Andrea Bargnani will be the center of attention inside the arena for the Toronto Raptors. NBA rivals back home probably will be more interested in the performance of the revamped Boston Celtics. The Celtics take on the Raptors on Saturday in Rome to open the NBA Europe Live preseason tour. Bargnani was selected by the Raptors with the No.
The New York Yankees have bat boys with more playoff experience than most of the Cleveland Indians. The big boys from the Bronx have enough World Series rings to fill up a jewelry store’s display case. They’ve owned Octobers, winning 26 championships as the most successful franchise in professional sports.
Bandbox or not, this was no day for hitters. Jeff Francis held the league’s highest-scoring team in check, and the Colorado Rockies took advantage of one shaky inning by Cole Hamels to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 in Game 1 of their NL playoff series Wednesday. “Who would’ve thought a good old-fashioned National League game would break out in this ballpark?” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
Barry Bonds has closed two big chapters in his baseball career. He’s the newly minted home run king, and his break with the Giants is complete. Yet the federal steroids probe in which he plays a starring role lingers on into its fifth year. Bonds’ former personal trainer is still languishing in prison for refusing to testify before a grand jury considering perjury and other charges against the…
Paul Stastny was just following in the skates of his old man. The second-year center had his first career hat trick Wednesday night and the Colorado Avalanche held off the Dallas Stars for a 4-3 victory in the season opener for both teams. Peter Stastny, a star with the Quebec Nordiques before they moved to Denver and became the Avalanche, had a hat trick against Buffalo on Oct.
The Gambling Commission says it is "surprised" to have found the internet has not led to more people gambling.
Brandon Webb baffled the Cubs with his sinker, then staggered them with changeups and curves. This high-stakes duel in the desert went to the quiet ace from Kentucky. Webb shut down Chicago in a brilliant postseason debut, and the young Arizona Diamondbacks got home runs from two unflappable kids Wednesday night for a 3-1 victory in their NL playoff opener.
Josh Beckett waited four years between postseason starts. When he got back on the mound, nothing much changed. He’s still Mr. Zero when October rolls around. The 2003 World Series MVP pitched his second consecutive postseason shutout Wednesday night, backed by a two-run homer from David Ortiz that helped the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 in their AL playoff opener.
Dany Heatley didn’t take long to justify the Ottawa Senators’ faith in him. Heatley tied the game late in the third period and then scored 2:57 into overtime to give the Senators a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, he and the Senators agreed on a 6-year, $45 million contract extension.
The Detroit Red Wings are counting on some youngsters to play key roles this season. So far, so good. Jiri Hudler, a 23-year-old forward, scored the only shootout goal to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night in a rematch of the Western Conference finals.
Saku Koivu helped the NHL’s top power-play unit of last season pick up where it left off. Koivu’s second power-play goal of the game came 1:05 into overtime, and the Montreal Canadiens scored three time with the man advantage during their season-opening 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Walt Jocketty is out after 13 seasons as general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, one year after the team won the World Series for the first time since 1982. Team president Mark Lamping said Jocketty’s departure with a year remaining on his contract was a mutual decision, and that he’d be paid. Team chief executive officer Bill DeWitt Jr.