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Jeter responds to Ortiz's MVP remarks

Derek Jeter responded to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's comments that the Yankee shortstop isn't worthy of being the American League MVP in typically smooth fashion. Ortiz said Sunday the Yankee captain is ``having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup. Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be." Asked about those comments in Baltimore last night, Jeter said, ``I don't have to do it in his lineup . . . I'm not thinking about the MVP right now. We're thinking about winning the division. No one here is focused on individual awards." . . . Hideki Matsui, who has missed 110 games with a fractured left wrist, will be activated by New York today and may start as designated hitter tonight in Yankee Stadium against the Devil Rays, manager Joe Torre said . . . Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will take an extra day of rest before testing his ailing pitching arm again. Rivera, sidelined since Aug. 31 with a muscle strain near his right elbow, threw Sunday at Camden Yards in Baltimore and was slated to throw again today, but that session was pushed back to tomorrow. Rivera has yet to throw off the mound in his effort to return as closer . . . Minnesota Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano was activated from the DL and will start tomorrow night against the Athletics, an outing that is expected to go 50-60 pitches . . . The Milwaukee Brewers recalled Tony Gwynn Jr. from Triple A Nashville. The 23-year-old son of the former San Diego Padres great was 7 for 15 in 14 games with the Brewers in July and August . . . Los Angels Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension for hitting Freddy Gusman of the Rangers with a pitch and began serving the penalty last night.

Predators extend Vokoun four years
The Nashville Predators made sure goaltender Tomas Vokoun knows exactly how much they appreciate him. A team that lost in the opening round of the playoffs last spring with Vokoun out because of blood clots signed the 30-year-old to a four-year extension and gave him the franchise's richest contract ever at $22.8 million. "Our expectations, our goals are very high," general manager David Poile said. The extension keeps Vokoun under contract for the next five seasons, and he will earn $5.3 million in 2007-08, $5.5 million in 2008-09, $5.7 million in 2009-10 and $6.3 million in 2010-11. Vokoun, 30, is 91-69-26 since taking over as the Predators' starter in December 2002 . . . The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed free agent Simon Gagne to a five-year contract, ending a summer of difficult negotiations with training camp set to open this week. Gagne, a former first-round pick, is coming off the best season of his career, with 47 goals and 79 points. The 26-year-old left wing has 160 goals and 164 assists in 426 career games. He's scored 20 goals in five of his six seasons.

Surgery may cost Kaberle six months
Frantisek Kaberle, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Carolina Hurricanes last spring, had shoulder surgery and could miss up to six months. Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said the 32-year-old defenseman had the operation in Chicago to repair a lingering injury. ``The shoulder's worn down over time," Rutherford said. ``We had hoped that he could rehab it and strengthen it, but that did not happen." . . . Center Trevor Linden re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $600,000 in his 17th year in the NHL and 14th with Vancouver.

Bobcats sign Argentine ace Herrmann
The Charlotte Bobcats signed Argentine Walter Herrmann, a 6-foot-9-inch forward who averaged 9.8 points and shot 47 percent from 3-point range while playing for his native country in last month's World Championships. Herrmann, who was also a member of Argentina's gold medal-winning 2004 Olympic team, had been playing in the Spanish ACB League. ``He has a good track record in arguably the best league outside of the NBA," Bobcats coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff said. ``The success his countrymen like Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni have had in the NBA translates well for Walter." . . . The Cleveland Cavaliers finally got Drew Gooden's autograph. Almost one month after he agreed to terms of a three-year, $23 million contract, Gooden signed the deal, giving the club a power forward it believes can get it further into the playoffs . . . Guard J.J. Redick, a first-round pick of the Orlando Magic, pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges in Durham, N.C., and received a one-year sentence of unsupervised probation.

Roddick's consolation: No. 1 in the US
At least Andy Roddick can say he's No. 1 in the United States again. Roddick's runner-up finish to Roger Federer at the US Open moved him from No. 10 to No. 6 in the ATP rankings, ahead of fellow American James Blake, and also put him in position to qualify for the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup. Blake, who lost to Federer in the quarterfinals, slid from No. 7 to No. 8. Federer's third consecutive US Open title kept him comfortably at No. 1, ahead of Rafael Nadal. Maria Sharapova rose one spot to No. 3 in the WTA rankings with her first championship at Flushing Meadows. She beat No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo in the semifinals and No. 2 Justine Henin-Hardenne in the final. The highest-ranked American woman is Lindsay Davenport at No. 12.

Landis's lawyer hints at flaw in tests
The attorney for Floyd Landis asked that doping charges be dismissed, hinting for the first time at the Tour de France winner's official defense: that his positive testosterone tests were flawed and did not meet World Anti-Doping Agency standards. In a letter to the US Anti-Doping Agency, Howard Jacobs disputed the accuracy of the carbon isotope ratio tests performed on Landis's urine sample at a lab in France . . . Toby Dawson, who won a bronze medal in moguls skiing for the US at the Turin Olympics, announced his retirement . . . Marianne Stanley, who led Old Dominion to an NCAA basketball title in 1985 and was WNBA Coach of the Year in 2002 with the Washington Mystics, was named an assistant women's coach at Rutgers.

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