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Mets down Cards in Game 1 pitchers' duel (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061013/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_nlcs"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061013/capt.c27dddc10ab5430cae8f3679662775a5.nlcs_cardinals_mets_baseball_nys127.jpg?x=130&y=91&sig=cqnF5z7ypdbF5Bch2GJj3w--" align="left" height="91" width="130" alt="New York Mets' Carlos Beltran slugs a two-run homer off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Weaver, left, in the sixth ining of Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006, at Shea Stadium in New York. Cardinals catcher Yadier MOlina and umpire Tim Welke watch the action. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tom Glavine tossed another gem, Carlos Beltran rocked Shea Stadium with a homer that crashed off the scoreboard, and the New York Mets jumped in front of St. Louis in the NL championship series.</p><br clear="all"/>

Nats deny saying Soriano rejected deal (AP)
AP - Nationals special assistant to the general manager Jose Rijo denied a published report Thursday that he told a radio station that Alfonso Soriano had rejected a $70 million, five-year contract.

Fastballs, curveballs and ... snowballs? (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061013/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_alcs"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061012/capt.5aa3f7d7fd8a457090170ba8e5043ce6.alcs_athletics_tigers_baseball_dts205.jpg?x=84&y=130&sig=AfoOdfans9UB8TVsApTjjg--" align="left" height="130" width="84" alt="Oakland Athletics pitcher Dan Haren tries to catch snowflakes falling during workouts at Comerica Park in Detroit Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006. The Athletics play the Detroit Tigers Friday in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. The Tigers lead the best of seven series 2-0. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)" border="0" /></a>AP - Nick Swisher trotted out to right field and, with freak October flurries swirling at Comerica Park, plopped onto his back and began making mock snow angels. Only for a minute, though. Shivering, the Oakland first baseman put on his ski cap and retreated to the dugout Thursday, when Detroit was hit with its earliest snowfall ever.</p><br clear="all"/>

Cardinals QB Warner says he may retire (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061013/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_warner_retirement"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061012/capt.nyol50110122200.cardinals_warner_nyol501.jpg?x=130&y=96&sig=meUvW90bWHHEXR_ULweKZQ--" align="left" height="96" width="130" alt="Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, front, walks away as back-up quarterback Matt Leinart watches from the sidelines against the St. Louis Rams during a NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2006 in this file photo. Warner said on Oct. 11 that he may retire after the season. (AP Photo/Rick Hossman)" border="0" /></a>AP - This might be the final season for Kurt Warner in the NFL. The 35-year-old Arizona Cardinals quarterback, who lost his starting job to rookie Matt Leinart last week, said Thursday he is considering retirement after this season.</p><br clear="all"/>

B.C. hands Va. Tech 2nd straight loss (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061013/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_t25_vatech_boston_college"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061013/capt.9569c9e7241b465fb06bab4fcf9e91eb.virginia_tech_boston_college_football_mamd103.jpg?x=130&y=101&sig=K7CzsH9wTClB2yy1Q1rsYQ--" align="left" height="101" width="130" alt="Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan (12) passes against Viginia Tech in the first quarter of a football game in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)" border="0" /></a>AP - Boston College walk-on Steve Aponavicius never showed a hint of hardship against Virginia Tech, delivering a perfect kicking performance in his football debut.</p><br clear="all"/>

Patriots sign Koppen to 5-year extension (AP)
AP - The New England Patriots signed center Dan Koppen to a five-year extension, the Boston College graduate said Thursday during BC's game against Virginia Tech.

Lakers rally to edge past Sonics 104-101 (AP)
AP - Brian Cook scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied for a 104-101 preseason victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Thursday night.

Dazzling defense helps do in Cardinals (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061013/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_nlcs_mets_defense"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061013/capt.fadbd656420a40988f21cd86491a411d.nlcs_cardinals_mets_baseball_nys223.jpg?x=130&y=96&sig=T_ZDfIAbB7ug1m4n46qteA--" align="left" height="96" width="130" alt="New York Mets outfielder Endy Chavez makes a diving catch for an out on a ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals batter Ronnie Belliard during the fifth inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League Championship Series, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006, at Shea Stadium in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)" border="0" /></a>AP - The New York Mets kept catching breaks, mostly because David Wright, Endy Chavez and their teammates caught most every ball.</p><br clear="all"/>

Zidane on FIFA Player of the Year list (AP)
AP - Despite ending his career with an infamous head-butt, Zinedine Zidane was nominated for this year's FIFA World Player of the Year award.

Lindros has 3 assists as Stars top Kings (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061013/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_stars_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061013/capt.c7b34d0025df408fbc92be838c501281.stars_kings_hockey_cabk106.jpg?x=130&y=117&sig=O1Zukr9JhvvHLsdUdenbig--" align="left" height="117" width="130" alt="The Dallas Stars celebrate Mike Modano's goal during the first period of their NHL Hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Branimir Kvartuc)" border="0" /></a>AP - Two of the best offseason moves the Dallas Stars made following their second straight first-round playoff flop were to obtain six-time All-Star Eric Lindros and extend goaltender Marty Turco's contract. Lindros had three assists, one on Jussi Jokinen's power-play goal, and Turco made 32 saves to lead the defending Pacific Division champions to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Alternate route
The way for Baltimore to improve its passing game is to get Mike Anderson more involved in the running attack.

Warner says this may be his final season (AP)
This might be the final season for Kurt Warner in the NFL. The 35-year-old Arizona Cardinals quarterback, who lost his starting job to rookie Matt Leinart last week, said Thursday he is considering retirement after this season. "Definitely I'm thinking about my next step and what's best for me and all those things," he said.

Bills grant Vincent's request, cut him (AP)
Troy Vincent is a free agent after the Buffalo Bills granted the veteran defensive back's wish to be released Thursday. The team announced in a two-paragraph statement that it terminated Vincent from its injured reserve list. Vincent told The Associated Press earlier in the day that he anticipated the move, saying he made the request to be released on Wednesday.

T.O. admits frustration with role (AP)
Terrell Owens screamed it on the sideline against Philadelphia, in the locker room after a loss and repeated it again Wednesday: "Why am I here?" The volatile receiver admits he's frustrated with his role on the Dallas Cowboys, but not simply because he's off to his worst start in years. According to T.O., he'd be fine if Dallas was winning and he had mediocre statistics.

Depleted Steelers bring back Chad Brown (AP)
Chad Brown, a Pro Bowl linebacker for Pittsburgh 10 years ago, was signed Thursday by the Steelers to add depth and experience at what suddenly has become a depleted position. They need him now, too -- Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter is out for Sunday's game against Kansas City and coach Bill Cowher said Brown will play, though mostly in pass-rush situations.

Titans QB Young fighting frustration (AP)
Rookie quarterback Vince Young is feeling the pressure, the expectations that a first-round draft pick not only perform well, but win. In other words, life in the NFL isn't quite like what he enjoyed back in Austin. "It's hard being the quarterback. People don't understand, but they expect you to go out and be perfect every week.

Manning returns to Colts practice (AP)
Peyton Manning was back at Colts practice on Thursday, a day after he missed practice for the first time in his nine-year NFL career to attend his grandmother's funeral. "Peyton was here and, obviously, just doing his best to kind of put things behind him. But we all understand how that is," Colts coach Tony Dungy said after a rare closed practice.

Chargers LB Foley charged with DUI (AP)
Chargers linebacker Steve Foley was charged Wednesday with drunken driving stemming from a confrontation last month with an off-duty Coronado police officer that resulted in Foley being shot three times. His arraignment on two counts of misdemeanor DUI was scheduled for Oct. 18, but he is not required to attend.

Chiefs RB Johnson returns, Hall doesn't (AP)
Running back Larry Johnson returned to practice Thursday, but not kick returner Dante Hall, whose status for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh remained in doubt. Also back for the first time in more than two weeks was left tackle Kyle Turley, who missed the past two games with a sore back. Coach Herm Edwards said Johnson's neck remained sore.

Cowboys count on Vanderjagt, cut Suisham (AP)
The Dallas Cowboys on Thursday released kicker Shaun Suisham, leaving Mike Vanderjagt with both kickoff and place-kicking responsibilities. The Cowboys kept Suisham on the roster because Vanderjagt was bothered by a groin injury and missed two game-winning kicks against the Minnesota Vikings in an overtime tie that ended the preseason.

Jersey swamped
With the talented trio of Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter, the Nets will dominate the Atlantic Division again.

Pacers' Jackson pleads not guilty (AP)
Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson spent more time in a courtroom than on a basketball court Thursday. Jackson was led away in handcuffs after a judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf on a felony charge of criminal recklessness and two other counts for a fight outside a strip club. Jackson was booked into jail and released after posting $10,000 bond, a spokesman with the prosecutor's...

Mavs sign coach Johnson to 5-year deal (AP)
Mavericks coach Avery Johnson has signed a new five-year, $20 million contract that will keep one of the NBA's most successful young coaches in Dallas through 2011. In his first full stint as head coach last season, the Mavericks reached the NBA finals for the first time, losing to the Miami Heat in six games.

Iverson's 28 help 76ers win Euro tourney (AP)
Allen Iverson scored 28 points Wednesday to help the Philadelphia 76ers defeat CSKA Moscow 85-71 and win a four-team basketball tournament. Samuel Dalembert added 15 points and 18 rebounds for the 76ers. "If he plays like that, it's going to be hard for anybody to beat us," Iverson said of his teammate.

Nuggets exercise option on Karl's deal (AP)
The Nuggets exercised their three-year option on coach George Karl's contract, keeping him with Denver through the 2009-10 season. Under Karl, the Nuggets have enjoyed their best stretch since joining the NBA in 1976. He was hired Jan. 27, 2005, leading the team to a 76-46 regular-season record and .628 winning percentage, "As we've said all along, we're committed to building a championship-caliber...

Stern feels new ball complaints will end (AP)
NBA commissioner David Stern suspects complaints about his league's new ball will go away -- just as they did in soccer. Some of the NBA's biggest stars, including Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash, have said the ball is sticky when dry and slippery when wet. "To make me feel better, I went back and looked at reactions when Adidas introduced its new soccer ball," Stern said Wednesday.

Ben Wallace has solid debut, Bulls win (AP)
Ben Wallace scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds in his Chicago debut to help the Bulls to a 87-86 preseason victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year left the Detroit Pistons for a four-year, $60 million free agent deal with the Bulls in the offseason.

Wolves learn refs are cracking down (AP)
NBA officials used the preseason opener for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks to show that they are serious about cracking down on conduct after the whistle. Minnesota's Mark Blount was ejected and teammate Marko Jaric was given a technical for what the officials deemed unnecessary responses to foul calls in the Timberwolves' 98-93 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday night.

Brodeur passes Sawchuk with sloppy win (AP)
Brian Gionta and John Madden helped Martin Brodeur get over quite possibly the worst 20 minutes of his career with New Jersey. Brodeur atoned for Toronto's five-goal second period by stopping three shots in a shootout and the Devils rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Maple Leafs 7-6 on Thursday night.

Crosby carries Penguins by Rangers 6-5 (AP)
Mario Lemieux already made room in his house for Sidney Crosby. If the kid keeps having nights like this, No. 66 will have to share space in the Penguins' record book, too. Crosby scored a power-play goal with 3.3 seconds left, tying a career high with four points, and Pittsburgh pulled out a wild 6-5 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Wild improves to 5-0, top Caps in SO (AP)
More skill brings higher standards, and uneven performances are far less acceptable for the Minnesota Wild than they were in the past. There's a nice benefit to this, though: It's much easier to mask problems with better players. Mikko Koivu scored the only goal in the shootout, leading undefeated Minnesota to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Kiprusoff, Flames shut out Senators 1-0 (AP)
Jim Playfair knew he had a solid defensive base to work with when he took over as coach of the Calgary Flames. Miikka Kiprusoff made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season and Jarome Iginla scored 11:25 into the third period to lead Calgary to a 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

Lindros gets unbeaten Stars by Kings (AP)
Two of the best offseason moves the Dallas Stars made following their second straight first-round playoff flop were to obtain six-time All-Star Eric Lindros and extend goaltender Marty Turco's contract. Lindros had three assists, one on Jussi Jokinen's power-play goal, and Turco made 32 saves to lead the defending Pacific Division champions to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday...

Blackhawks drop Predators to 0-3 (AP)
Martin Havlat, a highly touted, highly paid rising star in the NHL, had a goal and an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. But it was Jeff Hamilton, a forward who came to training camp on a tryout basis, who set the stage for Chicago's win. Hamilton scored on a tip-in with 7:40 left in the third period to snap a 1-all tie.

Stempniak lifts Blues in home opener (AP)
Lee Stempniak backed up his boss' word. New St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts had guaranteed in August that the team would win its home opener. Stempniak made that happen by scoring late in regulation and then adding the game winner in the shootout to lift the Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in their home opener Thursday night.

Smyth, Oilers hand Sharks first loss (AP)
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)-- Ryan Smyth grew up idolizing Wayne Gretzky and now he broke one of his records. Smyth scored three goals in a 2:01 span early in the third period to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 6-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. The hurried hat trick broke Gretzky's franchise record for fastest three goals by 17 seconds and pushed Smyth over the 500-point mark for...

Hurricanes drop to 0-3-1 with loss (AP)
The Florida Panthers had another strong offensive game at home. Gary Roberts and Olli Jokinen each scored twice to help the Panthers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-3 Wednesday night, keeping the defending Stanley Cup champions winless this season. Florida, which beat Boston 8-3 in its opener, has scored a franchise-best 14 goals in its first two home games.

Wings' Johnson quits with heart problem (AP)
Red Wings center Greg Johnson announced his retirement on Wednesday. Johnson, 35, was diagnosed with a hereditary heart abnormality during his training camp physical. He played for 12 seasons and signed with Detroit as a free agent after playing with the Nashville Predators for most of his career. He broke into the NHL with Detroit and also played with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.

Chasing the dream

Vickers hopes to move on after Talladega incident (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Brian Vickers was not amused by the latest publicity stunt at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Riggs wins Nextel Cup pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway (SportsTicker)

Riggs wins 3rd Charlotte pole (AP)
Scott Riggs remained perfect in qualifying at Lowe's Motor Speedway by winning the pole Thursday night for the third time this season.

Winning for Ricky lost in Talladega fallout (AP)
Brian Vickers paused, pursed his lips and swallowed hard before deciding what to say about his good friend, Ricky Hendrick.

Ragan to replace Martin at Roush Racing in 2007 (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Roush Racing has found its replacement for Mark Martin.

ESPN and ABC set announcer lineup for 2007 (AP)
Television veteran Brent Musburger, former stock car champion Rusty Wallace and longtime pit reporter Jerry Punch will announce NASCAR broadcasts next year, when the series returns to ABC and ESPN.

Retired driver Elliott blasts NASCAR's safety record in new book (AP)
Former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott has some tough words for the racing series on safety and its response to the 2001 death of Dale Earnhardt.

Notes: Elliott doing double duty this weekend (AP)
The new Team Red Bull plans to make its NASCAR Nextel Cup debut this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway with former...

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