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Attitude adjustment Mike Singletary is trying to change the mindset of the moribund 49ers Page 27
GERRY BROOME/ AP

NBA PLAYOFFS

Howard pushes LeBron to brink
Dwight Howard scored 10 of his 27 points in overtime as Orlando beat Cleveland in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead. Page 14
PHELAN EBENHACK / AP

Sidney Crosby, left, with Evgeni Malkin, carries the Prince of Wales trophy.

Swept away
Pens return to Stanley Cup finals by completing four-game washout of Hurricanes. Pages 8-9 Chicago at Detroit: 7:30 tonight, Versus Red Wings lead series 3-1

WEDNESDAY MAY 27, 2009 SEE A DIFFERENT GAME VOLUME 1 ISSUE 309

Dwight Howard wrested control of the series from LeBron James.

Denver at L.A. Lakers: 9 tonight, ESPN Series tied 2-2

Scoreboard
NHL Playoffs
Eastern Conference finals Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 1 (Pittsburgh wins series 4-0)

Money well spent
BY STAN MCNEAL smcneal@sportingnews.com

Offseason pickups that fit like a glove

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

100
The SEC and Big 12 each have three teams in the top 10 and five among the top 25.

days and counting
Honestly, there really is a legitimate reason we’re offering insight on the Ohio University football team in May. The Bobcats are No. 100. At least they are in Sporting News’ preseason poll, with the opening kickoff of the 2009 season only 100 days away. Let the countdown begin—our top 100 teams unveiled one-by-one until the season starts Sept. 3. Some tidbits about our top 100:

NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference finals Orlando 116, Cleveland 114, OT (Orlando leads series 3-1)

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

The transition to a new team goes smoothest when the newcomer’s new team wins. That has been the case with baseball’s top four offseason acquisitions. Three play for first-place teams, and the fourth is near the top of the N.L. East.

AL BEHRMAN / AP

MARK J. TERRILL / AP

GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

KATHY WILLENS / AP

Raul Ibanez LF, Phillies
Acquired: Signed a threeyear, $31.5 million contract. Impact: He leads Phils in homers, RBIs and batting average, and his professionalism has impressed teammates. “The way our chemistry is, he fit right in,” Shane Victorino said. Outlook: Ibanez’s numbers usually improve in second half.

Orlando Hudson 2B, Dodgers
Acquired: Signed a one-year, $3.38 million deal. Impact: Hudson hit for the cycle in the season’s second week and hasn’t slowed, starting every game. Outlook: Staying healthy will be key. Hudson’s past two seasons have ended early because of thumb and wrist injuries.

Trevor Hoffman RP, Brewers
Acquired: Signed a one-year, $6 million deal. Impact: Hoffman has a 0.00 ERA and 11 saves in 11 chances. “He makes us feel like if we have a lead after eight innings, it’s done. Game’s over,” Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun said. Outlook: All-time saves leader doesn’t wilt in crunch time.

Francisco Rodriguez RP, Mets
Acquired: Signed a threeyear, $37 million deal. Impact: New York leads the N.L. in bullpen ERA, and K-Rod is 13-for-13 in save chances. Outlook: Pitching in New York hasn’t fazed him yet, but a faulty ’pen has buried the Mets the past two Septembers.

The Big East is absent from the top 25 and its highest-ranked team is behind three schools from the Mountain West. Three BCS conference teams—Indiana, Syracuse and Washington State—did not make the top 100.

Ibanez’s solid numbers and work ethic has made an instant impact on the World Champ Phillies, Page 18

— Derek Samson
No. 100: Ohio, Page 7

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See a Different Game
OFF THE FIELD

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

2

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

Tyson’s daughter dies after accident
Police say the 4-year-old daughter of boxer Mike Tyson died a day after her neck accidentally was caught in a treadmill cord while she was playing at home. A Phoenix police spokesman said Exodus Tyson was pronounced dead in a hospital just before noon Tuesday. Police have said an investigation showed it was a “tragic accident.” Mike Tyson Police say the girl was playing on the treadmill Monday when her head apparently slipped inside a cord hanging under the console. Exodus’ 7-year-old brother found her and alerted his mother. Former heavyweight champion Tyson was in Las Vegas at the time of the accident and flew Monday to Phoenix, where he was seen entering the hospital. “There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus,” the family said in a statement. “We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal.” sports decision. She was part of a panel from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that kept Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett from entering the NFL Draft in 2004. Clarett was challenging the NFL rule that keeps teams from drafting players until they are three years removed from high school graduation. USC receiver Mike Williams also was affected by the ruling.

Nuggets at Lakers
9 p.m., ESPN
The only contest more fun in a playoff series than a Game 7 is a Game 5 with the series tied. We get that in this game, and the more intense this series gets, the more the Nuggets’ depth could help them. Seven Nuggets scored in double figures in Game 4, and reserve J.R. Smith even tied for the team-high with 24. Denver already showed it can win in L.A. by winning Game 2, and it needs to muster a similar effort to beat a Lakers team that was 36-5 at home during the regular season. — Roger Kuznia

If you deliver it daily, they will come.

Crimes and courts
O.J. Simpson appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn his convictions for armed robbery and kidnapping during a a Las Vegas hotel room confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers. The former football star, actor and advertising pitchman asked the high court to throw out his conviction on grounds that include judicial misconduct, insufficient evidence, a lack of racial diversity on the jury and errors in sentencing and jury instructions.
A woman who said she was carrying Dallas Mavericks’ star Dirk Nowitzki’s child was pregnant after she was booked into the Dallas County jail on May 6, according to a newspaper report. The Dallas Morning News reported on Tuesday that medical records it obtained from the Dallas County jail and Parkland Hospital showed 37-year-old Crista Ann Taylor was administered the pregnancy test and the result was positive. The tests do not determine paternity.

BASEBALL

Yankees at Rangers
8 p.m., ESPN2
Since Alex Rodriguez returned to the starting lineup, the Yankees are 13-5 and trail the Red Sox by just one game for the A.L. East lead. His five-hit game Monday against his former Texas ‘mates also may signal that he’s starting to hit for more than just power. A.J. Burnett starts for New York, while Rangers rookie Derek Holland gets his shot against the Bombers. — Roger Kuznia

SOCCER

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Manchester United vs. F.C. Barcelona
2:30 p.m., ESPN
In England, speculation regarding Manchester United involves which of the team’s many attacking options will see the field. It’s possible world-class talents Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov won’t play. Barcelona, on the other hand, will miss three of its top four defenders because of injury or suspension. And yet few expect a mismatch. That’s how much respect exists for Barca’s Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o. This could be a beautiful game.

SCOTUS sports ties
President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, played a key role in ending Major League Baseball’s strike in 1995 that canceled the 1994 World Series. According to the New York Daily News, Sotomayor, then a U.S. District Court Judge, issued an injunction that ended baseball’s 7-monthlong lockout. Sotomayor agreed with the National Labor Relations Board’s charge that team owners were committing unfair labor practices, the Daily News reported. She ordered them to reinstate the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement. The strike ended just weeks before the 1995 season was scheduled to begin with replacement players. Sotomayor said after eight days of thinking about it, she made her decision “to protect the integrity of collective bargaining.” Sotomayor also played a key part in another

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— Mike DeCourcy

Quick hits
Julius “Julie” Bescos, who lettered in football, basketball and baseball at Southern California and later coached at his alma mater, has died at 97. Bescos died Saturday. No cause was given. The Indianapolis 500 earned a Nielsen overnight rating of 4.2, down 17.6 percent from last year’s 5.1. The NHL’s third annual Winter Classic in Fenway Park is near set with the Bruins meeting the Capitals or Flyers on Jan. 1, 2010. — SportsBusiness Daily, sportsbusinessdaily.com

GUIDE
BASEBALL

NBA BASKETBALL

SOCCER

2:10 p.m. WGN—Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs 8 p.m. ESPN2—N.Y. Yankees at Texas

9 p.m. ESPN—Playoffs, Western Conference finals, Game 5, Denver at L.A. Lakers
NHL HOCKEY

2:25 p.m. ESPN—UEFA Champions League, championship match, Barcelona vs. Manchester United, at Rome
TENNIS

7:30 p.m. VERSUS—Playoffs, Western Conference finals, Game 5, Chicago at Detroit

Noon ESPN2—French Open, early round, at Paris

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My Profile
catch and return every punt. $10,000 salary plus a $1,000 bonus. I requested an additional salary advance of $1,000 and bought a new 1957 Impala Chevrolet Coupe. It had a black bottom and white top with a silver streak on the rear fenders. I was single and loved the French nightclubs, restaurants and music. I stayed up late many nights. The French Canadian girls were very pretty and quite interesting. Favorite meal: I don’t expect to be on death row. If so, as much as I love Italian, French, Polish, etc., the last meal would be Southern country cooking. My mother, grandmother and aunts cooked cornbread, turnips, green beans, turnip greens, squash, Brussels sprouts, new potatoes (broiled), corn on the cob, cream corn, coleslaw, salad, chess pie, French coconut pie, coconut cake, ambrosia and caramel and butterscotches. Talent I’d most like to have: Knowledge of technology and mathematics Favorite athlete to watch in another sport: Michael Jordan Favorite city to visit: U.S.—New York. World—Paris. Favorite teams as a kid: Football—Army, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama; Baseball—Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals; Basketball—Kentucky Favorite values in others: Character above else, loyalty, honesty, a sense of humor Dream date: Tied for first after my wife is Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Tied for second are Jacqueline Bissett, Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston. My greatest love: World War II heroes— generals, admirals, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women of World War II support services My bucket list: Take tours of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey My motto: Say what you mean. Mean what you say. — Jeff D’Alessio

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

3

Johnny Majors
College Football Hall of Fame coach
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)
Born: May 21, 1935, in Lynchburg, Tenn. Status: Married Alma mater: Tennessee What’s on TV: TCM, movies, college football primarily, pro football occasionally, NCAA basketball, Military Channel, The History Channel. No sit-coms. What I listen to: 98% symphony, Beatles, Elvis Presley, Eagles, Chet Atkins, Ottmar Liebert, Hank Williams, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Beach Boys, Glenn Miller What I drive: 2008 silver Mercury Favorite flicks: Mister Roberts, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, Singin’ in the Rain, The Three Stooges, Gone with the Wind, The African Queen, My Fair Lady, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Marx Brothers movies and ALL Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies Worst habit: Procrastination with paperwork. But I always get there. On my office walls: “Seize the day” and “Character above all else” Love to trade places for a day with … No one I can think of! First job: Setting tobacco on a half-acre plot of ground outside for Brother Jones, a preacher at my church, Lynchburg Methodist. On a hot May or June day in 1945, when I was 10, my mother fixed me a peanut butter mayonnaise banana sandwich and a sausage and biscuit sandwich in a small brown bag. I placed the sandwich sack in a tree fork I could reach at lunch break. At lunch break, I reached up to get my small lunch sack and it was covered by ants outside and inside. I was embarrassed and very hungry and started crying. Fortunately, the older kids shared their lunch with me. I learned a lesson I never forgot, even though I was a “town boy.” I got a metal lunch box and was paid 50 cents for a day’s work. First football job: Starting halfback on offense and starting safety man on defense, Canadian Football League, 1957. I returned punts—no fair catch rule and you had to
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Overnight Report
BASEBALL / AMERICAN LEAGUE Chicago White Sox 4, L.A. Angels 2

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

4

BASEBALL / NATIONAL LEAGUE San Francisco 4, Atlanta 0

Oakland 4, Seattle 3

Giambi hit caps 4-run rally
OAKLAND—Although the Oakland Athletics’ entire scoring output was confined to one inning of singles and walks, they were enough to get past the Seattle Mariners. And though a three-game winning streak isn’t much, it’s the best run of a tough season for Jason Giambi and his A’s. Giambi’s two-run single capped a four-run seventh inning, and Oakland shook its offensive woes just long enough to rally for a 4-3 victory Tuesday night. The A’s have the majors’ worst slugging percentage and fewest extra-base hits among their various statistical lowlights, yet they mounted a winning rally exclusively with small ball. Giambi has struggled to get his average above .220 during his return to the Bay Area, but he swung aggressively at the first pitch from Seattle reliever Mark Lowe—and as he reached first base, his first thought wasn’t about his RBIs. “It was nice to be able to answer for Dallas Braden,” said Giambi, who struck out with the bases loaded in the first inning. “He’s been pitching great, and we haven’t been giving him any support. ... I was just grateful to get another at-bat with guys on base. I was ready to hit the first pitch, and luckily it was a strike.” — The Associated Press
Athletics 4, Mariners 3 Seattle AB R H BI I.Suzuki rf 4 0 1 1 Y.Betancourt ss 4 1 2 0 Beltre 3b 4 1 2 0 M.Sweeney dh 1 0 1 1 a-Griffey Jr. ph-dh 3 0 0 0 Branyan 1b 3 0 1 1 Jo.Lopez 2b 4 0 0 0 Balentien lf 4 0 0 0 Ro.Johnson c 4 1 1 0 F.Gutierrez cf 3 0 1 0 Totals 34 3 9 3 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .333 0 0 .265 0 0 .217 0 0 .241 0 0 .226 1 0 .306 0 0 .216 0 2 .234 0 1 .192 0 0 .266 1 3

Sox ‘Nix’ Angels, Saunders
White Sox 4, Angels 2 Chicago AB R H BI Podsednik lf 5 0 1 0 Al.Ramirez ss 2 1 1 0 Dye rf 4 0 2 1 Thome dh 3 0 0 0 Konerko 1b 5 0 2 1 Bri.Anderson cf 5 0 0 0 Fields 3b 4 0 2 0 J.Nix 2b 4 2 2 2 Pierzynski c 0 0 0 0 C.Miller c 4 0 1 0 1-Getz pr-2b 0 1 0 0 Totals 36 4 11 4 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .296 3 0 .247 1 0 .276 2 1 .244 0 2 .309 0 2 .288 0 0 .229 0 0 .225 0 0 .273 0 0 .205 0 0 .250 6 6

Lincecum dominates Braves
SAN FRANCISCO—Tim Lincecum has regained his strength and dominant form after a bout of bronchitis back in spring training that slowed him down for a while. Lincecum pitched eight sharp innings to win for the first time in four starts, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Atlanta Braves 4-0 on Tuesday night. “It takes some people longer to get ready for a season,” he said. “I feel like I’m kind of getting into that zone right now. Things are coming easier. Mechanics are easier. I’m not thinking too much out there.” Aaron Rowand hit a two-run double in the second and Edgar Renteria singled in two runs moments later to stake Lincecum to an early lead that held up. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner looked just like the dominant pitcher he was in 2008, striking out eight and walking two. Lincecum (4-1) threw a season-high 122 pitches and won for the first time since beating the Cubs on May 5 at Chicago. He was coming off three straight no-decisions, but quickly found his groove. He struck out eight or more for the fourth straight start and the seventh time in his last eight outings. “Anytime you can get a lead with him on the mound you feel pretty good,” Rowand said. — The Associated Press
Giants 4, Braves 0 Atlanta AB R K.Johnson 2b 4 0 Kotchman 1b 3 0 C.Jones 3b 4 0 McCann c 4 0 G.Anderson lf 3 0 Francoeur rf 4 0 D.Hernandez ss 4 0 Schafer cf 3 0 Medlen p 2 0 O’Flaherty p 0 0 a-Norton ph 1 0 Bennett p 0 0 Acosta p 0 0 Totals 32 0 San Francisco Rowand cf Renteria ss Winn rf B.Molina c F.Lewis lf Torres lf Ishikawa 1b Uribe 3b Burriss 2b Lincecum p Howry p Totals Atlanta AB 4 4 3 4 3 0 3 3 3 1 0 28 R 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 4 H BI 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 H BI 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 4 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .243 1 0 .273 0 2 .317 0 2 .313 1 0 .258 0 0 .259 0 0 .188 0 1 .208 0 1 .000 0 0 --0 1 .107 0 0 .000 0 0 --2 8 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .273 0 0 .246 1 0 .278 0 0 .254 0 1 .273 0 0 .222 0 1 .252 0 0 .288 0 0 .258 1 1 .150 0 0 .000 2 4
4 5 0

Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg. O.Cabrera ss 4 1 2 1 0 1 .246 K.Suzuki c 3 1 1 0 1 0 .291 Cust rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .255 R.Sweeney rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 Holliday lf 2 0 1 1 2 0 .267 Giambi dh 4 0 1 2 0 2 .218 Kennedy 2b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .413 Crosby 1b 4 0 2 0 0 0 .224 R.Davis cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .176 Hannahan 3b 3 1 0 0 1 0 .184 Totals 32 4 9 4 4 4 Seattle Oakland 200 000 100 — 3 9 0 000 000 40x — 4 9 0

MARK AVERY / AP

Los Angeles AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Figgins 3b 4 0 2 0 0 1 .299 Abreu rf 4 1 1 1 0 0 .302 Guerrero dh 4 0 1 0 0 1 .225 Hunter cf 4 1 2 1 0 1 .323 K.Morales 1b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .282 J.Rivera lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .285 Napoli c 4 0 0 0 0 0 .283 Kendrick 2b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .238 E.Aybar ss 2 0 0 0 1 0 .277 Totals 33 2 8 2 1 4 Chicago 000 011 101 — 4 11 0 Los Angeles 000 000 101 — 2 8 1 1-ran for C.Miller in the 9th. E: Napoli (3). LOB: Chicago 11, Los Angeles 5. 2B: Dye (5), Hunter (12). HR: J.Nix 2 (4), off Saunders 2; Abreu (1), off B.Colon; Hunter (11), off Linebrink. RBIs: Dye (31), Konerko (30), J.Nix 2 (5), Abreu (17), Hunter (40). SB: Al.Ramirez (9), Fields (1), Getz (4). Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 8 (Podsednik, Konerko, Fields 2, Dye, J.Nix, Bri.Anderson 2); Los Angeles 2 (Hunter, Abreu). GIDP: Al.Ramirez, Thome, Abreu. DP: Chicago 2 (Podsednik, Podsednik, Fields), (Konerko, Al.Ramirez, Konerko); Los Angeles 2 (Figgins, Kendrick, K.Morales), (E.Aybar, K.Morales). Chicago IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA B.Colon W, 3-4 6 2⁄3 4 1 1 0 3 83 3.80 Thornton H, 9 1 1⁄3 2 0 0 1 0 25 1.96 Linebrink S, 1-2 1 2 1 1 0 1 10 2.12 Los Angeles IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Saunders L, 6-3 6 2⁄3 7 3 3 3 4 114 3.26 S.Shields 1⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 8 6.62 Oliver 1 2 0 0 0 1 19 2.08 Palmer 1 2 1 1 2 1 31 4.82 WP: B.Colon. Umpires: Home, Jim Wolf; First, Brian O’Nora; Second, Fieldin Culbreth; Third, Gary Cederstrom. T: 2:48. A: 38,040 (45,257).

Jayson Nix slammed two homers, doubling his season total. ANAHEIM—Jayson Nix homered twice, Bartolo Colon carried a shutout into the seventh inning against his former team and the Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Tuesday night. Nix, who had been 0 for 7 on Chicago’s road trip, hit solo shots in the fifth and seventh for his first career multihomer game. “This was a big win,” said Nix. “The pitchers came up big, and we all did it together. (Colon) did a great job.” Scott Linebrink earned his first save of the season for Chicago, which beat the Angels for the second consecutive night. Both of Nix’s homers to left field came off starter Joe Saunders (6-3), who gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings. Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter homered for the Angels. Abreu’s seventh-inning drive over the 400-foot sign in center was his first homer of the season. Hunter’s shot to leftcenter in the ninth brought the Angels within two. Jermaine Dye drove in pinch-runner Chris Getz with an RBI single in the ninth for Chicago. Colon (3-4) worked six scoreless innings before giving up Abreu’s leadoff homer in the seventh. — The Associated Press

LOB: Seattle 6, Oakland 8. 2B: Beltre (11), M.Sweeney (6), Ro.Johnson (4). RBIs: I.Suzuki (14), M.Sweeney (10), Branyan (21), O.Cabrera (16), Holliday (28), Giambi 2 (22). S: F.Gutierrez. Runners left in scoring position: Seattle 3 (Jo.Lopez, Griffey Jr., Beltre); Oakland 3 (Kennedy 3). GIDP: Jo.Lopez, R.Davis. DP: Seattle 1 (Y.Betancourt, Branyan); Oakland 1 (Hannahan, Kennedy, Crosby). Seattle IP Washburn 6 Batista L, 2-1 H, 4 1⁄3 M.Lowe BS, 3-3 1 2⁄3 Oakland IP Braden W, 4-5 7 Breslow H, 3 2⁄3 S.Casilla H, 5 1⁄3 A.Bailey S, 2-4 1 H 6 2 1 H 9 0 0 0 R ER BB SO 0 0 1 4 4 4 2 0 0 0 1 0 R ER BB SO 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 NP ERA 97 3.45 25 3.75 14 4.94 NP ERA 96 3.69 7 5.71 4 3.44 15 2.12

000 000 000 — 0 5 0

San Francisco 040 000 00x —

a-struck out for O’Flaherty in the 7th. LOB: Atlanta 7, San Francisco 3. 2B: C.Jones (7), Rowand (11), Burriss (4). RBIs: Rowand 2 (21), Renteria 2 (22). S: Lincecum. Runners left in scoring position: Atlanta 3 (McCann, Medlen, Norton); San Francisco 2 (Winn, Rowand). Atlanta Medlen L, 0-2 O’Flaherty Bennett Acosta San Francisco Lincecum W, 4-1 Howry IP 5 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 1 IP 8 1 H 4 0 1 0 H 5 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 2 3 85 9.72 0 0 0 0 6 2.16 0 0 0 1 10 2.14 0 0 0 0 12 0.00 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 8 122 3.03 0 0 0 0 5 4.00

Inherited runners-scored: M.Lowe 3-3. Umpires: Home, Dana DeMuth; First, Doug Eddings; Second, Hunter Wendelstedt; Third, Brian Knight. T: 2:27. A: 10,371 (35,067).

Umpires: Home, Mike DiMuro; First, Bill Miller; Second, Dale Scott; Third, Jerry Meals. T: 2:08. A: 29,485 (41,915).

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Next Gen

RECRUITING DISH

Fighting Irish get pledge from four-star TE Welch
Elder (Cincinnati) TE Alex Welch has committed to Notre Dame, Rivals.com reported. He also reported scholarship offers from Florida State, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State and Oklahoma, among others. Welch (6-5, 225) is listed as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com. He caught 32 passes for 470 yards and four touchdowns. “(Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis) was very excited; he said I made his Memorial Day weekend,” Welch told Rivals.com. “Just being up there and talking with my family, that’s where I belong. I fit in. “My parents were up there with me on the visit and that’s where they wanted me to go, but they wanted me to make my own decision. Talking with them, I decided that’s where I wanted to go, and I didn’t want to delay the inevitable.”

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MARK J. TERRILL / AP

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, above, got Alex Welch to commit to the Irish. right for me.” Fulton (6-1, 190) knows that no matter which school he chooses, he’ll likely have crowds of 90,000-plus cheering for him and his team at home, and when he’s on the road, he’ll have that many rooting against him. “That’s just a dream come true right there,” Fulton said. “I love a crowd. We’re going to see what it’s like. I doubt I’ll be able to hear, but I’ll know what I’m doing so I’ll work from there.” Fulton said some people compare his style of play to that of Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha. “They say I’m an all-around package,” Fulton said of college coaches. “I can return punts and kicks and I run the 40 (yard dash) in 4.39 (seconds). I can hit, cover and do all that kind of stuff. “... It’s an honor to be wanted by all of these guys. It’s worth all of the work I go through to be wanted by them in the end.” Two recruiting services label Fulton a four-star prospect. He had 43 tackles, 16 pass breakups and eight interceptions as a junior. — Brian McLaughlin

John Fulton had no intention of trimming his list down to five SEC schools—that’s just the way it happened, he told Sporting News Today. The four-star prospect, who plays cornerback for Manning (S.C.), said the five are equal at this point and include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. “It was definitely a coincidence that they’re all in the SEC,” Fulton told SN Today. “I didn’t even realize I’d done that until after I did it. “... It’s tough here, because every day walking to class, everybody is talking to me about South Carolina or Clemson. But I have to go there for four years, so I have to do what’s

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In Hoops: Latavious Williams, rated by Rivals.com as one of the Top 20 players in the 2009 recruiting class, committed to Memphis, The Commercial Appeal reported Tuesday. The 6-7 forward is first player to commit to the Tigers since John Calipari left for Kentucky.

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College Football

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

6

Less talk, more action: It’s time for SEC bickering to stop
MIRAMAR BEACH, FLA.—It used to be easy back in the day, when one coach called out another face to face and everyone was no worse for the wear. Now it has become a theatre of the absurd. The SEC’s spring meetings began today, and the sorority—I mean, the f r at e r n it y— o f coaches finally sat together in the same room at the same time and hashed it all out. “I’m gonna get there early so I can Matt Hayes get a good seat,” COLLEGE FOOTBALL Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said an hour before they all sat around the big oak table for the first time during an offseason of public bickering and bantering and name-calling. Lane Kiffin vs. Urban Meyer. Lane Kiffin vs. Nick Saban—hell, Lane Kiffin vs. the world. “I can’t say it’s real comfortable,” Meyer said, “Because it’s not.” It wasn’t long ago when then-Florida coach Steve Spurrier stood up during these meetings, pointed at then-Alabama coach Mike DuBose and told him he knew he was cheating. And if it didn’t stop, he would turn the Tide in to the NCAA. Now it’s a bunch of sound bites from booster events; cheesy potshots designed to make a national splash. The only problem: The 24/7 media cycle has eaten it up to the point that—I swear I’m not making this up—one television bobblehead here asked Kiffin whether he was going to “apologize to Coach Meyer.” Have we all lost our collective minds? Why in the world would any coach, at any point in time, apologize for gigging another? Rivalries are the backbone of the game; they make college football so deliciously dynamic and drastically different from any other sport. Think The Bear would’ve apologized to Shug Jordan for calling Auburn the “Cow College?” Think Spurrier would apologize to Phil Fulmer for saying you can’t spell Citrus without “UT?” Think it still sticks in Fulmer’s craw? You better believe it does. Maybe that’s why Kiffin, when asked if he were going to apologize to Meyer, shot back with, “I’m still waiting for my apology from Coach Spurrier.” Spurrier started this mess, calling out Kiffin before the new Vols coach said Word 1, proclaiming he didn’t know if Kiffin had taken the NCAA-mandated recruiting test before making phone calls to prospective recruits. That mushroomed into Kiffin saying Meyer cheated (he didn’t), and Kiffin taking shots at just about every team in the league because his job is to get Tennessee in the national spotlight. No matter the collateral damage. “I don’t like the way I had to do some things,” Kiffin said. “But I did it in the best interest of this program.” It has never been a better time to be part of the SEC. The league has won four of the last six BCS national championships and recently signed a mega-million television contract with CBS and ESPN that only accentuates the riches for the conference everyone else is chasing. The league annually announces record payouts for its 12 teams and just finished a National Signing Day when 10 of its teams were

WADE PAYNE / AP

ALEX BRANDON / AP

According to Lane Kiffin, his verbal jabs are ‘in the best interest’ of Tennessee’s program. ranked in the top 25. If that’s not enough, the SEC is in the process of possibly adding yet another key non-BCS bowl (the Gator) to its yearly lineup. And here are the 12 coaches, the face of the league, bickering like a bunch of 12-year-olds. Do us all a favor, fight already. “There is that Ultimate Fighting going on,” said Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, who has seen his share of public scrutiny over the years. “If you want to quit talking about it, just jump in that ring. That would be fun; that would sell some tickets.” SEC commissioner Mike Slive began the meeting telling the coaches their public spats weren’t good for the league’s image, and in the end, only did more harm than good. Slive is a brilliant businessman, taking a popular league earlier this decade and turning it into

Steve Spurrier has a track record of calling out his rivals, and this year was no different. the monstrous moneymaker it is today. But Slive missed a prime opportunity here: He should’ve streamed that coaches meeting live on the Internet and charged 20 bucks a head to watch it all play out. Ten years ago, that video would’ve caught the drama of Spurrier confronting DuBose. Now you’d probably get a pillow fight. Minutes after the meeting ended, after Meyer said the rift between he and Kiffin was now a “non-issue,” Spurrier, Kiffin and three other league coaches were waiting for the elevator when Spurrier was told Kiffin was still waiting for an apology. He turned around, pointed at Kiffin and said, “I didn’t accuse you of cheating.” Kiffin stood there, dumbfounded. Just like DuBose 10 years ago.
mhayes@sportingnews.com

ROGELIO V. SOLIS / AP

‘I can’t say (the SEC spring meeting is) real comfortable, because it’s not,” says Urban Meyer.

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College Football
INSIDE DISH

Top 100 countdown
Sporting News Today is counting down its Top 100 college football teams for 2009, featuring one team each day leading into the season opener Thursday, Sept. 3.

Oregon’s Harper to transfer
Chris Harper has decided his freshman season will be his only season at Oregon, according to The Associated Press. Ducks head coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday the quarterback-turnedwide receiver is transferring to a school closer to his Kansas home. Harper played four games at quarterback before coaches shifted him to receiver for the team’s final seven games.
North Carolina junior QB T.J. Yates is finishing up rehabilitation on his throwing hand after jamming his right thumb trying to catch a Frisbee. Coach Butch Davis told the Raleigh News & Observer that Yates would be fine and ready to go in two weeks. Yates injured the thumb in late April during a team function at the end of camp. “If he was doing something totally stupid, like riding motorcycles, you’d say, ‘You don’t get the importance of your role,’ “ Davis told the newspaper. Yates missed six games with an ankle injury last season. South Carolina CB C.C. Whitlock has been suspended less than a week after he was reinstated to the team. Whitlock, 20, was charged with trespassing early Saturday at a nightclub in Fairfield County (S.C.) and was arrested after he refused to leave. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) plans to investigate testimony from Alamo Bowl executive director Derrick Fox regarding the amount of money bowl games

100
BRIAN KERSEY / AP

GERRY BROOME / AP

T.J. Yates missed six games last season with an ankle injury. donate to local charities, Yahoo! Sports reported. Fox, who testified before Congress’ Bowl Championship Series subcommittee May 1 on behalf of all 34 bowl games, in arguing against a college football playoff system, said that “almost all the postseason bowl games are put on by charitable groups” and “local charities receive tens of millions of dollars every year.” According to the website, 10 bowl games are privately owned; one is run by a local government; and the remaining 23 have tax-exempt status but contributed only $3.2 million combined to local charities despite $186.3 million in revenue reported in federal tax records and interviews with bowl executives.

Ohio head coach Frank Solich has questions at quarterback.

OHIO
2008 record: 4-8 overall, 3-5 MAC Coach: Frank Solich Outlook: The Bobcats face questions at quarterback with Theo Scott and Boo Jackson. Scott earned the starting job in 2007 but missed most of last season with a broken collarbone. Jackson replaced him and threw for 2,355 yards. The eventual starter will have a big-time target in Taylor Price, who caught 51 passes for 694 yards last year. — Derek Samson

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NHL
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

8

NOTEBOOK

Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 1

Talbot’s winner: A line drive in the box score
RALEIGH, N.C.—Years from now, when Max Talbot is old and his playoff beard is gray, and his grandkids ask him about the goal that he scored to send the Pittsburgh Penguins to their second straight Stanley Cup finals, he will say: “It was a great shot.” But Tuesday night, with the image of the puck still in mid-air and the sweat from a four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes still glistening throughout his brown beard, he admitted: “It was lucky.” The Eastern Conference finals were defined by the stunning grace of Matt Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crossman Crosby and Evgeni MalHOCKEY kin, the Pittsburgh superstars who, between them, seemed to score dozens of goals against which there is no conceivable defense. They put shots in places goalies can’t get to. So playoff hockey being what it is, it figures that the key goal in the Penguins’ 4-1 win that completed their sweep was a fluky, what’s-that-guy’s-name-again, your-mothercould’ve-stopped-it goal. With the score tied 1-1 in the first period, Talbot carried the puck into the Hurricanes’ zone with only Carolina defenseman Anton Babchuk between him and the goal. Talbot wound up, took a mighty swing and … however hard he hit it, however hard he tells his grandkids he hit it, none of that matters. Babchuk got his stick on the puck, and in doing so turned a fastball into a knuckleball, which thoroughly confounded goalie Cam Ward. The puck floated, flipping end over end over Ward’s left shoulder as he awkwardly waved his glove at it, once … twice. He looked like a boy trying to catch a butterfly. As the puck reached its apex, Talbot knew the hockey gods had smiled on him. And it was a hockey god’s advice he followed in even taking the shot. “I remember Wayne Gretzky saying, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,’ ” he said. The puck finally fluttered to the back of the net—as Talbot, of course, knew it would. And with it went whatever slim chances the Hurricanes had of getting back into this series. All that was left to determine was the final score. And the man who scored the next goal for the Penguins has done that kind of thing before—plenty of times—over his 18-year career. Bill Guerin, who turned 17 the year team captain Crosby was born, is more than just a father figure who can tell stories about when guys played without helmets. “He can still skate,” said Penguins general manager Ray Shero. Guerin arrived at the trade deadline in a deal with the Islanders and has since bonded with Crosby. Crosby’s assist on Guerin’s goal showed just how well. Crosby worked the puck up the ice as Guerin burst out of the penalty box. Crosby slowed as he reached the faceoff circle, as if he could sense Guerin’s pending arrival. He held the puck until the exact second he should pass it, and then dished it right to the tape for Guerin, who simply had to make contact to put the puck in the net. “That was a huge goal to give us some breathing room,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. And it’s one Guerin won’t have to wait until he gets old to brag about. He’s already there.
mcrossman@sportingnews.com

Crosby’s pair of assists puts assets on display
Sidney Crosby’s two assists in Pittsburgh’s Eastern Conference finals clincher demonstrated uncommon patience and unselfishness. On the first, a second-period goal by Bill Guerin, he patiently waited as Guerin lumbered into the play and fed him a perfectly timed pass. The second came on an empty-net goal near the end of regulation. Crosby carried the puck up ice with Craig Adams on the wing. It would have been simple for Crosby to fire the puck into the net, but he instead dished to Adams, who scored easily. “You can see how good of a guy Sid is,” said teammate Max Talbot.

Emotionally drained
If playoff hockey is about emotion and momentum, the Hurricanes were obviously spent by the time the Eastern Conference finals started. The team needed a furious charge at the end of the regular season to even make the playoffs, then won two draining Game 7s on the road in the first two rounds. “I don’t think we had a lot left in the tank,” coach Paul Maurice said. “We had gone to the well a lot to get here.”

Reach out and touch something
Hockey is full of superstitions. And one is that it’s bad luck to touch the trophy the team gets for winning the conference finals. Crosby has a reputation for being superstitious, and last year he refused to touch the Prince of Wales trophy after Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia in the conference finals. The result: The Penguins lost in the Stanley Cup finals to Detroit. So this year, he enthusiastically grabbed the trophy. “I’ve won a conference final (with Anaheim in 2003) and not touched it and lost,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “The team that we played (the Devils) touched it and won. So that’s a lot of talk. Teams that play in the finals will decide the finals, and not whether someone touched the trophy or not.” — Matt Crossman

KARL B. DEBLAKER / AP

In a series dominated by Pittsburgh’s stars, Max Talbot, left, scored a fluky, Game 4-winning goal.

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NHL
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

9

Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 1

Crosby, Penguins sweep Canes for second shot at Stanley
RALEIGH, N.C.—Sidney Crosby saved his most daring move for after the game: He spurned hockey superstition and hoisted the Prince of Wales Trophy. If he keeps playing like this, it might not be the only prize the Pittsburgh Penguins’ young captain raises. The Penguins are headed back to the Stanley Cup finals, clinching a return trip with a 4-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night that finished off a sweep in the Eastern Conference finals. Pittsburgh lost to Detroit last year in a six-game final series. “We didn’t touch (the trophy) last year, and things didn’t go the way we wanted,” Crosby said. “I thought we’d change it up this year.” Max Talbot had a goal and an assist, Ruslan Fedotenko and Bill Guerin also scored, and Craig Adams added an empty-netter. Crosby had two assists to extend his point streak to six games, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the final 30 shots he faced in shutting down Carolina during the last 58 minutes. The Penguins outscored the Hurricanes 20-9 in the series, netted at least three goals in each game, and trailed for a total of 20 minutes, 30 seconds, in advancing to the Cup finals for the fourth time. “To be real honest, I don’t think it felt easy at all,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. If the Stanley Cup champion Red Wings beat Chicago in the West finals, it will set up the first title rematch since the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Islanders met in 1983 and 1984. Pittsburgh—the first runner-up to return to the finals since Edmonton in 1984—is the first team since the 2000-01 New Jersey Devils to get to the finals in consecutive years. The Red Wings, who lead Chicago 3-1 in the West finals, could join them as soon as Wednesday night. “For you (media) guys, there’s a lot more story lines” with a Detroit rematch, Crosby said. “To go through last year was tough, but we’ve got a chance here and we want to make the most of it.” Eric Staal scored for the first time in the series for the Hurricanes, who lost for the first time in these playoffs when their franchise player notched a goal. “It just doesn’t feel very nice knowing that tomorrow we’re all done,” Staal said. Cam Ward made 21 saves but lost a playoff series for the first time in his NHL career. He had been 5-0 in elimination games for the Hurricanes, who were on the losing end of the handshake line for the first time since 2002, when they lost to the Red Wings in the Cup finals. In their only other playoff appearance in that span, they won the Cup in 2006. In this series, Carolina led only three times and entered Game 4 with no players scoring more than two points—Pittsburgh entered with five. The Hurricanes were swept for the first time since 1989, when the franchise was still the Hartford Whalers and was beaten by the Montreal Canadiens. Crosby’s pretty feed that set up the 16-year veteran’s tap-in. By that point, the Hurricanes seemed spent after their comebackfueled run through the first two rounds, an impressive stretch that included consecutive Game 7 road victories over New Jersey and Boston. In an effort to keep that run going, they pulled out all the stops—even luring former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, a Raleigh resident and former N.C. State linebacker, to sound the siren that precedes their pregame entrance to the ice. Staal scored on a wraparound 1½ minutes in on Carolina’s first shot. — The Associated Press

Series glance
(Pittsburgh wins series 4-0) May 18: Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 2 May 21: Pittsburgh 7, Carolina 4 May 23: Pittsburgh 6, Carolina 2 Tuesday: Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 1

Pittsburgh Carolina
JIM BOUNDS / AP

2 1

1 0

1 0

— —

4 1

Sidney Crosby tallied two assists in Pittsburgh’s Eastern Conference-clinching win, then spurned superstition in the postgame trophy ceremony. “We just talked about staying in (the game) as long as we possibly could,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You’re down one, you’re down two. We didn’t want to get it to three.” Fedotenko scored the Penguins’ first goal with 11½ minutes left when he sneaked behind Ward and tipped in Philippe Boucher’s blast from the point, giving him goals in two straight games. Pittsburgh took the lead for good on a fluky goal with 1½ minutes left. Talbot’s wrist shot from the slot was deflected by Anton Babchuk, and the puck fluttered over Ward’s catching glove to make it 2-1. “It hit (Babchuk’s) skate, popped up and I lost sight of it for a split second,” Ward said. “Bad break, fluke goal.” Another miscue by Babchuk—a healthy scratch for the first three games of the series—midway through the second led to the Penguins’ third goal. He turned the puck over near the blue line to Guerin, and that started a 2-on-1 rush that ended with

First Period: 1, Carolina, E.Staal 10 (Cole, Samsonov), 1:36. 2, Pittsburgh, Fedotenko 6 (Boucher, Talbot), 8:21. 3, Pittsburgh, Talbot 4 (Satan), 18:31. Penalties: Malkin, Pit (holding stick), 9:52; Jokinen, Car (cross-checking), 15:27; Malkin, Pit (roughing), 19:35. Second Period: 4, Pittsburgh, Guerin 7 (Crosby), 12:10. Penalties: Seidenberg, Car (high-sticking), 3:09; Seidenberg, Car (tripping), 9:43; Guerin, Pit (holding), 9:56. Third Period: 5, Pittsburgh, Adams 3 (Crosby, Talbot), 18:50 (en). Penalties: Adams, Pit (hooking), 3:40; Corvo, Car (hooking), 10:49; LaRose, Car (tripping), 12:18. Shots on Goal: Pittsburgh 9-10-6: 25. Carolina 5-16-10: 31. Power-play opportunities: Pittsburgh 0 of 5; Carolina 0 of 4. Goalies: Pittsburgh, Fleury 12-5-0 (31 shots-30 saves). Carolina, Ward 8-10-0 (24-21). A: 18,680 (18,680). T: 2:19. Referees: Paul Devorski, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen: Derek Amell, Pierre Racicot.

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NHL
WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

10

Early departure of Russian veterans for homeland hurting NHL
It was Hall of Fame weekend in Toronto and soon-to-be inducted Igor Larionov shared stories from his playing days with the crowd around him. Inevitably the discussion turned to his time in Detroit, where he won three Stanley Cups under Scotty Bowman. In 1997, Larionov and the famed Russian Five Craig Custance helped bring the HOCKEY first Stanley Cup to Detroit since 1955. It also was Bowman and the Russian Five who implemented the puckpossession style of hockey the Red Wings continue to win with today. “If you want to control the game, you have to control the puck,” Larionov said last November before his induction. “Why should you give the puck away and go and chase? …That game was accepted in Detroit, even now the team is playing so well. I was part of that transition.” When Larionov retired in 2004 after one final season in New Jersey, he was 43 years old. But in those last years, he made a huge impact on an Original Six franchise. And all of hockey. Now, with Russian players opting to spend their final seasons playing for the KHL, the NHL is being robbed of impact Russian veterans—the Larionovs of this generation. On Tuesday, news broke that Sergei Fedorov was close to signing with the Russian KHL. His teammate in Washington, Viktor Kozlov, signed a two-year deal with the Russian league, according to an RDS report. Don’t be surprised if Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is pursued heavily by the KHL after the playoffs. In an e-mail to Sporting News Today, agent Pat Brisson said Fedorov does not have a done deal. “Sergei will be exploring his options on the trip to Russia next week,” Brisson wrote. “In the meantime, I will continue to speak with the Capitals.” Fedorov, 39, was a calming influence on the Washington Capitals this season where he was a mentor to young Russians like Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin. Watching Fedorov beat Henrik Lundqvist in the third period of a first-round Game 7 also showed he still has an elite scorer’s touch. The Capitals made serious strides this season, and Fedorov was a big part of that. Detroit goalie Chris Osgood won two Stanley Cups with Fedorov and finds the trend of veteran Russians leaving the NHL early disturbing. “To lose those guys is huge. We have to figure out a way to keep guys like Sergei and (Jaromir) Jagr and those great older veteran players,” Osgood said. “I think it’s important to have older guys like that, that younger European players can look up to when they get over here and understand how to handle themselves on and off the ice. That’s what guys like Igor Larionov did for him.” But if this is it for Fedorov in the NHL, it’s also time for the fans in Detroit to embrace his role in the Red Wings’ success—past and present. The same fans who booed Fedorov during every return to Joe Louis Arena after he left for Anaheim in 2003 will be the first to cheer tonight if the Red Wings—and their Russian inspired puck-possession offense—put away the Blackhawks and advance to another Stanley Cup final. Reacting to news of Fedorov’s possible departure to the KHL, fans on Detroit sports talk radio discussed the worthiness of retiring Fedorov’s No. 91. It shouldn’t even be a debate. Outside the Red Wings’ locker room, the all-time award winners are painted on a cinder block wall. Fedorov’s name is everywhere—there’s a Hart Trophy, a Lester B. Pearson Trophy, a pair of Selkes. There’s also three Stanley Cups. He loved his time in Detroit. Kirk Maltby said Fedorov still spends a lot of the summer in Michigan. Fedorov recently said he looks back at his time in Detroit and playing for Scotty Bowman fondly. He enjoyed both. “Yeah, I certainly did,” Fedorov said. And playing for Bowman? “If you played on the top six forwards, you play all the time,” Fedorov said. “I personally like that idea very much.” He’s not a top six forward anymore. He may not even be an NHL player anymore if the Russian reports are true. But with the Red Wings on the verge of another Stanley Cup final, his influence is still felt in Detroit. “The Russian Five really changed the whole game in Detroit and then through the league,” Chris Chelios told SN Today. “Everybody loves and respects what (Fedorov) did for the organization.” ccustance@sportingnews.com

GERRY BROOME / AP

Viktor Kozlov (13 goals, 28 assists in 2008-09 with Washington) is one of several Russian veterans to sign with the KHL.

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NHL

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

11

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

’Hawks, Wings banged up for Game 5
DETROIT—The Red Wings did just fine without Nicklas Lidstrom. Now they don’t want to push their luck. Detroit routed the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 Sunday and took a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals. It was the only playoff game Lidstrom missed in his career. Rookie Jonathan Ericsson filled in for the six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, and the defending champions didn’t miss a beat. Still, as well as Ericsson played, Detroit hopes it won’t have to replace Lidstrom again in Game 5 tonight with a chance to reach the Stanley Cup finals. “It’s way easier to replace quality players in the short term than it is in the long term because everyone can lift their level for a period of time,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday. “But, how you gonna play like Nick every night? I haven’t seen anybody play like Nick every night, except Nick.” Babcock said Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk were feeling better, but the team planned to wait until both got a chance to skate before the game to decide whether they will play. Lidstrom missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury. Datsyuk, an MVP finalist, has been out the past two games with an injured foot. Babcock cut off a question about resting the players with a 3-1 series lead. “If they’re ready, they’re playing,” Babcock insisted. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said his team would wait until game day to determine if No. 1 goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and leading scorer Martin Havlat will be on the ice to help avoid elimination. Havlat returned to the lineup Sunday, two days after a jarring hit from Detroit Niklas Kronwall, but was limited to fewer than eight minutes because he was

Coyotes case: Answers to key issues
BY TRIPP MICKLE SportsBusiness Journal

The future of the Phoenix Coyotes hangs in the balance of an Arizona bankruptcy court, which resumes hearings today. After a four-hour hearing last week, the only thing that became clear was the case will last at least another month and the team might not be sold until July. The following are answers to key issues at play.

franchise. If Balsillie wins, it could set a precedent that damages all sports leagues. His ability to buy and relocate the Coyotes out of bankruptcy could inspire other owners to file for bankruptcy protection in order to circumvent league rules and sell their team to a buyer who might be willing to pay more if the franchise can be relocated.

How did it get to this point? Jerry Moyes filed to place the Coyotes in bankruptcy protection May 5. In conjunction with the filing, the Coyotes owner submitted a purchase agreement from Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie, who offered to buy the team for $212.5 million. Balsillie’s offer was contingent on being able to relocate the franchise to Hamilton, Ontario. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly learned of the filing and offer when they landed in Phoenix May 5. They were there to present Moyes with a separate offer from Jerry Reinsdorf, reportedly worth $130 million. Who are the players? At its most basic level, this case is a battle between the NHL and Moyes, but each has additional support. The NHL is being backed by the city of Glendale, Ariz., which doesn’t want the Coyotes to leave the Phoenix area, and the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball, which filed a collective motion supporting the NHL. On the other side, Moyes is joined by Balsillie’s company, PSE Sports & Entertainment, which is represented by Balsillie’s adviser Richard Rodier, and another attorney. Why does this matter? This is more than a fight over a struggling NHL franchise. At its core, it’s a battle over whether leagues can determine the locations of their franchises and manage the sale of a

What’s ahead? There are three issues that will be resolved in the next month: Control of the Coyotes, a timeline for the sale of the franchise and whether the team can be relocated to another market. Who controls the franchise? The NHL and Moyes both contend they should have day-to-day control of the team. In the end, Judge Redfield Baum said it probably doesn’t matter because both agree the team will be sold. As he said, there’s no point in arguing over who’s steering the ship if everybody’s in agreement that it’s going to the same harbor. He ordered the NHL and Moyes to enter mediation and report back to him today. If they can’t mediate the issue, he’ll rule on it. What’s the timeline for a sale? All parties are supposed to propose a timeline for a sale today. As of last week, the Moyes and Balsillie team favored a late June timeline; the NHL favored a late July timeline. Can the team be relocated? That’s the $212.5 million question. As Baum told Balsillie’s attorney, “If you lose that (argument), I think the sale motion is dead.” Sitting in the courtroom, one got the sense the judge may be inclined to rule in the NHL’s favor against moving the team. But a bankruptcy judge’s first responsibility is to creditors, so how Baum rules is far from certain. A hearing is set for issue June 22. tmickle@sportsbusinessjournal.com

CARLOS OSORIO / AP

Detroit hopes to have Nicklas Lidstrom, left, back tonight after he missed his first playoff game Sunday. checked hard by Brad Stuart. Khabibulin has been out since playing the first two periods of Game 3 because of a lower body injury. He was replaced by Cristobal Huet, who allowed five of Detroit six goals in Game 5. “We’ve found ways to play great without some of our best players all year,” Chicago star Jonathan Toews said. — The Associated Press

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

Betting line
FAVORITE ..............LINE at Detroit ....................-240 UNDERDOG............ LINE Chicago .............+200

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NHL
INSIDE DISH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

12

Old story: Quinn returns to NHL as coach of Oilers
In one fell swoop Tuesday, Pat Quinn became the oldest—and newest—coach in the NHL. The Edmonton Oilers introduced Quinn, 66, as the replacement for recently fired Craig MacTavish, and also announced that former New York Rangers coach Tom Renney will join Quinn as associate coach. “We think there’s talent (on the roster),” Quinn told reporters at Edmonton’s Rexall Place. “Perhaps (the Oilers) didn’t get to be a good team in the past couple, three years, but we’re here to make those next steps.” While Quinn said he considers himself an educator first and a whip-cracker second, he fired a quick shot at players who were criticized last season for taking too many nights off. “We will be pushing, cajoling, teaching as well as we can to reach high standards,” he said. “If our veterans have been guys that might put their feet on the desk once in a while, we’ll have to try to change that.” Quinn has been out of the league since being fired as coach of the Maple Leafs following the 2005-06 season, his seventh in Toronto. But he recently coached the Canadian national team to gold at the world junior championships in Ottawa. The Oilers will be Quinn’s fifth NHL team—he posted 657 wins in 1,318 games guiding Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto. Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini, when asked about hiring a coach who has been away from the league for three years, said he’s not worried. “He has been in touch with so many of the young players coming into the game now, and has immersed himself at that level of play,” said Tambellini. “I know when he walks into the Oilers dressing room for the first day they’ll be all ears.” separate the general manager and head coach pretty easily if you’re surrounded by good people. … If I find out at the end of the search that I’m the best candidate, then I’m the coach.” Sutter said he plans to consider three candidates who are under contract. Presumably brother Brent Sutter, coach of the Devils, is one. The Associated Press reports the St. Louis Blues have signed C Jay McClement to a three-year contract for $4.35 million. Blues president John Davidson calls the 26-year-old McClement “one of the best defensive forwards” in the NHL. McClement led the Blues with three shorthanded goals while logging more than 315 minutes on a penalty kill that helped the franchise earn its first playoff berth since 2004. McClement had a career-high 12 goals and posted 26 points.

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

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Carolina vs. Pittsburgh
(Pittsburgh wins series 4-0) May 18: Pittsburgh 3, Carolina 2 May 21: Pittsburgh 7, Carolina 4 May 23: Pittsburgh 6, Carolina 2 Tuesday: Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 1

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Chicago vs. Detroit
(Detroit leads series 3-1) May 17: Detroit 5, Chicago 2 May 19: Detroit 3, Chicago 2, OT May 22: Chicago 4, Detroit 3, OT May 24: Detroit 6, Chicago 1 Today: Chicago at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. Versus Saturday: Detroit at Chicago, 8 p.m., if necessary, Versus Monday, June 1: Chicago at Detroit, 7:30 p.m., if necessary, Versus

NHL calendar
Through May 30—NHL Combine, Toronto. June 5—Stanley Cup finals begin at Western Conference champion. June 18—NHL awards show at Las Vegas. June 26-27—NHL draft, Montreal. July 1—Free agency signing period begins. July 5—Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration. July 6—Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration. July 10—Deadline for eligible players to elect Group 5 free agency. July 20-Aug. 4—Salary arbitration hearings Aug. 6—Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered

BEN LEMPHERS / AP

Pat Quinn has a record of 657-481 with 154 ties in 19 seasons as an NHL coach. Renney joins the Oilers after five seasons as coach of the Rangers. He said taking the associate role isn’t a step down because he’ll be working with Quinn. “I don’t know if this would work with anybody else, quite honestly. I think we’re all driven to excellence, all driven to run our own programs (but) I think a ton of Pat, as you can appreciate,” said Renney. Calgary G.M. Darryl Sutter, addressing last Friday’s firing of coach Mike Keenan for the first time with reporters, said he has a prime candidate in mind to fill the coaching position—himself. Sutter said he is strongly considering a move back to the bench he occupied from 2002-06 in his dual role as coach and G.M. Sutter led the Flames to the Stanley Cup finals in 2004, where they lost to Tampa Bay. “I have high standards,” Sutter told the Calgary Herald, referring to his coaching search. “We have high standards. I can

Peter Zezel, a gritty center known for his strong two-way game over 15 NHL seasons, died Tuesday at age 44 from a rare blood disorder. Zezel reportedly had struggled with the disease, in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them, on and off for the past 10 years. The Toronto Sun reported that he was admitted to a hospital last week for surgery, but complications developed and his condition worsened. Zezel retired in 1999 after playing stints with the Flyers, Blues, Capitals, Maple Leafs, Stars, Devils and Canucks.
RDS is reporting that Washington F Viktor Kozlov has signed to play with Salavat of the KHL. The 16-year NHL veteran scored 13 goals and 28 assists with a minus-9 rating over 67 games this season.

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

13

Supporting players not stepping up for Lakers, Cavs
A little more than a month ago, just before the start of the postseason, I asked Lakers coach Phil Jackson about what he needs from his bench. The Lakers were wrapping up a road trip at the time, and over the course of that trip, his reserves didn’t show much consistency. “They Sean Deveney haven’t put a game PRO BASKETBALL together where they play 15-20 minutes aggressively, freely out there on the court,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to perform that way in the playoffs. We have to get some rest for (the starters).” It’s not happening with the L.A. bench at this point. In fact, the Lakers aren’t getting much at all out of the supporting cast around Kobe Bryant, starters included. Jackson is not alone in this problem. Cleveland’s Mike Brown is finding that his supporting actors also are flubbing their lines at the most crucial time, forcing LeBron James to carry too heavy a burden. Now, with the Lakers tied after four games in the conference finals, and the Cavaliers down, 3-1, it looks as though those failures could cost their teams, the clear favorites to reach the Finals, a chance at a championship. We could pick any number of culprits here, and it should be noted that the defenses of Denver and Orlando have something to do with the struggles of the supporting casts. But let’s have a look at what’s gone wrong with the five most disappointing supporting players so far on the Lakers and Cavs:

1. Mo Williams
Give Williams some credit. His shots are not going down, but he has remained active defensively and is averaging 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists. But he is in Cleveland to make shots at this time of year. Because Williams hasn’t made those shots, the Cavaliers’ margin of error has been reduced to nearly nothing—96 percent of NBA teams with a 3-1 lead in a seven-game series advance. And if Cleveland fails to make the Finals with Williams shooting 32.4 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from the 3-point line against Orlando, then Williams’ outstanding 2008-09 campaign will be utterly tainted.

the time of year that Fisher’s veteran experience shines through. He has been in 169 playoff games, and shoots 40.7 percent on his 3s in the postseason. But, this postseason, he is shooting a miserable 22.9 percent on 3s.

4. Daniel Gibson
Two years ago, as a rookie, Gibson was a key figure in getting the Cavs to the Finals, shooting 40.9 percent on 3-pointers and giving James a needed boost. But over the course of the postseason, he’s become persona non grata in the Cleveland rotation. He played an average of 15 minutes per game in the first round, and that dropped to 10.3 minutes in the second round. Against Orlando, he nearly disappeared, playing three minutes, zero minutes and three minutes in the first three games. He resurfaced to play 20 minutes in Game 4, as Brown chose to keep Sasha Pavlovic on the bench. Gibson produced only eight points and had no assists.

2. Lamar Odom
For a guy who has been playing 30-plus minutes per game against the Nuggets, Odom has been remarkably quiet. He’s not shooting well (34.5 percent) and is averaging just 7.5 points. Generally, when Odom is struggling with his shot, he at least defends, passes and rebounds. But that’s not happening. He hasn’t been able to make a dent against the front line of Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, which has been a big part of the reason that the Nuggets are outrebounding the Lakers.

5. Sasha Vujacic
This is how bad things are going for Vujacic: He shot a very modest 2-for-4 from the field in Game 4, and raised his shooting percentage nearly 10 points in doing so—all the way to .235. He’s not the only struggling bench shooter for the Lakers—Luke Walton and Shannon Brown have been awful in their own right—but when Vujacic is not making his shots, he offers little else, except the occasional dumb foul. He’s a far cry from the player who averaged 21.7 minutes and shot 39.2 percent from the 3-point line in last year’s run to the Finals. sdeveney@sportingnews.com

3. Derek Fisher
Fisher actually showed signs of snapping his postseason slump in Game 1 of the conference finals. He had 13 points and six assists, shooting 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. Since then? He scored 12 points with six assists in the next three games combined, and shot 2-for-11 from the 3-point line. This is supposed to be

ERIC GAY / AP

Lamar Odom, who made nearly half his field-goal attempts in the regular season, is hitting just 34.5 percent in the playoffs.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

14

Orlando 116, Cleveland 114, OT

Superman trumps the King as Magic now up 3-1
ORLANDO—As LeBron James pulled up for the final shot, Orlando’s crowd gasped, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy gulped and time stood still. Spinning through the air, James’ 3-pointer looked good. Not this time, MVP. This was a Magic night. Dwight Howard scored 10 points in overtime and Orlando, raining down 3-pointers like a Florida thunderstorm, withstood 44 points and the last-second fling by James for a 116-114 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. The resilient Magic, who have overcome injuries, double-digit deficits and a spat between their star and coach, are one win from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1995. “You can almost taste it,” said Orlando’s Rafer Alston, who scored 26 points. “We’ve got to win one more game and it’s not going to be easy.” The Magic, who won a Game 7 in Boston in the last round, can close out the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Thursday night. Howard finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds and again made his free throws—7 of 9—and the Magic made a team playoff record 17 3-pointers. Rashard Lewis and Mickael Pietrus had 17 points each for Orlando. “We just have to keep fighting,” Howard said. “We have an excellent opportunity in front of us. We can’t think that anything’s going to be easy. As a team, we believe that anytime we step on the floor and play our brand of basketball we can win.” James added 12 rebounds and seven assists, but he had eight turnovers for the Cavs, whose season of seasons is slipping away. After Lewis made one of two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to give the Magic the 116-114 lead, the Cavs had one last chance. Every person inside Amway Arena and millions watching on TV knew who was going to get the ball—James, who saved the Cavaliers with a 3-pointer at the final horn in Game 2. He was double-teamed on the inbounds pass but still managed to get free. Dribbling into the frontcourt, James rose from 35 feet, and with a clean look at the basket, sent his shot toward the rim. When it fell short, Van Gundy finally could exhale. “With LeBron James on the court, doesn’t 3.2 seconds seem like two minutes?” he asked. “We had two guys on him and he made a move like a tight end, caught the ball and still got off a reasonable shot. This guy is unbelievable.” James said the ball felt good leaving his hand. “I always feel I can make any shot I take,” he said. “I was just hoping I could make one more.” James, who played the entire second half and overtime, has scored winning a few games in the Eastern Conference finals,” Howard said. “We want to win the whole thing.” Lewis’ catch-and-shoot 3-pointer on an inbounds play with 4.1 seconds left in regulation gave the Magic, who attempted 38 3s, a 100-98 lead. Cleveland set up a clear-out play for James, who drove the right side and was tripped in the lane by Pietrus with .5 seconds to play. James swished his first free throw attempt, and then after a long delay, he made his second, which danced on the rim before falling through. James said he never considered taking a 3-pointer. “If I was Rashard Lewis we would have won,” James said, smiling. Orlando called a timeout and tried a lob play for Howard, who was ridden out under the basket by Anderson Varejao. Both players tumbled out of bounds, and although there was enough contact for the officials to call two or three fouls, there was no whistle. Howard screamed in protest, pleading his case to anyone who would listen. “Are you serious?” Howard said, turning to the media section. “If that was LeBron ... “ Howard took over in overtime. He dunked the first two times he touched it, shaking the backboard each time and Orlando opened what looked to be an insurmountable sixpoint lead with 1:11 left on his tip-in. But the Cavaliers came back and fell a LeBron 3 short of winning. — The Associated Press

Series glance
(Orlando leads series 3-1) May 20: Orlando 107, Cleveland 106 May 22: Cleveland 96, Orlando 95 May 24: Orlando 99, Cleveland 89 Tuesday: Orlando 116, Cleveland 114, OT Thursday: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., TNT Saturday: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., if necessary Monday: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

Cleveland Orlando CLEVELAND James Varejao Ilgauskas MWilliams West Szczerbiak Gibson Wallace Smith Totals

25 21

33 29

21 28

21 22 Reb 1-12 1-2 3-9 0-5 0-5 0-2 0-1 2-4 0-0 7-40

14 — 114 16 — 116 A PF PTS 7 5 44 0 6 9 0 3 12 2 2 18 7 4 17 1 3 2 0 1 8 0 1 4 0 0 0 17 25 114

Min FG FT 49:24 13-29 14-18 26:19 4-8 1-1 33:00 5-9 2-2 46:55 5-15 8-9 47:02 7-15 3-3 20:53 1-4 0-1 21:17 2-5 2-2 16:01 2-2 0-0 4:09 0-0 0-0 265:00 39-87 30-36

Percentages: FG .448, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 6-22, .273 (James 4-10, Gibson 2-5, Szczerbiak 0-1, West 0-3, M.Williams 0-3). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers: 14 (16 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (James, Wallace, West). Turnovers: 12 (James 8, Szczerbiak 2, Varejao, M.Williams). Steals: 10 (Varejao 5, M.Williams 2, James, Wallace, West). Technical Fouls: None. ORLANDO Min FG FT Turkoglu 43:13 5-13 3-4 Lewis 46:16 5-9 5-6 Howard 49:06 10-16 7-9 Alston 37:10 10-17 0-0 Lee 25:38 2-6 0-0 Johnson 14:51 2-4 2-4 Pietrus 39:43 5-13 2-4 Battie 5:09 0-1 0-0 Gortat 3:54 1-1 0-0 Totals 265:00 40-80 19-27 Reb 1-7 1-5 2-14 0-2 0-3 0-0 0-3 0-0 0-4 4-38 A 8 0 4 4 2 1 2 0 0 21 PF 4 1 5 4 2 2 5 0 2 25 PTS 15 17 27 26 5 7 17 0 2 116

PHELAN EBENHACK / AP

Orlando C Dwight Howard, right, scored 10 of his team-high 27 points in overtime. more than 40 in three games in the series. Cleveland is 0-3 in them. Mo Williams, who guaranteed the Cavs would win Game 4 and the series, scored 18 points, none after the third quarter. Delonte West added 17 for the Cavaliers. Following the game, Magic fans chanted “One more win.” History is on the Magic’s side heading into Game 5. Teams with a 3-1 lead are a staggering 182-8 in series dating to 1947. “We’re not happy with just

Percentages: FG .500, FT .704. 3-Point Goals: 17-38, .447 (Alston 6-12, Pietrus 5-11, Lewis 2-4, Turkoglu 2-5, Johnson 1-2, Lee 1-4). Team Rebounds: 13. Team Turnovers: 15 (15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Howard 3, Lee). Turnovers: 15 (Turkoglu 5, Alston 3, Howard 2, Lewis 2, Pietrus 2, Johnson). Steals: 5 (Alston 2, Howard, Johnson, Pietrus). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 7:10 first; Defensive three second, 11:49 first; Howard, 4:11 third; Bench, 4:11 third. A: 17,461 (17,461). T: 3:07. Officials: Scott Foster, Mike Callahan, Joe DeRosa.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

15

Lakers look to clean up inside game against Denver
LOS ANGELES—Pau Gasol wants the ball inside against the Denver Nuggets. Only he’s not about to pull a Keyshawn Johnson and order his Los Angeles Lakers teammates to “just give me the damn ball.” That’s not the Spaniard’s way. Gasol is all about finesse on and off the court, so he’ll leave the angry big man approach alone. “I just want to go with what’s effective and what works out there and what’s been working for us and what’s a strength of ours,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “I think we should explore that a little more.” The mild-mannered Gasol complained about only taking four shots in the second half of a 120-101 loss at Denver on Monday night that left the Western Conference finals tied at two. Gasol went 8 of 11 for 21 points in Game 4. He’s shooting 62 percent in the series, but he had only four free throws in the fourth quarter Monday. “I don’t think there’s many people who would say there’s something right about it,” he said afterward. “I wish we would take more advantage of our inside game, because it’s pretty effective. It’s unfortunate we don’t recognize it enough.” Kobe Bryant knows what’s keeping the Lakers from delivering the ball to Gasol in the post. “They’re double-teaming him on the catch. He’s got to go a little quicker when he catches it,” Bryant said. “That’s something I’ve always told him, ‘When you got a shot you got to take it.’ At this late in the postseason, teams aren’t going to let you back out there and spin and do some of the things he likes to do in the post. He’s got to go and go quickly.” Pushed on whether he would demand the ball in Game 5 tonight, Gasol didn’t sound too convincing. “I’ll try, but there’s only so much I can do as far as demanding,” he said. “I’d rather talk to our coaches and our guys and hopefully we see what’s effective and what works and we go to it.” The Lakers’ frontcourt of Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were no match for Denver’s trio of Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, who dominated the boards 42-25 in Game 4. “One of our main focuses was trying to get the rebound so that way we can do our running game,” Andersen said. “Our best offense is our defense and rebounding is a big part of that.” The Nuggets practiced in Denver on Tuesday before flying to Los Angeles. Coach George Karl believes winning Game 5 on the road would be easier than doing so in a Game 7 on the Lakers’ home court. “We right now have made somewhat of a move to challenge them to try and figure us out a little bit more,” he said. “Can we win the energy game down there? It would be a big step towards getting a win. My big guys were terrific last night. I don’t know if I’ve had three big guys be so dominant on the boards.” The Nuggets rested for a week after putting Dallas away in five games in the conference semifinals. The Lakers, meanwhile, were pushed to seven games before escaping against Houston, and the fatigue appears to be showing. “They’ve been playing every other day since May and we’ve had our breaks and the advantage to heal our Odom is continuing treatment for a lower back injury, but he declined to specify just how hurt he is. “For this team to be good, I need to pick it up,” he said. Bryant wouldn’t concede fatigue is hurting the Lakers. “I don’t think it had anything to do with how we played yesterday, they just played better,” he said. “We do a pretty good job of responding to challenges and we certainly have one here (tonight). The challenge of the situation re-energizes me.” The NBA fined Lakers coach Phil Jackson and the team $25,000 on Tuesday for his post-game comments on the officiating in Game 4. The fines were announced after the Lakers addressed the media, but Jackson was asked whether the Nuggets have shifted their play from physical to dirty. “There’s a sense of how much people want it, how you play when you have to play hard and how aggressive you become and that’s a fine line,” he said. “I want to keep the topic on a positive note. I don’t want to talk about that aspect of it.” — The Associated Press

Today’s game
All Times ET

Conference finals
DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP

Pau Gasol (16) says he hopes the Lakers take advantage of their edge against Denver in the paint. bodies is better than the Lakers,” Andersen said. “Now we’re starting to get back in our rhythm that we were at when the playoffs started.” Odom said the Lakers need a dose of energy and effort tonight at Staples Center, where the Nuggets won Game 2. “When you get behind, you take quick shots and you tend to give those guys some good numbers when it comes to rebounding,” he said. “We want to clean up the defensive boards and keep them off the offensive boards.”

(Best-of-7) Denver at L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ESPN

Betting line
Today FAVORITE ..........LINE ... at L.A. Lakers............... 6.... O/U .........UNDERDOG (209½) ...............Denver

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INSIDE DISH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

16

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

Prospective top picks likely to skip draft drills
For years, the NBA has struggled to find a way to get the league’s talent evaluators together with potential draftees in a mass workout setting—players began dropping out of the five-on-five games at the league’s predraft camp years ago, instead focusing on individual workouts. This year, the league is putting together a combine-style predraft event, with strength and agility testing, player drills and interviews. But again, players are putting limits on what they’re willing to do in a mass setting, preferring the more controlled workout environment. Already, teams have been told that presumptive No. 1 pick PF Blake Griffin will not participate in the drills portion of this year’s combine, which will be held this Thursday and Friday in Chicago. He will, though, participate in strength and agility tests. And, the second-ranked power forward behind Griffin, PF Jordan Hill, told SN Today on Tuesday that he, too, would be skipping the drills on the advice of his agent, Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports. “The reality is, Jordan’s record on the court speaks for itself,” Bradbury told SN Today. His ability to play inside, his ability to block shots and rebound—no one questions those things. The questions with him are all about his strength. So he is going to go in and show that no one needs to question his strength. All of his skills, he’ll show to the individual teams that are thinking about drafting him, as they ask him to work out.” — Sean Deveney Celtics PF Kevin Garnett had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday on his right knee, to remove bone spurs. “I expect Kevin to return to active duty in full force and be that consummate two-way professional that he has shown all of us throughout his fantastic NBA career,” coach Doc Rivers said. Garnett was limited to 57 games this during a rant about the officiating. Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA for the criticism. Cavaliers C Ben Wallace is upset with Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy for accusing him of flopping. Van Gundy said Monday he was bothered by the number of times Cleveland G Mo Williams and Wallace dropped to the floor in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. He said the pair fell down more times than a baby. When asked about Van Gundy’s comments during Tuesday’s shootaround before Game 4, Wallace said Van Gundy should “come out there and do something about it” or shut up, adding an expletive for emphasis, according to The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. Hong Kong-based conglomerate New World Development denied being part of the deal involving a group of Chinese investors to buy a stake in the Cavaliers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The deal, which is subject to approval by the NBA’s board of governors, will allow the group to acquire as much as 15 percent of Cavaliers Operating Co., which also operates Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. New Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn was scheduled to meet with Kevin McHale on Tuesday to discuss the team’s coaching job, but Kahn said he does not expect a decision on McHale’s future to be made this week. “Kevin has a long history here and a relationship with the owner that I respect and trust,” Kahn told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He’s Kevin McHale, and I will not hurt Kevin McHale.” The NBA rescinded the flagrant foul against Magic G Anthony Johnson for elbowing Cleveland’s Williams in Game 3 of the East finals. Johnson drove the lane and extended his elbow, striking Williams around the left eye and knocking him to the floor.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Cleveland vs. Orlando
(Orlando leads series 3-1) May 20: Orlando 107, Cleveland 106 May 22: Cleveland 96, Orlando 95 May 24: Orlando 99, Cleveland 89 Tuesday: Orlando 116, Cleveland 114, OT Thursday: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m. Saturday: Cleveland at Orlando, 8:30 p.m., if necessary Monday, June 1: Orlando at Cleveland, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE
L.A. Lakers vs. Denver
(Series tied 2-2) May 19: L.A. Lakers 105, Denver 103 May 21: Denver 106, L.A. Lakers 103 May 23: L.A. Lakers 103, Denver 97 May 25: Denver 120, L.A. Lakers 101 Today: Denver at L.A. Lakers, 9 p.m., ESPN Friday: L.A. Lakers at Denver, 9 p.m. Sunday: Denver at L.A. Lakers, 8:30 p.m., if necessary

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.

CHRIS CARLSON / AP

Kobe Bryant might feel vindicated after the league slapped Denver’s Dahntay Jones with a flagrant foul for his trip. season, the second fewest in his career. With a strained tendon along with the bone spurs, Garnett played in just four games in the last two months of the regular season and missed all of the playoffs. A day later, the NBA blew the whistle on Nuggets SG Dahntay Jones for tripping SG Kobe

Bryant. The league assessed Denver’s defensive specialist a flagrant-1 foul for sending Bryant sprawling through the lane with a trip late in the third quarter that the officiating crew missed. Lakers coach Phil Jackson complained about Jones’ “unacceptable defense, tripping guys and playing unsportsmanlike basketball”

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INSIDE DISH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

17

THE LAUNCHING PAD
What to expect in the major leagues today

O’s to recall Wieters; Mets send Reyes, Church to D.L.
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail dropped a surprise on Orioles fans during the MASN broadcast Tuesday, announcing that top prospect Matt Wieters will be recalled and make his major league debut on Friday against Detroit at Camden Yards. “It’s time,’’ MacPhail said. “He’s ready.” Wieters was batting .285 with five homers and 26 RBIs with Class AAA Norfolk through Monday. Although Mets manager Jerry Manuel told the New York Daily News that he hoped he wouldn’t have to make a decision about SS Jose Reyes (calf) until Friday, the Mets placed Reyes on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Joining him there was OF Ryan Church (hamstring). In addition, the team announced that OF Carlos Beltran would miss the team’s next two games after having an MRI exam on his right knee. As a result of the injuries, the Mets promoted touted OF prospect Fernando Martinez and acquired IF Wilson Valdez from Cleveland for cash. Rehabbing pitcher John Smoltz took another step toward returning to the Boston Red Sox. The 42-yearold right-hander tossed 3 1/3 innings for the Class AA Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night, allowing one run and three hits while striking out two and throwing 60 pitches. Coming off a season in which he 41-for-41 in saves chances in the regular season and 7-for-7 in save chances in the postseason, Phillies P Brad Lidge had nowhere to go but down. And he has done just that, Because his bat finally has come to life, White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez could stay in the No. 2 hole in the batting order, according to the Chicago Tribune. Things aren’t going quite so well for OF Carlos Quentin, however. The newspaper reported Quentin felt a pop in his foot before leaving Monday’s game. Quentin has been slowed recently by plantar fasciitis and is expected to be out at least until the weekend. After throwing a bullpen session, Reds P Edinson Volquez (back) told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he is ready to rejoin the rotation. Volquez is eligible to return from the disabled list June 1. The Nationals designated for assignment P Daniel Cabrera, according to The Washington Post. In eight starts, Cabrera went 0-5, and averaged more than two hits and/or walks per inning. I was tired of watching him,” acting G.M. Mike Rizzo told the newspaper. The Tampa Bay Rays placed shortstop and leading hitter Jason Bartlett on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a sprained left ankle, giving the team five injured regulars. The Mariners placed C Kenji Johjima on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Johjima broke his left big toe on a play at the plate in Monday’s game and could miss 6-8 weeks. Orioles P Koji Uehara will probably miss his scheduled start Thursday and could be placed on the 15-day disabled list if his strained left hamstring does not respond to treatment.

On second thought ...
Just about the time the Jake Peavy trade talks restarted last week, the Padres suddenly shifted into can’t-lose mode. Because of his desire to pitch in the N.L. and for a contender, perhaps San Diego is the best fit for Peavy. Of course, second-place San Diego still has plenty to prove and might have to settle for wild-card contention, but things aren’t nearly as bleak as most expected. The Padres conclude their three-game series at Chase Field tonight, and Peavy will be looking to even his record at 5-5. Over his past five starts, Peavy has only two wins, but he has a 1.90 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 36 innings. In an early May start against Arizona, Peavy struck out a season-high 12 batters.

Cubs in hibernation
It’s late May and the slumping Cubs are fighting for a .500 record and battling the Pirates for sole ownership of fourth place in the N.L. Central. Just how bad are things going? Cubs lefthander Ted Lilly was ejected from the bench during Monday’s game—a game in which he wasn’t even pitching. During much of their losing streak, the Cubs’ bats were silent. Once they awakened, the pitching fell apart. Chicago will turn to righthander Carlos Zambrano this afternoon, hoping to get more than the 4 2/3 innings he provided his last time out in his first start since coming off the disabled list.

Toronto’s slump buster
The Jays, whose extended stay in first place was among the biggest surprises of the young season, have been nearly as frigid as the Cubs. Luckily, Toronto has a stopper capable of turning around his team’s fortunes. Righthander Roy Halladay, who is 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA this month, will try to become the majors’ first nine-game winner this afternoon at Baltimore.

BILL KOSTROUN / AP

— Chris Bahr

A hamstring injury will sideline Ryan Church for at least two weeks. with four blown saves and an ERA just under 9.00 in the season’s first two months. However, manager Charlie Manuel told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Lidge will remain his closer. When asked about a temporary demotion, Manuel said, “What kind of message is that? That’s what Houston used to do to him.” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the New York Daily News that he would like to see P Chien-Ming Wang be more consistent with his sinkerball before putting him back in the rotation. Until then, Wang will remain in the Yankees’ bullpen. That’s more than P Brian Bruney can say. Bruney was placed back on the disabled list and will meet with Dr. James Andrews today, according to the New York Daily News. According to mlb.com, Twins C Joe Mauer was named A.L. Player of the Week for games through Sunday. Astros SS Miguel Tejada won the N.L. honors. Mauer hit .458 with four homers, 13 RBIs and 12 runs scored, while Tejada hit .522 with three homers, three doubles and four RBIs. The Red Sox dropped slumping DH David Ortiz to sixth in their lineup Tuesday. Ortiz recently was benched for a three-game stretch.

LENNY IGNELZI / AP

Carlos Zambrano makes his second start today since returning from the D.L.

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Baseball

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

18

Instant impact: Ibanez goes from obscurity to MVP candidate
BY BILL EICHENBERGER beichenberger@sportingnews.com

Best of the rest
A baker’s dozen of other offseason pickups who also have paid immediate dividends: Derek Lowe SP, Braves Adam Dunn RF, Nationals Edwin Jackson SP, Tigers CC Sabathia SP, Yankees Mark Teixeira 1B, Yankees Mike Jacobs 1B, Royals Jason Marquis SP, Rockies Ramon Ramirez RP, Red Sox Adam Everett SS, Tigers Bobby Abreu RF, Angels Willy Taveras CF, Reds Ramon Hernandez C, Reds Matt Palmer SP, Angels

NEW YORK—The Phillies and Raul Ibanez are quite pleased with each other. So much so that they figure the less attention the better about what could well be the best free agent signing of the offseason. The Phillies knew they were getting a proven veteran when they signed Ibanez to replace Pat Burrell as their everyday left fielder. They knew about his numbers—a career .286 batting average and a proven history as a run producer, highlighted by his 33-homer, 123-RBI season with Seattle in 2006. But it is what they didn’t know about Ibanez, who turns 37 on June 2, that makes their three-year, $31.5 million investment appear to be money well spent. It’s not just that Ibanez ranks among the major league leaders in home runs, RBIs, batting average and slugging percentage, among other categories. His teammates say the intangibles he brings are every bit as impressive, starting with the seamless way he has fit into the World Series champion Phillies’ clubhouse. “He’s had a very big impact on this team, not only on the field but off the field,” center fielder Shane Victorino said. “He’s a hard worker. He’s focused. He’s dedicated. Plus, he’s a fun, caring individual, and that’s all you can ask of a guy when he comes to a new place.” Catcher Chris Coste added, “Sure, he gets big hits and helps us win ballgames. But his impact goes so much deeper than that.” Victorino said Ibanez got off to a

— Stan McNeal

ALEX BRANDON / AP

The Phillies knew they were getting a solid player when they signed Raul Ibanez, but his bat (.345 average, 17 HR, 43 RBIs) as well as his overall game have made him an early MVP candidate. good start with his teammates when he told the media that he knew he was coming to a championship team. He said he knew this was not a club that needed a personality transplant, which was a good thing because he is not that kind of guy. “There was no adjustment period with Raul,” shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. “He didn’t try to be somebody he’s not, and that was fine with us.” Ibanez said it would have been silly to try to change the Phillies’ winning ways. “What they had here already was phenomenal,” he said. “They won the World Series last year without me. They were already a tough team, a resilient team, a comefrom-behind team before I got here.” But Philadelphia also was a team that put up with subpar defense and range from Burrell in left field in exchange for his power at the plate. With Ibanez, the Phillies no longer have to make that trade-off. “We weren’t aware of his defense,” Rollins said. During his 10 seasons with Seattle, sandwiched around three seasons with Kansas City, Ibanez occasionally would show up on the highlights making less than stellar plays in the outfield. “You’d see him every once in a while making a crazy-looking play and wonder, ‘Why did he try that?’ “ Rollins said. “But what you didn’t see are all the good plays that he makes, cutting off runs and running down fly balls. On this team, we were used to those balls being doubles and extra at-bats instead of outs.” Said Coste: “It’s amazing the many articles I read in the offseason about how Raul was not a defensive upgrade from Burrell. It’s not that Burrell was terrible by any means, but Raul has been a Gold Glover. It’s been incredible.” Victorino said Ibanez’s all-around play has been a revelation. “A couple of times I’ve asked him, ‘Were you the same player in Seattle?’ He says, ‘Yeah.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, then how

come no one ever gave you credit?’ He goes, ‘I don’t know.’ “ Ibanez doesn’t know and he doesn’t care. “This probably has been as good a start as I’ve had in my career, but I don’t really think about it a heck of a lot,” he said. “I don’t really get into that sort of thing. I didn’t come here for that. I came here to help this club win.” That approach has earned him the respect and admiration of his teammates. “That’s what is so great about him,” Victorino said. “He is the kind of guy who just wants to go out there and grind every day.” That he also is wielding one of baseball’s hottest bats is an added but not unexpected bonus. “So far, Raul’s been a cross between He-Man and Superman,” Rollins said. “When he’s hot, he can carry a team.” Just ask the Phillies, who would not be in first place without their new left fielder.

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

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

19
Away 10-13 12-11 11-16 12-15 7-15 Away 10-12 8-12 5-14 9-14 10-17 Away 12-11 11-12 9-14 7-13

Fantasy Focus
Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

LEAGUE LEADERS
A.L. N.L.

American League Standings
Team San Diego Philadelphia Washington St. Louis Arizona East Boston New York Toronto Tampa Bay Baltimore Central Detroit Kansas City Minnesota Chicago Cleveland West Texas Los Angeles Seattle Oakland 15 12 11 11 11 11 10 W 27 26 27 23 20 W 25 23 23 21 19 W 27 23 21 18 L 19 20 22 25 26 L 19 23 24 24 28 L 18 22 26 25 Pct .587 .565 .551 .479 .435 Pct .568 .500 .489 .467 .404 Pct .600 .511 .447 .419 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 1 — 7-3 1½ ½ 2-8 5 4 5-5 7 6 5-5 GB WCGB L10 — — 7-3 3 3 4-6 3½ 3½ 5-5 4½ 4½ 6-4 7½ 7½ 5-5 GB WCGB L10 — — 6-4 4 2½ 5-5 7 5½ 4-6 8 6½ 5-5 Str L-1 L-1 L-8 L-3 W-2 Str L-1 W-1 W-1 W-2 W-2 Str W-1 L-2 L-2 W-3 Home 17-6 14-9 16-6 11-10 13-11 Home 15-7 15-11 18-10 12-10 9-11 Home 15-7 12-10 12-12 11-12

Player MiCabrera Bartlett VMartinez AdJones Morneau AHill Pedroia
JEFFREY BOAN / AP

Team Detroit Tampa Bay Cleveland Baltimore Minnesota Toronto Boston

.377 .373 .364 .354 .347 .344 .341

Player Beltran Pence Hudson DWright Tejada CGuzman Ibanez

Team New York Houston Los Angeles New York Houston Washington Philadelphia

.367 .352 .349 .349 .348 .348 .347

Player CPena Morneau Bay Teixeira 4 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Minnesota Boston New York

16 14 13 13 12

Player AdGonzalez Ibanez Dunn Pujols Reynolds 3 tied at

17 17 15 14 13 12

Dan Uggla has four HRs against Brett Myers.
A.L.

Runs
N.L. A.L.

Stolen Bases
N.L.

Start ‘em
Ben Francisco, OF, Indians. Francisco has six hits, including four home runs, in just seven career at-bats against Tampa Bay’s Andy Sonnanstine. Dan Uggla, 2B, Marlins. Uggla, who has given his owners a recent power surge, is 12-for-33 with four homers lifetime against Philadelphia’s Brett Myers. Miguel Tejada, SS, Astros. Tejada has been on a roll this month and is 11-for-30 with a pair of dingers in his career against Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo.

Player BRoberts AdJones Morneau Scutaro Damon Pedroia 3 tied at

Team Baltimore Baltimore Minnesota Toronto New York Boston

42 39 38 38 37 37 36

Player Ibanez Pujols Zimmerman Hudson ASoriano AdGonzalez Werth

Team Philadelphia St. Louis Washington Los Angeles Chicago San Diego Philadelphia

38 38 37 36 36 33 33

Player Crawford Ellsbury Figgins Abreu Bartlett BUpton Crisp

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

30 20 19 15 14 14 11

Player Bourn Taveras Burriss Fowler JosReyes DWright 2 tied at

Team Houston Cincinnati San Francisco Colorado New York New York

National League Standings
East Philadelphia New York Atlanta Florida Washington Central Milwaukee St. Louis Cincinnati Chicago Pittsburgh Houston W 25 25 23 21 13 W 27 27 25 22 21 18 L 19 20 22 26 32 L 19 19 20 22 25 26 L 15 23 23 26 27 Pct GB WCGB L10 .568 — — 7-3 .556 ½ 1½ 5-5 .511 2½ 3½ 5-5 .447 5½ 6½ 3-7 .289 12½ 13½ 2-8 Pct .587 .587 .556 .500 .457 .409 GB WCGB L10 — — 5-5 — — 6-4 1½ 1½ 5-5 4 4 2-8 6 6 6-4 8 8 2-8 Str W-1 W-2 L-2 L-1 L-2 Str L-1 W-1 W-3 W-1 L-1 L-6 Str W-2 L-1 W-2 W-1 L-2 Home 9-13 14-8 11-12 9-14 7-16 Home 13-8 17-9 12-12 13-8 11-9 9-15 Home 18-5 17-6 15-8 10-16 7-12 Away 16-6 11-12 12-10 12-12 6-16 Away 14-11 10-10 13-8 9-14 10-16 9-11 Away 14-10 6-17 7-15 10-10 11-15

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

Pitching (3 decisions)
N.L.

Sit ‘em
Jermaine Dye/Carlos Quentin, OFs, White Sox. The outfield duo is a combined 1-for-18 (.056) with eight Ks against the Angels’ Jered Weaver. Mike Cameron/Bill Hall/Corey Hart, OF/3B/OF, Brewers. This Milwaukee trio is just 1-for-30 (.033) combined against St. Louis starter Todd Wellemeyer. Hank Blalock, 1B/3B, Rangers. Blalock is 1-for-10 with three Ks against the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett. — Brad Pinkerton

Player Longoria Bay Morneau Hunter CPena AHuff Markakis

Team Tampa Bay Boston Minnesota Los Angeles Tampa Bay Baltimore Baltimore

49 47 44 40 40 38 38

Player Ibanez Fielder Dunn Pujols Hawpe Cantu Zimmerman

Team Philadelphia Milwaukee Washington St. Louis Colorado Florida Washington

44 43 40 40 36 35 35

Player Palmer Greinke Halladay Slowey Buehrle Penny Bannister

Team Los Angeles Kansas City Toronto Minnesota Chicago Boston Kansas City

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

1.000 .889 .889 .857 .857 .833 .800

Player Martis Broxton Cain Pelfrey Lincecum LiHernandez Stults

Team Washington Los Angeles San Francisco New York San Francisco New York Los Angeles

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

1.000 1.000 .833 .800 .800 .800 .800

West W Los Angeles 32 San Diego 23 San Francisco 22 Arizona 20 Colorado 18 z-first game was a win

Pct GB WCGB L10 .681 — — 7-3 .500 8½ 4 9-1 .489 9 4½ 4-6 .435 11½ 7 7-3 .400 13 8½ 4-6

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

Strikeouts
N.L.

Pitching Matchups Today’s games (All times Eastern)
Team San Francisco San Diego Atlanta New York Los Angeles Arizona Florida 84 79 78 75 69 63 59 American League The Line Toronto (Halladay 8-1) at Baltimore (R.Hill 1-0), 1:35 p.m. Tor -165 at Bal +155 Detroit (Porcello 5-3) at Kansas City (Davies 2-3), 2:10 p.m. Det -110 at KC +100 Seattle (Bedard 2-2) at Oakland (Cahill 2-4), 3:35 p.m. Sea -115 at Oak +105 Tampa Bay (Sonnanstine 3-4) at Cleveland (Jackson 0-0), 7:05 p.m. TB +100 at Cle -110 N.Y. Yankees (A.Burnett 2-2) at Texas (Holland 1-1), 8:05 p.m. NY -140 at Tex +130 Boston (Matsuzaka 0-2) at Minnesota (Slowey 6-1), 8:10 p.m. at Min -110 Bos +100 Chicago White Sox (Floyd 3-4) at L.A. Angels (Jer.Weaver 3-2), 10:05 p.m. at LA -185 Chi +175 National League St. Louis (Wellemeyer 4-4) at Milwaukee (M.Parra 3-5), 1:05 p.m. Pittsburgh (Duke 5-4) at Chicago Cubs (Zambrano 3-2), 2:20 p.m. L.A. Dodgers (Kershaw 2-3) at Colorado (Jimenez 3-5), 3:10 p.m. Florida (Badenhop 2-2) at Philadelphia (Myers 4-2), 7:05 p.m. Houston (F.Paulino 1-3) at Cincinnati (Arroyo 6-3), 7:10 p.m. Washington (Zimmermann 2-1) at N.Y. Mets (J.Santana 6-2), 7:10 p.m. San Diego (Peavy 4-5) at Arizona (Buckner 1-0), 9:40 p.m. Atlanta (Kawakami 3-5) at San Francisco (Ra.Johnson 3-4), 10:15 p.m. The Line at Mil -130 STL +120 at Chi -170 Pit +160 at Col -125 LA +115 at Phi -180 Flo +170 at Cin -135 Hou +125 at NY -250 Was +220 SD -150 at Ari +140 Atl -120 at SF +110

Player Longoria Callaspo Lind MYoung 4 tied at

Team Tampa Bay Kansas City Toronto Texas

20 16 16 16 15

Player FSanchez Hudson Kotchman Tejada Beltran FLopez HaRamirez

Team Pittsburgh Los Angeles Atlanta Houston New York Arizona Florida

17 16 16 16 15 15 15

Player Verlander Greinke FHernandez Halladay Lester Garza Beckett

Team Detroit Kansas City Seattle Toronto Boston Tampa Bay Boston

85 81 66 63 62 60 51

Player Lincecum Peavy JVazquez JSantana Billingsley Haren JoJohnson

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 JBuck Crawford Cuddyer DeJesus 15 tie dat

Team Kansas City Texas Kansas City Tampa Bay Minnesota Kansas City

5 4 3 3 3 3 2

Player Kemp Morgan Victorino 4 tied at

Team Los Angeles Pittsburgh Philadelphia

4 4 4 3

Player Papelbon Fuentes Sherrill Jenks FFrancisco MaRivera Rodney

Team Boston Los Angeles Baltimore Chicago Texas New York Detroit

12 12 10 10 10 9 8

Player Lincecum Peavy JVazquez JSantana Billingsley Haren JoJohnson

Team San Francisco San Diego Atlanta New York Los Angeles Arizona Florida

84 79 78 75 69 63 59

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AMERICAN LEAGUE Texas 7, N.Y. Yankees 3

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

20

Minnesota 5, Boston 2

Morneau delivers big blow vs. Lester
MINNEAPOLIS—The Minnesota Twins have been celebrating their final season in the Metrodome the easy way. Jogging around the bases has become routine for these suddenly powerful Twins, whose home run streak reached nine straight games—their longest in seven years. Justin Morneau’s three-run shot capped a five-run fifth inning against Boston starter Jon Lester, and the Twins beat the Red Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night. “That dude’s got a lot of power. It makes it a lot more fun when stuff like that happens,” said Nick Blackburn (4-2), who struck out a career-high seven in seven innings. Minnesota began the game with the fifth-most home runs in the majors after finishing next-to-last in each of the last two years, but Morneau’s was set up by the small ball the Twins have been more familiar with. In contrast, struggling slugger David Ortiz was dropped to sixth from the No. 3 spot in the Boston lineup. The last time Oritz, who has just one homer this season, batted lower than fourth was May 18, 2004. Good speed plus seeing-eye singles and high chops were actually the recipe for this Twins victory. The bottom four in Minnesota’s batting order—Brendan Harris, Delmon Young, Matt Tolbert and Nick Punto—were a combined 1-for30 over the previous three games. But they had four hits and scored three runs between them, frustrating Lester (3-5) in the fifth. “If the bottom of the order can start producing,” Punto said, “this can be one of the best offenses in team history.” Lester’s breakout 2008 season hasn’t
Twins 5, Red Sox 2 Boston AB R Ellsbury cf 5 2 Pedroia 2b 4 0 J.Drew rf 3 0 Youkilis 3b 4 0 Bay lf 4 0 D.Ortiz dh 3 0 Varitek c 4 0 J.Bailey 1b 4 0 Lugo ss 4 0 Totals 35 2 H BI 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 9 1 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .303 0 1 .341 1 0 .263 0 3 .379 0 2 .282 1 1 .197 0 1 .238 0 1 .185 0 0 .271 2 9

Rangers keep Yanks in second
ARLINGTON, TEXAS—Chris Davis homered twice and Jarrod Saltalamacchia made up for a rough game behind the plate by driving in the go-ahead run, sending the Texas Rangers to a 7-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. The start was held up 2 hours, 24 minutes because of rain. Due to the delay, the Yankees knew that Boston had lost, which meant a win would’ve tied them with the Red Sox for first place in the A.L. East. But New York fell behind 3-0 and never led—despite stealing a season-high five bases off Saltalamacchia and getting two more free bases on a passed ball and a wild pitch from Texas starter Kevin Millwood. The Yankees, who had won 11 of 13, tied it at 3 in the sixth on back-to-back RBI hits from Hideki Matsui and Francisco Cervelli. But in the bottom half, Marlon Byrd doubled off reliever Alfredo Aceves (3-1) and scored on Saltalamacchia’s looping single to right. Byrd also had a two-run single in the first inning. Jason Jennings (2-1) got two outs in the sixth for the win, and Frank Francisco finished up. Yankees center fielder Melky Cabrera left with a strained right shoulder. Cabrera ran hard into the wall chasing Ian Kinsler’s leadoff triple in the first inning. Cabrera will have an MRI exam today. — The Associated Press
Rangers 7, Yankees 3 New York AB R H BI Jeter ss 5 0 2 0 Damon lf 4 0 1 0 Teixeira 1b 5 1 1 1 A.Rodriguez 3b 4 0 1 0 Cano 2b 5 0 2 0 Me.Cabrera cf 0 0 0 0 Gardner cf 5 1 3 0 H.Matsui dh 3 1 2 1 Swisher rf 2 0 0 0 Cervelli c 4 0 1 1 Totals 37 3 13 3 Texas AB Kinsler 2b 4 M.Young 3b 4 Hamilton dh 4 N.Cruz rf 2 Dav.Murphy lf 1 Byrd cf 4 C.Davis 1b 4 Saltalamacchia c 4 Vizquel ss 4 Totals 31 New York Texas R 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 7 H BI 2 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 9 7 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .287 1 0 .310 0 1 .271 1 0 .258 0 0 .317 0 0 .323 0 1 .271 0 1 .250 2 1 .222 0 0 .300 4 4 BB SO Avg. 1 0 .283 0 0 .335 0 1 .250 2 1 .296 2 0 .226 0 0 .288 0 2 .208 0 3 .252 0 1 .340 5 8

Minnesota AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Span cf-lf 1 0 0 1 1 0 .301 Mauer c 3 1 0 0 1 2 .429 Morneau 1b 3 1 2 3 1 0 .347 Cuddyer rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .285 Kubel dh 3 0 0 0 1 1 .333 B.Harris 3b 3 1 1 0 0 2 .257 Delm.Young lf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .242 Gomez cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .225 Tolbert 2b 4 1 1 0 0 1 .200 Punto ss 3 1 2 1 0 0 .193 Totals 28 5 7 5 4 8 Boston 000 010 100 — 2 9 0 Minnesota 000 050 00x — 5 7 1 E: Punto (4). LOB: Boston 8, Minnesota 6. 2B: Pedroia (15), D.Ortiz (12), Cuddyer (10), Punto (3). HR: Morneau (14), off Lester. RBIs: Pedroia (16), Span (22), Morneau 3 (44), Punto (12). SB: Ellsbury 2 (20), Span (10). S: Span. Runners left in scoring position: Boston 4 (Bay, Lugo, J.Bailey, Youkilis); Minnesota 3 (Delm.Young, Mauer, Cuddyer). DP: Boston 1 (Pedroia, J.Bailey). Boston Lester L, 3-5 D.Bard Saito Minnesota Blackburn W, 4-2 Guerrier H, 6 Nathan S, 7-9 IP 6 1 1 IP 7 1 1 H 6 1 0 H 8 0 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 3 4 100 6.07 0 0 1 1 22 1.50 0 0 0 3 20 3.18 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 1 2 7 111 3.55 0 0 0 2 11 3.86 0 0 0 0 10 2.60

000 012 000 — 3 13 0 200 101 21x — 7 9 0

LOB: New York 12, Texas 6. 2B: H.Matsui (9), M.Young (17), N.Cruz (10), Byrd (16). 3B: Kinsler (2). HR: Teixeira (14), off Millwood; C.Davis (11), off Chamberlain; C.Davis (12), off Coke. RBIs: Teixeira (37), H.Matsui (15), Cervelli (4), Hamilton (21), Dav.Murphy (10), Byrd 2 (21), C.Davis 2 (23), Saltalamacchia (20). SB: Jeter (10), Damon (5), Gardner 3 (9), N.Cruz (9). SF: Dav.Murphy. Runners left in scoring position: New York 8 (A.Rodriguez, Cervelli 2, Cano, Teixeira, Swisher 2, Gardner); Texas 2 (C.Davis, Byrd). DP: New York 1 (A.Rodriguez, Cano, Teixeira); Texas 3 (Vizquel, Kinsler, C.Davis), (Vizquel, Kinsler, C.Davis), (Vizquel, C.Davis). New York IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Chamberlain 4 4 3 3 4 5 84 3.97 Aceves L, 3-1 2 4 3 3 0 2 33 3.24 Coke 1 1 1 1 1 0 13 4.43 D.Robertson 1 0 0 0 0 1 13 3.18 Texas IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Millwood 5 2⁄3 9 3 3 4 3 98 3.25 Jennings W, 2-1 2⁄3 2 0 0 0 0 15 3.98 C.Wilson H, 3 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 7 3.38 O’Day H, 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 10 1.20 F.Francisco 1 1 0 0 0 1 18 0.00 Aceves pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. Coke pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored: Coke 2-2, Jennings 2-0, C.Wilson 2-0. IBB: off Coke (N.Cruz). HBP: by C.Wilson (H.Matsui). WP: Millwood. PB: Saltalamacchia. Umpires: Home, Jerry Crawford; First, Mike Muchlinski; Second, Phil Cuzzi; Third, Tom Hallion. T: 3:09. A: 33,397 (49,170).

TOM OLMSCHEID / AP

Justin Morneau’s three-run homer in the fifth capped a five-run fifth inning off Boston’s Jon Lester.

led to any sustained success yet this year: He has given up at least five runs in six of 10 starts. After stranding a runner on third with one out in the second, striking out Joe Mauer with a runner on second to end the third, and breezing through the fourth, Lester faltered in the fifth. “I felt like I threw the ball pretty well. Made one mistake. He hit it out. That’s

what makes him a good hitter,” Lester said. “I don’t think it’s a mental lapse or anything like that. It’s just not executing pitches.” Lester tossed six innings, allowing six hits, one walk and struck out four. “That’s tough to beat those guys when that stuff happens,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. — The Associated Press

IBB: off D.Bard (Morneau). HBP: by Lester (Span), by Saito (B.Harris). Umpires: Home, Tony Randazzo; First, Chris Guccione; Second, Todd Tichenor; Third, Jerry Layne. T: 2:52. A: 20,019 (46,632).

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AMERICAN LEAGUE Cleveland 5, Tampa Bay 1

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

21

Baltimore 7, Toronto 2

Berken’s debut extends Jays’ losing streak
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 2 Toronto AB R H BI Scutaro ss 5 1 3 0 A.Hill 2b 5 0 1 0 Lind lf 4 0 1 1 V.Wells cf 4 0 1 0 Millar dh 3 0 1 0 Rolen 3b 2 1 0 0 Overbay 1b 4 0 1 0 Barajas c 4 0 1 1 Inglett rf 3 0 0 0 Totals 34 2 9 2 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .288 0 0 .344 1 0 .290 0 2 .266 1 0 .288 2 0 .299 0 0 .274 0 1 .299 1 2 .000 5 5

Pavano wins 5th of last six
CLEVELAND—Carl Pavano has done as much on the mound this May as he did the past three years combined. Pavano won for the fifth time in six starts, Ryan Garko homered for the third time in two games and the Cleveland Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays without needing a big comeback, 5-1 on Tuesday night. “It’s good to get a couple of wins in a row, but the story was Carl,” said Indians left fielder Mark DeRosa, who hit a tworun homer. “He’s worked his butt off to get back.” The righthander’s comeback is more impressive than the Indians overcoming a 10-0 deficit to beat the Rays on Monday night. Pavano (5-4) allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out six to enhance an outstanding month. He’s 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA and only seven walks against 30 strikeouts since May 1, when he got his first win of the season in Detroit. “I’m feeling better, getting deeper in games,” Pavano said. “I didn’t exactly know what to expect this year, but I worked hard and stayed positive. There’s still a long way to go for me to be remotely settled in.” Pavano’s 10th start this season surpassed by one his total for the previous three years. — The Associated Press
Indians 5, Rays 1 Tampa Bay AB B.Upton cf 4 Crawford lf 3 Longoria 3b 3 C.Pena 1b 4 W.Aybar 2b 4 Zobrist rf 3 Gross dh 4 Navarro c 4 Brignac ss 3 Totals 32 R 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 H BI 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 6 1 BB SO Avg. 0 2 .189 1 2 .316 1 1 .324 0 2 .244 0 0 .263 1 0 .287 0 0 .260 0 0 .221 0 0 .250 3 7

Baltimore AB R H BI BB SO Avg. B.Roberts 2b 4 1 3 2 1 1 .305 Ad.Jones cf 5 1 1 2 0 1 .354 Markakis rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .302 Mora 3b 4 0 2 0 0 0 .259 A.Huff 1b 4 1 1 1 0 1 .267 Wigginton dh 4 1 2 0 0 0 .224 Reimold lf 4 1 1 2 0 1 .261 Zaun c 4 1 1 0 0 1 .216 C.Izturis ss 4 1 2 0 0 0 .246 Totals 37 7 14 7 1 5 Toronto 110 000 000 — 2 9 0 Baltimore 010 022 02x — 7 14 0
NICK WASS / AP (2)

Cleveland AB R H BI BB SO Avg. A.Cabrera ss 4 1 1 1 0 0 .315 Sizemore dh 4 0 0 0 0 1 .222 Jh.Peralta 3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .268 Choo rf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .295 Garko 1b 3 2 1 1 0 1 .260 DeRosa lf 3 1 2 2 0 0 .267 B.Francisco cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .243 Valbuena 2b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .195 Shoppach c 3 1 1 1 0 1 .224 Totals 31 5 6 5 0 9 Tampa Bay 000 000 100 — 1 6 1 Cleveland 011 002 10x — 5 6 0 E: W.Aybar (1). LOB: Tampa Bay 7, Cleveland 3. 2B: Zobrist (10), Brignac (1). HR: C.Pena (16), off Pavano; Garko (5), off Garza; A.Cabrera (2), off Garza; DeRosa (8), off Garza; Shoppach (4), off Choate. RBIs: C.Pena (40), A.Cabrera (26), Garko (21), DeRosa 2 (32), Shoppach (10). SB: Crawford (30), Zobrist (4). Runners left in scoring position: Tampa Bay 5 (Gross, Zobrist, Navarro 2, C.Pena); Cleveland 2 (Valbuena 2). GIDP: Brignac. DP: Cleveland 1 (Pavano, A.Cabrera, Garko). Tampa Bay Garza L, 4-3 Choate Cleveland Pavano W, 5-4 R.Betancourt K.Wood IP 6 2 IP 7 1 1 H 5 1 H 4 1 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 4 0 7 106 3.65 1 1 0 2 30 4.50 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 6 92 5.50 0 0 1 1 21 3.86 0 0 0 0 14 6.75

Jason Berken, left, gave his supporters plenty to cheer about in his major league debut, as he picked up the victory after pitching five innings of two-run ball. BALTIMORE—The smallest crowd in the 18-year history of Camden Yards included quite a few fans eager to see Baltimore Orioles righthander Jason Berken in his major league debut. Even though the weather was awful, the Berken backers thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Backed by three home runs, Berken got his big league career off to a memorable start by helping the Orioles defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Tuesday night. Summoned from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Adam Eaton in the rotation, Berken (1-0) gave up two runs, seven hits and three walks in five innings. “It was great. It’s obviously been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” he said. “To come out here and get a win, I couldn’t ask for anything better.” Only 10,130 fans showed up on a miserable night in which temperatures dipped into the low 50s and a steady mist swirled through the stadium from the outset. Those in attendance included Berken’s parents, grandparents, his wife, a few uncles and aunts and several friends. “It was a special night to share with everybody,” he said. Marco Scutaro had three hits for the Blue Jays, who have lost eight straight—their longest skid since a nine-game run in May 2007. With three losses in Boston, three more in Atlanta and two in Baltimore, Toronto is mired in its longest road losing streak since an eight-game slide in 2002. “We’re just in a rut right now,” Blue Jays designated hitter Kevin Millar said. “You just got to go out there and keep having good thoughts and eventually it’s going to turn around. It definitely hasn’t been fun, but you got to dig deep.” Berken retired the side in order only once, but stranded five runners in scoring position. “The most important thing was his poise,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “We’ve had guys before come up and they’ve had just as good of stuff. But there’s more to it than just having stuff and having tools. It’s the ability to focus, the ability to not get out of control, stay in your lane, looking like you fit.” After Berken left, Matt Albers pitched two innings and Jim Johnson got six outs for his first save. — The Associated Press

LOB: Toronto 10, Baltimore 7. 2B: Scutaro 2 (13), Lind (16), V.Wells (13), B.Roberts (15), Mora (3), Wigginton (7). HR: A.Huff (8), off Romero; Ad.Jones (11), off Romero; Reimold (3), off Romero. RBIs: Lind (36), Barajas (24), B.Roberts 2 (20), Ad.Jones 2 (34), A.Huff (38), Reimold 2 (6). Runners left in scoring position: Toronto 7 (Millar, Scutaro, Rolen 3, V.Wells, Lind); Baltimore 3 (Reimold, A.Huff, Ad.Jones). DP: Toronto 1 (A.Hill, Scutaro, Overbay); Baltimore 2 (C.Izturis, B.Roberts, A.Huff), (C.Izturis, B.Roberts, A.Huff). Toronto Romero L, 2-1 Carlson Downs Baltimore Berken W, 1-0 Albers H, 2 Ji.Johnson S, 1-2 IP H 5 1⁄3 11 1 2⁄3 0 1 3 IP H 5 7 2 1 2 1 R ER BB SO 5 5 1 3 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 1 R ER BB SO 2 2 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 NP ERA 93 3.08 19 3.16 23 2.66 NP ERA 89 3.60 25 5.27 36 3.47

Inherited runners-scored: Carlson 1-0. Umpires: Home, Jeff Kellogg; First, Rob Drake; Second, Mark Wegner; Third, Tim Timmons. T: 2:46. A: 10,130 (48,290).

HBP: by Garza (Garko). Umpires: Home, Bill Welke; First, Tim Welke; Second, Jim Reynolds; Third, Angel Hernandez. T: 2:40 (Rain delay: 0:32). A: 18,754 (45,199).

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

22

NATIONAL LEAGUE Chicago Cubs 6, Pittsburgh 1, 6 innings

Kansas City 6, Detroit 1

Greinke takes notes from Tigers’ Verlander
KANSAS CITY— Probably the last thing Justin Verlander wanted to do was make Zack Greinke a better pitcher. But unwittingly, he did. Greinke paid close attention to the way Verlander shut out Kansas City through seven innings in an easy Detroit win on Monday. Then the Royals ace took the best stuff he’s had all year to the mound on Tuesday night and tossed a six-hitter in a 6-1 victory over the Tigers. “I’ve been getting worried that teams are going to make adjustments,” said Greinke, who leads the majors in ERA, complete games and shutouts. “But I was watching Verlander pitch and even if I knew exactly what he was going to do, I was like, ‘I couldn’t hit him.’ So just stay with what you do and stop thinking so much. “I think it helped me a lot for today.” Greinke (8-1) had such good command, he could hardly believe the Tigers scored a run in the first. “It was one of those days where almost everything was working and they put up a run, so I was like, ‘Just keep it right there. They can’t do too much with you if you keep doing that.’” He wound up with eight strikeouts and no walks while his ERA rose from 0.82 to 0.84. In two starts against the Tigers this year, he has allowed one earned run in two complete-game wins. Greinke threw his fifth complete game this season and the eighth of his career, joining Toronto’s Roy Halladay as the only eight-game winners in the majors. “He’s got a fastball that he can throw from 93 (mph) and he can hump it up to close to 100 if he wants to,” Detroit’s Brandon Inge said. “He has a sinker if
Royals 6, Tigers 1 Detroit AB R Granderson cf 4 0 Polanco 2b 4 1 Ordonez rf 4 0 Mi.Cabrera 1b 3 0 Larish dh 3 0 Inge 3b 3 0 Thomas lf 3 0 Laird c 3 0 Everett ss 3 0 Totals 30 1 Kansas City AB Crisp cf 2 Maier cf 2 DeJesus lf 3 Butler 1b 4 J.Guillen rf 4 Bloomquist rf 0 Jacobs dh 3 1-Hulett pr-dh 0 Teahen 3b 3 Callaspo 2b 4 Olivo c 4 Lu.Hernandez ss 3 Totals 32 R 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 6 H BI 0 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 1 H BI 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 9 6 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .244 0 0 .265 0 2 .265 0 1 .377 0 2 .222 0 1 .281 0 0 .257 0 1 .248 0 0 .296 0 8 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .233 0 0 .324 0 0 .238 0 0 .284 0 0 .298 0 0 .298 1 0 .262 0 0 .000 1 0 .262 0 0 .308 0 1 .235 0 0 .182 2 2

Cubs end skid, breathe easy
CHICAGO—Given the high expectations and the mounting losses, it’s no surprise that the Chicago Cubs let out a sigh of relief. They needed this win. Sean Marshall allowed four hits and singled in a run, Kosuke Fukudome homered and the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Tuesday to snap an eightgame losing streak on a rainshortened night. Marshall (3-3) tied a seasonhigh with six strikeouts before the game was called with none out in the top of the sixth following a delay of 1 hour, 2 minutes, and the two-time defending NL Central champions ended their longest slide in three years. “It’s been tough,” Marshall said. “Nobody likes to lose at anything. It’s only one game. But the guys are having a good time in there right now. It’s a little different atmosphere right now.” Actually, it was a familiar atmosphere after a familiar result. The Cubs didn’t wait long to pounce on Ian Snell (1-6) after rain pushed the start back 7 minutes, and the result was their first win since May 16. “When you’re in a situation like that, it’s no fun,” said Micah Hoffpauir, who went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. They scored a run with two out in each of the first three innings—on Fukudome’s solo shot in the first, Marshall’s single in the second and Hoffpauir’s double in the third. — The Associated Press
Cubs 6, Pirates 1, 6 innings Pittsburgh AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Morgan lf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .282 F.Sanchez 2b 3 0 2 0 0 0 .326 McLouth cf 2 1 0 0 1 1 .265 Monroe rf 2 0 0 0 0 0 .250 Ad.LaRoche 1b 2 0 0 0 0 1 .224 An.LaRoche 3b 1 0 1 0 1 0 .303 R.Diaz c 2 0 1 1 0 1 .327 Ja.Wilson ss 2 0 0 0 0 1 .252 Snell p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .158 Totals 19 1 4 1 2 6 Chicago A.Soriano lf Theriot ss Fukudome cf Bradley rf Hoffpauir 1b Fontenot 2b K.Hill c Freel 3b Marshall p Totals AB 3 3 2 1 3 3 2 3 2 22 R 1 1 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 6 H BI 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 6 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .254 0 0 .274 1 0 .311 2 0 .196 0 0 .281 0 1 .219 1 1 .286 0 1 .129 0 0 .250 4 4 4 1 8 0

Pittsburgh 000 10 — 1 Chicago 111 03x — 6

Detroit 100 000 000 — 1 6 2 Kansas City 000 003 12x — 6 9 1 1-ran for Jacobs in the 8th. E: E.Jackson 2 (2), Butler (1). LOB: Detroit 2, Kansas City 6. 2B: Polanco (14), Jacobs (8), Teahen (11). HR: J.Guillen (4), off Lyon. RBIs: Ordonez (19), Maier 3 (3), J.Guillen 2 (22), Olivo (13). S: DeJesus, Lu.Hernandez. Runners left in scoring position: Detroit 2 (Larish, Everett); Kansas City 4 (Callaspo, Teahen, Butler, Lu.Hernandez). DP: Kansas City 3 (Lu.Hernandez, Callaspo, Butler), (Greinke, Lu.Hernandez, Butler), (Callaspo, Lu.Hernandez, Butler). Detroit IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA E.Jackson L, 4-3 6 1⁄3 7 4 2 1 2 89 2.58 N.Robertson 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 7 5.11 Lyon 1 1⁄3 2 2 2 1 0 27 6.43 Kansas City IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Greinke W, 8-1 9 6 1 1 0 8 116 0.84 Inherited runners-scored: N.Robertson 2-1, Lyon 2-0. IBB: off Lyon (Teahen). WP: Greinke. Umpires: Home, Angel Campos; First, Bill Hohn; Second, Bruce Dreckman; Third, Paul Emmel. T: 2:27. A: 16,366 (38,177).

E: R.Diaz (2). LOB: Pittsburgh 5, Chicago 5. 2B: Hoffpauir (6), Fontenot (6). HR: Fukudome (5), off Snell. RBIs: R.Diaz (6), Theriot (21), Fukudome (19), Hoffpauir 2 (16), Fontenot (18), Marshall (2). SB: McLouth (7), A.Soriano (5). Runners left in scoring position: Pittsburgh 1 (Ja.Wilson); Chicago 4 (A.Soriano, Fontenot, Freel 2). DP: Pittsburgh 1 (Ja.Wilson, F.Sanchez, Ad.LaRoche). Pittsburgh Snell L, 1-6 Chicago Marshall W, 3-3 IP 5 IP 5 H 8 H 4 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 4 4 98 5.43 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 6 83 3.70

WP: Snell. Umpires: Home, Jeff Nelson; First, Mark Carlson; Second, Tim Tschida; Third, Bob Davidson. T: 1:46 (Rain delay: 1:02). A: 38,303 (41,210).

CHARLIE RIEDEL / AP

Zack Greinke, who leads the majors in ERA, complete games and shutouts, threw nine innings for win No. 8. he wants to throw it. He has a changeup. The fun part comes when he has a slow curve and he can make it a little faster.” With pinpoint control of his varied pitches, Greinke has allowed only seven earned runs in 75 innings this season. “He’s got a slider that he throws at variable speeds and variable angles,” Inge said. “He’s one of the very few guys I’ve seen that can manipulate the ball the way he wants to.” Mitch Maier came off the bench and drove in three runs and Jose Guillen homered and drove in two more for the Royals, who crept back to within three games of the first-place Tigers in the AL Central. — The Associated Press

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

23

Philadelphia 5, Florida 3

N.Y. Mets 6, Washington 1

Blanton strikes out career-best 11
PHILADELPHIA—Joe Blanton avoided the bad inning that’s been haunting him, and Brad Lidge prevented a complete meltdown by the bullpen. Blanton had a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings, Lidge got the final out with the tying run in scoring position, and the Philadelphia Phillies held on to beat the Florida Marlins 5-3 Tuesday night. Blanton (3-3) allowed five hits in his best outing since last August. He lowered his ERA from 7.11 to 6.14. “He was aggressive,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He made good pitches when he had to. He went right after hitters. He wasn’t trying to trick them.” Lidge pitched out of jam in the ninth to earn his ninth save in 13 chances. Lidge, who was 48-for-48 last year, including the postseason, blew consecutive save opportunities against the New York Yankees last weekend. “That was big,” Manuel said. “He needs some outings where he gets people out.” Shane Victorino had four hits and Pedro Feliz had two hits and two RBIs for the N.L. East-leading Phillies, who have won nine of 12. Marlins starter Andrew Miller (1-2) gave up four runs—two earned—and seven hits in six innings. “I kind of put us in a hole,” Miller said. Chad Durbin retired one batter in the ninth and left after loading the bases. Scott Eyre came in and got Ross Gload to hit a grounder to first baseman Ryan Howard, who made a wild throw to second that allowed two runs to score. It was Howard’s first error this year.
Phillies 5, Marlins 3 Florida AB R Bonifacio 3b-ss 4 0 Hermida rf 5 0 Ha.Ramirez ss 2 0 Helms 3b 3 0 Cantu 1b 4 0 Jo.Baker c 4 0 Uggla 2b 3 1 C.Ross cf 4 1 Coghlan lf 1 1 A.Miller p 2 0 a-Hayes ph 1 0 Leroux p 0 0 c-Gload ph 1 0 Totals 34 3 H BI 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 2 BB SO Avg. 1 2 .253 0 2 .267 0 0 .320 0 1 .233 0 1 .277 0 2 .275 1 2 .203 0 1 .252 3 0 .208 0 1 .000 0 1 .333 0 0 --0 0 .274 5 13

Hernandez goes distance
NEW YORK—Livan Hernandez actually had a little left at the end, too. “Maybe 20 more pitches,” he said. Hernandez kept working out of trouble, throwing the New York Mets’ first complete game of the season while shutting down Ryan Zimmerman and the Washington Nationals 6-1. Hernandez (4-1) warmed up with 85 pitches in the bullpen, then tossed another 127 to win. If he was struggling, it never showed. As usual, he blew bubbles on the mound. “It looked easy, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s a lot of pitches.” Hernandez gave up nine hits in going the distance for the 46th time in his career, most recently in May 2008 with Minnesota. Zimmerman’s streak of safely reaching base ended at 43 games. He went 0-for-4 and struck out twice, falling three games short of the franchise record set by Rusty Staub for Montreal from 1969-70. No Mets starter had even reached the eighth inning this year, and Hernandez delivered on a drizzly night when New York trotted out a depleted lineup. The Mets put All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and outfielder Ryan Church on the disabled list before the game, and plan to hold out Carlos Beltran until the weekend because of a bruise below his knee. — The Associated Press
Mets 6, Nationals 1 Washington AB R C.Guzman ss 4 0 N.Johnson 1b 4 0 Zimmerman 3b 4 0 Dunn rf 3 1 Willingham lf 4 0 W.Harris cf 4 0 J.Bard c 4 0 A.Hernandez 2b 3 0 Stammen p 1 0 Bergmann p 0 0 K.Wells p 0 0 a-Maxwell ph 0 0 Tavarez p 0 0 Totals 31 1 New York Pagan cf Castillo 2b D.Wright 3b Sheffield lf Reed lf Tatis 1b F.Martinez rf Santos c R.Martinez ss Li.Hernandez p Totals AB 4 3 5 3 0 3 3 4 4 4 33 H BI 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 1 BB SO Avg. 0 1 .348 0 0 .329 0 2 .339 1 0 .284 0 1 .224 0 0 .265 0 1 .179 0 1 .280 0 0 .333 0 0 .000 0 0 --0 0 .167 0 0 .000 1 6 BB SO Avg. 1 1 .296 2 0 .283 0 2 .349 1 0 .291 0 0 .304 0 0 .278 0 2 .000 0 0 .268 0 0 .100 0 0 .111 4 5 9 10 0 0

Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Rollins ss 5 2 0 0 0 0 .228 Victorino cf 5 1 4 1 0 1 .284 Utley 2b 4 1 1 0 1 0 .290 Howard 1b 3 0 0 1 1 1 .257 Ibanez lf 2 0 1 1 1 0 .347 Werth rf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .255 Feliz 3b 4 0 2 2 0 0 .308 Ruiz c 4 0 1 0 0 0 .282 Blanton p 2 0 0 0 1 1 .077 Madson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --b-Dobbs ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .135 Durbin p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 S.Eyre p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Lidge p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --Totals 34 5 10 5 4 4 Florida 000 000 003 — 3 6 1 Philadelphia 300 001 10x — 5 10 1 a-struck out for A.Miller in the 7th. b-flied out for Madson in the 8th. c-reached on error for Leroux in the 9th. E: Ha.Ramirez (3), Howard (1). LOB: Florida 9, Philadelphia 10. 2B: C.Ross (12), Victorino 2 (11), Werth (9), Feliz (12), Ruiz (7). RBIs: Hermida (18), Gload (8), Victorino (25), Howard (34), Ibanez (44), Feliz 2 (25). SF: Ibanez. Runners left in scoring position: Florida 5 (A.Miller 3, Helms 2); Philadelphia 4 (Ruiz 2, Feliz, Utley). Florida A.Miller L, 1-2 Leroux Philadelphia Blanton W, 3-3 Madson Durbin S.Eyre Lidge S, 9-13 IP 6 2 IP 7 1 1⁄3 0 2⁄3 H 7 3 H 5 0 1 0 0 R ER BB SO NP ERA 4 2 4 4 109 4.55 1 1 0 0 25 4.50 R ER BB SO NP ERA 0 0 2 11 114 6.14 0 0 0 1 9 2.82 3 1 2 0 19 4.62 0 0 0 0 6 3.48 0 0 1 1 16 8.85

R H BI 1 2 0 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 10 6

Washington 000 000 100—1 New York 012 000 30x—6

a-was hit by a pitch for K.Wells in the 8th. LOB: Washington 6, New York 9. 2B: C.Guzman (10), J.Bard (3), Santos (4), R.Martinez (1). HR: Dunn (15), off Li.Hernandez; Sheffield (5), off Bergmann. RBIs: Dunn (40), Sheffield 3 (17), Tatis (10), F.Martinez (1), R.Martinez (4). SB: Pagan (4), D.Wright (11). S: Stammen. Runners left in scoring position: Washington 5 (J.Bard 2, N.Johnson, Zimmerman 2); New York 6 (Sheffield, Li.Hernandez, Santos 2, D.Wright 2). Runners moved up: C.Guzman, W.Harris, D.Wright. GIDP: N.Johnson, Willingham, W.Harris, Santos. DP: Washington 1 (Zimmerman, A.Hernandez, N.Johnson); New York 3 (Castillo, R.Martinez, Tatis), (R.Martinez, Castillo, Tatis), (R.Martinez, Castillo, Tatis). Washington IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Stammen L, 0-1 5 7 3 3 2 2 95 5.56 Bergmann 1 3 3 3 0 1 31 5.40 K.Wells 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 5.73 Tavarez 1 0 0 0 2 1 24 5.68 New York IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Li.Hernandez W, 4-1 9 9 1 1 1 6 127 4.28 Bergmann pitched to 4 batters in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored: K.Wells 1-0. HBP: by Bergmann (Tatis), by Stammen (F.Martinez), by Li.Hernandez (Maxwell). WP: Tavarez. Umpires: Home, Dan Iassogna; First, Sam Holbrook; Second, Adrian Johnson; Third, Larry Vanover. T: 2:40. A: 39,376 (41,800).

TOM MIHALEK / AP

By throwing seven shutout innings, Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton lowered his ERA from 7.11 to 6.14.

Lidge entered with runners at second and third. He walked Emilio Bonifacio to load the bases again. After Jeremy Hermida’s RBI groundout made it 5-3, Lidge struck out Wes Helms to end it.

“We were trying to get their closer up and we got him in the game, so good for us,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. — The Associated Press

S.Eyre pitched to 1 batter in the 9th. Inherited runners-scored: S.Eyre 3-2, Lidge 2-1. IBB: off Blanton (Coghlan). WP: A.Miller 2. Umpires: Home, John Hirschbeck; First, Wally Bell; Second, Marty Foster; Third, Marvin Hudson. T: 2:55. A: 42,249 (43,647).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cardinals 8, Brewers 1 St. Louis AB R H Schumaker 2b-rf 5 1 3 Duncan lf 4 1 2 Pujols 1b 3 0 1 Y.Molina c 4 0 0 Rasmus cf 5 1 2 K.Greene ss 3 0 0 Stavinoha rf 4 1 2 Barden 3b 1 0 0 Wainwright p 4 1 1 D.Reyes p 0 0 0 C.Perez p 0 0 0 b-Br.Ryan ph 1 0 0 Boyer p 0 0 0 Thurston 3b-2b 3 3 2 Totals 37 8 13 Milwaukee Counsell ss McGehee 2b Braun lf Catalanotto lf Fielder 1b M.Cameron cf Hart rf Hall 3b Kendall c Suppan p McClung p Julio p a-Gerut ph Stetter p Coffey p DiFelice p c-Gamel ph Totals AB 4 3 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 33 R 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 H 2 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

24
SO 2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 Avg. .285 .348 .233 .324 .352 .259 .313 .286 .100 --.146 --Avg. .229 .256 .364 .294 .228 .288 .218 .259 .296 .000 .000 .429 ----.273 --0 0

St. Louis 8, Milwaukee 1

Cards’ Wainwright lets his bat do the work

BI 1 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 BI 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

BB 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 BB 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

SO 0 0 1 0 2 2 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 8 SO 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 9

Avg. .309 .257 .323 .268 .234 .202 .242 .256 .179 ----.237 --.236 Avg. .319 .243 .323 .000 .266 .290 .243 .223 .211 .125 .000 .000 .218 --.000 --.200 8 13 2 1 6 0

Cincinnati 6, Houston 4

Oswalt can’t help Astros
CINCINNATI—How bad are things going for the Houston Astros this season? Roy Oswalt can’t even beat the Reds. Joey Votto hit a two-run homer in the seventh—an inning after Oswalt failed to hold a lead against the team he’s beaten like no other—and Cincinnati rallied for a 6-4 victory Tuesday night that sent the Astros to their season-high sixth straight loss. This one left them a little dazed. “With your ace on the mound, you figure if you don’t have it, you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting it,” manager Cecil Cooper said. “We let two leads slip away there. We just need him to step up and be who he’s supposed to be.” Oswalt has dominated Cincinnati since his rookie year in 2001. He’s 23-1 in his career against them, but this season, he has lost his touch. In three starts against the Reds, Oswalt has failed to get even one win. This one slipped off the middle and index fingers of his right hand. Oswalt knocked down a comebacker in the fifth inning, the ball deflecting off those two fingers. When he came back to pitch the sixth with a 4-3 lead, he had trouble feeling the ball. “I came back out there and couldn’t really squeeze the ball well,” Oswalt said. — The Associated Press

Reds 6, Astros 4 Houston AB Bourn cf 5 Tejada ss 5 Berkman 1b 3 Ca.Lee lf 4 Pence rf 3 I.Rodriguez c 4 Keppinger 3b 3 Maysonet 2b 4 Oswalt p 2 Byrdak p 0 b-Erstad ph 1 Hawkins p 0 Totals 34

R 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

H 1 3 1 2 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 11

BI 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 4

BB 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4

Cincinnati AB R H BI BB SO Dickerson cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 Hairston Jr. 2b 2 1 0 0 1 0 Votto 1b 4 1 1 2 0 2 R.Hernandez c 4 0 1 2 0 1 Bruce rf 4 1 1 0 0 1 L.Nix lf 4 1 2 1 0 1 Ale.Gonzalez ss 3 0 1 0 1 0 A.Rosales 3b 3 0 0 0 0 2 Owings p 2 1 1 0 0 0 Lincoln p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Herrera p 0 0 0 0 0 0 a-Gomes ph 0 0 0 1 1 0 Masset p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Weathers p 0 0 0 0 0 0 c-Taveras ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 Cordero p 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 31 6 8 6 3 7 Houston Cincinnati 000 301 000—4 002 101 20x—6 11 8

St. Louis 011 302 010 — Milwaukee 001 000 000 —

MORRY GASH / AP

St. Louis P Adam Wainwright said he couldn’t pull it together on the mound Monday, but he managed to strike out nine over seven innings and hit a home run. MILWAUKEE—Adam Wainwright said he never found his groove on the mound. He certainly seemed comfortable at the plate. Wainwright hit one of four Cardinals homers and struck out a career-high nine in seven innings, lifting St. Louis to an 8-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. “I’m still not even hitting the Mendoza line,” said Wainwright, who admitted he’d choose not to hit if he could. “But, I’m seeing the ball better.” So were the rest of the Cardinals. Nick Stavinoha, Colby Rasmus and Chris Duncan also homered to snap a four-game skid against their NL Central rivals. Wainwright (5-2) lost a 1-0 decision on May 16 against Brewers starter Jeff Suppan despite giving up just two hits over eight innings. This time, the 27-year-old righthander made sure the Cardinals scored at least one run and worked out of two bases-loaded jams. He scattered five hits and two walks. “My arm was just not in a position to throw a baseball correctly tonight, but I just said I was going to fire it up there and let my defense work,” Wainwright said. With teams pitching around slugger Albert Pujols, who drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly in the third and a single in the eighth, St. Louis finally showed some pop from the rest of its lineup. Stavinoha, Rasmus and Wainwright each hit a solo homer off Suppan. Duncan’s two-run shot came in the sixth off reliever Seth McClung to make it 7-1 and marked the second time this year the Cardinals have hit four home runs in a game. “Albert’s not going to hit them every single day, though you think he’s going to, so for the other guys to come through finally, it’s big for us,” said Skip Schumaker, who had three hits. “He’s obviously the best player in baseball in my opinion, but for someone else to come through is a good thing for our offense. It’s been a few weeks since that’s happened.” St. Louis, which has lost 11 of its last 13 against the Brewers, is without Ryan Ludwick (hamstring) and Rick Ankiel (shoulder), but managed to move back into a tie for first in the NL Central with Milwaukee. — The Associated Press

a-struck out for Julio in the 7th. b-grounded out for C.Perez in the 9th. c-grounded out for DiFelice in the 9th. E: Y.Molina (1), K.Greene (7). LOB: St. Louis 9, Milwaukee 8. 2B: Schumaker (9), Rasmus (8), Thurston (9). HR: Stavinoha (1), off Suppan; Rasmus (5), off Suppan; Wainwright (1), off Suppan; Duncan (4), off McClung. RBIs: Schumaker (14), Duncan 2 (26), Pujols 2 (40), Rasmus (18), Stavinoha (6), Wainwright (2), Fielder (43). SB: Y.Molina (3), Thurston (3). CS: Pujols (2). SF: Pujols. Runners left in scoring position: St. Louis 4 (Duncan, Stavinoha, Wainwright, Br.Ryan); Milwaukee 5 (Suppan 2, Hart 2, Hall). DP: St. Louis 1 (Thurston, Schumaker, Pujols); Milwaukee 1 (Hall, Fielder). St. Louis IP Wainwright W, 5-2 7 D.Reyes 2⁄3 C.Perez 1⁄3 Boyer 1 Milwaukee IP Suppan L, 3-4 3 2⁄3 McClung 2 1⁄3 Julio 1 Stetter 1⁄3 Coffey 2⁄3 DiFelice 1 H 5 1 0 0 H 7 2 1 1 1 1 R ER BB SO NP ERA 1 1 2 9 105 3.18 0 0 0 0 13 3.38 0 0 0 0 5 2.70 0 0 0 0 1610.80 R ER BB SO NP ERA 5 5 1 2 57 5.23 2 2 3 2 48 3.09 0 0 1 2 26 5.71 1 1 1 0 15 4.73 0 0 0 0 7 2.86 0 0 0 2 15 1.25

a-walked for Herrera in the 6th. b-grounded out for Byrdak in the 8th. c-grounded out for Weathers in the 8th. LOB: Houston 8, Cincinnati 6. 2B: Tejada (16), I.Rodriguez (7). 3B: Berkman (1). HR: Keppinger (2), off Lincoln; L.Nix (4), off Oswalt; Votto (8), off Byrdak. RBIs: I.Rodriguez 2 (21), Keppinger (4), Maysonet (1), Votto 2 (33), R.Hernandez 2 (18), L.Nix (10), Gomes (4). S: Oswalt, Hairston Jr.. Runners left in scoring position: Houston 6 (Ca. Lee, Oswalt 2, I.Rodriguez 3); Cincinnati 3 (A.Rosales, Dickerson 2). Runners moved up: Tejada, Pence. GIDP: Berkman, Oswalt. DP: Cincinnati 2 (Ale.Gonzalez, Votto), (A.Rosales, Ale. Gonzalez, Votto).

Houston Oswalt
Byrdak L, 0-1 Hawkins Cincinnati

Owings
Lincoln Herrera Masset W, 2-0 Weathers H, 7 Cordero S, 13-13

IP 6 1 1 IP 5 1⁄3 2⁄3 1 1 1

H 7 1 0 H 6 2 1 1 0 1

R ER BB SO 4 4 2 5 2 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 R ER BB SO 3 3 4 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NP ERA 94 4.62 22 3.71 9 2.75 NP ERA 99 4.78 5 9.56 16 2.04 14 1.15 14 2.70 16 1.71

Inherited runners-scored: C.Perez 1-0, McClung 1-0, Coffey 2-1. HBP: by Wainwright (Braun). Umpires: Home, Paul Nauert; First, Paul Schrieber; Second, Ed Rapuano; Third, Chad Fairchild. T: 3:00. A: 37,404 (41,900).

Inherited runners-scored: Herrera 1-0. IBB: off Owings (Keppinger). HBP: by Oswalt (A.Rosales). PB: I.Rodriguez. Umpires: Home, Mike Everitt; First, Mike Estabrook; Second, Brian Gorman; Third, C.B. Bucknor. T: 2:57 (Rain delay: 0:39). A: 15,619 (42,319).

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NATIONAL LEAGUE Arizona 6, San Diego 5

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

25

L.A. Dodgers 7, Colorado 1

Milton throws 5 strong for first win since ’06
DENVER—Eric Milton was finally rewarded after a drawn-out, difficult rehabilitation. The lefthander allowed one run in five innings for his first win in nearly three years and Casey Blake hit a three-run double in the fifth, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 7-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night. “It was a long time coming,” said Milton, who fought back from Tommy John surgery. “I always had confidence. I just told myself, ‘This is where I belonged, in the big leagues,’ and I was going to do everything I could to get back here. Hopefully, I can stick around.” Milton (1-0) gave every indication that he could, striking out three and walking none in helping the Dodgers to their seventh win in eight meetings with the Rockies. He hadn’t won since beating St. Louis on Aug. 8, 2006, for the Cincinnati Reds. “It’s got to mean a lot to him,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “This kid worked very hard to get back here.” A former All-Star who pitched a nohitter a decade ago for Minnesota, Milton had reconstructive surgery on his left elbow in June 2007 and missed all of 2008 before joining the Dodgers as a free agent in February. Making his second start for the Dodgers after beginning the season with Class AAA Albuquerque, Milton scattered seven hits, including Clint Barmes’ leadoff homer in the fifth inning. “He made some good pitches,” Barmes said. “He kept us off balance with his slider and changeup and then pounded us with his fastball.” Dodgers catcher Brad Ausmus said that Milton helped himself by getting
Dodgers 7, Rockies 1 Los Angeles AB R H BI Pierre lf 5 2 3 2 Hudson 2b 3 1 2 1 Ethier rf 4 1 0 0 Hoffmann rf 0 0 0 0 Blake 3b 5 0 2 3 Loney 1b 4 0 1 0 Kemp cf 5 0 0 0 J.Castro ss 4 1 2 0 Ausmus c 5 2 2 0 Milton p 2 0 0 0 Wade p 0 0 0 0 Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 Leach p 0 0 0 0 Totals 37 7 12 6 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .394 2 1 .349 1 2 .250 0 0 .300 0 1 .309 1 0 .291 0 0 .290 1 0 .400 0 0 .355 0 1 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 --5 5

Young’s snag saves D-backs from disaster
PHOENIX—The Arizona Diamondbacks made a six-run lead stand up this time—barely. Max Scherzer struck out 10 and drove in two runs, Chris Young made a leaping catch at the fence for the final out and Arizona held off San Diego 6-5 on Tuesday night to snap the Padres’ 10-game winning streak. The Diamondbacks nearly blew a six-run lead for the second straight day. On Monday, they let the Padres rally from a 7-1 deficit in the eighth for a 9-7 victory in 10 innings. On Tuesday, the Padres scored four in the eighth to pull to 6-4, then loaded the bases against Juan Gutierrez with no outs in the ninth. “I was like, ‘Here we go again,’” said Arizona’s Mark Reynolds, who hit his team-high 13th homer. But with the potential tying run at third, Young ended the game with a terrific grab on a drive to center by Kevin Kouzmanoff. Young’s play meant the Diamondbacks wouldn’t have to relive their Memorial Day nightmare. “They did that to us in the eighth inning yesterday,” Scherzer said. “It just rips your gut apart when that happens, and they were starting to do it again, in the eighth inning again. For us to show resiliency and get the win, that’s the important part.” — The Associated Press

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 5 San Diego AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Giles rf 5 0 3 0 0 0 .189 Eckstein 2b 4 1 1 0 0 0 .226 Hairston cf-lf 4 1 0 0 1 2 .323 Kouzmanoff 3b 4 0 0 1 0 1 .231 Headley lf-1b 4 0 2 1 0 1 .242 Hundley c 4 0 0 0 0 3 .241 E.Gonzalez 1b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .180 b-Macias ph 0 0 0 0 1 0 .294 Gregerson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --C.Burke ss 3 1 1 1 0 1 .230 c-Ad.Gonzalez ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .280 Jo.Wilson ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 .167 Correia p 2 0 1 0 0 1 .300 Meredith p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --a-Gwynn ph-cf 2 2 2 0 0 0 .273 Totals 36 5 10 3 2 11 Arizona G.Parra lf Ojeda 2b J.Upton rf S.Drew ss Reynolds 1b Montero c C.Young cf R.Roberts 3b Scherzer p Slaten p Vasquez p J.Gutierrez p Totals AB 4 4 3 4 4 3 3 4 3 0 0 0 32 R H BI 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 10 6 BB SO Avg. 0 0 .275 0 1 .256 1 0 .325 0 0 .193 0 3 .264 1 0 .217 1 1 .173 0 1 .366 0 1 .294 0 0 --0 0 --0 0 --3 7

Colorado AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Fowler cf 4 0 0 0 1 0 .264 Tulowitzki ss 5 0 1 0 0 1 .234 Helton 1b 4 0 1 0 0 3 .335 Spilborghs rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .265 Murton lf 3 0 1 0 1 0 .281 Atkins 3b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .192 Barmes 2b 3 1 1 1 0 0 .240 Quintanilla 2b 0 0 0 0 1 0 .211 Torrealba c 3 0 0 0 1 0 .200 Cook p 2 0 1 0 0 1 .211 Fogg p 0 0 0 0 0 0 --a-Stewart ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .187 Grilli p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 b-S.Smith ph 0 0 0 0 1 0 .263 Totals 33 1 7 1 5 7 Los Angeles 100 030 120 — 7 12 0 Colorado 000 010 000 — 1 7 1 a-struck out for Fogg in the 7th. b-walked for Grilli in the 9th. E: Cook (2). LOB: Los Angeles 10, Colorado 10. 2B: Blake 2 (12). 3B: Pierre (3). HR: Barmes (5), off Milton. RBIs: Pierre 2 (18), Hudson (30), Blake 3 (32), Barmes (18). CS: Spilborghs (3). S: Milton, Troncoso. Runners left in scoring position: Los Angeles 7 (Loney 2, J.Castro, Milton, Kemp, Ethier, Ausmus); Colorado 5 (Cook, Barmes, Helton, Tulowitzki 2). DP: Colorado 1 (Barmes, Helton). Los Angeles Milton W, 1-0 Wade H, 7 Troncoso Leach Colorado Cook L, 3-2 Fogg Grilli IP 5 1 2 1 IP 6 1 2 H 7 0 0 0 H 8 0 4 R ER BB SO 1 1 0 3 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 2 1 R ER BB SO 5 4 3 2 0 0 1 1 2 2 1 2 NP ERA 82 3.00 19 5.74 36 2.08 25 6.00 NP ERA 88 4.82 16 0.00 43 6.06

San Diego 000 000 041 — 5 10 0 Arizona 000 024 00x — 6 10 0 a-singled for Meredith in the 8th. b-walked for E.Gonzalez in the 8th. c-flied out for C.Burke in the 8th. LOB: San Diego 8, Arizona 5. 2B: Giles (8), G.Parra (1), J.Upton (12), R.Roberts (4), Scherzer (2). HR: C.Burke (1), off Scherzer; Reynolds (13), off Correia. RBIs: Kouzmanoff (18), Headley (18), C.Burke (4), G.Parra (11), S.Drew (14), Reynolds 2 (27), Scherzer 2 (3). SB: R.Roberts (3). Runners left in scoring position: San Diego 5 (Kouzmanoff 2, Eckstein, Ad.Gonzalez 2); Arizona 2 (Ojeda 2). DP: San Diego 2 (C.Burke, Eckstein, E.Gonzalez), (Eckstein, C.Burke, E.Gonzalez); Arizona 1 (R.Roberts, Ojeda, Reynolds). San Diego Correia L, 1-3 Meredith Gregerson Arizona Scherzer W, 2-3 Slaten Vasquez J.Gutierrez S, 1-2 IP 5 2⁄3 1 1⁄3 1 IP 7 1⁄3 0 1 2⁄3 H 9 1 0 H 6 0 1 3 R ER BB SO NP ERA 6 6 1 5 88 5.11 0 0 1 0 19 3.31 0 0 1 2 18 3.62 R ER BB SO NP ERA 2 2 0 10 103 3.38 0 0 0 0 1 6.35 2 2 1 0 12 6.91 1 1 1 1 32 3.42

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP

P Eric Milton had reconstructive surgery in 2007, then sat out ’08 before signing with the Dodgers. ahead of hitters and spotting his curveball. “That was very effective for him today. He was getting some popups and quick outs,” Ausmus said. Juan Pierre had three more hits, including a triple and a two-run single to continue a torrid pace since stepping into the lineup earlier this month in place of the suspended Manny Ramirez. He has hit .410 (32 for 78) in 18 games since May 7. Orlando Hudson chipped in by going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of walks, extending his career-best hitting streak to 16 games for the Dodgers, now a season-high 17 games over .500 with the major league’s best record (32-15). “Offensively, we’re continuing to live up to our billing,” Ausmus said. “When we lost Manny, a lot of the naysayers thought we would have trouble scoring runs but apparently, that isn’t true.” — The Associated Press

Cook pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. Milton pitched to 1 batter in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored: Wade 1-0, Fogg 1-0. Umpires: Home, Andy Fletcher; First, Scott Barry; Second, Ted Barrett; Third, Tim McClelland. T: 3:13. A: 25,384 (50,449).

Scherzer pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. Vasquez pitched to 3 batters in the 8th. Inherited runners-scored: Meredith 1-1, Slaten 1-0, Vasquez 1-1, J.Gutierrez 3-2. HBP: by J.Gutierrez (Eckstein), by Vasquez (Kouzmanoff). WP: J.Gutierrez. Umpires: Home, Mike Reilly; First, Chuck Meriwether; Second, Laz Diaz; Third, Eric Cooper. T: 2:40. A: 18,631 (48,652).

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

26

Scouts’ views

Cornerback rankings: Asomugha is best, still getting better
The cornerback position will always feature some of the NFL’s top athletes, but the position is evolving. Speed will continue to be the calling card, but teams are looking for that same speed in bigger corners who can compete with the size and quickness of today’s wideouts and support the run. RealScouts, SN Today’s team of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20 cornerbacks for ‘09:

excellent tackler and run-support player.

Belichick’s system.

Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders. Asomugha is the best cover corner in the league and just entering the prime of his career. He’s a fantastic athlete with outstanding speed whose skills are featured in the Raiders’ man cover scheme. Cortland Finnegan, Titans. Finnegan started out hot in 2008 and then teams stopped throwing his way. He can turn and run with receivers, closes quickly on the ball in zone coverage and is a scoring threat with the ball in his hands. Champ Bailey, Broncos. Until last year’s groin tear, Bailey was a model of durability in his 10-year career. He’s scheduled to be back at full health this year, but he’ll also be 31. Expect him to be tested early in the season, but his instincts and natural cover skills will keep him among the elite. Asante Samuel, Eagles. Samuel didn’t set a career high in interceptions in his first year in Philly, but he broke up a personal-best 24 passes and was extremely active in the Eagles’ aggressive scheme. Philadelphia had one of the best pass defenses in the second half of the season and will be better this year. Nate Clements, 49ers. Clements’ numbers were down in 2008, but he is still one of the best all-around corners. In addition to outstanding cover skills, he’s an excellent tackler who is strong against the run and can play any

1.

Rashean Mathis, Jaguars. Injuries have stolen much of the past two seasons from Mathis, who needs to stay healthy and play within the scheme. He has a host of physical tools and natural talents, but has tried too hard to make things happen and his overaggressiveness has led to mistakes in coverage. Marcus Trufant, Seahawks. He can shut down the top receivers with his ability to cover long and close quickly on shorter routes. Those skills will play well in the Seahawks’ cover 2 looks under new coach Jim Mora. Trufant has good hands, is a dangerous runner after the catch and will be helped by a renewed pass rush. Terence Newman, Cowboys. Newman is explosive and athletic and shows great speed and agility. He can be overaggressive in coverage at times but has been playing with more maturity and better technique recently. Dunta Robinson, Texans. He has great athletic ability but needs to stay healthy. He has shutdown ability and can make big plays all over the field. Charles Woodson, Packers. As age and injury work against him, Woodson may make a move to safety at some point. But he’s still an excellent bump-andrun corner who plays tight man coverage but is also comfortable in zone schemes. He led all corners in interceptions last season and is a willing tackler against the run. Leigh Bodden, Patriots. Bodden is big and fast and a strong player near the line, both as a press corner and in run support. Though he struggled last year in Detroit, he’ll be a superior player in Bill

10.

Kelvin Hayden, Colts. Hayden has good range and speed, closes quickly and makes plays on the ball. He’s an excellent fit in the Colts’ cover 2 system. Bryant McFadden, Cardinals. McFadden has some serious big-game experience to go with excellent ball skills and tackling ability. Best of all, he’s only 27. A broken arm in 2008 hurt his free-agent value, but he is a good all-around player and will be a good fit in a much-improved Arizona secondary. Al Harris, Packers. Harris is an excellent press corner, even at 34. However, he won’t be as quick as Woodson to adjust to the zone schemes the Pack will play in their new 3-4. Harris will have to adjust to playing off receivers or the Packers may have to alter the scheme to fit his skills. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Cardinals. As a rookie, RodgersCromartie flashed impressive athletic ability and rare ball skills. He has a unique combination of size and speed and adjusts well to the ball in the air. With McFadden in the lineup and a year of experience under his belt, Rodgers-Cromartie should be better in 2009. He just has to prove 2008 wasn’t a fluke. Eric Wright, Browns. Wright is fast and athletic, willing in run support and aggressive getting to the ball. He has also shown the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. Opposing quarterbacks shied away from him last season when they found an easier target in Brandon McDonald, but Wright is an improving young talent.
— RealScouts, a team of former NFL scouts, analyzes NFL and college players, coaches and teams exclusively for Sporting News Today.

16. 17.

11.

2. 3.

18. 19.

12. 13.

PAUL SAKUMA / AP

SN scouts say Raiders star CB Nnamdi Asomugha is just entering the prime of his career.
position in the secondary. the Chargers put him on the field and he’s healthy, he’ll make big plays.

4.

Darrelle Revis, Jets. Revis flashed a lot of talent in his first two seasons. He’s a ballhawk who displays good technique, size, instincts and toughness and will excel in Rex Ryan’s zone coverage schemes. Antonio Cromartie, Chargers. He was criticized heavily for his poor play in 2008, then it was revealed he had played the entire season with a fractured hip. Coordinator Ron Rivera runs an aggressive scheme, which will help Cromartie in coverage. There is some talk he might not start, but if

6. 7.

14.

5.

DeAngelo Hall, Redskins. Attitude and off-field persona aside, Hall can flat-out play. He revived his career with the Redskins after bombing in Oakland, and his ball skills and cover ability in man and zone schemes will help him excel behind an improved front. Antoine Winfield, Vikings. Winfield is an aggressive, physical corner who loves to mix it up at the line of scrimmage and knock receivers off their routes. He is also an

8. 9.

20.

15.

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

27

Q&A with ... 49ers coach Mike Singletary

Coaches busy ‘repairing’ QB Alex Smith’s confidence
Mike Singletary is trying to change the attitude of a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2002, trying to build a tough-minded, hard-working group in his image. Sporting News Radio’s Tim Montemayor caught up with Singletary this week to talk about the loss of cornerback Walt Harris, the Alex Smith-Shaun Hill quarterback competition and the progress of rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

things and how he approaches the game. I’m sure some of that has rubbed off on our younger guys. I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenge that they have to step up. How does the defense look? I’m not going to get excited about it right now. We don’t have on pads, and we haven’t really moved forward doing the things we need to do. Everybody is coming together and understanding what we have to do and the level of defense we have to play. I think it’s such a great fit because our guys are so hungry. We’re just going to go forward and build on that momentum.

Q: A:

As your offseason practices gear up, how do you feel about the club? I think we’re right on track with where we need to be. We’re just continuing to make the strides that we need to make, coming together as a team and trying to figure out the areas that we need to fill and get them right. Is it difficult to come up with that intensity on a daily basis? For me, it’s my personality, it’s who I am; I’m not trying to manufacture anything. I’m not being anything different than if I were doing anything else in life. I’m going to be who I am every day I show up. That desire is going to be there. How do you replace Harris, who tore his ACL last week and will miss the ’09 season? Trying to replace a guy like Walt goes beyond what he does on the field, Xs-and-Os wise. It’s the experience that he brings, and more than anything else, the professionalism that Walter brings to our football club. He’s one of our captains. He’s the guy on the back end that kind of smoothes everything out when things get a little bit out of whack. So we’re going to miss him. Fortunately, on the other side of it going forward, we have some younger guys who have watched Walt and how he does

Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:

to me, that deserves a tremendous amount of respect coming to a team that was probably the worst team in the league. We had a horrible offensive line, had a receiving corps that was just very average and didn’t have a whole lot for him to work with. He’s been through a lot of tough situations, and he’s had to mature. For him to come back to us for less money than he probably would’ve gotten in a couple other places, it says a lot about him.

Q: A: Q: A:

Q: A:

What can you tell us about your quarterback competition? I’m excited about Alex Smith and Shaun Hill. The fact that Alex is healthy and competing ... he and Shaun continue to push each other every day. They go out there and compete like professionals. They’re friends, but when they get on the field it’s all about business. It’s all about who that guy is going to be who’s going to lead our football team. Before it’s all said and done, I’m sure we’ll need both of them. Right now, I’m excited about what I see in Alex and his ability to throw the ball. He looks healthy—he’s moving well. Shaun is doing the things he’s always done to keep us excited about him. It’s going to be a really nice competition all the way through. Is Smith more of a rebuilding project? I can’t say “rebuilding.” If anything, it’s repairing his confidence. In terms of ability and what he’s able to do, I wouldn’t say rebuilding at all. He’s a guy,

Where would Michael Vick fit into your situation? (G.M.) Scot McCloughan and myself have not really talked about Mike Vick a whole lot. His name has been mentioned maybe once or twice very early on. But going forward, I think we have enough on our plate with these two guys competing against one another. Will you update us on your first two draft picks, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Glen Coffee? Crabtree is standing on the sidelines and learning all the things he can learn and spending a lot of time with (wide receivers coach) Jerry Sullivan. We’ll get him full-go in training camp and be ready to go. We’re very excited about the possibilities of getting him on our football team healthy and making plays. Coffee, on the other side, is really having a very nice camp. I was talking to (running backs coach) Tom Rathman, and Tom is very excited about him. And I think Frank (Gore) is very excited about him. It’s just one of those things where you have an opportunity to get a guy who’s a class guy, who’s going to give you everything he has every opportunity that he has.

Q: A:

GEORGE NIKITIN / AP

Coach Mike Singletary had positive things to say about his two top rookies—Michael Crabtree and Glen Coffee.

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INSIDE DISH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

28

Brady back, says he wants to play another 10 years
Tom Brady took another step Tuesday in his recovery from major knee surgery, practicing with the Patriots for the first time Tuesday since suffering a season-ending knee injury in last year’s opening game. Brady and nearly the entire team participated in the first of four days of this week’s OTAs. A Patriots spokesman said Brady threw passes and did other activities during his first formal practice with the club since he suffered a torn ACL midway through the first quarter of the opener against Kansas City. There have been numerous signs Brady will be ready for the season opener Sept. 14 against the Bills. In a recent Sports Illustrated interview, Brady said he has no pain or restrictions in his movement when he runs and cuts. He told the magazine he’s “as confident as anyone could be that I’ll be ready to play, back to playing normally, when the season starts. I’ve done everything I could to push myself, sometimes too hard. Right now, I’m doing everything. Literally everything. There’s nothing I can’t do.” Brady, 31, also told SI: “I want to play until I am 41.”
MICHAEL THOMAS / AP

Drew Rosenhaus. Boldin, frustrated by his inability to secure a new contract with the Cardinals or a trade to another team, informed the NFL Players Association in a letter that he wanted to replace the agent. The players association says it received the letter on Friday, so with the required five-day waiting period, Boldin can sign with a new agent on Thursday. Boldin has been unhappy with his contract since the Cardinals signed teammate Larry Fitzgerald to a four-year, $40 million extension in 2008. Rosenhaus issued a statement saying he has great respect for Boldin and hopes the player returns to “the Rosenhaus Sports family” soon.
Rosenhaus announced veteran CB Will Allen has signed a two-year contract extension with the Dolphins worth $16.2 million, according to ESPN.com. Allen had three interceptions and a touchdown last season. Free-agent CB Rod Hood signed a one-year contract with the Browns and will compete for a starting job. Hood, 27, was cut by the Cardinals after their run to the Super Bowl. He played two seasons in Arizona after spending his first four years in Philadelphia. Hood is a strong candidate to displace Eric Wright or Brandon McDonald as a starter, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. Hood had 40 tackles and one interception last season after registering a career-high five interceptions—two of which he returned

for touchdowns—in 2007. He reportedly chose the Browns over the Rams. WR Matt Jones, who was released by the Jaguars in March, has been notified by the league he will not be suspended as the result of his violation of a court-mandated drug program, his agent told ESPN.com. Agent Dave Butz said Jones was informed last week he will be fined $50,000 but not suspended. Jones is expected to appeal the fine, his agent said. Jones was suspended for the final three games of 2008 but will be able to play a full schedule in ’09. He caught 65 passes for 761 yards and two touchdowns last season. After being absent from previous practice sessions, new Bucs TE Kellen Winslow participated in the OTAs Tuesday. Winslow explained his absences to PewterReport.com: “I just had some family issues I needed to deal with, some personal issues. The team understood. I had an excuse, and they excused me. I thank them for that. “(OTAs) are very important. They are voluntary, but they’re really not voluntary. You do need to be here and I wish I could have been here. I just couldn’t.” Winslow said he plans to attend all remaining OTAs as well as a mandatory minicamp in June. Supersized pro football players are prone to high blood pressure but fare better on some other health measures than more average-sized

men, new NFL-sponsored research shows. The mixed results suggest that intense physical conditioning can help reduce but not wipe out ill effects excess weight has on heart disease-related risks. Compared with other men their age, NFL players studied were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure—14 percent versus 6 percent for non-players. Among the biggest players—linemen with a body mass index in the obese range—about 90 percent had either high blood pressure or prehypertension, which is less dangerous but still risky. The biggest players also had worse levels of “good” cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides but fewer signs of pre-diabetes than non-players. The NFL filed notice Tuesday that it plans to appeal a federal judge’s ruling in the case of two Vikings defensive tackles facing suspensions over their positive tests for a banned drug. Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson threw out most of the claims by Vikings DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams. He also dismissed a lawsuit brought by the NFL players union on behalf of the Williamses and three Saints players also facing suspension. But Magnuson remanded the Williamses’ two remaining claims to state court. In Tuesday’s filing, attorneys for the NFL said they will ask the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to review whether Magnuson misapplied federal law when he didn’t dismiss those two claims outright.

Cowboys veteran pass rusher Greg Ellis is moving on. Anthony Spencer is moving in. After meeting with Ellis on Tuesday morning, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Ellis would be traded or released. Ellis, 33, has been with the team since his rookie season in 1998. He had eight sacks last year and

Despite eight sacks last season, Dallas is letting LB Greg Ellis go. has 77 in his career. His best season was 2007, when he came back from injury to record 12 1/2 sacks and win the NFL comeback player of the year award. With the departure of Ellis, the team is opening a starting spot for Spencer, a first-round pick in 2007. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reported the Dolphins are a potential destination for Ellis. Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin is in the process of firing his agent,

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DEFENSE Defensive ends—Kevin Carter, Tampa Bay; Earl Cochran, 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; Casey Tyler, Dallas; 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; Tra Battle, Dallas; Fakhir Brown, St. Louis; Terry Cousin, Cleveland; Jason Craft, St. Louis; Travis Fisher, Detroit; Reynaldo Hill, Tennessee; 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; 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

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

29

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; Martrez Milner, NY Giants; 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; 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; 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.

Colts’ Manning: ‘I’m not sure everybody’s on the same page’
INDIANAPOLIS—All Peyton Manning wants from the Indianapolis Colts is a game plan. It might take the team a little longer to satisfy the three-time league MVP. The front office is trying determine how retired assistants Tom Moore and Howard Mudd will fit into the coaching plans as “consultants.” Manning, who usually toes the company line, would like a better understanding of what to expect. “Somebody says one thing, then somebody else says another thing,” he said Tuesday after a minicamp practice. “I’m not sure everybody’s on the same page in this building. I’m just trying to focus on playing quarterback well.” The truth is, Colts officials don’t know a whole lot, either. Moore and Mudd retired two weeks ago to avoid losing money under the NFL’s revised pension plan. Last week, team owner Jim Irsay told The Indianapolis Star both would return as consultants. Apparently, those details are still being worked out. NFL Coaches Association executive director Larry Kennan said last week the two assistants would have to wait six months before returning. Moore is the only coordinator Manning has played for in 11 seasons; Mudd is the Colts’ longtime offensive line coach. But the Colts don’t know if they’ll really have to wait that long or what responsibilities Moore and Mudd will assume when they return. “It’s still in negotiations, and it’s a situation beyond our control,” new coach Jim Caldwell said. “At the same time, it will filter itself out at some point. I think what we have to do is focus in on what we can get done now.”
staff) will look like, I don’t know. But I’m sure Jim will make it very clear at some point.” The Colts are in the midst of perhaps their biggest transition since taking Manning with the No. 1 draft pick in 1998. Besides losing Moore and Mudd, Caldwell has replaced the retired Tony Dungy and has hired new defensive and special teams coordinators. It’s the first time since Manning’s rookie season the Colts have switched head coaches and both coordinators in the same season. Manning also lost Marvin Harrison, the franchise’s career receiving leader. He was released in a February salary-cap move. But the most recent moves, losing Moore and Mudd, and the uncertainty about what they’ll do this season has one of the league’s highest-profile players concerned. “I understand he’s somewhat confused because so are we,” Colts president Bill Polian said. “It’s an extremely complex issue that is very hard to understand. It’s frustrating. I’m sure he’s frustrated. I’m frustrated.” What Manning really wants, though, are answers. And that’s something the Colts just don’t have yet. “I wouldn’t say I totally like the way it is right now. It’s not normal not having a full coaching staff,” he said. “I know we hired a couple of guys to come in, but these guys are learning. “I think the communication has been pretty poor in my opinion. But that’s what we’re dealing with. The hard work is what’s going on right now. That’s what will carry us through.” — The Associated Press

MICHAEL CONROY / AP

Peyton Manning is looking for clarity on retired coordinator Tom Moore’s new duties. Manning is working on his job, but he would also like some answers. “I can’t tell you what’s going on. I will say I don’t think it’s been the most properly communicated scenario around here,” he said. “But we have learned to deal with change and have to be prepared to adjust.” The Colts already have announced assistant head coach Clyde Christensen will assume play-calling duties and assistant line coach Pete Metzelaars will have the word “assistant” dropped from his title. Indy veterans are content with those choices. Manning said Christensen helped call plays in third-down and red-zone situations last season, two categories in which the Colts had the league’s No. 1 conversion rate in 2008. Center Jeff Saturday, a three-time Pro Bowl player, said his line mates typically spoke with both Metzelaars and Mudd during games and practices last season, and because the focus this week is on strengthening and conditioning Saturday hasn’t seen much change yet. “We’ve not really done anything anyway,” he said. “We’d normally be meeting with Pete now, so it’s not really affected us. What will happen, or what it (the coaching

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NASCAR
INSIDE DISH

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

30

Commission should reconsider Long’s penalty
BY REID SPENCER rspencer@sportingnews.com

On June 2, the National Stock Car Racing Commission will have a chance to do something NASCAR’s competition division apparently couldn’t—restore sanity to the punishment process for those who violate NASCAR’s rules. On June 2, owner/driver Car Long will have his day in court, as he brings to the commission his appeal of the stiffest penalty ever levied against a Sprint Cup competitor. Reid Spencer What did Long THE COOL DOWN LAP do to warrant the wrath of the sanctioning body? He brought to the Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway an engine that exceeded NASCAR’s 358-cubic-inch displacement limit—by .17 cubic inches, according to Long. That transgression earned Long’s crew chief, Charles Swing, a fine of $200,000. If Swing can’t come up with the money, Long is on the hook. Long and Swing each drew a 12-race suspension to go along with 200-point penalties for the driver and owner of record (Long’s wife DeeDee). Let’s be clear. An oversized engine—even a fractionally oversized engine—is a big issue where NASCAR is concerned. That’s one of the sacrosanct areas in the rule book, and as Long found out, violators had better beware. But that doesn’t give NASCAR leave to impose what amounts to the death penalty on Long’s racing career without considering the mit-

TERRY RENNA / AP

The circumstances around Carl Long’s crime do not fit the punishment given to him. igating circumstances. The engine’s excessive bore came to light only because Long overheated it during practice for the Sprint Showdown, a qualifying event for the May 16 All-Star Race. Long replaced the engine and turned the power plant removed from the car over to NASCAR for inspection, as the rules require. Long insists, and his actions suggest, that he was unaware that his engine exceeded the 358-cubic-inch limit. Otherwise, why risk handing it over to NASCAR when the alternative was to pack up and go home without penalty? Intent, however, is only a mitigating factor when NASCAR decides it is. The sanctioning body took it easy

on Jeff Gordon in 2007 when the ride height of his Chevy was deemed too low—because on an improperly installed shock mount—after Gordon won one of the Duel 150 qualifying races for the Daytona 500. “We are 100 percent sure this is unintentional,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, Robin Pemberton, said at the time. “I believe that because of my own experiences (as a crew chief) through the years. It would take a different set of parts and pieces to machine something to do that intentionally.” Accordingly, Gordon’s only punishment was starting from the rear of the field in the 500. From the outside looking in, Long’s offense seems equally unintentional, but in this case, the punishment far exceeds the crime. “We work with the teams that want to participate here, as far as everything goes,” Pemberton said recently. “We owe it to the garage to try to keep a level playing field, and we also owe it to the participants that want to make good on their fines.” Even on a payment plan, however, Long would need years to retire a $200,000 debt. And if NASCAR’s suspension is upheld, he won’t be able to work his regular job as a spotter for Tony Raines. NASCAR also owes it to its competitors to level the playing field when it comes to doling out punishments. Rightly or wrongly, conspiracy theorists often have chastised NASCAR for dispensing unequal justice. The Carl Long case is gold-plated ammunition for those assaults. Let’s hope the commission does something about it. — Reid Spencer writes for the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service

NASCAR town-hall meeting productive
Gone are the days of a single-file procession to the NASCAR hauler. That was the message that resounded from meetings between NASCAR and its owner and driver constituencies held Tuesday morning and afternoon at the sanctioning body’s research-anddevelopment center. And if the conclaves were as NASCAR vice president of corporate communications Jim Hunter characterized them—as positive, productive and candid—they were also symbolic of a new way of doing business for NASCAR. In the past, drivers, crew chiefs and owners were accustomed to knocking on the door of the NASCAR hauler, parked at a racetrack, and voicing their individual issues and concerns. Over time, NASCAR could gauge a consensus. On Tuesday, NASCAR heard opinions en masse, from a multitude of sources. Subjects ranged from the performance of the new racecar to marketing efforts to a discussion of the drug-testing policy instituted before the 2009 season. “It started out as a discussion of topics, and we kind of turned it into an open forum about the topics,” Stewart-Haas driver Ryan Newman said. “I thought it was very beneficial for us to listen—and talk—and it was good communication.” If crew chief Tony Eury Jr. is looking for continued assurance that his pairing with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will continue indefinitely, he may not find the same level of support from team owner Rick Hendrick that he did as recently as five days ago.

TERRY RENNA / AP

Tony Eury Jr., left, may not have too much longer to work with cousin Dale Earnhardt Jr. During last Thursday’s qualifying session for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Hendrick expressed confidence in the combination to a SceneDaily.com reporter. However, that was before Earnhardt couldn’t get out of his own way Monday in the rain-delayed, rainshortened 600. Fighting an ill-handling car that his crew couldn’t fix, Earnhardt lost two laps on the track and finished 40th. SI.com on Tuesday quoted an anonymous garage source as saying that Eury would be out as Earnhardt’s crew chief before Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. Questioned as to whether a change might be coming, Hendrick was non-committal, but his level of confidence in the Earnhardt-Eury pairing appeared to have eroded somewhat. “We’re talking about things, we’re meeting, we’re going to make decisions as the days go by,” Hendrick said after exiting a meeting of drivers and team owners with NASCAR at the sanctioning body’s research-and-development center. “But we haven’t made any decision as of right now.” — Compiled by Reid Spencer

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College Basketball / Lacrosse

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

31

COLLEGE BASKETBALL INSIDE DISH

Boeheim beams over new point guard
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim contends recruit Brandon Triche is a better point guard “by a long shot” than star Jonny Flynn, who left the Orange for the NBA draft. But that’s not as outrageous as it sounds. Boeheim isn’t saying Triche is a better player than Flynn, or that he’ll be better for the Orange as a freshman than Flynn was during his spectacular sophomore season. But he is convinced Triche, who is 6-4, 195, is more adept at setting up and involving teammates in the attack, which could help the Orange to flourish in the Big East next season. “I think he’s going to be a great player,” Boeheim told Sporting News Today. “He can shoot it. He’s smart. He’s physical. He can’t go by people like Jonny, but nobody can. “He’ll start right away for us.” Triche was not ranked in the top 100 by either Scout.com or Rivals. com, but he scored 33 points in the prelim game at the Jordan Brand Classic and led Jamesville-Dewitt High to consecutive New York public-school state titles. Boeheim said Triche is “under the radar” because he did not play in many tournaments last summer. Having a point guard with a great feel for delivering the ball will be important given the many weapons in SU’s rotation. Boeheim expects the frontcourt of Arinze Onuaku, Rick Jackson and transfer Wesley Johnson will be “the best we’ve had here for many, many years.” He believes Johnson, who averaged 12.4 points at Iowa State in 2007-08, could be an All-Big East performer.

Orange, Blue Devils will be back in ’10
BY CHRISTIAN SWEZEY InsideLacrosse.com

The 2009 NCAA lacrosse season ended on Memorial Day when Syracuse defeated Cornell in overtime, 10-9, before 41,595 fans for its second consecutive NCAA title. The Orange will be tough to beat again in 2010. As will Duke, which returns virtually its entire team that won the ACC title and reached the Final Four. This is the last of the controversial decision by the NCAA to award an extra year to the players on Duke’s 2006 roster. Beaten finalist Cornell must replace five starters who were seniors in 2009. And there’s a spot in the top 10 for upstart Bucknell. Here’s our …

TOP 10 FOR 2010
Records and statistics are for 2009; class years are for 2010.
JOE LIPPINCOTT / AP

MICHAEL DWYER / AP

Midfielder Joel White, right, will lead Syracuse’s repeat bid. Sophomore Roy Lang scored a goal in the semifinals and final. Also back are sophomore Rob Pannell (25 goals, 42 assists) and senior Ryan Hurley (45 goals). Never quite solved the dilemma of four attackmen for three spots. Defense will be better with the return of junior Brian Farrell, who redshirted in 2009 with a rib injury. Starting attack is back intact. But the defense will not be an elite unit until 2011 at the earliest after showing very little improvement this year. Freshmen will like their chances of starting on defense and in midfield. Keep an eye on the attack— seniors Austin Winter (17 goals, 32 assists) and Tim Brandau (19 goals) and sophomore Charlie Streep (25 goals). Always strong on defense and the top seven offensive options are back, including seniors Tim Paul (18 goals, 14 assists) and Brendan Connors (21 goals, 10 assists).

Brandon Triche, right, will start immediately for Syracuse, according to coach Jim Boeheim. Veterans such as Onuaku, Jackson, Johnson and shooter Andy Rautins should help ease the transition to a freshman point guard. “I think the experience we have will be good for us,” Boeheim said. — Mike DeCourcy Kentucky announced Tuesday that sophomore F A.J. Stewart is seeking a transfer. Also seeking a transfer is freshman Donald Williams, who didn’t play last year. Besides those two underclassmen, the university confirmed C Jared Carter will not seek a fifth year of eligibility. Georgia Tech G D’Andre Bell has been cleared to play his senior season after undergoing spinal surgery. The 6-5 senior had the operation in December to correct a congenital condition known as spinal stenosis. He took a redshirt in hopes of getting medical clearance to resume his career. G Jeff Peterson, who started 25 games as a sophomore at Iowa, will join Arkansas as a transfer. Peterson averaged 10.6 points and 4.2 assists as a freshman with the Hawkeyes. He is originally from Springfield, Mo., but played high school basketball at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md. Peterson shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range, a handy skill in Razorbacks coach John Pelphrey’s wide-open attack. Peterson will sit out one year and join the Hogs for the 2010-11 season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining. — Mike DeCourcy

including senior attackmen Ned Crotty (56 assists) and Max Quinzani (46 goals) and standout defensemen Parker McKee and Mike Manley.

1.

Duke (15-4): Has back virtually the entire team,

6. Cornell (13-4):

Jack McBride (35 goals) and on defense with two starters back, plus sophomore goalie Tyler Fiorito (.587 save percentage). Need to find some midfielders. Junior midfielders Josh Amidon (14 goals, 9 assists) and Joel White (8 points, 63 groundballs) look like stars in the making as the Orange aim for a third consecutive national title. ) Debut of coach Joe Breschi included team’s first ACC victory since 2004. Good balance among junior attackman Billy Bitter (46 goals, 25 assists), senior midfielder Sean Delaney (35 goals) and starting defensemen Charlie McComas and Ryan Flanagan.

2.

Princeton (13-3): Strong on attack with junior

7. Maryland (10-7):

3. Syracuse (16-2):

8. Johns Hopkins (10-5): 9. Bucknell (9-7): 10. Navy (11-5):

4. North Carolina (12-6 : 5.

Virginia (15-3): Strong midfielders Shamel Brat-

ton (31 goals) and Brian Carroll (29 goals) are back. Lack of depth on defense is a concern.

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Soccer

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

32

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: BARCELONA VS. MANCHESTER UNITED 2:30 ET today, ESPN

Ronaldo, Messi lead star-studded teams in grand finale
ROME—From Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Lionel Messi to Wayne Rooney vs. Thierry Henry, this Champions League final shapes up as a classic matchup in European club soccer’s showpiece. Manchester United against Barcelona features two of the most entertaining teams in soccer in a contest to determine which is the strongest in Europe, if not the world. A glance at the two talented strikeforces and imaginative midfields on show at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico today gives neutral fans a taste of what could be one of the best ever finals. “I think they are two great teams, who in my mind play the best football, and whoever wins the final in Rome will be proclaimed the best team in the world,” Messi said. “It’s been my best year, without doubt. For the football, the play, for the goals and I hope to crown it with the Champions League.” A strong contender to succeed Man United’s Ronaldo as FIFA player of the year, Messi missed out on Barcelona’s 2006 triumph because he was injured and didn’t make it to the final against Arsenal. Now he faces a Man United side that won the title last season by beating Chelsea in a penalty shootout in Moscow and is aiming to become the first club since AC Milan in 1989-90 to lift the trophy two seasons in a row. Having won the Premier League for the third time in a row, 11th in 17 seasons and tied Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles, United is chasing its fourth trophy of the season. Alex Ferguson’s team has also captured the FIFA Club World Cup and domestic League Cup to take the veteran manager’s haul at United to 26 trophies in 23 years. Police said that the labels were shipped from China and were seized at Rome’s Ciampino airport. An official said the labels were going to be used to sell “official-looking” T-shirts and other merchandise at the game today. He said three Italians were being investigated.

Decline of Italian teams
While Italian clubs once dominated in European competition, the country can only sit back and watch as the Champions League final is played in Rome between teams from England and Spain. Recent success at the World Cup and even in the Champions League feels like an eternity ago as Italian clubs failed to reach the quarterfinals in the Champions League this season for the first time in seven years. “The decline of the Serie A is pretty much undeniable,” said Gabriele Marcotti, a book author and the European football correspondent for the Times of London. “Italian football has been completely and utterly mismanaged, to the point that where it has succeeded it has succeeded in spite of the people running it.
JON SUPER / AP

Manchester United and Barcelona soccer fans pledge their allegiances before today’s game. Both teams are listed as 10-11 favorites to win the game. The Manchester United centerback has missed United’s last four games after only just returning from a lingering groin problem. He said: “The injury is fine. I have been training the last couple of days with the team and feel good.” Chelsea in Moscow after he was surprisingly left out of the squad despite standout performances in the previous rounds. But Ferguson said Tuesday the Korean national team captain deserved his place in the squad for today’s final because of his performances in helping United capture its third Premier League title in a row and another appearance in the final of European football’s biggest club competition. Begiristain hopes Messi is fed up with the comparisons to Ronaldo, and takes it out on Manchester United. “If Messi is annoyed he becomes very dangerous,” Begiristain said. “I hope he’s annoyed. There are a lot of comparisons and that annoys him and motivates him a lot.”

An even matchup
British bookmakers Williams Hill can’t split Manchester United and Barcelona ahead of today’s game, with both teams listed as 10-11 shots to win the famous trophy. Both teams are 11-1 to score a winner in extra time and 9-1 to win on penalties. Although Barcelona’s stars have scored by far the most league and cup goals this season—151—United’s Ronaldo has the shortest odds to score first at 7-4 ahead of Wayne Rooney and Samuel Eto’o at 2-1. — The Associated Press

Park set to make history
Park Ji-sung is set to become the first Asian player to take part in a Champions League final after Ferguson said the Korean star would be in the squad. Park missed last season’s final against

Ferdinand says he’s fit
Rio Ferdinand says he is fit to face Barcelona after recovering from a calf muscle injury.

Police seize fake labels
Italy’s anti-fraud police say they seized 15,000 fake labels with Manchester United and Barcelona logos on the eve of the Champions League final.

Getting Messi mad
Barcelona technical director Txiki

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Golf
NOTEBOOK PGA glance

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

33

World Golf ranking
(Through May 24)
1. Tiger Woods 2. Phil Mickelson 3. Paul Casey 4. Sergio Garcia 5. Henrik Stenson 6. Geoff Ogilvy 7. Kenny Perry 8. Padraig Harrington 9. Vijay Singh 10. Camilo Villegas 11. Robert Karlsson 12. Sean O’Hair 13. Steve Stricker 14. Jim Furyk 15. Anthony Kim 16. Rory McIlroy 17. Lee Westwood 18. Ernie Els 19. Ian Poulter 20. Zach Johnson 21. Angel Cabrera 22. Ross Fisher 23. Mike Weir 24. Martin Kaymer 25. Luke Donald 26. Retief Goosen 27. Rory Sabbatini 28. Stewart Cink 29. Justin Leonard 30. Ben Curtis 31. Nick Watney 32. Alvaro Quiros 33. Tim Clark 34. Shingo Katayama 35. Robert Allenby 36. Soren Kjeldsen 37. Miguel Angel Jimenez 38. Justin Rose 39. Jeev Milkha Singh 40. K.J. Choi 40. Adam Scott 42. Trevor Immelman 43. Dustin Johnson 44. Chad Campbell 45. Oliver Wilson 46. Hunter Mahan 47. Graeme McDowell 48. Stephen Ames 49. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 50. David Toms 51. Aaron Baddeley 52. Thongchai Jaidee 53. Ben Crane 54. Davis Love III 55. Prayad Marksaeng 56. Andres Romero 57. Brian Gay 58. J.B. Holmes 59. Mathew Goggin 60. Louis Oosthuizen 61. Charl Schwartzel 62. Pat Perez 63. Kevin Sutherland 64. Boo Weekley 65. Stuart Appleby 66. Anders Hansen 67. Peter Hanson 68. Rod Pampling 69. Soren Hansen 70. Lucas Glover 71. Francesco Molinari 72. Richard Sterne 73. Kevin Na 74. Fred Couples 75. Lin Wen-Tang USA USA Eng Esp Swe Aus USA Irl Fji Col Swe USA USA USA USA NIr Eng SAf Eng USA Arg Eng Can Ger Eng SAf SAf USA USA USA USA Esp SAf Jpn Aus Den Esp Eng Ind Kor Aus SAf USA USA Eng USA NIr Can Esp USA Aus Tha USA USA Tha Arg USA USA Aus SAf SAf USA USA USA Aus Den Swe Aus Den USA Ita SAf USA USA Twn 9.41 8.23 6.92 6.55 6.26 6.19 5.79 5.18 5.11 4.79 4.48 4.44 4.40 4.33 3.95 3.80 3.78 3.75 3.69 3.61 3.42 3.38 3.37 3.33 3.30 3.30 3.23 3.20 3.05 3.02 2.97 2.96 2.87 2.82 2.78 2.77 2.74 2.71 2.70 2.69 2.69 2.60 2.53 2.48 2.45 2.38 2.32 2.30 2.29 2.28 2.25 2.24 2.21 2.19 2.19 2.19 2.19 2.18 2.18 2.16 2.11 2.09 2.03 1.98 1.95 1.94 1.94 1.91 1.90 1.87 1.85 1.85 1.83 1.79 1.79

Ishikawa can at least count on major bookends
Ryo Ishikawa didn’t come close to qualifying for the U.S. Open when he missed by five shots in a qualifier in Japan. The 17-year-old sensation still has not secured a spot in the British Open at Turnberry. But he can count on a start in the PGA Championship, which offered him an exemption two weeks ago. The Masters also gave Ishikawa a special foreign exemption, and he missed the cut. Augusta National has the most exclusive field among majors, and a long history of inviting international players. The PGA Championship had its own motivesóit wants the strongest field. Ishikawa is No. 91 in the world this week, about 10 spots lower than when he was awarded the PGA exemption. Kerry Haigh, the managing director of championships for the PGA of America, said two victories and his school were two reasons. “For a 17-year-old to have won two tournaments is almost unprecedented,” Haigh said Tuesday. “Obviously, he has great potential and ability, having moved into the top 65 of the world when he was invited.” Actually, Ishikawa was No. 65 in February when he nearly qualified for the Accenture Match Play Championship. Still, it is not uncommon for the PGA to offer exemptions early to players inside the top 100 as it strives for the strongest field in golf. Haigh said the fact Ishikawa is not finished with high school also was considered. “It was our understanding he has schooling issues,” Haigh said. “He needs some time to plan accordingly. We felt an invite earlier would allow him to plan his travel schedule in the summer and not affect his schooling.”

CHARLIE RIEDEL / AP

Ryo Ishikawa secured an exemption for the PGA Championship. The association is working with title sponsor Crowne Plaza and the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise awareness of breast cancer. Mickelson is the defending champion this week, but has taken an indefinite leave from the PGA Tour. He is home in San Diego, awaiting test results this week to determine the extent of the cancer.

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Site: Fort Worth, Texas. Schedule: Thursday-Sunday. Course: Colonial Country Club (7,054 yards, par 70). Purse: $6.2 million. Winner’s share: $1,116,000. TV: Golf Channel (Thursday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Friday, 12:30-3:30 a.m., 3-6 p.m., 8:3011:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2-5 a.m.) and CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.). Last year: Phil Mickelson made a 9-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Tim Clark and Rod Pampling. Mickelson also won the 2000 event. Last week: South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini won the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving for his fifth PGA Tour title, closing with a 6-under 64 to hold off Brian Davis by two strokes. Sabbatini had a tournament-record 19-under 261 total. Notes: Mickelson withdrew last week after wife Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer. ... Sabbatini, a Fort Worth resident, won in 2007, beating Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer with a birdie on the first playoff hole. ... Kenny Perry won in 2003 and 2005, finishing with tournament-record 19-under 261 totals. ... Ben Hogan won his hometown event five times. ... England’s Paul Casey is coming of a victory Sunday in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, his third win of season. The Houston Open champion has jumped from 41st to third in the world this year. ... Geoff Ogilvy and Zach Johnson, two-time winners this year, also are in the field along with Vijay Singh. ... Ian Baker-Finch, celebrating the 20-year anniversary of his Colonial victory, is making his second competitive start in 12 years. The 48-year-old Australian, a television commentator for the last decade, hasn’t played tournament golf in eight years, going 74-77 at Colonial to miss the cut. ... The Memorial is next week in Dublin, Ohio, followed by the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tenn., and the U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. — The Associated Press

PGA Tour statistics
(Through May 24) Scoring Average 1, Sean O’Hair, 69.73. 2, David Toms, 69.74. 3 (tie), Kenny Perry and Steve Stricker, 69.76. 5, Zach Johnson, 69.82. 6, Nick Watney, 69.85. 7, Brian Gay, 69.93. 8 (tie), Charley Hoffman, Luke Donald and Kevin Na, 69.96. Driving Distance 1, Bubba Watson, 313.3. 2, Gary Woodland, 308.7. 3, Robert Garrigus, 308.2. 4, Dustin Johnson, 307.0. 5, Nick Watney, 302.6. 6, Scott Piercy, 302.0. 7, Angel Cabrera, 301.9. 8, Charley Hoffman, 300.9. 9, Bill Haas, 300.2. 10, Harrison Frazar, 299.9. Driving Accuracy Percentage 1, Mark Brooks, 79.81%. 2, David Toms, 74.32%. 3, Brian Gay, 73.38%. 4, Joe Durant, 72.99%. 5, Scott Verplank, 72.45%. 6, Bart Bryant, 72.11%. 7, Tim Clark, 71.35%. 8, Scott McCarron, 70.92%. 9, Tom Lehman, 70.24%. 10, Heath Slocum, 70.19%. Greens in Regulation Pct. 1, Briny Baird, 71.24%. 2, Camilo Villegas, 71.14%. 3, John Senden, 70.98%. 4, D.J. Trahan, 70.25%. 5, Sean O’Hair, 70.16%. 6, Jay Williamson, 70.14%. 7, K.J. Choi, 69.93%. 8, Mark Brooks, 69.63%. 9, Dustin Johnson, 69.26%. 10, Kenny Perry, 69.25%. Total Driving 1, Jonathan Byrd, 74. 2, Lucas Glover, 76. 3, Mathew Goggin, 87. 4, Bill Haas, 88. 5, Boo Weekley, 93. 6 (tie), Kenny Perry and Robert Allenby, 96. 8, John Senden, 98. 9, D.J. Trahan, 102. 10, David Toms, 103. Putting Average 1, Luke Donald, 1.696. 2, Geoff Ogilvy, 1.703.

Duke downs Perez
What Pat Perez described as a “mishap” could keep him off the PGA Tour until after the U.S. Open. Perez wrote on his Web site that he tore two ligaments in his ankle while running with Duke, his German Shepherd. “He went one way, I went another and somehow missed the curb and wrecked my ankle,” Perez said. “Definitely not the best time for this to happen as we have the British Open and U.S. Open qualifiers around the corner.” Perez pulled out of the Byron Nelson and Colonial, and said he likely wouldn’t play Memorial. He usually doesn’t play the St. Jude Championship, and he is not eligible for the U.S. Open. That means he likely won’t return until the Travelers Championship in Connecticut at the end of June. Doctors are recommending he take it easy, which appears to be a tall order, even though he’s in a cast up to his knee. — The Associated Press

Pink power
John Daly wore his pink pants on Sunday at Wentworth, while Rory Sabbatini went with a pink shirt when he won the Byron Nelson Championship, both sartorial choices to honor Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, the PGA Tour Wives Association is getting involved. In a memo being circulated at Colonial, the group is asking all players and wives to take part in a “Pink Out” on Saturday by wearing pink to show support for Amy Mickelson.

3, Rory Sabbatini, 1.714. 4, Joe Ogilvie, 1.718. 5, Steve Stricker, 1.721. 6 (tie), Mike Weir and Dean Wilson, 1.722. 8 (tie), Charlie Wi and Kevin Na, 1.723. 10, 2 tied with 1.728. Birdie Average 1, Geoff Ogilvy, 4.61. 2, Dustin Johnson, 4.53. 3, Anthony Kim, 4.50. 4, Sean O’Hair, 4.40. 5, Charley Hoffman, 4.29. 6, Paul Casey, 4.25. 7, Nick Watney, 4.23. 8, Hunter Mahan, 4.21. 9, Fred Couples, 4.13. 10, Tim Clark, 4.11. Eagles (Holes per) 1, Bubba Watson, 73.8. 2, Nick Watney, 79.2. 3, Mike Weir, 92.6. 4, Phil Mickelson, 93.0. 5, Ryan Palmer, 94.5. 6, Chris Stroud, 96.8. 7, Retief Goosen, 99.0. 8, Dustin Johnson, 101.3. 9 (tie), Tag Ridings and Tommy Gainey, 103.5. Sand Save Percentage 1, David Mathis, 68.33%. 2, Luke Donald, 66.10%. 3, Brad Adamonis, 63.41%. 4, George McNeill, 63.29%. 5, Ken Duke, 62.86%. 6, Brian Gay, 62.71%. 7, Mike Weir , 62.69%. 8, Webb Simpson, 62.50%. 9, Robert Allenby, 61.82%. 10, Kevin Na, 61.43%. All-Around Ranking 1, Sean O’Hair, 239. 2, Kenny Perry, 279. 3, Nick Watney, 282. 4, Charlie Wi, 301. 5, Tim Clark, 305. 6, Steve Stricker, 316. 7, Dustin Johnson, 322. 8, David Toms, 324. 9, Charley Hoffman, 370. 10, Stephen Ames, 383. PGA TOUR Official Money Leaders 1, Phil Mickelson (10), $3,238,635. 2, Geoff Ogilvy (10), $3,155,529. 3, Zach Johnson (13), $3,130,921. 4, Sean O’Hair (11), $2,963,842. 5, Kenny Perry (12), $2,705,259. 6, Nick Watney (12), $2,497,253. 7, Rory Sabbatini (13), $2,388,973. 8, Paul Casey (6), $2,299,950. 9, Tiger Woods (6), $2,166,813. 10, Dustin Johnson (14), $1,987,970.

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Tennis
FRENCH OPEN

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

34

Glance
PARIS—A look at the French Open on Tuesday: Weather: Rainy in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. High of 63 degrees. Attendance: 34,250. Men’s Seeded Winners: No. 4 Novak Djokovic, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 11 Gael Monfils, No. 16 Tommy Robredo, No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber. Men’s Seeded Losers: No. 15 James Blake, No. 22 Mardy Fish, No. 27 Rainer Schuettler. Women’s Seeded Winners: No. 2 Serena Williams, No. 4 Elena Dementieva, No. 5 Jelena Jankovic, No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 18 Anna Medina Garrigues, No. 24 Aleksandra Wozniak, No. 28 Sybille Bammer, No. 30 Samantha Stosur. Women’s Seeded Loser: No. 31 Peng Shuai. Stat of the Day: 14 — consecutive games dropped by Schuettler to begin his 6-0, 6-0, 6-4 loss to Marc Gicquel. Quote of the Day: “Couldn’t you tell how tortured I was out there? I think my face said it all.”

Williams needs 9 match points to win
PARIS—Serena Williams entered Tuesday with a 37-0 record in the first round at Grand Slam tournaments. She also began the day with a four-match losing streak, the longest of her career. Williams focused on the second of those statistics, the more discouraging one. And while she never appeared truly in danger of coming out on the wrong end against 100thranked Klara Zakopalova, there were times when it did seem Williams simply could not wrap things up. Twice, Williams served for the match and was broken. Eight times, Williams was a single point from victory and couldn’t complete the task. Finally, on match point No. 9, Zakopalova pushed a forehand wide to seal Williams’ 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 victory, leaving the 10-time Grand Slam champion screaming and hopping at the baseline in a mix of joy and relief. “I was just desperate for a win,” the second-seeded Williams said, “and I think it pretty much showed in my game.” Whether it was the result of rust or a lingering knee injury or the swirling wind that carried debris from the stands onto the court, Williams’ mistakes kept coming. She finished with the same number of unforced errors as winners, 35, wound up wasting 13 of 20 break points and put only 55 percent of her first serves in play. Williams called her performance “horrendous,” and said: “I just played junior tennis—or even worse.” All in all, it was a 2½-hour struggle for the 2002 French Open champion. Afterward, she went on court with older sister Venus to play doubles, a Tuesday, including when she fell behind 3-0 in the second set. Right after that, though, Williams won five consecutive games— including 10 points in a row—to go ahead 5-3. Seemingly back in control, Williams slipped again into sloppy play. “It just happens,” she said. “It shouldn’t happen at my stage in my career, but it did.” In the next game, Williams wasted five match points, including a marvelous 32-stroke exchange that ended when she sailed a forehand wide as the pitch of her grunts rose by an octave at a time. Still up 5-4, still a game from victory, Williams double-faulted and was broken. “I probably should have closed it out,” Williams acknowledged, “but I just didn’t, and I couldn’t.” An errant forehand by Williams capped the tiebreaker and sent the match to a third set, where she held three more match points with Zakopalova serving at 5-2. But with Williams playing tentatively, Zakopalova erased those three chances, too, then broke to 5-4. By now, the crowd at Court Suzanne Lenglen was backing the underdog, chanting “Kla-ra!” and giving Williams a hard time when she’d question calls. “They don’t really pull for me a lot here,” Williams said. “That’s fine.” Eventually, she came through, gritting her teeth and dealing with those spectators, her own shaky play, her balky knee, the 50-degree weather, the upset-minded opponent. — The Associated Press

Results
Tuesday At Stade Roland Garros Paris Purse: $21.8 million (Grand Slam) Surface: Clay-Outdoor Singles Men First Round JuanMartindelPotro(5),Argentina,def.MichaelLlodra,France,6-3, 6-3,6-1. MarcGicquel,France,def.RainerSchuettler(27),Germany,6-0,6-0,6-4. AndreasBeck,Germany,def.IvanNavarro,Spain,7-6(9),6-4,6-1. VictorCrivoi,Romania,def.SimonGreul,Germany,6-1,7-6(1),6-2. DanielGimeno-Traver,Spain,def.EvgenyKorolev,Russia,6-4,retired. GaelMonfils(11),France,def.BobbyReynolds,UnitedStates,6-2, 6-3,6-1. NovakDjokovic(4),Serbia,def.NicolasLapentti,Ecuador,6-3,3-1,retired. PhilippKohlschreiber(29),Germany,def.BernardTomic,Australia, 6-1,6-2,6-2. ViktorTroicki,Serbia,def.LukaszKubot,Poland,3-6,6-3,6-4,6-7(4),6-3. TommyRobredo(16),Spain,def.AdrianMannarino,France,6-2,6-1, 6-2. MaximoGonzalez,Argentina,def.MardyFish(22),UnitedStates,6-3, 1-6,6-4,7-6(4). SergiyStakhovsky,Ukraine,def.BrianDabul,Argentina,4-6,7-5,7-6 (2),6-3. AndreasSeppi,Italy,def.GuillermoGarcia-Lopez,Spain,6-3,6-3,6-1. JuanMonaco,Argentina,def.MarcosBaghdatis,Cyprus,6-3,6-2,6-4. Jo-WilfriedTsonga(9),France,def.JulienBenneteau,France,6-4,3-6, 6-3,6-4. JuanCarlosFerrero,Spain,def.IvanLjubicic,Croatia,2-6,6-4,6-4,3-6,6-3. TommyHaas,Germany,def.AndreiPavel,Romania,6-1,6-4,6-4. LeonardoMayer,Argentina,def.JamesBlake(15),UnitedStates,7-6 (6),7-5,6-2. ChristopheRochus,Belgium,leadsFabriceSantoro,France,6-3,6-1,3-6, 5-3,susp.,darkness. DmitryTursunov(21),Russia,vs.ArnaudClement,France,3-6,6-3, susp.,darkness. Women First Round JelenaJankovic(5),Serbia,def.PetraCetkovska,CzechRepublic,6-2,6-3. SvetlanaKuznetsova(7),Russia,def.ClaireFeuerstein,France,6-1,6-4. SybilleBammer(28),Austria,def.NathalieDechy,France,6-3,7-6(1). MelindaCzink,Hungary,def.AnastasijaSevastova,Latvia,3-6,6-4,6-1. PetraMartic,Croatia,def.MaraSantangelo,Italy,6-4,6-2. GalinaVoskoboeva,Kazakhstan,def.SaniaMirza,India,6-4,7-6(3). MagdalenaRybarikova,Slovakia,def.KristinaMladenovic,France,6-1, 2-6,8-6. AleksandraWozniak(24),Canada,def.MonicaNiculescu,Romania, 6-4,4-6,6-3. CarolineWozniacki(10),Denmark,def.VeraDushevina,Russia,4-6, 7-5,6-1. VirginiaRuanoPascual,Spain,def.NicoleVaidisova,CzechRepublic, 6-4,6-3. VirginieRazzano,France,def.DanielaHantuchova,Slovakia,6-3,6-3. SerenaWilliams(3),UnitedStates,def.KlaraZakopalova,CzechRepublic, 6-3,6-7(5),6-4. ElenaDementieva(4),Russia,def.ChanelleScheepers,SouthAfrica, 6-4,6-3. YaninaWickmayer,Belgium,def.UrszulaRadwanska,Poland,4-6, 6-3,6-0. JelenaDokic,Australia,def.KarolinaSprem,Croatia,3-6,6-1,6-2. SoranaCirstea,Romania,def.CarlyGullickson,UnitedStates,6-4,6-2. SamanthaStosur(30),Australia,def.FrancescaSchiavone,Italy,6-4,6-2. ViktoriyaKutuzova,Ukraine,def.ZuzanaOndraskova,CzechRepublic, 6-2,6-4. AnabelMedinaGarrigues(18),Spain,def.EkaterinaMakarova,Russia, 6-2,5-7,6-0. MariaJoseMartinezSanchez,Spain,def.PengShuai(31),China,1-6, 6-2,6-4. AlizeCornet(21),France,leadsMaretAni,Estonia,6-4,4-4,susp., darkness.

LIONEL CIRONNEAU / AP

‘I was just desperate for a win,’ Serena Williams said of her match against Klara Zakopalova. match suspended in the third set at about 9:45 p.m. because of darkness. It was an anticlimactic end to a Day 3 that brought the first rain of the tournament, a two-hour-plus delay that interrupted easy victories for No. 5 Jelena Jankovic and No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova. The only newsworthy upsets might not necessarily count as significant surprises, actually, given that they involved U.S. men losing to Argentines: No. 15 James Blake lost to qualifier Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (6), 7-5, 6-2, and No. 22 Mardy Fish was beaten by Maximo Gonzalez 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Bobby Reynolds lost in straight sets to No. 11 Gael Monfils of France, making U.S. men 2-7 in the first round. Tuesday’s winners included No. 4 Novak Djokovic—whose opponent, Nicolas Lapentti, quit after hurting his ankle—No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 2003 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero. Ferrero needed five sets to beat 2006 semifinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and while that and other matches might have interested fans, nothing going on around Roland Garros came close to the potential shock value of a loss by Williams. Set aside, for a moment, that Zakopalova beat Williams on clay last month at Marbella, Spain, part of the American’s recent skid on the slow surface. Instead, consider this: The Czech player is 7-24 at Grand Slam tournaments. “I feel very disappointed,” Zakopalova said. “She’s Serena.” Well, yes, she is, but she didn’t play like Serena for long stretches

— Williams after needing three sets to get past her 100th-ranked opponent.
On court today: No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Teimuraz Gabashvili, No. 3 Andy Murray vs. Potito Starace, No. 7 Gilles Simon vs. Robert Kendrick; No. 1 Dinara Safina vs. Vitalia Diatchenko, No. 3 Venus Williams vs. Lucie Safarova, No. 8 Ana Ivanovic vs. Tamarine Tanasugarn. Today’s forecast: Sunny in the morning but windy and cloudy in the afternoon. High of 63. Today’s TV: Tennis Channel, 5 a.m.-noon ET; ESPN2, noon to 6:30 p.m. ET.

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College Baseball
All times ET, Double Elimination

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

35

NCAA Division I regionals glance
At Clark-LeClair Stadium
Greenville, N.C. Friday Game 1 : South Carolina (38-21) vs. George Mason (42-12), 3 p.m. Game 2 : East Carolina (42-17) vs. Binghamton (29-20), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m., if necessary

Gwynn, Aztecs focused after drama
At UFCU Disch-Falk Field
Austin, Texas Friday Game 1 : Texas State (41-15) vs. Boston College (33-24), 2 p.m. Game 2 : Texas (41-13-1) vs. Army (34-19), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

At McKethan Stadium

Gainesville, Fla. Friday Game 1 : Miami (36-20) vs. Jacksonville (36-20), 1 p.m. Game 2 : Florida (39-20) vs. Bethune-Cookman (32-26), 6:30 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6:30 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6:30 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6:30 p.m., if necessary

At Alex Box Stadium

Baton Rouge, La. Friday Game 1 : LSU (46-16) vs. Southern U. (30-15), 2 p.m. Game 2 : Minnesota (38-17) vs. Baylor (29-24), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

At Boshamer Stadium

Chapel Hill, N.C. Friday Game 1 : Coastal Carolina (46-14) vs. Kansas (37-22), 2 p.m. Game 2 : North Carolina (42-16) vs. Dartmouth (27-16), 6 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 1 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 5 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m., if necessary

At Dick Howser Stadium

Tallahassee, Fla. Friday Game 1 : Georgia (37-22) vs. Ohio State (40-17), Noon Game 2 : Florida State (42-16) vs. Marist (31-26), 4 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, Noon Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, Noon Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

At L. Dale Mitchell Park

At Packard Stadium

Norman, Okla. Friday Game 1 : Arkansas (34-22) vs. Washington State (31-23), 2 p.m. Game 2 : Oklahoma (41-18) vs. Wichita State (30-25), 8 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 8 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m., if necessary

Tempe, Ariz. Friday Game 1 : Oral Roberts (31-13) vs. Cal Poly (37-19), 5 p.m. Game 2 : Arizona State (44-12) vs. Kent State (42-15), 10 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 5 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 10 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 4 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m., if necessary

At Doug Kingsmore Stadium

Clemson, S.C. Friday Game 1 : Alabama (37-19) vs. Oklahoma State (32-22), 3 p.m. Game 2 : Clemson (40-19) vs. Tennessee Tech (30-22-1), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 3 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

At Jim Patterson Stadium

Louisville, Ky. Friday Game 1 : Middle Tennessee (43-16) vs. Vanderbilt (34-25), 3 p.m. Game 2 : Louisville (44-15) vs. Indiana (32-25), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 3 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary At Oxford-University Stadium Oxford, Miss. Friday Game 1 : Missouri (34-25) vs. Western Kentucky (39-18), 4 p.m. Game 2 : Mississippi (40-17) vs. Monmouth, N.J. (32-23), 8 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 2 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 6 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 8 p.m., if necessary

At Reckling Park

At Anteater Ballpark

Houston Friday Game 1 : Kansas State (41-16-1) vs. Xavier (38-19), 3 p.m. Game 2 : Rice (39-15) vs. Sam Houston State (36-22), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 3 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Irvine, Calif. Friday Game 1 : Virginia (43-12-1) vs. San Diego State (40-21), 7 p.m. Game 2 : UC Irvine (43-13) vs. Fresno State (32-28), 11 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 7 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 11 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 7 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 p.m., if necessary

At Russ Chandler Stadium

Atlanta Friday Game 1 : Elon (40-16) vs. Southern Mississippi (35-23), 3 p.m. Game 2 : Georgia Tech (35-17-1) vs. Georgia State (39-20), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 3 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

At Lupton Baseball Stadium

At Goodwin Field

Fort Worth, Texas Friday Game 1 : Texas A&M (36-22) vs. Oregon State (35-17), 3 p.m. Game 2 : TCU (36-16) vs. Wright State (33-28), 7 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 3 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m., if necessary

Fullerton, Calif. Friday Game 1 : Georgia Southern (42-15) vs. Gonzaga (35-16), 6 p.m. Game 2 : Cal State Fullerton (42-14) vs. Utah (26-29), 10 p.m. Saturday Game 3 : Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 5 p.m. Game 4 : Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 9 p.m. Sunday Game 5 : Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 5 p.m. Game 6 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m. Monday Game 7 : Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 9 p.m., if necessary

SAN DIEGO—Finally, Tony Gwynn could exhale. After enduring two long nights and spending hour after hour on his computer keeping track of college baseball tournaments across the country, Gwynn and his San Diego State Aztecs got the news Monday morning that they were indeed going to the NCAA regionals. “The fact that we got in—big relief,” the Hall of Famer said after watching the selection show with his team. “It was like, ‘All right, we’re in, so let’s focus in on the baseball now.’ “We’re very excited about being in.” SDSU and its ace righthander, Stephen Strasburg, will play ACC champion Virginia on Friday at Irvine, followed by defending national champion Fresno State against UC Irvine, which is ranked No. 1 in most polls. Gwynn figured SDSU (40-21) had a chance of getting a postseason berth but also knew that the Mountain West had never gotten more than one team in. It ended up getting three—TCU, which is hosting a regional; Utah, which won the conference tournament as the No. 6 seed; and SDSU. It’s taken Gwynn seven seasons in his dream job to get his alma mater back to the NCAA regionals. Their last postseason appearance was in 1991, when he was halfway through his 20-season career with the Padres. Gwynn got the SDSU job even before he was finished with his Padres career. The school announced in September 2001 that Gwynn—who was a baseball and

LENNY IGNELZI / AP

Ace and likely top draft pick Stephen Strasburg helped lead San Diego State to the regionals. basketball star during his SDSU career—would replace retiring Jim Dietz starting with the 2003 season. Gwynn showed up on campus the morning after his last game in the big leagues and spent the 2002 season as a volunteer assistant. Gwynn doesn’t necessarily think this berth validates what he’s done. “I don’t know about validation, it’s just about time,” Gwynn said. “I think people are saying, ‘Yeah, it’s about time, you’ve been there seven years.’ We finally got here. This is where we’ve wanted to go the whole time. “I said that at the beginning of the year we’ve got to climb this mountain. We’ve been climbing, climbing, climbing; almost get to the top and slide back down. This year we’ve finally gotten to it, and so now, let’s keep going. Let’s see how far we can go.” Gwynn said the Aztecs probably will start Strasburg in the opener on Friday. Strasburg, the likely No. 1 overall draft pick, is 13-0 with a 1.24 ERA. He no-hit Air Force in his last home start. There was no question Strasburg was a factor in the Aztecs getting the berth, Gwynn said. “Best player in the country, people want to see him,” the coach said. “That’s kind of like our ace in the hole. You want it to be on merit. We won 40 games. There aren’t many teams in this field that won 40 games. We felt like we were worthy. Having the best player in the country didn’t hurt. It worked out. We’re in.” — The Associated Press

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IN BRIEF Major League Soccer
EASTERN CONFERENCE W Chicago 4 D.C. 3 Toronto FC 4 Kansas City 4 New England 2 Columbus 1 New York 2 WESTERN CONFERENCE W Chivas USA 7 Seattle 4 Houston 4 Colorado 3 Real Salt Lake 3 Los Angeles 1 FC Dallas 1 San Jose 1 L 0 1 3 4 3 2 6 L 1 2 2 2 5 1 6 6 T 6 7 4 3 4 6 3 T 3 4 3 4 2 8 3 2 Pts 18 16 16 15 10 9 9 Pts 24 16 15 13 11 11 6 5 GF 17 17 16 15 8 12 10 GF 15 14 11 13 14 12 9 9 GA 11 15 16 13 16 15 13 GA 6 8 7 11 13 12 17 19

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2009

36

TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL American League BALTIMORE ORIOLES: Placed OF Lou Montanez on the 15-day DL. Purchased the contract of RHP Jason Berken from Norfolk (IL). BOSTON RED SOX: Assigned RHP John Smoltz to Portland (EL). CLEVELAND INDIANS: Optioned OF Matt LaPorta to Columbus (IL). Recalled OF Trevor Crowe from Columbus. KANSAS CITY ROYALS: Assigned RHP Victor Marte to Omaha (PCL) and RHP Aaron Hartsock to Northwest Arkansas (Texas). NEW YORK YANKEES: Recalled RHP David Robertson from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL). TAMPA BAY RAYS: Placed SS Jason Bartlett on the 15-day DL. Purchased the contract of INF Joe Dillon from Durham (IL). National League CINCINNATI REDS: Activated RHP Nick Masset from the 15-day DL. Optioned C-INF-OF Wilkin Castillo to Louisville (IL). Assigned OF Darnell McDonald outright to Louisville. HOUSTON ASTROS: Assigned INF Jason Smith outright to Round Rock (PCL). NEW YORK METS: Placed OF Ryan Church, retroactive to May 23, and INF Jose Reyes, retroactive to May 21, on the 15-day DL. Purchased the contract of OF Fernando Martinez from Buffalo (IL). Acquired INF Wilson Valdez from Cleveland for cash considerations. Named Paul Asencio senior vice president, corporate sales and partnerships. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: Announced executive Pat Gallagher will leave the organization, effective June 30. Atlantic League LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Announced Tabasco (Mexican) has purchased the contract of OF Raul Gonzalez. Northern League FARGO-MOORHEAD REDHAWKS: Released C Kyle Johnson. JOLIET JACKHAMMERS: Agreed to terms with INF Mike Garcia. United League RIO GRANDE VALLEY WHITEWINGS: Signed RHP Todd Lutz and C Ryan Kottke. SAN ANGELO COLTS: Signed C Matt Acevedo and SS Butch Ballez. FOOTBALL National Football League CLEVELAND BROWNS: Signed CB Rod Hood. Canadian Football League EDMONTON ESKIMOS: Signed DB Brandent Englemon, DB Tyler Everett and DB Therrian Fontenont. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS: Signed DB Tamon George and OL Nick Hutchins. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS: Extended the contracts of LB Siddeeq Shabass and WR Adarius Bowman. Signed DL Chase Orteiz and DB Jasper Johnson. arenafootball2 MAHONING VALLEY THUNDER_ Named Chris MacKeown coach. HOCKEY National Hockey League EDMONTON OILERS: Named Pat Quinn coach and Tom Renney associate coach. NEW YORK RANGERS: Agreed to terms with D Michael Del Zotto. WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Signed C Jake Hauswirth to a threeyear contract. SOCCER Major League Soccer SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Signed F Cornell Glen. COLLEGE ARKANSAS: Announced sophomore basketball G Jeff Peterson transferred from Iowa. ILLINOIS STATE: Named Mike Williams assistant media relations director. SOUTH CAROLINA-AIKEN: Announced sophomore F Kyly Cannon is transferring from Oklahoma. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE: Named Kyle Gerdeman men’s assistant basketball coach.

NOTE: Three points for victory, one point for tie. Today’s game San Jose at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. Thursday’s game Chicago at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m. Saturday’s games Colorado at New York, 7:30 p.m. D.C. United at New England, 7:30 p.m. Toronto FC at Houston, 8:30 p.m. Columbus at Seattle FC, 10:30 p.m. Kansas City at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. Real Salt Lake at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. Sunday’s game FC Dallas at Chicago, 3 p.m.

BILL FRIEL / AP

Vitor Meira could miss up to four months of action after a wreck at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. Paul Tracy will race in the No. 14 car this weekend.

Appleton, Wisconsin. Dan Leslie’s one-out single in the 12th inning of the second game gave St. Thomas the title for the second time. The Tommies also won it all in 2001. The St. Paul school now has 13 national championships.

Armstrong riding high again
FRANCAVILLA AL MARE, ITALY—Lance Armstrong is back on schedule in his Tour de France preparations. Two months ago, the seven-time Tour winner fell and broke his collarbone at a race in Spain, jeopardizing his entire comeback after three and a half years of retirement. Now, in the third week of the Giro d’Italia, Armstrong is starting to keep up with the race leaders on the tough climbs. “It’s exactly what I hoped for,” Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel told The Associated Press on Tuesday during the Giro’s second rest day. Armstrong sits 12th overall—11 minutes, 6 seconds behind race leader Denis Menchov of Russia. Bruyneel suggested Armstrong would be between fifth and seventh overall if he were riding for himself instead of shepherding teammates.

Auto Racing
INDIANAPOLIS—It could take Vitor Meira four months to recover from injuries sustained during Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, and he may not return to his Florida home until later this week. Series officials said Tuesday that Meira was expected to spend his third consecutive night at Methodist Hospital after breaking two vertebrae in his back. Though he could be released from the Indy hospital Wednesday, Meira may not be cleared for travel until Saturday. A.J. Foyt, Meira’s team owner, moved quickly to replace him in the No. 14 car albeit temporarily. The four-time Indy winner hired former Champ Car points champion Paul Tracy to replace Meira this weekend in Milwaukee. — The Associated Press

Golf
TOLEDO, OHIO—Northwestern’s Jonathan Bowers, Illinois’ Scott Langley and North Carolina State’s Matt Hill shot 2-underpar 69s to lead the individual race, while Oklahoma State and Georgia shared the team lead through Tuesday’s opening round at the NCAA Division I men’s golf championship. TCU’s Tom Hoge was 4 under through

17 holes, but was short-sided in a greenside bunker and twice had his ball roll back at him after shots. His triple-bogey left him at 70 along with San Diego’s Alex Ching, UCLA’s Philip Francis, Tennessee’s David Holmes and Washington’s Nick Taylor. Only eight players in the 156man field broke par.

Baseball
APPLETON, WIS.—The University of St. Thomas baseball team won the NCAA Division III championship. The Tommies beat Wooster of Ohio twice on Tuesday to take the double-elimination tournament at Fox Cities Stadium in

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