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White Sox Beat Angels 2-1 on Disputed Call (AP)
Chicago White Sox A.J. Pierzynski, right looks back at homeplate umpire Doug Eddings as Eddings make a non call on a pitch as catcher Jose Molina heads to the dugout eventually flipping the ball into the infield during the bottom of the ninth inning of  Game 2 of the ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. Pierzynski ran to first to set up the go ahead run as the White Sox beat the Angels, 2-1. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP - The ninth inning was over. And then it wasn't. And then Joe Crede gave the White Sox what is sure to go down as one of the most disputed victories in playoff history.


Three Errors Prove Costly for Angels (AP)
Chicago White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski swings at a pitch from Los Angeles Angels pitcher Kelvim Escobar as catcher Jose Molina reaches to the ground for the ball during the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2 of the ALCS at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. Umpire Doug Eddings looks on from the plate.  (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP - Los Angeles Angels catcher Josh Paul had no doubt he caught the ball cleanly. So he rolled it back toward the mound and headed to the dugout, thinking A.J. Pierzynski had struck out to end the ninth inning. One problem: Pierzynski wound up safe at first base.


Cardinals Beat Astros 5-3 in NLCS Opener (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals' Reggie Sanders (16) hits a two-run home run off Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte in the first inning of Game 1 of the National League Championship Series Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)AP - Reggie Sanders hit a two-run homer, extending his torrid postseason run, and Chris Carpenter pitched out of trouble to lead the St. Louis Cardinals past the Houston Astros 5-3 in Game 1 of the NL championship series Wednesday night.


Sharks Win Home Opener vs. Blue Jackets (AP)
A San Jose Shark emerges onto the ice for the match against the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005, in San Jose, Calif. This is the first home match for the Sharks since the hockey strike.  (AP Photo/Ben Margot)AP - Wayne Primeau scored two goals, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots and the San Jose Sharks won their home opener in their favorite fast-paced style, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Wednesday night.


Predators Beat Avalanche, Stay Undefeated (AP)
AP - Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal with 6 1/2 minutes to play after Colorado goalie David Aebischer took a cheap penalty, helping the Nashville Predators stay undefeated with a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Doc Pleads Not Guilty in Steroids Case (AP)
AP - A doctor who was accused in a television report of writing illegal steroid prescriptions for three former Carolina Panthers players has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.

Stoudemire Surgery Called 'Best-Case' (AP)
Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire grins as he answers a reporters' question during a news conference announcing his signing a five-year contract extension with the team on Monday, Oct. 3, 2005, in Phoenix. The Phoenix Suns will be without all-star forward Amare Stoudemire for about least four months after he underwent microfracture surgery to repair damage to his injured left knee on Tuesday Oct. 11, 2005. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)AP - Amare Stoudemire's surgery was limited to repairing torn cartilage in his left knee, a "best-case scenario" for the Phoenix Suns' All-Star.


Buerhle Goes the Distance for White Sox (AP)
Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle pitches in the first  inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)AP - Mark Buehrle raced to the third base line and caught the popup himself, the final out in the top of the ninth. Then, he flipped the ball into the stands — what turned out to be the last throw of a stellar performance.


Guatemala Finishes in Fifth Place (AP)
Carlos Ruiz, from Guatemala, cries after not qualifying for the 2006 World CUp even though defeating Costa Rica 3-1,  in Guatemala City, Wednesday, Oct 12, 2005. (Ap Photo/Moises Castillo)AP - Guatemala scored three goals in the first half and beat Costa Rica 3-1 on Wednesday, but it was not enough to keep the country's hopes of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup alive.


Wild Whack Canucks 6-0 (AP)
Minnesota WIld's Pascal Dupuis, right, goes airborne after he gets tangled up with Vancouver Canuck's Sami Salo, left, in first period Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2005 in St. Paul, Minn.. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)AP - Matt Foy scored the first two goals of his career and Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 6-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.


Back or the future?
Nick Saban has a dilemma – work Ricky Williams into the Miami backfield, or allow rookie Ronnie Brown to continue his development unimpeded.

Vick says he expects to play vs. Saints (AP)
Michael Vick said he expects to play Sunday against New Orleans after his sprained right knee held up in Wednesday's practice. ``I heal pretty fast,'' said the Falcons' quarterback, who missed last week's game against New England. ``Yes, I think I will be playing on Sunday. I have to continue to treat my knee and make sure that it is nice and sturdy when I get out there.'' Vick was held out of last...

Giants TE Shockey signs $31.2M extension (AP)
Jeremy Shockey, the New York Giants' flamboyant and sometimes spectacular tight end, signed a five-year, $31.2 million contract extension on Wednesday. Shockey's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the deal makes him the NFL's highest-paid player at his position. It includes a $3 million signing bonus for Shockey, who had two years left on his contract.

Buccaneers' Barber fined $30,000 (AP)
Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber was fined $30,000 by the NFL on Wednesday for punching an official during last Sunday's game with the New York Jets. Two other prominent players, Baltimore's Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed, were fined $15,000 each for making contact with an official during the Ravens' game in Detroit.

Williams rejoins Dolphins practice (AP)
Nick Saban smiled Wednesday when he walked into an interview room and saw it filled with reporters and cameramen. ``Wow,'' the Miami Dolphins coach said. ``What's the occasion? Like I don't know.'' Ricky Williams' first regular-season practice since 2003 drew a media horde. Coming back from a one-year retirement and four-game suspension at the start of this season for violating the NFL drug policy,...

Cadillac hopes to play against Dolphins (AP)
Tampa Bay's Carnell ``Cadillac'' Williams practiced Wednesday and remained optimistic that he'll play this week against the Miami Dolphins. Still, the rookie running back was listed on the injury report as questionable two days after coach Jon Gruden said the fifth pick in the draft was probable for Sunday.

Steelers' Batch ready if he has to start (AP)
Not all that long ago, there was debate in the NFL over which quarterback was the best of the rookie class of 1998: Peyton Manning or Charlie Batch. Manning's statistics looked more impressive, with 3,739 yards passing and 26 touchdowns, but he also threw 28 interceptions on a 3-13 Colts team. But Batch looked to be the Detroit Lions' quarterback for the long term after passing for 2,178 yards and...

Browns' Edwards may be out for a month (AP)
Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards was released from the hospital Wednesday but might not play for a month while recovering from an infected right arm. The rookie underwent surgery Saturday and sat out Cleveland's win on Sunday over the Chicago Bears. He was discharged after four nights at Cleveland Clinic, and the team said he will continue to recover at home.

Browns, Winslow close to extension (AP)
Kellen Winslow Jr. and the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing a one-year contract extension that will give the tight end a chance to recoup some of the money forfeited when he was injured in a motorcycle accident. Winslow, out for the season following knee surgery, breached his original six-year, $40 million rookie contract by violating a ``dangerous activities'' clause when he crashed his...

Injury report shows Pats are healthier (AP)
Patriots defensive stalwarts Willie McGinest and Richard Seymour missed at least part of practice on Wednesday. They probably won't miss the game in Denver on Sunday. For the first time this season, New England had fewer than eight players listed as questionable on the regular Wednesday injury report.

NBA preview: Central
The Pacers will win the division – as long as they avoid brawls and season-long suspensions.

Amare's surgery is 'best-case scenario' (AP)
Amare Stoudemire's surgery was limited to repairing torn cartilage in his left knee, a ``best-case scenario'' for the Phoenix Suns' All-Star. While other players have struggled to come back at full strength after microfracture surgery, Suns team doctor Thomas Carter said Stoudemire doesn't have the same obstacles to overcome.

Cavs' James hurting with chest strain (AP)
LeBron James winced with pain at times during practice Wednesday, a day after he woke up with a strained chest muscle. James sat out the Cleveland Cavaliers' exhibition game Tuesday night against Boston and is listed as questionable with a strained left pectoral muscle for Friday night's home exhibition game against Philadelphia.

Garnett sits as Bucks beat T-Wolves (AP)
First overall pick Andrew Bogut had nine points and nine rebounds and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 92-89 on Wednesday night in the preseason opener for both teams. Desmond Mason led the Bucks with 15 points and Michael Redd, who re-signed with Milwaukee in the offseason, scored 13.

Iverson leads Sixers past Spurs (AP)
Allen Iverson will remember his first trip to the Colonial Center for the rest of his life -- and not because he beat fellow All-Star Tim Duncan. Iverson got a huge ovation from the nearly sold-out crowd of 17,551 on Wednesday, many wearing Iverson's No. 3 jersey and screaming as loud as they could when his name was called for pregame introductions.

McMillan beats Sonics in Blazers debut (AP)
Shedding the title Mr. Sonic for now, Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan coached his new team's first preseason game -- a victory against the Seattle SuperSonics. Zach Randolph, returning from microfracture surgery to his right knee late last season, had 16 points and eight rebounds and the Blazers beat the Sonics 82-75 Wednesday night.

Whaley's tip-in lifts Jazz over Raptors (AP)
Rookie Robert Whaley's tip-in with 0.8 seconds left in overtime lifted the Utah Jazz over the Toronto Raptors 102-101 on Wednesday night in the preseason opener for both teams. Rookie C.J. Miles, who led the Jazz with 14 points, sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left. Tierre Brown had 24 points and seven assists and rookie Charlie Villanueva added 15 points for the...

McGrady, Yao lead Rockets over Magic (AP)
Tracy McGrady scored 20 points and Yao Ming added 19, helping the Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic 84-80 on Wednesday night. Steve Francis and Keyon Dooling led the Magic with 12 points apiece, each scoring five in the third quarter as Orlando fought back within two at 65-63 entering the final period.

Power Rankings
Ottawa and San Jose are in position to reach the Stanley Cup Finals according to our season-opening Power Rankings.

Kovalchuk silenced by Habs in debut (AP)
Montreal goalie Yann Danis had the NHL debut he envisioned. The 24-year-old stopped 32 shots in the Canadiens 2-0 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers Wednesday night. ``I imagined it,'' Danis said after shutting down Ilya Kovalchuk and a powerful Atlanta attack. ``It was a good start for me. Our team scored the first goal, so my confidence was there.

Report: Minor league union may sue NHL (AP)
A union representing 1,300 minor league hockey players threatened to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NHL over a provision in the league's new collective bargaining agreement, the Toronto Sun reported Thursday. The Professional Hockey Players' Association, whose members play in the AHL and ECHL, said the provision restricts the salaries of players in the minors, the newspaper said.

Foy, Roloson power Wild over Canucks (AP)
Minnesota Wild forward Matt Foy is making a strong bid to stay with the big club this season. Foy scored the first two goals of his career and Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves to lead the Wild to a 6-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night. Foy, who was called up from Houston of the AHL before the season began, has impressed coach Jacques Lemaire with his tireless work ethic and energy.

Staal scores again as 'Canes beat Caps (AP)
For a change, Eric Staal decided to share. The Carolina center added his first three assists to his fifth goal of the season and captain Rod Brind'Amour scored his first of the year, helping the Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals 7-2 on Wednesday night. ``The way I'm playing right now, I'm coming with a lot of speed, the puck's flying for me and I'm going to keep it going as long as I can,''...

Zidlicky scores winner for Predators (AP)
Seeing Nashville's Simon Gamache skate by without his helmet, Colorado goalie David Aebischer couldn't resist taking a shot. It ended up costing the Avalanche the game. Marek Zidlicky scored his second goal on a power-play with 6 1/2 minutes to play after Aebischer's cheap penalty, helping the Nashville Predators stay undefeated with a 5-4 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.

Pens, Crosby still looking for first win (AP)
Sidney Crosby has been everything the hockey world thought he could be, already ranking among the NHL's top scorers. Mario Lemieux, at age 40, had his first two-goal game in nearly three years. The home games are selling out. So far, the early stages of the NHL season are going almost as planned for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are only one point out of first place in the Atlantic Division.

Sabres extend coach Ruff's contract (AP)
The Buffalo Sabres have extended Lindy Ruff's contract through next season after the coach has his team off to its best start in two decades. The Sabres, who have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons, improved to 3-1 following a 3-2 overtime victory Monday against Pittsburgh. Buffalo has won all three home games, the best start by the Sabres since they took five straight in Buffalo to...

Primeau, Sharks win home opener (AP)
Everybody needs speed in the new NHL, and the San Jose Sharks hope some of the quickest legs in hockey will take them a long way. Wayne Primeau scored two goals, Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots and the Sharks raced to a fast-paced victory in their home opener, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Thornton returns to Boston to treat back (AP)
Bruins captain Joe Thornton returned to Boston from the team's road trip to treat his back spasms. He missed the final five minutes of the Bruins' 4-2 win over Tampa Bay on Monday because of the spasms and is listed as day to day. Thornton has no goals and four assists in four games this season. The Bruins play Florida on Thursday and Ottawa on Saturday.

Trading Paint: Relishing victory?
Readers also wish Mark Martin would have been a little bit happier after winning at Kansas.

Notes: Earnhardt turns 31 quietly (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday without much fanfare. NASCAR's most popular driver has...

Mark Martin proves he is the ultimate team player (AP)
Last February, Mark Martin showed off a wall with trophies and racing memorabilia displayed floor to ceiling in...

Stewart's bad days not bad enough for Chase rivals (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – First the alternator belt failed on Tony Stewart's car, then the battery began to lose...

A glance at drivers in NASCAR's championship chase (AP)
The 10 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, in order of points standings:...

Martin dominates in much-needed Cup victory (AP)
Mark Martin could hardly believe he was standing in Victory Lane.

No free points for Roush drivers in Chase (SportsTicker)
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Ticker) In a weekend where Roush Racing dominated the attention, some of its teams served notice in this year's "Chase for the Championship."

Martin leads Roush sweep at NASCAR Banquet 400 (SportsTicker)

Wallace says he might ``pop in for a couple'' of races after retirement (AP)
Rusty Wallace made his 700th start in NASCAR's top series on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, and hinted that he might not stop at No. 706 at the end of the season.

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