.


Redskins Rookie Nick Novak Faces Big Test (AP)
Maryland place kicker Nick Novak reacts after kicking a game tying field goal in the final seconds against Georgia Tech Thursday, Oct. 11, 2001 in Atlanta. If there's any concern about a rookie kicker making a Monday night debut for the Washington Redskins against the Dallas Cowboys, consider first what he had to go through earlier this week. In a pressure of a four-way audition for his first NFL job, Nick Novak was the only kicker to make all 10 of his attempts. (AP Photo/Alan Mothner)AP - Four young, out-of-work kickers were summoned to the practice field Tuesday for a one-shot, high-pressure audition. At stake: a spot on the Washington Redskins roster.


Injury Gives Gretzky a Lesson in Coaching (AP)
Phoenix Coyotes managing pParter and head coach Wayne Gretzky watches his team compete against the Minnesota Wild in pre-season action from his suite Friday, Sept. 16, 2005, at the Glendale Arena in Glendale, Ariz. I(AP Photo/Matt York)AP - Wayne Gretzky got an early lesson in the harsh realities of coaching. Unexpected twists can ruin a good night.


Steelers, Authority Sue Over Heinz Field (AP)
AP - The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have filed suit against five contractors and suppliers, alleging systemic failure of the expansion joints installed throughout the $281 million Heinz Field.

Report: Vlade Divac Plans to Retire (AP)
AP - Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac plans to retire as a player but will remain with the team as an assistant coach and scout, a Serbian newspaper reported Friday.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - Oakland at Boston (7:05 p.m. EDT). Bronson Arroyo (12-9) starts for the Red Sox against Dan Haren (13-10).

FC Dallas' Johnson Reinjures Foot (AP)
AP - U.S. national team forward Eddie Johnson reinjured his right foot and is likely to miss the rest of Major League Soccer's regular season with FC Dallas.

Canadiens Getting Youppi! As Their Mascot (AP)
AP - The Montreal Canadiens have hired former Expos mascot Youppi!

Super Bowl preview?
Half of the Patriots-Panthers showdown is worthy of Super Bowl hype – the half with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

McNabb to start Sunday against 49ers (AP)
Donovan McNabb will start in the Eagles' home opener Sunday against San Francisco despite a bruised chest. The quarterback practiced Friday for the second straight day and did not seem bothered by the injury he sustained in the first quarter of Philadelphia's 14-10 opening loss at Atlanta on Monday night.

Roethlisberger returns to practice (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger practiced with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, but is still listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Houston. Coach Bill Cowher said it likely would be a game-time decision. If Roethlisberger can't play, former starter Tommy Maddox will take his place. Roethlisberger was held out Wednesday and Thursday with a bone bruise on his knee, and was downgraded from probable (75...

Bucs rookie suspended for steroids (AP)
Tampa Bay rookie fullback Rick Razzano was suspended four games Friday by the NFL for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids. Razzano, a seventh-round draft pick from Mississippi, said through the team that he tested positive for a substance he used in training before joining the Buccaneers.

Broncos' Anderson should be ready Sunday (AP)
Mike Anderson ran without pain Friday, showing little indication he had sore ribs as the Denver Broncos tuned up for Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. ``He had a lot of reps in practice today and looked pretty good out there,'' Denver coach Mike Shanahan said. ``So unless there's a setback, he should be ready to go.'' Anderson, who is listed as questionable for the game, had four...

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.

Three cities get shot at 2010 Super Bowl (AP)
With New York out of the running for the 2010 Super Bowl, the NFL next month will pick from three cities that lost a bid for the 2009 game -- Atlanta, Houston and Miami. New York was awarded the 2010 game on the condition it build a new 75,000-seat stadium in Manhattan that would have become the Jets' new home.

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.

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

Pacers G Johnson pleads no contest (AP)
Indiana guard Anthony Johnson pleaded no contest Friday to a count of misdemeanor assault and battery stemming from last season's Pacers-Pistons brawl . Johnson, one of five Indiana players, is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Oct. 7. Jury selection was to have started Friday. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

Report: Divac to retire from playing (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers center Vlade Divac plans to retire as a player but will remain with the team as an assistant coach and scout, a Serbian newspaper reported Friday. ``It is enough,'' Divac told the Blic daily. ``No, I won't play the next season. I'll work for the Lakers as an assistant coach and an international scout.'' The 37-year-old Divac, who returned to the Lakers last season, underwent back...

Italy edges Nowitzki, Germany in OT (AP)
Italy overcame 27 points and 15 rebounds by Dirk Nowitzki to edge Germany 84-82 in overtime at the start of the European Championship on Friday. Spain, playing without top star Pau Gasol, dominated reigning world champion Serbia-Montenegro 89-70 in a Group D match in Novi Sad behind 27 points from Juan Carlos Navarro.

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...

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.

Gretzky watches first game from suite (AP)
``The Great One'' was watching from above in his first game as a National Hockey League coach on Friday night. What he saw was a 3-2 victory for the Phoenix Coyotes dampened by an injury to starting goalie Brian Boucher after the game was over. Wayne Gretzky decided to watch the Coyotes' first two exhibition games from his suite high above the ice of Glendale Arena.

Former Devils owner McMullen dies (AP)
John J. McMullen, former owner of the New Jersey Devils and the Houston Astros, died Friday at 87. The cause of death was not released by the Devils. McMullen was credited with bringing NHL hockey to New Jersey, acquiring the Colorado franchise in 1982 and moving it to the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Under his ownership, the team won two Stanley Cups.

Tkachuk suspended for failing physical (AP)
St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk failed a physical and was suspended Friday by the team. General manager Larry Pleau did not elaborate on the status of Tkachuk, but said he was expected to return to the team. The 33-year-old left wing had 33 goals and 38 assists in 2003-04, the last season before the lockout.

Oilers beat Flames in first shootout (AP)
Ryan Smyth's shootout goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night in the exhibition opener for both teams. After neither team scored in the 5-minute overtime, Smyth tucked a backhand shot past Brent Krahn as Edmonton's fourth shooter in the NHL's newly implemented tie-breaking format.

Bruins re-sign goalie Raycroft (AP)
The Bruins re-signed goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who ended a brief holdout by agreeing to terms of a one-year contract on Friday. The 25-year-old Raycroft was the NHL rookie of the year in the 2003-04 season with a 2.05 goals-against average, sixth best in the league. During the lockout, he played 11 games with Tappara Tampere in Finland and went 4-5-2 with a 2.92 goals-against average and one...

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.

Setzer slipping
Dennis Setzer is looking in his rearview mirror as the Craftsman Truck Series points battle tightens heading to Loudon.

Wallace excited about shot at another Cup title (AP)
Rusty Wallace is primed for a shot at another championship.

Harvick staying put in 2006 (AP)
Forget all that talk about Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress parting ways at the end of this season.

Injured Aussie racer remains in critical care unit (AFP)
Australian Indy-car driver Ryan Briscoe remains in the critical care unit here at Methodist Hospital because of injuries suffered in a fiery race crash last Sunday.

Team gives up car after it fails inspection (AP)
The No. 25 Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports brought to New Hampshire International Speedway as the primary Nextel Cup car for Brian Vickers was in NASCAR's possession Friday after it failed inspection five times.

Harvick to return to Richard Childress Racing next year (SportsTicker)
WELCOME, North Carolina (Ticker) - Kevin Harvick still will be driving Richard Childress Racing's No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series next year.

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.

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