You are on page 1of 36

QUICK LINKS

:

MLB > 13

NFL > 22

NBA > 6

NHL > 10

NASCAR > 31

COLLEGE FOOTBALL > 28

COLLEGE BASKETBALL > 29

NBA DRAFT > 6

LOOK WHO’S TALKING
COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez
“I have a pretty good feel, a lot more of a feel than last year,” he says about the ‘09 version of the Wolverines. He also hits on UM’s QB situation and making peace with WVU. Page 28

BASEBALL

THURSDAY MAY 21, 2009

SEE A DIFFERENT GAME VOLUME 1 ISSUE 303

BRADLEY C. BOWER / AP

Brewers LF Ryan Braun
On the field: “I am very comfortable with the game on the line.” Off the field: “I’ve done pretty well for myself” with corporate sponsorships. Page 15

WR Jeremy Maclin has reason to believe he can contribute quickly.

Two of a kind
It wasn’t even close. “Ovie” and “King James” were ere runaway winners of Sporting News’ player of the year ear awards. They also share three traits that make them m the best in the game. NBA VOTING
In a poll of 231 players, LeBron James joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to win two top SN honors rs before turning 25. The top three: 1. LeBron James, Cavaliers 142 2. Dwyane Wade, Heat 44 3. Kobe Bryant, Lakers 32
AP PHOTOS

Restocked Eagles could fly in ’09
PHILADELPHIA—The crown jewels of the Eagles’ draft, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy, were at the Eagles’ rookie minicamp Wednesday, getting a crash course in the offense. After restocking their talent base impressively, the Eagles could finally win their first Super Bowl. Here’s why: 1. With McCoy easing the burden on Brian Westbrook, the running game will be better. “Westbrook has gas left in the tank, but you don’t want him carrying the ball 20-25 times every game,’’ said Ron Jaworski, former Eagles quarterback and ESPN analyst. “McCoy could play a very important role.” 2. New bookend tackles Jason Peters and Stacy Andrews should improve Donovan McNabb’s protection. “The pieces are there,’’ said former Eagles end Hugh Douglas. “It’s not insane to think this team could finally get over the hump.’’ 3. DeSean Jackson flourished as a rookie receiver in the Eagles’ system, giving Maclin reason to believe he can, too. “Under coach Reid, if you prove you can play, you get on the field,’’ he said.

Scoreboard
NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference finals Orlando 107, Cleveland 106 (Orlando leads series 1-0)

NH NHL VOTING
In a poll of 292 players, Alex Ovechkin became SN’s first back-to-back winner bec since sinc Pittsburgh’s Jaromir Jagr (19992000). 200 The top three: Alex 147 1. A Ovechkin, Capitals Evgeni Malkin, Penguins 65 2. E Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings 23 3. P

Baseball
American League N.Y. Yankees 11, Baltimore 4 Detroit 5, Texas 3 Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 6 Boston 8, Toronto 3 Chicago White Sox 7, Minnesota 4 Cleveland 6, Kansas City 5 Seattle 1, L.A. Angels 0 National League Florida 8, Arizona 6, 1st game Arizona 11, Florida 9, 13 innings, 2nd game Pittsburgh 2, Washington 1 Cincinnati 5, Philadelphia 1 Atlanta 12, Colorado 4 Houston 6, Milwaukee 4 St. Louis 2, Chicago Cubs 1 San Diego 2, San Francisco 1 L.A. Dodgers 2, N.Y. Mets 1

Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington
He shoots more than anyone. He scores more goals than anyone. And he’s a threat to do both the moment he enters the zone. “His shot—he has a lot on it and it doesn’t take him a lot to get it away,” said former coach Scotty Bowman. “He seems possessed to score goals.” His exuberant jump into the glass after goals is the most public display of Ovechkin’s passion, but it’s still there, whether he scores or not. “His passion in every game is amazing,” said Capitals teammate Sergei Fedorov. “It’s honestly coming from the heart.” There were crazy goal celebrations, singing car commercials, props during All-Star weekend and even a meeting with LeBron James. Each elevated Ovechkin’s stardom just a little more. “He seems to be growing more and more every year,” said Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.

LeBron James, F, Cleveland OFFENSIVE MIGHT
James had one of the all-time best offensive seasons. He averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists and had seven triple-doubles. “There is no right way to guard him,” said former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy. “Whatever you do, he will find a weakness to exploit.” James is one of the league’s most intense when it comes to in-game determination. “He has developed a will, so that no matter what is going on, he is looking at it one way, and that is, ‘We are not going to lose this game,’ “ said teammate Joe Smith. Mention the new Nike commercials, in which a puppet version of James exuberantly pushes Kobe Bryant to get excited, and Smith laughs. “That’s dead-on LeBron,” he said. “He’s got so much energy, he is always having fun.”

PASSION

STAR POWER

— Clifton Brown
Top defensive tackles, Page 23

— Craig Custance

— Sean Deveney

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

See a Different Game
GUIDE
AUTO RACING 8 a.m. SPEED—Formula One, practice for Monaco Grand Prix, at Monaco 1 p.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Nationwide Series, practice for Carquest Auto Parts 300, at Concord, N.C. 3 p.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Sprint Cup, practice for Coca-Cola 600, at Concord, N.C. 6 p.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Nationwide Series, final practice for Carquest Auto Parts 300, at Concord, N.C. 7 p.m. SPEED—NASCAR, Sprint Cup, pole qualifying for Coca-Cola 600, at Concord, N.C. COLLEGE SOFTBALL 7 p.m. ESPN2—NCAA Division I, Super Regionals, game 1, Ohio State at Georgia 9:30 p.m. ESPN2—NCAA Division I, Super Regionals, game 1, Arizona at Stanford GOLF 10 a.m. TGC—European PGA Tour, BMW PGA Championship, first round, at Surrey, England Noon TGC—PGA of America, Senior Championship, first round, at Beachwood, Ohio 3 p.m. TGC—PGA Tour, Byron Nelson Championship, first round, at Irving, Texas 6:30 p.m. TGC—LPGA, Corning Classic, first round, at Corning, N.Y. (same-day tape) MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE 11:30 p.m. ESPN2—Washington at Long Island (same-day tape) NBA BASKETBALL 9 p.m. ESPN—Playoffs, Western Conference finals, Game 2, Denver at L.A. Lakers NHL HOCKEY 7:30 p.m. VERSUS—Playoffs, Eastern Conference finals, Game 2, Carolina at Pittsburgh

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

2

Tune In Today
A quick look at the best sports on TV
— all times Eastern NBA

OFF THE FIELD

Wife of D-backs pitcher found dead
The wife of Diamondbacks pitcher Scott Schoeneweis was found dead Wednesday at her home in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Police say the cause of death hasn’t been determined. Police said the body of 39-year-old Gabrielle Dawn Schoeneweis was found on the floor of the master bedroom in the family’s suburban home shortly after noon Wednesday. Authorities say her 14-year-old daughter called the sheriff’s office to report that she had found her mother lying there and unresponsive. A team spokesman said Schoeneweis had left the team to return to Phoenix. “His world was just rocked. He and his kids, his family, his extended family, his in-laws, everybody’s lives are changed forever. He took it as expected, very hard,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. can say President Barack Obama doesn’t understand completely— the complexity of a college football playoff. The President has said he favors a playoff. “It’s very hard to be disagreeable with a popular president,” Delany said to the Chicago Tribune. “He’s a scholar and a lawyer and a great politician, but I don’t think he understands the complexity of the issue.”

Nuggets at Lakers
9 p.m., ESPN
The Nuggets blew a great opportunity to steal Game 1, especially when they had a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. All it would have taken is a couple of better decisions in the closing minutes. You had to like their chances with Chauncey Billups seen beaming at one point in the second half. With him running the show, the Nuggets won’t be hurt by their collective lack of big-game experience.

— Roger Kuznia NHL

Quick hits
LeBron James, Tim Tebow, Larry Fitzgerald, and Josh Hamilton join tennis player Rafael Nadal, sprinter Usain Bolt, speedskater Shani Davis, skateboarder Bob Burnquist, freestyle skier Simon Dumont, boxer Manny Pacquiao, MMA fighter Georges St. Pierre and racecar driver Lewis Hamilton as part of Men’s Fitness magazine’s “MF 25,” a ranking of the 25 fittest males in the world, SportsBusiness Daily reported.
NFL running back Warrick ’s foundation on Monday Dunn donated its 86th home to a lowincome single mother, helping put Shawn Palic into a house in Dade City, Fla., TampaBay.com reported. PGA Tour golfer Rich Beem has pledged $100 for every birdie he makes at this week’s HP Byron Nelson Championship in Dallas and next week’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth to the family of Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm, paralyzed from the waist down in the collapse of the team’s practice facility, The Dallas Morning News reported. — Compiled by Ken Bradley, with wire reports

CHRIS PIZZELLO / AP

Phil Mickelson and wife Amy have been married since 1996.

Hurricanes at Penguins
7:30 p.m., Versus
With Game 1 in their pocket, the Penguins will try to keep home-ice advantage. Even with the possible loss of two ‘Canes forwards to injuries, Game 2 won’t be easy for Pittsburgh. They’ll need another strong effort from G Marc-Andre Fleury to go up 2-0. And, they’ll need more offensive production from their stars. Don’t expect official word on whether felled Hurricanes forwards Tuomo Ruutu and Erik Cole will be available until after this morning’s skate, though both appear likely to miss the game.

Mickelson’s wife has cancer
Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the three-time major champion said Wednesday he will suspend his PGA Tour schedule indefinitely. According to a release from Mickelson’s management company, his wife was to have more tests but begin treatment with major surgery as early as the next two weeks. Mickelson, the No. 2 player in the world with 36 career PGA Tour victories, was to play the Byron Nelson Championship this week before defending his title next week at Colonial. It was not certain if he would return in time for the U.S. Open on June 18-21 at Bethpage Black, where he was the runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2002 and is beloved by golf fans in the New York area. “Elin and I are deeply saddened to hear the news about Amy,” Woods said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her, Phil, the children and the entire Mickelson family.” Amy Mickelson is among the most visible wives on the PGA Tour, a former Phoenix Suns cheerleader who regularly walks during the rounds and mingles easily with the gallery. They met in 1992 when Mickelson was a senior at Arizona State, a year after he won his first PGA Tour event as an amateur. Amy knew nothing about golf at the time. “I grew up in a tennis family, and when he told me he was a pro golfer, I thought he worked in the shop at a golf course,” she wrote in Mickelson’s book, One Magical Sunday, after he won his first major at the 2004 Masters. They were married in 1996 and have three children. — The Associated Press

The Big Scoop
Former Duke point guard Greg Paulus chose to play football at Syracuse and who landed the first interview with the new Orangeman quarterback? Shaquille O’Neal, of course. Shaq, participating at Syracuse University’s SportcasterU, got the scoop, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. “I found out maybe a day or two ago,” Paulus told the newspaper of being Shaq’s interview subject. “It was like, ‘Hey, Greg, are you interested?’ Yeah, I’m interested.”

— Ray Slover NASCAR

Coca-Cola 600 qualifying
7 p.m., Speed
If you’re looking for a pole favorite, look toward Hendrick Motorsports, which saw Jimmie Johnson earn the top spot for last Saturday’s All-Star Race. His three teammates weren’t bad either, starting no worse than sixth. While Johnson once had a streak where he won five of six races at Charlotte, only two Hendrick drivers have won at that track in the last six races—Jeff Gordon and Casey Mears. Also look to Kyle Busch, who won the pole for last year’s 600, to compete for the top spot again.

— Roger Kuznia

Delany: It’s not that easy
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said there’s one thing he

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

My Profile

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

3

Raymond Berry

Pro Football Hall of Famer
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)

THE WORLD’S FIRST DIGITAL DAILY SPORTS NEWSPAPER

Born: February 27, 1933, in Corpus Christi, Texas Status: Married Alma mater: SMU What’s on TV: 24, CSI, old movies channels, Fox News, NFL games, college football, The History Channel What’s in my iPod: Today’s stuff doesn’t interest me. Country music’s OK. And music from the classic Broadway musicals. What I drive: 2008 silver Honda Pilot, ’92 Lexus Favorite flicks: Casablanca, Pearl Harbor, The Hunt for Red October, Shane, The Client, Master and Commander, Singin’ in the Rain, Patriot Games, Band of Brothers, Run Silent Run Deep, Clear and Present Danger What I’m reading: Any book on WWII history. I have a library on WWII, especially Midway, Omaha Beach and Normandy. My cousin was killed—and buried—there in ’44. I have 3-4 books on Midway. Also read a lot of Louis L’Amour and Tom Clancy, and Epicenter, by Joel Rosenberg. Subscriptions: The Washington Times, National Geographic, WWII History Magazine, Jerusalem Post Worst habits: My temper and a weakness for desserts Love to trade places for a day with … No one I can think of. If there is
SN ARCHIVES

one person who could punch a button to shape up this world, give me a shot at that button! First job: Delivered milk to neighborhood customers in Paris, Texas. We had a very productive cow. I was about 10. Pay was room and board. It was good milk with a lot of cream. Favorite meal: My mom’s fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes and apple pie. Yeah! Talent I’d most like to have: I’m satisfied with what I’ve got. It would be nice to play the piano, to go along with my singing voice. Favorite city to visit: Jerusalem Favorite teams as a kid: PHS Wildcats—my dad was the coach; SMU Mustangs—Doak (Walker) was the star Favorite values in others: Unselfishness, sense of humor Favorite physical attribute about myself: I had a body and mind designed to play football. This came in handy since I loved football. And least … No complaints. Belly ain’t what it used to be. Dream date: I married her. Her name is Sally. My heroes: 1. Crazylegs Hirsch. I was 18 when I saw film on his career. I wanted to do what he was doing. 2. Doak Walker. I studied 30-40 films of his career at SMU. Unbelievable. He did it all. My bucket list: Pay off my mortgage My motto: Don’t fumble. Just kidding. … On second thought, I’m not kidding. — Jeff D’Alessio

CHAIRMAN & CEO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ray Shaw PRESIDENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Whitney Shaw PUBLISHER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ed Baker EDITOR-IN-CHIEF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeff D’Alessio MANAGING EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Kasko CREATIVE DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Wood VP, GENERAL MANAGER, ONLINE . . . . . Jeff Gerttula VP, INTEGRATED MARKETING & SALES .Stuart Marvin DIRECTOR, DIGITAL MEDIA. . . . . . . . . . . . Geoff Shaw VP, MARKETING & SALES DEVELOPMENT . .Eric Karp
EDITORIAL OFFICES

120 West Morehead Street, Suite 200 Charlotte, NC 28202 704-973-1550 1-800-443-1886 Letters to the editor: yourturn@sportingnews.com General feedback: editors@sportingnews.com National Digital Sales Managers Joey Glowacki, 704-973-1856 jglowacki@sportingnews.com Gary Strauss, 212-500-0672 gstrauss@sportingnews.com

ON NEWSSTANDS NOW

From Hank Aaron to Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson to Al Kaline, all the stars have something to say about Sporting News’ rankings of the 50 best players in baseball today.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Overnight Report
BASEBALL / NATIONAL LEAGUE L.A. Dodgers 2, N.Y. Mets 1 Seattle 1, L.A. Angels 0

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

4

BASEBALL / AMERICAN LEAGUE

San Diego 2, San Francisco 1

Barehanded Bell saves day
SAN DIEGO—On a Wednesday night when offense was hard to come by, a barehanded play by closer Heath Bell was the highlight of San Diego’s 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Bell timed Emmanuel Burriss’ chopper perfectly, grabbing it with his right hand and firing it to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for the second out of the ninth inning. Bell struck out Rich Aurilia to finish the perfect inning, earning his 11th save in as many chances and helping the Padres to their fifth straight win. “That was awesome,” said third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, who makes his share of barehanded plays. “Zero to 10, I’m going to rate that a 10. Fast runner, do-or-die play, he’s either got to barehand it and try to get him out, or if he gloves it, I think he’s safe. Great play.” Bell has thrown 17 scoreless innings to start the season. With so little offense, Bell’s play stood out even more in a matchup between the two lowest-scoring teams in the NL. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to have to barehand this and I can’t even wind up. I have to pick it and throw it,’” Bell said. “I was like, ‘Here we go,’ hoping that as soon as I caught it, it didn’t bounce out of my hand or I throw it down the line, so I just caught it and flinged it over there and threw a strike to Adrian.” — The Associated Press
Padres 2, Giants 1 San Francisco AB R Rowand cf 4 0 Frandsen ss 3 0 Sandoval 3b 4 0 B.Molina c 4 0 Winn rf 4 1 F.Lewis lf 3 0 Ishikawa 1b 2 0 Burriss 2b 4 0 J.Sanchez p 2 0 a-Schierholtz ph 1 0 Misch p 0 0 Medders p 0 0 Howry p 0 0 c-Aurilia ph 1 0 Totals 32 1 San Diego Eckstein 2b Hairston cf Ad.Gonzalez 1b Kouzmanoff 3b Headley lf Giles rf Hundley c C.Burke ss Gaudin p G.Burke p b-Gerut ph Gregerson p Bell p Totals AB 4 3 4 4 3 2 2 3 2 0 1 0 0 28 R 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 H BI 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1 H BI 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .262 1 0 .000 0 0 .299 0 0 .287 0 1 .276 1 0 .280 2 1 .231 0 0 .252 0 2 .000 0 0 .213 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 .000 0 1 .196 4 6 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .229 1 1 .343 0 1 .280 0 0 .238 1 1 .237 1 0 .166 1 2 .263 0 1 .233 0 0 .000 0 0 --0 0 .221 0 0 --0 0 --4 7 1 6 1 2 4 0

Dodgers sweep stumbling Mets
Dodgers 2, Mets 1 New York AB R Jos.Reyes ss 2 0 R.Martinez ss 3 0 Castillo 2b 3 1 Beltran cf 3 0 D.Wright 3b 2 0 Dan.Murphy 1b 4 0 Church rf 3 0 c-Tatis ph 1 0 Putz p 0 0 R.Castro c 4 0 Pagan lf-rf 4 0 Li.Hernandez p 3 0 Reed lf 1 0 Totals 33 1 H BI 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 7 1 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .279 0 0 .000 1 0 .279 1 0 .370 2 0 .362 0 2 .263 0 0 .276 0 0 .282 0 0 --0 0 .239 0 1 .357 0 0 .143 0 0 .333 4 3

Jakubauskas not just fill-in
SEATTLE—Manager Don Wakamatsu calling out ace Felix Hernandez had an immediate and positive result for the Mariners: Chris Jakubauskas noticed. “I was watching them run all over the place,” the fill-in starter said Wednesday about the Angels stealing five bases during a runaway rout of Hernandez the previous night. “The easiest way to control that is to not let anyone on.” The former shoe salesman did just that, something the heralded Hernandez couldn’t do a day earlier. He limited his hometown Angels to two hits in six innings in Seattle’s 1-0 victory over Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Ken Griffey Jr. had two hits, including an RBI single after Ichiro Suzuki doubled leading off the first against Ervin Santana, who was otherwise strong—just not as brilliant as Jakubauskas. Seattle won for just the fourth time in 16 games, and for the first time in eight games against an AL West rival. The Angels lost for the fourth time in six games on their trip within the division. Los Angeles is 4-5 against the Mariners this season. The Angels were 14-5 against Seattle in 2008 while winning the division again. — The Associated Press
Mariners 1, Angels 0 Los Angeles AB R H BI Figgins 3b 4 0 1 0 M.Izturis dh 4 0 0 0 Abreu rf 1 0 0 0 J.Rivera lf 3 0 0 0 Hunter cf 4 0 1 0 K.Morales 1b 2 0 0 0 2-Willits pr 0 0 0 0 Matthews Jr. lf-rf 3 0 1 0 Kendrick 2b 3 0 0 0 E.Aybar ss 3 0 0 0 Mathis c 3 0 0 0 Totals 30 0 3 0 Seattle AB I.Suzuki rf 4 Beltre 3b 4 Griffey Jr. dh 3 1-En.Chavez pr-dh 0 Balentien lf 4 Branyan 1b 2 Johjima c 4 Jo.Lopez 2b 3 Y.Betancourt ss 3 F.Gutierrez cf 2 Totals 29 R 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 H BI 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 5 1 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .280 0 2 .272 0 0 .300 0 0 .275 0 1 .315 2 0 .282 0 0 .333 1 0 .276 0 0 .239 0 0 .299 0 0 .246 3 3 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .318 0 0 .200 1 0 .238 0 0 .274 0 1 .269 2 1 .305 0 0 .250 0 1 .224 0 0 .267 1 1 .258 4 4

San Francisco 010 000 000 — San Diego 010 100 00x —

MARK J. TERRILL / AP

Los Angeles AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Pierre lf 4 1 2 0 0 1 .405 Furcal ss 4 0 1 0 0 1 .239 Hudson 2b 4 1 2 0 0 0 .345 Ethier rf 2 0 0 1 1 0 .253 Martin c 4 0 1 1 0 0 .263 Loney 1b 3 0 1 0 1 0 .274 Paul cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .214 Belisario p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Leach p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --d-Loretta ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .350 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Blake 3b 2 0 1 0 1 0 .287 Jef.Weaver p 1 0 0 0 0 0 .143 a-Wolf ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .100 Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-Kemp ph-cf 1 0 1 0 0 0 .281 Totals 30 2 9 2 3 4 New York 001 000 000 — 1 7 0 Los Angeles 100 000 01x — 2 9 0 a-grounded out for Jef.Weaver in the 5th. b-singled for Troncoso in the 7th. c-grounded out for Church in the 8th. d-struck out for Leach in the 8th. LOB: New York 9, Los Angeles 8. 2B: Beltran 2 (13), Church (7), Hudson (15). RBIs: Beltran (29), Ethier (30), Martin (16). SB: Beltran (7), Pagan (1). SF: Ethier. Runners left in scoring position: New York 7 (Dan.Murphy 2, Li.Hernandez, Church, Tatis 2, R.Martinez); Los Angeles 5 (Martin 2, Pierre 2, Loretta). DP: New York 1 (Dan.Murphy); Los Angeles 1 (Furcal, Loney). New York Li.Hernandez Putz L, 1-3 Los Angeles Jef.Weaver Troncoso Belisario Leach W, 1-0 Broxton S, 11-13 IP 7 1 IP 5 2 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 H 7 2 H 4 2 0 0 1 R ER BB SO 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 2 R ER BB SO 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 NP ERA 93 4.93 27 3.91 NP ERA 69 3.00 28 1.69 10 2.70 8 6.23 15 1.29

Los Angeles 000 000 000 — 0 3 1 Seattle 100 000 00x — 1 5 0 1-ran for Griffey Jr. in the 8th. 2-ran for K.Morales in the 9th. E: Mathis (2). LOB: Los Angeles 6, Seattle 8. 2B: Hunter (10), I.Suzuki (4). RBIs: Griffey Jr. (10). SB: Y.Betancourt (3). Runners left in scoring position: Los Angeles 2 (Kendrick 2); Seattle 3 (I.Suzuki 2, Johjima). Los Angeles IP E.Santana L, 0-1 6 2⁄3 Arredondo 1 1⁄3 Seattle IP Jakubauskas W, 3-4 6 Batista H, 2 1 M.Lowe H, 3 1 Aardsma S, 5-5 1 H 5 0 H 2 0 1 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 3 95 3.09 0 0 2 1 23 4.82 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 1 100 6.10 0 0 0 0 16 2.38 0 0 0 1 18 3.72 0 0 1 1 14 1.37

The Dodgers’ Orlando Hudson scores the go-ahead run in the eighth. LOS ANGELES—Russell Martin drove in the goahead run with an eighthinning single and Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep of the New York Mets. Orlando Hudson singled with one out in the eighth against J.J. Putz (1-3), who walked Andre Ethier before Martin lined the righthander’s 1-0 pitch to left field for his 16th RBI of the season. “It’s definitely a nice way to break out of a little slump,” Martin, who had been 0-for-12, told The Los Angeles Times. The clutch hit helped the defending NL West champions improve their major league-best record to 29-13 and extend their division lead over San Francisco to 8½ games. The Mets were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, and also lost SS Jose Reyes in the third inning after he appeared to reinjure his right calf. — The Associated Press
More MLB results, Page 15

a-flied out for J.Sanchez in the 7th. b-lined out for G.Burke in the 7th. c-struck out for Howry in the 9th. E: Sandoval (1). LOB: San Francisco 8, San Diego 6. 2B: Rowand (9), Winn 2 (10), C.Burke (5). HR: Kouzmanoff (3), off J.Sanchez. RBIs: Burriss (8), Kouzmanoff (12), C.Burke (2). SB: Hairston (5). Runners left in scoring position: San Francisco 5 (J.Sanchez, Burriss 2, B.Molina, Sandoval); San Diego 4 (Kouzmanoff, Gaudin, Gerut, Headley). DP: San Francisco 1 (Ishikawa, Frandsen); San Diego 1 (Kouzmanoff, Eckstein, Ad.Gonzalez). San Francisco J.Sanchez L, 1-4 Misch Medders Howry San Diego Gaudin W, 1-3 G.Burke H, 2 Gregerson H, 3 Bell S, 11-11 IP 6 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 IP 6 1 1 1 H 2 0 1 1 H 5 1 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 3 5 99 4.74 0 0 1 0 1110.80 0 0 0 1 13 3.50 0 0 0 1 13 4.50 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 4 3 102 4.18 0 0 0 0 11 0.00 0 0 0 1 14 4.37 0 0 0 2 13 0.00

Inherited runners-scored: Arredondo 2-0. IBB: off Arredondo (Branyan). WP: Arredondo. Balk: Arredondo. Umpires: Home, Hunter Wendelstedt; First, Brian Knight; Second, Dana DeMuth; Third, Doug Eddings. T: 2:25. A: 18,580 (47,878).

Inherited runners-scored: Medders 1-0. WP: Gaudin. Umpires: Home, Fieldin Culbreth; First, Gary Cederstrom; Second, Jim Wolf; Third, Brian O’Nora. T: 2:51. A: 15,208 (42,691).

Inherited runners-scored: Leach 2-0. IBB: off Putz (Loney). WP: Troncoso. Umpires: Home, Jerry Meals; First, Mike DiMuro; Second, Dale Scott; Third, Jake Uhlenhopp. T: 2:56. A: 50,761 (56,000).

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Next Gen

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

5

RECRUITING DISH

Four-star linebacker chooses Alabama
Craig Sanders grew up rooting for the Alabama football program with his dad, so it was no big shock when he committed to the Crimson Tide. He told Sporting News Today there wasn’t even a close second for his services, even though Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Ole Miss and Tennessee also wanted him. Sanders is a 6-4, 230-pound outside linebacker out of Ariton, Ala. He had 71 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 12 sacks as a junior, along with rushing for 1,057 yards and 16 touchdowns on offense. Two recruiting services rate him a fourstar prospect. “I’ve been thinking Alabama the whole time,” Sanders told SN Today. “I was waiting it out to see if it was the right feeling, but I didn’t want to wait any longer ... They were the first one to offer me, and they want me for the position I’ve played in high school, outside linebacker.” Alabama coach Nick Saban told Sanders what he likes about his style of play. “He says I’m versatile, that I can rush the passer and drop back in coverage,” Sanders told SN Today. “I’m just going to work my rear off. I know people are thinking that I’m just coming from a little 1A school, but I’m going to prove I can be the best that I can be.” In basketball: Dundrecous Nelson, a three-star guard out of Jackson, Miss., has committed to the Ole Miss basketball program, The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss. reported. He is a member of the class of 2010, and also reported scholarship offers from Alabama, UAB, Arkansas and Mississippi State. He averaged 17.2 points a game as a junior, as well as 3.4 assists and 3.0 steals.

Agents, MLB players association question NCAA memo on advisers
BY LIZ MULLEN SportsBusiness Journal

COURTESY OF CRAIG SANDERS

When the Crimson Tide offered a scholarship to Craig Sanders, he was eager to accept. “Ole Miss recruited me the hardest,” Nelson told the newspaper. “Coach (Andy) Kennedy has a lot of energy. I like their style of play. I think I’ll be able to adapt to it.” The late signing period for college basketball came and went Wednesday, and two of the nation’s top prospects still remain unsigned. Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) SG Lance Stephenson didn’t sign a letter of intent with any school. Kansas and Arizona are two schools that have looked at him lately, but all programs are waiting to see the outcome of his misdemeanor sexual assault case. He is rated a five-star recruit by two services. Christian Life Center (Humble, Texas) PF Latavious Williams is also still out there. He recently returned from an unofficial visit to Georgetown, while Memphis and Florida International—with new coach Isiah Thomas—also are showing heavy interest. A decision may come as early as next week, according to Rivals.com. Now that the two signing periods have passed, players can continue with their recruitment through the summer. Any decision made would be non-binding—basically the same as a verbal commitment—until the player actually enrolls and attends class. Once the athlete is in class, that is considered the same as having signed a national letter of intent. — Brian McLaughlin

Is the NCAA attempting to influence college baseball players eligible for next month’s amateur draft against using advisers? Top baseball agents and a high-ranking MLB Players Association official were asking that last week, after the NCAA issued a memo to college baseball players regarding the hiring of an adviser for the June 9-10 draft. Perhaps for the first time, the NCAA acknowledged that the current custom and practice in the industry, in which student athletes hire “advisers” who often talk to MLB clubs and later become those players’ agents, is a violation of NCAA agent regulations. “Most adviser relationships, if consistent with current and past practices, lead to violations of NCAA agent legislation,” states the May 11 memo from NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon and NCAA managing director David Schnase. Although NCAA regulations allow collegeeligible players to have advisers, the five-page memo says that “it has been the NCAA’s experience that very few advisers actually stay on the permissible side of NCAA agent legislation.” The memo also warns student athletes about “needlessly jeopardiz(ing) your NCAA eligibility” and says that college baseball players do not need an adviser to be drafted by an MLB club. The NCAA would not comment on the memo. “This memo is not neutral on the question of whether players should be represented,” said MLBPA general counsel Michael Weiner. “It is suggesting to players they don’t need to be represented. That is wrong.” The union represents players on 40-man major league rosters but does not represent college players. The NCAA has been ordered to show cause why it is not in contempt of court by an Ohio judge who ruled earlier this year that the

NCAA’s regulation prohibiting advisers from participating in draft negotiations with clubs was illegal and declared it void. (The NCAA has said it will appeal that ruling.) Erie County, Ohio, Judge Tygh Tone said in an order last week that there is “probable cause to believe that defendant NCAA is in indirect civil and criminal contempt” of his February order, in a case involving Oklahoma State pitcher Andy Oliver. The NCAA suspended Oliver from competition because his advisers talked to major league clubs when he was drafted out of high school, but Tone ordered him reinstated. Oliver’s attorney Richard Johnson, who filed a motion for a contempt hearing, said Tone found probable cause the NCAA was in contempt as a direct result of the May 11 NCAA memo. “If they don’t rescind that memo,” Johnson said, “God help them.” Johnson added that the memo “is an attempt to intimidate these kids from seeking advisers, or lawyers.” “There appears to be a presumption by the NCAA, in all of this, that anybody acting in a legal capacity for a student athlete and his family is going to behave improperly, so therefore the cure is to extinguish the fundamental right to proper representation,” said prominent baseball agent Tom Reich. “In my opinion, that is contempt-and-a-half.” Agents also said the NCAA was providing incorrect information. The memo says there are only three negotiable terms in a first-year player contract: signing bonus, scholarship money and incentive bonus plan. “There are many other things that need to be negotiated,” said one prominent baseball agent, “including whether it is a major or minor league contract, the level where the player starts, whether he participates in major or minor league camp. I could go on and on.” This agent spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “I don’t want to be a target,” he said.
lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Next Gen: NBA Draft

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

6

Mailbag: Answering questions on the NBA draft
Well, we wasted little time in posting our first full-length (first round, at least) NBA mock draft. And you, to your credit, wasted little time in getting your thoughts, skepticisms and disagreements to me. Here’s what some of you were thinking, and what I was thinking in return …

Sean Deveney
PRO BASKETBALL

Q:

Where’s the love for DeJuan Blair? He killed Hasheem Thabeet at Connecticut, and yet Thabeet is (top 3) while Blair is 20. Doesn’t make sense. — B. Gallante, Pittsburgh

SRDJAN ILIC / AP

Brandon Jennings, right, spent the past year playing for Virtus Roma in Italy.

Deveney: Well, let me start by saying that, personally, I like Blair, and I think if he goes in the 20s, he’ll be a steal. But, here’s what I tell people over and over: The mock draft isn’t a reflection on where I think players should be drafted. It’s also not a reflection on collegiate accomplishments. It’s entirely based on what I’m being told by general managers and scouts and agents and trainers. And the feeling there is that, although Blair’s toughness and smarts were more than enough to make up for his lack of height in college, at the NBA level, his size (6-7) is going to be a problem.

Jennings’ draft stock rose on overseas play, agent says
KEITH SRAKOCIC / AP

BY LIZ MULLEN SportsBusiness Journal

DeJuan Blair, right, was a beast in college for Pitt, but his lack of size (6-7) figures to hurt him in the NBA. definitely needs to extend his range, especially when it comes to playing for Mike D’Antoni. I don’t see a Pacers need for a shooting guard. I see the Pacers trading and moving down or packaging the 13th pick with Jamaal Tinsley and moving up. The Pacers need a power forward to back up Troy Murphy and another center. Tinsley and No. 13 for No. 3 (Thunder) might work, and the Pacers pick Jordan Hill or Thabeet. — Chris Hanley, Indianapolis that you can make a deal over the summer to move Jarrett Jack or Marquis Daniels. Brandon Jennings improved his draft status by choosing to play professional ball in Europe rather than go to college, his NBA agent, Bill Duffy, said. Sporting News Today’s post-lottery mock draft had Jennings going to the Wizards with the No. 5 pick. Duffy confirmed that he had signed Jennings, as well as UCLA guard Darren Collison and North Carolina forward Danny Green, for representation. Duffy said Jennings’ stock has improved immensely from playing a year for Virtus Roma rather than at a U.S. college. Jennings was a University of Arizona recruit. “Everyone on the planet who has seen him play has known he is a star NBA prospect,” Duffy said. “What they now know is he

Q:

Being a Knicks fan, I was surprised to see you having the Knicks draft guard DeMar DeRozan when James Harden is still on the board. Would you agree with the Knicks passing on James Harden there? — Phil from Boca

Q:

Q:

I am a little skeptical about all of the hype over Ricky Rubio. Everybody talks about his passing, but what about his defense and shooting? — Leon, Detroit

Deveney: I’ve been told since January or so that Harden will be one of the top three players in this draft. But it seems that, the closer we get to draft day, the colder the feet are getting on Harden, who is not huge (6-5) for a shooting guard, and not a jaw-dropping athlete. DeRozan, however, is a superb athlete who runs the floor and finished the season strong. He is an excellent shooter from 12-15 feet, but he

Deveney: I hate to break it, but Pacers fans have got to grasp the fact that no one is trading for Tinsley at this point. He has zero trade value. You’re right, the Pacers don’t need a shooting guard. But they don’t need a point/combo guard, and they don’t need a small forward. That’s all there is in this draft. If you’re Indiana, you just need to take the best available player and figure

Deveney: Rubio is an excellent defender already, so that should not be a problem. He is fast, a great ballhandler and a very good passer. He is not really a scorer, and there are concerns about his shooting. But he is by no means a bad shooter. He can get to the rim and is very good in transition. Probably the biggest question about him is his size. He’s very thin, and he looks like he could just as easily be on my son’s freshman volleyball team as he could be in the NBA. But then, he’s still a teenager.
sdeveney@sportingnews.com

is mature beyond his years because of the adversity, the living conditions, the challenge of playing against men and earning his playing time. “This would make him much more prepared for the NBA than any college player, in my opinion.” Jennings has matured both on and off the court, Duffy said. “On his own volition, he donated $50,000 of his own money” to a relief fund for victims of the April earthquake in Rome, Duffy noted. NBADraft.net ranked Collison No. 31, and Green No. 43, on its mock draft last week. Duffy’s firm, BDA Sports, already had signed three projected lottery picks— UConn center Hasheem Thabeet, Arizona forward Jordan Hill and Arizona forward/guard Chase Budinger—for representation.
lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NBA
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

7

Orlando 107, Cleveland 106

Despite LeBron’s 49, Cavs get first playoff ‘L’
CLEVELAND—LeBron James chewed on his fingernails as he talked quietly with Mo Williams in the corner of Cleveland’s muted locker room. As they reviewed the game’s final seconds, the two stars stared blankly at a box score floating in an ice tub above James’ feet. They looked stunned. And for good reason. No longer untested, no longer unbeaten. The Cavaliers finally met their match in the playoffs. Dwight Howard scored 30 points, Rashard Lewis added 22 and the Orlando Magic rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to hand James and the Cavaliers their first loss of the postseason, 107-106 on Wednesday night in the Eastern Conference finals opener. James finished with 49 points, eight assists and six rebounds, but the league MVP limped off the floor after Cleveland’s loss—just its third in 46 home games. “Nobody said it was going to be easy,” said Cavs guard Delonte West, who missed an open 3-pointer with five seconds remaining. “This one hurts.” Lewis made a 3-pointer with 14.7 seconds left and the Magic, who dethroned the champion Boston Celtics in seven games in the previous round, survived two shots by Cleveland in the closing seconds. Williams missed a catch-and-shoot jumper off a jump ball as the horn sounded, dropping the Cavs to 8-1 in the postseason. “It’s a big victory,” said Howard, who broke one of the shot clocks with a dunk in the opening minutes. “We kept fighting the whole game. We kept believing we could win.” Hedo Turkoglu scored 15 points with 14 assists for Orlando. Game 2 is Friday night at Quicken Loans Arena, which fell eerily silent after the Magic’s win. As fans headed to the exits, they turned to observe James still on the floor and bent over in obvious pain. He was bothered by cramps throughout the fourth quarter and was tended to by Cleveland’s training staff before slowly making his way to the locker room. “I’m not hurt,” said James, who felt the long layoff—the Cavs hadn’t played since May 11—may have contributed to the cramping. Cleveland gave this one away. The Cavaliers lost their grip on the game with a stagnant third quarter that carried into the fourth. Also, the Magic shot 55 percent from the floor—59 percent in the second half—against the league’s top defensive team. “That’s unacceptable,” James said. “We should have lost.” Orlando, which went 2-1 vs. Cleveland in the regular season, took its first lead at 85-84 with 10:06 left when Anthony Johnson buried a 3-pointer from the left corner. The bucket seemed to suck the air out of the raucous building and Cavs coach Mike Brown quickly called a timeout to stop the Magic’s run and get James back in. The Magic, though, kept making big shots with Lewis hitting a jumper with 31.6 seconds left to give Orlando a 104-103 lead. James then drove and scored on a runner while drawing a sixth foul on Howard, who added 13 rebounds. James completed the three-point play for a 106-104 lead but Lewis came down and nailed his 3-pointer over a closing Anderson Varejao. “You got to play 48 minutes,” Lewis said. “The most important thing is to play 48 minutes. We played only one half but it was the second half.” On Cleveland’s last possession, West missed his open 3 but James was able to tie up Turkoglu for a jump ball. James tipped it behind him to Williams, but his last-second prayer hit the back of the rim and the Cavs walked off knowing they had given up home-court advantage for this round. “This is good for us,” Brown said. “We didn’t expect go undefeated.” Williams ended the first half by swishing a 67-footer to give the Cavaliers a 63-48 lead. It was the third consecutive Game 1 in these playoffs that the Cavs have closed the first half with a buzzer-beating bucket. James did it against Detroit and Atlanta. In the Orlando locker room, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his players for not stopping James, who had 26 in the opening half. “He told us, ‘We’re all witnesses,’” Howard said, using a slogan James has popularized with his commercials. “That got us fired up.” — The Associated Press

Series glance
(Orlando leads series 1-0) Wednesday: Orlando 107, Cleveland 106 Friday: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., TNT Sunday: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., TNT Tuesday, May 26: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., TNT Thursday, May 28: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary Saturday, May 30: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., if necessary Monday, June 1: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

Orlando Cleveland

19 33

29 30

30 19 Reb 0-6 1-7 5-13 0-2 0-1 1-2 0-1 0-2 1-2 8-36

29 — 107 24 — 106 A 14 3 1 8 2 1 3 0 0 32 PF 1 2 6 2 0 2 1 0 1 15 PTS 15 22 30 11 4 13 5 3 4 107

ORLANDO Min FG FT Turkoglu 40:57 4-11 6-6 Lewis 41:41 9-13 1-2 Howard 38:01 14-20 2-2 Alston 31:03 4-10 1-1 Lee 27:25 2-7 0-0 Pietrus 29:59 5-10 1-2 Johnson 14:36 2-3 0-0 Battie 6:19 1-2 1-1 Gortat 9:59 2-2 0-0 Totals 240:00 43-78 12-14

Percentages: FG .551, FT .857. 3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Lewis 3-4, Alston 2-4, Pietrus 2-5, Johnson 1-2, Turkoglu 1-2, Lee 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 13 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Lee). Turnovers: 13 (Howard 3, Lewis 3, Pietrus 2, Turkoglu 2, Alston, Gortat, Lee). Steals: 5 (Howard 2, Alston, Johnson, Lee). Technical Fouls: Howard, 9:43 third; Defensive three second, 6:06 third. CLEVELAND Min FG FT James 41:14 20-30 6-10 Varejao 36:52 6-8 2-2 Ilgauskas 32:03 5-11 0-0 MWilliams 41:41 6-19 3-3 West 46:36 4-13 0-0 Szczerbiak 13:25 0-2 0-0 Smith 15:08 2-4 1-2 Wallace 9:48 0-1 0-0 Gibson 3:14 0-0 0-0 Totals 240:01 43-88 12-17 Reb 3-6 1-6 3-10 0-4 0-1 1-3 0-1 0-2 0-0 8-33 A 8 0 2 5 6 2 0 0 0 23 PF 1 3 4 4 1 3 2 1 0 19 PTS 49 14 10 17 11 0 5 0 0 106

Percentages: FG .489, FT .706. 3-Point Goals: 8-25, .320 (James 3-6, West 3-8, M.Williams 2-8, Ilgauskas 0-1, Smith 0-1, Szczerbiak 0-1). Team Rebounds: 12. Team Turnovers: 8 (10 PTS). Blocked Shots: 7 (James 3, Varejao 2, Smith, West). Turnovers: 5 (James 2, Varejao, West, M.Williams). Steals: 8 (West 4, James 2, Varejao, M.Williams). Technical Fouls: None. A: 20,562 (20,562). T: 2:46. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Ron Garretson, Ken Mauer.

DAVID RICHARD / AP

Rashard Lewis’ 3-pointer with 14.7 seconds left in the game held up as the game-winner.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NBA
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

8

Kobe: Lakers got away with one against Nuggets
LOS ANGELES—Nobody was feeling luckier than Kobe Bryant a day after rescuing the Los Angeles Lakers from certain defeat against the Denver Nuggets in their Western Conference finals opener. “We just kind of got away with one,” he said, grinning. “It happens sometimes.” Bryant scored 40 points, including six free throws in the final 30 seconds Tuesday night, to give the Lakers a 105-103 victory after being outplayed most of the game. Call it stealing one at home. “It was one of those gutty performances that you have to have throughout the postseason,” Bryant said after practice Wednesday. “We had everything working against us—mistakes, loose balls, bobbling balls out of bounds. It just seemed like one of those nights, but we managed to pull through it.” Game 2 is tonight at Staples Center. The Nuggets have lost 11 consecutive playoff games to the Lakers, including a first-round sweep last season. “We played 46½ solid minutes, just the last minute or so got away from us. But we can take a lot of things from it that we did well,” Kenyon Martin said. “We just need to eliminate some of the little mistakes and go from there. That’s the beauty of it, there’s another game tomorrow.” Bryant was forced into playing both ends of the floor after teammate Trevor Ariza couldn’t stop Denver’s Carmelo Anthony, who owned a lackluster history against the Lakers until exploding for 39 points. Bryant started out defending Chauncey Billups (18 points), then took on J.R. Smith (eight points) before sliding over late to Anthony, his U.S. Olympic teammate. Forget asking coach Phil

Today’s game
Conference finals
(Best-of-7), all times ET Denver at L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ESPN

If you deliver it daily, they will come.

Betting line
Today FAVORITE ..........LINE at L.A. Lakers............5½ O/U ........UNDERDOG (210½) ............Denver

MARK J. TERRILL / AP

Kobe Bryant took the initiative offensively and defensively in Game 1, giving L.A. the victory. Jackson for permission to change defensive assignments, either. “We have the type of relationship where I just do it,” Bryant said. “Whatever it took to win the game, I had to do. It was fun.” Anthony had a breakout game, going 14 of 20 from the floor, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range, 7 of 8 from the line, with six rebounds and four assists.

“He’s been phenomenal,” Billups said. “For a while he fell out of that whole LeBron (James), D-Wade, Melo talk and I’m happy that he’s back where he should be. He’s led his team to the Western Conference finals and he’s been the best player on our team all year.” But Anthony doesn’t consider himself the kind of one-man show Bryant had to be for the Lakers. “I don’t really think it’s about me putting up numbers,” Anthony said. “I’m not going to beat the Lakers by myself. Chauncey’s not going to beat the Lakers by himself. We need our bench, our X-factor guys J.R. (Smith), LK (Linas Kleiza) and Birdman (Chris Andersen). We need everybody like we’ve been doing it so far.” Smith sprained his right knee in the game, but he said it was better Wednesday. “I’m definitely going to play,” he said. “I’ll be ready for (today).” Ariza referred to Anthony’s defensive domination of him as “getting served.” But Bryant expects Ariza will come better prepared today. “He doesn’t back down,” Bryant said. — The Associated Press

! FREEp u
Sign Today!

The country’s first and only daily digital sports newspaper.
Delivered via email every morning, 7 days a week, Sporting News Today is your one-stop destination for breaking sports stories plus news about every team, every game and every score from coast-to-coast. Experience America’s hottest new product. Sign up at sportingnewstoday.com. It’s free.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NBA
INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

9

Playoff glance
CONFERENCE FINALS
(Best-of-7), all times ET

Clippers leaving little doubt about their pick
The Clippers didn’t need time after the draft lottery to decide who to take with the No. 1 pick. They settled on PF Blake Griffin long ago. “I’d say we made the decision June 2008,” assistant general manager Neil Olshey said Wednesday. “When he decided to go back to Oklahoma, that if we got the No. 1 pick in ’09, he’d be the guy.” The Clippers earned the right to select the All-American forward in the June 25 draft Tuesday when they won the lottery, moving up from the third-best chance. On Wednesday, the Clippers strategically placed pictures of Griffin on their website to advertise ticket sales for next season. “Clearly, we’re taking Blake Griffin,” Clippers general manager and coach Mike Dunleavy told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday night. “This guy is the No. 1 pick. We’re extremely excited. He’s the guy.” serious about negotiating a two-year contract extension, The Arizona Republic reported. If that time comes, Duffy said Nash would ask for a raise from the current deal, which ends after the 2009-10 season, when Nash will make $13.1 million. “This is kind of a perplexing time because he (Nash) absolutely wants to win and he loves the (Phoenix) market but all the pieces have to line up properly,” Duffy said. “We just want to wait and see what their game plan is so we can sign off on it.” Friends and fans paid their last respects to former NBA and University of Oklahoma star Wayman Tisdale. The public viewing was held Wednesday at the Friendship Baptist Church in Tulsa, Okla. Some people lined up two hours before the church doors were opened. Tisdale was a three-time All-American for Oklahoma in the mid-1980s before playing 12 seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Phoenix and Sacramento. He died Friday after a two-year battle with bone cancer. He was 44. World Wrestling Entertainment is moving its Monday night show to Los Angeles because of a conflict with the Pepsi Center in Denver, which had booked two events for the same night.The Nuggets are scheduled to host the Lakers on Monday in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, but WWE had previously secured the arena for an episode of Monday Night Raw.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Cleveland vs. Orlando
(Orlando leads series 1-0) Wednesday: Orlando 107, Cleveland 106 Friday: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., TNT Sunday: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., TNT Tuesday, May 26: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., TNT Thursday, May 28: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary Saturday, May 30: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., if necessary Monday, June 1: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

Jeremy Tyler, the high school junior who recently announced that he is forgoing his senior year of high school as well as college to play basketball in Europe, has signed with Wasserman Media Group agents B.J. Armstrong and Arn Tellem for representation, SportsBusiness Journal’s Liz Mullen reported. WMG will represent Tyler in talks with European clubs and potential sponsors, Armstrong said.
Celtics F Kevin Garnett will have surgery sometime next week on his knee, president Danny Ainge told The Boston Globe. The team expects Garnett to be back at full strength next season. Garnett missed 24 regular-season games and the entire postseason with a sprained right knee. NBA commissioner David Stern said Newark mayor Corey Booker was misinformed when he recently said that the Nets would never move to Brooklyn and the team would be put up for sale. On WBGO-FM’s Newark Today, Booker had said, “I think there’s going to be a comeuppance very soon where the team is going to go up for sale.” The Bobcats didn’t move up in the draft lottery, but whether they stay with the 12th pick is uncertain. After pulling off three trades to reshape the roster last season under first-year coach Larry Brown, general manager Rod Higgins wouldn’t rule out another deal before the June 25 draft.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
L.A. Lakers vs. Denver
(L.A. Lakers lead series 1-0) Tuesday: L.A. Lakers 105, Denver 103 Today: Denver at L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ESPN Saturday: L.A. Lakers at Denver, 8:30 p.m., ABC Monday: L.A. Lakers at Denver, 9 p.m., ESPN Wednesday, May 27: Denver at L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., if necessary, Friday, May 29: L.A. Lakers at Denver, 9 p.m., if necessary Sunday, May 31: Denver at L.A. Lakers, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

Gar Forman has been promoted to general manager of the Bulls, replacing John Paxson, who will remain with the team as executive vice president of basketball operations. Forman has been director of player personnel the past five years. Paxson had served as GM since April 2003, when he was officially hired as executive vice president of basketball operations.
PG Steve Nash and his agent, Bill Duffy, have let the Suns know that they will wait to see how the Suns roster is altered before getting

NBA Calendar
June 4—NBA finals start date (possible move-up to June 2). June 15—NBA draft early entry entrant withdrawal deadline (5 p.m. ET). June 18—NBA finals latest possible end date. June 25—NBA draft.

RICK SCUTERI / AP

Steve Nash wants to remain in Phoenix, but wants to see how the team shakes out, his agent says.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NHL
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

10

Giant-killer Carolina faces another big challenge
PITTSBURGH—The Carolina Hurricanes have overcome big odds already this season. They were led to the playoffs by an interim coach. They eliminated two of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference, winning a pair of Game 7s on the road. But watching them practice Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh without key forwards Erik Cole and Tuomo Ruutu, it became clear their biggest challenge still could be ahead of Craig Custance them. HOCKEY Cole was injured when he took a knee-on-knee hit from Penguins forward Matt Cooke in the third period of Game 1. After reviewing the hit, the league decided not to issue disciplinary action. Ruuto was injured in the first period of Game 1. “They’re day-to-day,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said after practice. “They may skate, they may not. We’ll let our trainer make that decision for them. Then they’ll be game-time decisions for the game (today). So it could have been worse, I guess.” If the injured Hurricanes can’t go, Carolina loses two physical players whose style of play isn’t easy to replicate. Forward Scott Walker said it’ll take him and his teammates elevating their game, not changing it, if Carolina needs to replace ice time created by the injuries. “It’s the conference finals, you’re going to play the same style that got you here,” Walker said. “Maybe there’s more ice time, maybe penalty kill for some guys, but it doesn’t mean … all of a sudden you say, ‘He’s out, I’m going to get more goals.’ If it was that easy, more guys would do it.” The Hurricanes weren’t thrilled with the

Today’s game
Conference finals
(Best-of-7), all times ET Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., Versus

Betting lines
Today FAVORITE ..........LINE at Pittsburgh ..........-200 UNDERDOG ......... LINE Carolina ...................+170

Scuderi’s scare
Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi, who was so important to the Penguins’ ability to at least slow down Alex Ovechkin in the second round, had a scare in practice Wednesday when he was hit by a puck and doubled over in serious pain. He continued to practice, but with fellow defenseman Sergei Gonchar already playing with an injured knee, an injured Scuderi would have been a serious blow. “It’s hard enough to stay healthy in the playoffs as they are,” Crosby said. “But when you start seeing that in practice, you hope it’s not serious. The good thing though is guys are practicing hard and it’s good to see.”

Gonchar’s minutes on the rise
GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Erik Cole, Cam Ward and Ryan Bayda are in a familiar position—down 1-0 in a series. Cole’s status for Game 2, though, is up in the air, after a knee-on-knee hit in Game 1. hit on Cole, although there wasn’t the same vitriol that came from the Penguins’ locker room after star defenseman Sergei Gonchar took a knee from Alex Ovechkin in the semifinals. Still, Eric Staal thinks the knee-on-knee hit could have been avoided. “When a guy doesn’t see you coming and you’re in a vulnerable position, it’s one of those plays where you should get out of the way instead of coming across,” Staal said. “The way (Cooke) plays, he plays in your face, gets under your skin. We’ll have to make sure we’re up and physical on him, too.” “I don’t think they want to change a whole lot. You look at the game, it was pretty evenly matched,” Crosby said. “You get to this point, and you don’t change everything after just one game.” Maurice said it’s not that his team makes big changes or serious adjustments from the first game to the second, it’s that his team gets a feel for the opponent. “(We) just found smarter and better ways to play the game based on what we had learned in Game 1,” Maurice said. “We’ve learned as we went.”

Carolina’s adjustments
Carolina is still playing because the Hurricanes have been able to adjust to an opponent quickly. Against both New Jersey and Boston, the Hurricanes lost Game 1 but rebounded to win Game 2. They’d like that trend to continue, although Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby isn’t anticipating many changes from them heading into the second game.

Gonchar’s ice time jumped from 15:06 in Game 7 against Washington to 21:42 in Game 1 against Carolina—so the injured knee must be improving. Pittsburgh has been dressing seven defensemen, something Dan Bylsma said he’ll consider again for Game 2. But the Pittsburgh coach said he wasn’t surprised at how much time Gonchar was able to play in Game 1. In fact, that number could increase as the series continues. “If need be, he’s capable of playing more and wants to play more,” Bylsma said. “He looks good and fluid. … For big parts of the game, he was looking like he was 100 percent.” ccustance@sportingnews.com

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NHL
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
(Through May 19)

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

11

NHL playoff leaders
Goals
Name Team Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Alex Ovechkin, Washington Johan Franzen, Detroit Eric Staal, Carolina Patrick Kane, Chicago Corey Perry, Anaheim Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh 5 tied GP 14 14 13 15 13 13 13 14 G 12 11 9 9 8 8 7 7 6 A 14 14 12 10 10 9 PP 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 SH 1 1 1 1 1 PPA 8 7 7 7 6 5 5 5 4 SHA 2 1 1 1 1 1

DETROIT AT CHICAGO Friday, 8 p.m. ET, Versus

Power play points
Name Team Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Alex Ovechkin, Washington Kris Versteeg, Chicago 7 tied GP 14 13 13 14 12 14 14 PPP 11 9 9 8 8 8 7 6 SHP 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 GW 3 2 S 90 66 64 59 57 57 49 47 47 46

Down 0-2, Blackhawks try to regroup at home
CHICAGO—A stinging overtime loss still fresh on their minds less than 24 hours later, the Chicago Blackhawks were hoping to rest and regroup Wednesday. Even moreso, they were hoping to win a game. They already knew how difficult it would be to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions and now face an even more daunting assignment against the Detroit Red Wings: rally from a 2-0 deficit and win four of the next five games. “You have to let that go. Last night, it’s a tough loss. It’s still a seven-game series and you got to win four games,” Chicago winger Andrew Ladd said of Tuesday night’s 3-2 setback. Ladd offered some solace Wednesday from his experience with the Carolina Hurricanes three years ago during a run to the Stanley Cup. “I just think you don’t want to panic,” Ladd said. “I know in Carolina, our first round against Montréal the year we won, we lost our first two games at home and ended up winning that series in six.” But this is the conference finals and it’s the Red Wings. And even though the Blackhawks are counting on the roar of the United Center to give them a boost, they have to find a way to play better and cut down on their turnovers. The Red Wings’ depth, the defense’s ability, led by Nicklas Lidstrom, to shut down Chicago’s young star Patrick Kaneóthree shots on goal Tuesday after none in Game 1—and the play of goalie Chris Osgood have overridden concerns about fatigue. “Every little inch against this team Normally steady Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook has twice had trouble controlling the puck, leading to a goal in each game by Detroit’s Dan Cleary— one on a breakaway Tuesday night. And Mikael Samuelsson’s winner in overtime started on a turnover by Chicago’s Brian Campbell, leading to a three-on-one break. “We look at the three goals in the first two games where we had the puck on the point, we had pretty good possession of it, and we ended up giving three goals off of that,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday. “We certainly like to encourage plays and things like that. But they check well and their transition game off of those plays were, you know, very pivotal goals in two games. That’s one area where we got to be better.” The Red Wings also took a day off practice Wednesday and will be back on the ice today before making the short flight across Lake Michigan. “I didn’t think we had much last night,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I think the previous series caught up to us. ... I don’t think we had any legs or any pop whatsoever. I thought we had good will and good determination, but no legs.” But what they have is a 2-0 lead and a group of veterans confident of winning away from home. They are 3-2 on the road so far in these playoffs. “We’re a good road team. We’ve been like that the last few seasons,” Cleary said. “We’ve been able to play a simple game. It’s about limiting the turnovers— don’t give them the opportunity to hurt you.” — The Associated Press

Assists
Name Team Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Alex Ovechkin, Washington 7 tied GP 13 14 14 14 14

Shorthanded points
Name Team Matt Bradley, Washington Boyd Gordon, Washington Dave Bolland, Chicago Matt Cullen, Carolina Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Mike Green, Washington Milan Jurcina, Washington Duncan Keith, Chicago Chad LaRose, Carolina GP 14 14 14 15 6 6 14 14 14 15 GP 15

Power play goals
Name Team Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Jonathan Toews, Chicago Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Marc Savard, Boston Eric Staal, Carolina Johan Franzen, Detroit Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Kris Versteeg, Chicago Alex Ovechkin, Washington 18 tied GP 14 14 14 11 15 13 13 14 14

Game-winning goals
Name Team Jussi Jokinen, Carolina 10 tied

Shots
Name Team Alex Ovechkin, Washington Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Marian Hossa, Detroit Eric Staal, Carolina Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Joe Corvo, Carolina 2 tied Name Team Mark Eaton, Pittsburgh Marc Savard, Boston Yannick Weber, Montreal R.J. Umberger, Columbus Jared Ross, Philadelphia Patrick Kane, Chicago 11 tied GP 14 11 3 4 6 13 GP 14 14 13 15 13 14 13 13 15

Shorthanded goals
Name Team Dave Bolland, Chicago Matt Cullen, Carolina Simon Gagne, Philadelphia Milan Jurcina, Washington Matt Bradley, Washington GP 14 15 6 14 14 GP 13 13 12 14 14 13 14 14

Power play assists
Name Team Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Martin Havlat, Chicago Chris Pronger, Anaheim Alexander Semin, Washington Alex Ovechkin, Washington 8 tied

Shooting percentage
G S PCTG 4 11 36.4 6 17 35.3 1 3 33.3 3 9 33.3 1 3 33.3 8 31 25.8 25.00 GP 13 10 13 13 14 13 8 14 +/14 12 12 11 10 9 8 8 7

PAUL SANCYA / AP

Chicago winger Andrew Ladd, right, has come back in a series before, as a member of the Hurricanes in ‘06. you have to work for,” Chicago’s Jonathan Toews said. Detroit needed seven games to oust Anaheim in a grueling semifinal. But the Red Wings still had enough energy in the late stages of the first two games against the younger Blackhawks. The Red Wings scored three times in the third period to take the opener 5-2 and then used a costly Chicago mistake to win frenetic Game 2 in overtime. “Obviously, it’s the first time for a lot of those guys in the conference finals,” Detroit’s Brian Rafalski said, looking ahead to Game 3 Friday. “We’re going to have to come out with a lot of jump. The crowd is going to give them a big boost.” Chicago seemed to have better puck management for most of Game 2, but the mistakes still cost the Blackhawks. There is very little margin against Detroit.

Plus/minus
Name Team Daniel Cleary, Detroit Milan Lucic, Boston Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Johan Franzen, Detroit Alex Ovechkin, Washington Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Brian Rafalski, Detroit Tom Poti, Washington 4 tied

Shorthanded assists
Name Team Boyd Gordon, Washington Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Mike Green, Washington Duncan Keith, Chicago Chad LaRose, Carolina Matt Bradley, Washington GP 14 6 14 14 15 14

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NHL
INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

12

Coyotes minority owner plans bid; Philadelphia stars recuperate
Another potential buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes has emerged, and this one wants to keep the team right where it’s at—in Glendale, Ariz. According to both the Toronto Star and Toronto Globe and Mail, a group headed by Coyotes minority owner John Breslow has notified the NHL it plans to submit a bid. Breslow, who is identified by the Globe and Mail as a “huge hockey fan” who wants to “work with the NHL and the city” to prevent a sale to Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, refused interviews on the matter, according to his lawyer, Scott Cohen. “He is 100 percent not interested in moving the team,” Cohen told the Globe and Mail. “He is interested in cooperating with the NHL and the city to keep the team in Glendale.” Cohen would not provide specifics. But Breslow, who resides in Las Vegas, owns 2 percent of the team and is executive director of Coyotes Charities. According to The Arizona Republic, Breslow was a Republican candidate for governor in his native state of Nebraska in 1998 and once served as state auditor. The newspaper also said Breslow sold his welding business for $260-million three years ago. Cohen said Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who reportedly has made an offer for the team, is not involved in Breslow’s group. Cohen said the offer will be filed with the NHL once the U.S. bankruptcy court establishes guidelines for the auction of the Coyotes. Philadelphia captain Mike Richards has started using small weights as he recovers from surgery on both shoulders, and Flyers C Danny Briere’s eyes still are sensitive to light a day after having corrective surgery. Richards had surgery on his left shoulder last week and his right shoulder last month after playing through the season in pain. He told The Associated Press he’s sore and sleeps trouble with his contact lenses.

Manny Fernandez, backup goalie for the Boston Bruins, might retire rather than spend another season battling injuries. Fernandez played 28 games last season, posting a 16-8-3 record with a 2.59 goalsagainst average. But he has a history of back and knee problems, which limited him to four appearances for the Bruins in 2007-08. Fernandez, who can become an unrestricted free agent, also had a big salary cap hit when he made $4.75 million last season. “That month off I had to take in the middle of the (2007-08) season because of my back, that’s not something I’d want to do again,” Fernandez told The Boston Globe. “If I can’t last for 82 games, there’s no point in coming back.”
Chicago general manager Dale Tallon told the Chicago Tribune he’s breaking off contract negotiations with F Martin Havlat and G Nikolai Khabibulin until the postseason ends. “We’re waiting,” Tallon told the newspaper. “We’ve agreed to wait until after the season. We had previous discussions early and we’ll talk after the playoffs.” Both players are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, and both are coming off solid regular seasons. Both also have been solid in the playoffs. Havlat is tied with Jonathan Toews for the team lead in playoff points and Khabibulin has been the go-to goalie through the lateseason run and playoffs.
JERRY S. MENDOZA / AP

Playoff glance
CONFERENCE FINALS
(Best-of-7), all times ET

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
(Pittsburgh leads series 1-0) May 18: Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 2 Today: Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., Versus Saturday: Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7:30 p.m. Versus Tuesday, May 26: Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7:30 p.m., Versus Friday, May 29: Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., if necessary, Versus Sunday, May 31: Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7:30 p.m., if necessary, Versus Tuesday, June 2: Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., if necessary, Versus

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Chicago vs. Detroit
(Detroit leads series 2-0) May 17: Detroit 5, Chicago 2 Tuesday: Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT Friday: Detroit at Chicago, 8 p.m., Versus Sunday: Detroit at Chicago, 3 p.m., NBC Wednesday, May 27: Chicago at Detroit, 7:30 p.m., if necessary, Versus Saturday, May 30: Detroit at Chicago, 8 p.m., if necessary, Versus Monday, June 1: Chicago at Detroit, 7:30 p.m., if necessary, Versus

Martin Havlat (24) of the Blackhawks will have to wait until the postseason is over to talk about a new deal. with two shoulder braces. “I can’t really lift anything right now,” he said. “I’m up in the gym just working with some small 2-pound weights and stuff like that just trying to get my strength back.” Richards’ shoulders bothered him all season and he used anti-inflammatory medication to manage the pain. He still scored 30 goals and 80 points. Briere had his eye procedure after having

The Edmonton Oilers have signed Swedish prospect Johan Motin, a much-needed stayat-home defenseman, to an entry-level contract. Motin, 19, has spent the last three seasons with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League. The 6-2, 202-pounder was Edmonton’s second pick in the 2008 draft.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

13

THE LAUNCHING PAD
What to expect in the major leagues today

Rays, Maddon agree to 3-year extension
Joe Maddon and the Rays have agreed to terms on an extension that would take the 55-year-old manager through the 2012 season, the St. Petersburg Times reported. An announcement is expected soon, probably this weekend in Miami, according to the newspaper. Maddon is in his fourth season with the Rays. He has a 244-284 record following Wednesday’s loss. Meanwhile, Rays P and ALCS hero David Price could be nearing a return to the majors. In three of his first five starts at Class AAA Durham, he didn’t get past the fourth inning, partly because of his 75-pitch limit. But in his last start, he struck out nine in five no-hit innings. His pitch count has been raised to 90. “I have to get myself in the right state of mind where it doesn’t matter which level I’m pitching at—I need to throw like David Price,” Price told mlb.com. “And that’s not walking three or four guys and throwing 3 1/3 innings. That’s not what I’ve had happen in the past, and that’s not what I want to start doing now.” Stephen Strasburg, the presumptive No. 1 overall pick by the Nationals in the June 9 amateur draft, caused some anxiety Wednesday when he left a start with what was described as a back cramp, The Washington Post reported. The San Diego State righthander went 7 2/3 innings, allowing only three hits and striking out six before departing. A school official described the injury as minor. “He had a little back cramp,”
Twins this season. Ellis was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 29 with a strained left calf. He has a .206 batting average with nine RBIs in 18 games this season. Righthander Anthony Swarzak will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester today and is to make his major league debut Saturday for Minnesota against Milwaukee, taking the place of Glen Perkins in the rotation. Perkins was put on the disabled list this week with left elbow inflammation. Braves IF Omar Infante could be out as long as two months after breaking a bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday night. Infante’s fifth metacarpal—the bone extending from his little finger to his wrist—was broken when he was hit by Manny Corpas of the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning of the Braves’ 12-4 win. Infante had two hits to raise his average to .349. Former Atlanta Braves and current Boston Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz has married Kathryn Darden, the second marriage for each, the Journal-Constitution reported. A section of Interstate 64 in the St. Louis area could be renamed for legendary sportscaster Jack Buck, who died in 2002. A portion of the interstate from St. Louis to the Illinois state line could become known as the “Jack Buck Memorial Highway.” A bill passed in the Missouri Legislature last week would allow the designation. It has not yet been signed into law.

TONY GUTIERREZ / AP

Kevin Millwood has pitched five games of at least 7 innings while allowing three runs or fewer.

JEFF ROBERSON / AP

Chris Carpenter returned Wednesday, but it will be a few days more for Cards OF Rick Ankiel, above. SDSU sports information officer Dave Kuhn told The Post. “Just a cramp in his back. On the lower side. He’s walking around now, he’s fine. He just needed some Gatorade.” The St. Louis Cardinals have decided not to activate center fielder Rick Ankiel from the 15-day disabled list. Ankiel is rehabbing from a bruised right shoulder and other injuries after he crashed headfirst crash into the outfield wall. General manager John Mozeliak told The Associated Press it’s likely Ankiel will be activated in a few more days. Ankiel was eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday. Mozeliak said Ankiel’s work was abbreviated Tuesday at extended spring training in Florida due to rain. He says it’s likely Ankiel will be activated by the weekend. Righthander Edinson Volquez is likely to miss a start for the Cincinnati Reds because of a bad back. Volquez had to leave a game Saturday in San Diego because of back spasms. He was bothered by it when he tried to throw in the bullpen on Wednesday, and recommended to manager Dusty Baker that he skip his next scheduled start to give it more rest. Oakland claimed lefthander Craig Breslow off waivers from the Minnesota Twins and transferred second baseman Mark Ellis to the 60-day disabled list. Oakland said Wednesday it will make an additional move to clear a spot on the 25-man roster when Breslow reports to the team. Breslow went 1-2 with a 6.28 ERA in 17 relief appearances for the

Millwood better than good
Don’t look now (on second thought, perhaps you should—just in case it doesn’t last much longer), but first-place Texas’ pitching has caught up with its hitting. Righthander Kevin Millwood has done his share in the staff’s turnaround. From 2007-08, Millwood lost 24 games and posted a 5.12 ERA. This season, he is 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA with six quality starts in his eight starts. Millwood will be on the mound this afternoon in the series finale at Comerica Park. Back on April 12, Millwood blanked the Tigers for seven innings in the same park.

Greinke goes for No. 8
What’s wrong with Royals ace Zack Greinke? Over his past two starts, his ERA has skyrocketed from 0.40 to 0.60. Kidding aside, how good has Greinke been? Good enough that you can’t beat him with the long ball or with small ball. The righthander has yet to allow a homer this season, and only one baserunner has stolen a base against him. On paper, today’s matchup against the Indians looks very favorable for Greinke. He shut out Cleveland over five innings earlier this season, striking out nine batters in the process. And the Indians rank among the major league leaders in team strikeouts.

Ibanez the ignitor
Because he spent the first 13 seasons of his career playing in Kansas City and Seattle, outfielder Raul Ibanez often went overlooked. In fact, he never has been selected to an All-Star Game despite the fact that he is approaching 200 career homers and has four seasons with 100-plus RBIs. Now playing for a team that just won the World Series, Ibanez finally is starting to garner some attention. Ibanez leads Philadelphia in homers, RBIs and batting average and will look to improve upon those totals this afternoon in Cincinnati.

— Chris Bahr

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
Batting Average Home Runs
A.L. N.L.

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

14
Away 11-10 9-12 11-10 10-12 5-13 Away 9-11 7-10 4-14 7-14 8-15 Away 9-10 8-11 9-12 7-12

Fantasy Focus
Stock Watch

LEAGUE LEADERS
A.L. N.L.

American League Standings
Team San Diego Philadelphia St. Louis Cincinnati Washington Chicago Arizona East Toronto Boston New York Tampa Bay Baltimore Central Detroit Kansas City Minnesota Chicago Cleveland West Texas Los Angeles Seattle Oakland 13 11 11 10 10 10 10 W 27 24 23 20 16 W 22 21 18 17 15 W 23 20 19 15 L 16 16 17 22 24 L 16 19 23 22 26 L 16 19 22 22 Pct .628 .600 .575 .476 .400 Pct .579 .525 .439 .436 .366 Pct .590 .513 .463 .405 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 1½ — 5-5 2½ 1 9-1 6½ 5 5-5 9½ 8 4-6 GB WCGB L10 — — 7-3 2 3 3-7 5½ 6½ 3-7 5½ 6½ 3-7 8½ 9½ 4-6 GB WCGB L10 — — 7-3 3 3½ 5-5 5 5½ 4-6 7 7½ 4-6 Str L-2 W-2 W-8 L-2 L-3 Str W-5 L-1 L-6 W-2 W-1 Str L-2 L-1 W-1 W-2 Home 16-6 15-4 12-7 10-10 11-11 Home 13-5 14-9 14-9 10-8 7-11 Home 14-6 12-8 10-10 8-10

Player V.Martinez Mi.Cabrera Bartlett Adam Jones M.Young A.Hill Callaspo

Team Cleveland Detroit Tampa Bay Baltimore Texas Toronto Kansas City

.400 .385 .379 .370 .346 .344 .338

Player C.Guzman Beltran Votto D.Wright Zimmerman Ibanez Hudson

Team Washington New York Cincinnati New York Washington Philadelphia Los Angeles

.377 .370 .366 .362 .355 .347 .345

Player C.Pena Bay Morneau 5 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Boston Minnesota

14 12 12 11

Player Ad.Gonzalez Ibanez Pujols Bruce Dunn A.Soriano Reynolds

15 14 13 12 12 12 11

Runs
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Stolen Bases
N.L.

GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Trevor Hoffman is 10-for-10 in save chances.

MOVING UP ▲ Trevor Hoffman, RP, Brewers.
Look who’s perfect in save opportunities and hasn’t allowed a run all season. Is it time for fantasy owners to sell high? Perhaps, but Hoffman has been proving doubters wrong for at least the past three years. He continues to use veteran savvy in place of high 90s heat to get the job done.

Player Adam Jones Scutaro Markakis B.Roberts Bay Damon V.Martinez

Team Baltimore Toronto Baltimore Baltimore Boston New York Cleveland

36 36 35 34 33 33 32

Player Pujols Ibanez Zimmerman A.Soriano Werth Braun Hudson

Team St. Louis Philadelphia Washington Chicago Philadelphia Milwaukee Los Angeles

35 34 34 33 31 30 30

Player Crawford Figgins Ellsbury Abreu B.Upton Bartlett Crisp

Team Tampa Bay Los Angeles Boston Los Angeles Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Kansas City

25 18 16 15 13 12 11

Player Bourn Jose Reyes Taveras Burriss Fowler Morgan D.Wright

Team Houston New York Cincinnati San Francisco Colorado Pittsburgh New York

National League Standings
East Philadelphia New York Atlanta Florida Washington Central Milwaukee St. Louis Chicago Cincinnati Pittsburgh Houston W 21 21 20 19 11 W 25 23 21 21 19 18 L 17 19 19 22 28 L 15 17 17 18 21 20 L 13 20 22 24 24 Pct GB WCGB L10 .553 — — 6-4 .525 1 2 4-6 .513 1½ 2½ 7-3 .463 3½ 4½ 2-8 .282 10½ 11½ 1-9 Pct .625 .575 .553 .538 .475 .474 GB WCGB L10 — — 8-2 2 — 4-6 3 1 5-5 3½ 1½ 5-5 6 4 7-3 6 4 7-3 Str L-1 L-4 W-2 L-1 L-7 Str L-1 W-2 L-3 W-1 W-5 W-1 Str W-4 L-2 W-5 W-1 L-2 Home 8-12 12-8 8-11 8-11 5-14 Home 12-7 14-8 12-7 8-10 11-9 9-11 Home 17-3 13-8 13-6 9-15 7-10 Away 13-5 9-11 12-8 11-11 6-14 Away 13-8 9-9 9-10 13-8 8-12 9-9 Away 12-10 6-12 5-16 7-9 8-14

RBIs
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Pitching (4 decisions)
N.L.

Player Longoria Bay Lind C.Pena A.Hill Huff Markakis

Team Tampa Bay Boston Toronto Tampa Bay Toronto Baltimore Baltimore

46 42 35 35 34 34 34

Player Fielder Ibanez Pujols Cantu Dunn Hawpe Zimmerman

Team Milwaukee Philadelphia St. Louis Florida Washington Colorado Washington

37 37 37 34 32 32 31

Player Palmer Frasor Halladay Greinke Buehrle Slowey

Team Los Angeles Toronto Toronto Kansas City Chicago Minnesota

5-0 4-0 8-1 7-1 6-1 5-1

1.000 1.000 .889 .875 .857 .833

Player Martin Meredith Broxton Billingsley 3 tied at

Team Washington San Diego Los Angeles Los Angeles

5-0 4-0 4-0 6-1

1.000 1.000 1.000 .857 .800

West W Los Angeles 29 San Francisco 19 San Diego 18 Arizona 16 Colorado 15 z-first game was a win

Pct GB WCGB L10 .690 — — 7-3 .487 8½ 3½ 4-6 .450 10 5 5-5 .400 12 7 4-6 .385 12½ 7½ 4-6

Doubles
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Strikeouts
N.L.

Pitching Matchups Today’s Games (All times Eastern)
Team Atlanta San Diego New York San Francisco Los Angeles Arizona 73 69 67 66 63 56 53 American League Texas (Millwood 4-3) at Detroit (E.Jackson 3-2), 1:05 p.m. Minnesota (Blackburn 2-2) at Chicago White Sox (Colon 2-3), 2:05 p.m. Cleveland (Pavano 3-4) at Kansas City (Greinke 7-1), 2:10 p.m. Oakland (Braden 3-5) at Tampa Bay (Garza 4-2), 4:08 p.m. Baltimore (Eaton 2-4) at N.Y. Yankees (Chamberlain 2-1), 7:05 p.m. Toronto (R.Ray 1-1) at Boston (Lester 2-4), 7:10 p.m. L.A. Angels (Saunders 5-2) at Seattle (Bedard 2-1), 10:10 p.m. National League Philadelphia (Blanton 1-3) at Cincinnati (Owings 3-4), 12:35 p.m. Pittsburgh (Snell 1-5) at Washington (Stammen 0-0), 7:05 p.m. Colorado (Cook 2-1) at Atlanta (Medlen 0-0), 7:10 p.m. Arizona (Scherzer 1-3) at Florida (A.Miller 1-1), 7:10 p.m. Milwaukee (Suppan 3-3) at Houston (Oswalt 1-2), 8:05 p.m. Chicago Cubs (Marshall 2-2) at St. Louis (Wainwright 3-2), 8:15 p.m. San Francisco (Lincecum 3-1) at San Diego (Correia 1-2), 10:05 p.m. The Line at Det -125 Tex +115 at ChW -105 Min -105 at KC -170 Cle +160 at TB -180 Oak +170 at NYY -280 Bal +240 at Bos -170 Tor +160 at Sea -110 LAA +100 The Line Phi -115 at Cin +105 at Was -115 Pit +105 at Atl -105 Col -105 Ari -110 at Fla +100 at Hou -130 Mil +120 at St. L -145 ChC +135 SF -145 at SD +135

MOVING DOWN ▼ Garrett Atkins, 3B, Rockies.
Colorado has turned to Ian Stewart at third base while Atkins tries to sort out what’s wrong with his swing. A career .293 hitter, Atkins is off to a .192 start this year. Owners should remain patient because of Atkins’ strong track record, but for now he should be on your bench, too. — George Winkler

Player Longoria Callaspo M.Young Byrd Lind 4 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Kansas City Texas Texas Toronto

17 15 15 14 14 13

Player Hudson Kotchman F.Sanchez F.Lopez H.Ramirez Zimmerman 2 tied at

Team Los Angeles Atlanta Pittsburgh Arizona Florida Washington

15 15 15 14 14 14 13

Player Verlander Greinke Halladay F.Hernandez Lester Beckett 2 tied at

Team Detroit Kansas City Toronto Seattle Boston Boston

77 65 57 56 54 46 45

Player J.Vazquez Peavy J.Santana Lincecum Billingsley Haren 2 tied at

Triples
A.L. N.L. A.L.

Saves
N.L.

MORE COVERAGE
Get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league at sportingnews.com/fantasy/baseball

Player Crisp Andrus J.Buck Crawford DeJesus 13 tied at

Team Kansas City Texas Kansas City Tampa Bay Kansas City

5 4 3 3 3 2

Player Kemp Bourn Morgan J.Upton Victorino Winn D.Wright

Team Los Angeles Houston Pittsburgh Arizona Philadelphia San Francisco New York

4 3 3 3 3 3 3

Player Papelbon Fuentes F.Francisco Jenks Rivera 3 tied at

Team Boston Los Angeles Texas Chicago New York

11 10 9 9 8 7

Player Broxton Bell Fr.Rodriguez Cordero Hoffman Franklin 2 tied at

Team Los Angeles San Diego New York Cincinnati Milwaukee St. Louis

11 11 11 10 10 10 9

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
Q&A with ... Brewers LF Ryan Braun

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

15

NATIONAL LEAGUE Houston 6, Milwaukee 4

‘I am very comfortable with the game on the line’
Astros 6, Brewers 4 Milwaukee AB R Hart rf 5 0 Hall 3b 5 0 Braun lf 4 0 Fielder 1b 4 0 M.Cameron cf 4 1 Hardy ss 4 1 McGehee 2b 3 1 Kendall c 3 1 Gallardo p 2 0 McClung p 0 0 a-Mi.Rivera ph 1 0 Julio p 0 0 b-Gamel ph 1 0 Totals 36 4

New ace? Rodriguez wins 4th straight
HOUSTON—The Houston Astros may have found this season’s ace and it’s not Roy Oswalt. Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven strong innings, Miguel Tejada and Hunter Pence both had two RBIs and Houston beat Milwaukee 6-4 on Wednesday night, ending the Brewers’ seven-game winning streak. Rodriguez (5-2) allowed six hits and struck out five to win his fourth straight decision and drop his ERA to 1.83. “Every start, I just think, ‘Make a good pitch every time,’” said Rodriguez, who threw 110 pitches. “I think about, ‘Let me throw my first pitch for a strike.’ Every time, every inning. I’m feeling good about it.” Lance Berkman had an RBI double and Rodriguez drove in his first run of the season as the Astros set aside an embarrassing lineup error to hand Milwaukee just its third loss in 16 games. The Astros are seeing the 30-yearold Rodriguez mature before their eyes after coming into the season with a 37-40 record over four seasons. “Now, he knows who he is and that’s why, every time he takes the mound, he thinks he’s going to win,” Tejada said. “Every time he takes the mound, we think we’re going to win.” Oswalt, the Astros’ longtime ace, is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA this season. Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo (4-2) lost for the first time in six starts, allowing six runs and seven hits in five innings. Mike Cameron hit his eighth homer of the season for the Brewers. The Astros got caught batting out of order in the first inning and still took a 1-0 lead. Michael Bourn led off with a single,
H BI 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 9 4 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .240 0 4 .248 0 0 .321 0 1 .272 0 1 .282 0 0 .230 1 0 .238 1 0 .228 0 1 .211 0 0 .000 0 0 .333 0 0 .000 0 0 .333 2 8

Since arriving in Milwaukee in May of 2007, Braun has made quite a splash on and off the field. The slugger has hit several key home runs, including the game winner against the Chicago Cubs in the final game of the 2008 season that propelled the Brewers to their first playoff appearance in 26 years. Off the field, Braun has secured several prominent corporate sponsorships and has his own clothing line. Braun recently spoke with Mark Kass of The Business Journal of Milwaukee about his red-hot bat and the possibility of securing national sponsorship deals.

PAT SULLIVAN / AP

Astros SS Miguel Tejada went 2-for-4, including this sixth-inning double, with a pair of RBIs. but the Astros had submitted a lineup card with Kaz Matsui batting first and Bourn second. Houston manager Cecil Cooper said before the game that Bourn would lead off, a flip-flop from Tuesday’s game. Cooper took the blame, saying that neither he nor any of his coaches double-checked Wednesday’s lineup card before it went to the umpires. “I put it in my pocket without checking it. Usually, I check it every day,” Cooper said. “Today, for some reason, I did not check it. No one checked it, and that was a snafu.” Milwaukee manager Ken Macha alerted the umpires to the mistake and Bourn’s hit was nullified and Matsui was called out without leaving the ondeck circle. “It happened, it is embarrassing, but it’s over,” Cooper said. “If we had lost the game, it would be even more so. But we won the game. That’s the most important thing.” — The Associated Press

Houston AB R H BI BB SO Avg. K.Matsui 2b 5 0 1 0 0 1 .235 Bourn cf 3 1 0 0 1 1 .297 Berkman 1b 2 1 1 1 2 0 .228 Ca.Lee lf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .322 Arias p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Sampson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Pence rf 3 1 2 2 1 0 .343 Tejada ss 4 2 2 2 0 0 .323 Blum 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .250 I.Rodriguez c 4 0 0 0 0 1 .267 W.Rodriguez p 3 0 1 1 0 1 .050 Erstad lf 0 0 0 0 1 0 .163 Totals 32 6 8 6 5 5 Milwaukee 000 100 003 — 4 9 0 Houston 112 002 00x — 6 8 0 a-flied out for McClung in the 7th. b-doubled for Julio in the 9th. LOB: Milwaukee 7, Houston 7. 2B: McGehee (1), Gamel (1), K.Matsui (6), Berkman (5), Tejada (13). 3B: Pence (2). HR: M.Cameron (8), off W.Rodriguez; Tejada (3), off Gallardo. RBIs: Hart (17), M.Cameron (21), Gamel 2 (5), Berkman (22), Pence 2 (17), Tejada 2 (23), W.Rodriguez (1). Runners left in scoring position: Milwaukee 4 (M.Cameron, Gallardo, Hart, Hall); Houston 4 (Pence, Tejada 2, Ca.Lee). DP: Milwaukee 1 (McGehee, Fielder). Milwaukee IP Gallardo L, 4-2 5 McClung 1 Julio 2 Houston IP W.Rodriguez W, 5-2 7 Arias 1 Sampson S, 2-3 1 H 7 1 0 H 6 2 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 2 3 94 3.83 0 0 0 2 18 2.84 0 0 3 0 33 7.24 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 1 5 110 1.83 3 3 1 2 22 5.87 0 0 0 1 9 2.13

What has been your career highlight so far? Definitely the home run against the Cubs from last year (during the final game of the season). It meant so much to the organization, to the city of Milwaukee. It was just fun to be a part of a special day. And then being able to spray champagne on each other and on the fans afterwards is something I will never forget. The whole experience was crazy. It is something I’ve never experienced before and probably will never again even if we go to the postseason 10 more times. It was a special day in my life as a baseball player. Does it take special preparation or a different mindset to hit those key, late-inning home runs? I am very comfortable with the game on the line and having the opportunity to dictate whether we win or lose. I am able to stay within myself and not try to do too much when I am put in that position. I look for a good pitch, try to hit it hard and if it happens to go over the fence, that’s great.

Q: A:

MORRY GASH / AP

Ryan Braun has made a name for himself on the field and in his work with a clothing line. How did you come up with your clothing line, and how successful has it been? Clothing is something I have always been fascinated with. Having grown up in L.A. and going to college in Miami, I’ve been two places that are pretty fashion forward and fashion conscious. I had a great relationship with the owners of Affliction, and we felt like there was an opportunity for us to do something that was a little more colorful, a little more friendly. I’ve been involved in every aspect of the company, from setting up the infrastructure of the company to hiring and firing people. It is something I really enjoy. It’s gone very well right now, even in the tough economy.

Q: A:

Q: A:

Q: A:

Arias pitched to 3 batters in the 9th. Gallardo pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: McClung 1-1, Sampson 3-3. WP: Julio. Umpires: Home, Eric Cooper; First, Delfin Colon; Second, Mike Reilly; Third, Laz Diaz. T: 2:43. A: 27,160 (40,976).

Do you think playing in a small market limits your sponsorship opportunities? Typically, it would. You have to be successful regionally before you can move on to national deals. I’ve done pretty well for myself regionally, and I think nationally I am starting to get a little more exposure. It helps being on a good team. The fact that we made the playoffs last year means we are playing more nationally televised games. There already are quite a few opportunities on the table. I’m pretty fortunate to be in a position where I can choose what I want to get involved with.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cardinals 2, Cubs 1 Chicago AB R A.Soriano lf 4 0 Theriot ss 4 0 Fukudome cf 2 0 D.Lee 1b 4 0 Bradley rf 3 1 Fontenot 3b 4 0 Soto c 3 0 1-Freel pr 0 0 Scales 2b 3 0 e-Hoffpauir ph 1 0 Dempster p 2 0 d-Miles ph 1 0 Marmol p 0 0 f-Re.Johnson ph 1 0 Totals 32 1 St. Louis AB Schumaker 2b-rf 4 Rasmus cf 4 Pujols 1b 3 Y.Molina c 2 Duncan lf 3 Stavinoha rf 2 b-Barden ph-3b 0 Thurston 3b-2b 2 C.Carpenter p 1 a-Wainwright ph 1 McClellan p 0 c-K.Greene ph 0 Motte p 0 D.Reyes p 0 Franklin p 0 Br.Ryan ss 3 Totals 25 Chicago St. Louis R 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

16

St. Louis 2, Chicago Cubs 1

Pittsburgh 2, Washington 1
H BI 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 1 H BI 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2 BB SO Avg. 0 3 .272 0 0 .287 1 1 .319 0 2 .230 1 1 .193 0 0 .200 1 0 .202 0 0 .136 0 1 .296 0 0 .314 0 0 .095 0 0 .218 0 0 --0 1 .232 3 9 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .299 0 2 .250 1 0 .326 0 0 .285 0 0 .262 0 1 .250 0 0 .258 1 0 .232 0 0 .000 0 1 .190 0 0 .000 0 0 .202 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 --0 0 .261 2 4

Carpenter’s 5 innings enough for Cards
ST. LOUIS—Five scoreless innings from Chris Carpenter was plenty for the St. Louis Cardinals in his first start off the 15-day disabled list. The Cardinals want to keep their often-injured ace healthy, so manager Tony La Russa did his best to ignore Carpenter’s steely-eyed stare. “It was a good time to stop him,” La Russa said after the Cardinals’ 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night. “He comes out of there in great shape, why mess with it?” Chris Duncan snapped a 1-for-21 slump with two hits and an RBI and the bullpen allowed two hits and a run after Carpenter’s 67-pitch outing, which was just a few pitches below his expectations. Carpenter said he didn’t think La Russa heard him in the dugout when he responded, “Are you sure?” and then “just looked at him.” But he’s been saying all week he’d pitch until they take the ball. “I never argue the decision that they make,” Carpenter said. “They’re the boss.” Pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir had a two-out RBI single in the ninth and the Cubs had two men on before Ryan Franklin struck out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson for his 10th save in 11 chances. Franklin said it was his toughest outing aside from his lone blown save in Cincinnati on May 10. “It’s going to be (tough) against these guys anytime,” Franklin said. “It’s a tough three outs anytime in a series like this.” Khalil Greene, relegated to a utility role while mired in a 2-for-23 slump that has prompted anxiety issues, added a seventh-inning sacrifice fly as a pinch hitter that proved crucial.

Latest bullpen collapse leaves Nats speechless
WASHINGTON—The Washington Nationals are running out of ways to describe a string of losses that always seems to end the same way—with a meltdown moment from the bullpen. This time it was a wild pitch in the ninth inning, a two-out slider from Joel Hanrahan that bounced before it got to home plate. Freddy Sanchez scored from third base, the deciding run that gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 2-1 victory Wednesday night. It was their season-high fifth straight win and the Nationals’ seventh consecutive loss. “I’m tired of talking about losses, period,” Washington outfielder Adam Dunn said. “You can only say the same thing over and over and over before you get fed up with it, and that’s kind of what’s going on right now.” Losses are beginning to feel inevitable for the Nationals, hardly surprising considering that the defense is poor and the bullpen’s record is 1-15. The Pirates have been more than happy to capitalize, posting three straight wins against Washington relievers to pull themselves out of last place in the National League Central. “It’s unbelievable. You can just feel the electricity in the clubhouse,” said reliever John Grabow (2-0), who pitched the eighth inning for the victory. — The Associated Press

Pirates 2, Nationals 1 Pittsburgh AB R H BI Morgan lf 4 0 1 0 F.Sanchez 2b 4 1 2 0 McLouth cf 3 0 1 0 Monroe rf 4 0 1 0 c-Moss ph-rf 1 0 0 0 Ad.LaRoche 1b 4 0 0 0 R.Diaz c 5 0 1 0 An.LaRoche 3b 4 1 3 0 Ja.Wilson ss 4 0 1 1 Maholm p 3 0 0 0 J.Chavez p 0 0 0 0 S.Burnett p 0 0 0 0 Grabow p 0 0 0 0 b-Delw.Young ph 1 0 1 0 Capps p 0 0 0 0 Totals 37 2 11 1 Washington AB C.Guzman ss 4 N.Johnson 1b 3 Zimmerman 3b 4 Dunn lf 3 Kearns rf 4 Belliard 2b 3 Maxwell cf 2 d-W.Harris ph 1 Nieves c 4 Lannan p 2 a-A.Hernandez ph 1 Villone p 0 Hanrahan p 0 e-Willingham ph 1 Totals 32 R 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 H BI 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1

BB SO Avg. 1 1 .301 0 0 .310 1 0 .290 0 0 .240 0 0 .259 1 1 .224 0 1 .306 0 0 .278 0 0 .277 0 3 .111 0 0 --0 0 .000 0 0 --0 0 .368 0 0 --3 6 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .377 1 1 .333 0 0 .355 1 2 .281 0 0 .215 1 1 .185 1 0 .300 0 0 .265 0 1 .265 0 2 .125 0 1 .283 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 .207 4 8

000 000 001 — 1 6 1 000 100 10x — 2 6 0

Pittsburgh 000 100 001—2 11 1 Washington 000 010 000—1 6 2 a-struck out for Lannan in the 7th. b-singled for Grabow in the 9th. c-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Monroe in the 9th. d-singled for Maxwell in the 9th. e-flied out for Hanrahan in the 9th. E: An.LaRoche (5), Dunn (5), Zimmerman (5). LOB: Pittsburgh 13, Washington 8. 2B: Morgan (4), Ja.Wilson (7). 3B: C.Guzman (2). RBIs: Ja.Wilson (14), N.Johnson (25). SB: N.Johnson (1). S: F.Sanchez. Runners left in scoring position: Pittsburgh 8 (Ad.LaRoche 2, Maholm 3, Monroe, R.Diaz 2); Washington 5 (Lannan 2, Kearns, Dunn, Zimmerman). Runners moved up: Ja.Wilson 2, Nieves. GIDP: Kearns, Nieves. DP: Pittsburgh 2 (Ja.Wilson, F.Sanchez, Ad.LaRoche), (Ja.Wilson, F.Sanchez, Ad.LaRoche); Washington 1 (Maxwell, Maxwell, C.Guzman, Belliard). Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Maholm 6 4 1 1 3 7 114 3.30 J.Chavez 1 1 0 0 0 1 14 2.08 S.Burnett 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 3.15 Grabow W, 2-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 5.21 Capps S, 8-10 1 1 0 0 0 0 11 7.07 Washington IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Lannan 7 7 1 1 2 5 104 3.63 Villone 1 1 0 0 0 1 14 0.00 Hanrahan L, 0-2 1 3 1 1 1 0 35 6.87 S.Burnett pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored: Grabow 1-0. HBP: by Lannan (McLouth). WP: Hanrahan. PB: R.Diaz. Umpires: Home, Ed Rapuano; First, Chad Fairchild; Second, Paul Nauert; Third, Joe West. T: 2:51. A: 17,854 (41,888).

TOM GANNAM / AP

Chris Carpenter returned from the D.L., and despite his dominance, the Cardinals played it safe. Ryan Dempster (3-3) was the Cubs’ second straight tough-luck loser, allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings. They’ve lost three in a row while scoring one run the first two games of a three-game series against their biggest rival. Duncan’s go-ahead hit came with the infield in. “That’s baseball. I’ve given up some rockets to some people, too,” Dempster said. “Keep making pitches, that’s all you can do.” Milton Bradley, who doubled and scored in the ninth, figured runs would be tough to come by against Carpenter. “It’s not like we were facing Joe Blow,” Bradley said. “He’s a pretty good pitcher.” Carpenter (2-0) gave up three hits in his first outing since he strained a left rib-cage muscle April 14 at Arizona, and also his 100th career start with the Cardinals. The Cardinals played it cautious with the 2005 NL Cy Young winner, whose timetable was pushed up a few days after a rainout last week. Carpenter has not allowed a run in 15 innings over three starts. He’s 8-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 15 career starts against the Cubs, and 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA in six starts against them at home. — The Associated Press

a-struck out for C.Carpenter in the 5th. b-sacrificed for Stavinoha in the 7th. c-hit a sacrifice fly for McClellan in the 7th. d-singled for Dempster in the 8th. e-singled for Scales in the 9th. f-struck out for Marmol in the 9th. 1-ran for Soto in the 9th. E: Fontenot (3). LOB: Chicago 8, St. Louis 4. 2B: Theriot (8), Bradley (2), Rasmus (6), Pujols (8), Duncan (12). RBIs: Hoffpauir (14), Duncan (24), K.Greene (12). SB: Thurston (2). S: Y.Molina, Barden. SF: K.Greene. Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 4 (Bradley, Dempster, D.Lee, Re.Johnson); St. Louis 2 (Y.Molina, Br.Ryan). DP: Chicago 2 (Theriot, Scales, D.Lee), (Scales, Theriot, D.Lee); St. Louis 1 (Duncan, Br.Ryan, Pujols). Chicago IP Dempster L, 3-3 7 Marmol 1 St. Louis IP C.Carpenter W, 2-0 5 McClellan H, 6 2 Motte H, 8 2⁄3 D.Reyes H, 7 1⁄3 Franklin S, 10-11 1 H 6 0 H 3 0 1 0 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 2 3 103 4.40 0 0 0 1 12 3.79 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 4 67 0.00 0 0 0 2 26 2.33 0 0 0 1 12 4.11 0 0 0 1 3 3.55 1 1 1 1 21 1.56

Inherited runners-scored: D.Reyes 1-0. IBB: off Dempster (Pujols, Thurston). HBP: by McClellan (Fukudome). Umpires: Home, Brian Gorman; First, C.B. Bucknor; Second, Mike Everitt; Third, Gerry Davis. T: 2:28. A: 41,703 (43,975).

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
NATIONAL LEAGUE Cincinnati 5, Philadelphia 1
BB SO Avg. 0 2 .246 0 0 --0 1 .241 0 1 .328 0 0 .188 1 1 .331 1 1 .278 0 1 .277 0 1 .194 0 2 .256 0 2 .167 0 0 .067 0 0 .000 0 0 --1 0 .273 3 12 BB SO Avg. 1 0 .349 0 0 .299 1 0 .308 1 0 .315 0 0 .239 1 1 .313 1 0 .288 0 0 .243 1 1 .263 0 3 .217 0 0 .059 0 0 .000 0 0 .111 0 0 .125 0 0 .000 6 5

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

17

Atlanta 12, Colorado 4

Braves light up scoreboard, but lose leadoff man Infante

Braves 12, Rockies 4 Colorado AB R H BI Fowler cf 4 0 0 0 R.Flores p 0 0 0 0 Barmes 2b 4 0 1 2 Helton 1b 3 1 0 0 Stewart 3b 1 0 0 0 Hawpe rf 1 0 0 0 S.Smith lf 1 1 0 0 Spilborghs lf-rf-cf 4 0 2 2 Atkins 3b-1b 4 0 1 0 Torrealba c 4 0 1 0 Quintanilla ss 4 1 1 0 De La Rosa p 1 0 0 0 Belisle p 1 0 0 0 Corpas p 0 0 0 0 a-Murton ph-rf 0 1 0 0 Totals 32 4 6 4 Atlanta AB R H BI Infante 2b-3b 3 1 2 1 1-Kotchman pr-1b1 0 0 0 Escobar ss 4 1 2 3 C.Jones 3b 2 1 1 0 K.Johnson 2b 2 0 0 0 Prado 1b-3b 4 2 2 0 M.Diaz lf 4 4 3 1 Francoeur rf 3 2 1 2 D.Ross c 4 1 1 2 Schafer cf 4 0 1 2 J.Vazquez p 2 0 0 0 Bennett p 1 0 0 0 Jo-.Reyes p 1 0 1 0 2-Norton pr 0 0 0 0 Carlyle p 0 0 0 0 Totals 35 12 14 11

Harang’s 7 sharp innings ends skid at 4
CINCINNATI—Aaron Harang had everything working. Against this lineup, he needed it. The righthander limited the NL’s highest-scoring lineup to a solo homer Wednesday night, and Brandon Phillips drove in three runs, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-1 victory that ended the Philadelphia Phillies’ winning streak at five games. Harang (4-4) has alternated losses and wins all season. He was as sharp as he’s been all season, helping the Reds snap a four-game losing streak. “I kept the ball down moved it around where I wanted to,” Harang said. “I was able to keep them offbalance. I was able to locate my fastball and throw my curveball for strikes early in the count.” Philadelphia averages 5.7 runs per game, the best in the league, but managed only Raul Ibanez’s 14th homer during Harang’s seven innings. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley were a combined 0-for-8 at the top of the lineup, and Jayson Werth struck out three times against Harang. “He made us look bad,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “We didn’t handle nothing about him. He carved up two or three of our hitters, he really carved ’em up.” Jamie Moyer (3-4) remained winless in four May starts. Ryan Hanigan hit a solo homer, and Phillips and Jay Bruce had run-scoring singles off the left-hander. Leadoff hitter Willy Taveras had a pair of singles, ending an 0-for-19 slump that was the worst of his career. Phillips broke the game open with a two-run triple in the seventh off
Reds 5, Phillies 1 Philadelphia AB Rollins ss 4 Utley 2b 4 Ibanez lf 4 Howard 1b 3 Werth rf 4 Victorino cf 2 Feliz 3b 3 Coste c 3 Moyer p 1 Durbin p 0 Escalona p 0 b-Bruntlett ph 1 Taschner p 0 Totals 29 Cincinnati AB Taveras cf 3 Hairston Jr. 3b 4 Phillips 2b 3 Bruce rf 4 R.Hernandez 1b 3 Ale.Gonzalez ss 4 D.McDonald lf 3 Hanigan c 4 Harang p 2 a-Dickerson ph 1 Rhodes p 0 c-A.Rosales ph 1 Cordero p 0 Totals 32 R 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 H BI 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .217 0 0 .280 0 2 .347 1 1 .268 0 3 .276 1 0 .259 0 2 .307 0 1 .241 0 0 .100 0 0 .333 0 0 --0 0 .133 0 0 .000 2 10 BB SO Avg. 1 0 .291 0 1 .255 0 0 .277 0 2 .239 1 0 .286 0 0 .178 0 0 .175 0 0 .327 0 1 .053 0 0 .240 0 0 --0 0 .254 0 0 --2 4

AL BEHRMAN / AP

JOHN AMIS / AP

Colorado Atlanta

000 100 021 — 4 6 2 010 902 00x — 12 14 1

Aaron Harang shut down the high-scoring Phillies and ended the Reds’ losing st reak. Chad Durbin, his second triple in two games. “Today was all about Aaron,” Phillips said. “He’s the best pitcher on this team.” The Phillies opened their 10-game trip by sweeping a four-game series in Washington and winning their first in Cincinnati. They were batting .282 on the road, but couldn’t do much against the Reds’ top starter. Harang allowed four hits and a pair of walks while matching his season high with nine strikeouts. “That was a great game he pitched, a great seven innings,” manager Dusty Baker said. Philadelphia didn’t get a hit over the last five innings, with the last 10 batters going out in order. — The Associated Press

R H BI 2 2 0 1 2 0 0 2 3 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 12 5

Yunel Escobar, right, hit a three-run HR in the Braves’ nine-run fourth inning. ATLANTA—The Atlanta Braves’ highest scoring inning and game of the season couldn’t take away the sting of losing one of the team’s hottest hitters and most versatile players. Yunel Escobar hit a three-run homer in a nine-run fourth inning and the Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 12-4 on Wednesday night for their second straight lopsided win in the series. Atlanta lost leadoff hitter Omar Infante in the sixth inning. He broke a bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch from Manny Corpas and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, according to manager Bobby Cox. “It’s a huge blow,” Cox said. “He’s been on fire the whole year. He can play several positions and he can play them well.” Infante, who had two hits to lift his batting average to .349, will be evaluated today. Infante has shared time with Kelly Johnson at second base and has made fill-in starts at shortstop and third base and has appeared in three games in the outfield. “You lose a guy with that much ability that’s been that productive, you’re gonna feel it somewhere down the road,” Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. “I don’t know what the prognosis is, but it’s obvious he’s not going to be helping us anytime soon.” X-rays revealed Infante broken his fifth metacarpal. The Rockies were tied 1-1 with the Braves before the big inning. — The Associated Press

a-walked for Corpas in the 8th. 1-ran for Infante in the 6th. 2-ran for Jo-.Reyes in the 8th. E: Stewart 2 (3), C.Jones (6). LOB: Colorado 4, Atlanta 10. 2B: Barmes (7), Spilborghs (11), Prado (7). 3B: M.Diaz (2). HR: Escobar (4), off De La Rosa. RBIs: Barmes 2 (15), Spilborghs 2 (19), Infante (11), Escobar 3 (21), M.Diaz (15), Francoeur 2 (21), D.Ross 2 (11), Schafer 2 (8). S: J.Vazquez. SF: Francoeur, Schafer. Runners left in scoring position: Colorado 3 (Atkins, Stewart, Quintanilla); Atlanta 5 (C.Jones, Schafer, Escobar 2, Francoeur). GIDP: Atkins, Belisle, Escobar, C.Jones. DP: Colorado 2 (Quintanilla, Barmes, Helton), (Barmes, Quintanilla, Helton); Atlanta 2 (Escobar, Infante, Prado), (K.Johnson, Escobar, Prado). Colorado De La Rosa L, 0-4 Belisle Corpas R.Flores Atlanta J.Vazquez W, 4-3 Bennett Jo-.Reyes Carlyle IP 3 2⁄3 2 1 1⁄3 1 IP 5 2 1 1 H 5 7 1 1 H 3 0 2 1 R ER BB SO 7 7 5 1 5 3 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 R ER BB SO 1 0 1 6 0 0 0 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 NP ERA 84 4.27 70 8.31 17 6.50 20 0.00 NP ERA 71 3.39 25 2.33 25 7.00 22 8.31

Phil 000 100 000 — 1 4 0 Cincinnati 111 000 20x — 5 12 0 a-singled for Harang in the 7th. b-flied out for Escalona in the 8th. c-flied out for Rhodes in the 8th. LOB: Philadelphia 4, Cincinnati 7. 2B: Howard (11), Victorino (8), Coste (7), Hairston Jr. (8), Bruce (5). 3B: Phillips (2). HR: Ibanez (14), off Harang; Hanigan (1), off Moyer. RBIs: Ibanez (37), Phillips 3 (30), Bruce (25), Hanigan (3). SB: Dickerson (1). CS: Taveras (2), Bruce (1). S: Moyer, Phillips. Runners left in scoring position: Philadelphia 3 (Feliz 2, Utley); Cincinnati 3 (Ale.Gonzalez, Bruce, A.Rosales). DP: Cincinnati 1 (Ale.Gonzalez, Phillips, R.Hernandez). Philadelphia Moyer L, 3-4 Durbin Escalona Taschner Cincinnati Harang W, 4-4 Rhodes Cordero IP 6 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 IP 7 1 1 H 9 2 0 1 H 4 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 1 2 105 7.62 2 2 1 1 19 4.70 0 0 0 1 3 0.00 0 0 0 0 19 3.66 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 9 109 3.19 0 0 0 0 12 0.64 0 0 0 1 12 2.12

Inherited runners-scored: Corpas 2-0. HBP: by Corpas (Infante), by De La Rosa (Francoeur). Umpires: Home, Tim Tschida; First, Bob Davidson; Second, Jeff Nelson; Third, Mark Carlson. T: 3:17. A: 19,259 (49,743).

Inherited runners-scored: Escalona 1-0. HBP: by Taschner (D.McDonald). Balk: Moyer. Umpires: Home, Adrian Johnson; First, Dan Iassogna; Second, Sam Holbrook; Third, Charlie Reliford. T: 2:44. A: 15,661 (42,319).

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
NATIONAL LEAGUE
Marlins 8, Diamondbacks 6 Arizona AB R H BI BB SO Avg. F.Lopez 2b 5 0 1 0 0 0 .310 G.Parra lf 5 0 2 1 0 2 .409 J.Upton rf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .298 S.Drew ss 4 0 0 1 0 1 .190 Reynolds 3b 3 1 2 0 1 1 .254 C.Young cf 4 0 0 0 0 4 .172 Tracy 1b 4 2 2 2 0 0 .204 Snyder c 3 2 1 2 1 1 .221 L.Rosales p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --D.Davis p 2 0 0 0 0 0 .188 Rauch p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --b-Byrnes ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .212 Vasquez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Slaten p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Montero c 1 0 0 0 0 1 .235 Totals 36 6 9 6 2 11 Florida Bonifacio 3b-lf Hermida rf-lf d-Helms ph-3b Ha.Ramirez ss Cantu 1b C.Ross cf-rf Uggla 2b R.Paulino c Coghlan lf Meyer p Calero p Nunez p c-Gload ph Lindstrom p Volstad p a-De Aza ph-cf Totals Arizona Florida AB 5 3 1 4 4 2 3 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 33 R 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 H BI 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 1 2 1 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 7 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .259 1 0 .252 0 0 .229 1 1 .338 0 1 .286 2 0 .252 1 1 .195 1 1 .212 0 1 .156 0 0 .000 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 .235 0 0 --0 1 .059 0 0 .000 6 7 9 3 9 0

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

18

ON SALE NOW!

Florida 8, Arizona 6, Game 1 Arizona 11, Florida 9, Game 2, 13 innings

In face of tragedy, D-Backs split two
MIAMI—Justin Upton hit his second three-run homer of the game in the 13th inning to help Arizona beat Florida 11-9 early today for a split in a doubleheader overshadowed by the death of Diamondbacks pitcher Scott Schoeneweis’ wife. In the opener, Dan Uggla homered and drove in four runs in Florida’s 8-6 win. In Arizona, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said deputies found 39-year-old Gabrielle Dawn Schoeneweis’ body on the floor of the master bedroom in the family’s home shortly after noon Wednesday. “His world was just rocked,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. “He and his kids, his family, his extended family, his in-laws, everybody’s lives are changed forever. He took it as expected, very hard.” The relief pitcher returned to Arizona. “We got him to the airport, got him on a flight, and he’s back with his family,” Hinch said. In the second game, Upton’s blast to left-center off Leo Nunez (2-1) landed in the upper deck with a small crowd still left at a game that lasted nearly five hours. Chad Qualls (1-0) was the winner, and Jon Rauch earned the save. The teams each scored in the 12th. Mark Reynolds hit his second homer of the game for Arizona, and Chris Coghlan tied it with an RBI single.

Diamondbacks 11, Marlins 9, 13 innings Arizona AB R H BI BB SO Avg. F.Lopez 2b 6 2 4 0 1 1 .323 G.Parra cf 6 2 0 0 1 1 .321 J.Upton rf 7 3 4 6 0 2 .313 S.Drew ss 6 1 1 1 0 1 .188 Reynolds 3b 6 2 2 3 1 1 .257 Montero c 5 0 0 0 2 1 .214 Byrnes lf 7 0 2 0 0 1 .216 Tracy 1b 4 0 0 0 2 0 .196 Augenstein p 1 1 0 0 1 0 .000 a-C.Young ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .171 L.Rosales p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --b-R.Roberts ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 .346 J.Gutierrez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --d-Ojeda ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .297 T.Pena p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Qualls p 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000 Rauch p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Totals 52 11 14 10 8 10 Florida AB R H BI BB Bonifacio 3b 5 0 1 1 0 Hermida lf 6 1 3 2 0 Lindstrom p 0 0 0 0 0 Meyer p 0 0 0 0 0 f-Helms ph 1 0 0 0 0 Nunez p 0 0 0 0 0 Calero p 0 0 0 0 0 Ha.Ramirez ss 5 0 0 0 1 Cantu 1b 7 0 2 0 0 Jo.Baker c 6 1 1 0 1 Uggla 2b 4 2 2 1 3 C.Ross rf 6 2 1 1 1 De Aza cf 6 3 3 2 1 Penn p 0 0 0 0 1 Badenhop p 0 0 0 1 0 Pinto p 0 0 0 0 0 c-Gload ph 1 0 1 0 0 Sanches p 0 0 0 0 0 e-Coghlan ph-lf 2 0 1 1 0 Totals 49 9 15 9 8 Arizona Florida 004 000 040 201 SO 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Avg. .257 .263 --.000 .224 ----.327 .286 .269 .204 .248 .333 --.000 --.250 --.176

J. PAT CARTER / AP

Justin Upton’s second 3-run homer of the game gave the D-backs a split of a doubleheader.

300 001 3—11 14 2 000 001 1— 9 15 2

In the third inning, Upton hit a three-run homer to cut Arizona’s deficit to 4-3. Jeremy Hermida gave the Marlins a 6-4 lead with a two-run homer in the fourth off Bryan Augenstein. Arizona tied it at 7 on Reynolds’ two-run homer in the seventh. Uggla led Florida in the opener. “You always want to win that first game,” Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Florida starter Chris Volstad (3-3) struck out a career-high nine and won for the first time since April 14. The 22-year-old righthander allowed four runs and five hits in six innings. “I had all my stuff working,” Volstad said. “It was just a matter of getting ahead in the count and

finishing it off. I just thought I pitched pretty well.” The Marlins led 3-0 and Volstad retired 11 straight at one point until the fifth inning. Chad Tracy hit an RBI single, and Chris Snyder tied with a two-run homer. Arizona starter Doug Davis struggled with his command and was pulled in the fifth with the bases loaded. Rauch came on in relief and promptly threw a wild pitch allowing Hanley Ramirez to score. Rauch also gave up a threerun homer to Uggla, his fifth of the season, off of the left-field foul pole that made it 7-3. Dan Meyer relieved Volstad and gave up a solo shot to Tracy and an RBI single to Gerardo Parra as Arizona pulled to 7-6 — The Associated Press

000 031 200—6 201 040 01x—8

a-grounded out for Volstad in the 6th. b-grounded out for Rauch in the 7th. c-reached on error for Nunez in the 8th. d-singled for Hermida in the 8th. E: S.Drew 3 (3). LOB: Arizona 5, Florida 7. 2B: C.Ross 2 (9). 3B: J.Upton (3). HR: Snyder (3), off Volstad; Tracy (3), off Meyer; Uggla (5), off Rauch. RBIs: G.Parra (7), S.Drew (8), Tracy 2 (11), Snyder 2 (15), Helms (6), Cantu (34), C.Ross (24), Uggla 4 (26). SB: Reynolds 4 (8), Bonifacio (8), Hermida (3). CS: Bonifacio (4). Runners left in scoring position: Arizona 4 (S.Drew 2, C.Young, Snyder); Florida 5 (Uggla 2, R.Paulino 2, Ha.Ramirez) Arizona IP D.Davis L, 2-6 4 1/3 Rauch 1 2/3 Vasquez 1 2/3 Slaten 0 L.Rosales 1/3 Florida IP Volstad W, 3-3 6 Meyer H, 7 1/3 Calero H, 6 2/3 Nunez H, 7 1 Lindstrom S, 8-10 1 H 6 1 1 1 0 H 5 3 0 1 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 5 4 100 3.95 1 1 0 1 22 6.48 1 0 1 2 30 4.73 0 0 0 0 4 6.75 0 0 0 0 2 3.18 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 1 9 98 3.64 2 2 1 0 25 2.65 0 0 0 0 7 2.66 0 0 0 1 16 1.80 0 0 0 1 10 5.06

a-struck out for Augenstein in the 6th. b-singled for L.Rosales in the 8th. c-singled for Pinto in the 8th. d-grounded out for J.Gutierrez in the 10th. e-bunted out for Sanches in the 10th. f-grounded out for Meyer in the 12th. E: Byrnes (3), G.Parra (1), C.Ross (2), De Aza (1). LOB: Arizona 11, Florida 14. 2B: F.Lopez 2 (14), S.Drew (4), Byrnes (9), C.Ross (10), De Aza (1). HR: J.Upton (8), off Penn; Reynolds (10), off Pinto; Reynolds (11), off Meyer; J.Upton (9), off Nunez; Hermida (4), off Augenstein; Uggla (6), off Rauch. RBIs: J.Upton 6 (26), S.Drew (9), Reynolds 3 (20), Bonifacio (10), Hermida 2 (16), Uggla (27), C.Ross (25), De Aza 2 (2), Badenhop (1), Coghlan (5). SB: J.Upton (4), Reynolds (9), Tracy (1), Hermida (4). S: Bonifacio, Badenhop 2. SF: S.Drew, Bonifacio. Runners left in scoring position: Arizona 8 (S.Drew, Tracy 2, C.Young, G.Parra, Byrnes 2, Qualls); Florida 7 (C.Ross 5, Ha.Ramirez, Cantu). DP: Arizona 1 (F.Lopez, S.Drew, Tracy); Florida 1 (Bonifacio, Uggla, Cantu). Arizona Augenstein L.Rosales J.Gutierrez T.Pena Qualls W, 1-0 Rauch S, 1-1 Florida Penn Badenhop Pinto BS, 3-3 Sanches Lindstrom Meyer Nunez L, 2-1 Calero IP 5 2 2 1 2 1 IP 2 2/3 3 2/3 1 2/3 2 1 1 1/3 2/3 H 7 2 2 1 2 1 H 5 3 2 1 0 1 2 0 R 6 1 0 0 1 1 R 4 2 1 0 0 1 3 0 ER 5 1 0 0 1 1 ER 3 2 1 0 0 1 3 0 BB 2 1 2 1 2 0 BB 2 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 SO 1 1 2 1 0 2 SO 2 3 2 1 1 1 0 0 NP 82 29 40 29 26 18 NP 70 53 28 34 12 18 30 5 ERA 7.94 3.52 3.57 1.40 2.65 6.62 ERA 6.30 5.79 1.86 0.00 4.76 3.00 3.10 2.57

900 INSIDERS
TALKING ABOUT...
MLB’s 50 Best Players 2009 NBA & NHL Awards 2009 MLB Draft Chargers QB Philip Rivers

MORE THAN

Slaten pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored: Rauch 3-3, Slaten 2-1, L.Rosales 2-0, Calero 2-0. WP: Rauch, Volstad. PB: Snyder. Umpires: Home, Chris Guccione; First, Mike Estabrook; Second, Jerry Layne; Third, Tony Randazzo. T: 3:17. A: 0 (38,560).

T.Pena pitched to 2 batters in the 11th. Inherited runners-scored: Qualls 2-0, Badenhop 3-0, Pinto 2-2, Calero 1-0. IBB: off Qualls (Uggla, Ha.Ramirez), off J.Gutierrez (Jo.Baker), off Sanches (Montero). HBP: by T.Pena (Ha.Ramirez). WP: L.Rosales. Umpires: Home, Todd Tichenor; First, Jerry Layne; Second, Tony Randazzo; Third, Mike Estabrook. T: 4:50. A: 14,426 (38,560).

Subscribe Today and SAVE 88%! One Year just $14.97 1-800-777-6785 www.sportingnews.com

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
AMERICAN LEAGUE
Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 3 Toronto AB R H BI Scutaro ss 4 0 0 0 A.Hill 2b 5 0 2 0 Rios rf 5 0 3 0 V.Wells cf 5 1 3 0 Lind dh 5 0 1 0 Rolen 3b 4 0 1 0 Overbay 1b 4 1 2 1 Barajas c 4 1 1 1 Snider lf 3 0 1 0 a-Millar ph 1 0 0 0 Bautista lf 0 0 0 0 Totals 40 3 14 2 Boston Ellsbury cf Pedroia 2b D.Ortiz dh Youkilis 1b Bay lf Lowell 3b Baldelli rf Varitek c Lugo ss Totals Toronto Boston AB 4 4 5 5 3 4 4 3 4 36 R H BI 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 2 2 1 3 0 1 2 2 1 2 1 0 1 0 2 2 2 1 1 0 8 15 7

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

19

Boston 8, Toronto 3

On 150th try, Ortiz breaks HR drought
BOSTON—Before David Ortiz finally ended the longest homerless streak of his career, he got some words of encouragement from his dad. Sort of. Enrique Ortiz had flown into town on Tuesday and “told me, ‘Hey, son, it’s not going to get worse than this so go out there, have fun and forget about what happened,’” Ortiz recalled. It may be tough to hear your father say you’ve hit bottom, but Ortiz said he kept that in mind Wednesday night when he hit his first homer in 150 atbats in the Boston Red Sox’s 8-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. “I tried it all. I was about to hit righthanded,” the lefty slugger said. “I feel like I just got that big old monkey off my back and (in) this game, sometimes that’s all it takes to have a good at-bat, get a good hit and everything will start clicking.” Ortiz’s homer was one of four off lefthander Brett Cecil (2-1) in a six-run fifth inning and one of five they hit in the game. Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury caught 12 fly balls that Toronto kept in the park against Brad Penny (4-1), tying the major league record for most putouts in a nine-inning game by an outfielder. It was done previously by Earl Clark of the Boston Braves in 1929 and Lyman Bostock of the Minnesota Twins in 1977, according to Elias Sports Bureau. “My legs felt a little tired,” Ellsbury said. “I was just happy we were getting quick outs. Brad’s a fly-ball pitcher and

BB SO Avg. 1 0 .276 0 0 .344 0 0 .274 0 0 .263 0 1 .311 0 0 .309 0 0 .248 0 0 .311 0 1 .242 0 0 .296 0 0 .301 1 2 BB SO Avg. 1 2 .304 1 0 .314 0 2 .210 0 2 .404 1 1 .302 0 1 .295 0 1 .205 1 1 .243 0 0 .309 4 10

N.Y. Yankees 11, Baltimore 4

Jovial Yankees win 8th straight
NEW YORK—Nick Swisher is walking around in a mohawk. A.J. Burnett has been pelting teammates with whipped cream pies. Derek Jeter sat on the jury in Kangaroo Court. So much for the straight-laced pinstripes of old. Shedding their corporate image, the New York Yankees are reveling in this winning streak with a childlike enthusiasm. “It’s been a great run for us,” Swisher said. “I think having fun creates winning.” Swisher hit the first of three consecutive homers that sent Phil Hughes and the Yankees to their eighth straight victory Wednesday, 11-4 over the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera also hit solo shots to right field in the second inning against starter Jeremy Guthrie (3-4)—all with two strikes. Cano had three hits and three RBIs, and Mark Teixeira hit a runscoring double off the center-field fence for the Yankees, on their longest winning streak since taking eight in a row last July. New York broke it open with a six-run eighth that included Jeter’s two-run double off the top of the right-field wall. “I liked a little bit of everything,” manager Joe Girardi said. Nearly four hours before the game, the Yankees held a Kangaroo Court, something veteran Andy Pettitte said the team hadn’t done since 1995, when Wade Boggs was the sitting judge. Mariano Rivera was on the bench this time, with Jeter, Burnett and Johnny Damon on the jury. In a fun ritual that’s common practice for many teams—though not the

Yankees 11, Orioles 4 Baltimore AB R H BI B.Roberts 2b 4 0 1 0 Ad.Jones cf 4 1 2 1 Markakis rf 4 0 0 0 A.Huff 1b 4 0 0 0 Mora 3b 4 1 3 0 Wigginton dh 4 1 2 2 Reimold lf 3 1 1 1 Moeller c 4 0 0 0 Andino ss 4 0 1 0 Totals 35 4 10 4 New York Jeter ss Damon lf Teixeira 1b A.Rodriguez 3b Berroa 3b H.Matsui dh 1-R.Pena pr-dh Swisher rf Cano 2b Me.Cabrera cf Cash c Totals AB R 5 1 4 1 4 0 1 2 0 0 4 0 0 1 2 2 4 2 4 2 3 0 31 11 H BI 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 3 3 2 2 0 1 9 10

BB SO Avg. 0 1 .292 0 2 .370 0 3 .318 0 2 .266 0 0 .275 0 0 .220 1 1 .261 0 0 .195 0 2 .226 1 11 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .273 1 0 .318 0 1 .241 2 0 .189 0 0 .167 0 0 .252 0 0 .263 2 0 .234 0 0 .307 0 1 .321 0 1 .077 5 3

ELISE AMENDOLA / AP

000 000 210 — 3 14 0 002 060 00x — 8 15 0

Teammates initially gave David Ortiz the silent treatment after his homer before hugging him. when he’s getting the fly balls, that means his pitch count’s down (and) he’s doing everything he needs to do.” Jason Varitek hit two homers. He led off the fifth with his second of the game and seventh of the season before Ortiz, Jason Bay and Mike Lowell connected as Cecil had trouble locating his fastball. “I wouldn’t say (that’s) shocking,” Cecil said. “That’s going to happen with pitches like that.” Ortiz’s shot just to the left of straightaway center drew the loudest roar from fans who’ve been waiting since Sept. 22 to see him connect again. The home run by the slugger who hit 112 the past three years drew a standing ovation. As he crossed the plate, he pointed to the sky twice, clapped his hands and was hugged by Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. His teammates gave him the silent treatment before hugging him and pounding on his back in the dugout. — The Associated Press

a-popped out for Snider in the 8th. LOB: Toronto 11, Boston 8. 2B: Rios (10), Rolen (11), Overbay (9), Pedroia (12), D.Ortiz (11), Lowell (13), Lugo (2). 3B: Overbay (1), Baldelli (1). HR: Varitek 2 (7), off Cecil 2; D.Ortiz (1), off Cecil; Bay (12), off Cecil; Lowell (7), off Cecil. RBIs: Overbay (20), Barajas (23), D.Ortiz 2 (17), Bay 2 (42), Lowell (29), Varitek 2 (18). Runners left in scoring position: Toronto 7 (Barajas, V.Wells 2, Rolen, Millar 2, Lind); Boston 5 (Baldelli, Varitek, Lugo 2, Youkilis). GIDP: Scutaro, Pedroia, Lowell. DP: Toronto 2 (Scutaro, A.Hill, Overbay), (A.Hill, Scutaro, Overbay); Boston 1 (Lowell, Pedroia, Youkilis). Toronto Cecil L, 2-1 Camp Wolfe B.J.Ryan Boston Penny W, 4-1 Delcarmen D.Bard Okajima Saito IP H 4 2⁄3 11 1 1⁄3 1 1 2 1 1 IP H 6 2⁄3 9 1⁄3 0 2⁄3 3 1⁄3 0 1 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 8 8 2 3 83 4.38 0 0 1 3 28 3.86 0 0 1 2 26 2.25 0 0 0 2 14 7.27 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 1 2 96 6.07 0 0 0 0 2 0.95 1 1 0 0 14 2.25 0 0 0 0 3 2.84 0 0 0 0 21 3.60

BILL KOSTROUN / AP

Baltimore 000 210 001 — 4 10 1 New York 131 000 06x — 11 9 0 1-ran for H.Matsui in the 8th. E: Andino (2). LOB: Baltimore 5, New York 4. 2B: Mora (2), Andino (1), Jeter (8), Teixeira (8). HR: Wigginton (3), off Hughes; Ad.Jones (9), off Hughes; Reimold (1), off Ma.Rivera; Swisher (9), off Guthrie; Cano (7), off Guthrie; Me.Cabrera (5), off Guthrie. RBIs: Ad.Jones (27), Wigginton 2 (13), Reimold (3), Jeter 2 (19), Teixeira (31), Swisher (23), Cano 3 (22), Me.Cabrera 2 (16), Cash (1). CS: B.Roberts (4). SF: Cash. Runners left in scoring position: Baltimore 1 (Moeller); New York 2 (H.Matsui, Me.Cabrera). GIDP: A.Rodriguez, H.Matsui. DP: Baltimore 2 (B.Roberts, Andino, A.Huff), (Guthrie, B.Roberts, A.Huff); New York 1 (Cash, Cash, Jeter, Teixeira). Baltimore IP Guthrie L, 3-4 7 Baez 1/3 Walker 2/3 New York IP Hughes W, 2-2 5 Aceves H, 1 2 Coke H, 2 2/3 Ma.Rivera S, 8-9 1 1/3 H 5 2 2 H 6 2 1 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 3 2 110 5.37 4 4 2 1 16 3.74 2 1 0 0 17 3.86 R ER BB SO NP ERA 3 3 1 9 89 7.06 0 0 0 2 23 1.74 0 0 0 0 5 4.58 1 1 0 0 15 3.06

Robinson Cano hit the second of three straight home runs for the Yankees in the 2nd inning. buttoned-up Yankees—players are razzed and fined by teammates for all sorts of small transgressions from arriving late to wearing an ugly outfit. “I took an absolute beating,” Alex Rodriguez said, before leaving the clubhouse with his young daughter in his arms. “I think I just barely survived.” Hughes (2-2) struck out a careerhigh nine in five innings, limiting a Baltimore lineup that tagged him for eight runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings on May 9. It was an important start for the 22-year-old righthander, whose big league future is uncertain because Chien-Ming Wang appears close to coming off the disabled list and rejoining the rotation. “I feel like I can compete at this level and get a lot of guys out as well,” Hughes said. — The Associated Press

Inherited runners-scored: Delcarmen 1-0, Okajima 2-0. IBB: off Wolfe (Varitek). Umpires: Home, Marty Foster; First, Marvin Hudson; Second, John Hirschbeck; Third, Wally Bell. T: 2:58. A: 38,099 (37,373).

Inherited runners-scored: Walker 3-3, Ma.Rivera 1-0. HBP: by Guthrie (A.Rodriguez, Teixeira). Umpires: Home, Bruce Dreckman; First, Paul Emmel; Second, Angel Campos; Third, Gary Darling. T: 2:38. A: 43,903 (52,325).

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
AMERICAN LEAGUE Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 6

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

20

Detroit 5, Texas 3

One lengthy inning doesn’t hurt Verlander
DETROIT—Justin Verlander struggled for one inning Wednesday night and that wasn’t quite enough for the Texas Rangers. After not allowing a hit for the first four innings, the Detroit Tigers’ ace threw 41 pitches in the fifth. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the last one became a bases-loaded groundout by David Murphy, allowing Verlander to escape with the score tied at 1. Detroit, which hit into a triple play in the fourth inning, scored four times in the sixth, starting with a solo homer by Wilkin Ramirez in his major league debut, and the Tigers went on to a 5-3 win, their fifth straight. “That fifth inning killed my pitch count, but I think it was the turning point of the game that I got out of it with only one run,” Verlander said. “That gave the offense a chance to break it open.” Verlander acknowledged his preparation leading to the fifth was a little rushed after the Rangers abruptly ended the bottom of the fourth with their first triple play since 2002. “I’m usually ready for a team to turn an inning-ending double play, but I didn’t even think about them doing that,” he said. Verlander (6-3) gave up one run and walked two to improve to 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last five starts. He did fall short of becoming the first pitcher in Tigers history to strike out 10 or more batters in four straight starts, finishing with eight. “There were a lot of positives again tonight,” Verlander said. “I was aware of the strikeout record, but I wasn’t trying to do anything special. I haven’t tried anything special the last three
Tigers 5, Rangers 3 Texas AB R Kinsler 2b 4 0 Dav.Murphy lf 3 1 M.Young 3b 4 0 Blalock dh 4 0 Byrd cf 4 1 N.Cruz rf 4 1 C.Davis 1b 4 0 Teagarden c 3 0 c-Vizquel ph 1 0 Andrus ss 3 0 d-Hamilton ph 1 0 Totals 35 3 Detroit AB Granderson cf 4 Polanco 2b 4 W.Ramirez dh 3 a-Larish ph-dh 1 Mi.Cabrera 1b 4 Inge 3b 4 Raburn rf 2 b-Thomas ph-rf 1 Laird c 4 J.Anderson lf 2 Everett ss 3 Totals 32 Texas Detroit H BI 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 3 BB SO Avg. 1 0 .298 1 1 .200 0 2 .346 0 2 .237 0 0 .300 0 2 .271 0 3 .215 0 1 .216 0 1 .368 0 0 .268 0 0 .239 2 12 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .256 0 0 .265 0 2 .333 0 0 .256 0 0 .385 0 1 .285 1 0 .219 0 0 .300 0 0 .214 1 0 .300 0 0 .307 2 4

Great catch saves Anderson’s win
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.—Brett Anderson needed a great defensive play from Ryan Sweeney to preserve his special night. Anderson pitched into the seventh inning to pick up his first major league win, and Orlando Cabrera was one of six Oakland Athletics to drive in at least a run in a 7-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. “Getting the first win is an unbelievable feeling,” Anderson said. “I want to carry it over down the stretch.” Anderson (1-4) gave up four runs— two earned—and four hits over sixplus innings. The victory came in his seventh career start, all this season. Brad Ziegler pitched the ninth for his fifth save. He got some help when Sweeney made a diving, two-out catch on B.J. Upton’s drive to center that might have scored the tying run. “I knew it was going to be close, real close,” Upton said. “Another inch, it’s a triple. He came up with it. A great play by him.” Sweeney completed his dash toward left-center with a full-out dive. “I knew it would be close, but as an outfielder, you say you know you were going to catch it right off the bat,” Sweeney said. Cabrera had two RBIs, helping Oakland win its second in a row and sixth in the last 16 games. Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir (4-4) had another dismal outing, allowing seven runs, eight hits, four walks and hitting a batter in 4 1/3 innings. Over his last five starts, Kazmir has given up 31 runs. — The Associated Press
Athletics 7, Rays 6 Oakland AB R O.Cabrera ss 5 0 K.Suzuki c 5 0 Cust dh 4 1 Holliday lf 3 1 Giambi 1b 2 2 Hannahan 3b 1 0 Kennedy 2b 4 0 Crosby 3b-1b 4 2 Cunningham rf 4 1 R.Davis cf 2 0 a-R.Sweeney ph-cf1 0 Totals 35 7 H BI 2 2 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 9 7 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .244 0 0 .309 1 0 .261 2 1 .270 2 0 .198 0 1 .129 0 1 .359 0 0 .214 0 1 .077 0 1 .167 1 1 .248 6 6

R H BI 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 2 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 5 10 4

Tampa Bay AB R H BI BB SO Avg. B.Upton cf 5 1 0 0 0 1 .177 Crawford lf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .321 Longoria 3b 4 0 1 0 0 2 .331 C.Pena 1b 3 2 2 2 1 0 .250 Bartlett ss 3 1 1 0 1 0 .379 W.Aybar dh 3 1 1 2 0 1 .277 Iwamura 2b 4 0 2 1 0 0 .303 Kapler rf 2 0 0 0 0 0 .193 b-Zobrist ph-rf 1 0 0 0 1 0 .273 Navarro c 4 1 1 0 0 0 .178 Totals 33 6 8 5 3 6 Oakland 112 030 000 — 7 9 2 Tampa Bay 000 210 210 — 6 8 0 a-struck out for R.Davis in the 5th. b-popped out for Kapler in the 7th. E: O.Cabrera (7), Kennedy (2). LOB: Oakland 9, Tampa Bay 4. 2B: Kennedy (3), Cunningham (1), Longoria (17), C.Pena (9). 3B: Iwamura (1). HR: C.Pena (14), off Bre.Anderson; W.Aybar (2), off Bre.Anderson. RBIs: O.Cabrera 2 (14), K.Suzuki (16), Giambi (18), Kennedy (5), Crosby (9), Cunningham (1), C.Pena 2 (35), W.Aybar 2 (9), Iwamura (16). SB: R.Sweeney (3), B.Upton (13). SF: Crosby, W.Aybar. Runners left in scoring position: Oakland 5 (Kennedy, Cust 2, R.Davis, O.Cabrera); Tampa Bay 2 (W.Aybar 2). DP: Oakland 2 (Kennedy, O.Cabrera, Giambi), (Kennedy, Kennedy, K.Suzuki). Oakland IP Bre.Anderson W, 1-4 6 Wuertz 1 Springer 0 S.Casilla H, 4 1 Ziegler S, 5-6 1 Tampa Bay IP Kazmir L, 4-4 4 1⁄3 Balfour 1 2⁄3 Isringhausen 1 Cormier 1 Howell 1 H 4 2 1 1 0 H 8 1 0 0 0 R ER BB SO 4 2 0 5 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 R ER BB SO 7 7 4 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 NP ERA 80 5.54 13 2.08 9 3.63 25 2.70 14 3.63 NP ERA 93 7.69 21 5.12 12 0.00 15 2.10 10 2.21

000 010 110 — 3 8 1 010 004 00x — 5 10 0

b-lined out for Raburn in the 8th. c-struck out for Teagarden in the 9th. d-flied out for Andrus in the 9th. E: Teagarden (1). LOB: Texas 7, Detroit 5. 2B: Inge (5). 3B: Andrus (4). HR: N.Cruz (8), off Lyon; Raburn (3), off Harrison; W.Ramirez (1), off Harrison; Inge (11), off Harrison. RBIs: Byrd (18), N.Cruz (23), Teagarden (4), W.Ramirez (1), Inge 2 (29), Raburn (10). SB: J.Anderson 2 (8). Runners left in scoring position: Texas 4 (Dav.Murphy 2, Kinsler, C.Davis); Detroit 3 (Inge, Polanco, Granderson).
PAUL SANCYA / AP

Justin Verlander survived a 41-pitch fifth inning by giving up just one earned run. games, and that’s how I’ve gotten double digits.” Matt Harrison (4-3) took the loss, allowing five runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. Three Detroit relievers finished, with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his seventh save in as many opportunities. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Raburn’s third homer in the second inning, and they threatened in the fourth when Brandon Inge led off with a double and Raburn walked. The runners broke on a 1-0 pitch to Gerald Laird and he lined out to second baseman Ian Kinsler, who flipped to Elvis Andrus. The shortstop stepped on the base, doubling off Inge, then tagged Raburn. Kinsler could have turned an unassisted triple play, but said that he didn’t realize it in time. — The Associated Press

Texas Harrison L, 4-3 Jennings Madrigal Detroit Verlander W, 4-2 Lyon Zumaya H, 2 Rodney S, 7-7

IP 5 2 1 IP 6 1 1 1

H 9 1 0 H 3 2 3 0

R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 2 3 94 4.71 0 0 0 0 28 2.89 0 0 0 1 14 9.82 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 8 114 3.99 1 1 0 1 21 6.88 1 1 0 2 15 2.19 0 0 0 1 19 3.71

Harrison pitched to 4 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: Jennings 1-1. WP: Jennings. Umpires: Home, Scott Barry; First, Angel Hernandez; Second, Bill Welke; Third, Tim Welke. T: 2:35. A: 23,417 (41,255).

Bre.Anderson pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Springer pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Inherited runnersscored: Wuertz 1-1, S.Casilla 1-1, Balfour 2-2. IBB: off S.Casilla (C.Pena). HBP: by Kazmir (Kennedy). WP: S.Casilla. Umpires: Home, Alfonso Marquez; First, Randy Marsh; Second, Mike Winters; Third, Lance Barksdale. T: 3:01. A: 13,721 (36,973).

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Baseball
AMERICAN LEAGUE Cleveland 6, Kansas City 5

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

21

Chicago White Sox 7, Minnesota 4

Dye, Sox heating up with weather Wood finds stuff after walking bases full
CHICAGO—As the weather heats up in Chicago, Jermaine Dye and his fellow White Sox start to see a rise in their batting averages. Coming off a 1-6 road trip and scoring an A.L.-low 3.9 runs per game this season, the White Sox were greeted at U.S. Cellular Field by 80-degree temperatures, clear skies and friendly breezes. The result: two high-scoring victories over the slumping Minnesota Twins, including Wednesday night’s 7-4 decision. “When it gets warm here, this ballpark turns into a smaller park than it is,” said Dye, whose grand slam capped a seven-run fourth inning and helped the White Sox win back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks. “It lets you go up there and feel comfortable, and guys are starting to get in the swing of things,” said Dye, who also homered in the series opener. “So far, so good. We knew this was a big homestand for us.” Wednesday’s grand slam was the eighth of Dye’s career. Since joining the White Sox before the 2005 season, he leads all A.L. outfielders with 147 homers. “Third time facing a guy, you have a feeling that if he swings at a strike it’s going to be hit hard,” said Paul Konerko, whose two-run homer started the White Sox fourth-inning barrage. “We’ve seen it so many times before.” So have the Twins. They have lost 10 of 11 in Chicago, getting outscored 79-36, and have allowed at least one homer in each of their last 20 games at U.S. Cellular
White Sox 7, Twins 4 Minnesota AB R H BI Span rf 3 0 1 0 B.Harris ss 4 0 0 0 Mauer c 4 1 1 0 Morneau dh 3 1 0 0 Cuddyer 1b 4 2 1 2 Kubel lf 4 0 1 1 Crede 3b 2 0 1 1 Gomez cf 3 0 0 0 a-Buscher ph 1 0 1 0 Tolbert 2b 3 0 0 0 b-J.Morales ph 1 0 0 0 Totals 32 4 6 4 Chicago Podsednik lf J.Nix 2b Dye rf Thome dh Konerko 1b Bri.Anderson cf Al.Ramirez ss Fields 3b C.Miller c Totals
SCOTT STRAZZANTE / CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIA AP

BB SO Avg. 1 0 .296 0 2 .270 0 1 .397 1 1 .331 0 1 .259 0 2 .324 1 0 .229 0 0 .222 0 0 .229 0 1 .167 0 0 .327 3 8 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .268 1 0 .226 0 0 .274 2 0 .257 0 1 .317 0 0 .250 1 0 .218 0 0 .218 0 0 .219 4 1

AB 4 2 4 2 4 4 3 4 3 30

R 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 7

H BI 1 0 0 0 1 4 1 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 7 7

Minnesota 000 202 000 — 4 6 1 Chicago 000 700 00x — 7 7 1 a-singled for Gomez in the 9th. b-grounded out for Tolbert in the 9th. E: Cuddyer (3), Al.Ramirez (3). LOB: Minnesota 5, Chicago 4. 2B: Crede (7), Al.Ramirez (5), C.Miller (3). HR: Cuddyer (5), off Danks; Konerko (6), off Liriano; Dye (10), off Liriano. RBIs: Cuddyer 2 (22), Kubel (21), Crede (16), Dye 4 (25), Konerko 2 (27), Fields (13). SB: Podsednik (3). CS: Span (3). SF: Crede. Runners left in scoring position: Minnesota 2 (Morneau, Gomez); Chicago 1 (Konerko). GIDP: Dye. DP: Minnesota 1 (B.Harris, Tolbert, Cuddyer). Minnesota Liriano L, 2-5 Ayala Crain Chicago Danks W, 3-3 Dotel H, 6 Thornton H, 7 Linebrink H, 3 Jenks S, 9-9 IP 4 3 1 IP 5 2⁄3 1⁄3 1 1 1 H 7 0 0 H 5 0 0 0 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 7 7 3 1 90 6.04 0 0 1 0 31 4.87 0 0 0 0 11 7.62 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 2 3 7 111 4.60 0 0 0 0 2 0.66 0 0 0 0 12 2.30 0 0 0 1 18 1.80 0 0 0 0 23 2.57

Jermaine Dye’s grand slam in the fourth inning was the eighth one of his career. Field. Then again, winning anywhere has been a challenge for the Twins lately. They have a season-high six-game losing streak—all on their current road trip, which ends today in Chicago. “When you’re winning, it seems like everything goes right, and it’s the exact opposite ... when you’re losing,” Michael Cuddyer said. “There’s only one way to reverse that, and it’s to continue fighting, continue busting it and hopefully things change.” Getting a few timely hits and making some big pitches would help. The Twins are batting .118 with runners in scoring position during the road trip and haven’t gotten a victory from a starting pitcher in eight games. — The Associated Press

Inherited runners-scored: Dotel 1-0. HBP: by Ayala (J.Nix). PB: C.Miller. Umpires: Home, Mark Wegner; First, Tim Timmons; Second, Rob Drake; Third, Jeff Kellogg. T: 2:46. A: 29,044 (40,615).

KANSAS CITY—For a few tense moments, Kerry Wood and the Indians seemed destined to relive the agony of the night before. Then he found his cutter. Then he located his breaking ball. And after walking the bases full in the ninth, the Cleveland closer struck out Mark Teahen and David DeJesus to end the game and preserve a 6-5 victory over Kansas City on Wednesday night. “Last night was tough to swallow,” Wood said. “It’s got to be over. I’m going to be out there and I’ve got to be focused on getting the guys out tonight. It’s not always easy to do, but you’ve got to be able to get (the bad memory) out of there.” As he trotted in from the bullpen to start the ninth, the big scoreboard at his back replayed the ninth inning of the night before when he gave up two home runs, a walk, a triple and a sacrifice fly that turned a 5-2 lead into a nightmarish 6-5 loss. “The scoreboard was at my back,” he said, grinning. Mark DeRosa had three hits and drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth for the Indians, who snapped a four-game losing streak with the sort of win that manager Eric Wedge hopes can ignite his slumping team. “After such an emotional loss last night, to be able to come back and fight back from behind, it says a lot about our guys,” Wedge said. “They keep getting up off the mat.” As Wood threw ball after ball, Wedge did get somebody else throwing in the bullpen just in case. But then suddenly Wood regained command of his breaking pitches. “I’m just glad I was able to find it

Indians 6, Royals 5 Cleveland AB R H BI A.Cabrera ss 4 0 1 1 Sizemore dh 5 0 0 1 V.Martinez c-1b 5 1 2 0 Choo rf 3 1 2 1 Jh.Peralta 3b 4 0 2 1 Garko 1b 4 0 0 0 1-LaPorta pr 0 1 0 0 Shoppach c 0 0 0 0 DeRosa lf 4 2 3 1 B.Francisco cf 4 1 2 1 J.Carroll 2b 3 0 0 0 Totals 36 6 12 6 Kansas City AB Crisp cf 4 Callaspo 2b 3 2-Bloomquist pr 0 Butler 1b 4 Jacobs dh 4 3-Maier pr 0 J.Guillen rf 4 Teahen 3b 5 DeJesus lf 3 J.Buck c 2 Aviles ss 4 Totals 33 R 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 H BI 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 8 4

BB SO Avg. 1 0 .312 0 1 .208 0 0 .400 2 0 .293 0 0 .264 0 0 .247 0 0 .206 0 0 .227 0 1 .255 0 0 .250 0 0 .333 3 2 BB SO Avg. 1 1 .245 2 0 .338 0 0 .320 1 0 .284 1 1 .262 0 0 .267 1 2 .298 0 1 .285 2 1 .241 1 0 .230 0 1 .196 9 7

ED ZURGA / AP

Mark DeRosa had three hits and drove in the tiebreaking run in the eight inning. before it was too late,” Wood said. “I didn’t start out the inning the way I wanted to start, but I finished it the way I wanted to finish.” In the other dugout, Royals manager Trey Hillman saw what Wedge was seeing. “He found it after he loaded the bases,” Hillman said. “I felt like we were patient in spots and then after he got the bases loaded he threw some really good pitches.” Wedge said he never actually came close to pulling Wood. “I think it tells you a lot about the guy,” Wedge said. “For him to dig deep like that and find it. It says a lot about his toughness and his ability to keep his emotions under control.” Victor Martinez was 2-for-5 and kept his major league-leading average at .400 for the Indians. — The Associated Press

Cleveland 000 200 220 — 6 12 0 Kansas City 003 100 010 — 5 8 0 1-ran for Garko in the 8th. 2-ran for Callaspo in the 9th. 3-ran for Jacobs in the 9th. LOB: Cleveland 8, Kansas City 11. 2B: A.Cabrera (11), V.Martinez (13), DeRosa (9), J.Guillen (4). RBIs: A.Cabrera (20), Sizemore (26), Choo (24), Jh.Peralta (17), DeRosa (26), B.Francisco (14), Butler (19), J.Guillen 2 (18), DeJesus (17). SB: Bloomquist (7). S: Jh.Peralta, J.Buck. Runners left in scoring position: Cleveland 3 (A.Cabrera, V.Martinez, Jh.Peralta); Kansas City 7 (Jacobs, Teahen, Callaspo, Aviles, Crisp, DeJesus 2). DP: Cleveland 1 (J.Carroll, Garko); Kansas City 2 (Meche, Aviles), (Callaspo, Aviles, Butler). Cleveland IP Carmona 6 Laffey W, 3-0 1 1⁄3 R.Betancourt H, 5 2⁄3 K.Wood S, 6-8 1 Kansas City IP Meche 6 J.Wright H, 4 1⁄3 Tejeda H 6 2 0 0 H 6 2 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 4 3 107 5.74 1 1 1 0 16 3.55 0 0 1 2 19 4.79 0 0 3 2 28 7.71 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 1 2 87 4.42 2 2 1 0 15 2.45

Ponson L, 1-5 BS, 1-11 1⁄3 2 2 2 0 0 22 6.41

1 1⁄3 2 0 0 1 0 31 2.65

Inherited runners-scored: R.Betancourt 1-0, Ponson 3-1, Tejeda 1-1. HBP: by J.Wright (J.Carroll). WP: Carmona 2. Umpires: Home, Derryl Cousins; First, Jim Joyce; Second, Brian Runge; Third, Bill Miller. T: 3:28. A: 19,652 (38,177).

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NFL

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

22

Palmer to Brady: ‘Be prepared for the mental obstacles’
BY ALBERT BREER abreer@sportingnews.com

Bouncing back
Returning from an ACL tear isn’t uncommon for quarterbacks—and many have done it successfully. In fact, most show little or no drop-off in their throwing. The challenge is recovering pocket awareness and movement. Four entrenched starters have returned from ACL injuries the past three seasons and have shown that the drop-off comes not in passer rating but sack percentage (defined as sacks per pass play): Injury year 2007 2006 2005 2005 Next year passer rating 105.5 89.9 93.9 77.0 Career passer rating 92.9 85.9 88.9 89.0 Next year sack pct. .050 .085 .065 .135 Career sack pct. .052 .070 .048 .085

FOXBOROUGH, MASS.—Carson Palmer knows a little bit about what Tom Brady is going through these days. Like Brady last year, Palmer once had a defensive player roll into his left knee as he stood flat-footed. As was the case with Brady, it resulted in a torn ACL and MCL for Palmer. And like Palmer, Brady is on target to return without missing a minute of game action in the year following the devastating injury. Brady already knows, surely, that this process is not without bumps. But Palmer will tell him that even if he feels better— and sources tell Sporting News Today that Brady is “full go”—he has more hurdles to clear. “I would just tell him to be prepared for the mental obstacles when he gets back on the practice field—and the game field,” Palmer said. “You have to get over being uneasy about people being down around your feet and get over feeling like you need to step out of the way to protect yourself.” After going down early in a playoff game against the Steelers after the 2005 season, Palmer rehabbed quickly. On the surface, his 2006 season went swimmingly. His 93.3 quarterback rating that year was the second best of his career, and he threw for 4,035 yards with an excellent touchdownto-interception ratio (28-13). But closer inspection provides substance to Palmer’s warning to Brady. Over the past four years, Palmer has taken four or more sacks in a game just six times—and four of those games occurred in 2006. Furthermore, three of those games came in Weeks 2, 3 and 4 as Palmer made his re-entry adjustments. In 2007, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb took 44 sacks, the second-highest total of his career in 2007 after coming back from an ACL injury in the 10th game

Philip Rivers Donovan McNabb Carson Palmer Daunte Culpepper

Patriots safety Tank Williams, who has had three of his last five seasons ended by knee injuries, said, “You have to get used to doing the things that, as a player, used to be second nature to you, whether that’s running or cutting or moving. And you have to get that mental confidence that you can make every play you used to make.”

‘He’s as competitive as ever’
To a man, Patriots players have been impressed with Tom Brady’s work this offseason. Asked whether Brady looks like he never hurt his knee, second-year backup Kevin O’Connell said, “Yeah, I think so. To the point where he’s able to compete with us quarterbacks every day and continue to be the first guy up. “He’s going through the whole offseason program with us. We’re competing every day, whatever testing we’re doing, and the one thing about Tom is he’s as competitive as ever. He’s going to get after it every day. He’s done a great job.” Those have been important steps, for sure. But performing when the games count—and the pass rush is closing in—will be a different challenge entirely. — Albert Breer

2. When you have a bad game—or a bad series of plays—you have to convince yourself that such struggles are part of the game rather than a byproduct of the injury. “The mental
part is usually the thing that comes last,” says new Patriots running back Fred Taylor, who has fought through a litany of injuries as a professional. “It really depends on how strong you are mentally, how much you love this game. “I’ve always just been excited to get back— it didn’t make it tough for me. Still, if you don’t have those types of games you usually have, you go down a little bit, but you have to keep pressing forward.”

WINSLOW TOWNSON / AP

Tom Brady, left, must conquer the unease of stepping into his throws with defenders coming at him. of ’06. McNabb’s early-season issues in ’07 were punctuated with a 12-sack disaster in Week 4. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers probably handled his ACL recovery better than anyone, posting a career year in 2008. Steady and consistent, Rivers threw for 4,009 yards and 34 touchdowns while throwing just 11 picks and taking only 25 sacks. Before he can be Tom Brady again, here are a few things he’ll have to deal with:

3. You have to overcome the flashbacks.
This is a biggie for a Brady, whose success relates directly to his masterful feel for and command of the pocket and how to maneuver in it. “You’ve got to get over the mental obstacle of stepping into your throw when

1. Getting back to normal means working to regain things that formerly came naturally to you. That isn’t always easy for pro athletes.

someone’s coming at you,” Palmer said. “I was throwing off my back foot for a while after I came back. It took me awhile before I could get over that feeling.”

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NFL

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

23

Scouts’ views

Defensive tackle rankings: Nobody dominates like Haynesworth
Scheme dictates so much of the success of NFL defensive tackles. Some are dominant players who can excel in any system. Others are versatile athletes who can fill different roles in different situations. But the ability to shut down the run game on some level is key to the performance of any interior lineman. RealScouts, SN Today’s team of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20 defensive tackles for 2009:

doesn’t put up a big stat line in the Steelers’ 3-4, but he is physical and strong and a dominating presence in the middle. The linebackers owe him for their success.

12.

8.

1.

Albert Haynesworth, Redskins. The biggest prize of the free-agent season, Haynesworth will be a dominant run defender on a defense that already did a very good job against the run. What will help his new team is his quickness and pass-rush ability from the interior.

Marcus Stroud, Bills. Stroud is coming off a solid season, his best since 2004. As expected, he was a force inside for the Bills and immediately upgraded their run defense. Though he’s not the quick, penetrating pass rusher he once was, he’s still able to get a push and collapse the pocket.

Jamal Williams, Chargers. At 350 pounds, Williams is an immovable object in the middle of the Chargers’ 3-4. Though age and injuries have begun taking their toll, he still has great lower-body strength and is a hard-working run-stuffer who makes the San Diego defense go.

13.

9.

2.

Kevin Williams, Vikings. Williams uses quickness and a good initial burst off the ball to create penetration and disrupt plays in the backfield. Already a Pro Bowler, he thrived last season with the addition of RE Jared Allen to the Vikings’ defensive front.
ALEX BRANDON / AP

Luis Castillo, Chargers. Like Ngata, he is listed as an end but really has the responsibilities of a tackle. Stopping the run is Castillo’s first job. He has the size and strength to crash the interior gaps and enough quickness to get to the quarterback on occasion.

John Henderson, Jaguars. He was not the same player last year without Stroud lined up next to him. Henderson is a powerful bull rusher, but at this point in his career, he needs an inside sidekick to alleviate some of the protection attention on him.

Rocky Bernard, Giants. Bernard had a career-high 55 tackles for Seattle in 2008, but he has lost the quickness that made him an effective interior pass rusher earlier in his career. However, look for him to thrive in the Giants’ impressive rotation. He’ll be fresher playing fewer snaps and should benefit from receiving less attention from protection schemes.

17.

18. 19.

14.

10.
An already-strong Redskins run defense got stronger with Albert Haynesworth. who is tough to budge and has the raw power to push blockers into the pocket.

3.

Vince Wilfork, Patriots. Wilfork is a big, physical nose tackle who excels at holding his ground against multiple blockers. He also has the first-step quickness to collapse the pocket from the interior. That versatility makes him the key to New England’s defense.

6.

4.

Haloti Ngata, Ravens. He’s officially listed as an end, and he has the athleticism to play that spot in the Ravens’ 3-4 alignment. But he is a wide-bodied run-stuffer

Chris Canty, Giants. Canty was an end in the Cowboys’ 3-4 scheme, but he will play inside and out in the Giants’ four-man fronts. He is equal parts run-stuffer and pass rusher and will be moved around the line depending on the situation. His versatility will give him many opportunities to shine.

5.

Shaun Rogers, Browns. Rogers had a big comeback season in 2008 (76 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks), though he didn’t get much help from the rest of the Browns’ defense. If his issues with Eric Mangini are smoothed over—it looks like they have been for now—and Rogers’ head is right, he can be a dominating force inside.

Tommie Harris, Bears. Chicago’s troubles on defense in 2008 started with ineffective line play, and Harris was part of that decline. Look for new line coach Rod Marinelli, who once worked with Warren Sapp, to get Harris back on track. Harris isn’t Sapp, but when he is on—and Marinelli will make sure he is—he can be something close. Darnell Dockett, Cardinals.

Pat Williams, Vikings. Williams is an elite run-stuffer who has surprising quickness and power for a man his age (36) and size. As long as he stays healthy and has Kevin Williams and Allen lined up with him, he will continue to be an effective force.

Brodrick Bunkley, Eagles. Bunkley is extremely quick off the ball and moves well laterally. Equally disruptive against the run and the pass, he is an improving player who excels in the Eagles’ system. Jovan Haye, Titans. Haye is a true one-gap player. He’s undersized but uses his athleticism to get free on stunts and twists. He is coming off a down season in Tampa Bay, but look for a nice comeback in the Titans’ active front under line coach Jim Washburn.

15.

Jay Ratliff, Cowboys. Ratliff had a breakout year in 2008, earning Pro Bowl honors for the first time. He was a disruptive pass rusher inside, and despite being relatively light (300 pounds), he has enough strength and lateral mobility to be an effective runstopper. He’s a player on the rise. Amobi Okoye, Texans. Okoye took a slight step back in 2008 after a strong rookie campaign, but he is quick and athletic, and more important, extremely bright. With some added weight and strength, he can be a disruptive interior defender.

11.

7.

Casey Hampton, Steelers. Hampton is a hard-nosed player who

Dockett is a smaller, athletic lineman who uses his quickness and agility to create havoc inside. He’s the most disruptive force on the Cardinals’ line and has matured into a top-flight player.

16.

Brandon Mebane, Seahawks. Mebane is a very good pass rusher for a tackle. This year, he’s moving to a 3-technique role in Seattle’s attacking scheme, which means he’ll be shooting gaps and getting after the quarterback. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Mebane approach double-digit sack numbers.
— RealScouts analyzes NFL and college players, coaches and teams exclusively for Sporting News Today.

20.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NFL

Rooney Rule may be expanded to G.M.s
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.—NFL teams looking to hire general managers may soon be required to interview at least one minority candidate. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league’s owners discussed expanding the Rooney Rule—which already applies to coaching openings— during the final session of their two-day meetings in South Florida. No vote was taken, though Goodell indicated any changes could be made soon. “It’s a judgment I will make with the diversity committee,” Goodell said. The Rooney Rule is named for Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who was not at the meeting for a good reason: He’s at what Goodell described as “ambassador school.” Rooney, a lifelong Republican, was picked by President Barack Obama earlier this year to be U.S. ambassador to Ireland. “When he gets concluded with his tutoring, I will probably speak with him and we’ll make a determination from there,” Goodell said. The Rooney Rule was born nearly seven years ago, when two lawyers threatened to sue the NFL if it didn’t open up more opportunities for minorities. Rooney led a committee to develop a policy to stop what the league viewed as an embarrassing lack of diversity. Expanding that policy to G.M.s isn’t expected to meet much resistance. In other developments before the meetings closed Wednesday morning with a 2 ½-hour session: Seeking ways to generate new revenue streams, NFL clubs can now arrange to have their logos on

JAE C. HONG / AP

Steelers owner Art Rooney, with President Obama, is currently at ‘ambassador school.’ cards sold by their respective state lotteries. Delaware became the only state east of the Mississippi River to allow betting on sports after new legislation was signed last week. The NFL is strongly against betting on the outcome of games but said the lottery move could generate significant money to be directed back to “many different public purposes,” Goodell said. Talks were held on a tougher anti-tampering stance involving free agents, though Goodell said some owners simply suggested that clubs adhere to the rules already in place. Some teams have said clubs have illegally reached out to agents before signing periods begin, which could theoretically make it tougher for a team to re-sign its own player. The proposed change would likely install a short window of opportunity for teams to talk to free agents before the signing period begins—but with no contracts finalized. “We’re discussing it; that’s all,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. More talks were held on a 17or 18-game regular season, but once again no vote was held and the league’s analysis of such a move will continue. “We did not take any action, but it was a very good discussion,” Goodell said. The Dolphins released plans to offer a wireless video unit to their fans at the club and suite levels this season, a 4.3-inch screen that will give ticketholders a chance to see replays and other action from around the league from their seats. Talks are planned to have the device available when Miami hosts this season’s Super Bowl as well. — The Associated Press

ON SALE 6/2/09

www.sportingnews.com or www.streetandsmiths.com
SHIPPING: + $3.50 for the first magazine + 50¢ each additional magazine

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NFL
VICK LEAVES PRISON

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

25

Peers throwing encouragement to QB
If Michael Vick is seeking support for an NFL comeback, he would get it from many of his former peers. NFL players east, west and in between expressed encouragement for the one-time Atlanta quarterback on the day Vick was released from a federal prison. Before he could join another team—the Falcons still own his rights but have said he will not return to them—Vick must be reinstated by commissioner Roger Goodell. Vick and Goodell won’t meet before Vick has served the home-confinement portion of his sentence, which ends July 20. But when he becomes available, lots of players believe Vick deserves another chance. “It would really be a disgrace to football to not give him an opportunity,” Buccaneers receiver Michael Clayton said. “A lot of people go in and come out a different person. I can’t wait to see him get that opportunity again.” Added Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, “I really think everyone deserves a second chance. I think he has paid his debt to society. Hopefully someone will reach out and give him another opportunity.” His former backup in Atlanta, Matt Schaub, expects that to happen. “At some point—there’s this year and next year—I think he’ll get an opportunity to play again,” said Schaub, now the starting quarterback for Houston. “I wish him well. I’d like to see him come back and be successful. bottom up and show his commitment off the field and showing how much he’s grown from this situation that he’s more than deserving of a second opportunity.” Many teams refused to comment on having any interest in Vick, in part because he still is under contract with the Falcons. A Chiefs spokesman said, “The Chiefs have no comment regarding Michael Vick. They haven’t given any thought to it. They don’t want to be involved in any conversation about Michael Vick.” And a Dolphins spokesman said, “No, we’re not going there” when asked if general manager Jeff Ireland would be available to talk about Vick. So the players did the talking, with a positive outlook—none more positive than 49ers receiver Josh Morgan, like a Vick a former Virginia Tech Hokie. “Me and some of my teammates from Virginia Tech, we were talking about if we ever saw Vick back on the field, we might start crying,” Morgan said. “Just thinking about him and his family and his mom and everything they’ve been through, that might bring me to tears. It would just be special, and we can’t wait for him. “I know he was just driving across the country, like 18 hours, and now he’s at home in Hampton, and I bet he’s telling people, ‘This is how it’s going to be. This is how I’m going to live my life in a different way.’ He’s going to be an elite player right away. I can’t wait to see it, man.” — The Associated Press

Vick timeline
A look at the dogfighting case against Michael Vick: Early 2001—Vick, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor decide to start an illegal dogfighting operation. Later that year, Purnell Peace joins the venture. June 29, 2002—Vick pays about $34,000 for property in Surry County, Va. 2002-07—Vick and his co-defendants establish “Bad Newz Kennels,” host dogfights and participate in fights in other states. April 25, 2007—Police raid Vick’s Virginia property and find several neglected pit bulls and evidence of dogfighting. June 7, 2007—Federal investigators raid Vick’s property. July 17, 2007—Vick, Peace, Phillips and Taylor are charged by a federal grand jury in Richmond, Va., with conspiring to engage in competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting, and conducting the enterprise across state lines. July 26, 2007—Vick and his co-defendants plead not guilty to the charges. July 30, 2007—Taylor changes his plea to guilty and agrees to cooperate with the prosecution of Vick and the other two men. Aug. 17, 2007—Peace and Phillips plead guilty and implicate Vick in bankrolling gambling on dogfights. One says the quarterback helped drown or hang dogs that didn’t do well. Aug. 23, 2007 — Vick signs plea agreement and statement of facts admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring and helping kill pit bulls. He denies betting on the fights, only bankrolling them. Aug. 24, 2007 — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Vick indefinitely without pay from the NFL. Aug. 27, 2007—Vick pleads guilty to dogfighting conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson. At a news conference, Vick apologizes for“using bad judgment and making bad decisions. I offer my deepest apologies to everyone. And I will redeem myself. I have to.” Nov. 20, 2007—Vick surrenders to U.S. marshals and begins serving his sentence in a Virginia jail three weeks before his official sentencing. Dec. 10, 2007—Vick is sentenced to 23 months in federal prison. Jan. 7, 2008—Vick leaves Virginia to enter a drug treatment program at a Leavenworth, Kan., minimum security facility. July 8, 2008—Vick files for bankruptcy protection. Nov. 25, 2008—Vick appears in a Virginia courtroom to plead guilty to a state dogfighting charge and receives a three-year suspended sentence. April 3, 2009—Vick testifies in federal bankruptcy court that he has become a changed man and will do all the right things upon his release from prison, including repaying his creditors by resuming his professional football career. April 21—Goodell says Vick will have to show genuine remorse to get a chance at resuming his career in the NFL. May 20—Vick is released from the Leavenworth, Kan., prison to begin two months of home confinement at his Hampton, Va., home.

JOE FUDGE / AP

Michael Vick will spend the majority of the next two months in his Virginia home.

Home confinement step toward reinstatement
HAMPTON, VA.—For Michael Vick, “Football is on the back-burner for now,” said agent Joel Segal, who negotiated Vick’s 10-year, $130 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons but will be asking for substantially less if his tarnished client’s suspension is lifted by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Vick deserves a second chance, but it won’t be with Atlanta, which has severed ties with its former star. Vick, who turns 29 in June, left the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., by car early Wednesday, undetected by hordes of reporters who had staked out the prison. He was accompanied on the 1,200-mile ride by his fiancee, Kijafa Frink, a videographer and several members of a security team assembled by Vick’s lawyers and advisers, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to comment on the matter. The person did not know the reason for the videographer. Vick won’t be released from federal custody until July 20, but his departure from Leavenworth begins a new chapter. “It’s a happy day for him to be starting this part of the process,” said Larry Woodward, Vick’s Virginia-based attorney, said. “He looks forward to meeting the challenges he has to meet.” His ultimate goal is a return to the NFL, but Woodward said Vick’s first priority “is spending time with his children and his loved ones.” — The Associated Press

STEVE HELBER / AP

Several NFL players believe Michael Vick deserves and will get a chance to play again. “I think he can (regain his old form). He loves the game and I know he loved playing. He had all that taken away. He’s got to be eager to get back out and show people not only that he can still play, but that he’s a changed man and a changed person.” Bills safety George Wilson, the team’s player representative to the NFL Players Association, likes the idea of Vick going back to work away from football first. Vick will serve three years’ probation after his home confinement ends. “He’s going back working a construction job getting paid $10 an hour, so that’s considerably less than what he was making on the football field,” Wilson said. “So I think just by showing he can work from the

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NFL
INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

26

Romo-Williams combo has ‘long way to go’; 49ers lose corner
Although there has been plenty of buzz at Buffalo’s minicamp about the arrival of former Cowboys WR Terrell Owens, there’s a different feel at Dallas’ practices with Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton taking over as the team’s top two wideouts. Although Romo and Williams are trying to re-create the successful Romo-Owens combination, it has been a work in progress, even with the pair practicing together since March 3. “It’s paying off so far,” Williams said. “But we still have a long way to go.” On Tuesday, Romo and Williams were reportedly off in their rhythm and had trouble making connections in 7-on-7 drills. For the passing attack to be effective, the Cowboys also need Crayton to be a viable threat and for Sam Hurd and Miles Austin to step up. Romo told the Fort Worth StarTelegram there isn’t necessarily less stress on him to deliver in the passing game with Owens gone. “There is always pressure, there is no more or less than any year than another year. It’s always: ‘You’ve got to win the Super Bowl this year. You’ve got a new season.’” 49ers CB Walt Harris could miss the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee, dealing an early blow to the 49ers’ hopes of a return to playoff contention. Harris—a 13-year player who made the Pro Bowl after the 2006 season, his first with the 49ers—was injured in a collision during Tuesday’s practice. Harris, 34, has been a model of consistency, never missing more Montana judge when he consumed alcohol. The Texans have invested multiple first-round picks into their defensive front seven. Through eight first-round picks in seven seasons, the Texans have used three on defensive linemen and one on a linebacker who was supposed to help put pressure on the quarterback. The 2005 first-round choice was used on DT Travis Johnson. For the most part, Johnson has not lived up to his potential. And he might be running out of chances. After Johnson missed an OTA session this week because of injury issues, coach Gary Kubiak called him out. “It’s not good,” Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle. “He needs to be out there. He needs to be out there helping the football team, and he’s got a long, long way to go as a player. But he’s got issues, so we’ll get the issues solved and then we’ll let him get out there.”
L.M. OTERO / AP

with the Bills. Tinoisamoa (6-1, 220) lacked the bulk new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo wants in his linebackers and made too much money to stay on as a reserve. He could be a solid reserve for Chicago or Buffalo, with an outside chance to start on those teams. RB Ricky Williams told the Palm Beach Post he would like to play two more seasons with the Dolphins and then retire. The Cardinals surprisingly released CB Rod Hood in the days after the draft. Hood’s base salary, coupled with his potential unwillingness to accept a reserve role, contributed to his ouster. Since then, he has since become a hot commodity, according to ProFootballTalk.com. PFT reported he has received a contract offer from the Rams and that he’ll visit the Bears soon. The Lions and Browns are also in the picture. DT Shaun Rogers, who not long ago wanted out of Cleveland because he felt new coach Eric Mangini snubbed him on two occasions, is no longer disgruntled. Rogers said he and Mangini worked out their problem “just like two grown men do.” Jets Pro Bowl RB Thomas Jones will rejoin his teammates next week after sitting out voluntary team activities in a contract dispute, according to his agent. Drew Rosenhaus wrote on his Twitter page that Jones, entering the third year of a four-year, $20 million deal, will attend the Jets’ OTA next Wednesday.

Tony Romo, above, and WR Roy Williams were not meshing in a 7-on-7 drill in Dallas’ practices, according to a report. than four games in a season. His consistent veteran presence was expected to be a cornerstone of coach Mike Singletary’s defense, particularly given the shallow depth behind him. Third-year player Tarell Brown probably will take Harris’ place in the lineup opposite Nate Clements. Brown was a nickel back last year and recorded two interceptions. CB Shawntae Spencer still hasn’t returned to practice after missing 14 games last season with a knee ligament injury. The Bengals are set to go with two inexperienced starters in a reshuffled offensive line. In OTAs this week, the first unit included first-round pick Andre Smith at right tackle and Kyle Cook, undrafted in ’07 and without an NFL snap to his credit, at center. Andrew Whitworth, formerly the team’s left guard, is lining up at left tackle. RG Bobbie Williams has been the only ’08 starter at the same position. Smith played left tackle at Alabama but doesn’t mind the switch to the opposite side as the Bengals try to improve their run blocking. “I’m a team player,” Smith said on the team’s website. “I see it as an opportunity to being more valuable to my team.” Former NFL RB Travis Henry is in federal custody in Florida after violating conditions of his bond. Tampa U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo ruled Tuesday that Henry violated bond conditions set by a

OLB Karlos Dansby expects to sign a long-term contract soon with the Cardinals. Currently, Dansby is set to make $9.7 million as the team’s franchise player. “I definitely have confidence in the organization (to complete the deal),” Dansby told the Arizona Republic. OLB Pisa Tinoisamoa, recently cut by the Rams, should sign with a new team soon. The Chicago SunTimes reported Tinoisamoa met with the Bears Wednesday. According to ESPN.com, he previously met

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com
Houston; Sean Conover, NY Jets; Nick Eason, Pittsburgh; Kalimba Edwards, Oakland; Ebenezer Ekuban, Denver; John Engelberger, Denver; Simon Fraser, Atlanta; Roderick Green, San Francisco; Travis LaBoy, Arizona; Jayme Mitchell, Minnesota; Jerome McDougle, NY Giants; Julius Peppers (F), Carolina; Josh Savage, New Orleans; Anthony Weaver, Houston; James Wyche, Jacksonville. Defensive tackles—Kenderick Allen, Minnesota; Gary Gibson, Carolina; La’Roi Glover, St. Louis; Vonnie Holliday, Miami; Antwan Lake, New Orleans; Langston Moore, Detroit; Kindal Moorehead, Atlanta; Dewayne Robertson, Denver; Orpheus Roye, Pittsburgh; Hollis Thomas, New Orleans; Josh Thomas, Indianapolis; John Thornton, Cincinnati; Darwin Walker, Carolina; Ellis Wyms, Minnesota; Brian Young, New Orleans; Jeff Zgonina, Houston. Linebackers—Rufus Alexander, Indianapolis; Jason Babin, Kansas City; Rocky Boiman, Kansas City; Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay; Khary Campbell, Washington; Anthony Cannon, Detroit; Dan Cody, Baltimore; Rosevelt Colvin, New England; Donte’ Curry, Carolina; Donnie Edwards, Kansas City; Keith Ellison (R), Buffalo; Troy Evans, New Orleans; Gilbert Gardner, Chicago; Curtis Gatewood, Kansas City; Morlon Greenwood, Houston; Marques Harris, San Diego; Napoleon Harris, Minnesota; Abdul Hodge (R), Cincinnati; Mike Humpal, Pittsburgh; Brad Kassell, NY Jets; Jason Kyle, Carolina; Teddy Lehman, Buffalo; Paris Lenon, Detroit; Wesly Mallard, Seattle; Jim Maxwell, Cincinnati; Willie McGinest, Cleveland; Marques Murrell (R), NY Jets; Ryan Nece, Detroit; Shantee Orr, Cleveland; Antwan Peek, Cleveland; Carlos Polk, Dallas; Junior Seau, New England; Matt Sinclair, Washington; Gary Stills, St. Louis; Terrell Suggs (F), Baltimore; Dontarrious Thomas, Minnesota; Pisa Tinoisamoa, St. Louis; Marcus Washington, Washington; Nate Webster, Denver. Cornerbacks—David Barrett, NY Jets; Dre’ Bly, Denver; Fakhir Brown, St. Louis; Terry Cousin, Cleveland; Jason Craft, St. Louis; Travis Fisher, Detroit; Reynaldo Hill, Tennessee; Roderick Hood, Arizona; William James, Jacksonville; Michael Lehan, New Orleans; Sam Madison, NY Giants; Ricky Manning Jr., St. Louis; Derrick Martin (R), Baltimore; Chris McAlister, Baltimore; Mike McKenzie, New Orleans; R.W. McQuarters, NY Giants; Deltha O’Neal, New England; Dunta Robinson (F), Houston; Lewis Sanders, New England; Duane Starks, Jacksonville; Brandon Sumrall, NY Giants; DeJuan Tribble, San Diego; Jason Webster, New England; Jimmy Williams, Houston; Stanley Wilson, Detroit. Safeties—Oshiomogho Atogwe (F), St. Louis; Michael Boulware, Minnesota; Mike Brown, Chicago; Oliver Celestin, Kansas City; Corey Chavous, St. Louis; Keith Davis, Dallas; Will Demps, Houston; Mike Doss, Cincinnati; Hiram Eugene, Oakland; Mike Green, Washington; Rodney Harrison, New England; Terrence Holt, New Orleans; Dexter Jackson, Cincinnati; Sammy Knight, NY Giants; Marquand Manuel, Denver; Marlon McCree, Denver; Lawyer Milloy, Atlanta; Chad Nkang, Jacksonville; Jarrad Page (R), Kansas City; Pierson Prioleau, Jacksonville; Chris Reis (R), New Orleans; Dwight Smith, Detroit; Jimmy Williams, San Francisco; Cameron Worrell, Chicago. SPECIAL TEAMS Kickers—John Carney, NY Giants; Matt Stover, Baltimore. Punters—Mitch Berger, Pittsburgh; Mike Dragosavich, Indianapolis; Sam Koch (R), Baltimore; Kyle Larson, Cincinnati; Ryan Plackemeier, Cincinnati.

NFL

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

27

Remaining free agents
A quick look at the remaining NFL free agents by position (R-restricted free agent, F-franchise tagged player): OFFENSE Quarterbacks—Brooks Bollinger, Dallas; Ken Dorsey, Cleveland; Gus Frerotte, Minnesota; Charlie Frye, Seattle; Drew Henson, Detroit; Quinn Gray, Kansas City; Trent Green, St. Louis; Rex Grossman, Chicago; Brad Johnson, Dallas; J.P. Losman, Buffalo; Jamie Martin, San Francisco; Craig Nall, Houston; Marques Tuiasosopo, Oakland; Anthony Wright, NY Giants. Running backs—Darian Barnes, New Orleans; Tatum Bell, Denver; Brian Calhoun, Detroit; Jesse Chatman, NY Jets; P.J. Daniels, Baltimore; Reuben Droughns, NY Giants; Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay; DeShaun Foster, San Francisco; Samkon Gado, St. Louis; Nick Goings, Carolina; Ahman Green, Houston; Andre Hall, Denver; Kay-Jay Harris, NY Giants; Maurice Hicks, Minnesota; Edgerrin James, Arizona; Rudi Johnson, Detroit; Deuce McAllister, New Orleans; Travis Minor, St. Louis; Chris Perry, Cincinnati; Andrew Pinnock, Denver; Michael Pittman, Denver; P.J. Pope, Denver; Cecil Sapp, Houston; Aaron Stecker, New Orleans; Selvin Young, Denver. Wide receivers—Drew Bennett, St. Louis; Marty Booker, Chicago; Drew Carter, Oakland; Jason Carter; Carolina; Keary Colbert, Detroit; Jayson Foster, Denver; D.J. Hackett, Carolina; Dante Hall, St. Louis; Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis; Ike Hilliard, Tampa Bay; Darrell Jackson, Denver; Nate Jackson, Denver; Matt Jones, Jacksonville; Joe Jurevicius, Cleveland; Ashley Lelie, Oakland; Brandon Lloyd, Chicago; Dane Looker, St. Louis; Marcus Maxwell, Baltimore; Anthony Mix, Tampa Bay; Ben Obomanu (R), Seattle; Tab Perry, Miami; Jerry Porter, Jacksonville; Kevin Robinson, Kansas City; Koren Robinson, Seattle; Edell Shepherd, Denver; Travis Taylor, Detroit; Amani Toomer, NY Giants; Kelley Washington, New England; Todd Watkins (R), Oakland; Harry Williams, Houston; Reggie Williams, Jacksonville; Wallace Wright (R), NY Jets. Tight ends—Courtney Anderson, Houston; Adam Bergen, Denver; Mark Bruener, Houston; Scott Chandler, San Diego; Owen Daniels (R), Houston; Nate Lawrie, Cincinnati; Michael Merritt, Kansas City; Chad Mustard, Denver; Jeff Robinson, Seattle; Derek Schouman (R), Buffalo; Stephen Spach (R), Arizona; Daniel Wilcox, Baltimore; Kris Wilson, San Diego. Offensive tackles—Tyson Clabo (R), Atlanta; Anthony Davis, St. Louis; Jon Dunn, Detroit; Wayne Gandy, Atlanta; Kwame Harris, Oakland; Jonas Jennings, San Francisco; Levi Jones, Cincinnati; James Marten (R), Oakland; Fred Miller, Chicago; Rob Petitti, St. Louis; Jon Runyan, Philadelphia; Ephraim Salaam, Houston; Charles Spencer, Jacksonville; Barry Stokes, New England; Mark Tauscher, Green Bay; Mark Wilson (R), Oakland. Guards—Lennie Friedman, Cleveland; Pete Kendall, Washington; Matt Lentz, Detroit; Terrence Metcalf, Chicago; Edwin Mulitalo, Detroit; Chris Naeole, Jacksonville; Tutan Reyes, Jacksonville; Grey Ruegamer, NY Giants; Kendall Simmons, Pittsburgh; Rob Sims (R), Seattle; Jason Whittle, Buffalo. Centers—Brennen Carvalho, Green Bay; Jean-Philippe Darche, Kansas City; Melvin Fowler, Buffalo; Matt Lehr, New Orleans; Andy McCollum, Detroit; Jeremy Newberry, San Diego; Scott Peters, Arizona; Cory Withrow, St. Louis. DEFENSE Defensive ends—Kevin Carter, Tampa Bay; Earl Cochran,

Taylor on homecoming: ‘My heart was always here’
DAVIE, FLA.—As the final seconds of Tuesday’s practice ticked off the scoreboard, Jason Taylor stood in the corner of the field enjoying a happy ending. He wore a smile and an aqua No. 99 jersey, a souvenir of the reunion he had sought with the Dolphins after a year of self-imposed exile. “It felt like about five years,” he said. Taylor’s back on the Dolphins’ practice field this week for three days of full-squad workouts after signing a one-year deal last week for $1.5 million, incentives included. He played his first 11 seasons in Miami and was so eager to return he walked away from an $8.5 million contract with Washington. Actually, he was cut by the Redskins, but he forced their hand by saying he didn’t want to take part in the team’s offseason program because he wanted to spend time with his family. As he stood before the media for the first time since rejoining Miami, a Dolphins official introduced him as their prodigal son. “This is where I wanted to be,” Taylor said. “This is home. My heart was always here.” His return represents a happy ending, but also a new beginning for the 34-year-old pass rusher. He’ll be playing in a new scheme for a new coach and for Bill Parcells, who traded Taylor a year ago after their relationship became rocky. Parcells was unhappy when Taylor spent the early part of 2008 in Los Angeles competing on Dancing With the Stars rather than in Davie working out with teammates. Taylor now says the rift was I got traded that I wanted to play for him. And throughout the season I would congratulate the guys here, and they knew how I felt about Tony and the team.” Sparano said he and Taylor discussed a reunion at length before the Dolphins made a contract offer. “Jason and I spent a lot of time going through the details—what’s important to me, what’s important to him,” Sparano said. “It has really been open, good, healthy communications. It’s why this whole thing worked out.” Sparano said Taylor returns with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove after a disappointing year in Washington. He was plagued by injuries, struggled with a switch to left end and had only 3½ sacks, his lowest total since 1999. “You need to be where you’re going to be happy, where you fit, where you have the best opportunity to be successful,” Taylor said. “I never had that opportunity in D.C. It wasn’t a good fit and wasn’t fair to them—and wasn’t fair to me. Everybody should know I’m not a left end.” In Sparano’s 3-4 scheme, Taylor will likely be an outside linebacker opposite 2008 AFC sack leader Joey Porter. Taylor and Porter failed to click as a tandem in their one season together, but Porter predicts success under a different regime. “The coaches will find ways for us to make plays together,” Porter said. “They know what he can do best, and they know what I can do best. They’re going to find ways to make it work.” — The Associated Press

LYNNE SLADKY / AP

Jason Taylor, above, says a rift with Bill Parcells was overblown by the media. overblown by the media. “There’s not a problem with me and Bill Parcells,” Taylor said. “Everyone wants to make this an issue. The perception out there that Bill and I were going to go to blows one day couldn’t be further from the truth.” Easing any strain in that relationship was the bond Taylor forged with Dolphins coach Tony Sparano. Taylor said they talked often in the past year. “I told Tony last year when I was in L.A. that I wanted to play for him,” Taylor said. “I told him when

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

College Football

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

28

Q&A with ... Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez

‘Right now we’re going to have a lot of freshmen in the mix’
First for his off-field issues with West Virginia and now for his on-field struggles at Michigan, Rich Rodriguez remains one of college football’s more polarizing figures. He might start a true freshman at quarterback this fall, and if the Wolverines miss another bowl, fans will no doubt call for his dismissal. Sporting News Today’s Dave Curtis caught up with Rodriguez at the annual spring Big Ten meetings in Chicago.

freshmen there, too. At least the pieces around that position will have some experience. Most of them, anyway—the O-line, the backs, the receivers. But we lost a lot of experience defensively, so there’s some nervous times there. We’re hoping to have a great summer, and we’re expecting that they will.

personality. We joke and have fun a little bit. Now, are there people that are still really mad? Yeah, I’m sure there (are), and they probably won’t ever get over it. And that’s a shame. As far as the university, it’s my alma mater. I love the state, and I always will.

Q: A:

How good a feel do you have for the kind of team you’ll put on the field in the opener against Western Michigan? I have a pretty good feel, a lot more of a feel than last year. The longer you’re around the team, the more you know. After 15 months, we know most of our strengths and most of our weaknesses. So we know that. The unknown is the young guys, and we still have some uncertainty because we’re going to play more young guys. That might not always be the case, but right now we’re going to have a lot of freshmen in the mix. And with them, you don’t know what you’re going to get until you play a game. That’s the thing that makes you really nervous. But we’re going to have a very competitive August.

Q: A:

Anything new with Kevin Grady? (Grady, a senior running back, is serving a seven-day jail sentence for a probation violation). No. Again, I have not talked to him. I’m going back to campus later this week, and I’ll get all the details when I get back. Until then, it’s just kind of up in the air. I don’t know all the facts, what happened with his probation, what the facts are and what they aren’t.

Q: A:

Q: A:

TONY DING / AP

Rich Rodriguez, left, is keeping a watchful eye on Tate Forcier and the Wolverines’ quarterbacks.

Q: A:

How much of that nervousness revolves around quarterback? Part of it. You know, Nick Sheridan is back, but we have a couple of

I saw where you made a joke about the West Virginia stuff in a booster club speech a while ago. Why not let go of that? Is that always going to be part of you? I think sometimes it gets taken wrong. I love that place. That’s my home. The fans are great. I spent seven years there, and I thought they were terrific to me. I tease about them, but that’s my

Did you ever make peace with the athletic director, the school president, the governor and all the characters from that whole thing? That’s a good question and a tough question. You know, I still get upset at times when I think about things that went on. Truthfully, I don’t think all the facts came out. Everybody moved on, and at that time, that’s what needed to be done. At the same time, you know, the fact is that everything that went down never got out there, and that was unfortunate. I was not happy, obviously. Some folks were mad that I left. And they can say the way I left, they didn’t like. But I also think there were a lot of things that were said that came from certain individuals at the school or who were associated with the school who are no longer at the school that weren’t true.

Not right now, because it just brings up tough memories. It’s fair. But I want to make it clear that I love West Virginia. I loved working there. I love people there. Anything said otherwise is people who want to keep a divide. I don’t want to do that. Can’t we all get along? Who said that? Rodney King? Some of my closest friends, and my family, are still there. I’ll always love it there.

A:

So what are the coaches meetings like in this league? Who are the big talkers? It’s a pretty neat group. Having been in a couple different leagues, there’s a nice openness in our league. Everybody has an equal amount of respect, but obviously, JoePa, he makes a lot of great points. When you have a guy who’s had as much success as he’s had, you’re going to listen to him for sure. Everybody, there are always some differences, but most of the issues we generally agree on. That’s probably true in most conferences.

Q: A:

Q:

Care to clear up any of those inaccuracies?

Really? Is that true around the country? I don’t know. I’ve never been in the SEC. But as far as the football issues, for the conference, most of us are on the same page generally.

Q: A:

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

College Football / College Basketball
COLLEGE BASKETBALL INSIDE DISH

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

29

COLLEGE FOOTBALL INSIDE DISH

Report: Irish could play at new Yankee Stadium
Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s athletic director, told The New York Times that the Yankees were open to having college football at the new Stadium, and he would like the Fighting Irish to be the first team to play there. Swarbrick stressed that no dates have been discussed. “We’ve been in contact with Yankee Stadium and asked and inquired,” Swarbrick told The Times. “We will be discussing games with them, but we haven’t entered into any substantive discussions.”
WADE PAYNE / AP

BYU’s Tavernari returning to school
BYU forward Jonathan Tavernari has withdrawn his name from consideration for the NBA draft. Tavernari, who averaged 15.7 points last season, did not hire an agent after declaring for the draft on April 22, so he can still return to BYU for his senior season. Advice for Iowa on its pending exhibition tour: Stay out of foul trouble. Iowa will have just seven players available for an exhibition tour of Italy and Greece. The Hawkeyes will leave on Friday and play four exhibition games, with a date in Rome followed by three games in Athens. Iowa will face three club teams, Basket Ferentino, Dukas and Greek Club Team II, and the national Greek Senior Select team. Thanks to a rash of transfers and recruits that have yet to arrive on campus, the Hawkeyes will have just seven players in uniform. Iowa will travel with Gs Matt Gatens, Anthony Tucker, Devan Bawinkel and walk-on John Lickliter. The forwards will be Andrew Brommer, Jarryd Cole and Aaron Fuller. And that’s it. “I’m sure teams are used to bringing 10 or 11 guys, but, at the same time, we only have seven guys,” Gatens told The Associated Press. “It’s a close group of guys, so it’s going to be a great experience for all of us.” Massachusetts has parted ways with G Doug Wiggins, a 2007-08 season. Former Memphis G C.J. Henry is officially enrolled at Kansas and will be eligible to play next season. The move reunites Henry with his brother, Xavier, and completes one of the most talented incoming classes Kansas ever had. The 6-4 Henry played baseball in the New York Yankees’ farm system for three years but enrolled at Memphis last year. Xavier, a high school senior last season, had signed with Memphis, but both decided to play elsewhere when coach John Calipari left the Tigers for Kentucky.
CHARLIE NEIBERGALL / AP

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the league’s relationship with its two affiliated bowl games in Orlando remains strong despite a delay in the city’s effort to renovate its stadium. The Florida Citrus Bowl, which hosts the Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl each winter, is up for a $175 million makeover. But the struggling Florida economy has left stadium managers short on funding for the upgrades. The Big Ten’s contract to send a team to each game expires after the 2009 season. Delany said the league has encouraged the acceleration of the renovation but has not issued the bowls a fix-it-or-else ultimatum. “It’s our priority to play in great venues,” Delany said at the Big Ten meetings. “And it’s a venue that’s fallen behind. But that doesn’t mean in and of itself that we’re not going to consider it.” — Dave Curtis Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin is batting .500 so far this week.

A mea culpa got Lane Kiffin access again to Pahokee (Fla.) High recruits. On Tuesday, Kiffin and the Tennessee staff were again granted access to recruits at Pahokee (Fla.) High after he apologized to the school’s coach and principal and other city officials during a conference call. Kiffin made offhanded remarks about the school and town at a booster function in February, and though he later apologized, Pahokee’s principal said Tennessee wasn’t welcome at his campus until Kiffin delivered an apology in person. On Wednesday, Tennessee said it would report a secondary violation to the NCAA because of a post on Kiffin’s Twitter and Facebook accounts identifying a recruit who committed to the Vols on Tuesday. The school said an assistant to Kiffin posted the message without knowing it was a violation. Kansas State has filed a lawsuit challenging a deal between former athletic director Ron Krause and former coach Ron Prince that would pay Prince $3.2 million in deferred compensation between 2015 and 2020. School president Jon Wefald said he found out about the deal on May 11 and that no one in the administration or athletic department knew about it. The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the deal. Big 12 athletic directors, meeting this week in Colorado Springs, Colo., said they support the current BCS system. “We went through the exercise last year as part of the new contract,” commissioner Dan Beebe said in a report in the Dallas Morning News. “It is our feeling that we did this, and there should not be an adjustment to it in the fourcycle that was agreed upon.” The Oregon state House has passed a bill that would require universities to interview a minority candidate before hiring a head coach or athletic director, Oregonlive.com reported.

Matt Gatens is one of only seven players Iowa will take on an exhibition tour of Italy and Greece. Connecticut transfer suspended briefly last fall after a misdemeanor arrest. Coach Derek Kellogg told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that Wiggins “had some chances to prove himself” but it was best “to go in a different direction.” Wiggins transferred last July. He was allowed under NCAA rules only to practice with UMass this season. He was arrested in November on a misdemeanor breaking-and-entering charge after he was found in the bathroom of a home. The case was continued and will be dropped if he stays out of trouble. Wiggins averaged 6.8 points in 30 games with UConn in the

Indiana coach Tom Crean recently had some fun tweeting with Kentucky’s Calipari on Twitter. The exchange was about a tree Calipari had cut down in his front yard and his proposal that Kentucky hold Big Blue Madness outdoors in October. A sampling of Crean’s comments, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader: (The wood from the pin oak) should be enough to keep 50,000 people warm (at Madness). They will go from the dribble drive offense to the slip and slide lawsuit. I hope Nike makes velour snowsuits for their players. Maybe they could have an ice skating competition rather than a dunk contest.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

College Basketball

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

30

STARTING FIVE
Is new Kentucky coach John Calipari out of bounds for signing more recruits than he has vacancies?

Sporting News Today college basketball columnist Mike DeCourcy addresses five topics currently in his sport’s headlines

Q:

DeCourcy: Calipari was hired and given a contract Brad Pitt might envy because UK’s results were not what the UK administration and the UK fans desired. So how is he supposed to fix that, exactly? Billy Gillispie is not some roll-out-theballs AAU coach. He’s a skilled teacher and strategist. Calipari might be a better technical coach, or he might have a better plan, but the degree of difference between the two—between any two top college coaches—is not great enough for the Wildcats to substantially improve simply by moving from one coach to another. Calipari’s chief appeal to “the Commonwealth” is his appeal to the best young talents—from those who did not play for him (Kendrick Perkins, Amare Stoudemire) to those who played for him (Tyreke Evans, Derrick Rose, Dajuan Wagner) to those who will play for him soon (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins). Signing Wall, Cousins, Darnell Dodson and Eric Bledsoe this spring has pushed UK into a position above the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships. If Jodie Meeks returns from the draft, the Wildcats will need to free up four scholarships. One or two might give up their grants temporarily, but somebody will need to leave to reconcile this. Thus are a lot of people outraged— mostly because people love to find reasons to be outraged by Calipari. But this is the inevitable byproduct of: A) a 22-14 NIT season; B) Firing a coach after just two years or C) Both of the above.

DeCourcy: If those are the choices, he should opt for terrified now that the Los Angeles Clippers have won the draft lottery and are in position to select him with the first overall pick. But he’s got a third option. He could become proactive. He should get in touch with John Elway or Eli Manning and ask how they maneuvered themselves out of draft circumstances they expected to be dire. (He could call Danny Ferry, as well, but as he is Cleveland’s G.M., that probably would constitute tampering). All three were vilified for having the audacity to dictate where they played as professionals, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to avoid a toxic franchise. It might not seem any better in Memphis or Oklahoma City, but two decades of history have shown it does not get any worse in the NBA than the Clips.

Q:

Of all the players who could return from the NBA’s early entry list, who is most important to his team?

DeCourcy: The player whose team needs him most is Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez. His outstanding junior season, when he averaged 17.5 points and 5.0 assists, kept the Terps from slipping off the edge of the basketball globe, and he should be better as a senior. He averaged 21 points in March, when the Terps surged off the bubble to reach the NCAA field. If they’re without him next season, it’ll be a harsh winter.

Q:

What’s going to become of Lance Stephenson?

Q:

How much does it hurt Duke that Gerald Henderson is gone for good?

Q:

Should Blake Griffin be honored or terrified?

DeCourcy: It never helps to lose a great player, but the important thing for the Devils is they have the capacity to replace him in terms of star power (by leaning more heavily on Kyle Singler) and minutes (by dividing Henderson’s share among Elliot Williams and Nolan Smith). Henderson’s return would not have addressed the two most significant, lasting concerns at Duke: point guard and center. There’s no longer a crisis at the point. Jon Scheyer proved he can win big games at that position, but he does not elevate the offense to the dynamic level coach Mike Krzyzewski generally has preferred. And there are lots of bodies to try inside. Duke will be a Final Four contender even with Henderson gone.

DeCourcy: The spring signing period ended Wednesday without word he’d landed at any college. People close to him reportedly have said Stephenson, a 6-5 guard from Brooklyn’s Lincoln High, no longer is considering St. John’s or Maryland. Those had been two of three choices through most of the season. He supposedly is interested in Arizona, but Arizona will not return his affection. Memphis is another possibility, and the Tigers would take him if he were to commit. There are many who believe he’ll ultimately choose to sign with a pro team in Europe, but that would be a disaster. He hasn’t the maturity to deal with the enormous differences in how the game is played, how the game is coached, how much he would have to practice and how little he’d probably get to play. If Stephenson does not find a home soon, he risks having his career evaporate in the same manner as former New York prep legend Lenny Cooke. Lenny Who, you ask? Well, exactly.

NICK WASS / AP

Greivis Vasquez’s potential exit from Maryland could leave the Terrapins in a serious hole come next season.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NASCAR

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

31

Coca-Cola 600
at Lowe’s Motor Speedway
When: Sunday, 5:45 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 5 p.m. ET Radio: PRN/Sirius XM Satellite Ch. 128 Track layout: 1.5-mile oval Race distance: 400 laps/600 miles 2008 winner: Kasey Kahne 2008 polesitter: Kyle Busch

INSIDE DISH

Mayfield hires attorney
High-profile Charlotte attorney Bill Diehl said Wednesday he has been hired to represent suspended owner/driver Jeremy Mayfield over a positive drug test taken May 1. “He hasn’t filed suit,” Diehl said. “We don’t know exactly what we’re going to do yet, but I am representing him.” Diehl’s firm has a long list of clients in the racing industry, including Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR team co-owner Felix Sabates. NASCAR indefinitely suspended Mayfield on May 9 over the positive test. NASCAR chairman Brian France indicated May 15 an indefinite suspension such as the one Mayfield received is for a positive test of performance-enhancing drugs or illegal recreational drugs. Mayfield has denied illegal drugs caused the positive test and suggested a combination of a prescription drug and Claritin-D resulted in the positive test. Diehl said he has received two sets of toxicology results from NASCAR. — Bob Pockrass, SceneDaily.com NASCAR issued one of the largest penalties in its history, a 12-week suspension for an illegal engine to Sprint Cup driver Carl Long, as well as 12-week suspensions for car owner Danielle Long and crew chief Charles Swing. The Dodge engine in question was one that was used during practice last Friday then replaced before the Sprint Showdown on Saturday, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. It was found to have exceeded

Top 5 and 5 to watch
BY BILL MARX bmarx@sportingnews.com

Here’s a look at the top five in points and five drivers to watch in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. All statistical references are for Sprint Cup races at Lowe’s unless otherwise indicated. Driver rating is based on the past eight points races at the track.

TERRY RENNA / AP

Points leader Jeff Gordon ran strong in the all-star race before wrecking out of it.

Gordon performed well in the Sprint All-Star Race, despite finishing the night with a DNF. That came in the 10-lap shootout; in the earlier segments, which more resembled the kind of racing we’ll see Sunday night, Gordon led 11 laps and looked strong. Tony Stewart, 84.0. Stewart won the all-star race by zipping past Matt Kenseth on the second-to-last lap. After the race, Kenseth bemoaned the power Stewart got from the Hendrick engine in Smoke’s car. Hendrick drivers Gordon and Jimmie Johnson also showed strength in long green-flag runs. Stewart has finished outside the top five only once in the past two months. Look for him to add to that stretch.

1.

Jeff Gordon, 85.9 driver rating.

2.

Busch, 79.3. Busch’s Penske Dodge also was strong last week; he finished third. He also finished third in his last trip to Lowe’s, last fall. But overall, his record is poor: three top 10s in (all top fives) in 17 races. None of those top 10s are in Coca-Cola 600s, though. His finishes in the past four 600s: 16th, 32nd, 39th, 43rd. Jimmie Johnson, 117.1. Johnson led a race-high 50 laps in the all-star race, all in the early segments. If he is that strong Sunday, a fourth victory in the 600 is not out of the question. Overall, Johnson has five wins and eight top fives in 15 starts at Lowe’s. Denny Hamlin, 78.2. Hamlin finished fourth in the allstar race but really wasn’t a factor. The same could be said for his

3. Kurt

points races at Lowe’s. He led 25 laps in the 2006 600 and finished ninth for one of his three top 10s in seven races. But that’s about it. He has led one lap in three other races.

5 to watch

4.

5.

Burton is the type of steady driver who can ring up a top-10 finish, although the power on the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets likely would keep him from challenging for a win. Burton has three wins at Lowe’s, including last fall, and 15 top 10s in 30 races. His other two wins, although in 600s, came in 1999 and 2001 driving for Jack Roush. He finished sixth in last year’s 600. Kyle Busch, 100.4. Busch won the pole for last year’s 600

6. Jeff Burton, 91.8.

7.

and finished third. He has finished in the top five in his past three races at the track. Busch was strong in the all-star race and likely will be strong again Sunday. And if there is a late restart Sunday night, drivers beware. Busch’s move on the second restart in the 10-lap shootout is worth a second look on YouTube. Ryan Newman, 76.9. Newman has the same power plant as Stewart, and Newman also looked strong in the final 10 laps of the allstar race. What is odd about Newman’s record in points races at Lowe’s is how well he starts but how poorly he finishes. He has seven poles and an average start of 6.9 in 16 races. But his average finish is 21.9, and he has finished outside the top 10 in 11 of his 16 starts, including the past six. Matt Kenseth, 83.6. Kenseth has one Coca-Cola 600 win, and it came in his first attempt, as a rookie in 2000 (it was his first Cup win). He hasn’t won since, but he has added seven more top 10s, including a seventh-place finish in last year’s race. The No. 17 was the strongest Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the all-star race. Mark Martin, 92.1. Martin won the 2002 600 and has three other wins in his 48 starts. He picked up his 22nd top 10 at Lowe’s last fall. Martin has won two of the past four Cup races, including two weeks ago at Darlington, and has the smarts and the car—a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet—to win his third race of the season.

8.

10.

HAROLD HINSON FOR SN

Jeremy Mayfield hasn’t filed suit against NASCAR over his positive drug test, but he has hired an attorney. the maximum engine size of 358cubic inch displacement. Long, whose only other Sprint Cup attempt this year was for the Daytona 500, also was penalized 200 driver points, and his team was penalized 200 owner points. Swing was fined $200,000. All of the suspensions last until Aug. 18 and all of those suspended will remain on probation through Dec. 31. — Bob Pockrass

11.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

NASCAR
AVG. RUNNING POSITION
Sum of driver position on each lap divided by the laps run in the race. RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson Kyle Busch Carl Edwards Mark Martin Greg Biffle Jeff Burton David Reutimann Dale Earnhardt Jr. Brian Vickers Juan Montoya Ryan Newman Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth Clint Bowyer Kasey Kahne Jamie McMurray ARP 9.4 9.8 10.3 10.4 10.5 12.1 13.8 14.2 15.3 15.5 15.7 16.1 17.1 17.5 17.5 17.7 18.3 18.7 18.8 19.9

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

32
LAPS LED 496 54 322 313 479 67 616 135 267 171 215 42 16 8 42 46 26 90 109 0 9 2 0 0 0 29 3 4 5 24 3 3 3 1 13 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 2 0

Sprint Cup statistics
(Through 11 of 36 races)

LAPS IN TOP 15
Season to date laps: 3,621 RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson Mark Martin Tony Stewart Kurt Busch Jeff Burton Carl Edwards Kyle Busch David Reutimann Greg Biffle Ryan Newman Kevin Harvick Brian Vickers Dale Earnhardt Jr. Clint Bowyer Juan Montoya Jamie McMurray Kasey Kahne Martin Truex Jr. PCT. LAPS 86.9 3,145 78.8 2,852 77.5 2,807 77.1 2,792 76.4 2,766 75.6 2,737 70.5 2,551 67.3 2,437 66.5 2,408 62.9 2,278 56.6 2,051 54.8 1,985 50.4 1,826 49.1 1,777 49.0 1,775 47.8 1,732 47.8 1,730 43.1 1,560 42.6 1,542 41.0 1,486

POINTS STANDINGS
RK. DRIVER 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson Denny Hamlin Jeff Burton Kyle Busch Ryan Newman Greg Biffle Matt Kenseth Mark Martin Carl Edwards Clint Bowyer Juan Montoya David Reutimann Kasey Kahne Brian Vickers Dale Earnhardt Jr. Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose Kevin Harvick Casey Mears Reed Sorenson Jamie McMurray AJ Allmendinger Elliott Sadler David Stremme Michael Waltrip Bobby Labonte Joey Logano Sam Hornish Jr. David Ragan Paul Menard Robby Gordon Scott Speed John Andretti David Gilliland Regan Smith Brad Keselowski Aric Almirola Joe Nemechek Scott Riggs Dave Blaney Travis Kvapil Jeremy Mayfield Max Papis PTS. 1,601 1,572 1,546 1,465 1,445 1,384 1,380 1,363 1,345 1,326 1,316 1,271 1,264 1,255 1,232 1,205 1,188 1,182 1,144 1,131 1,109 1,104 1,090 1,068 1,059 1,059 1,039 1,017 1,007 1,002 998 998 957 847 756 743 649 573 479 451 414 394 298 292 288 280
PTS. BACK

ST. 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 6 4 7 8 7 8 4 5 4

WINS 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

T-5 6 5 3 5 2 2 4 3 3 3 3 1 3 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

T-10 8 8 6 7 4 5 4 5 6 4 6 4 4 3 2 2 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 3 2 1 0 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

DNF 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 0 3 0 0 2 7 3 8 1 1 0

TERRY RENNA / AP

With a win in the Sprint All-Star Race, Tony Stewart is one to watch in the Coca-Cola 600.

DRIVER RATING
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most laps, lead-lap finish. Maximum: 150 points per race. Must have raced in 75 percent of scheduled point-paying races. RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 13. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch Tony Stewart Jimmie Johnson Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Mark Martin Greg Biffle Carl Edwards Jeff Burton Ryan Newman Matt Kenseth Juan Montoya David Reutimann Brian Vickers Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jamie McMurray Clint Bowyer Martin Truex Jr. Kasey Kahne MAKE Chevrolet Toyota Chevrolet Chevrolet Dodge Toyota Chevrolet Ford Ford Chevrolet Chevrolet Ford Chevrolet Toyota Toyota Chevrolet Ford Chevrolet Chevrolet Dodge TEAM Hendrick Motorsports Joe Gibbs Racing Stewart-Haas Racing Hendrick Motorsports Penske Racing Joe Gibbs Racing Hendrick Motorsports Roush Fenway Racing Roush Fenway Racing Richard Childress Racing Stewart-Haas Racing Roush Fenway Racing Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Michael Waltrip Racing Red Bull Racing Hendrick Motorsports Roush Fenway Racing Richard Childress Racing Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Richard Petty Motorsports RATING 109.8 104.1 100.9 100.7 100.7 100.3 97.1 90.7 88.4 84.9 81.7 80.7 80.5 80.5 80.5 80.3 78.0 77.9 76.5 75.9

FASTEST LAPS RUN
Number of laps where driver had the fastest speed on the lap. Total green flag laps: 2,954 RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Jeff Gordon Greg Biffle Kurt Busch Jimmie Johnson Mark Martin Kyle Busch Denny Hamlin Tony Stewart Carl Edwards Jeff Burton David Reutimann Matt Kenseth Dale Earnhardt Jr. Brian Vickers Ryan Newman Kasey Kahne Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose Clint Bowyer Juan Montoya PCT. LAPS 9.9 291 8.6 255 7.6 224 6.9 204 6.6 194 6.3 186 5.5 161 4.5 133 3.9 115 2.8 82 2.7 80 2.5 75 2.4 70 2.3 67 2.2 66 2.2 65 2.0 59 1.7 49 1.5 45 1.4 42

PERCENTAGE OF LAPS RUN ON LEAD LAP
Season to date laps: 3,621 RK. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. DRIVER Kurt Busch Denny Hamlin Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards Jeff Gordon Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Stewart Mark Martin Jeff Burton David Reutimann Juan Montoya Clint Bowyer Ryan Newman Greg Biffle Brian Vickers Kyle Busch David Stremme Kasey Kahne Martin Truex Jr. Marcos Ambrose PCT. LAPS 97.7 3,536 94.2 3,410 91.4 3,310 90.4 3,274 89.4 3,237 89.2 3,229 86.0 3,113 85.3 3,089 85.3 3,087 83.8 3,035 79.0 2,861 78.9 2,855 77.2 2,797 77.0 2,789 76.5 2,769 74.2 2,685 73.4 2,657 71.0 2,570 68.6 2,484 68.0 2,463

--29 -55 -136 -156 -217 -221 -238 -256 -275 -285 -330 -337 -346 -369 -396 -413 -419 -457 -470 -492 -497 -511 -533 -542 -542 -562 -584 -594 -599 -603 -603 -644 -754 -845 -858 -952 -1,028 -1,122 -1,150 -1,187 -1,207 -1,303 -1,309 -1,313 -1,321

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Lacrosse

Crotty leads new-look Duke offense
BY GEOFF SHANNON InsideLacrosse.com

It wasn’t until a week before Duke’s season-opener against Bucknell that senior Ned Crotty learned he would be switching from midfield, where he earned All-American honors last year, to the Blue Devils’ new-look attack. The decision made sense at the time, but was still somewhat experimental. Now, 18 games, 68 points, ACC Player of the Year honors and a Tewaaraton Trophy nomination later, both Crotty and Duke are reaping the rewards. Still, the learning process is ongoing, even heading into Saturday’s NCAA semifinal with Syracuse (noon, ESPN2) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. “It’s a work in progress,” said the senior, who dropped two goals and six assists on North Carolina in Sunday’s NCAA quarterfinal. “There were so many different things I had to prepare for; footwork, teams that would slide, teams that won’t slide. The coaches have done a great job preparing me, but still to this day I’m learning new things.” Crotty’s success is the highlight among several shrewd decisions by coach John Danowski that have resulted in a third consecutive trip to Championship Weekend. Heading into the spring, Danowski faced a staggering rebuilding process, adjusting to life without Matt Danowski and Zack Greer, who hold the NCAA’s all-time points and goals records, respectively. John Danowski started by shifting Crotty to attack, a position he hadn’t

JUSTIN MEYRS / INSIDE LACROSSE

In his first season as an attacker, senior Ned Crotty had 68 points and was ACC Player of the Year. played since his days at Delbarton (N.J.). Sophomore Zach Howell, who played midfield last season but was an attackman at Huntington (N.Y.) High, moved to the third attack spot. St. Lawrence (DIII) transfer Will McKee, a natural attackman, filled Howell’s midfield spot. Junior Max Quinzani provided the consistency, working once again as the team’s crease target. Steve Schoeffel and Brad Ross were midfield veterans, but had never been asked to put up big points before. As expected, the new-look offense struggled early, putting up single-digit goal totals and a 2-2 record, with losses to Maryland and Harvard. “New positions, new people, no experience, no chemistry,” said Danowski. “We had to fail a little bit early in order to succeed.” Through 18 games, though, Duke’s offense has 216 goals and 343 points. The offense has averaged 12 goals a game (15.4 in the last five) and 19 points a game, both Top 10 nationally. They’ve won nine straight games, including two dominating victories over conference-rival Virginia, and the ACC championship. “The amount of growth is scary,” said Quinzani, who has 51 points and 41 goals this season. “You look back to the loss against Maryland, the offense just wasn’t flowing. We were trying to force passes and go for homeruns. Now we just make one more (pass), keep it simple, play off the ground. We’re just confident.”

Final four
Saturday at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. All times ET Syracuse (14-2) vs. Duke (15-3), noon, ESPN 2 Virginia (15-2) vs. Cornell (12-3), 2 p.m., ESPN 2 Championship Monday, 1 p.m. ESPN

MORE COVERAGE
For more Tournament coverage, go to: InsideLacrosse.com

SUBSCRIBE TODA Y
www.insidelacrosse.com

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Golf / Tennis
GOLF TENNIS NOTEBOOK

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

34

Scott looks to make cut, defend Nelson title
IRVING, TEXAS—Adam Scott cut short a trip to Australia last year for the Byron Nelson Championship because he felt he was playing too good to stay home any longer. Instead of wasting that good play against his mates down under, Scott returned to the PGA Tour and won. Scott is back this week from another overseas trip to defend his championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort. Except this time, he is trying to rediscover his game—and hoping to finally make another cut. “I need to play a lot more golf than I have,” Scott said. “Missing the cut, you don’t get to play too much golf.” Since a runner-up finish at the Sony Open in January and two World Golf Championship events which have no cuts, Scott has missed the cut and not earned a paycheck his last five tournaments. The six-time winner had never before missed more than four PGA Tour cuts in the same season. Even with a chip-in for eagle his final hole at The Players Championship two weeks ago, Scott missed that cut by one stroke. He also came one stroke away from playing the weekend rounds at the Masters. “I was really close at The Players. That’s why I was grinding so hard to try and make the cut,” he said. “I just felt like, you know, if I can get that next round, I might put it all together. And I didn’t get that chance.”

Sweden eliminates U.S. from World Team Cup
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY—The United States was eliminated Wednesday from World Team Cup tennis after failing to advance out of roundrobin play. Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey defeated Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Robin Soderling 2-6, 6-2, 10-3, but the United States couldn’t overcome losing two singles matches on Tuesday. Sweden will play host Germany for a place in Saturday’s final. Germany beat France 3-0 to remain in contention. of Russia 7-5, 6-0; Monica Niculescu of Romania topped Yuliya Beygelzimer of Ukraine 5-7, 6-0, 6-4; and Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine downed French player Stephanie Foretz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

PGA Tour
Byron Nelson Championship Site: Irving, Texas Schedule: Today-Sunday Course: TPC Four Seasons Resort Las
Colinas (7,166 yards, par 70)

Purse: $6.5 million. Winner’s share:
$1,152,000 TV: Golf Channel (Today-Friday, 3-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m., 9:30-11:30 p.m.) and CBS (SaturdaySunday, 3-6 p.m.)

Austrian Open
KITZBUEHEL, AUSTRIA—Jurgen Melzer of Austria reached his first quarterfinal of the season with a 6-4, 7-5 victory Wednesday over Agustin Calleri in the second round of the Austrian Open. Melzer will take on seventhseeded Mikhail Youzhny in the quarterfinals. Youzhny, who reached the final of the BMW Open in Munich this month, defeated Stefan Koubek 6-2, 6-4. Third-seeded Victor Hanescu also advanced after downing Marcel Granollers 6-1, 7-6 (2). Daniel Koellerer of Austria routed Diego Junqueira of Argentina 6-1, 6-2 to reach his second quarterfinal of the year. He next plays Julien Benneteau of France, who had 13 aces while defeating Nicolas Massu of Chile 6-1, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7). Juan Ignacio Chela defeated Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-3, 6-2, and will play Oscar Hernandez, who beat wild card Andreas Beck 7-5, 6-4. — The Associated Press

HERMANN J. KNIPPERTZ / AP

— The Associated Press
TONY GUTIERREZ / AP

Sam Querrey was part of a doubles win, but it wasn’t enough to help the U.S. defending champion Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain pulled out of the Strasbourg International on Wednesday because of a lower back injury. She withdrew from the secondround match against Kristina Barrois after losing the first set 6-4. The top-seeded Medina Garrigues was aiming for her fourth Strasbourg title on clay. Third-seeded Peng Shuai of China reached the quarterfinals after beating Pauline Parmentier of France 6-3, 7-6 (6). In other matches, Aravane Rezai defeated Anastasiya Yakimova 6-4, 6-1; Ayumi Morita rallied to beat Julie Coin 4-6, 6-0, 6-4; Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic beat Alla Kudryavtseva

Warsaw Open
Scott had a three-stroke lead in the final round at the Nelson last year, but had to make a 9-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to remain in contention. Scott then beat Ryan Moore in a three-hole playoff, capping it with another birdie at No. 18, a 48-footer that rolled over two ridges and into the cup. “It’s one of those moments in my career I’ll remember forever for sure, making a putt like that to win,” Scott said. “I’m pretty excited to play here this week. ... I’m just going back out there with some good memories.” The fairways and rough are now filled with the desired Bermuda grass, given time to grow over the last year and eliminating the need to overseed the grounds. — The Associated Press WARSAW, POLAND—Maria Sharapova, playing in her first WTA tour single tournament in nearly 10 months, routed Darya Kustova 6-2, 6-0 Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Warsaw Open in her first singles tournament since returning from shoulder surgery. She will face eighth-seeded Alona Bondarenko, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Marta Domachowska. In other second-round matches, Anne Keothavong downed Jill Craybas of the United States 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, and qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru upset fifth-seeded Sara Errani 6-4, 6-3.

Adam Scott has missed the cut his past five PGA tournaments. Until today, when he tees off at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, where before he won last season he tied for third his only other appearances (2006). No. 9 Vijay Singh, the 2003 Nelson champ, tied for ninth at The Players Championship. That ended his 11-tournament streak without a top-10 finish, his longest drought since joining the PGA Tour in 1993. It was at The Players where Scott hit a 3-wood on his final approach to set up the round-ending eagle. “The shot that got me up to the green was definitely the best shot I’ve hit in about two months,” Scott said. “I’m pretty excited about that, so hopefully a few more swings like that.”

Strasbourg International
STRASBOURG, FRANCE—Two-time

WEEKDAYS 1–4PM ET

Listen on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 127, online at SportingNews.com or check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

IRL
NOTEBOOK

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

35

INDIANAPOLIS 500 Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ABC

Matos fastest rookie for Indy 500
INDIANAPOLIS—Raphael Matos has been a champion everywhere he’s driven. Now he’s the fastest rookie in the Indianapolis 500, eager to add another crown to his racing resume. The 27-year-old Brazilian will start Sunday’s race from the 12th position, on the outside of the fourth row, the best among the five firstyear Indy drivers. “It was a big accomplishment for the team and for myself,” said Matos, whose Luczo Dragon team is co-owned by Jay Penske, son of 14-time Indy winner Roger Penske. “Being the fastest rookie means a lot to me. ... The car ran flawless all month. Hopefully, we’ll keep that momentum and have a good race.” Matos won five poles and three races to claim the championship in the IRL’s developmental Firestone Indy Lights series last season. Before that, he won championships in the Atlantic, Star Mazda and Formula Dodge series. His first championship was in 2001 in the Brazilian Chevrolet Formula Junior series. Last fall, he signed a multiyear contract to drive for Luczo Dragon in the IndyCar Series and has been coached by former Indy winners Rick Mears and Gil de Ferran. “As a rookie, I’m learning something everyday here,” Matos said. “I have learned just how intense it is and the patience you have to have. I expect to have many battles throughout the race. It’s going to be a day when to push and when to be conservative. Hopefully, I’ll put myself in a good position in the last 30 minutes of the race to fight for hopefully a podium finish.” The other rookies are Robert Doornbos of the Netherlands, Mike Conway of England, Nelson Philippe of France and Alex Tagliani of Canada. Matos’ four-lap average of 223.429 was almost 2 mph faster than any of the other rookies. So far, the only fastest-rookie qualifiers to win the race the same year were Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000, George Souders in 1927 and Jules Goux in 1913. said Wednesday that skies over Indianapolis should be partly cloudy and temperatures should be in the upper 70s during the race, with only a 20 percent chance of rain by Sunday night. The race begins at 1 p.m. ET and normally takes 3 to 3½ hours to run. Rain has forced a delay or postponement of the race 14 times, most recently in 2007, when it was stopped after 282.5 miles, restarted after a delay of three hours and stopped again for good after 415 miles. The last time race day was a complete washout was 1997. The race was stopped after just 15 laps on the next day and finally finished on the third day.

Indianapolis 500 lineup
Row 1 1. (3) Helio Castroneves, 224.864 2. (6) Ryan Briscoe, 224.083 3. (10) Dario Franchitti, 224.010 ROW 2 4. (02) Graham Rahal, 223.954 5. (9) Scott Dixon, 223.867 6. (11) Tony Kanaan, 223.612 ROW 3 7. (5) Mario Moraes, 223.331 8. (26) Marco Andretti, 223.114 9. (12) Will Power, 223.028 ROW 4 10. (7) Danica Patrick, 222.882 11. (99) Alex Lloyd, 222.622 12. (2) r-Raphael Matos, 223.429 ROW 5 13. (15) Paul Tracy, 223.111 14. (14) Vitor Meira, 223.054 15. (18) Justin Wilson, 222.903 ROW 6 16. (27) Hideki Mutoh, 222.805 17. (20) Ed Carpenter, 222.780 18. (4) Dan Wheldon, 222.777 ROW 7 19. (41) A.J. Foyt IV, 222.586 20. (16) Scott Sharp, 222.162 21. (67) Sarah Fisher, 222.082 ROW 8 22. (44) Davey Hamilton, 221.956 23. (06) r-Robert Doornbos, 221.692 24. (8) Townsend Bell, 221.195 ROW 9 25. (17) Oriol Servia, 220.984 26. (19) Tomas Scheckter, 221.496 27. (24) r-Mike Conway, 221.417 ROW 10 28. (43) John Andretti, 221.316 29. (13) E.J. Viso, 221.164 30. (23) Milka Duno, 221.106 ROW 11 31. (00) r-Nelson Philippe, 220.754 32. (21) Ryan Hunter-Reay, 220.597 33. (36) r-Alex Tagliani, 221.115

Two more for Tracy
Paul Tracy will get at least two more races this season, both in his native Canada. KV Racing Technology said Wednesday that Tracy will drive at the IndyCar races at Toronto on July 12 and Edmonton on July 26. The 40-year-old Tracy, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, qualified 13th for Sunday’s race, his first at Indianapolis since 2002 when he was runner-up to Helio Castroneves. He won 30 CART/Champ Car races in 1993-2007 and was that series champion with seven wins in 2003. “I feel very fortunate to be able to race in front of my hometown fans with a very competitive team,” Tracy said. The full-time driver for KVRT is Brazilian Mario Moraes, who led three laps and finished 18th in his rookie race at Indianapolis last year. The 20-year-old Moraes will start seventh Sunday.

Closest field
The pole-winning speed of 224.864 mph by Helio Castroneves and the slowest qualifying speed of 220.597 by Ryan Hunter-Reay make this the closest matched field in Indianapolis 500 history. The 33 starters are separated by just 3.0967 seconds from fastest to slowest in qualifications. The previous record was 3.2422 seconds between pole-winner Scott Sharp and slow qualifier Billy Boat in 2001.

Indy lights
Qualifying for the Freedom 100, the fifth race in the IRL’s developmental Firestone Indy Lights series this season, will be today, with the race Friday. Rookie driver Jonathan Summerton of Kissimmee, Fla., leads the series points, despite no victories but with top-seven finishes in all four previous races. Junior Strous

No rain for race
The weather forecast looks good for Sunday’s race. The National Weather Service

TOM STRATTMAN / AP

Success has followed Indianapolis 500 rookie Raphael Matos wherever he’s gone in racing.

of the Netherlands, also a rookie, won the first two races this season and is second in the series, four points behind Summerton. Rookie Sebastian Saavedra of Colombia and Californian J.R. Hildebrand are third and fourth, respectively, in the standings. — The Associated Press

SPORTING NEWS TODAY

www.sportingnews.com

Back Page
IN BRIEF

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009

36

Preakness winner back on track
LOUISVILLE, KY.—Rachel Alexandra returned to the track for the first time since becoming the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness. She galloped a mile Wednesday over a fast Churchill Downs track. Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird galloped 1½ miles for the first time since finishing second to Rachel Alexandra in last Saturday’s Preakness at Pimlico. Rachel Alexandra will gallop again today and is scheduled to complete a timed workout Monday. Mine That Bird also will gallop today, but he won’t work out before early next week. “The horse is just doing super, he’s on his game,” trainer Chip Woolley said. “We’re really surprised that he’s as fresh as he is after two good hard races.” Woolley said he and Mine That Bird’s co-owners Mark Allen and Leonard Blach have decided to wait until early next week before choosing a rider for the Belmont Stakes on June 6. NEW YORK—A racehorse was euthanized after crashing into a bronze statue of Secretariat in the Belmont Park paddock. In the post parade before the fifth race Wednesday, City On Line, a 4-year-old chestnut colt trained by H. Allen Jerkens and owned by Rhapsody Farm and Harry L. Landry, broke away from his lead pony, unseated jockey Jose Lezcano and ran down the tunnel to the paddock.

TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL American League BOSTON RED SOX: Activated 1B Kevin Youkilis from the 15-day DL. Optioned INF Gil Velazquez to Pawtucket (IL). OAKLAND ATHLETICS: Claimed LHP Craig Breslow off waivers from Minnesota. Transferred 2B Mark Ellis to the 60-day DL. National League ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: Activated RHP Chris Carpenter from the 15-day DL. Optioned OF Shane Robinson to Memphis (PCL). WASHINGTON NATIONALS: Placed OF Elijah Dukes on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 18. Designated INF Alex Cintron for assignment. Recalled OF Justin Maxwell and RHP Jason Bergmann from Syracuse (IL). American Association EL PASO DIABLOS: Signed RHP Garvis Romero. SIOUX FALLS CANARIES: Released LHP Brian Martin. Cam-Am League BROCKTON ROX: Signed RHP John Kelly and RHP Wayne Lundgren. WORCESTER TORNADOES: Signed LHP Chris Anderson. Golden Baseball League EDMONTON CAPITALS: Agreed to terms with INF Aaron Hornstaj. Released RHP Matt Dahlin, RHP Bobby DeMuro, RHP Brandon Geib, RHP Matthew Gibbs, INF Mitch Graham, LHP David Moraga, OF Argelis Nunez and LHP Joel Schmal. LONG BEACH ARMADA: Agreed to terms with OF Matthew Edgecombe, SS Brandon Howard, RHP Koichi Misawa, C David Ramirez and OF JJ Sherrill. ORANGE COUNTY FLYERS: Agreed to terms with OF Travis Becktel, SS Ryan Crew, RHP David Cross, C Nick Guerra, RHP Bryan Harris, LHP Jonathan Rouwenhorst, RHP Jesse Smith and RHP Cordosa Tucker. ST. GEORGE ROADRUNNERS: Agreed to terms with LHP Eude Brito, RHP Bartolome Fortunato, RHP Monte Mansfield, RHP Mac Nelson, C Jose Rodriguez and OF Ryan Stevenson. VICTORIA SEALS: Agreed to terms with RHP Javier Garcia and RHP Mike Reeve. Released RHP Paul Buchan, OF Trevor Davidson, SS Steve Friend, 1B A.C. Grable, C Aaron Jiminez, OF Billy Krause, C Tim Mahler, INF Joey Martin, 2B Takashi Myoshi, OF Casey Raisbeck, 1B Evan Romanchuck, RHP Ryan Rose, INF Mason Scott, and C Joshua Tarnow. BASKETBALL National Basketball Association CHICAGO BULLS: Promoted director of player personnel Gar Forman to general manager. FOOTBALL National Football League ATLANTA FALCONS: Signed WR Khalil Jones. BALTIMORE RAVENS: Named Jason Brooks assistant offensive coach. BUFFALO BILLS: Waived WR Mike Jefferson. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Waived WR D’Juan Woods. Claimed CB Tyron Brackenridge off waivers from the N.Y. Jets. Canadian Football League EDMONTON ESKIMOS: Signed WR Jason Barnes, WR Efrem Hill, WR Willie Thornton and WR Alan Turner. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS: Released OL Bobby Singh, LB Anthony Maggiacomo and DB Marc Beswick. HOCKEY National Hockey League CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Signed LW Kyle Beach to a three-year contract. NEW YORK RANGERS: Agreed to terms with D Ilkka Heikkinen. American Hockey League ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS: Named Mike Thompson vice president of business operations. WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS: Named Todd Reirden coach. WORCESTER SHARKS: Signed D Louis Liotti. LACROSSE Major League Lacrosse WASHINGTON BAYHAWKS: Claimed D Kyle Hartzell from the League Player Pool. MOTORSPORTS NASCAR: Suspended driver Carl Long for the next 12 Sprint Cup races and fined crew chief Charles Swing $200,000 for using an engine that was too big for NASCAR’s specifications last weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Long was docked 200 points. SOCCER Major League Soccer MLS: Fined New York M Jorge Rojas $750 and suspended him one additional game for an egregious offense and failure to leave the field in a timely and orderly manner after being issued a red card in a May 16 game against Houston. Fined Real Salt Lake D Ian Joy $500 for inappropriate comments directed at the officiating crew at halftime of a May 16 game against Kansas City. Women’s Professional Soccer WASHINGTON FREEDOM: Signed D Sarah Senty. Waived D-M Jayme Leigh Cargnoni. COLLEGE FLAGLER: Named Jud Damon athletics director. GREENSBORO: Named Randy Tuggle women’s basketball coach and men’s and women’s cross country coach. MERCY, N.Y.: Named Jonathan Feinstein women’s soccer coach. NIAGARA: Named Chris MacKenzie women’s hockey coach. OTTERBEIN: Named Christine Steines softball coach, David Lehman men’s and women’s track and field coach and John Lintz men’s and women’s cross country coach. SAMFORD: Named Michelle Johnson athletic trainer. SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT: Announced the retirement Jack Maloney, men’s cross country and track and field coach.

Major League Soccer
EASTERN CONFERENCE W Chicago 3 D.C. United 3 Kansas City 4 Toronto FC 3 New England 2 New York 2 Columbus 1 WESTERN CONFERENCE W Chivas USA 7 Seattle FC 4 Colorado 3 Houston 3 Real Salt Lake 3 Los Angeles 1 San Jose 1
All times ET Saturday’s Games

L 0 1 4 3 2 5 2 L 1 2 2 2 5 1 5

T 6 6 2 4 4 3 6 T 2 3 3 3 1 7 2

Pts 15 15 14 13 10 9 9 Pts 23 15 12 12 10 10 5

GF 16 17 14 13 7 10 12 GF 14 12 11 8 14 11 8

GA 11 15 12 15 13 12 15 GA 5 6 9 6 13 11 16

NOTE: Three points for victory, one point for tie.

New England at Toronto FC, 4 p.m. Real Salt Lake at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
ALESSANDRO TROVATI / AP

p.m. San Jose at Houston, 8:30 p.m. Seattle FC at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday’s Game

Lance Armstrong, right, is in 16th place at the Giro d’Italia, trailing the leader by 5:28. chance of winning the marathon-like time trial today in the Giro d’Italia. Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong keeps improving and could contend for the first victory of his comeback after 3½ years of retirement and breaking his collarbone in March. Both race for the Astana team. On Wednesday, Leipheimer somersaulted off his bike when someone dropped a water bottle in front of him in the feeding zone midway through Wednesday’s 11th stage. The cyclist from Butte, Mont., scraped the skin off a large part of his side but escaped serious injury and quickly caught up to the main pack. Meanwhile, Armstrong, who used to dominate time trials during his record run of seven Tour victories, is still regaining his form. “He’s definitely going to go as fast as he can, and he feels good,” Bruyneel said of Armstrong. “I don’t want to make a prognostic but I expect him to be in the front. I don’t know if that’s top five or top three or seventh or eighth. But he’s definitely going to give it his all.” Armstrong has stopped speaking to reporters, apparently angry over the fallout of a rider protest he helped orchestrate in Milan on Sunday. On his Twitter page Wednesday, Armstrong wrote, “Leipheimer had a pretty nasty spill and it was hot. (Today) is the big/long time trial so let’s hope he recovers well.” Mark Cavendish won the mostly flat 11th stage Wednesday in a mass sprint, and Danilo Di Luca of Italy maintained a 1 minute, 20 second overall lead on Denis Menchov of Russia. Michael Rogers of Australia was third overall, 1:33 behind, and Leipheimer is fourth, 1:40 back.

CD Chivas USA at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

Chicago at New York, 3 p.m.

Los Angeles at FC Dallas, 8:30

Armstrong moved up two spots to 16th overall, 5:28 behind Di Luca.

Soccer
ISTANBUL—Jadson scored from about 12 yards in the seventh minute of overtime, and Shakhtar Donetsk of the Ukraine beat Germany’s Werder Bremen 2-1 Wednesday night to win the final UEFA Cup. Goalkeeper Tim Wiese got to the shot by Jadson, among five Brazilians in Shakhtar’s lineup, but let the ball slip over his own goal line. Luiz Adriano had put Shakhtar ahead in the 25th minute of regulation, but Naldo tied the score 10 minutes later. The tournament, Europe’s No. 2 club competition behind the Champions League, is being renamed the Europa League for next season. — The Associated Press

Cycling
ARENZANO, ITALY—A freak crash could impact American Levi Leipheimer’s