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Bob Geren promoted to manager of A's (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_athletics_geren"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061117/capt.92c31eab34f8442297390a59ae189adc.athletics_geren_baseball_fx121.jpg?x=86&y=130&sig=7I1sQ1eJ6cupAbaoaaEIyg--" align="left" height="130" width="86" alt="Oakland Athletics bench coach Bob Geren is seen in this file photo taken Feb. 28, 2006. Geren was named the Athletics' new manager Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006, filling the final managerial vacancy in baseball this offseason, a month and a day after the A's fired Ken Macha. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)" border="0" /></a>AP - Bob Geren will be promoted from bench coach to manager of the Oakland Athletics, ending a monthlong search for Ken Macha's replacement. Two A's players told The Associated Press that Geren called them Thursday after he was hired. The team scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon to formally introduce Geren as their new manager.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bonds' trainer ordered jailed again (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_athletes_steroids"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061116/capt.a898073d2e8848a7a3b7edb7de064b22.bonds_steroids_baseball_ny168.jpg?x=92&y=130&sig=9QVAeFTYYrMLhDiFMv_lew--" align="left" height="130" width="92" alt="Greg Anderson, personal trainer for San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds, walks out of the federal building after appearing before a grand jury investigating the baseball star for perjury and tax evasion in San Francisco, in this July 27, 2006 file photo. A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Anderson , 40, must return to prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports. Anderson already has served two other brief prison stints for refusing to testify whether his boyhood friend lied when he said he never knowingly used steroids. Both times, Anderson was released on procedural grounds. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)" border="0" /></a>AP - Two central figures in the BALCO steroids probe were front and center Thursday, accused of obstructing the federal grand jury investigating performance-enhancing drugs in sports.</p><br clear="all"/>

No. 8 Mountaineers top rival Pitt 45-27 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_t25_wvirginia_pitt"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061117/capt.1a3ad0e3872442ae8a97b77b1d1331aa.west_virginia_pittsburgh_football___paks101.jpg?x=130&y=105&sig=OU707VAR3NnlytyeikYGug--" align="left" height="105" width="130" alt="West Virginia running back Steve Slaton, right, makes a touchdown catch in front of Pittsburgh's linebacker Tommie Campbell in the first quarter of the football game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)" border="0" /></a>AP - Two stars, two exceptional games. Pittsburgh has already seen enough of West Virginia's Pat White and Steve Slaton to last a lifetime, and the Panthers still might oppose them two more times.</p><br clear="all"/>

Top-ranked Gators run win streak to 14 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_jacksonville_florida"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061117/capt.5517b5a767c549faaa48381eb96a2096.jacksonville_florida_basketball_flps101.jpg?x=103&y=130&sig=hIlk5eFmGq3ciVb2TtglPA--" align="left" height="130" width="103" alt="Florida's Joakin Noah (13) steals the ball and heads downcourt with Jacksonville's Jesse Kimbrough (5) trying to catch up in the first half of basketball Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)" border="0" /></a>AP - Florida coach Billy Donovan witnessed a nearly perfect opening half from his team Thursday night. It was enough to overwhelm another overmatched opponent. Al Horford and Joakim Noah dominated again inside, combining for 34 points and 17 rebounds to lead the top-ranked Gators to a 90-61 victory against Jacksonville.</p><br clear="all"/>

Twins' Santana wins AL Cy Young Award (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_al_cy_young"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061116/capt.d09852c02bb045bb9f52058a12958ec6.al_cy_young_twins_santana_baseball_ny152.jpg?x=130&y=118&sig=nsNGq3DRL9Jgjp86mgVgTg--" align="left" height="118" width="130" alt="Minnesota Twins pitcher Johan Santana works during the first inning action of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston in this Sept. 21, 2006 file photo. Santana won his second American League CY Young award on Thursday, Nov 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)" border="0" /></a>AP - Johan Santana swept the Cy Young ballot the same way he buzzed through batters all season. Santana won the AL Cy Young Award on Thursday for the second time in three years, and the Minnesota Twins' ace was a unanimous choice once again.</p><br clear="all"/>

Column: Emmitt saved the dance for later (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_jim_litke"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061116/capt.7c07f4a7754f4af381d0eeeb19c6eae3.dancing_with_the_stars_la117.jpg?x=89&y=130&sig=rZfLR0oJjBwwzo3AsKo2UA--" align="left" height="130" width="89" alt="In this handout photo made available by ABC, Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke, celebrate their win on 'Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,' in Los Angeles on Wednesday Nov. 15,2006. (AP Photo/Adam Larkey-ABC,HO)" border="0" /></a>AP - Finding out Emmitt Smith can dance the samba is not unlike finding out Fred Astaire could have done a respectable turn at cornerback in "Cover Two." I mean, who knew?</p><br clear="all"/>

Davis leads Warriors to 4th straight win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_kings_warriors"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061117/capt.fa0e90d658fa4d1b993a9c8dc936a4ca.kings_warriors_basketball_oas102.jpg?x=74&y=130&sig=WtCqSFFhCkzaSBebC0sRPw--" align="left" height="130" width="74" alt="Golden State Warriors' Baron Davis, right, shoots past Sacramento Kings' Ron Artest during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Sacramento Kings discovered it's awfully tough to keep up with Baron Davis these days &#151; and it's near impossible when he gets a big head start. Davis had 36 points, a career-high 18 assists and eight rebounds during another sensational performance that led the Golden State Warriors to their fourth straight victory, 117-105 over the Kings on Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Spiezio agrees two-year deal with Cardinals (Reuters)
Reuters - Scott Spiezio was rewarded for his contribution to the St. Louis Cardinals World Series title on Thursday, agreeing a two-year deal worth a reported $4.5 million.

Acosta quits as Chile's head coach (AP)
AP - Nelson Acosta said Wednesday he will resign as Chile's coach, making the announcement two hours before his team's friendly against Paraguay.

Flyers win 4-3 stunner over Kings (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061117/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_flyers_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061117/capt.9f349bc166e64d29abdfd00f7552eccf.flyers_kings_hockey_las104.jpg?x=130&y=77&sig=ucSdBtDtzLpVp7PAYMGoaQ--" align="left" height="77" width="130" alt="Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki, left, stops a shot by Los Angeles Kings' Alexander Frolov, right, but Frolov was able to hit in a rebound to score during the second period of an NHL Hockey game Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)" border="0" /></a>AP - A West Coast trip was just what the Philadelphia Flyers needed to save their season. R.J. Umberger scored the tying and go-ahead goals 2 1/2 minutes apart, capping a three-goal rally in the third period and lifting the Flyers to a stunning 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Faulty backup plans
Time and time again, we're seeing that backup quarterbacks generally fare no better than the regular starter.

Ravens' Ray Lewis likely out vs. Falcons (AP)
Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis underwent a minor surgical procedure Thursday to have a pocket of blood drained from his swollen back, and is unlikely to play in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. However, the seven-time All-Pro wasn't immediately ruled out and is expected to remain listed as questionable on the injury report.

Chiefs QB Green not afraid of being hit (AP)
There will be no fear of that first hit, Trent Green says. Ten weeks after he was knocked unconscious with a severe concussion, the two-time Pro Bowler is just happy to finally be back as the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. Given medical clearance by an array of doctors after a battery of tests, Green will start Sunday against Oakland.

Giants place Tuck on IR, sign Legree (AP)
The New York Giants placed defensive end Justin Tuck on injured reserve and signed veteran lineman Lance Legree on Thursday to replace him. Legree played with the Giants from 2001-2004. He played with the Jets the following season and signed with the San Francisco 49ers in August. He failed to make their roster, and has been working for a securities company in New York City.

Raiders coach Shell fined $12,500 (AP)
Oakland Raiders coach Art Shell was fined $12,500 for criticizing the officials following last weekend's 17-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. Shell said Monday the Raiders got "screwed" when the officials called a personal foul on Chris Carr for running out of bounds on a punt late in the third quarter.

Alexander, Hasselbeck back at practice (AP)
Injured Seattle standouts Shaun Alexander and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returned to practice Wednesday -- with mixed results. While Hasselbeck favored his sprained right knee for part of the practice, Alexander ran 11 plays with Seattle's first-team offense for the first time in seven weeks since breaking his left foot.

Leftwich to rest, re-evaluate ankle (AP)
Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich won't practice this week, giving his injured left ankle time to rest before making a decision regarding season-ending surgery. Leftwich visited renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Alabama on Monday, but the fourth-year player refused to say what he learned from the trip.

Redskins RB Portis placed on IR (AP)
Clinton Portis' season was ruined in the first quarter of the first preseason game, when he decided to launch his body into Cincinnati cornerback Keiwan Ratliff while making a tackle following an interception. Four injuries later, Portis' season officially ended Wednesday, when the Washington Redskins placed their star running back on injured reserve.

Culpepper says knee still bothering him (AP)
Daunte Culpepper says he still feels sharp pain in his reconstructed right knee a year after surgery, and isn't sure whether he'll play again this season. The Miami Dolphins' quarterback will sit out Sunday's game against his former team, the Minnesota Vikings. It's the sixth consecutive game he'll miss after struggling through the first four.

Bengals G Williams has appendectomy (AP)
The Bengals had to shuffle their injury-depleted offensive line Thursday after right guard Bobbie Williams had an appendectomy, which will sideline him for a few weeks. Coach Marvin Lewis said Williams became ill on Wednesday, and he had an appendectomy overnight. Third-year lineman Stacy Andrews will make his first NFL start Sunday against New Orleans.

Sacramento's savior

Davis leads Warriors to fourth straight (AP)
The Sacramento Kings discovered it's awfully tough to keep up with Baron Davis these days -- and it's near impossible when he gets a big head start. Davis had 36 points, a career-high 18 assists and eight rebounds during another sensational performance that led the Golden State Warriors to their fourth straight victory, 117-105 over the Kings on Thursday night.

Rockets win as Bulls' rally falls short (AP)
The Houston Rockets built a big lead on the Chicago Bulls late in the third quarter Thursday night, then started feeling a terrifying case of deja vu. At about the same point in their last game, the Rockets led San Antonio by 19, then collapsed and lost by eight. The Bulls rallied, too, but this time the Rockets survived -- barely.

Cavs G Hughes to miss at least two games (AP)
Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes is expected to miss Cleveland's next two games -- and possibly more -- after spraining his right ankle in the club's win against Portland on Wednesday. Hughes, who was sidelined for 45 games last season with a broken finger that required two surgeries, got hurt while scrambling for a loose ball in the second quarter.

Nuggets F Kenyon Martin out for season (AP)
Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin will miss the rest of the season because of a bad right knee. Martin had arthroscopic surgery Wednesday, and the team said the operation "revealed more significant damage" than originally thought. Martin has five years and more than $66 million left on his contract. He played in two games this season, averaging 9.5 points and 10 rebounds.

Bucks F Villanueva out 4 to 6 weeks (AP)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva will be sidelined four to six weeks because of a torn ligament in his left elbow, the team said Thursday. Villanueva, 22, was injured during the Bucks' 103-101 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday. He fell to the floor after colliding with Atlanta's Josh Childress with 6.4 seconds remaining in the first half but remained in the game.

76ers F Webber unhappy with playing time (AP)
Chris Webber has talked with Philadelphia 76ers president Billy King about the star forward's unhappiness over a reduced role that's included two fourth-quarter benchings. Webber's minutes and production have dramatically declined this season, and coach Maurice Cheeks has rested him for two entire fourth quarters in seven games, turning him into a $20 million role player.

Morrison helps Bobcats top Spurs in OT (AP)
Adam Morrison decided to relax a little bit after putting too much pressure on himself in the first few games of his career. The idea paid off as Morrison scored 27 points, surpassing his career high from one night earlier, and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-92 in overtime Wednesday night.

Armstrong's late FT gives Hornets win (AP)
New Orleans rookie Hilton Armstrong made the most of his chance to play. The rookie from Connecticut made a free throw with 3 seconds left, then got a key offensive rebound to help the New Orleans Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons 100-99 Wednesday night. With the score tied at 99, Armstrong made the first of two free throws to put the Hornets ahead.

James starts slow, but Cavs beat Blazers (AP)
LeBron James displayed his usual dominance and got the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers playing that way too. James had 32 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win their fourth straight game with a 100-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. "He looked like the All-Star, the Olympian that he is right now," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan...

Rolston's SO goal helps Wild top Preds (AP)
A three-goal lead wasn't big enough for the Nashville Predators, who couldn't hold off the hard-charging Minnesota Wild. The Predators got it to a shootout, but Brian Rolston's goal was the difference in the tiebreaker as the Wild escaped with a 7-6 victory Thursday night. Down 6-3 in regulation, the Wild refused to give in to the Predators in a game that was a shootout from start to finish.

Jokinen's hat trick ends Panthers' skid (AP)
After goalie Ed Belfour protected Florida's lead in the first period, Olli Jokinen made sure that the Panthers built on it. Belfour made 13 saves in the first period and Jokinen's second career hat trick broke open a 1-0 game as the Florida Panthers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Umberger rallies Flyers past Kings 4-3 (AP)
A West Coast trip was just what the Philadelphia Flyers needed to save their season. R.J. Umberger scored the tying and go-ahead goals 2 1/2 minutes apart, capping a three-goal rally in the third period and lifting the Flyers to a stunning 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. "The whole key is that you keep playing, stick with it, get pucks deep and don't give up hope," said...

Oilers open homestand with rout of Blues (AP)
Ryan Smyth's knee looked just fine. Smyth scored twice and Ales Hemsky tied a career high with three assists as the Edmonton Oilers started a seven-game homestand with a 6-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Three nights earlier in Colorado, it looked as though Smyth might be gone for a while when he was helped off ice after a knee-on-knee hit with Avalanche defenseman...

Bergeron, Bruins win third straight game (AP)
After being mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference for most of the season, the Boston Bruins appear to be turning the corner. Patrice Bergeron scored 34 seconds into overtime to lift the Bruins to their third straight victory, a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. Bergeron scored on a rebound of Brad Boyes' drive from the point, putting the puck past helpless goalie...

Coyotes rally to top Blackhawks in SO (AP)
It took six weeks and 18 games, but Curtis Joseph and the Phoenix Coyotes finally posted consecutive victories. Yanic Perrault and Ladislav Nagy scored in the shootout and Joseph stopped two of three shots in the tiebreaker in the Phoenix Coyotes' 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Judge clears Malkin to stay with Pens (AP)
Evgeni Malkin was cleared to stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins after a federal judge denied a demand by his former Russian club that he be yanked from the NHL. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, a Russian Super League team, claims that Malkin is under contract in his native country. The club sought a preliminary injunction that would have banned the forward from playing for the Penguins until the matter is...

Sharks RW Cheechoo suffers leg injury (AP)
Jonathan Cheechoo, who led the NHL with 56 goals last season, was forced out of the San Jose Sharks' 4-3 victory over Colorado after he injured his left leg in the second period Wednesday night Cheechoo was helped off the ice after Avalanche defenseman Karlis Skrastins fell on top of him in the goal crease late in the frame.

Brind'Amour lifts 'Canes over Rangers (AP)
Rod Brind'Amour wasn't wilted by the Carolina Hurricanes' long run to the Stanley Cup title. In fact, the gritty captain came back even stronger this season. Brind'Amour scored with 6:05 left in the third period to lift the Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night. The winning goal -- Brind'Amour's second in a three-game span -- extended his point streak to a...

Islanders' DiPietro beats Stars 3-0 (AP)
The way Rick DiPietro is playing, the New York Islanders don't need a whole lot of offense. DiPietro stopped 35 shots to register his first shutout of the season and seventh of his career, leading the Islanders to a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. "DiPietro showed he's one of the best goalies in the league," Stars center Mike Modano said of DiPietro, his U.S.

Trading Paint: Back on track
The mailbag is rolling again as the Cup season is set for its season finale at Homestead.

Goody's Headache Powder replaced by Tylenol in NASCAR (AP)
Goody's Headache Powders, a staple in NASCAR since 1977, will be replaced by Tylenol next season as the sport's official pain reliever. It's yet another break the stock car racing series is making from its longtime, but regional, partners.

As Johnson eyes title, contenders try to keep him in sight (AP)
The way this Chase for the championship has gone, no one should be conceding the Nextel Cup title to Jimmie Johnson just yet.

Montoya to make Nextel Cup debut in Miami (AP)
Juan Pablo Montoya will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 30 Dodge, The Associated Press has learned.

Former F1 star Montoya set to make NASCAR debut Sunday (AFP)
Former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya makes his debut in the American closed-cockpit stock car racing series this weekend at the season-ending oval race of the most popular US form of auto racing.

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

Kenseth won't go down without a fight (AP)
It's been frustrating the past couple of months, and I don't know what's happened.

Follow-up to banner season falls short for Roush Racing (AP)
Roush Racing was at the top of NASCAR a year ago, so dominant with 15 wins and all five cars in the Chase for the championship that it prompted a rule change to cap the number of cars each team could own.

Harvick wins in Phoenix, Johnson closes in on first title (AP)
Just in case Jimmie Johnson needs help getting through the biggest week of his life, rival Kevin Harvick has well-meaning advice.

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