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The college football season kicks

off 13 weeks from tonight—still far
enough away that fans believe this
year will be different for their team.
And at 10 schools in particular,
the optimism comes with support.
SportingNews Today college
football writers Dave Curtis and
Matt Hayes list their picks for 2009’s
most improved teams:
The big three
With the NBA draft only three
weeks away, a look at the top three
picks in Sean Deveney’s latest
mock draft:
L.A. Clippers,
Blake Griffin, PF,
Ricky Rubio, PG,
Oklahoma City,
Hasheem Thabeet, C,

Complete mockdraft, Page 6
CollisonQ&A, Page 6
Malkinmaturing, Page 12
Teams onthe rise, Page 29
8 ET tonight, Versus
Jump on these
JUNE 4, 2009
Boston10, Detroit 5
Texas 4, N.Y. Yankees 2
L.A. Angels 8, Toronto 1
Tampa Bay 9, Kansas City 0
Cleveland10, Minnesota 1
Oakland5, Chicago White Sox 3
Seattle 3, Baltimore 2
National League
N.Y. Mets at Pittsburgh, ppd., rain
SanFrancisco at Washington, ppd., rain
Chicago Cubs 3, Atlanta 2, 11 innings
Milwaukee 9, Florida 6
Houston6, Colorado 4
Cincinnati 9, St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 5, SanDiego 1
L.A. Dodgers 1, Arizona 0
Costa Rica 3, UnitedStates 1
1. Washington. For starters, the
Huskies can’t get anyworse
after an0-12catastrophein
2008. NewcoachSteveSarkisian
has ahealthyQBJakeLocker
2. Arkansas
3. Illinois
4. Auburn
5. Southern Miss
1. UCLA. Alackof healthy(and
effective) quarterbacks doomed
theBruins in2008. Count on
redshirt freshmanKevinPrince
erasingthosenightmares for
offensivegurus RickNeuheisel
2. SMU
3. Colorado
4. Oklahoma State
5. N.C. State
Talking Cowboys
What does America’s
Team need to return to
dominance? “A foot up their
butts,” says one Cowboys
legend. Jerry Jones to not
play G.M., says another. Hall
of Famers Tony Dorsett
and Rayfield Wright share
more Cowboy concerns
with SNToday, Page 25
All wet
Johnson’s try at 300
washed away, will
try again today
Page 18
School pass
College? Who needs college?
One thing about this year’s NBA
Finals: The top players aren’t heavy
on NCAA experience. In fact, one of
the best players in this series says
The Finals are evidence that the
league should change the rule pro-
hibiting players from jumping to the
NBA from high school.
“I think it’s most definitely unfair,”
Magic forward Rashard Lewis told SN
Today. “If a guy has the chance to com-
pete against NBA players, they should
go ahead and let him compete.”
Lewis has seen that throughout
the playoffs. “ Playing against LeBron
James in the Eastern Conference
finals, the guy that averaged 40
points on us,” Lewis said. “... The
MVP of the entire league didn’t go to
Neither did most of the 10 best
players in The Finals. Have a look:
Kobe Bryant. Was just 17 when
he started his NBA career,
which has been rather fruitful in
Los Angeles.
Dwight Howard. Says Hall of
Fame center Nate Thurmond:
“There’s no question, he’s the next
great one at his position.”
Pau Gasol. Came over to the
NBA from Spain and now
figures to be the key to a Lakers
Rashard Lewis. Hard to believe
that he fell to the second round
out of high school when he was
drafted in 1998.
Hedo Turkoglu. He’s 6-10 and
possesses a deft shooting touch
as well as keen passing ability.
Lamar Odom. First guy on this list
to have been to college .
Andrew Bynum. Came out of high
school in 2005 at age 17.
Trevor Ariza. He was slammed
for leaving UCLA after one
year, but he’s made good.
Mickael Pietrus. A lottery pick out
of France in 2003, he has become
an important defensive stopper.
CourtneyLee. Finally, a player
who stayed four years in
college. Lee was the 22nd pick last
year. “Being a senior hurt me in the
draft,” Lee said. “Teams don’t seem to
like players who stay in college.”
Nate Thurmond calls Dwight Howard, above,
the next great center.
Kobe Bryant was passed over by 12 teams in
the ‘96 draft before Charlotte picked him.
Finals prove players don’t
need college on their resume
Deveney picks Lakers in7, Page 7
SPORTING NEWS TODAY THURSDAY, JUNE 04, 2009 2 See a Different Game
Tune In Today
Buck’s wit gets starring role in new HBO show
PGATour, Wales
Open, first round, at
Newport, Wales
Tour, Prince
George’s County
Open, first round, at
Mitchellville, Md.
The Memorial
Tournament, first
round, at Dublin,
at Washington
(same-day tape)
finals, Game 1,
Orlandoat L.A.
Stanley Cupfinals,
Game 4, Detroit at
York at D.C. United
Open, women’s
semifinals, at Paris
Magic at Lakers
9 p.m., ABC
Network execs get their Kobe-LeBron matchup … in commercial breaks, when
the pair’s “Most Valuable Puppet” ads run. On the court, the Magic are, again, the
underdog against a team they dominated in the regular season. Dwight Howard
and the gang won both games they played against the Lakers in 2008-09 and
averaged 107.5 points in the process. That may not seem like much, but the Magic
had similar success against Cleveland and found a way to translate the regular
season to the postseason.
Red Wings at Penguins
8 p.m., Versus
“This series is where it should be,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the
Penguins’ 4-2 win in Game 3. He’d know—so far, the finals have followed the same
template as last year, when Detroit dropped Game 3 but went on to win the Cup in
six games. Tonight is a chance for the Penguins to build their momentum at home,
send the series back to Detroit 2-2. Detroit, meanwhile, hopes to have MVP finalist
Pavel Datsyuk back in the lineup after he missed the first three games.
The Memorial Tournament
1 p.m., The Golf Channel
Tiger WoodshaswonJackNicklaus’ tournament at MuirfieldVillagethreetimes. That’s
not surprising. Theother three-timechampinthefield, though, is someoneyoumaynot
expect—KennyPerry. The48-year-old, 15-timeTour winner tookhomefirst placein1991,
2003 and last year. On Wednesday, the battle for a fourth win kicked off early—Woods
burnedPerryonthefinal holeof theSkinsGamewitha12-foot putt.
SportsBusiness Journal
Viewers accustomed to Costas Now on HBO
probably won’t recognize its replacement, Joe
Buck Live, when it launches June 15.
In fact, viewers also probably will find it diffi-
cult to recognize the show’s host, Joe Buck, best
known as Fox’s top play-by-play man on Major
League Baseball and the NFL. That’s because
Buck will step out of character for a show that
will be equal parts comedy and interviews.
“The hidden secret of Joe Buck, for those of us
who have been around him and seen him per-
form at the Sports Emmys every year, is that he
has a very dry and unique wit,” HBO Sports
president Ross Greenburg said. “That is some-
thing that the American public hasn’t seen yet.
They’ll be surprised and amused.”
The one-hour show, taping four times a year,
will be heavy on comedy. HBO has hired two
writers and already shot some skits for its first
Buck’s sense of humor first attracted Greenburg
to giving him a shot to replace Bob Costas, who
gave up his critically acclaimed HBO show for an
on-air role at MLB Network. To help draw out that
wit, Greenburg has hired Peter Mehlman, who
was executive producer of Seinfeld, and Jon Glaser,
the creator and star of Delocated, a live-action com-
edy on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
“I’m not always going to lean toward the
funny,” Buck said. “But I think I can at times
entertain and at times amuse. I’m not going to
shy away from that. My No. 1 priority is going to
be, ‘How good was the interview and what did
we learn from it?’ ”
Filming live in front of a studio audience sprin-
kled with celebrities, HBO plans to showcase
Buck by having him interact with the audience.
Like Costas Now, each of Buck’s shows will have a
theme. The first looks at the intersection of celeb-
rity and sports, which will lead to several come-
dic bits.
The first show will include a skit with Will
Ferrell’s “Funny or Die” web site that will run
before a panel discussion. The skit will go behind
the scenes at HBO sister company TMZ to
present a mock version of how the gossip site
develops its sports-related stories.
“It will be tongue-in-cheek, with cameos
from athletes mocking the entire way it
unfolds,” Greenburg said. “It’s hard to
describe, but it adds a lot of humor. Then
coming out of that piece, we’re going to try
and line up some real comedic talent.”
The first show will conclude with a
taped package called “I Refuse to Hyper-
ventilate” that will be Buck’s unique take on
certain sports stories.
The show also will be heavy on inter-
views, with HBO hoping to
make headlines from some
of the answers Buck elicits
from guests.
Three weeks before
launch, producers were
finalizing the debut show’s
guest lineup.
Buck said his wish list
includes athletes, such as
Brett Favre and Alex Rodri-
guez, league executives
such as Roger Goodell and
Bud Selig, and actors such
as Alec Baldwin and Seth
Buck said he doesn’t
pattern his interviewing
style after anyone in par-
ticular, but he admires
the way David Letterman
conducts interviews.
“He’s the best because
he actually listens,” Buck
said. “He’s not worried
about one-upping what you
say. He wants you to tell your
“That’s the kind of feel I want to
get. I don’t want to act like I’m
Morley Safer. But I’m not going
into it as Carrot Top. I’m some-
where in the middle there.”
—JohnOurandwrites for SportsBusiness Journal.
Joe Buck Live, premiering
June 15 on HBO, will
include sports-centric
comedy sketches and
A quick look at the best
sports on TV
—all times Eastern
Terrell Owens’ search for a place to live in the
Buffalo area hit an apparent snag.
Late Tuesday night, the Bills receiver posted
a message on his site which read
that he’s “tripping about residents” who won’t
rent a home to him in Orchard Park because
they “(don’t) want any drama n their neigh-
borhood!! LOL!!! Wow!!.”
The place in question is a six-bedroom
home at 1 Deer Run in Orchard Park that lists
for $489,397. It’s also available for rent.
Real estate agent Bob Wozniak disputed
Owens’ complaint. Wozniak said Owens has
yet to tour the home and said his clients are
more than happy for the receiver to do so.
SNY employee isolated
A SportsNet New York employee’s flu-like
symptoms has prompted concerns about the
swine flu in a Mets clubhouse that has seen
two players with the stomach virus in the
past several days, the Newark Star-Ledger
reported. The Mets wouldn’t identify the
SNY employee, but a Star-Ledger source close
to the situation said it is a member of the
network’s technical staff. The employee has
been isolated from the team and is being
tested for the H1N1 virus.
Quick hits
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa sued Twit-
ter, claiming he had “suffered significant
emotional distress (and) damage to reputa-
tion” because of a fake page established under
his name at the website. He is suing for trade-
mark infringement, trademark dilution and
misappropriation of name and likeness.
Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison are joining
NBC’s Sunday night NFL studio show. Har-
rison retired from the NFL Wednesday.
Converse, collaborating with AC/DC and
Metallica, will launch a collection of rock
music-themed versions of its iconic Chuck
Taylor All Star shoes, SportsBusiness Journal
reported. The shoes will be available at spe-
cialty retailers, department stores and Con- for retail for $50-80.
—SportsBusiness Daily,
Bernard Berrian
Vikings wide receiver
(What you won’t find on Facebook … even if you are approved as a friend)
Born: Dec. 27, 1980, at
Spain’s Torrejon Air Force
Base (outside of Madrid)
Status: Single
Alma mater: Fresno State
What’s on TV: Martin, The Fresh
Prince of Bel-Air, 24, Heroes,
Weeds, Dexter, 1st and 10, Pardon
the Interruption
What’s in my iPod: Pretty much
anything—from Bob Marley to
MGMT to Tupac
What I drive: A GMC Denali, but
I’m in the process of purchasing
new Audi R8.
Favorite flicks: The Exorcist, Hal-
loween, Friday the 13th, The Last
Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha,
every Friday movie, Harlem
Nights, Coming to America, Men-
ace II Society, Boyz n the Hood
What I’mreading: The Bible
Magazine subscriptions: GQ,
Worst habit: Planning trips at
the last minute
Onmy office walls: There is noth-
ing up on my walls but paint! I’m
in the process of designing my
home office.
Love to trade places for a day with
… Barack Obama. I would love
to witness first-hand the chal-
lenges that come with being the
first president of color.
First job: Age 24, when I was
drafted to the Chicago Bears
Talent I’d most like to have: I think
it’s a tie. I’d love to write music
and I’ve always wanted to draw
Favorite meal: My momma’s
okra and gumbo. I LOVE FOOD,
and I’ll eat just about anything. I
once put down a 32-oz. steak,
and then ordered dessert … and
ate it … all.
Favorite athlete to watch in another
sport: Michael Jordan
Favorite city to visit: Viva Las
Vegas. I fall in love every time I
Favorite teams as a kid: The Chi-
cago Bulls and the SF 49ers
Favorite values inothers: Honesty,
humility, sense of humor, sense
of humor, sense of humor, family
bearing, spiritual, charismatic
Dream date: Any woman that
can make me fall in love at first
My greatest love: My family, my
daughter and The Lord and
My heroes: Father and Mother
My bucket list: Travel to as many
historical locations as possible
My motto: Never look back!!
—Jeff D’Alessio
LOL: T.O. says residents don’t want him in building
Terrell Owens has his eye on a six-bedroomhome in Orchard Park, N.Y., that lists for nearly $500,000.
Seattle 3, Baltimore 2
Philadelphia 5, San Diego 1
L.A. Dodgers 1, Arizona 0
Ichiro streak reaches 27
Howard HRs, Romero returns
Dodgers up West lead to 9 ½ games
SEATTLE—Franklin Gutierrez
tripled with one out in the bot-
tom of the ninth before Adrian
Beltre singled him home, send-
ing the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2
victory over the Baltimore Ori-
oles on Wednesday night.
Gutierrez’s drive banged off
the top of the wall in left-center
just beyond the reach of leaping
center fielder Adam Jones. Jim
Johnson (2-3) then intentionally
walked both Ichiro Suzuki,
who had earlier extended his
hitting streak to 27 games, and
Russell Branyan to load the
bases for Beltre.
Johnson fell behind 3-1 on 96
mph fastballs before the crowd
of 18,650 stood and roared. On
a third 3-2 pitch, Beltre lined a
single into left field out of the
reach of drawn-in shortstop
Cesar Izturis.
“Johnson, he’s got great stuff,
that’s 96 m.p.h. and it’s drop-
ping off the table; to have an at-
bat like that and give your team
a win, it’s a credit to Adrian,”
said Seattle manager Don
Beltre raised both arms in
celebration—then kept running
past first base and into center
field, with jubilant teammates
chasing him into a dog pile.
Closer David Aardsma (2-2)
pitched a scoreless ninth for
Seattle, which won for the fifth
time in seven games.
SAN DIEGO—After Ryan How-
ard and J.A. Happ did their
thing, J.C Romero finally made
his season debut for the Phila-
delphia Phillies.
Howard hit a two-run homer
and Happ threw seven score-
less innings to lead Philadel-
phia to a 5-1 win over the San
Diego Padres on Wednesday
night, the Phillies’ sixth straight
Romero returned from his
50-game suspension for testing
positive for a banned substance.
The lefthander pitched 1 1-3
innings, allowing an unearned
run on two hits, a walk and a
passed ball by Chris Conte.
“I was disappointed with my
outing, but I’m glad it’s over
and done with,” Romero said.
Romero, who earned two
wins in Philadelphia’s World
Series victory over Tampa Bay
last year, retired left-hander
Brian Giles opening the ninth,
then made way for Ryan Mad-
son. Romero pumped his fist
and gazed skyward as he
walked to the dugout, where he
received handshakes from his
teammates. Romero came on to
open the eighth with a 5-0 lead.
He allowed Eckstein’s RBI sin-
gle with one out. After walking
Adrian Gonzalez, the major
league home run leader with
22, Romero got Kevin Kouz-
manoff to line out to shortstop
Jimmy Rollins, who doubled
Eckstein off second to end the
LOSANGELES—Chad Billing-
sley scattered four hits over
six innings, Casey Blake hit
a sacrifice fly and the Los
Angeles Dodgers beat the
Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0
on Wednesday night.
Billingsley (7-3) struck
out nine and walked four,
rebounding strongly after
back-to-back losses against
the Angels and Cubs. The
righthander has allowed
no more than two earned
runs in eight of his 12 starts
this season.
Ramon Troncoso
escaped a jam in the eighth
when shortstop Rafael
Furcal fielded Miguel
Montero’s sharp grounder
with runners at the cor-
ners and stepped on sec-
ond base before completing
an inning-ending double
play. Jonathan Broxton
pitched a perfect ninth for
his 13th save in 15 games,
completing the combined
seven-hitter and securing
the Dodgers’ second 1-0
win this season.
“It’s just about the per-
sonality of this club,” Man-
ager Joe Torre told the Los
Angeles Times. “We’ve
played a lot of close games.
We’ve played a lot of one-
run games.
Jon Garland (4-5) yielded
one run and four hits and
struck out six in his Dodger
Stadium debut.
Garland and Billingsley
matched zeros until the
sixth, when James Loney
hit his first triple of the
season past a diving Gara-
rdo Parra near the left-field
line and Blake followed
with his scoring flyball.
James Loneyscores thegame’s lonerunonasac flybyCaseyBlake.
Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0
Arizona AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
F.Lopez 2b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .307
G.Parralf 4 0 0 0 0 3 .299
J.Uptonrf 3 0 1 0 1 1 .322
S.Drewss 4 0 2 0 0 2 .231
Reynolds 3b-1b 3 0 1 0 1 1 .259
Monteroc 3 0 1 0 1 1 .221
C.Youngcf 3 0 0 0 1 0 .172
Whitesell 1b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .121
Rauchp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Zavadap 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
c-Byrnes ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .214
Garlandp 2 0 1 0 0 0 .048
a-R.Roberts ph-3b 2 0 0 0 0 1 .358
Totals 32 0 7 0 4 12
Los Angeles AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Pierrelf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .371
Furcal ss 4 0 0 0 0 2 .244
Loney 1b 3 1 1 0 1 0 .284
Blake3b 2 0 0 1 0 0 .295
Ethier rf 3 0 1 0 0 0 .262
Martinc 3 0 1 0 0 2 .267
Kempcf 3 0 1 0 0 0 .310
J.Castro2b 2 0 0 0 1 1 .326
Billingsley p 1 0 1 0 0 0 .240
Belisariop 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
b-Hoffmannph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .167
Troncosop 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Broxtonp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Totals 25 1 5 1 3 6
Arizona 000 000 000 — 0 7 0
Los Angeles 000 001 00x — 1 5 0
a-grounded out for Garland in the 7th. b-popped
out for Belisario in the 7th. c-grounded out for
Zavada in the 9th. LOB: Arizona 9, Los Angeles 5.
3B: Loney (1). RBIs: Blake (35). SB: J.Upton (7).
CS: Ethier (1). S: Billingsley. SF: Blake. Runners
left inscoringposition: Arizona5(G.Parra, Whi-
tesell 2, C.Young, Montero); Los Angeles 3 (Furcal
3). DP: Arizona 1 (F.Lopez, Reynolds); Los Angeles
2(Blake, Loney), (Furcal, Loney).
GarlandL, 4-5 6 4 1 1 3 6 98 5.34
Rauch 1 1 0 0 0 0 10 5.70
Zavada 1 0 0 0 0 0 12 0.00
Los Angeles IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
BillingsleyW, 7-3 6 4 0 0 4 9 111 2.59
BelisarioH, 7 1 1 0 0 0 1 15 2.23
TroncosoH, 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 20 1.83
BroxtonS, 13-15 1 0 0 0 0 1 12 1.33
Umpires: Home, Angel Campos; First, GerryDavis;
Second, BrianGorman; Third, C.B. Bucknor. T: 2:46.
A: 33,804(56,000).
Mariners 3, Orioles 2
Baltimore AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
B.Roberts 2b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .283
Ad.Jones cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .345
Markakis rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .293
A.Huff 1b 4 0 3 0 0 0 .268
Mora3b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .269
Scott dh 4 1 2 2 0 0 .323
Wieters c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Reimoldlf 3 0 1 0 0 0 .279
C.Izturis ss 3 0 1 0 0 1 .260
Totals 33 2 10 2 0 4
Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
I.Suzuki rf 3 1 1 0 1 0 .353
Branyan1b 2 0 0 0 3 1 .319
Beltre3b 5 1 3 3 0 1 .244
Griffey Jr. dh 4 0 1 0 0 0 .223
1-En.Chavez pr-dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 .283
Jo.Lopez 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .231
Y.Betancourt ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 .249
Ro.Johnsonc 3 0 1 0 0 2 .196
Cedenolf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .164
F.Gutierrez cf 3 1 2 0 1 0 .270
Totals 31 3 9 3 5 5
Baltimore 010 001 000 — 2 10 0
Seattle 002 000 001 — 3 9 1
Oneout whenwinningrunscored. 1-ranfor Griffey
Jr. inthe 8th. E: Beltre (8). LOB: Baltimore 4, Seat-
tle11. 2B: Scott (7), Beltre(12). 3B: F.Gutierrez(1).
HR: Scott (12), off Vargas; Beltre (4), off Bergesen.
RBIs: Scott 2 (32), Beltre 3 (25). CS: A.Huff (5). S:
I.Suzuki, Cedeno. Runners left in scoring posi-
tion: Baltimore 2 (Wieters 2); Seattle 5 (Jo.Lopez
2, Beltre 3). DP: Baltimore 1 (Mora, B.Roberts,
A.Huff); Seattle 3 (Vargas, Y.Betancourt, Branyan),
(Y.Betancourt, Jo.Lopez, Branyan), (Ro.Johnson,
Ro.Johnson, Y.Betancourt).
Baltimore IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Bergesen 7 5 2 2 3 3 105 4.64
Ji.JohnsonL, 2-3 11⁄3 4 1 1 2 2 32 3.21
Vargas 51⁄3 8 2 2 0 2 84 1.93
Jakubauskas BS, 1-112⁄3 1 0 0 0 0 18 5.96
M.Lowe 1 0 0 0 0 1 9 4.50
AardsmaW, 2-2 1 1 0 0 0 1 13 2.05
Inherited runners-scored: Jakubauskas
2-1. IBB: off Ji.Johnson (I.Suzuki, Branyan), off
Bergesen (Branyan). HBP: by Bergesen (Ro.
Johnson). Umpires: Home, Tony Randazzo; First,
Chris Guccione; Second, ToddTichenor; Third, Mike
Winters. T: 2:28. A: 18,650(47,878).
SPORTING NEWS TODAY THURSDAY, JUNE 04, 2009 4 Overnight Report
More MLBresults, Page 20 Unit 300try washedout, Page 18
Phillies 5, Padres 1
Philadelphia AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Rollins ss 5 1 1 0 0 1 .229
Victorinocf 3 1 1 0 0 0 .300
Werthcf 2 1 1 1 0 0 .251
Utley 2b 4 0 1 0 1 0 .298
Howard1b 3 1 1 2 2 1 .266
Ibanez lf 5 1 1 1 0 0 .337
Dobbs rf 4 0 2 0 0 0 .200
Bruntlett rf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .135
Feliz 3b 3 0 1 1 0 0 .298
Costec 2 0 0 0 2 0 .246
Happp 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000
a-Stairs ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 .303
Romerop 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Madsonp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Totals 35 5 10 5 5 3
SanDiego AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Gwynncf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .297
Eckstein2b 4 0 1 1 0 1 .242
Ad.Gonzalez 1b 2 0 0 0 2 0 .289
Kouzmanoff 3b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .224
Giles rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .196
Hundley c 4 0 1 0 0 2 .244
Venablelf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .000
C.Burkess 2 0 0 0 1 0 .197
C.Youngp 2 0 0 0 0 0 .273
G.Burkep 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Gregersonp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
b-E.Gonzalez ph 1 1 1 0 0 0 .215
Mujicap 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Totals 31 1 6 1 3 5
Philadelphia 200 100 200 — 5 10 0
SanDiego 000 000 010 — 1 6 1
a-singledfor Happinthe8th. b-singledfor Greger-
son in the 8th. E: Venable (1). LOB: Philadelphia
10, San Diego 6. 2B: Victorino (14), Dobbs (2),
Giles (9). HR: Howard (16), off C.Young. RBIs:
Werth (27), Howard 2 (45), Ibanez (52), Feliz (28),
Eckstein (16). SB: Rollins (10), Dobbs (1). S: Happ.
SF: Feliz. Runnersleftinscoringposition: Phil-
adelphia 6 (Rollins 4, Dobbs, Bruntlett); San Diego
4(C.Young2, C.Burke, Kouzmanoff). DP: Philadel-
phia2(Rollins, Utley, Howard), (Rollins, Utley); San
Diego1(Eckstein, C.Burke, Ad.Gonzalez).
Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
HappW, 4-0 7 4 0 0 2 4 112 2.48
Romero 11⁄3 2 1 0 1 1 25 0.00
Madson 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 5 2.39
C.YoungL, 4-4 6 5 3 3 3 3 95 4.46
G.Burke 1 2 2 1 1 0 27 2.08
Gregerson 1 2 0 0 0 0 13 3.45
Mujica 1 1 0 0 1 0 21 2.39
PB: Coste. Umpires: Home, Paul Emmel; First,
GaryDarling; Second, Bill Hohn;Third, BruceDreck-
man. T: 2:51. A: 15,436(42,691).
It appears Jake Heaps will be leaving his
in-state and childhood favorite college
team behind. The Salt Lake Tribune
reported that Heaps will announce his
commitment to Brigham Young today.
The quarterback will make an
announcement about his college plans
today at 4 p.m. ET. The Sammamish,
Wash., signal-caller flew to Utah
Wednesday and is attending BYU’s junior
day on Friday. Heaps is a member of the
Church of Latter-day Saints, the affiliated
sponsor of BYU.
Heaps is the top-rated quarterback in
the Sporting News Top 100 for the class of
2010. The senior-to-be had recently
trimmed his lengthly list of 26 schools to
a top five: BYU, California, LSU, Tennes-
see and childhood favorite Washington.
He spoke with Sporting News recently
about what he liked about BYU.
“I really love what Coach (Bronco) Mend-
enhall has done there,” Heaps told SN.
“They’re one of the winningest programs
in the country—only seven schools have
won more games than them the past four
years. I just love the environment there,
the offense is great, and obviously it is a
school of my faith (Mormon), so that is a
Heaps is 28-0 as a starting quarter-
back, with two state championships. He
has thrown for 6,005 yards the past two
seasons, with 69 touchdowns and only 11
His father is a legendary women’s ten-
nis coach at nearby Pitt, but Fox Chapel
(Pittsburgh) OL Miles Dieffenbach is heading
in a different direction—Penn State.
Dieffenbach, a four-star prospect also
had scholarship offers from Florida State,
South Florida, Boston College, Virginia,
Syracuse, Northwestern and Minnesota.
He made the decision after a recent visit
to the Penn State campus.
“Coach (Joe) Paterno has a good sense of
humor; he’s very likeable and knows
what he’s talking about,” Dieffenbach
told SN Today. “One thing that stands out
is how much he just loves to coach foot-
ball. See, I committed right in front of
him. I said, ‘Coach, I thought it through
and I want to come here.’ He jumps right
up and starts clapping, and then he
started roaring like a Lion. He said, ‘Now
we’re going to have to teach you to roar
like a Lion, Miles.’ That’s how he is.” lists Dieffenbach (6-4, 285)
as the No. 3 center prospect in the nation,
and he is rated a four-star prospect by
two recruiting services. He also could
play guard.
He joins two five-star level recruits, QB
Paul Jones and WR Adrian Coxson, and two
four-star players, RB Silas Redd and LB
Mike Hull, as Penn State commitments for
2010. Dieffenbach’s father, Dr. George Dief-
fenbach, has coached the women’s tennis
program at Pitt for the past 27 seasons.
Northeast Mississippi (Booneville,
Miss.) Community College DT John Brown
has committed to Tennessee, he told He plans to play one season
of junior college ball and sign with the
Volunteers in December. He could be on
campus as early as next spring.
Brown (6-2, 285) signed with Florida in
2007 and was on campus last year, but he
never got on track with the Gators and
left this past semester.
SN100’s top QB headed to BYU
Joe Paterno landed the No. 3 center prospect, stealing Miles Dieffenbach fromhis hometown school, Pitt.
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First-round mock draft
Sean Deveney’s latest mock draft, after talking with
NBA general managers and other top decision-makers.
The NBA draft is June 25 in New York.
Rank NBATeam Player Pos. CollegeTeam
1. L.A. Clippers Blake Griffin PF Oklahoma
2. Memphis Ricky Rubio PG Spain
3. Oklahoma City Hasheem Thabeet C Connecticut
4. Sacramento Jordan Hill PF Arizona
5. Washington Tyreke Evans G Memphis
6. Minnesota Brandon Jennings PG United States
7. Golden State Jrue Holiday G UCLA
8. New York James Harden SG Arizona State
9. Toronto DeMar DeRozan SG USC
10. Milwaukee Jonny Flynn PG Syracuse
11. New Jersey DeJuan Blair PF Pitt
12. Charlotte Stephen Curry G Davidson
13. Indiana Gerald Henderson SG Duke
14. Phoenix Chase Budinger G/F Arizona
15. Detroit Austin Daye F Gonzaga
16. Chicago James Johnson F Wake Forest
17. Philadelphia Eric Maynor PG VCU
Earl Clark SF Louisville
19. Atlanta Jeff Teague G Wake Forest
20. Utah B.J. Mullens C Ohio State
21. New Orleans Wayne Ellington SG North Carolina
22. Dallas Derrick Brown F Xavier
Tyler Hansbrough PF North Carolina
24. Portland Rodrigue Beaubois PG France
Ty Lawson PG North Carolina
Marcus Thornton SG LSU
Darren Collison PG UCLA
Vladimir Dasic SF Montenegro
29. L.A. Lakers Sam Young SF Pitt
30. Cleveland. Terrence Williams SG Louisville
Darren Collison has been on the draft boards
of NBA teams ever since he put together an
outstanding NCAA Tournament performance—
especially on the defensive end—in 2006. Every
year, though, he chose to return to UCLA. Now,
after his senior season, the NBA will no longer
wait, and Collison is preparing to enter the draft
for good. SNToday’sSeanDeveneysatdownwith
Collisontotalkabout his past andhis future.
What’s your approach now
as the draft gets closer?
This is it, basically. This is what
you’ve been working your
whole life for, and it’s a few weeks, so
you have to kind of go for it. It’s an
opportunity to be in the league with
the best players. I definitely want to
take advantage.
You could have come out
after your freshman year.
And your sophomore year. And
your junior year. What were those
decisions like?
It was hard making those
decisions, and, you’re right, it
was a decision I had to make after
each year. But I feel it is going to pay
off for me right away. I think, with
four years at UCLA behind me, I am
ready to go in and play right away for a
team; they don’t have to wait for me to
develop or learn.
Your parents were both
world-class sprinters, for
Guyana. That helps explain your
speed. But why is that you didn’t
want to pursue a track career?
I never really was interested in
track. When both of your
parents compete at that level, it makes
you want to find your own thing. I did
not want to just be in their shadow.
You have a lot of
ex-teammates in the NBA.
Do you stay in contact with them?
I talk to Kevin (Love) and Russ
(Westbrook) all the time, and Luc
(Mbah a Moute), too. They give me
advice, tell me what it’s like as far as this
process. Especially Luc. I talk to Luc a
lot. But all of those guys are doing really
well at the next level. I think a lot of
teams didn’t think they’d be as good as
they were. But Russell, he’s been great.
Kevin Love is going to be one of the top
players at his position, and Luc, he was
actually starting in Milwaukee.
UCLA has had some players
The talent level that has been
playing at UCLA over the last
few years, that shows you how high it
has been. Arron Afflalo, he has been
coming along, and you’ve got guys like
Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza going
for a championship with the Lakers.
You played with Jrue
Holiday this year and he
could wind up being a lottery pick.
How do you see his situation?
Jrue is in a win-win situation.
He can leave. NBA G.M.s see
talent in him, and he is definitely
talented and has a lot of potential. He’s
a good kid. Whatever NBA team takes
him, he is going to do a good job off the
court and on the court. But if he
decides to go back, he is going to be in a
good position, he is going to get better
as a player. It’s win-win for him.
What teams saw you first?
My first workouts were Chi-
cago, Dallas and Cleveland.
Playoff teams. Do you think
you are a guy who can go in
and help a good team in need of a
backup right away?
Yeah, that is what these teams
are looking for. They look at me
and they know I played four years at a
high level in college. They knew I
could have come into the NBA before.
But they are looking for guys who can
come in and contribute now.
You’re probably going to be
near the bottom of the first
round, but the good side of that is
you could well go to a team that is
not too bad.
Whatever team I go to, chances
are, it is going to be one that has
had some success, a team that is
winning. I like that.
‘I am ready to go in and play right away’
Q&A with … PG Darren Collison
After four seasons at UCLA, Darren Collison is set to join several former Bruins teammates in the NBA.
Magic won 2-0
This is where this series figures
to be won or lost. Lakers coach Phil
Jackson is known as a guy who
prefers not to double-team, which
means he’s going to have to figure
out if C Andrew Bynum is quick
and strong enough to handle C
Dwight Howard. For the Lakers to
win, Bynum must play smart. He
must be able to stay out of foul trou-
ble—that means knowing when
he’s beaten and allowing Howard
his dunk rather than hacking
him—while also leaning on How-
ard and not allowing him to domi-
nate inside.
If the Lakers can stay one-on-one
with Howard, they stand a better
chance of dealing with Orlando’s
perimeter forwards, PF Rashard
Lewis and SF Hedo Turkoglu. Lak-
ers SF Trevor Ariza matches up
well with Turkoglu, but the Lakers
will have to figure out how to keep
PF Pau Gasol on Lewis at the
3-point line, which is not the kind of
defense Gasol is used to playing.
That’s an advantage for Orlando,
but Gasol can provide an advantage
at the other end with his offensive
versatility. Lewis can’t handle
Gasol, but putting Howard on Gasol
could put Howard into foul trouble.
The Lakers sometimes seem reluc-
tant to give Gasol the ball. That
must change.
Edge: Magic.
PG Rafer Alston has played fairly
well for the Magic, and SG Courtney
Lee has been solid all year and into
the playoffs. PG Derek Fisher has
struggled for the Lakers. But all of
this doesn’t matter, because the key
here is SG Kobe Bryant. Orlando did
well in handling Cleveland star SF
LeBron James, staying one-on-one
against him, letting him get his points
but not letting his teammates get
involved. In the end, that strategy
simply wore out James. They’ll try the
same thing against Bryant. It’s essen-
tial that he not try to do too much.
Edge: Lakers.
If PG Jameer Nelson returns and
can give the Magic something off the
pine, it would be a huge lift for
Orlando. Even if Nelson doesn’t play
particularly well, the emotional
boost will be significant. Without
him, the key to the Magic bench is
SG Mickael Pietrus, who is a good
enough defender to handle Bryant
one-on-one. He is not going to shut
down Bryant, of course, but he is
strong enough and long enough to at
least make things tough on him. For
the Lakers, though, the bench is all
about PF Lamar Odom. If he is
focused and involved, the Magic
have no answer for him among their
reserves. The Laker bench shot just
38.4 percent in the conference finals.
Edge: Magic.
Go-to guy
Howard’s new-found ability to
make free throws certainly makes
him more of a dangerous player down
the stretch. Certainly, too, we’ve seen
Turkoglu make clutch shots. But nei-
ther guy can come close to matching
the clutch resume of Bryant.
Edge: Lakers.
Lakers fans can pick out this series’
X-factor in a heartbeat. It’s Odom.
When he’s locked in, focused and
doing his job offensively and on the
boards, he’s the fifth-best (maybe
sixth-best) player in this series. But
Odom has an aggravating tendency
to disappear for entire games—he
scored 30 points in the first four
games of the conference finals and
scored 39 in the final two games. If he
can assert himself for four of these
games, the Lakers will win those four
and win the championship.
.408. That was the Magic’s 3-point
shooting percentage in the confer-
ence finals against Cleveland. The
Cavaliers led the NBA in 3-point
defense, allowing opponents to shoot
just 33.3 percent this season. If
Orlando is making 3s at that rate, the
Lakers have no chance.
Who’s hot? Has anyone done
more for his resume in these play-
offs than Howard? Not only did he
average 25.8 points against Cleve-
land in the conference finals, but he
shot an incredible 65.1 percent. And
that free-throw shooting problem?
Howard made 70.1 percent of his
foul shots in the last round.
Who’s not? Sasha Vujacic con-
verted his key role in the Lakers’ run
to the NBA Finals last season into a
lucrative contract. This year? Eh. He
was just 6-for-21 from the floor
against Denver, and is shooting 28.2
percent from the field in the playoffs.
The Magic have made much bigger
strides than many thought possible
in this postseason. This is going to be
a great series. Ultimately, though, the
Lakers’ size advantage—assuming
they get the ball to Odom and Gasol—
will prove too much.
Lakers in7.

(Best-of-7) All times, ET
Today: Orlando at L.A. Lakers, 9
p.m., ABC
Sunday: Orlando at L.A. Lakers,
8 p.m., ABC
Tuesday, June 9: L.A. Lakers at
Orlando, 9 p.m., ABC
Thursday, June 11: L.A. Lakers at
Orlando, 9 p.m., ABC
Sunday, June 14: L.A. Lakers at
Orlando 8 p.m., if necessary, ABC
Tuesday, June 16: Orlando at L.A.
Lakers, 9 p.m., if necessary, ABC
Thursday, June 18: Orlando at L.A.
Lakers, 9 p.m., if necessary, ABC
Betting line
FAVORITE..................LINE ................ UNDERDOG
at L.A. Lakers............... 6(206)............................ Orlando
Odds to win series
L.A. Lakers..............-280 Orlando..........................+240
June 15—NBA draft early
entry entrant withdrawal deadline
(5 p.m. ET)
June 25— NBA draft
A key for the Lakers is whether C AndrewBynumcan keep Magic C Dwight Howard in check. The Magic are counting on SGMickael Pietrus to give thema defensive spark off the bench.
Finals showdown lowdown

Q&A with … Magic PF Rashard Lewis
NBA fans ‘have no choice but to watch the Orlando Magic’
Rashard Lewis is a big reason the
Orlando Magic are in the NBA Finals. Big
as in6-10, 230, andbigas inhe hit a game-
winning3-pointer inGame1of theEastern
Conference finals. As part of a Powerade
promotion, Lewis talked with Sporting
NewsToday’s Matt Crossmanabout howto
beat the Lakers, Dwight Howard puppets
andmeetingTiger Woods.
You guys beat the
Lakers twice in the
regular season. Does that
mean anything going into The
It doesn’t mean anything
at all. Being in The Finals
or the playoffs is a whole different
story. The Lakers have been
there. Kobe has won champion-
ship rings. They’re more experi-
enced than we are at this level.
What’s the key to
beating the Lakers?
The key to beating them is
our defense. We feel like if
we play good defense and
rebound the ball, we can run
down and have cross matchups
and try to get easy baskets, wide
open 3-pointers or get Dwight
posted up early inside. If we’re
playing halfcourt offense the
whole series, it’s going to be tough
because they’re a good halfcourt
defensive team.
It’s been a long
already played 19 games
heading into The Finals. How
are you holding up?
I’m doing good. But it’s
been a long, tough series.
The most important thing is taking
care of your body off the court. You
most definitely want to stay
hydrated. I drink a lot of Powerade
Ion4. … At the same time, you have
to get the proper rest and proper
What do you do to pass
the time? You must get
antsy with the biggest series
of your life coming up.
It is the biggest series of
my whole career. My
body’s been tired, I’ve been
hurting. Rest is definitely impor-
tant, so I can have a lot of energy
going on into the game.
Did you see President
Obama picked the
Lakers in six?
No, I didn’t see that. This
is the first I’ve heard of it.
What do you think?
A: Obama is a great
president. But sometimes people
are wrong. He might be wrong
about this one.
Did all the talk of the
Kobe-LeBron matchup
in The Finals annoy you guys
and motivate you against the
It did during the time.
There was so much hype
about the LeBron and Kobe
matchup, and the commercials
they had on TV with LeBron and
Kobe. We didn’t really talk about it
too much. But it motivated us. It
put fuel to the fire that maybe we
can stop what everybody wants to
see, and they’re going to have no
choice but to watch the Orlando
You mentioned those
commercials. If Dwight
Howard had a puppet, what
would it say?
Well, he’s in The Finals,
so they might have to
make a puppet. A little puppet
with a lot of muscles and big
arms, dunking the ball.
What’s it like playing
with him?
He’s most definitely a fun
person to be around,
especially off the court. He likes
to joke around, have a lot of fun.
He makes the game fun. He’s
most definitely a basketball
player once he steps between the
lines and the ball is tossed in the
air. He’s real competitive. He
wants to win. That’s why we’re in
The Finals. Dwight Howard took
us there. We rode his back the
whole time.
The Lakers are famous
for having celebrities
sitting courtside. Who’s the
most famous person you’ve
seen at an Orlando Magic
Tiger Woods has been to
games all year round. We
know where his seats are because
he’s a season-ticket holder.
Have you ever talked to
him or met him?
I met him when I first
came to the Orlando
Magic, and I was riding around
looking for a place to stay. The
area we were looking at, he was
outside in the neighborhood
playing golf. I guess the realtor
knew him as a friend. We pulled
over and talked to him for a
What’d he say—the best
grocery store is over
there, great pizza over there …?
He was basically saying,
it’s a great neighborhood,
perfect neighborhood, people
don’t bother you too much.
You’ve got Tiger Woods outside
hitting golf balls, that lets you
know he’s comfortable in that
neighborhood. He’s not worried
about people coming up to him,
asking him for autographs,
meeting him all the time. He was
real nice. He was basically saying
how perfect the place was where
he was living.
So did you end up
moving in there?
Actually, I didn’t (laughs).
I moved closer to the
arena, closer to the downtown
Rashard Lewis says the hype over a possible Kobe-LeBron Finals definitely motivated the Magic.

LOS ANGELES—Seven years have
passed since Phil Jackson coached
the Los Angeles Lakers to their third
consecutive NBA championship in
his first three seasons with the team.
He’s definitely counting.
They lost to Detroit in the 2004
Finals and again last year to Bos-
ton. Starting today against Orlando,
Jackson gets a third chance to win
his record 10th title, which would
break a tie with fellow Hall of Fame
coach Red Auerbach.
But he insists that’s not his main
“It’s just about this year, not
about the 10th,” he said.
Jackson joked about the value of
possibly owning 10 championship
rings, saying, “One for each finger
and two thumbs.”
He played against Auerbach’s
teams, but never matched wits or
Xs and Os with the cigar-chomping
coach with whom he said he had a
“really competitive” relationship.
Auerbach, who died in October
2006, once downplayed Jackson’s
nine titles by saying the former New
York Knicks player “picks his spots,”
implying that his championships
were the result of coaching stars such
as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen,
Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
The chance to surpass Auerbach
and make history of his own might
be a personal goal of Jackson’s, but
it trails what the team is trying to
achieve, assistant coach Kurt Ram-
bis said.
“Is he obsessed with it? Does he
lose sleep over it? I seriously doubt
it,” he said.
Jackson turns 64 in September.
He has undergone two hip replace-
ment operations since October
2006—using a cane at various
times—and walks with a noticeable
hitch in his step.
He didn’t mention the role of his
47-year-old girlfriend, Jeanie Buss, a
team executive and daughter of Lak-
ers owner Jerry Buss. They’ve been
together since shortly after Jackson
began his first stint as coach of the
team in 2000, and survived his one-
season firing in 2004-05.
“I came back at the behest of the
Buss family to coach this team back
into playoff contention,” Jackson
said. “Every night we give our-
selves a chance to win. So that’s
been really the blessing of coming
back and having this opportunity
again, to see this team come out
from the ashes and become again a
dominant team in the league.”
Jackson signed a two-year con-
tract extension in 2007 for approx-
imately $24 million, which takes
him through this season.
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher
are the Lakers who’ve played the
longest for Jackson. Bryant says he
doesn’t think about a future with-
out the gray-haired coach.
“I just try to focus on the task at
hand, which was one of the things that
he’s taught us all,” he said. “I’m just
honored to be coached by the best
coach of all time. It would be a tremen-
dous honor to be on the team that can
get him that 10th championship.”
LOSANGELES—He’s an All-Star, he feels healthy, and he
dominated the Lakers during the regular season.
So it seems pretty simple: Jameer Nelson should play
in the NBA Finals.
It’s not so easy to the Orlando Magic, who still
weren’t ready to make a decision Wednesday before
practicing for the final time before facing the Los
Angeles Lakers tonight in Game 1.
“It’s a tough decision on Jameer either way you go,
because I think he is able to play right now,” coach Stan
Van Gundy said. “Now, how much he can do, I don’t
“We’ll just decide after (Wednesday) if we think
playing him gives us a better chance to win than not
playing him. It’s really as simple as that, but the deci-
sion won’t be easy.”
On the one hand, it should be. Nelson averaged 27.5
points in two victories over the Lakers, expertly utiliz-
ing the Magic’s pick-and-roll offense to create lanes to
penetrate or step back for 3-pointers.
On the other, can Nelson play anywhere near that
well after being out of action since tearing the labrum
in his right shoulder on Feb. 2 against Dallas?
“No one knows. He doesn’t even know probably,”
Lakers forward Luke Walton said. “You’ve been out as
long as he’s been out, obviously if he was playing at the
level he was before he got hurt, yeah obviously he
would make a difference. But right now, at least until
end of Game 1, there’s no way to know that.”
There may not be an answer then, either. Van Gundy,
Nelson, general manager Otis Smith, or team medical
personnel—Nelson said everyone would take part in
the decision—all could decide the point guard simply
isn’t healthy enough or have enough stamina to take
part in a game.
Or, they could decide it’s not worth the risk to mess
with the chemistry of a team that just knocked off Bos-
ton and Cleveland—though that one seems unlikely.
“He can’t hurt us,” said Rafer Alston, who replaced
Nelson as the starting point guard after a deal before
the trade deadline.
Nelson was expected to be off the court until August
following surgery on Feb. 19. But he’s regained full
range of motion, and began taking part in full-court
drills during the Magic’s Eastern Conference finals
victory over the Cavaliers.
He said he’ll help the Magic somehow in the Finals,
even if it’s just offering encouragement from the bench.
He’d prefer to do it from the court.
“You just want to play. You never know when you’re
going to get back to the Finals,” Nelson said. “You want
to play, you want to compete with your team, but if I’m
not able to, I can’t do it. I’m not going to do anything
crazy or anything to jeopardize my future.”
Jackson close to
mulling future
with Lakers
Magic wait a little longer before Nelson decision
It’s been seven years since Phil Jackson won his ninth title. He wants that record 10th.
Jameer Nelson averaged 27.5 points in Orlando’s two wins over L.A.

Bryant 16 79 95 5.3 89 4.9 46 0 31 43 14
Gasol 58 145 203 11.3 47 2.6 54 1 15 39 36
Odom 54 117 171 9.5 38 2.1 54 1 11 30 26
Ariza 13 54 67 3.7 46 2.6 57 0 27 33 9
Fisher 4 26 30 1.8 40 2.4 45 0 15 21 1
Bynum 23 42 65 3.6 7 0.4 56 0 6 16 18
Brown 7 17 24 1.3 13 0.7 26 0 10 10 2
Farmar 3 19 22 1.5 31 2.1 12 0 7 15 3
Vujacic 7 23 30 1.7 10 0.6 31 0 10 9 4
Walton 13 29 42 2.6 40 2.5 32 1 13 18 3
Powell 5 8 13 1.1 3 0.3 6 0 0 2 1
Mbenga 0 2 2 0.5 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 1
TEAM 203 561 764 42.4 364 20.2 419 3 145 246 118
OPPONENTS 215 535 750 41.7 363 20.2 422 4 147 260 69
Postseason stats
AVG 3-Pnt.
Howard 18 38.3 140-225 .622 0-2 110-170 .647 390 21.7 40
Lewis 19 40.7 126-274 .460 36-92 80-103 .777 368 19.4 29
Turkoglu 19 38.3 96-234 .410 25-67 71-84 .845 288 15.2 29
Alston 18 32.9 85-222 .383 33-94 25-34 .735 228 12.7 26
Pietrus 19 25.1 65-134 .485 33-84 36-51 .706 199 10.5 17
Lee 16 28.9 55-122 .451 10-33 20-22 .909 140 8.8 24
Redick 12 21.8 23-63 .365 16-41 12-13 .923 74 6.2 15
Lue 1 3.9 2-2 1.000 1-1 0-0 .000 5 5.0 5
Johnson 19 14.7 32-85 .376 9-30 9-18 .500 82 4.3 13
Gortat 19 11.4 27-37 .730 0-0 8-12 .667 62 3.3 11
Battie 16 5.8 16-34 .471 0-0 3-5 .600 35 2.2 8
Richardson 1 2.4 0-1 .000 0-0 0-0 .000 0 0.0 0
Foyle 2 1.9 0-1 .000 0-0 0-0 .000 0 0.0 0
TEAM 19 241.3 667-1434 .465 163-444 374-512 .730 1871 98.5 117
OPPONENTS 19 241.3 660-1473 .448 112-346 348-457 .761 1780 93.7 114
Howard 81 196 277 15.4 32 1.8 82 4 12 47 40
Lewis 20 95 115 6.1 50 2.6 35 0 21 40 13
Turkoglu 8 78 86 4.5 97 5.1 61 0 14 51 2
Alston 2 43 45 2.5 79 4.4 43 0 29 32 4
Pietrus 17 35 52 2.7 12 0.6 61 0 15 19 12
Lee 4 28 32 2.0 26 1.6 29 0 16 17 3
Redick 1 16 17 1.4 23 1.9 22 1 7 5 1
Lue 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Johnson 7 19 26 1.4 39 2.1 28 0 11 12 0
Gortat 16 47 63 3.3 3 0.2 34 0 7 8 10
Battie 6 10 16 1.0 0 0.0 7 0 0 1 1
Richardson 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0
Foyle 0 1 1 0.5 0 0.0 1 0 0 1 0
TEAM 162 568 730 38.4 361 19.0 403 5 132 243 86
OPPONENTS 160 575 735 38.7 378 19.9 461 6 125 257 66
AVG 3-Pnt.
Bryant 18 40.0 184-395 .466 28-81 137-153 .895 533 29.6 41
Gasol 18 39.9 124-216 .574 0-0 79-113 .699 327 18.2 30
Odom 18 31.4 82-158 .519 14-27 38-64 .594 216 12.0 26
Ariza 18 29.7 72-129 .558 30-60 31-54 .574 205 11.4 21
Fisher 17 26.8 42-118 .356 12-51 25-30 .833 121 7.1 13
Bynum 18 17.0 46-94 .489 0-0 22-34 .647 114 6.3 14
Brown 18 14.5 36-81 .444 12-25 19-24 .792 103 5.7 14
Farmar 15 13.5 27-68 .397 11-31 12-17 .706 77 5.1 13
Vujacic 18 12.7 24-85 .282 16-48 5-6 .833 69 3.8 9
Walton 16 16.0 24-65 .369 5-15 8-12 .667 61 3.8 10
Powell 12 5.2 9-22 .409 0-0 6-6 1.000 24 2.0 10
Mbenga 4 2.4 1-5 .200 0-0 0-0 .000 2 0.5 2
TEAM 18 240.0 671-1436 .467 128-338 382-513 .745 1852 102.9 119
OPPONENTS 18 240.0 614-1431 .429 114-364 391-513 .762 1733 96.3 120
L.A. Lakers
Orlando Magic
Howard ready for some fun
LOS ANGELES—Leave all that cold-
blooded seriousness to Kobe Bryant.
Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard is
going to have fun in his first NBA
“I’m always going to be that silly per-
son,” Howard said Wednesday before
practice at Staples Center. “Basketball
brings too much joy to me and every-
body who watches me. So there’s no
need to be out there trying to look mean
and tough. Even if I tried to look mean
and tough, everybody in here would
laugh and say, ‘That’s not him.’ So it
doesn’t work.”
Howard’s dead-on impersonation of
hyped-up Orlando coach Stan Van
Gundy has been making the rounds this
“Dwight is a funny guy,” Van Gundy
said. “We hear this stuff all the time.”
As a kid growing up in Atlanta, How-
ard inherited his father’s sense of fun,
although he got scolded by dad for goof-
ing around too much on the court.
“I laughed, I joked,” Howard recalled.
“But if I lost the game, I was the first one
crying and telling him what I needed to
do to get better for the next game.”
Orlando general manager Otis Smith
tried to change Howard after the team
selected him with the No. 1 pick in the
2004 NBA draft.
“He tried to stop me from smiling on
the floor, and it’s not going to work,”
Howard said.
Bryant said his 23-year-old U.S.
Olympic teammate never had to grow
into his role as the centerpiece of Orlan-
do’s franchise.
“He did a great job of that right off the
bat,” Bryant said. “He’s a natural. The
thing about Dwight is he continues to
work on his game and you see improve-
ment, sometimes monthly. You see him
adding new things to his game, which
says a lot about him.”
Switching assignments
Pau Gasol figures to be one busy guy
against the Orlando Magic.
The Lakers’ big man could see time in
the post defending Dwight Howard
when he’s not running out to the perim-
eter and chasing Rashard Lewis at the
3-point line.
“It’s going to be a lot of work,” Gasol
said. “It’s going to take a big focus on my
part to be able to flip the switch every
time I change matchups and I change
players, coverages.”
A year ago, Gasol was just happy to be
in his first NBA Finals, never having
reached that pinnacle in previous play-
off runs with Memphis.
The biggest lesson he learned?
“You can’t just go out there and see
what happens,” he said. “You’ve got to
be really aggressive and go get it. Don’t
expect anything, just play hard and hus-
tle and give your best.”
Eager Van Gundy
Thirty minutes into Stan Van Gundy’s
first NBA Finals, and the Orlando coach
was already impatient.
“What I basically learned in a half
hour of being here is that it’s hard to do
your job because I want to go practice,”
he said. “Enough of this stuff.”
He told the media that “you guys make
it tough for us to do our job. After prac-
tice, you meet with the media a little bit,
but I want to get out on the court.”
Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson admit-
ted he’s “always been a little bit nervous
and anxious for that first game to play.”
He sure didn’t look it, sitting regally in
a tall padded chair while appearing
“We’re all on edge just getting ready
for it,” Jackson said in a deadpan voice.
“You can see how on edge I am.”
Despite his physique, Dwight Howard says he’s anything but tough and mean.
The Timberwolves have three first-
round picks in the NBA draft, but presi-
dent of basketball operations David Kahn
said that he’s willing to listen to trade
offers for any of the choices, including the
sixth overall selection.
“You never say never to anything,”
Kahn told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We
would listen to anything, of course. But by
the same token, I’m not out there on the
phone shopping them. It’s a little early for
that still.”
Kahn did say that he’s hearing lots of
teams “have interest in buying picks
toward the end of the first round.” Min-
nesota’s two other first-round picks are
Nos. 18 and 28.
Although PF Chris Bosh, one of the big
free-agent names for the summer of 2010,
has come up in several trade rumors, Rap-
tors general manager Bryan Colangelo
reportedly told him the current plan is to
try to surround him with better players
instead of trading him, The Miami Herald
reported. That plan would change this
summer only if Bosh expresses serious
doubts about re-signing.
Cavaliers star SF LeBron James was
released from the Cleveland Clinic on
Wednesday after a five-hour procedure to
remove a benign growth from his jaw a
day earlier. James had the condition for
several months, but opted to put off sur-
gery until the Cavaliers completed their
season. The team says James is recovering
Cavs general manager Danny Ferry
knows his teams needs some offseason
work in order to reach the NBA Finals.
As far as what specific tweaks he needs to
make, he’s taking a close look at the two
teams left standing, and what Cleveland
needs to do in order to beat them. Although
the Cavs won 66 regular season games,
they were 3-8 against the Lakers and
Magic (including the playoffs).
“We’re going to have to look at who
those top teams are and make some deci-
sions based off that when we look at our
roster,” Ferry told The Plain Dealer of
Cleveland. “That is part of the evaluation
process that starts now and continues
between now and next February (the
trading deadline).”
Don’t expect any Twitter posts com-
ing from the Lakers during The Finals.
“Coach Phil Jackson told us to turn our cell
phones off for the next two weeks and not
to talk to anybody,” C Andrew Bynum told
the Los Angeles Times. Jackson is also try-
ing to limit the team’s distractions when it
travels to Orlando. Rather than staying in
a downtown hotel, as the Lakers did dur-
ing the regular season, they’ll stay in a
hotel miles away.
Magic SG Mickael Pietrus told the
Orlando Sentinel he has been wearing a
pair of Kobe Bryant-endorsed basketball
shoes during games this season, but for
The Finals, “I’m going to play with
Michael Jordan shoes.” Pietrus guarded
LeBron James during the East finals, but
cautioned Magic fans who think he’ll be a
“Kobe stopper” in this series. “The only
thing I can do is try to minimize his
touches in the fourth quarter,” Pietrus
said. “He’s a tremendous player and those
guys you can not stop them. So maybe I
can say, ‘Hey, stop, Kobe! Yo! Stop!’ Maybe
that’s the only way I can stop him. ‘Stop
for a minute!”
It’s no secret SF Lamar Odom is a key
for the Lakers in The Finals. His play has
been inconsistent, which has brought out
criticism from plenty of Lakers fans. But
Odom said the high expectations will help
motivate him against Orlando. “It’s a com-
pliment at the end of the day,” Odom told
the Los Angeles Times. “People like the way
that I play. They want to see it at a high
level all the time because it’s enjoying to
Celtics G Tony Allen had surgery on his
right ankle and leg Wednesday. The team
says he’s expected to recover in time for train-
ing camp this fall. Allen averaged 7.8 points
last season, when he missed 34 of the last 47
regular season games with the ankle injury.
The Warriors have the No. 7 pick in
the draft, and although that’s higher than
most draft boards have SG Terrence Wil-
liams—and even though the team needs a
point guard more than a swingman—the
Contra Costa Times reported it’s “widely
accepted” that Golden State is interested
in him. And going to the Bay Area would
be just fine with Williams. “Right after
they call my name, I’d be on the next plane
and come here,” he said of his reaction
should the Warriors draft him. “And
won’t leave here. Ever.”
A lawmaker urged the NBA on
Wednesday to repeal its requirement that
players be at least 19 years old and a year
out of high school before entering the
league, calling the restriction unfair.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., sent identical
letters to NBA commissioner David Stern
and union leader Billy Hunter, asking that
they scrap the requirement in the next
collective bargaining agreement.
Cohen, a member of the House Judi-
ciary Committee, called the requirement
“an unfair restriction on the rights of
these young men to pursue their intended
T-wolves have the picks to make deal; Raptors want to keep Bosh
Toronto would rather surround Chris Bosh, left, with more talent than send himaway.
PITTSBURGH—Last year at this time, a man
in a suit translated questions and answers
for an Evgeni Malkin playing in his first
Stanley Cup final. An already difficult situ-
ation grew worse when Malkin’s struggles
on the ice were criticized. Explaining what
was going wrong wasn’t
easy for the 21-year-old
This year, things are
much different. On
Wednesday afternoon,
Evgeni Malkin sat on
stage between Max Talbot
and Sergei Gonchar, and
Malkin’s new-found com-
fort level became clear.
Malkin started taking shots at Talbot—
no translator necessary.
Asked to critique the game of his linemate
Talbot, who scored a pair of goals in Tues-
day’s win, Malkin’s sense of humor emerged
in front of the public for the first time in the
“Bad hands. He has lot of scoring chance,
not score,” Malkin said, smiling. “Just
empty net. It’s OK, he learns over the
Sitting to Malkin’s right, Talbot broke up
“I’m speechless right now,” Talbot
responded. “Thanks, Geno.”
Malkin’s increased comfort level on and
off the ice has changed the dynamic of his
game and the game of the Penguins.
Unlike last season, Malkin is producing
against the Red Wings. He has five points
in the first three games of the finals and
leads all NHL players in playoff scoring.
In just one year, Malkin has gone from an
out-of-place, worn down center to a player
schooling one of the most experienced play-
off teams in recent history.
“It’s my second final. I feel great now,”
Malkin said, pausing to choose his words.
“Last year, I was a little bit sick and now I
feel great. My teammates help me every
time and coach, too. I’m trying to play a lit-
tle bit hard and physical more. Of course,
I’m learning how to play now, and it’s sec-
ond final. It’s the same team. I know how to
play Detroit.”
That last part is important, because right
now Detroit doesn’t know how to play Mal-
kin. Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lid-
strom have done a great job containing
Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh’s top line,
but haven’t had quite the same success
against Malkin—especially on the power
That success has helped ease pressure on
Crosby, allowing him to remain patient
while figuring out a way to crack
“When (Malkin’s) out there, I think if
anything you just want to follow it up,”
Crosby said. “It motivates you even more
to go out there and follow it up, knowing
he’s doing his part and you want to do
The series sits at a 2-1 edge for Detroit,
but it’s a completely different feel compared
to last season. The Penguins still are
confident they can beat Detroit and that
likely wasn’t the case last season.
Malkin’s improvement is the biggest rea-
son why.
Marian Hossa played with Malkin last
year. This year he has spent a lot of time on
the ice trying to stop him.
He has noticed the difference.
“He was a world class player already last
year. He’s improving every year,” Hossa
said. “You can tell he was in this situation
because he’s playing much stronger and we
just have to make sure we’re covering him
Getting Pavel Datsyuk back would cer-
tainly help the Red Wings. He’s close to
returning and matched his fellow Russian’s
humor during a turn at the podium.
When asked how difficult it has been to
watch the Red Wings play in the Stanley
Cup finals while he recovers from a foot
injury, Datsyuk shared his wit.
“Oh, I tell you, just this is not fun to watch,”
Datsyuk said. “I take in lots of beer.”
A boring afternoon of off-day press con-
ferences became Russian comedy hour.
Datsyuk’s dry humor has been known
for years, and his story is similar to Mal-
kin’s. Datsyuk’s playoff performance early
in his career wasn’t productive. In his first
42 playoff games, Datsyuk had only three
But when the Red Wings won the Stanley
Cup last year, Datsyuk was a point-per-
game producer and scored a career-best 10
Some guys take a little longer to get com-
fortable in the playoffs than others. It looks
like Malkin is there.
“I don’t think anybody’s really sur-
prised,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
“He’s one of the best players in the world.”
Malkin’s improved performance is no joke to Red Wings
A year after struggling through the finals, Penguins C Evgeni Malkin, center, is producing and making teammates like Max Talbot, left, and Sergei Gonchar smile.
Craig Custance


PITTSBURGH—If the smile on his
face while skating at Wednesday’s
practice is any indication, expect to
see Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk
back in the Red Wings lineup. Dat-
syuk hasn’t played in the playoffs
since Game 2 of the Western
Conference finals because of a foot
Datsyuk said he felt good
Wednesday, but coach Mike Bab-
cock wouldn’t go so far as to say
Datsyuk would be in the lineup
“What we’ll do is go for the
optional skate in the morning and
see how he responded today and
see how he felt,” Babcock said.
“He’s one of the best players in the
world. Obviously, we’d like to have
him. But it’s one of those injuries.”
Datsyuk said it would be a game-
time decision, but said he’s healthy
and feels as good as he did before
the injury.
“I feel like again 18 years young,”
the Russian forward quipped. “I
have lots of fun, exciting wearing
skates… I want to play so bad. I
don’t want to watch this game
Babcock confirmed that veteran
forward Kris Draper would return
to the lineup regardless of Dat-
syuk’s status. Draper has been out
with a groin injury. The return of
Draper and Datsyuk would be a
boost to a struggling Detroit pen-
alty kill. The Red Wings are killing
only 71.4 percent of opposing
power plays during the playoffs.
But it’s not the percentage that
bothers Babcock.
“It’s when you give them up,” he
said. “You know, that’s huge. Last
night, we needed a kill. Without
any question, it was a 2-2 game. We
needed the kill.”
Zetterberg logs
serious minutes
Playing in Pittsburgh makes it
more difficult to match Henrik
Zetterberg against Sidney Crosby,
so Detroit’s shutdown center ended
up double-shifting and finished
Game 3 with an ice time of 24:19.
It was his highest total of the sea-
son in a game that didn’t go to
“Yesterday, when I saw the sheet,
I didn’t expect it to be that much. I
thought it was my usual 20 min-
utes,” Zetterberg said.
Babcock wasn’t concerned with
the extra time wearing Zetterberg
down, although he admitted 24
minutes isn’t ideal.
“I didn’t think we overplayed
him,” Babcock said.
If Detroit continues to remain so
focused on getting the right players
on the ice to stop Crosby, Crosby’s
teammates have to take advantage.
“It does leave the onus on our
other guys to play our game and get
to the offensive zone to take some
pressure off just one guy scoring,”
Bylsma said. “Better play in the
offensive zone by everybody would
make those matchups better, even
better for us.”
Same series,
different feeling
The Red Wings are up 2-1, just
like they were last year at this time.
But Max Talbot said the confidence
level of the Penguins is much
higher this time around.
The first two games were much
closer, Talbot said, and he never
felt the same level of domination
the Red Wings displayed last
“But we know how big this
Game 4 is now because we lost it
last year and it was hard to come
back from a 3-1 deficit,” Talbot
said. “From the experience of last
year, I think we feel it’s different,
and we’re up to the challenge a
little bit more.”
‘I don’t want to watch this game’: Datsyuk could play in Game 4
PITTSBURGH—Sergei Gonchar’s
calming presence helps the Pitts-
burgh Penguins on the blue line,
in the dressing room, and even at
the interview podium, where the
spotlight of the Stanley Cup
finals is often brightest.
Just ask fellow Russian team-
mate Evgeni Malkin, who turned
to Gonchar when the English
word he searched for couldn’t be
found in his growing vocabulary.
A simple whisper from the ever-
present defenseman gave Malkin
the missing word “space.” The
young, dynamic forward then
completed his answer.
“He’s a really quiet guy. Keeps
to himself, pretty private per-
son,” defenseman Brooks Orpik
said of Gonchar during Wednes-
day’s off day. “But when he is in
the lineup, he just seems like he
has a really calming influence on
That was missing from the
Penguins for a large chunk of
this season.
Gonchar, a fixture on the point
for Penguins power plays, scored
the winning goal during a third-
period advantage and added a
power-play assist as Pittsburgh
got back into the finals with a 4-2
victory over the Detroit Red
Wings on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh is 3-of-6 on the
power play in this series, includ-
ing 2-of-3 in Game 3.
“We’ve got to take Gonchar
away a little bit more,” Red
Wings goalie Chris Osgood said.
“When you give him time to drag
(the puck), he’s great at picking
corners and putting the puck
where he wants, but also great at
dishing it off to the side.”
The Penguins are still down
2-1, but the pressure is still
squarely on them. If they falter
today in Game 4 at the Igloo, they
will face elimination Saturday in
Detroit. Pittsburgh fell into a
hole with a pair of 3-1 losses in
Gonchar’s potentially serious
knee injury, courtesy of a ques-
tionable hit in Game 4 of the sec-
ond round by Washington
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin,
could have derailed Pittsburgh’s
second consecutive finals
Gonchar was injured in a knee-
to-knee collision. He missed the
next two games before making a
surprising return in a reduced
role for the Game 7 clincher.
“I really didn’t know what was
going to happen,” Gonchar said
Wednesday. “The injury was
there, and you never know how
your body’s going to respond to
it. We took the approach when
we look at it day-to-day, and I
was fortunate enough that my
body reacted well to the injury.”
It isn’t clear how healthy Gon-
char is now, but he feels good
enough to be in the lineup with
the championship on the line.
The Penguins are 6-2 since Gon-
char returned.
Gonchar provides calming
influence on and off ice
Though Pavel Datsyuk said his injured foot felt good, his coach wasn’t tipping his hand.

The Colorado Avalanche hired a
general manager and fired a coach
Wednesday, marking a flurry of
changes that signaled a sweeping
shakeup for a team that finished
last in the Western Conference this
Greg Sherman, who has spent the
last seven years as the team’s assis-
tant general manager, will replace
Francois Giguere, who was fired as
G.M. in April following the team’s
worst finish since moving to Den-
ver in 1995.
Tony Granato, who was left twisting
in the wind over the last several
weeks as the Avs unsuccessfully
courted Patrick Roy as their new
coach, was fired along with assis-
tant coaches Jacques Cloutier and Dave
Barr, goaltending coach Jeff Hackett,
assistant to the G.M. Michel Goulet
and video coordinator P.J. DeLuca.
“Greg Sherman deserves the
opportunity to prove he can be an
effective general manager in our
business,” team president Pierre Lac-
roix said in a statement. “He has
shown that he possesses the neces-
sary qualities required to be suc-
cessful with this new challenge in
front of him.”
Lecroix, who has put together the
pieces for two Stanley Cup winners
in his 11 seasons as president and
G.M. of the Avalanche, also
announced a new management
structure that will be headed by the
39-year-old Sherman. Craig Billington
adds assistant G.M. to his duties as
vice-president of hockey operations,
David Oliver was named director of
player development and Eric Lacroix
director of hockey operations.
“I look forward to the challenge,”
said Sherman, who has been affili-
ated with the club for 13 years. “We
all know the task ahead and we
need to get to work. There are a lot
of things to be done here ... Our fans
can rest assured that every effort
will be taken to bring an exciting
brand of hockey back to Pepsi
Sherman inherits a roster
strapped by salary cap constraints.
The Avs have only about $10-12
million with which to fill out a team
that finished 32-45-5 last season.
Fourteen players have contracts
that account for nearly $44 million
next year, and that’s a figure that
doesn’t include captain Joe Sakic,
who has yet to decide if he’ll return
for a 21st season.
Former Senators G Ray Emery,
who played last year in the KHL, is
close to signing with Philadelphia,
according to Comcast Sportsnet.
Several general managers regard
the deal as a near-certainty, accord-
ing to the report.
“We’ve had conversations with his
agent (J.P. Barry) about a lot of things,”
Flyers G.M. Paul Holmgren said. “But
I’m not going to comment on our
internal discussions of players.”
After five seasons and several off-
ice problems with Ottawa, Emery
posted a 2.12 goals against average
and .920 save percentage with a
record of 22-8 for Atlant Mytischi.
The Toronto Star reported
Wednesday that Daniel Sedin and
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver’s high-scor-
ing twins, have not heard from the
Canucks, even though they’re less
than a month away from unre-
stricted free agency.
Contract discussions with a for-
ward tandem that has a combined
114-point average over eight seasons
with the team would seem to loom
large, especially considering the
Canucks would get nothing in
return if the players leave. But talk
of the Swedish brothers wanting to
double their annual $3.575 salaries
could be an issue.
Agent J.P. Barry said, “I expect to
hear something soon. Right now
we’re in a wait-and-see mode.”
Barry also said veteran F Mats Sun-
din, another client who played last
year for Vancouver, still is consid-
ering his future.
Bruce Garrioch of the Toronto
Sun says there is a rumor circulat-
ing among NHL executives that
Tampa Bay’s ownership group has
told G.M. Brian Lawton to unload star
F Vincent Lecavalier’s big contract.
The kicker to this news, however,
is that the Canadiens, long rumored
to be talking trade for Lecavalier,
might not have the inside track. The
Los Angeles Kings might be another
suitor, and perhaps a better fit.
The Kings might be willing to
part with D JackJohnson, who report-
edly has been asking for more
money than the team wants to pay.
Lecavalier would add scoring and
star power to a Kings roster that
badly needs it and perhaps acceler-
ate the growth of a young team.
Avs hire G.M., fire coach in sweeping shakeup
If Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier is indeed available, Los Angeles—hungry for a star and with coveted assets—could be a destination.
Stanley Cup finals
(Best-of-7), All times ET
(Detroit leads series 2-1)
May 30: Detroit 3,Pittsburgh 1
May 31: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 1
June 2: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 2
Today: Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8
p.m., Versus
Saturday: Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8
p.m., if necessary, NBC
Tuesday: Detroit at Pittsburgh, 8
p.m., if necessary, NBC
Friday, June 12: Pittsburgh at
Detroit, 8 p.m., if necessary, NBC
The Phillies open a four-game series at
Dodger Stadium tonight, and you can bet
Los Angeles will keep a close watch on
Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth when he
reaches base.
When the teams met in mid-May in
Philadelphia, Werth stole second base,
third base and home plate—all in the sev-
enth inning of the series opener.
When Werth stole home, the bases
were loaded with two outs. The Phillies
were leading the Dodgers, 4-2, when
Werth, who also stole third base in the
fourth inning of that game, decided to
steal home. It is a play that has become
one of the signature events of the young
major league season.
Werth recently discussed the steal with
Sporting News Today’s Bill Eichenberger,
and shared the strategy and the thought
process behind it:
In my specific case, I had a read
off the catcher. I happened to
notice on the first pitch of the at-
bat—Pedro Feliz was hitting, and
he’s a righthanded hitter—that
Russell Martin didn’t look at me
and that he couldn’t see me. Not
only did he not even glance down
to see where I was, he couldn’t
see where I was. The bases were
loaded. So I felt if we got to two
strikes, maybe I would try it.
On the second pitch, which
made the count 1-1, I broke for the
plate again, then scurried back to
third. I looked around and noticed
again that nobody really saw me
do it—not Martin or anybody in
the Dodger dugout. So I was ready
to go on the next pitch if it was
going to be a strike. But it was a
ball, so I didn’t go. That made the
count 2-1. I told myself to be ready.
On the next pitch, Pedro took
it for strike two. Everything
looked the same. I had my steps
down from the previous pitches
and just went ahead and went for
it. I’d never stolen home. I didn’t
really have any fear. I felt like I
had it. The play was actually a lot
closer than I thought. The pitcher
did a really good job of rushing
forward, catching the ball and
getting rid of it to make the play a
lot closer. I didn’t think at all
ahead of time about how I would
slide. I was more concerned with
getting the jump. I went in feet-
first. Martin tried to block the
plate before he had the ball. So
there was really only one way in.
I’d never done it before. It
was more like the stars and the
moon just aligned. It was just one
of those things where the situa-
tion was there, and everything
came together.
‘I didn’t really have any fear. I felt like I had it’
Jayson Werth had never stolen home before, and said ‘the stars and moon just aligned.’
ATLANTA—In a stunning move, the
Atlanta Braves released 305-game
winner Tom Glavine on Wednes-
day, just when it seemed he was
ready to return to the big leagues.
The 43-year-old Glavine, who was
coming back from shoulder and
elbow surgery, threw six scoreless
innings for Class-A Rome on Tues-
day night and proclaimed himself
ready to pitch in the majors again.
Instead, the Braves cut him,
another move that figures to draw
the ire of Atlanta fans after the
team failed to re-sign John Smoltz
during the offseason.
Glavine described himself as
“very surprised” in a text message
to The Associated Press.
Glavine, meanwhile, hasn’t
decided whether he wants to try to
hook on with another team.
“Not sure about pitching,” he
said in his text.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox
called it “the hardest thing I’ve ever
been through.”
General manager Frank Wren
said the decision had nothing to do
with a $1 million bonus that
Glavine would have received for
being placed on the major league
roster. Instead, the team felt it had
a better chance to win with a
younger pitcher in the rotation.
“This was not a business deci-
sion,” Wren said. “This was a per-
formance decision.”
Top prospect Tommy Hanson will
be called up Saturday to start against
“We gave (Glavine) the option, ‘If
you want to retire, you can retire as
a Brave,’” Wren said. “He asked us
to release him.”
The Braves made another major
move Wednesday, acquiring All-Star
center fielder Nate McLouth from the
Pittsburgh Pirates for three pros-
pects. The Braves gave up pitcher
Charlie Morton, minor league out-
fielder Gorkys Hernandez and minor
league pitcher Jeff Locke.
Another plus: McLouth is under
contract through at least 2011, hav-
ing signed a three-year, $15.75 con-
tract in spring training. The deal
includes a team option for a fourth
year at $10.65 million, with a buy-
out of $1.25 million.
“He gives us everything we’re
looking for,” Wren said. “He gives
us an extra outfield bat. He gives
us speed. He gives us defense. He
brings a lot to the table.”
Meanwhile, Wren said Glavine’s
impressive performance in the
minors had no impact on the team’s
assessment of his ability to pitch in
the big leagues.
“We’ve been evaluating him the
last four weeks and everyone felt
we had a better chance to win at
the major league level with one of
our younger pitchers,” Wren said.
“The pitching line is irrelevant
when you’re pitching in low A-ball.
The line is not relevant as to
whether you can get major league
hitters out.”
Glavine was the winningest
active pitcher in the majors with a
record of 305-203. While he and
his agent, Gregg Clifton, did not
immediately return phone mes-
sages, the fact that Glavine asked
to be released clearly indicates that
he still wants to pitch after missing
most of last season with the first
major injury of his career.
“I think he was taken aback a
little bit,” Wren conceded.
Shortly before his first scheduled
start this season, Glavine began
feeling pain in his shoulder. He
made two rehab starts for Triple-A
Gwinnett, but Wren said the num-
bers didn’t matter.
“The comeback was not working,”
the G.M. said. “Our evaluation was
he would not be successful.”
Braves release Glavine, acquire Bucs’ McLouth
TomGlavine was ‘taken aback’ by the
release, Braves G.M. Frank Wren said.
Nate McLouth is hitting .256 with nine
homers and 34 RBIs this season.
How to steal home ... by Jayson Werth
American League Standings
East W L Pct GB WCGB L10 Str Home Away
Boston 31 22 .585 — — 6-4 W-3 17-6 14-16
NewYork 31 22 .585 — — 6-4 L-1 15-10 16-12
Toronto 30 25 .545 2 2 3-7 L-1 19-8 11-17
TampaBay 27 28 .491 5 5 4-6 W-2 15-11 12-17
Baltimore 24 30 .444 7½ 7½ 6-4 L-2 16-13 8-17
Central W L Pct GB WCGB L10 Str Home Away
Detroit 28 23 .549 — — 4-6 L-2 15-9 13-14
Minnesota 26 28 .481 3½ 5½ 5-5 L-1 20-12 6-16
Chicago 25 27 .481 3½ 5½ 6-4 L-2 13-12 12-15
Kansas City 23 29 .442 5½ 7½ 2-8 L-6 15-15 8-14
Cleveland 23 32 .418 7 9 6-4 W-1 12-14 11-18
West W L Pct GB WCGB L10 Str Home Away
Texas 31 21 .596 — — 6-4 W-1 18-9 13-12
Los Angeles 26 25 .510 4½ 4 4-6 W-1 14-12 12-13
Seattle 26 28 .481 6 5½ 6-4 W-2 14-13 12-15
Oakland 21 30 .412 9½ 9 5-5 W-2 11-13 10-17
National League Standings
East W L Pct GB WCGB L10 Str Home Away
Philadelphia 31 20 .608 — — 8-2 W-6 12-14 19-6
NewYork 28 23 .549 3 1 6-4 L-2 17-9 11-14
Atlanta 26 26 .500 5½ 3½ 4-6 L-1 12-13 14-13
Florida 25 29 .463 7½ 5½ 6-4 L-1 11-15 14-14
Washington 14 36 .280 16½ 14½ 2-8 W-1 8-16 6-20
Central W L Pct GB WCGB L10 Str Home Away
Milwaukee 31 22 .585 — — 5-5 W-1 16-9 15-13
St. Louis 30 23 .566 1 — 4-6 L-1 18-11 12-12
Cincinnati 28 24 .538 2½ 1½ 6-4 W-1 13-12 15-12
Chicago 26 25 .510 4 3 5-5 W-1 16-10 10-15
Pittsburgh 24 28 .462 6½ 5½ 5-5 W-2 14-11 10-17
Houston 23 28 .451 7 6 5-5 W-4 12-15 11-13
West W L Pct GB WCGB L10 Str Home Away
Los Angeles 37 18 .673 — — 7-3 W-2 20-6 17-12
SanFrancisco 25 25 .500 9½ 3½ 6-4 L-1 18-9 7-16
SanDiego 25 28 .472 11 5 4-6 L-3 17-9 8-19
Arizona 23 31 .426 13½ 7½ 4-6 L-2 12-19 11-12
Colorado 20 32 .385 15½ 9½ 3-7 L-4 9-14 11-18
z-first gamewas awin
PitchingMatchups Today’s Games (All times Eastern)
AmericanLeague TheLine
L.A. Angels (Lackey 1-1) at Toronto(Tallet 3-3), 12:37p.m. at Tor -110LA+100
Boston(Wakefield6-3) at Detroit (Willis 1-2), 1:05p.m. Bos -130at Det +120
Texas (McCarthy 5-2) at N.Y. Yankees (Wang0-3), 1:05p.m. at NY-150Tex +140
Cleveland(Carmona2-5) at Minnesota(S.Baker 2-6), 1:10p.m. at Min-160Cle+150
Oakland(Bre.Anderson2-5) at ChicagoWhiteSox (Buehrle6-1), 2:05p.m. at Chi -170Oak +160
Kansas City (Meche2-5) at TampaBay (J.Shields 4-4), 4:08p.m. at TB-170KC+160
National League TheLine
N.Y. Mets (Pelfrey 4-1) at Pittsburgh(Ohlendorf 5-5), 12:35p.m. NY-125at Pit +115
SanFran(Ra.Johnson4-4) at Washington(Zimmermann2-2), 4:35p.m., 1st game at Was -130SF +120
ChicagoCubs (Zambrano3-2) at Atlanta(Jurrjens 5-2), 7:10p.m. at Atl -135Chi +125
Milwaukee(Bush3-1) at Florida(Jo.Johnson4-1), 7:10p.m. at Flo-145Mil +135
Colorado(Hammel 1-3) at Houston(W.Rodriguez 5-4), 8:05p.m. at Hou-180Col +170
SanFrancisco(Cain6-1) at Washington(Detwiler 0-1), 8:05p.m., 2ndgame SF -120at Was +110
Cincinnati (Harang5-5) at St. Louis (C.Carpenter 3-0), 8:15p.m. at STL -175Cin+165
Philadelphia(Hamels 3-2) at L.A. Dodgers (Kershaw3-3), 10:10p.m. Phi -115at LA+105
Get everythingyouneedto
dominate your fantasy league at
Fantasy Focus
▲ KevinSlowey, SP, Twins. Slowey is
one of three pitchers in the majors
with eight or more wins, and he’s
allowed two earned runs or less in
each of his last five starts. Slowey
is 7-0 at the Metrodome, and he
carries a 2.89 ERA on the road.
Owners will love Slowey when
interleague play resumes, too. He’s
5-1 with a 2.36 ERA in eight career
starts against the National League.
▼EdinsonVolquez, SP, Reds. Is Dusty
Baker destroying another live
arm? Volquez lasted just one
inning in his return from the
disabled list Monday before
returning to the DL with elbow
tendinitis. Health concerns will
lead more than a few fed up
owners to cut ties with Volquez.
That’s a little extreme considering
Volquez has 47 Ks in 49.2 innings.
Don’t expect a large contribution
in June, but do not put Volquez on
—Bill Bender
Batting Average
Home Runs
Stolen Bases
Pitching (5 decisions)
Player Team
AHill Toronto 77
VMartinez, Cleveland 74
ISuzuki Seattle 72
Crawford TampaBay 71
Ellsbury Boston 69
Morneau Minnesota 69
Jeter NewYork 68
Player Team
Tejada Houston 76
Hudson Los Angeles 71
Ibanez Philadelphia 68
Zimmerman Washington 68
FSanchez Pittsburgh 67
HaRamirez Florida 66
2tiedat 65
Player Team
Verlander Detroit 90
Greinke Kansas City 88
Halladay Toronto 82
Lester Boston 74
F.Hernandez Seattle 72
Beckett Boston 68
Garza TampaBay 66
Player Team
Lincecum SanFrancisco 91
JSantana NewYork 89
JVazquez Atlanta 86
Billingsley Los Angeles 85
Peavy SanDiego 84
Haren Arizona 78
Gallardo Milwaukee 65
Player Team
Fuentes Los Angeles 13
Papelbon Boston 13
Jenks Chicago 12
Francisco Texas 12
Ma.Rivera NewYork 11
Sherrill Baltimore 11
2tiedat 10
Player Team
Bell SanDiego 15
FrRodriguez NewYork 14
Cordero Cincinnati 14
Hoffman Milwaukee 14
Lidge Philadelphia 13
Franklin St. Louis 13
Broxton Los Angeles 13
Player Team
Longoria TampaBay 55
Bay Boston 51
Morneau Minnesota 47
Teixeira NewYork 44
Hunter Los Angeles 42
C.Pena TampaBay 42
4tiedat 40
Player Team
Ibanez Philadelphia 52
Fielder Milwaukee 49
Howard Philadelphia 45
Pujols St. Louis 45
AdGonzalez SanDiego 43
Dunn Washington 42
2tiedat 41
Player Team
B.Roberts Baltimore 43
Scutaro Toronto 43
Crawford TampaBay 42
Ad.Jones Baltimore 42
Pedroia Boston 42
Damon NewYork 41
2tiedat 40
Player Team
Ibanez Philadelphia 44
Pujols St. Louis 42
Zimmerman Washington 40
AdGonzalez SanDiego 39
Hudson Los Angeles 39
Utley Philadelphia 38
Victorino Philadelphia 38
Player Team
Bartlett TampaBay .373
Suzuki Seattle .353
V.Martinez Cleveland .352
MiCabrera Detroit .351
Ad.Jones Baltimore .345
Morneau Minnesota .338
M.Young Texas .332
Player Team
Tejada Houston .358
Hawpe Colorado .353
Beltran NewYork .352
Pence Houston .346
HaRamirez Florida .344
Pujols St. Louis .343
Ibanez Philadelphia .337
Player Team
C.Pena TampaBay 17
Bay Boston 16
Teixeira NewYork 16
N.Cruz Texas 15
Dye Chicago 14
Morneau Minnesota 14
3tiedat 13
Player Team
AdGonzalez SanDiego 22
Ibanez Philadelphia 19
Dunn Washington 16
Howard Philadelphia 16
Pujols St. Louis 16
Bruce Cincinnati 14
2tiedat 13
Player Team
Crawford TampaBay 33
Ellsbury Boston 22
Figgins Los Angeles 20
B.Upton TampaBay 17
Abreu Los Angeles 15
Bartlett TampaBay 14
Span Minnesota 12
Player Team
Bourn Houston 18
Kemp Los Angeles 12
Taveras Cincinnati 12
DWright NewYork 12
6tiedat 11
Player Team
Feldman Texas 5-0 1.000
Palmer Los Angeles 5-0 1.000
Halladay Toronto 9-1 .900
Greinke Kansas City 8-1 .889
Slowey Minnesota 8-1 .889
Buehrle Chicago 6-1 .857
Player Team
Broxton Los Angeles 5-0 1.000
Cain SanFrancisco 6-1 .857
Martis Washington 5-1 .833
Pelfrey NewYork 4-1 .800
Lincecum SanFrancisco 4-1 .800
LiHernandez NewYork 4-1 .800
JoJohnson Florida 4-1 .800
Player Team
Longoria TampaBay 20
M.Young Texas 19
Byrd Texas 18
Lind Toronto 18
Callaspo Kansas City 17
Lowell Boston 17
6tiedat 16
Player Team
Tejada Houston 20
FSanchez Pittsburgh 19
Hudson Los Angeles 17
AdLaRoche Pittsburgh 17
HaRamirez Florida 17
Kotchman Atlanta 16
Rowand SanFrancisco 16
Kevin Slowey is 7-0 at home.
Gordon Beckham, the White Sox’s
first-round draft pick in 2008, will
be called up from Triple-A today,
and Wilson Betemit will be designated
for assignment. Beckham was
selected No. 8 overall last year after
starring at the University of Geor-
gia. He has batted .326 with, 23
doubles, four homers and 25 RBIs
in 45 games at Class AA Birming-
ham and Class AAA Charlotte this
season. The 22-year-old Beckham
will reach the majors 364 days after
being drafted. It’s the fastest a
White Sox first-round choice has
reached the majors since pitcher Alex
Fernandez made it in 58 days in 1990,
the same year he was drafted.
Rays 3B Evan Longoria, the major
league RBI leader and leading vote-
getter so far for the 2009 All-Star
Game, apparently will avoid the
disabled list after an encouraging
MRI showed Wednesday that his
sore left hamstring will only side-
line him for a few days. Team vice
president of baseball operations
Andrew Friedman told the Associated
Press that the Rays are “very opti-
mistic that we can avoid a D.L. situa-
tion. He’s a little sore. I’m confident
that we will get him back soon.”
Longoria was removed from
Tuesday night’s game against the
Royals after trying to beat out a
sixth-inning grounder. He said after
the game he wasn’t too concerned.
“I didn’t feel a pop, didn’t feel a pull,”
he told the St. Petersburg Times. “Hope-
fully, it’s just a day-to-day thing.”
Longoria has 13 home runs and
tops both leagues with 55 RBIs.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported
that Cubs RP Rich Harden cleared an
important rehab hurdle Tuesday
when he threw a 33-pitch bullpen
session that drew enthusiastic
reviews from pitching coach Larry
Rothschild and members of the medi-
cal staff. “It went really well,’’
Harden told the newspaper, saying
the pain from what was diagnosed
as a lower back strain is gone. “I’m
good.’’ Harden, who last pitched on
May 17, will throw a longer bullpen
session Thursday before progress-
ing to a simulated game and eventu-
ally a minor league rehab start. If all
goes well, Harden could be on pace
for a mid-June return.
Cubs OF Milton Bradley could be
flirting with a return to the disabled
list, according to the Sun-Times.
Bradley pulled up with a leg injury
while running out a fourth-inning
grounder Tuesday against the
Braves and was removed from the
lineup. The team said Bradley was
walking gingerly after the game and
will be listed as day-to-day until
more tests can be performed on a
strained right calf.
The Associated Press reported
that Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
has given P Joel Pineiro the thumbs
up for his next start Sunday, which
means that RP Brad Thompson will
return to the bullpen after working
five strong innings in Tuesday
night’s 5-2 win over the Reds.
The Associated Press reported
that the injury-decimated Indians
placed starting SS Asdrubal Cabrera on
the 15-day disabled list Wednesday
after he dislocated his left shoulder
in Tuesday night’s loss to the Twins.
Cabrera was injured while trying to
break up a first-inning double play.
Cabrera succeeded, but Twins SS
Brendan Harris’ leg hit his shoulder
and he went sprawling in the dirt.
The Indians, who now have nine
players on the D.L., recalled IF Josh
Barfield from Class AAA Columbus
to take Cabrera’s roster spot.
According to the Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel, RP David Riske
needed reconstructive surgery on
his elbow, eliminating any chance
he will return this season. Riske,
who is in the second year of a three-
year, $13 million contract, had
pitched only one time this season.
Tigers RP Jeremy Bonderman,
who worked eight scoreless innings
Sunday for Class AAA Toledo, says
his injured right shoulder is strong
and he’s ready for the next step.
Now it’s up to the team. “(Pitching
coach) Rick (Knapp) is setting up a
plan right now and then we’re going
to look at him and evaluate it to see
where we stand,” manager Jim Ley-
land told The Detroit News.
Mariners C Kenji Johjima says he’s
ready to hit off a tee, one week after
being diagnosed with three fractures
in a toe.
But manager Don Wakamatsu prefers
the cautious route. “We’re going to do a
couple of different X-rays ... to see how
fast that bone is healing up,” Waka-
matsu told TheSeattleTimes.
Free-agent pitcher Justin Mallett
was been suspended 100 games
Wednesday for testing positive for a
drug of abuse, his second violation
of baseball’s minor league drug pro-
gram. The 27-year-old righthander
was 0-2 with a 3.68 ERA for Cin-
cinnati’s Class AA Carolina team.
What toexpect inthe major leagues today
New York mess
Perhaps all of the injuries (first baseman Carlos Delgado, shortstop Jose
Reyes, outfielder Ryan Church) and illnesses (outfielder Carlos Beltran, right-
hander John Maine) finally are catching up to the second-place Mets. Their
bullpen, which had been strong all season, imploded in Monday’s loss at
Pittsburgh, and ace lefthander Johan Santana struggled in Tuesday’s loss.
Perhaps Wednesday’s rainout was a blessing in disguise. In the series finale
this afternoon, the Mets will turn to righthander Mike Pefrey (five consecu-
tive quality starts) instead of righthander Tim Redding (0-2, 13.49 ERA in his
past two starts).
Baker’s half-dozen
As in Minnesota’s Scott Baker. As in his six losses. In Baker’s breakthrough
2008 season, he went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 28 starts. Going into this after-
noon’s start against Cleveland, the righthander is 2-6 with a 6.32 ERA in nine
starts. Baker allowed four earned runs or more only six times last season, but
he has done so seven times already in 2009. Meanwhile, Cleveland will have
an enigma of its own on the mound. Righthander Fausto Carmona went
19-8 with a 3.06 ERA is 32 starts in 2007. In 33 starts since, he is 10-12 with a
5.82 ERA. He has more walks (38) than strikeouts (35) this season.
Crafty Carpenter
Although he finally was touched up for a pair of earned runs in his most
recent start, Cardinals righthander Chris Carpenter still picked up the win.
Going into tonight’s outing against the Reds, Carpenter is a perfect 3-0 this
season and almost perfect at home. In 12 shutout innings at Busch Stadium
this season, he has allowedjust four hits. ThoughSt. Louis has slumpedoffen-
sively in the past couple of weeks, rookie outfielder Colby Rasmus is off to a
red-hot start inJune andwill try toprovide some runsupport for Carpenter.
—Chris Bahr
White Sox to call up ’08 top pick Beckham
Major League RBI-leader Evan Longoria apparently won’t need to go on the disabled list.
Mike Pelfrey had a 2.93 ERA in six May starts.
San Francisco at Washington, postponed, rain
Big Unit’s big shot at 300th win delayed
WASHINGTON—The Big Unit was held up
by Mother Nature, putting history on
Randy Johnson’s bid for 300 wins was
postponed Wednesday night after a
series of thunderstorms left the field at
Nationals Park unplayable for Johnson’s
San Francisco Giants and the Washing-
ton Nationals.
At 10:47 p.m. EDT—more than 3½
hours after the scheduled 7:05 p.m. first
pitch—Nationals president Stan Kasten
announced that the game had been
called and would be made up as part of a
doubleheader, starting at 4:35 p.m.
“The field is not playable, and that’s
the reason we can’t play,” Kasten said
after sloshing through standing water in
the outfield with the umpires. “We really
tried. We were all trying to get it done,
but at the end of the night, it’s not worth
the risk to our players.”
Johnson will pitch the first game of the
doubleheader against Nationals rookie
Jordan Zimmermann, the same matchup
that had been scheduled for Wednesday
night. San Francisco’s Matt Cain will
face Ross Detwiler in Game 2.
Because of two Giants off days, John-
son will be pitching on seven days of rest
since winning No. 299 last week against
the Atlanta Braves. He left the ballpark
without speaking to reporters.
“You look at his career, and he’s been
through everything,” San Francisco
manager Bruce Bochy said. “Randy’s
fine. I’m sure he’s anxious to pitch, not
just because it’s 300.”
The weather was ominous from mid-
afternoon, when the tarp was placed on
the field before batting practice. It was
removed during a break in the storms
around 8 p.m., but it was soon put back
on when weather radar accurately pre-
dicted the imminent arrival of another
line of lightning, thunder and rain so
dense that the Capitol dome was no lon-
ger visible from the upper deck.
Still, Kasten consulted with Giants pres-
ident Larry Baer and announced at 10
p.m.: “We are going to play this game”—in
part because of the history at stake. They
had to recant less than an hour later.
“For a player going for a milestone, you
want something more optimal,” Baer
said. “We can recapture that feeling
tomorrow. Under no circumstances do
you want to get someone hurt.”
Johnson is attempting to become the
24th pitcher to win 300 games. Before the
storms hit, discussions centered on
whether the 45-year-old lefty will be the
last. Pitch counts, quick hooks and an
abundance of caution with pitchers have
made consistent big-win seasons a rarity.
“He’s going after a tremendous accom-
plishment that probably we’ll never see
again,” Washington manager Manny Acta
said. “It’s becoming tougher and tougher.”
Only four pitchers have averaged at
least 15 wins over the last six full sea-
sons, and the career leader among those
four—Roy Halladay—has only 140 wins
at age 32, putting him about a decade
away from 300 at his present pace. The
only contenders above 200 wins are
46-year-old Jamie Moyer (250), 36-year-
old Andy Pettitte (220), 37-year-old
Pedro Martinez (214) and 42-year-old
John Smoltz (210).
After 3 1/2 hours of waiting out storms at Nationals Park, manager Bruce Brochy and the Giants packed up and began preparing for a doubleheader.
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Astros 6, Rockies 4
Colorado AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Fowler cf 5 1 1 0 0 1 .255
Barmes ss 4 0 2 0 0 0 .260
Helton1b 3 0 1 1 0 0 .311
Hawperf 2 1 2 0 2 0 .353
Atkins 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .188
S.Smithlf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .273
Stewart 2b 4 1 2 3 0 2 .188
P.Phillips c 3 0 0 0 0 1 .231
b-Spilborghs ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .258
Marquis p 3 0 0 0 0 0 .182
R.Flores p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Jo.Peraltap 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Corpas p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
c-Murtonph 0 0 0 0 1 0 .275
Totals 33 4 9 4 3 4
Houston AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Bourncf 4 2 2 0 1 0 .295
Tejadass 5 1 1 0 0 1 .358
Pencerf 5 2 4 3 0 0 .346
Ca.Leelf 4 1 2 0 1 0 .316
Erstadlf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .137
Berkman1b 3 0 1 1 1 0 .240
I.Rodriguez c 4 0 1 1 0 1 .266
Blum3b 4 0 2 0 0 0 .277
Maysonet 2b 2 0 0 0 1 1 .367
Sampsonp 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Moehler p 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000
a-Michaels ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .171
Byrdak p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Keppinger 2b 1 0 0 0 0 1 .276
Totals 35 6 13 5 4 5
Colorado 000 031 000 — 4 9 1
Houston 300 000 21x — 6 13 1
a-groundedout for Moehler inthe6th. b-fliedout
for P.Phillips in the 9th. c-walked for Corpas in the
9th. E: Jo.Peralta (1), Pence (1). LOB: Colorado 6,
Houston 10. 2B: Fowler (12), Helton (12). 3B:
Pence (3). HR: Stewart (8), off Moehler; Pence
(6), off Marquis. RBIs: Helton(35), Stewart 3(23),
Pence 3 (22), Berkman (32), I.Rodriguez (23). SB:
Bourn (18). S: Maysonet. SF: Helton. Runners
left in scoring position: Colorado 3 (S.Smith,
Atkins, Fowler); Houston 5 (Moehler 2, Maysonet,
I.Rodriguez, Tejada). DP: Colorado 1 (Barmes,
Stewart, Helton); Houston 2 (Berkman, Tejada,
Berkman), (Maysonet, Tejada, Berkman).
Marquis L, 7-4 6 10 5 4 4 2 944.10
R.Flores 0 1 0 0 0 0 50.00
Jo.Peralta 1 0 0 0 0 1 132.45
Corpas 1 2 1 0 0 2 165.84
Moehler 6 7 4 4 1 2 746.37
ByrdakW, 1-1 1 0 0 0 0 1 133.15
SampsonS, 3-4 2 2 0 0 2 1 441.91
Marquis pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. R.Flores
pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited run-
ners-scored: R.Flores 1-0, Jo.Peralta 2-1. IBB:
off Marquis (Berkman), off Moehler (Hawpe), off
Sampson (Hawpe). WP: Moehler. PB: P.Phillips.
Umpires: Home, James Hoye; First, Lance Barks-
dale; Second, RandyMarsh; Third, MarvinHudson.
T: 2:49. A: 22,032(40,976).
Reds 9, Cardinals 3
Cincinnati AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
HairstonJr. 3b 5 1 2 1 0 1 .267
Dickersoncf 5 0 1 0 0 1 .238
B.Phillips 2b 5 3 3 3 0 0 .290
Brucerf 4 0 0 0 1 0 .216
R.Hernandez 1b 4 1 1 1 1 0 .281
L.Nix lf 4 2 2 4 0 0 .287
Haniganc 4 0 2 0 0 0 .329
Janishss 4 1 1 0 0 0 .295
Cuetop 2 1 1 0 0 1 .174
Herrerap 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
c-Gomes ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .333
Weathers p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Fisher p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Totals 38 9 13 9 2 4
St. Louis AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Schumaker 2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .301
b-Bardenph-3b 2 0 1 1 0 1 .242
Duncanlf-1b 5 0 1 0 0 2 .255
Pujols 1b 4 0 2 0 0 0 .343
T.Miller p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Ludwick rf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .240
Ankiel cf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .223
Y.Molinac 3 1 0 0 1 0 .263
Thurston3b-2b 4 0 1 1 0 0 .267
Lohsep 1 0 1 0 0 0 .294
Boyer p 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000
a-Rasmus ph 1 1 1 0 0 0 .248
C.Perez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Stavinohalf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Br.Ryanss 4 0 2 1 0 0 .279
Totals 37 3 10 3 1 5
Cincinnati 012 100 032 — 9 13 1
St. Louis 000 000 102 — 3 10 2
a-doubled for Boyer in the 7th. b-struck out for
Schumaker in the 7th. c-struck out for Herrera in
the 8th. E: R.Hernandez (5), Ankiel (2), Thurston
(6). LOB: Cincinnati 5, St. Louis 8. 2B: B.Phillips
(9), Hanigan (3), Pujols (12), Ankiel (9), Rasmus
(11), Br.Ryan(7). HR: L.Nix(5), off Lohse; L.Nix(6),
off C.Perez; B.Phillips (10), off T.Miller. RBIs: Hair-
ston Jr. (17), B.Phillips 3 (40), R.Hernandez (22),
L.Nix 4 (17), Barden (9), Thurston (16), Br.Ryan
(4). SB: B.Phillips 2 (6). CS: Br.Ryan (2). S: Cueto.
Runners left in scoring position: Cincinnati 4
(Janish, L.Nix, Dickerson, Gomes); St. Louis 4 (Br.
Ryan, Duncan 2, Y.Molina). DP: St. Louis 1 (Br.
Ryan, Pujols).
Cincinnati IP H R ER BB SO NPERA
CuetoW, 5-3 61⁄3 7 1 1 0 3 1012.43
HerreraH, 2 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 51.69
Weathers 1 0 0 0 0 0 122.41
Fisher 1 3 2 2 1 1 233.18
LohseL, 4-4 2 4 2 1 0 1 393.99
Boyer 5 4 2 1 1 1 567.13
C.Perez 1 3 3 3 1 1 303.57
T.Miller 1 2 2 2 0 1 163.95
Lohse pitched to 1 batter in the 3rd. Inherited
runners-scored: Herrera 1-0, Boyer 1-1. WP:
C.Perez. Umpires: Home, Derryl Cousins; First, D.J.
Reyburn; Second, JimJoyce; Third, BrianRunge. T:
3:02. A: 35,811(43,975).
Houston 6, Colorado 4 Cincinnati 9, St. Louis 3
Pence gets old-fashioned HR
Cueto still strong in rare short outing
HOUSTON—Hunter Pence
thought he might have a shot at
an inside-the-park home run
against Colorado on Wednes-
day night, but settled for a
He left no doubt in his next
at-bat, launching a solo home
run to left field. The Houston
right fielder also had two RBI
singles to continue his spar-
kling start and help the Astros
beat the Rockies 6-4 for their
fourth straight victory.
“We have the confidence,
we’re picking up the urgency
and picking each other up as a
team,” said Pence, who has hits
in 12 of his last 15 games. “We’re
playing every game with every-
thing we’ve got.”
The game was tied 3-3 in the
fifth inning when Pence hit a
towering drive off the wall in
left-center, missing a home run
by a few feet. The ball caromed
sideways and Pence was ready
to round third and sprint for
home, but third-base coach
Dave Clark waved his arms to
stop him.
The Astros then trailed 4-3
when Pence led off the seventh
and he hammered a 2-1 slider
from Jason Marquis (7-4) over
the railroad tracks in left, his
sixth of the season.
“I feel like I have a good
approach, I have an idea of
what’s going on,” Pence said.
“If I continue to put that bat up
there every day, good things
can happen.”
ST. LOUIS—For the first time in nine
starts, Johnny Cueto fell short of seven
innings. That was the only downside for
the Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher.
Cueto (5-3) allowed a run in 6 1/3
innings to beat the St. Louis Cardinals
for the second time in less than a month,
and Laynce Nix homered twice with four
RBIs in a 9-3 victory on Wednesday.
“The night really started with Johnny,”
teammate Brandon Phillips said. “He
pitched a lights-out game and we were
behind him, catching the ball and hit-
ting where they weren’t.”
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse (4-4)
was taken out with none out in the third
inning complaining of tightness and
pain in his right forearm. Lohse said
cramping and a burning sensation,
which forced him to miss a turn in the
rotation, returned after he made a div-
ing stop to glove Cueto’s bunt for a hit to
start the third.
He left after falling behind 3-1 in the
count against the next batter, Jerry Hair-
ston Jr.
“I was trying to make a play and just
threw in an awkward motion that defi-
nitely re-aggravated it,” Lohse said.
“After that, I obviously couldn’t pitch.”
Lohse was to undergo an MRI exam
later Wednesday night.
“It’s hard to force yourself to release
it,” Lohse said. “It’s hard to do the proper
things that you need to do to get the loca-
tion and everything else. I felt like I was
doing all right up until that point.”
Cueto’s string of long starts included a
seven-inning stint in which he gave up
one run in a 6-4 victory over St. Louis
on May 8 in Cincinnati. Despite going
deep into every game he had been 0-2 in
his previous three starts.
He walked none for the third time and
lowered his ERA to 2.43, among the
league leaders.
“I was aggressive with all my pitches,”
Cueto said through an interpreter. “That
was the big difference.”
Nix homered in the second for the
Reds’ first run and added a three-run
shot, his sixth of the season, off Chris
Perez in the eighth for a 7-1 cushion. He
also made an outstanding leaping catch
to rob Ryan Ludwick of extra bases and
an RBI in the sixth.
“That kept them from getting a rally
going,” Nix said. “That might have been
as important as the second homer.”
Phillips was 3-for-5 with his 10th
homer in the ninth, and stole second and
third after his RBI single in the third.
Those were his first steals off strong-
armed catcher Yadier Molina, although
he said he was running off reliever
Blaine Boyer.
“That was the highlight of my day,
honestly,” Phillips said. “You don’t run
off that dude. I was so glad (Boyer) had a
nice little leg kick, and I made it.”
Cueto ended the Reds’ string of allowing
a first-inning run in six straight games with
the help of a leaping catch by Hairston at
third to rob leadoff hitter Skip Schumaker.
Before pinch hitter Colby Rasmus and
Ryan hit back-to-back doubles with one out
in the seventh, the Cardinals had only two
runners in scoring position.
Reds P Johnny Cueto, left, missed this tag on St. Louis’ Joe Thurston, but still threw6 1/3 solid innings.
Cubs 3, Braves 2, 11 innings
Chicago AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
A.Sorianolf 5 0 1 0 0 1 .243
Theriot ss 4 1 1 0 0 0 .283
Fukudomerf 5 1 1 0 0 2 .308
D.Lee1b 3 1 2 0 2 0 .262
Fontenot 3b 5 0 1 2 0 1 .230
Re.Johnsoncf 5 0 1 0 0 0 .291
K.Hill c 2 0 0 0 1 2 .271
b-J.Fox ph 0 0 0 0 0 0 .429
A.Guzmanp 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
f-Hoffpauir ph 1 0 1 1 0 0 .286
Greggp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
A.Blanco2b 3 0 1 0 0 0 .176
c-Sotoph-c 1 0 0 0 1 0 .209
Lilly p 3 0 0 0 0 1 .083
Marmol p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
d-Scales ph-2b 2 0 0 0 0 0 .224
Totals 39 3 9 3 4 7
Atlanta AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
K.Johnson2b 5 1 2 0 0 1 .254
Escobar ss 5 0 1 0 0 2 .295
M.Diaz lf 5 0 0 0 0 1 .274
McCannc 5 0 1 1 0 2 .302
Prado1b 4 0 1 0 1 0 .244
Francoeur rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .251
1-Bartonpr-rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Di.Hernandez 3b 3 0 0 0 0 1 .148
Moylanp 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
M.Gonzalez p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
e-G.Andersonph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Bennett p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
O’Flaherty p 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
G.Blancocf 4 1 0 0 0 0 .000
D.Lowep 2 0 0 0 0 1 .190
a-C.Jones ph-3b 2 0 1 1 0 1 .322
Totals 40 2 7 2 1 10
Chicago 000 200 000 01 3 9 1
Atlanta 000 001 100 00 2 7 1
a-doubled for D.Lowe in the 7th. b-was hit by a pitch
for K.Hill in the 9th. c-walked for A.Blanco in the 9th.
d-grounded into a fielder’s choice for Marmol in the
9th. e-flied out for M.Gonzalez in the 9th. f-singled
for A.Guzman in the 11th. 1-ran for Francoeur in the
9th. E: Lilly (4), Escobar (5). LOB: Chicago 9, Atlanta
6. 2B: Fontenot (8), A.Blanco (2), K.Johnson (13),
C.Jones (9). RBIs: Fontenot 2 (23), Hoffpauir (17),
McCann (19), C.Jones (23). CS: Theriot (4), Barton
(1). Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 6
(K.Hill 2, Lilly, Scales 3); Atlanta4(McCann, Francoeur
2, Escobar). DP: Atlanta 4 (Di.Hernandez, K.Johnson,
Prado), (Di.Hernandez, K.Johnson, Prado), (McCann,
McCann, Escobar), (C.Jones, K.Johnson, Prado).
Lilly 7 6 2 1 1 7 108 3.28
Marmol 1 0 0 0 0 1 13 3.24
A.GuzmanW, 2-0 2 1 0 0 0 1 22 2.49
GreggS, 9-11 1 0 0 0 0 1 12 5.01
D.Lowe 7 5 2 2 2 4 101 3.40
Moylan 1 1 0 0 0 2 9 4.58
M.Gonzalez 1 1 0 0 1 0 16 3.00
Bennett L, 2-3 11⁄3 1 1 1 1 1 28 2.92
O’Flaherty 2⁄3 1 0 0 0 0 12 2.89
Inheritedrunners-scored: O’Flaherty2-1. HBP: by
D.Lowe (Theriot), by M.Gonzalez (J.Fox). Umpires:
Home, Fieldin Culbreth; First, Gary Cederstrom; Sec-
ond, JimWolf; Third, Brian O’Nora. T: 3:19. A: 30,646
Brewers 9, Marlins 6
Milwaukee AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Hart rf 5 1 0 0 1 2 .251
McGehee2b 5 1 2 2 0 1 .265
Braunlf 5 1 2 2 0 1 .312
Fielder 1b 4 1 2 1 1 0 .276
M.Cameroncf 3 1 1 0 1 1 .289
Hardy ss 4 1 1 0 1 0 .238
Hall 3b 4 1 0 1 1 3 .215
Kendall c 3 1 0 1 2 1 .207
Looper p 1 1 0 1 2 0 .063
McClungp 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
b-Gamel ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .235
Hoffmanp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Totals 36 9 8 8 9 9
Florida AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Coghlanlf 5 0 0 0 0 1 .200
Bonifacio3b 4 1 2 1 1 0 .250
Ha.Ramirez ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 .344
Cantu1b 4 1 2 2 0 1 .280
Hermidarf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .263
Meyer p 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Uggla2b 4 2 2 1 0 1 .219
Jo.Baker c 4 1 1 0 0 1 .259
DeAzacf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .308
West p 1 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Pennp 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Sanches p 1 0 0 1 0 0 .000
a-B.Carroll ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 .222
Calerop 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Gloadrf 1 0 0 0 0 0 .277
Totals 36 6 9 5 2 7
Milwaukee 102 060 000 — 9 8 2
Florida 000 140 010 — 6 9 2
a-popped out for Sanches in the 6th. b-grounded
out for McClunginthe9th. E: Looper (2), McGehee
(1), Ha.Ramirez(5), Bonifacio(9). LOB: Milwaukee
10, Florida 5. 2B: McGehee (3), Fielder (9). HR:
Braun (10), off West; Cantu (9), off Looper; Uggla
(11), off McClung. RBIs: McGehee 2 (6), Braun 2
(34), Fielder (49), Hall (13), Kendall (17), Looper
(2), Bonifacio (13), Cantu 2 (41), Uggla (39),
Sanches (1). Runners left in scoring position:
Milwaukee 6 (Hardy, Hart, Braun 2, McClung 2);
Florida 3 (Uggla 2, Bonifacio). DP: Milwaukee
2 (McGehee, Hardy, Fielder), (Hall, McGehee,
Looper 42⁄3 7 5 5 2 3 1014.65
McClungW, 3-1 31⁄3 2 1 1 0 3 482.64
HoffmanS, 14-14 1 0 0 0 0 1 170.00
West L, 0-1 41⁄3 4 5 3 3 2 873.31
Penn 1⁄3 0 4 1 4 0 297.77
Sanches 11⁄3 2 0 0 2 2 270.00
Calero 2 2 0 0 0 3 292.00
Meyer 1 0 0 0 0 2 92.25
Inherited runners-scored: McClung 3-0, Penn
2-2, Sanches 3-3. IBB: off Sanches (Kendall).
HBP: by West (M.Cameron). WP: Looper, West 2.
Umpires: Home, Jerry Meals; First, Damien Beal;
Second, Mike DiMuro; Third, Dale Scott. T: 3:20. A:
Chicago Cubs 3, Atlanta 2, 11 innings Milwaukee 9, Florida 6
Florida’s Penn
walks in three,
loses roster spot
This time, Cubs avoid total collapse
ATLANTA—The Chicago Cubs let another lead get away. This
time, they didn’t let the win get away, too.
Pinch hitter Micah Hoffpauir blooped an RBI single to left
field in the 11th inning, and the Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves
3-2 Wednesday—one night after squandering a five-run lead.
The Braves bounced back from two runs down in this one,
but they couldn’t complete another comeback on an emotional
day. Just before the game, the players learned that 305-game
winner Tom Glavine had been released, a shocking move con-
sidering everyone thought the lefthander was about to rejoin
the team from a rehab assignment.
Chicago just needed a win after losing 11 of 15.
“We hung in there,” manager Lou Piniella said. “Our pitch-
ers did a nice job. Offensively, we did just enough.”
Derrek Lee started the 11th by drawing a walk from Jeff Ben-
nett (2-3), then pulled off a nifty bit of baserunning to reach
second. On a routine fly to left, Lee caught Matt Diaz off guard
by tagging up and just beating a delayed throw to the bag.
Lee stopped at third on a single by Reed Johnson but came
home when Hoffpauir looped a single just over the head of
third baseman Chipper Jones.
“It was simply luck,” Hoffpauir said. “Sometimes it goes
your way.”
The Braves won the series opener 6-5 in 12 inning after ral-
lying from a 5-0 deficit in the eighth. Kevin Gregg blew the
save in that one, giving up a two-out, two-run homer to Jeff
Francoeur in the ninth.
Gregg bounced back to set Atlanta down in order in the 11th,
earning his ninth save in 11 chances.
Angel Guzman (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless
innings. Both starters—Chicago’s Ted Lilly and Atlanta’s
Derek Lowe—pitched seven strong innings.
The loss capped a very busy day for the Braves. They released
Glavine, announced they would call up top pitching prospect
Tommy Hanson and bolstered their offense by acquiring All-
Star center fielder Nate McLouth from Pittsburgh.
“Sentimentally, it stinks,” Jones said. “But optimistically,
looking into the future, it’s a step in the right direction.”
McLouth wasn’t around to help in this one.
The Cubs jumped ahead in the fourth on Mike Fontenot’s two-
run double. The Braves, held to one hit through the first four
innings by Lilly, rallied to tie it on Brian McCann’s run-scoring
single in the sixth and Jones’ pinch-hit double in the seventh.
Atlanta was held hitless for 6 2/3 innings the previous night
by rookie Randy Wells, showing why it wanted another hitter
such as McLouth. To get him, the Braves sent three prospects
to the Pirates: outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, along with pitch-
ers Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke.
MIAMI—Hayden Penn pitched
his way right off the Marlins’
bases-loaded walks Wednesday
night andRyanBraunhomeredto
helpthe Milwaukee Brewers snap
a five-game losing streak with a
After the game, the Marlins
announced that Penn would be
designated for assignment on
Thursday. Florida will have 10
days to trade, release or send
Penn outright to the minors
after making the move.
“I couldn’t get locked in at all,”
Penn said. “Everything I tried to
do wasn’t working. It’s a pretty
helpless feeling when you can’t
throw the ball over the plate.”
The Brewers scored six runs in
the fifth inning, three on bases-
loaded walks after Penn relieved
rookie Sean West (0-3) with run-
ners on first and second.
Seth McClung (3-1) pitched 3
1-3 innings of relief for a taxed
Brewers bullpen, allowing only
an eighth-inning homer by Dan
Uggla. Trevor Hoffman pitched
a perfect ninth for his 14th save
in 14 chances this season.
A series of short outings by
the last five starting pitchers
has given Milwaukee relief
issues of its own.
In the 11th inning, Chicago pinch hitter Micah Hoffpauir drove in the winning
run with a bloop over the head of Atlanta 3BChipper Jones.
Mets vs. Pirates rainedout
Rangers 4, Yankees 2
Texas AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Kinsler 2b 3 1 2 1 2 0 .282
M.Young3b 4 0 1 0 1 2 .332
An.Jones dh 5 1 1 0 0 1 .278
N.Cruz rf 2 1 1 1 2 0 .297
Dav.Murphy lf 3 0 1 0 1 0 .240
Byrdcf 4 0 0 1 0 2 .295
C.Davis 1b 4 0 1 1 0 1 .191
Saltalamacchiac 4 0 0 0 0 3 .248
Andrus ss 3 1 2 0 1 1 .285
Totals 32 4 9 4 7 10
NewYork AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Jeter ss 4 0 0 0 0 2 .313
Swisher 1b 3 1 2 0 1 1 .244
Damonlf 3 0 0 0 1 1 .296
A.Rodriguez 3b 4 0 1 1 0 2 .250
Cano2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .305
Posadac 4 1 2 1 0 1 .320
H.Matsui dh 4 0 0 0 0 1 .261
Me.Cabrerarf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .313
Gardner cf 2 0 0 0 1 0 .265
Totals 32 2 6 2 3 8
Texas 310 000 000 — 4 9 2
NewYork 100 000 100 — 2 6 1
E: Feldman(2), Andrus (8), Pettitte(1). LOB:Texas
8, NewYork 6. 2B: Swisher (12). HR: Posada (8),
off Feldman. RBIs: Kinsler (40), N.Cruz (40), Byrd
(25), C.Davis (24), A.Rodriguez (21), Posada (26).
SB: Andrus 2 (9), Gardner (11). CS: Kinsler (2).
Runners left in scoring position: Texas 5 (An.
Jones 2, Saltalamacchia, Dav.Murphy 2); NewYork
3 (A.Rodriguez 2, Cano). DP: Texas 2 (Feldman,
Andrus, C.Davis), (M.Young, C.Davis); NewYork 2
(Cano, Jeter, Swisher), (Jeter, Cano, Swisher).
FeldmanW, 5-0 61⁄3 5 2 2 3 5 98 3.79
C.WilsonH, 4 12⁄3 1 0 0 0 2 27 2.82
F.FranciscoS, 12-12 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 0.46
PettitteL, 5-2 5 7 4 4 6 6 104 4.33
Tomko 3 2 0 0 0 3 39 2.16
D.Robertson 1 0 0 0 1 1 16 2.16
Inherited runners-scored: C.Wilson 1-0.
Umpires: Home, Hunter Wendelstedt; First,
Brian Knight; Second, Dana DeMuth; Third, Doug
Eddings. T: 3:00. A: 44,452(52,325).
Red Sox 10, Tigers 5
Boston AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Pedroia2b 5 2 2 0 0 0 .327
J.Drewrf 3 2 1 2 1 0 .255
Kotsay rf-1b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Youkilis 1b 3 1 2 1 1 0 .365
Baldelli rf 1 0 1 0 0 0 .261
Bay lf 4 1 1 0 1 0 .285
Lowell 3b 5 0 1 0 0 1 .298
Lugoss 0 0 0 0 0 0 .276
D.Ortiz dh 4 1 1 2 0 0 .187
Varitek c 4 1 1 2 0 1 .248
Ellsbury cf 4 1 2 0 0 0 .312
N.Greenss-3b 4 1 1 2 0 1 .288
Totals 38 10 13 9 3 3
Detroit AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Thomas lf 5 1 0 0 0 2 .258
Polanco2b 3 0 0 0 1 1 .251
Ordonez rf 2 0 0 0 1 0 .276
a-J.Andersonph-rf2 1 0 0 0 0 .260
Mi.Cabrera1b 4 1 0 0 0 1 .351
Grandersoncf 4 0 2 3 0 1 .272
Larishdh 4 0 0 0 0 2 .231
Inge3b 3 0 1 0 0 2 .270
1-Santiagopr-3b 0 1 0 0 1 0 .296
Lairdc 2 1 0 0 1 1 .226
Everett ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 .274
Totals 33 5 3 3 4 10
Boston 200 020 060 — 10 13 3
Detroit 000 000 050 — 5 3 1
a-reached on error for Ordonez in the 8th.
1-ran for Inge in the 8th. E: Lowell (6), N.Green
(9), Pedroia (4), Galarraga (1). LOB: Boston 4,
Detroit 7. 2B: Youkilis (14), D.Ortiz (14), Varitek
(11), N.Green (11), Inge (7). 3B: Granderson (2).
HR: J.Drew (8), off Galarraga. RBIs: J.Drew 2
(26), Youkilis (33), D.Ortiz 2 (20), Varitek 2 (24),
N.Green2(17), Granderson3(33). SB: Pedroia(9),
Youkilis (2). Runners left in scoring position:
Boston 1 (D.Ortiz); Detroit 5 (Mi.Cabrera, Larish 2,
J.Anderson 2). DP: Detroit 2 (Inge, Mi.Cabrera),
BeckettW, 6-2 72⁄3 2 3 0 2 9 119 4.09
D.Bard 1⁄3 1 2 0 0 0 16 1.04
Saito 1 0 0 0 2 1 32 2.84
GalarragaL, 3-6 7 6 4 3 2 2 98 5.31
Miner 1⁄3 3 4 4 1 1 24 5.70
N.Robertson 2⁄3 3 2 2 0 0 22 5.17
Seay 1 1 0 0 0 0 16 5.17
Inherited runners-scored: D.Bard 2-2,
N.Robertson 3-3. HBP: by Beckett (Laird), by
Saito (Polanco). Umpires: Home, Bob Davidson;
First, Jeff Nelson; Second, Mark Carlson; Third, Tim
Tschida. T: 3:09. A: 29,240(41,255).
Texas 4, N.Y. Yankees 2 Boston 10, Detroit 5
Rangers regain top A.L. mark
Beckett holds Detroit hitless into 7th
NEW YORK—Scott Feldman
pitched into the seventh inning
to win his third consecutive
start and the Texas Rangers
cooled off the New York Yan-
kees with a 4-2 victory Wednes-
day night.
Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus
each had two hits for Texas,
which leapfrogged New York
for the best record in the Amer-
ican League. Feldman (5-0)
allowed two runs, one earned,
and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Jorge Posada homered for the
second straight day for New
York, which had won five of six
and 16 of 20. Andy Pettitte, who
left his previous start with a
stiff back, looked shaky in his
five-inning outing.
Meanwhile, the Yankees said
they would start Chien-Ming
Wang today and move Phil
Hughes to the bullpen.
Wang got off to an awful start
this season before going on the
disabled list with weakness in
the adductor muscles in his
He has pitched well since he
was activated May 22, allowing
two runs and nine hits in eight
innings over three relief
appearances to lower his ERA
from 34.50 to 16.07.
“We weren’t just going to
move him to move him,” man-
ager Joe Girardi said. “We had
to feel that his stuff was back
and watching him these last
two times has made us feel that
his stuff is back.”
DETROIT—Josh Beckett had to warm up
in a crooked bullpen before Wednes-
day’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
It didn’t seem to bother him.
Beckett didn’t allow a hit until the
seventh inning and David Ortiz hit a
two-run double, leading the Boston Red
Sox to a 10-5 victory over the Detroit
“The bullpen’s mound had an off-cen-
ter plate,” he said. “But as soon as I got
out there for the first inning, I felt
Beckett (6-2) gave up a single to Curtis
Granderson with two outs in the sev-
enth to end the no-hit bid. He retired 18
straight after walking Placido Polanco
with one out in the first until he walked
Magglio Ordonez with one out in the
seventh. Miguel Cabrera hit a fly to the
warning track in right-center before
Granderson singled to right.
“He finally gave me a pitch that wasn’t
on a corner—everything had been on the
black all night,” Granderson said.
“Everyone knows what is going on—
there are scoreboards all over the sta-
dium, so we could all see that we didn’t
have any runs and didn’t have any hits.”
The Tigers broke up the shutout with
five unearned runs in the eighth thanks
to three Boston errors and a bases-
loaded triple by Granderson. Beckett
left with two outs to a loud ovation from
the Comerica Park crowd.
Detroit loaded the bases in the ninth,
but Josh Anderson lined out to end the
“We were hoping that Anderson
would get on and Cabrera could hit one,
but that’s not a very good way to try to
win a game,” Tigers manager Jim Ley-
land said. “It’s hard to say what would
have happened if the game hadn’t got to
Beckett (6-2) allowed three unearned
runs on two hits and two walks, strik-
ing out nine. In his last three starts, he
has allowed one earned run in 22 2-3
innings—a 0.40 ERA.
“I thought he was tremendous,” Bos-
ton manager Terry Francona said. “He
had great stuff, and the ball had great
movement. It was fun to watch.”
TigersCGeraldLairdputsthetagonBoston’sNickGreeninthefifth, butGreenwasawardedhomeoninterference.
Rays 9, Royals 0
Kansas City AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Maier cf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .259
Callaspo2b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .299
Butler 1b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .278
Jacobs dh 3 0 0 0 0 2 .238
J.Guillenrf 3 0 0 0 0 2 .263
Teahen3b 2 0 1 0 0 1 .281
Hulett 3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
DeJesus lf 2 0 0 0 1 1 .235
Olivoc 2 0 0 0 0 0 .246
B.Penac 1 0 0 0 0 0 .250
PenaJr. ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 .059
Totals 29 0 2 0 1 9
TampaBay AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
B.Uptoncf 4 1 2 2 1 1 .218
Crawfordlf 3 2 2 0 1 0 .324
Kapler lf 1 0 0 0 0 1 .176
W.Aybar 3b-1b 3 1 1 0 2 0 .260
C.Pena1b 4 1 1 1 0 0 .228
a-Dillonph-3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .182
Zobrist 2b 4 1 1 4 1 1 .303
Joycerf 4 0 0 0 0 1 .286
Gross dh 4 1 2 0 0 1 .256
Navarroc 4 1 1 1 0 0 .208
Brignac ss 4 1 1 0 0 2 .231
Totals 36 9 11 8 5 7
Kansas City 000 000 000 — 0 2 2
TampaBay 130 410 00x — 9 11 0
a-popped out for C.Pena in the 8th. E: Butler (2),
Hulett (1). LOB: Kansas City 3, Tampa Bay 8. 2B:
B.Upton (10), C.Pena (10). HR: Zobrist (10), off
Bannister; Navarro(3), off Mahay. RBIs: B.Upton2
(11), C.Pena (42), Zobrist 4 (32), Navarro (12). SB:
B.Upton(17), Crawford2(33), Joyce(1). Runners
left in scoring position: Kansas City 1 (Olivo);
TampaBay 4(Joyce, Navarro, C.Pena2).
Kansas City IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Bannister L, 4-3 32⁄3 9 8 8 3 2 90 4.80
Mahay 11⁄3 2 1 1 2 2 33 4.26
Ho.Ramirez 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 6.53
Farnsworth 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 3.38
Soria 2⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 13 1.93
R.Colon 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 4 4.91
NiemannW, 5-4 9 2 0 0 1 9 100 3.77
Inherited runners-scored: R.Colon 1-0. WP:
Bannister 2. Umpires: Home, Larry Vanover;
First, Dan Iassogna; Second, SamHolbrook; Third,
CharlieReliford. T: 2:36. A: 15,256(36,973).
Angels 8, Blue Jays 1
Los Angeles AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Figgins 3b 5 2 3 1 0 1 .303
Abreurf 5 1 2 4 0 0 .297
Guerrerodh 4 1 2 0 1 1 .262
K.Morales 1b 5 0 1 1 0 1 .283
J.Riveralf 4 0 0 1 0 2 .302
M.Izturis 2b 5 1 2 0 0 0 .269
Matthews Jr. cf 5 0 1 0 0 1 .259
Mathis c 2 1 0 0 1 1 .227
E.Aybar ss 4 2 2 1 0 1 .286
Totals 39 8 13 8 2 8
Toronto AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Scutaross 4 0 1 0 0 2 .298
A.Hill 2b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .322
Rios rf 3 0 0 0 1 2 .272
V.Wells cf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .257
Lindlf 4 1 3 0 0 1 .296
Rolen3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .301
Overbay 1b 2 0 1 1 1 1 .278
Millar dh 3 0 0 0 0 0 .268
Barajas c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .285
Totals 31 1 5 1 2 11
Los Angeles 301 100 030 — 8 13 0
Toronto 000 010 000 — 1 5 1
E: Rolen (5). LOB: Los Angeles 8, Toronto 5. 2B:
Figgins 2 (9), Abreu (9), Guerrero (3), Matthews
Jr. (5), E.Aybar (9), Lind 2 (18), Overbay (13). HR:
Abreu (2), off Janssen. RBIs: Figgins (13), Abreu
4 (25), K.Morales (32), J.Rivera (20), E.Aybar (13),
Overbay (24). SB: Rios (5). CS: Mathis (1). SF:
J.Rivera. Runners left in scoring position: Los
Angeles 4 (M.Izturis, Abreu, Figgins, Guerrero);
Toronto 3 (V.Wells, Barajas, Millar). DP: Los Ange-
les 1(Figgins, M.Izturis, K.Morales).
Los Angeles IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Jer.WeaverW, 5-2 7 3 1 1 2 10 107 2.26
Bulger 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 4.43
Arredondo 1 1 0 0 0 1 13 5.09
JanssenL, 1-2 4 7 5 5 1 2 69 5.82
Camp 3 2 0 0 1 4 37 4.50
Carlson 1 3 3 1 0 1 27 5.00
B.J.Ryan 1 1 0 0 0 1 12 8.03
HBP: by Janssen (Mathis). Umpires: Home,
Angel Hernandez; First, Bill Welke; Second, Tim
Welke; Third, Jim Reynolds. T: 2:36. A: 17,127
Tampa Bay 9, Kansas City 0 L.A. Angels 8, Toronto 1
Niemann stifles Royals
Weaver fans career-high 10
mann appears to be finally
pitching up to his potential.
Niemann took a perfect game
into the fifth inning and wound
up with a two-hitter, and Ben
Zobrist hit a grand slam to help
lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a
9-0 victory over the Kansas City
Royals on Wednesday night.
“That was really fun to
watch,” Rays manager Joe
Maddon said.
Niemann (5-4) retired his
first 14 batters before Mark
Teahen lined a two-out single
to center in the fifth. The right-
hander struck out a career-high
nine and walked one in his first
complete game.
The Royals other hit against
the fourth overall selection in
the 2004 amateur draft was a
two-out infield single by
Alberto Callaspo in the ninth.
Niemann has been slowed by
shoulder problems during his
professional career.
“I’ve always felt that I can do
that,” Niemann said. “To come
out here and do it, it was awe-
some. You get that confidence
boost that you really can do it.”
Niemann’s outing was the
eighth shutout with two or
fewer hits by a Rays’ pitcher,
and the first since Matt Garza
had a two-hitter last August 15
at Texas.
“He throws it hard and it
breaks a lot,” Teahen said of
Niemann’s breaking ball. “He
was getting it over for strikes.
TORONTO—Jered Weaver doesn’t con-
sider himself at the same level as Roy
Halladay. He still did a fair impression
of the Toronto ace Wednesday night.
One night after Halladay beat Los
Angeles by striking out a career-high 14,
Weaver fanned a career-high 10 to lead
the Angels to an 8-1 victory over the
Blue Jays.
The righthander won back-to-back
starts for the first time this season and
has an ERA of 1.64 in his past six.
“When he has stuff like that, you can
almost put down any (sign) and know
he’s going to throw it for a strike or put it
where it needs to be,” catcher Jeff Mathis
Weaver used a hard-breaking slider
to hold the Blue Jays to just three hits,
two walks and one run in seven
“The slider is a lot sharper,” Weaver
said. “I’ve been trying to mess around
with a couple of different grips over the
past couple of years. Me and (pitching
coach Mike Butcher) worked on one in
spring training and it’s come around
and I’ve gotten a good grasp on where to
put it and where to locate it. That’s been
the things that’s been working for me.”
Bobby Abreu homered and Chone
Figgins had three hits, drove in a run
and scored twice for the Angels, who
finished with seven extra-base hits.
“Last night we faced a tough pitcher
but there was no carry-over,” Angels
manager Mike Scioscia said. “We did a
good job offensively.”
Jered Weaver lowered his ERA to 2.26 and said his slider was sharper, contributing to his career-best strikeout total.
Athletics 5, White Sox 3
Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
O.Cabrerass 4 0 0 0 1 0 .229
Kennedy 2b 3 0 0 0 1 0 .348
Cust dh 4 0 0 0 0 3 .247
Holliday lf 3 1 0 0 1 0 .274
Giambi 1b 4 1 1 1 0 1 .219
Hannahan3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .179
Crosby 3b-1b 3 2 1 1 1 0 .205
Powell c 4 1 2 2 0 1 .213
Cunninghamrf 4 0 1 1 0 1 .125
R.Davis cf 3 0 2 0 1 0 .182
Totals 32 5 7 5 5 6
Chicago AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Podsednik lf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .286
Al.Ramirez ss 3 1 1 0 1 0 .249
Dyerf 4 1 1 2 0 1 .284
Thomedh 3 0 0 0 1 0 .252
Konerko1b 4 1 1 0 0 1 .297
Fields 3b 4 0 2 0 0 1 .244
Bri.Andersoncf 2 0 0 0 0 0 .263
Wisecf 2 0 0 0 0 1 .161
R.Castroc 3 0 0 0 0 0 .244
J.Nix 2b 3 0 1 0 0 0 .226
Totals 32 3 7 2 2 4
Oakland 020 210 000 — 5 7 1
Chicago 200 100 000 — 3 7 0
E: Kennedy (5). LOB: Oakland 5, Chicago 4. 2B:
Podsednik (5). HR: Crosby (2), off Richard; Powell
(2), off Richard; Giambi (7), off Richard; Dye (14),
off Outman. RBIs: Giambi (24), Crosby (11),
Powell 2 (13), Cunningham (2), Dye 2 (37). SB:
R.Davis (6). CS: Kennedy(2), R.Davis (3). Runners
left inscoring position: Oakland 3 (Kennedy 2,
O.Cabrera); Chicago 2 (Dye, R.Castro). GIDP: Bri.
Anderson. DP: Oakland 2 (O.Cabrera, Giambi),
(Crosby, Kennedy, Giambi).
OutmanW, 3-0 62⁄3 7 3 2 1 2 1133.02
Wuertz H, 6 2⁄3 0 0 0 1 0 142.52
A.Bailey S, 3-6 12⁄3 0 0 0 0 2 152.12
RichardL, 2-1 51⁄3 7 5 5 4 4 943.97
Dotel 2⁄3 0 0 0 1 1 121.00
Gobble 11⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 177.88
Carrasco 12⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 142.34
Inherited runners-scored: A.Bailey 1-0.
Umpires: Home, Jerry Crawford; First, Dan
Bellino; Second, Phil Cuzzi; Third, Tom Hallion. T:
2:33. A: 23,207(40,615).
Indians 10, Twins 1
Cleveland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
B.Franciscocf 5 2 2 1 0 1 .269
J.Carroll 3b 6 1 2 1 0 2 .302
V.Martinez 1b 5 1 2 2 0 2 .352
Gimenez 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 ---
Choolf 4 1 1 1 1 1 .298
Jh.Peraltass 5 1 3 3 0 1 .269
DeRosarf 5 1 2 0 0 0 .265
Garkodh 4 1 1 0 0 1 .250
Valbuena2b 5 2 1 0 0 2 .196
Shoppachc 3 0 1 2 0 0 .210
Totals 42 10 15 10 1 10
Minnesota AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Spanrf 4 0 2 0 0 1 .308
Mauer c 4 0 1 0 0 0 .425
Morneau1b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .338
Crede3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .232
Kubel dh 2 1 1 0 0 0 .311
a-Tolbert ph 0 0 0 0 1 0 .189
B.Harris ss 3 0 1 0 1 0 .282
Delm.Younglf 4 0 1 0 0 2 .231
Gomez cf 3 0 1 1 0 1 .217
A.Casilla2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .163
Totals 31 1 7 1 2 6
Cleveland 005 100 022 — 10 15 1
Minnesota 000 000 100 — 1 7 1
E: Cl.Lee(1), A.Casilla(4). LOB: Cleveland10, Min-
nesota 6. 2B: B.Francisco (12), V.Martinez (16),
Shoppach (5). HR: Jh.Peralta (2), off Swarzak.
RBIs: B.Francisco (21), J.Carroll (3), V.Martinez 2
(40), Choo(32), Jh.Peralta3(24), Shoppach2(14),
Gomez (4). SF: B.Francisco. Runners left inscor-
ingposition: Cleveland5(V.Martinez, J.Carroll 2,
Jh.Peralta2); Minnesota2(Span2). DP: Cleveland
4 (B.Francisco, V.Martinez), (J.Carroll, Jh.Peralta,
V.Martinez), (Valbuena, Jh.Peralta, V.Martinez),
(Jh.Peralta, Valbuena, Gimenez).
Cl.LeeW, 3-6 8 7 1 1 1 5 1062.96
R.Perez 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
Swarzak L, 1-2 4 9 6 6 0 3 834.76
Dickey 2 0 0 0 0 3 263.06
Ayala 12⁄3 3 2 0 0 2 354.07
Crain 11⁄3 3 2 2 1 2 357.88
Inherited runners-scored: Crain 2-0. HBP: by
Cl.Lee (Kubel), by Dickey (Garko, Shoppach), by
Ayala (Shoppach). Umpires: Home, Chad Fairch-
ild; First, JoeWest; Second, Paul Nauert; Third, Paul
Schrieber. T: 2:53. A: 29,336(46,632).
Oakland 5, Chicago White Sox 3 Cleveland 10, Minnesota 1
Another rookie baffles ChiSox
Lee takes advantage of Tribe’s run support
CHICAGO—After hitting only 39
homers in their first 50 games,
the Oakland Athletics cleared
the fence three times in one
night and helped rookie Josh
Outman stay unbeaten.
Bobby Crosby and Landon
Powell hit back-to-back homers
and Jason Giambi also con-
nected Wednesday night as the
A’s beat the Chicago White Sox
“We’ve had to manufacture
some runs, but when guys can
hit the ball out of the park and
score some runs that way, it’s
always nice as well,” said
Crosby, who snapped an 0-for-
15 slump, including a 12 at-bat
hitless streak on the road, with
his second homer of the
Outman (3-0) allowed seven
hits and three runs—two
earned—over 6 2/3 innings.
Andrew Bailey got five outs for
his third save in six chances.
Once again the White Sox
couldn’t solve a rookie pitcher
they had never seen previously.
Chicago is now 1-6 this season
when facing a pitcher for the
first time and those hurlers
have a combined 1.70 ERA
against the White Sox in nine
And they’ll see their fourth
straight Oakland rookie on
Thursday with Brett Anderson
scheduled to pitch. Chicago
was shut down by Vin Mazzaro
in his major league debut Tues-
day night.
MINNESOTA—Cliff Lee was in control
and for a change he had a cushion. Even
Carlos Gomez and his pesky bunts
couldn’t throw the tough-luck lefty off
his Cy Young Award form.
Cleveland’s ace took advantage of the
rare run support, cruising through eight
innings with five strikeouts and three
double plays to spur the ailing Indians past
the Minnesota Twins 10-1 on Wednesday.
“I feel just as confident going on the
mound now as I ever have,” said Lee,
who scattered seven singles, walked one
and hit a batter. “My job is to get deep in
the game and to give the team a chance to
win, and I feel like I’ve been doing that.
“For whatever reason, the results as far
as winning or losing have not been there.
All I can do is throw good pitches.”
Lee (3-6) turned in his 10th straight
quality start, six innings or more and
three runs or less, picking up only his
second victory since April 16. He was
handed just 30 runs over his first 11
appearances from the third-highest
scoring team in the league, the lowest
support rate in the A.L.
The Twins showed little life against
Lee, except when Gomez tried to confront
him following a flyout in the fifth. While
peacemaking first baseman Victor Marti-
nez was blocking Gomez’s path and ush-
ering him toward the dugout, the TV
replay showed Lee taunt Gomez by say-
ing, “Why didn’t you bunt that time?”
“Just some competitive jawing back
and forth. That’s all that was,” Indians
manager Eric Wedge said.
The fleet-footed Gomez, who has riled
up his share of opponents with his exu-
berant play, angered Lee in a game last
year by bunting with two strikes.
Twins CF Carlos Gomez couldn’t track down Jhonny Peralta’s three-run, third-inning homer.
Out with Terrell Owens, Pacman Jones and the
defensive coordinator. In with Jon Kitna, Keith
Brooking and a $1.3 billion new stadium. Will all the
offseason changes in Dallas mean a return to the
playoffs for America’s Team? Sporting News Today’s
Jeff D’Alessio posed that question and others to a
pair of Pro Football Hall of Famers and Cowboys fan
favorites—Rayfield Wright and Tony Dorsett.
Is Jerry Jones
making the right
moves to bring a title
back to Dallas?
Wright: “To be honest, I
think Jerry needs to do
whatever it is that Jerry
does best. Now, I don’t
agree with most of his foot-
ball decisions but Jerry is a
very likeable guy. As the owner of the Dal-
las Cowboys, he’s terrific. As the G.M., per-
haps not so terrific.”
Dorsett: “There is no
other owner in sports who
wants to win more than
Jerry. I would have loved
to play for an owner like
him. However, I think he
stretches himself too thin
at times because he wears
too many hats.”
What’s the one thing the
Cowboys need to become a
contender again?
Wright: “Perhaps what Jerry needs to do is
this: There are eight Cowboy players in the
Hall of Fame, and we all live in or near Dal-
las. Why doesn’t Jerry call on our talents,
knowledge and leadership skills? Don’t you
think Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Mel
Renfro, Randy White, Bob Lilly, Troy Aik-
man, Michael Irvin and I could create a
desire within the current team to win and
to play the game like winners? Together,
the eight of us have close to or more than
100 years of football experience. Wouldn’t
you call in that type of experience to help
run your company? The ’Boys have amaz-
ing talent, but they need to play for the team.
Not for the cameras. Not for themselves.
For the team. All this talk about needing a
team leader doesn’t make sense to me. We
never had just one leader. We never had one
captain. We had several co-captains who
were motivators.”
Dorsett: “Leaders, chemistry ... and a foot
up their butts.”
Is Tony Romo the right answer
at quarterback?
Wright: “In my opinion, the offensive line
must protect their QB in the same manner
in which the Secret Service protects the
President. Without complete and total pro-
tection, the best quarterback in the NFL
will be unsuccessful without a talented line
to protect them. Tony has talent, no ques-
tion about it. Is he right for the Cowboys? I
don’t have all of the elements of the equation
to answer yes or no.”
Dorsett: “Yes, I think he can be the man.
Tony was made a star before he did any-
thing to justify it. You have to earn your
stripes in this league. He was somehow
given them, and people expected too much
from him when he had not even started 16
games. Let’s keep it real, people.”
Are the Cowboys better or
worse without Terrell Owens?
Wright: “I still have a visual in my head of
T.O. stomping on the star at Texas Stadium
(while with the 49ers), so you may have
asked me the wrong question. He should be
on the field to play football and not be play-
ing for the camera or applying lip balm. He
should be at practice, voluntarily or not. I
will give T.O. this much: He is a gifted foot-
ball player. But there are thousands of gifted
football players throughout the country. It
takes more than talent to make it in the NFL.
One must learn the system. The Cowboys
need to come together as a team. So I’m look-
ing for something positive to come out of
next year’s team.”
Dorsett: “Terrell is a great player and hard
worker. Time will tell. Now, hopefully the
young receivers can develop and show their
skills. They’d better or ...”
What current Cowboy would you
most want as your teammate?
Wright: “Without question, I would say
Marion Barber. But then, I had the privilege
to block for Tony Dorsett so I can’t complain.
Barber has the tenacity to move the football.
And, more important, he never gives up.”
Dorsett: “Barber. He just seems to be enjoy-
ing the game. His passion for the game is
Q&A with ... Cowboys legends Rayfield Wright and Tony Dorsett
Jerry Jones the G.M.? ‘Not so terrific’
Tony Dorsett
Listen on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 127, online at
or check your local listings for broadcast times in your area. WEEKDAYS 1–4PM ET
Want to bring glory to back to Big D? Rayfield Wright suggests that Jerry Jones, above, should call on the experience and leadership skills of great Cowboys fromthe past.
Jaguars quarterback David Garrard is 20
pounds lighter and has a new seven-time Pro
Bowl receiver at his disposal as he tries to lead
his team back to the playoffs after a one-year
hiatus. Garrard, entering his eighth season with
Jacksonville, took time from offseason workouts
to answer questions from SportingNews readers.
There’s been a lot of talk
about Jacksonville’s own
Tim Tebow at the next level, about
him not being a traditional NFL
quarterback. If you had to make a
prediction, where is the Florida
Gator on the depth chart and how’s
he doing a few years from now?
—FredLewis, DaytonaBeach, Fla.
He won in high school, he’s won
in college and I’m sure he would
win in the NFL. I could definitely see
him fighting for a starting position
somewhere—just hopefully not here in
Jacksonville. He has the abilities—he
knows how to make plays, and he has
the arm strength. I’m not sure why
people don’t think he has the arm. He
just happens to be in a system in college
that (is not a pro-style offense).
I know two people who
suffer from Crohn’s Disease
and think it’s great that you have
talked openly about your dealings
with it. How, if at all, does the
disease affect your training and/or
your performance?
—RichDeFalco, Warren, Ohio
Luckily, I’ve been blessed not to
be affected by the disease for
very long. It was a few months in the
(2004) offseason that I was in really
bad shape. But I had surgery, they
removed a foot of my intestines, I
recovered from that physically and after
that, I’ve been symptom-free. I’ve been
able to eat whatever I want to. I’ve been
able to work out the same way I did
before I was diagnosed with the disease.
I haven’t had any effects of it since
2004. I owe a lot of it to prayer and a lot
to the medicine Remicade, which I take
every eight weeks intravenously.
You guys signed Torry Holt
this offseason. What kind of
impact do you think he’ll have on
the receiving corps?
—T.R. Sampson, OrangePark, Fla.
Torry’s not a seven-time Pro
Bowler just because of his great
physical ability. He actually dissects
defenses, he dissects the offense he’s in,
he learns every in and out of the offense
so he can be at his best when game time
comes around. He’s very methodical in
his approach to the game. He’s texting
me all the time: This would be a great
route to run against the Titans. He’s
always texting our head coach. He
wants to be the best, and I think that’s
great for this team. The young guys can
see what it takes to be a true profes-
sional and a great player in this league;
you have to put in the time and the
effort. Seeing Torry do all those things
really gives me confidence. I know that
when we line up on Sundays, I can
count on him in every play. And he’s
going to be able to count on me.
You lost 20 pounds this
offseason. How’d you do
it—Jenny Craig or Weight
—Janet Mahar, Raleigh, N.C.
(Laughs) Neither. Basically, I did
it by cutting all complex carbs
for three weeks. I didn’t eat any breads,
sugars, pastas or anything that was
seasoned with sugars. I was really
strict. I’d have a low-carb shake for
breakfast. Then for lunch, I’d have a
regular salad with a little shrimp or
chicken on it and another shake, or I’d
substitute it with an apple or some
strawberries. Then the same type of
thing for dinner. You would not believe
how much weight you can drop within
the first three days if you don’t bring in
any carbs. I feel great now. I’m back to
eating those complex carbs, but my
stomach has shrunk and I don’t have
the urge I used to.
Unlike a lot of pro athletes,
you had a job as a teenager—
working as a cook at Burger King.
Your best BK story?
—EdEisenhower, Tempe, Ariz.
My best Burger King story would
be how many chicken tenders I
could eat before my shift was up. That
helped me be one of the bigger quarter-
backs in college. You could eat for
free—especially when nobody was
—Jeff D’Alessio
Q&A with ... Jaguars QB David Garrard
Jags QB: Future’s bright for Torry Holt, Tim Tebow
David Garrard is excited about playing with WRTerry Holt: ‘He wants to be the best, and I think that’s great for this team.’
Got something you’d like to ask Packers
quarterback Aaron Rodgers or Penn State
QB Darryl
with your
and hometown, toyourturn@sport- We’ll pick our five
favorites for each and run their answers
in an upcoming issue of SportingNews
Darryl Clark Aaron Rodgers
Westbrook to have surgery Friday, could miss training camp
Eagles running back Brian West-
brook will have surgery on his right
ankle Friday.
Dr. Mark Meyerson will perform the
operation in Baltimore. The Eagles
called the procedure “a debride-
ment” of the ankle.
Westbrook missed one game last
season with a high ankle sprain.
Comcast SportsNet reported
Westbrook would be sidelined until
the start of the regular season.
Westbrook hasn’t been able to
participate in offseason practices.
The All-Pro running back also
had surgery on his left knee three
months ago.
“His knee is feeling good,” coach
Andy Reid told The Philadelphia
Inquirer. “So, yeah, it’s just his ankle
at the moment.”
Without Westbrook, reserve
LorenzoBooker and rookie LeSeanMcCoy
have been practicing with the first-
team offense. If the team looks to
bolster the position, veterans such
as Deuce McAllister, Edgerrin James and
Michael Pittman remain free agents.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
limped off the practice field
Wednesday with what appeared to
be a minor left knee injury. Roeth-
lisberger had some problem walk-
ing when he left the team’s training
complex, but his knee was not ban-
daged. Roethlisberger and coach
Mike Tomlin declined to discuss the
issue. Roethlisberger is scheduled
to play golf Friday in an event at
Bethpage Black, the site of this
month’s U.S. Open.
Vince Young’s agent says the
quarterback does not want the
Titans to trade him, downplaying
comments Young made to a televi-
sion station this week. Major Adams
said Young intends to remain in
Tennessee and battle Kerry Collins for
the starting position.
“Vince’s desire has always been
to compete for the starting quarter-
back job in Tennessee,” Adams
said. “Even before they drafted
him, they asked him if he thought
he could compete for the starting
role, and he said yes. He has always
been a starter and that is his
The Ravens are experimenting
with using backup QB Troy Smith at
wide receiver, and he made several
impressive catches in practices this
“Without making it a huge story,
I’m quite sure that Troy will be lined
up in different places this year,”
coach John Harbaugh told the Carroll
County Times. “He can split out and
play receiver. He can play running
back. We definitely want to expand
guys and do as much as we can.”
Smith lacks blazing speed but pos-
sesses all other skills to play wide
receiver. With Joe Flacco the undis-
puted starter at quarterback, this is a
way for Smith to get on the field more
often. The Ravens could use help at
wide receiver with DerrickMason, Deme-
trius Williams, MarkClayton and YamonFig-
urs all fighting injuries and unable to
practice this week.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh
ordered all his players 30 or older
not to show up at this week’s volun-
tary practices, so 12 of the 22 start-
ers took the week off, according to
The Baltimore Sun.
The NFL and its players union
started talks in New York on
Wednesday with the hope a work
stoppage can be avoided in 2011,
when the current contract expires.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice
Smith both attended the mainly pro-
cedural meeting. One early subject
of contention: The union’s demand
the NFL teams open their books
and the league’s position that the
union already has all the relevant
financial information.
Colts G Ryan Lilja, who missed
all of last season after having two
surgeries on his right knee and had
a third procedure this year, is prac-
ticing with the team on a limited
basis. Coach Jim Caldwell told The
Indianapolis Star that Lilja is “com-
ing along very well.”
Colts MLB Gary Brackett, coming
off arthroscopic surgery to repair a
broken leg, told the Star this week
that he’ll be ready for the start of
training camp. Said Brackett: “I’ve
got my motion back and (we’re)
strengthening it.”
S Marlon McCree has agreed to
terms on a one-year contract to
rejoin the Jaguars, according to the
Florida Times-Union. McCree played
with the team in ’01 and ’02 before
moving on to the Texans, Panthers,
Chargers and Broncos. McCree is
expected to be the No. 3 safety,
backing up starters Reggie Nelson
and SeanConsidine.
Former Chicago S Mike Brown,
31, visited the Chiefs on Wednesday
but did not sign a contract, accord-
ing to the Chicago Sun-Times. Brown
missed 44 games with various inju-
ries the last five seasons but is an
impact player when on the field.
Texans TE Owen Daniels is the
last of the restricted free agents. All
others have reached agreements on
long-term deals or signed their one-
year tender offers. He faces a June
15 date to sign the one-year, $2.8
million tender. If not, the Texans
could choose to lower the price,
perhaps as low as $520,000. The
deadline for other teams to make
offers has long passed, so the Tex-
ans now hold exclusive negotiating
Cardinals C Lyle Sendlein, who
struggled for much of last season,
recently disclosed that he sustained
a major shoulder injury (torn
labrum, torn supraspinatus muscle)
in Week 4 last season but never
missed a start. He had surgery soon
after the Super Bowl.
Giants DT FredRobbins on Wednes-
day revealed that his offseason knee
surgery was not minor at all. He had
microfracture surgery to repair torn
cartilage, not the previously reported
arthroscopic procedure.
Raiders rookie WR Darrius Hey-
ward-Bey missed practice again
Wednesday, a month after sustain-
ing a minor hamstring injury,
according to the San Francisco
Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin
has been sued by three TV produc-
ers who allege that Irvin agreed to
be the host of a reality TV show
about unknowns trying out for a
professional football team—only to
renege and go on to produce Fourth
and Long without them, according
to the Dallas Business Journal.
A developer officially pulled the
plug on plans to build a $1 billion sta-
dium as part of a redevelopment of
the land surrounding San Diego’s
Qualcomm Stadium. Last week the
Chargers rejected the proposal saying
the project would be too enormous for
the Mission Valley site.
Brian Westbrook also had surgery on his left knee three months ago.
Remaining free agents
A quick look at the remaining NFL free agents by posi-
tion (R-restricted free agent, F-franchise tagged player):
Quarterbacks—Brooks Bollinger, Dallas; Ken Dorsey,
Cleveland; Gus Frerotte, Minnesota; Charlie Frye,
Seattle; Quinn Gray, Kansas City; Trent Green, St. Louis;
Rex Grossman, Chicago; DrewHenson, Detroit; Brad
Johnson, Dallas; J.P. Losman, Buffalo; Jamie Martin,
San Francisco; Craig Nall, Houston; Marques Tuiasosopo,
Oakland; AnthonyWright, NY Giants.
Runningbacks—Shaun Alexander, Washington;
J.J. Arrington, Denver; Darian Barnes, NewOrleans;
TatumBell, Denver; Jon Bradley, Detroit; 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, NewOrleans; Travis Minor, St.
Louis; Chris Perry, Cincinnati; AndrewPinnock, Denver;
Michael Pittman, Denver; P.J. Pope, Denver; Cecil Sapp,
Houston; Aaron Stecker, NewOrleans; SelvinYoung,
Widereceivers—DrewBennett, St. Louis; Marty
Booker, Chicago; DrewCarter, Oakland; Jason Carter;
Carolina; Keary Colbert, Detroit; Biren Ealy, New
Orleans; 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; Tab Perry, Miami; Jerry Porter, Jacksonville; Koren
Robinson, Seattle; Edell Shepherd, Denver; Travis Taylor,
Detroit; Amani Toomer, NY Giants; ReggieWilliams,
Tight ends—Courtney Anderson, Houston; Adam
Bergen, Denver; Mark Bruener, Houston; Owen Daniels
(R), Houston; Nate Lawrie, Cincinnati; Marcus Pollard,
Atlanta; JerameTuman, Arizona; Daniel Wilcox,
Offensivetackles—Anthony Davis, St. Louis; Jon
Dunn, Detroit; George Foster, Detroit; Wayne Gandy,
Atlanta; Kwame Harris, Oakland; Jonas Jennings, San
Francisco; Levi Jones, Cincinnati; Fred Miller, Chicago;
Rob Petitti, St. Louis; Jon Runyan, Philadelphia; Charles
Spencer, Jacksonville; Barry Stokes, NewEngland; Mark
Tauscher, Green Bay.
Guards—Lennie Friedman, Cleveland; Pete Kendall,
Washington; Matt Lentz, Detroit; Terrence Metcalf,
Chicago; Edwin Mulitalo, Detroit; Chris Naeole, Jack-
sonville; Grey Ruegamer, NY Giants; Kendall Simmons,
Pittsburgh; JasonWhittle, Buffalo.
Centers—Brennen Carvalho, Green Bay; Jean-Philippe
Darche, Kansas City; Melvin Fowler, Buffalo; Matt
Lehr, NewOrleans; Andy McCollum, Detroit; Jeremy
Newberry, San Diego; Scott Peters, Arizona; Cory
Withrow, St. Louis.
Defensiveends—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, NewOrleans; AnthonyWeaver, Houston; James
Wyche, Jacksonville.
Defensivetackles—Kenderick Allen, Minnesota;
Gary Gibson, Carolina; La’Roi Glover, St. Louis; Vonnie
Holliday, Miami; Antwan Lake, NewOrleans; Langston
Moore, Detroit; Kindal Moorehead, Atlanta; Dewayne
Robertson, Denver; Orpheus Roye, Pittsburgh; Hollis
Thomas, NewOrleans; JoshThomas, Indianapolis; John
Thornton, Cincinnati; CaseyTyler, Dallas; DarwinWalker,
Carolina; Ellis Wyms, Minnesota; BrianYoung, 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, NewEngland; Donte’ Curry, Carolina;
Donnie Edwards, Kansas City; Greg Ellis, Dallas; Gilbert
Gardner, Chicago; Curtis Gatewood, Kansas City; Morlon
Greenwood, Houston; Napoleon Harris, Minnesota; Brad
Kassell, NY Jets; Jason Kyle, Carolina; Teddy Lehman,
Buffalo; Wesly Mallard, Seattle; Willie McGinest,
Cleveland; Ryan Nece, Detroit; Shantee Orr, Cleveland;
Antwan Peek, Cleveland; Carlos Polk, Dallas; Junior
Seau, NewEngland; Matt Sinclair, Washington; Gary
Stills, St. Louis; Terrell Suggs (F), Baltimore; Dontarrious
Thomas, Minnesota; Marcus Washington, Washington;
NateWebster, Denver.
Cornerbacks—David Barrett, NY Jets; Fakhir Brown,
St. Louis; Terry Cousin, Cleveland; Jason Craft, St. Louis;
Travis Fisher, Detroit; Reynaldo Hill, Tennessee; William
James, Jacksonville; AdamJones, Dallas; Michael
Lehan, NewOrleans; SamMadison, NY Giants; Ricky
Manning Jr., St. Louis; Chris McAlister, Baltimore; Mike
McKenzie, NewOrleans; R.W. McQuarters, NY Giants;
Deltha O’Neal, NewEngland; Dunta Robinson (F),
Houston; Lewis Sanders, NewEngland; Duane Starks,
Jacksonville; DeJuanTribble, San Diego; JasonWebster,
NewEngland; JimmyWilliams, Houston; Stanley
Wilson, Detroit.
Safeties—Michael Boulware, Minnesota; Mike
Brown, Chicago; Oliver Celestin, Kansas City; Corey
Chavous, St. Louis; Will Demps, Houston; Mike Doss,
Cincinnati; Mike Green, Washington; Terrence Holt, New
Orleans; Dexter Jackson, Cincinnati; Sammy Knight, NY
Giants; Marlon McCree, Denver; Lawyer Milloy, Atlanta;
Chad Nkang, Jacksonville; Pierson Prioleau, Jacksonville;
Dwight Smith, Detroit; JimmyWilliams, San Francisco;
CameronWorrell, Chicago.
Kickers—John Carney, NY Giants; Matt Stover,
Punters—Mitch Berger, Pittsburgh; Kyle Larson,
Cincinnati; Ryan Plackemeier, Cincinnati.
Vikings’ offensive tackles: Big and bigger
EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN.—Being big has
obvious rewards. There are millions
of dollars Bryant McKinnie never
would have made, had he stopped
filling out, oh, 100 pounds ago.
But size isn’t always an advanta-
geous matter.
That’s one reason McKinnie, Min-
nesota’s hulking left tackle, was
delighted when the Vikings drafted
Oklahoma’s Phil Loadholt in the sec-
ond round. Finally, McKinnie (6-8,
335) has someone who can relate to
the experience of playing in such a
large body.
Loadholt has the same height and
is listed at 343 pounds.
“There’s just some things that we
can’t do, that everybody else can do,”
McKinnie said.
Take blocking, for example, par-
ticularly on field-goal attempts.
Coaches have criticized McKinnie’s
technique, some of which he claims
is beyond his control and simply part
of being so big.
“Sometimes they tell you to bend—
’Oh, bend your knees’—but you have
somebody that’s 4 inches shorter
than you next to you,” McKinnie
said. “They make you feel like you’re
not bending, but you are.”
The standard NFL line is that
starting spots, especially for rookies,
are never guaranteed. Loadholt,
however, is the clear frontrunner at
right tackle following a 2008 season
in which Ryan Cook regressed from
the year before and Artis Hicks was
often hurt.
The draft was deep at his position,
so Loadholt’s landing in the second
round was attributable to concerns
about his footwork and conditioning.
He brings plenty of upside, though.
“You can have a huge guy on your
offensive line and, depending on
how his play is, it can make a differ-
ence or it can’t,” Vikings running
back Adrian Peterson said this
week. “But (Loadholt) being from
Oklahoma and me knowing his
background, I will definitely be
excited if he gets on the field.”
On draft day, Peterson offered
this: “You think about him and Big
Mack, with their size, and it’s a
dream for a running back.”
Loadholt has much to learn,
beginning with the playbook. He
had a false start penalty during his
first full-team scrimmage, evidence
of the overwhelming nature of those
first few practices with a new team.
McKinnie, though, is eager to
“That’ll make him a better player
even faster,” said McKinnie, a ’02
first-round pick who has had ups
and downs but deemed valuable
enough to get a contract extension
through the ’13 season.
Like McKinnie, Loadholt is
reserved and quiet around report-
ers, a soft-spoken demeanor contra-
dicting the players’ size. Both went
to junior college before transferring
to big-time schools, McKinnie to
Miami (Fla.) and Loadholt to O.U.
“He’s been successful in this league
for a long time,” Loadholt said. “He’s
a guy I’ve looked up to since he’s
been playing, so I’m definitely excited
about the opportunity to learn some
things from him.”
Looked up to, of course, is a figura-
tive term. Loadholt is thicker than
McKinnie, with shoulder-length
dreadlocks that make him appear
even wider.
“That is a massive human being,”
coach Brad Childress said last month.
Loadholt said he couldn’t have been
put in a better place to begin his career,
given the veterans around him on the
line and the star in Peterson behind
him in the backfield. Now he’s looking
forward to playing up to that, well,
large potential of his.
“He’s physically gifted. He’s han-
dled himself well. I like his tempera-
ment,” offensive coordinator Darrell
Bevell said. “He’s got a little bit of
physicalness to him, so I like what
I’ve seen so far.”
Minnesota rookie OT Phil Loadholt (6-8, 343 pounds) can look down the line for a role model.
Which teams are on the rise?
A year ago, Alabama was coming off a six-loss season that included an embarrassing
home stumble against Louisiana-Monroe. The Tide responded with 12 victories in 2008
and remained in the national championship discussion until December.
So who’s this year’s Alabama?
Sporting News college football writers Matt Hayes and Dave Curtis offer five teams
apiece—schools they believe will show the most improvement in the win column from
2008 to 2009:
Matt Hayes’ top five
UCLA, +5
2008: 4-8 2009: 9-4
Here’swhy: Every once in awhile we’re reminded why col-
lege football is unexpectedly beautiful: Redshirt freshman
QB Kevin Prince wasn’t a big recruit,
and wasn’t really in the plans for Rick
Neuheisel and Norm Chow at UCLA.
Now he has control of the offense, show-
ing a live arm and a feel for Chow’s suc-
cessful offense. This team wasn’t nearly
as bad as its record last year. It simply
gave away too many turnovers from the
quarterback spot. Big, physical wide-
outs and improved protection will ease
Prince’s transition, and allow UCLA to
move back into the upper third of the Pac-10.
SMU, +5
2008: 1-11 2009: 6-7
Here’swhy:Afterall theturmoil andcarnival sideshowfrom
Year 1 under JuneJones, this realitystands clear: Thosewho
stuck it out through the debacle of 2008 will be rewarded
this fall. Jones has abetter feel for his players andthe league,
ter. HalfoftheMustangs’ eightleaguelosseslastyearwereby
sevenpoints or fewer, andQBBoLevi Mitchell will be more

Colorado, +4
2008: 5-7 2009: 9-4
Here’swhy: Dan Hawkins proclaimed the goal of 10 wins
this fall, and this team isn’t that far from it. As much as
anything, the Buffs need to stay healthy on the offensive
line and build some continuity and consistency. CU is
much better on the interior lines than when Hawkins
arrived three years ago. Losing speedy WR/KR Josh
Smith last week hurts, but the emergence of uber-talented
TB Darrell Scott gives the running game a pile-mover
who will open up play-action for QB Cody Hawkins.
OklahomaState, +3
2008: 9-4 2009: 12-1
Here’s why: We all know about the triple threat of Heis-
man Trophy candidates QB Zac Robinson, RB Kendall
Hunter and WR Dez Bryant. The difference this fall will
be the impact of new defensive coordinator Bill Young.
He knows the league (remember Kansas, 2007?) and the
Cowboys have speed and athleticism on that side of the
ball. The defense simply has to get multiple stops in big
games—something it couldn’t do last year, but will get
done this fall. And that still may not be enough for the Big
12 to avoid another postseason disaster (see: Texas beats
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State beats Texas, Oklahoma
beats Oklahoma State).

NorthCarolinaState, +3
2008: 6-7 2009: 9-4
Here’s why: Maybe this is the plan all athletic directors
should follow: Hire a terrific recruiter to build personnel,
and when it eventually fails, hire a teacher/disciplinar-
ian. As bad as it looked early last fall, the players and new
coach Tom O’Brien—the most underrated coach in the
game—finally clicked in the second half and the ’Pack
won four of their last five. Terrific sophomore QB Russell
Wilson is a dynamic threat, but this team badly needs TB
Toney Baker—who missed most of the last two seasons
with a knee injury—and incoming freshman James
Washington to create balance with the running game.
Dave Curtis’ top five
Washington, +5
2008: 0-12 2009: 5-7
Here’s why: Well, the Huskies can’t win any fewer.
And a perfect storm of circumstances makes the pick
to win a bunch more. The program’s energy alone
should do a 180 with Steve Sarki-
sian in charge. A watered-down trip
through the nonconference (hello,
Idaho; see ya, BYU) will help. UW’s
best offensive player (Jake Locker)
and second-best defensive player
(E.J. Savannah) are healthy and eli-
gible, respectively. And the bottom
of the Pac-10 ranks as poor as ever—
road games against Arizona State
and Washington State look like
Arkansas, +4
2008: 5-7 2009: 9-4
Here’s why: Where Bobby Petrino goes, wins follow.
He’ll be this season’s example of the second-year
bump enjoyed at the highest level by Bob Stoops, Jim
Tressel and Urban Meyer, among others. If Ryan
Mallett can quit breaking fingers, he’s the best quar-
terback in the SEC West. Four wins seems a given in
the nonconference (Missouri State, Eastern Michi-
gan, Troy and Texas A&M in Dallas). And the defense
will tackle well enough to manage a 4-4 SEC record
and a win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Illinois, +3
2008: 5-7 2009: 8-5
Here’s why: Turnovers and poor tackling doomed the
Illini last season, especially against better-disciplined
teams such as Northwestern and Iowa. The youth up
front on both sides of the ball will develop, and Illi-
nois will benefit from catching Missouri and Fresno
State in down seasons. Look for Juice Williams-to-
Arrelious Benn to become the most potent offensive
tandem in the Big Ten.
Auburn, +3
2008: 5-7 2009: 8-5
Here’s why: Don’t expect another tumultuous season
on The Plains. The new coaching staff, with its lim-
ousines on recruiting trips and Big Cat Weekend for
unofficial visits, has at least unified the program.
Tommy Tuberville’s recruits will keep this defense
strong, and by midseason, new offensive coordinator
Gus Malzahn will turn one of Auburn’s quarterbacks
into a proficient passer.
SouthernMiss, +3
2008: 7-6 2009: 10-4
A no-huddle offense, plus eight starters back on
defense, should equal the Golden Eagles’ return to
the top of Conference USA. They’ll grab at least one
upset when they face Virginia and Kansas on con-
secutive weeks in September, with back Damion
Fletcher (suspended for spring practice) and receiver
DeAndre Brown (if healthy) carrying the squad.
Matt Hayes
Dave Curtis
QBBo Levi Mitchell has a year of experiencewithSMU’s run-and-shoot.
AhealthyJakeLocker shouldhelpWashingtonbouncebackfrom0-12.
SPORTING NEWS TODAY THURSDAY, JUNE 04, 2009 29 College Football
USC will open the 2012 and
2013 seasons against Hawaii,
officials at the schools
announced Wednesday.
The schools agreed to
extend their football series by
adding the two games. The
Trojans will host the War-
riors on Sept. 1, 2012 and the
Aug. 31, 2013, game will be
played at Aloha Stadium.
The 2010 season opener in
Honolulu, the final game of a
three-game series that began
in 2003, has been moved from
Sept. 4 to Sept. 2, which is
Thursday, for ESPN.
Missouri freshman QB
Blaine Dalton has been rein-
stated to the team.
Dalton was suspended after
he was arrested on suspicion
of a controlled substance on
May 30, but no charges have
been filed against him, The
Kansas City Star reported.
Coach Gary Pinkel told the
Star that Dalton “… is back.
That’s all I’m going to say
about it.”
Police stopped a car Dalton
was driving and found 10
pills of pain medicine that
were not prescribed for him.
Later, a friend told police the
pills belonged to him, not
Dalton, and were in the car
because he forgot them.
Dalton finished spring
practice third on the depth
chart behind Blaine Gabbert
and Jimmy Costello.
DT Sheldon Richardson,
Missouri’s most decorated
recruit in the class of 2009,
failed to qualify academically
and will attend College of the
Sequoias in Visalia, Calif., the
Columbia Tribune reported.
Ranked No. 1 at his position
and as high as the No. 4 pros-
pect overall by,
Richardson must earn his
associate’s degree and then
sign another national letter of
intent before he can enroll at
Missouri. When Richardson
signed with the Tigers in
February, his father, Michael
Richardson, told the newspaper
he and his family were
impressed with school’s con-
tingency plan for Richardson
should he fail to qualify.
Colorado will release
WR Josh Smith from his schol-
arship only if he transfers to
USC. Smith was considering
eight to 10 schools, but ath-
letic director Mike Bohn told
the Daily Camera that the
release would be granted only
to USC because that school
met Smith’s criteria—it is
close to home (Moorpark,
Calif.) and offers the music
program he wants. Smith has
appealed the decision to a
university committee.
Washington State senior
S Xavier Hicks, the team’s sec-
ond-leading tackler last sea-
son, was driving with a
suspended license Monday
when pulled over for a possi-
ble speeding violation.
USC to open in Hawaii
Marcus Johnson became the fourth USC player to forego
college eligibility and enter the NBA draft—news that
didn’t sit well with head coach TimFloyd.
“Kansas has two players who would have been NBA
lottery picks, Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, and they are
returning to school,” Floyd told the Los Angeles Times.
“Good for them. Our guys get an offer from Islamabad
and they’re gone.”
Johnson’s decision comes just days after he learned his
petition for a sixth year of eligibility had been accepted by
the NCAA. Johnson applied for the waiver because he
competed in just one exhibition game during the 2007-08
season at Connecticut before transferring to USC, accord-
ing to the Times.
Instead of taking advantage of the extra eligibility,
Johnson joins fellow Trojans DeMar DeRozan, Daniel Hackett
and Taj Gibson in the draft. Unlike the latter three, all of
whom were starters for the Trojans, Johnson wasn’t a
regular contributor.
Struggling with a strained rotator cuff for much of the
season, the 6-6 swingman averaged 3.6 points and 1.8
rebounds in 16 games.
Former Arkansas G Patrick Beverley repeated his ear-
lier claim that somebody wrote a paper for him while he
was with the Razorbacks, but he backed off comments
he’d made that implicated teammates.
“I want to clear the line. I took full responsibility. I don’t
know what happened with another player,” Beverley told
The Associated Press this week. “I know that young lady
did write my paper, and I was punished for it, and I accept
my punishment, and I learn from my mistakes.”
Beverley played two seasons with the Razorbacks but
was suspended last August. He left Arkansas to play for a
Ukrainian team.
The Mountain West plans to keep its conference
tournaments for basketball in Las Vegas through at least
2013. The conference agreed to extend the tournament’s
run at the Thomas & Mack Center, the home arena of
Former Villanova PG Chris Walker has rejoined the
team as an assistant coach. The 39-year-old spent the last
two seasons as an assistant at New Mexico. Walker started
96 games in four seasons at Villanova, from 1988-92.
Memphis hired Jack Murphy as an assistant coach,
completing the new coaching staff under head coach Josh
The team announced Wednesday that Murphy, an
advance scout for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets for the past
three years, will start in Memphis later this week.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino issued the following state-
ment in response to an report on Wednesday
that he has offered a vacant assistant coaching position on
his staff to current Holy Cross coach RalphWillard:
“Yes, I have offered the position to Ralph. I’ve also
offered the last four openings we’ve had at Louisville to
Ralph because he’s always my number one choice. I do it
every time and it’s nothing new. I fully expect him to turn
me down for the fifth straight time.”
Floyd irked that Johnson is turning pro
Marcus Johnson averaged just 3.6 points in 16 games for the Trojans.
SportingNews Todayis countingdownits
Top100collegefootball teams for 2009,
theseasonopener Thursday, Sept. 3. Goto
SportingNews.comfor theprevious teams.
2008 record: 6-7 overall, 5-3 MAC
Coach: Jerry Kill
Outlook: The Huskies were
shredded by graduation, but none
looms larger than trying to replace
the MAC’s two-time league MVP,
defensive end Larry English.
Senior free safety David Bryant
becomes the leader on defense
while QB Chandler Harnish (1,528
passing yards, 8 TDs, 9 INTs)
returns to an offense with little
experience at wide receiver.
QBChandler Harnish had an up-and-down
freshman season.
SPORTING NEWS TODAY THURSDAY, JUNE 04, 2009 30 College Football / College Basketball
Each week, SportingNews Today college basketball columnist
Mike DeCourcy tackles the current topics in his sport
What do you suspect the NCAA
will do to Memphis for the
Derrick Rose fiasco?
DeCourcy: Memphis contends it should not
be forced to forfeit games from its 2007-08
season and have its Final Four trip vacated
because, if indeed Rose’s qualifying SAT
score was invalid, there
was no way for the uni-
versity to know at the
time he competed. Mem-
phis investigated an origi-
nal charge regarding his
ACT—and later his quali-
fying SAT score—and
found insufficient evi-
dence to indicate a fraud-
ulent test. The NCAA’s
own eligibility clearinghouse certified him
as eligible. So it was only logical for the
team to play him.
That certainly seems a reasonable posi-
tion, but the infractions committee does not
inevitably deal out justice.
I suspect when this is finished Memphis
will have its 2008 Final Four appearance
vacated and be placed on one of those don’t-
mess-up-again probations. I do not expect
sanctions any more severe than that.
Have there been any recent draft
announcements—either players
declaring they will stay or withdraw—
that have surprised you?
DeCourcy: What has surprised me most is
how the many “I’m in the draft to stay” sto-
ries have been embraced.
If you ask any player on the early entry
list if he’s planning to head back to school at
this point, his answer is going to be that he’s
committed to the draft.
Marquette’s Dominic James told a group
of us that in Orlando in 2006. He played
two more years in college afterward. I
remember Arizona’s Jason Gardner saying
after a workout at the Chicago camp in 2001
that if somebody told him he was the worst
player there, he’d go back to school. He was
the worst player that week, so I wrote that.
He went back and finished his career at
Arizona, although I don’t think my column
was the reason.
A player has to be fully committed to the
draft right up until he’s finished his final
workout and is facing the deadline to with-
draw. If not, he is wasting his time and the
NBA’s money.
Not a good week for Arkansas:
Former Hog Patrick Beverley
says schoolwork was done for him
there and current Hog Marcus Britt
was suspended after an arrest on
charges of DWI. Why isn’t more being
made of Arkansas’ troubles right
DeCourcy: Perhaps because the media are
too busy beating up John Calipari?
The Beverley matter is a strange deal. He
admitted to having a paper written for him
in an interview with
and also said other players benefited from
that sort of assistance.
Then he backed off that comment in talk-
ing with The Morning News of Northwest
Arkansas, saying he only knew what he’d
The university suspended Beverley for a
year last August, leading him to turn pro-
fessional and head overseas—which indi-
cates the university believed the issue not
to be institutional, but specific to Beverley.
Arkansas had gone through a pretty exten-
sive NCAA investigation in the mid-1990s
largely related to academic issues, so it
would seem the university would be highly
sensitive to anything that smells of a sys-
temic problem.
Remember, anyone who thinks athletes
are the only students who might be prone to
cheat in class is being naïve. Type “term
papers for sale” into a Google Search. You
get millions of hits. One site offers custom-
made term papers for as little as $8.99 per
Name a player most of us don’t
know now, but will by the end of
DeCourcy: Washington guard Venoy Over-
ton didn’t get much attention last season
but was a huge reason the Huskies made it
back to the NCAA Tournament. As fresh-
man point Abdul Gaddy comes into the
program and scoring prodigy Isaiah
Thomas continues to mature, their collabo-
ration with Overton should become the
nation’s best backcourt.
That’ll make Overton more prominent
even if he does not significantly improve
his 5.8 points per game scoring average. If
you’re watching to see the other two Hus-
kies guards manufacture baskets, you
won’t help but notice Overton preventing
the other team from scoring.
He will be, if the coaches are paying atten-
tion to more than blocked shots, a candidate
for national defensive player of the year.
There’s nobody better in college at defend-
ing against the ball. He is a one-man shot-
clock violation.
What player are you most excited
to watch during the summer
AAU circuit?
DeCourcy: Wing Harrison Barnes of
Ames, Iowa, is the best guy out there, but I
already have a good idea what we’ll see
from him. He is so polished and consistent
he no longer owns the capacity to surprise.
Whatever he delivers will be what I
I’m curious to see point guard Kyrie
Irving from St. Patrick’s High in Eliza-
beth, N.J. At the start of last season, listed him as the No. 8 point
guard in the class of 2010. Now, he’s the
No. 8 player. Irving has scholarship
offers from at least eight schools and
recently declared Indiana to be his leader
in an interview with Adam Zagoria of
“It’s them and Notre Dame and Duke and
Virginia. They’re at the top of my list right
now,” Irving said.
Mike DeCourcy
Don’t let WashingtonGVenoyOverton’s 5.8ppglast seasonfool you—his defensiveskills makehimaplayer towatch.
SPORTING NEWS TODAY THURSDAY, JUNE 04, 2009 31 College Basketball
Germain Racing officials
announced Wednesday that they
have made crew chief changes to
its NASCAR Sprint Cup and
Nationwide series teams.
Veteran Peter Sospenzo has joined
Germain and will take over as
crew chief for the team’s No. 13
Toyota driven by rookie Max Papis
in the Cup series.
Sospenzo replaces Mike Hillman
Sr., who moves to the team’s No. 15
Toyota driven by rookie Michael
Annett in the Nationwide Series.
“When we started our season,
we knew it would be a learning
experience running rookie driv-
ers in each of NASCAR’s top two
series,” said Hillman Sr., who also
serves as the team’s general man-
ager. “Germain Racing is a very
competitive organization. We
expect a lot of ourselves and after
watching both of our Camry pro-
grams at Dover, we saw some
opportunities to strengthen each
of those teams.”
Rain has forced postpone-
ment of NASCAR driver Tony Stew-
art’s charity race at a dirt track he
owns in Ohio.
Organizers say today’s race has
been rescheduled for Sept. 9.
Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Carl
Edwards, KyleBusch, RyanNewman and
others had been scheduled to par-
ticipate in the fifth annual Prelude
to the Dream at Eldora Speedway
near the western Ohio village of
Jeff Gordon had been scheduled
to race, but decided to skip the
event because of back pain. He
plans to rest ahead of this week-
end’s NASCAR event at Pocono
Proceeds from this year’s race
will be donated to four charities
dedicated to severely injured sol-
diers or families of military per-
sonnel who have died.
Western Kentucky hopes to
tap into the popularity of
NASCAR by putting its logo on a
car running in the Federated Auto
Parts 300 in Nashville this
A logo with the university’s red
towel will appear on the hood of
the No. 5 Chevrolet. The back
bumper will have a link to West-
ern’s website.
Alumni Association executive
director Donald Smith says it’s the
first time the university has put
its logo on a NASCAR automobile.
The university’s alumni associa-
tion sponsored the logo.
Ryan Reynolds, star of the
upcoming movie The Proposal, has
been named grand marshal for
Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup
Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Reynolds will participate in
prerace activities, including
attending the drivers meeting,
participating in driver introduc-
tions and giving the command to
start engines.
Germain Racing hopes
changes strengthen teams
Top 5 and 5 to watch
Here’s a look at the top five in
points and five drivers to watch in
Sunday’s Pocono 500. All statisti-
cal references are for Sprint Cup
races at Pocono Raceway unless
otherwise indicated. Driver rating
is based on the past eight races at
the track.
Tony Stewart, 102.4 driver rat-
ing. Stewart has finished
seventh or best in six of the past
seven races at the self-proclaimed
Tricky Triangle. Overall, he has 14
Top 10s in 20 starts with one win
(2003). Don’t expect the series’ new
points leader to relinquish his top
Jeff Gordon, 95.3. Gordon has
four wins and 22 Top 10s in
32 starts. If you remove his four
DNFs, Gordon hasn’t finished
lower than 16th in a race he com-
pleted since finishing 28th in his
first start in June 1993. Gordon’s
latest win came in 2007.
Jimmie Johnson, 100.8. Last
week’s winner, Johnson
swept Pocono in 2004. In 14 starts,
Johnson has nine top 10s and only
one finish worse than 15th. He
qualifies well at Pocono, too. He has
a 7.4 average start.
Kurt Busch, 106.8. This is one
track Kurt has a decided
advantage over his brother. Kurt
has two wins in 16 races, and seven
of his eight top 10s have been top-
five finishes. Pocono is Busch’s
most successful track over 1.5
Ryan Newman, 96.8. Newman
has started from the pole
twice in 14 races and responded
with his two best finishes: a win in
2003 and a second-place finish in
2007. Newman finished eighth last
week at Dover to run his streak of
consecutive Top 10s to five. His
career high is seven.
5 to watch
Kyle Busch, 77.9. Busch has
led the most laps in all three
series this year, which makes this
next stat such a stunner: In eight
races at Pocono, Busch has led two
laps. He is winless with two Top
10s and two DNFs (both for
crashes). One was last June when
he finished last. In the August race,
he finished 36th.
Denny Hamlin, 123.6. Hamlin
has owned Pocono since
twice posting dominant wins from
the pole as a rookie in 2006. He
then finished sixth and third twice
before tumbling to a 23rd last
August. Although winless in 2009,
Hamlin has led 479 laps, fourth
most in the Cup series.
Carl Edwards, 95.7.Edwards,
who has been surprisingly
quiet—and winless—in the first half
of the regular season, has two wins
at Pocono, including last August.
Overall, Edwards has four Top 10s
in eight starts.
Kasey Kahne, 88.6. Kahne
won last year’s race from
the pole and finished seventh in the
August race. He enters this year’s
race coming off successive Top 10s
and trailing 12th-place Mark Mar-
tin by 66 points for the final Chase-
eligible position.
Joey Logano, no rating.
Logano will be making
his first start at Pocono, but don’t
let that color expectations of him
this weekend. Joe Gibbs Racing
teammate Denny Hamlin won his
first starts (and Cup races) and
Pocono, and Edwards won in his
first start there, too. And Logano
has been driving well lately with
three Top 10s in his past five races.
Pocono 500
at Pocono Raceway; Long Pond, Pa.
When: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET
TV: TNT, 12:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 128
Tracklayout: 2.5-mile triangle
Race distance: 200 laps/500 miles
Estimatedpit window: 28-30 laps
2008winner: Kasey Kahne
2008polesitter: Kasey Kahne
Points leader Tony Stewart has 14 Top 10s in 20 starts at Pocono and won in 2003.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average
running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most
laps, lead-lap finish. Maximum: 150 points per race. Must have raced in 75 percent of
scheduled point-paying races.
1. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 105.5
2. Kyle Busch Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing 105.3
3. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 103.7
4. Kurt Busch Dodge Penske Racing 100.4
5. Tony Stewart Chevrolet Stewart-Haas Racing 99.5
6. Denny Hamlin Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing 98.3
7. Mark Martin Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 96.7
8. Greg Biffle Ford Roush Fenway Racing 91.9
9. Carl Edwards Ford Roush Fenway Racing 91.6
10. Matt Kenseth Ford Roush Fenway Racing 83.9
11. Ryan Newman Chevrolet Stewart-Haas Racing 83.7
12. David Reutimann Toyota Michael Waltrip Racing 82.2
13. Jeff Burton Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing 81.9
14. Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull Racing 81.6
15. Juan Montoya Chevrolet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing 81.1
16. Kasey Kahne Dodge Richard Petty Motorsports 80.7
17. Jamie McMurray Ford Roush Fenway Racing 77.9
18. Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing 77.2
19. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 76.8
20. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing 76.0
Sprint Cup statistics
(Through 13 of 36 races)
Sum of driver position on each lap
divided by the laps run in the race.
1. Jimmie Johnson 9.4
2. Kurt Busch 9.9
3. Tony Stewart 10.7
4. Denny Hamlin 11.0
5. Kyle Busch 11.2
6. Jeff Gordon 11.3
7. Carl Edwards 12.8
8. Mark Martin 13.8
9. Greg Biffle 14.8
10. David Reutimann 15.3
11. Jeff Burton 16.2
12. Ryan Newman 16.7
13. Brian Vickers 16.7
14. Matt Kenseth 17.1
15. Kasey Kahne 17.2
16. Juan Montoya 17.5
17. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 17.5
18. Martin Truex Jr. 17.7
19. Jamie McMurray 19.5
20. Clint Bowyer 19.9
Number of laps where driver had the
fastest speed on the lap.
Total green flag laps: 3,483
1. Jimmie Johnson 9.9 344
2. Jeff Gordon 8.8 305
3. Greg Biffle 8.5 295
4. Kurt Busch 7.1 247
5. Kyle Busch 6.8 236
6. Mark Martin 6.2 215
7. Denny Hamlin 4.7 164
8. Tony Stewart 4.0 141
9. Carl Edwards 3.7 129
10. Brian Vickers 3.0 106
11. Kasey Kahne 3.0 104
12. David Reutimann 2.7 93
13. Matt Kenseth 2.5 88
14. Jeff Burton 2.5 87
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2.0 70
16. Ryan Newman 1.9 67
17. Clint Bowyer 1.9 66
17. Juan Montoya 1.9 66
19. Martin Truex Jr. 1.8 63
20. Sam Hornish Jr. 1.5 51
Season to date laps: 4,248
1. Jimmie Johnson 80.6 3,424
2. Tony Stewart 77.0 3,272
3. Denny Hamlin 76.9 3,265
4. Jeff Gordon 76.8 3,264
5. Kurt Busch 76.6 3,256
6. Mark Martin 75.8 3,221
7. Carl Edwards 71.9 3,053
8. Kyle Busch 69.0 2,932
9. Jeff Burton 66.3 2,815
10. David Reutimann 62.0 2,634
11. Greg Biffle 59.2 2,513
12. Ryan Newman 58.3 2,478
13. Kasey Kahne 48.4 2,055
14. Brian Vickers 47.8 2,032
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 47.7 2,026
16. Juan Montoya 47.0 1,996
17. Matt Kenseth 45.0 1,910
18. Clint Bowyer 44.9 1,907
19. Kevin Harvick 43.1 1,832
20. Jamie McMurray 42.4 1,803
Season to date laps: 4,248
1. Kurt Busch 96.9 4,118
2. Jimmie Johnson 92.7 3,937
3. Carl Edwards 91.8 3,901
4. Denny Hamlin 91.0 3,865
5. Tony Stewart 88.0 3,739
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 87.9 3,738
7. Mark Martin 87.5 3,716
8. Jeff Burton 87.4 3,713
9. David Reutimann 85.4 3,629
10. Jeff Gordon 84.2 3,576
11. Ryan Newman 80.6 3,424
12. Greg Biffle 80.2 3,408
13. Kyle Busch 76.5 3,251
14. David Stremme 76.5 3,250
15. Clint Bowyer 75.6 3,211
16. Brian Vickers 75.2 3,194
17. Juan Montoya 75.1 3,191
18. Kasey Kahne 74.9 3,183
19. Marcos Ambrose 70.7 3,005
20. Matt Kenseth 69.9 2,971
1. Tony Stewart 1,853 0 13 0 6 9 0 60
2. Jeff Gordon 1,807 -46 13 1 6 8 0 496
3. Jimmie Johnson 1,789 -64 13 2 6 8 1 617
4. Kurt Busch 1,762 -91 13 1 4 7 0 322
5. Ryan Newman 1,680 -173 13 0 4 7 0 137
6. Kyle Busch 1,634 -219 13 3 4 5 1 789
7. Denny Hamlin 1,630 -223 13 0 2 4 1 479
8. Matt Kenseth 1,625 -228 13 2 4 6 1 178
9. Greg Biffle 1,618 -235 13 0 4 7 2 308
10. Jeff Burton 1,587 -266 13 0 2 5 0 67
11. Carl Edwards 1,582 -271 13 0 2 6 1 54
12. Mark Martin 1,567 -286 13 2 3 7 3 216
13. David Reutimann 1,536 -317 13 1 2 3 0 72
14. Kasey Kahne 1,501 -352 13 0 1 4 0 46
15. Juan Montoya 1,475 -378 13 0 0 4 0 11
16. Clint Bowyer 1,449 -404 13 0 3 4 1 16
17. Brian Vickers 1,436 -417 13 0 2 5 2 59
18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,352 -501 13 0 1 3 1 90
19. Martin Truex Jr. 1,338 -515 13 0 0 3 1 109
20. Marcos Ambrose 1,319 -534 13 0 1 2 2 0
21. Casey Mears 1,306 -547 13 0 0 2 0 2
22. Jamie McMurray 1,289 -564 13 0 0 3 1 0
23. Joey Logano 1,263 -590 13 0 0 3 2 25
24. Kevin Harvick 1,261 -592 13 0 2 2 1 9
25. Reed Sorenson 1,259 -594 13 0 0 1 0 4
26. Sam Hornish Jr. 1,237 -616 13 0 0 2 2 3
27. Elliott Sadler 1,216 -637 13 0 1 1 0 31
28. Bobby Labonte 1,213 -640 13 0 1 1 3 5
29. David Stremme 1,206 -647 13 0 0 0 3 3
30. AJ Allmendinger 1,202 -651 13 0 1 2 0 0
31. David Ragan 1,180 -673 13 0 0 1 3 3
32. Michael Waltrip 1,153 -700 13 0 0 1 2 5
33. Paul Menard 1,100 -753 13 0 0 0 2 3
34. Robby Gordon 981 -872 13 0 1 1 4 2
35. Scott Speed 917 -936 12 0 1 1 3 13
36. John Andretti 804 -1,049 11 0 0 0 1 2
37. David Gilliland 770 -1,083 12 0 0 0 4 1
38. Regan Smith 670 -1,183 7 0 0 0 0 0
39. Joe Nemechek 515 -1,338 10 0 0 0 8 2
40. Brad Keselowski 479 -1,374 4 1 1 2 0 1
41. Aric Almirola 451 -1,402 7 0 0 0 2 0
42. Scott Riggs 448 -1,405 8 0 0 0 3 3
43. Dave Blaney 428 -1,425 10 0 0 0 9 3
44. Bill Elliott 346 -1,507 4 0 0 0 1 0
45. Max Papis 317 -1,536 5 0 0 0 0 0
46. Travis Kvapil 292 -1,561 4 0 0 0 1 0
In eight starts, Kyle Busch has just one Top 5 and two Top 10 finishes at Pocono.
dent Sepp Blatter urged nations
to avoid treating fans like “pris-
oners and wild animals” by
using fences to contain them in
cramped stadiums.
“We have to go to the roots,”
Blatter said in an emotional
plea at FIFA’s annual Con-
gress on Wednesday. “We
have to go to the causes of some
of the tragedies or accidents
that happen.”
No votes were taken to
decide two significant agenda
items—the plan to restrict
clubs to a maximum of five
foreign players in starting
lineups and the idea of lower-
ing the maximum age for the
Olympic men’s tournament
from 23 to 21.
Most discussion centered on
things FIFA would like to
implement down the line,
improved fan and player secu-
rity among them.
Nine fans were killed on
June 1, 2008, at a World Cup
qualifier in Liberia when a
metal barrier gave way in an
overcrowded stadium. On
March 29, as many as 22 died
in a stampede shortly before
another qualifier between
Ivory Coast and Malawi.
Other developments from
the session included:
FIFA will continue
exploring a plan that would
restrict clubs to a maximum of
five foreign players in starting
lineups, but stopped short for
the second straight year of
calling for a definitive vote.
The “6+5” rule has raised the
ire of the European Union,
because it believes the policy
would violate discrimination
laws. Blatter said he would
like to see the plan voted upon
at next year’s meeting in South
Africa. “The 6+5 will come,”
Blatter said. “It’s just a matter
of time.”
Instead of voting to
change the men’s Olympic age
standard, a task force was
planned to further investigate.
Under existing rules, the
Olympics are generally open
to players under 23. FIFA’s
executive committee backed a
plan this year to reduce the age
cap. Blatter said it’s possible
FIFA could see its 28-team
tournament (16 men, 12
women) trimmed by the Inter-
national Olympic Committee
in the future, but insisted foot-
ball would remain in the
The Congress over-
whelmingly approved a
change to FIFA rules about
avoiding outside or govern-
mental intervention with
national federations. Any
nation found in violation now
would face sanctions, even if it
did not seek the outside influ-
ence. A new rule was also
added, saying FIFA’s execu-
tive committee members—
which now include Russia’s
Vitaly Mutko, who has been
his country’s sports minister
under Prime Minister Vladi-
mir Putin—may be reap-
pointed or relieved of duties at
any time.
FIFA seeking better
security for fans, players
After quick goal, Costa Rica coasts
scored 79 seconds in, the second-fastest
goal against the United States in a World
Cup qualifier, and Costa Rica coasted to
a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.
Celso Borges added a goal in the
13th minute, and Pablo Herrera sealed
the victory for 41st-ranked Costa Rica
when he made it 3-0 in the 69th.
“We were under pressure from the
start and we didn’t control the game.
They took advantage,” U.S. coach
Bob Bradley said. “I just don’t think
we were good enough.”
Landon Donovan scored the U.S.
goal when he converted a penalty kick
in the second minute of stoppage time.
The Ticos shredded the defense of
the region’s top-ranked team on the
artificial turf of Saprissa Stadium as
the United States stumbled for the sec-
ond straight time in Central America.
It was a tough start to a difficult
three-match stretch of qualifying for
the No. 14-ranked Americans, who
dropped to seven losses and a draw
in qualifying at Costa Rica. Dono-
van’s goal was the first for the Ameri-
cans in Costa Rica since 2000.
The Americans head home to Chi-
cago, where on Saturday they’ll host
Honduras, the last team to beat them
in a qualifier on U.S. soil. The United
States has won 15 and drawn once at
home since the 3-2 defeat at Washing-
ton’s RFK Stadium in September
2001. Then, on Aug. 12, the Ameri-
cans play at Mexico.
Costa Rica took first place in the
six-team regional finals of North and
Central America and the Caribbean
with nine points, two ahead of the
United States.
The Americans remain in good
position to qualify for their sixth
straight World Cup as long as it wins
its remaining home matches, which
include games against El Salvador in
September and Costa Rica on Oct. 14.
Honduras (1-1-1) has four points, fol-
lowed by Mexico with three, and El Sal-
vador and Trinidad and Tobago with
two points each. The top three nations
qualify for next year’s World Cup in
South Africa, and the No. 4 team meets
the fifth-place team from South Amer-
ica in a playoff for another berth.
Saborio got the first goal when he cut
around Jose Francisco Torres, and then
easily beat an onrushing Bradley and
DaMarcus Beasley to curl a 20-yard,
left-footed shot over goalkeeper Tim
The only faster goal against the
United States in a qualifier was Mexi-
co’s Carlos Hermosillo’s first-minute
effort in a 2-2 draw in 1997.
Esteban Sirias created the second
goal when he moved down the left
flank, avoided a tackle by Mastroeni
and crossed to Borges, who had an
open shot from 11 yards.
Costa Rica 3, United States 1
The United States’ Pablo Mastroeni, left, fights for the ball with Costa Rica’s Walter Centeno, center.
UnitedStates 0 1 — 1
CostaRica 2 1 — 3
First half: 1, Costa Rica, Saborio (Herron), 2nd minute. 2, Costa Rica,
Borges (Sirias), 13thminute.
Second half: 3, Costa Rica, Herrera (Centeno), 69th minute.4, United
States, Donovan(penalty kick), 90thminute.
YellowCards: Fernandez, CR, 30th; Bradley, US, 54th; Klestan, US, 66th;
Herrera, CR, 67th; Diaz, CR, 90th. RedCards: None.
Referee: Neal Brizan, Trinidad and Tobago. Linesmen: Joseph Taylor,
TrinidadandTobago; Michael Ragoonath, TrinidadandTobago.
A: 19,200.
United States: Tim Howard; Marvell Wynne Jr., Carlos Bocanegra,
Oguchi Onyewu, DaMarcus Beasley; Pablo Mastroeni (Freddy Adu,
63rd), Michael Bradley, JoseFranciscoTorres (SachaKljestan, 46th); Clint
Dempsey (CharlieDavies, 80th); LandonDonovan, Jozy Altidore
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas; Junior Diaz, Freddy Fernandez, Michael
Umana, Harold Wallace (Pablo Herrera, 56th); Celso Borges, Esteban
Sirias, Andy Herron (Cristian Bolanos, 72nd), Walter Centeno; Alvaro
Saborio(Carlos Hernandez, 77th), BryanRuiz
With Nicklaus nearby, Tiger stars at Skins Game
DUBLIN, OHIO—Beneath a gray sky
and dreary rain, thousands of col-
orful umbrellas framed both sides
of every fairway at Muirfield Vil-
lage. On a miserable day to watch
golf, no one was about to miss a
single shot.
Not with Jack Nicklaus in his
familiar crouch, grinding over a
birdie putt that everyone wanted
him to make. Not with Tiger Woods,
down to his last shot, delivering
with a 12-foot par everyone knew
he was going to make.
The final cheer and the biggest
prize belonged to Woods.
This might be Jack’s course, but
this is Tiger’s era. In a closest-to-
the-pin chipping contest on the 18th
hole, Woods won the Memorial
Skins Game on Wednesday by hol-
ing his chip from 25 yards in the
“Didn’t surprise me,” Nicklaus
said. “Didn’t surprise him.”
They first played with each other
at Augusta National in a practice
round before the 1996 Masters,
after which Nicklaus predicted 10
green jackets or more for Woods.
They last competed against each
other in the opening two rounds of
the 2000 U.S. Championship,
which Woods won in a playoff for
his third straight major.
“Do you remember what I said
that day?” Nicklaus recalled. “I said
there is no more passing of the
baton. It’s been taken.”
The record still belongs to Nick-
laus, who set the standard in pro-
fessional golf with 18 majors.
Woods is closing in, capturing his
14th major last summer at the U.S.
Nicklaus believes Woods will
break his record in the next three
Wednesday was more about
charity, and the rare occasion to
bring together the best of their gen-
erations. The Skins Game replaced
the traditional pro-am when spon-
sor Morgan Stanley withdrew its
presence this year because of scru-
tiny over corporate entertainment.
“That’s one of the great things
about our sport,” Woods said.
“Guys from past generations—not
just one generation removed, but a
few—can still compete out here. Not
at the highest level, but for nine
holes. A few holes, they certainly
can play with us, and even beat us.”
Nicklaus did just that on the par-5
11th, hitting an 8-iron to 4 feet for a
birdie to win two skins. Woods
answered on the 13th hole with a
25-foot birdie putt to win two skins.
Stewart Cink collected a skin with
a birdie on the 14th. Kenny Perry,
the defending champion at the
Memorial, looked like he would
take four skins on the 18th with a
par save from the bunker until
Woods made his 12-footer.
That’s when the fun began.
Woods was the second to play,
and his chip was landed perfectly
and began rolling toward the cup
until it disappeared, a shot Nicklaus
has seen him make before at the
Nicklaus was next, and the chip
looked good until the final few feet
when it broke below the hole.
Woods thought he would make it,
just like Nicklaus made birdie on
his final hole at the U.S. PGA
Championship nine years ago, just
like the Golden Bear made birdie on
his final hole in a major champion-
ship at St. Andrews in 2005.
“Oh, yeah. Are you kidding me?”
Woods said. “He was eyeing it, too.”
Perry, the only player without a
skin, was last to hit and watched his
chip burn the right edge of the cup.
The other foursome included Brit-
ish Open and U.S. PGA champion
Padraig Harrington, Jim Furyk,
Vijay Singh and Camilo Villegas.
The 69-year-old Nicklaus lived
up to his reputation, grinding over
shots, only taking himself out of
three holes.
“Anyone who has ever played at
the highest level always wants to
play at the highest level,” Woods
said. “I hadn’t seen it since 2000,
but I remember in 2000 it was defi-
nitely like this.”
Tiger Woods, right, and Jack Nicklaus shared some laughs onthecourseWednesday afternoon.
Compton plays near home
of heart donor’s family
DUBLIN, OHIO—If not for a 28-year-
old named Isaac, Erik Compton
would not be alive.
So when Compton had the oppor-
tunity to play on a sponsor exemp-
tion this week at the Memorial
Tournament in suburban Colum-
bus—where Isaac lived before he
was killed in a hit-and-run accident—
it seemed like a fitting tribute.
Compton’s heart, the third that
has beat in his chest, is Isaac’s.
“I wrote (Isaac’s family) a letter
and said that I’d be honoring him
and making this a memorable
week because it is ironic that I do
have a heart from somebody who
is from this town,” Compton said
on Wednesday. “This week I want
to perform as best as I can and
keep that the focus.”
The 29-year-old Compton has
survived two transplants since he
was diagnosed with an enlarged
heart when he was a child. He
received his first transplant when
he was 12; it belonged to a 15-year-
old girl named Jannine.
After a glittering college career,
he turned pro. He played on a
sponsor exemption at the 2002
Memorial and missed the cut,
moving on to the mini-tours to
hone his game.
Then in October 2007 he felt
another heart attack coming on.
His transplanted heart had lasted
16 years.
Enter Isaac, killed while riding
his motorcycle. One life ended,
another was extended.
Compton was in a hospital room
a year ago during the Memorial,
recovering from his second trans-
plant surgery.
He failed to get his U.S. PGA
Tour card by one stroke last
autumn but he’s played in three
events this year, all on sponsor’s
exemptions. Compton’s wife, Bar-
bara, gave birth to daughter Petra
on Feb. 22. Just a few weeks later,
he made the cut at The Honda.
His life is full, and full of
“Right now I’m pretty much
healed,” he said. “Six more months
and I’ll be stronger than I am now.”
He hopes to play well in the
Memorial, which starts on Thurs-
day. Then he plans to meet with
Isaac’s family.
“We’ve had some contact and
they’re well aware of who I am
and I’m aware of who they are,”
Compton said. “It’s a very, very
strong family. They’re a very spir-
itual family. And they’re very
understanding of what I’m trying
to do—trying to live life the way
their son would have wanted.”
Northern exposure
There’s something about a tradi-
tional, tree-linedAmericanMidwest-
“This is what I grew up on,” he
said on Wednesday, a day before
the opening round of the Memo-
rial Tournament at Muirfield Vil-
lage. “I love the tree lines. I love
the bentgrass. I love the fast
greens, the substantial rough. I
just like how you have to plot your
way around it.”
Site: Dublin, Ohio.
Schedule: Today-Sunday.
Course: Muirfield Village Golf Club
(7,366 yards, par 72).
Purse: $6 million. Winner’s share:
$1.08 million.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday,
3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Saturday,
12:30-2:30 p.m., 9:30-11:30 p.m.;
Sunday, noon-2 p.m., 9:30-11:30
p.m.) and CBS (Saturday, 3-6 p.m.;
Sunday, 2:30-6 p.m.).
At Stade Roland Garros
Purse: $21.8million(GrandSlam)
Surface: Clay-Outdoor
Roger Federer (2), Switzerland, def.
Gael Monfils (11), France, 7-6 (6),
6-2, 6-4.
Juan Martin del Potro (5),
Argentina, def. Tommy Robredo
(16), Spain, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Samantha Stosur (30), Australia,
def. Sorana Cirstea, Romania,
6-1, 6-3.
Svetlana Kuznetsova (7), Russia,
def. SerenaWilliams (2), United
States, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5.
Anabel Medina Garrigues and
Virginia Ruano Pascual (3), Spain,
def. Cara Black, Zimbabwe, and
Liezel Huber (1), United States, 7-5,
5-7, 6-2.
Victoria Azarenka, Belarus, and
ElenaVesnina (12), Russia, def.
Hsieh Su-wei, Taiwan, and Peng
Shuai (9), China, 6-3, 7-5.
Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan (1),
United States, def. Anna-Lena
Groenefeld, Germany, and Mark
Knowles, Bahamas, 6-2, 6-2.
Vania King, United States, and
Marcelo Melo, Brazil, def. Nadia
Petrova, Russia, and Max Mirnyi (4),
Belarus, 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 tiebreak.
Legends Doubles
MenUnder 45
Paul Haarhuis, Netherlands, and
Cedric Pioline, France, def. Arnaud
Boetsch and Guy Forget, France,
6-4, 6-2.
MenOver 45
Mansour Bahrami, Iran, and
Henri Leconte, France, def. Peter
McNamara, Australia, and Ilie
Nastase, Romania, 6-7 (7), 7-5,
11-9 tiebreak.
Anders Jarryd, Sweden, and John
McEnroe, United States, def. Mikael
Pernfors and Mats Wilander,
Sweden, 6-1, 6-4.
Junior Singles
Guilherme Clezar, Brazil, def.
AgustinVelotti (10), Argentina,
6-3, 6-2.
Andrea Collarini (3), Argentina,
def. Yannik Reuter (16), Belgium,
6-4, 6-1.
Gianni Mina (11), France, def. Patrk
Brydolf, Sweden, 7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-2.
Daniel Berta, Sweden, def. Federico
Gaio, Italy, 6-4, 6-4.
Richard Becker, Germany, def.
Tennys Sandgren (13), United
States, 6-4, 6-3.
Filip Horansky, Slovakia, def. David
Souto (12), Venezuela, 6-4, 6-4.
Henri Laaksonen, Finland, def.
Renzo Olivo, Argentina, 6-3, 6-0.
Dominik Schulz (14), Germany, def.
BernardTomic (2), Australia, 7-6
(2), 7-6 (6).
Daria Gavrilova, Russia, def. Zarina
Diyas, Kazakhstan, 6-2, 6-1.
Chanel Simmonds, South Africa,
def. Sandra Zaniewska, Poland,
6-4, 6-2.
Ksenia Pervak (3), Russia, def.
Christina McHale (14), United
States, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Kristina Mladenovic (9), France, def.
Nastja Kolar, Slovenia, 6-0, 6-3.
Valeria Solovieva, Russia, def.
Beatrice Capra, United States,
6-2, 6-4.
Bianca Botto, Peru, def. AjlaToml-
janovic (6), Croatia, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
Junior Doubles
Hiroyasu Ehara and Shuichi
Sekiguchi (7), Japan, def. Harry
Fowler and Mitchell Frank, United
States, 6-2, 6-1.
Devin Britton and Jordan Cox,
United States, def. Andrea Collarini
and AgustinVelotti (1), Argentina,
2-6, 7-5, 10-5 tiebreak.
Patrk Brydolf, Sweden, and Radim
Urbanek, Czech Republic, def. Carlos
Boluda-Purkiss and Pablo Carreno-
Busta, Spain, 7-6 (6), 6-4.
Guilherme Clezar, Brazil, and Huang
Liang-chi (4), Taiwan, def. Francis
Casey Alcantara, Philippines, and
Hsieh Cheng Peng, Taiwan, 7-5, 3-6,
10-6 tiebreak.
Timea Babos, Hungary, and Heather
Watson (3), Britain, def. Polina
Leykina and Ekaterina Nikitina,
Russia, 6-3, 6-2.
Isabella Holland and Olivia
Rogowska, Australia, def. Veronica
Cepede Royg, Paraguay, and Camila
Silva (5), Chile, 6-2, 6-2.
Katarena Paliivets, Canada, and
Chanel Simmonds, South Africa,
def. Christina McHale and Sloane
Stephens (8), United States, 6-4,
Ksenia Kirillova, Russia, and Martina
Trevisan, Italy, def. Nathalie Mohn
and Gracia Radovanovic, France,
6-3, 6-2.
First Round
Stephane Houdet (2), France, def.
Robin Ammerlaan, Netherlands,
6-3, 6-0.
Nicolas Peifer, France, def. Martin
Legner, Austria, 6-3, 6-3.
Michael Jeremiasz, France, def.
Maikel Scheffers, Netherlands, 3-6,
6-3, 6-3.
Shingo Kunieda (1), Japan, def.
Stefan Olsson, Sweden, 6-0, 4-6,
First Round
SharonWalraven, Netherlands, def.
Annick Sevenans, Belgium, 6-3, 7-5.
Esther Vergeer (1), Netherlands,
def. Aniek van Koot, Netherlands,
6-0, 6-0.
Korie Homan (2), Netherlands, def.
Lucy Shuker, Britain, 6-0, 6-0.
Florence Gravellier, France, def.
Jiske Griffioen, Netherlands, 4-6,
6-2, 6-1.
First Round
Stephane Houdet and Michael
Jeremiasz (1), France, def. Martin
Legner, Austria, and Nicolas Peifer,
France, 6-3, 6-3.
First Round
Korie Homan and Esther Vergeer
(1), Netherlands, def. Lucy Shuker,
Britain, and SharonWalraven,
Netherlands, 6-1, 6-2.
PARIS—Serena Williams, of all
people, got a case of the jitters.
That was her explanation, anyway.
The 10-time Grand Slam cham-
pion kept finding herself in, then
out of, trouble in the French Open
quarterfinals Wednesday, until
running out of stamina and strokes
down the stretch of a 7-6 (3), 5-7, 7-5
loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova that
ended Williams’ 18-match winning
streak at major tournaments.
“I had an opportunity, and I got
really tight, and I pretty much gave
it to her,” said the second-seeded
Williams, who blew a 3-1 lead in the
third set. “It was like, ‘Here. Do you
want to go to the semis? Because I
don’t.’ She was like, ‘OK.’”
The seventh-seeded Kuznetsova’s
semifinal opponent today is No. 30
Samantha Stosur of Australia, who
defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania
6-1, 6-3. The other women’s semifi-
nal is No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia
against No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova
of Slovakia.
If Stosur-Cirstea was as onesided
as could be, Kuznetsova-Williams
was hyper-competitive and superbly
played. Until, at least, Kuznetsova
took eight of the last nine points,
breaking Williams in the final game.
“Honestly, I think I lost because
of me,” Williams said, “and not
because of anything she did.”
Williams denied she felt fatigued,
blaming nerves instead.
“Maybe I put some expectations
on myself that I didn’t put on myself
initially,” she said.
Roger Federer spoke about dealing
with nerves, too, although his prob-
lems came before he began playing
11th-seeded Gael Monfils of France.
“We’re all nervous at this stage of
the competition. I felt it. Yesterday I
felt it, and I felt it again today in the
warmup,” said Federer, who knows
this might be his best chance to win
the only Grand Slam tournament
missing from his resume. “I was
tired, I was nervous, and I didn’t feel
really good. Then once out on court,
you know, I get my act together.”
Federer beat Monfils 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-4
to close in on completing a career
Grand Slam and earning a 14th major
title to tie Pete Sampras’ career record.
Next up for Federer is No. 5 Juan
Martin del Potro of Argentina, who
eliminated No. 16 Tommy Robredo
in straight sets. Friday’s other men’s
semifinal will be No. 23 Robin
Soderling—the man who upset four-
time defending champion Rafael
Nadal in the fourth round—against
No. 12 Fernando Gonzalez.
Federer is 26-1 against the other
semifinalists, including 5-0 against
del Potro.
“Doesn’t mean because I have a
great record against all the players
left in the draw that, you know, I’m
going to win this,” Federer said,
“but I’ll definitely try everything I
possibly can to do it.”
He is into his 20th consecutive major
semifinal; del Potro is in his first.
“We all know how he plays,” the
20-year-old del Potro said, “and we
all know what he wants to achieve
here now that Rafa is no longer here.”
Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open
champion, is the only member of the
remaining quartet to have won a
major title. Neither Stosur nor Cibulk-
ova has won any singles title on tour.
Still, Kuznetsova has something of a
folding at key moments of tense
matches, includingalosstoWilliamsat
the Australian Open in January after
“Same scenario,” Kuznetsova said.
The Russian led 3-0 in each of the
first two sets Wednesday, before
allowing Williams to come back.
Then Kuznetsova was a point from
taking a 5-2 lead in the second set
when she twisted her right ankle
and tumbled to the court. She
wound up caked with clay, from her
head to her socks.
Kuznetsova recovered from that,
though, and served for the match at
5-3 in the second set. Williams broke
there, and again at 5-5, then served
out the second set with a 114 mph ace.
Williams broke yet again to open
the third set and appeared in control
at 3-1. But leading 3-2, 40-love, she got
broken back, contributing three
unforced errors, including an ill-
advised and poorly executed drop
shot that landed wide to make it 3-all.
Serena blames jitters for quarterfinals loss
PARIS—A look at the French Open onWednesday:
Weather: Sunny. High of 72 degrees.
Attendance: 28,224.
Men’s quarterfinals: No. 2 Roger Federer def. No.
11 Gael Monfils 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-4; No. 5 Juan Martin
del Potro def. No. 16Tommy Robredo 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Women’s quarterfinals: No. 7 Svetlana
Kuznetsova def. No. 2 SerenaWilliams 7-6 (3), 5-7,
7-5; No. 30 Samantha Stosur def. Sorana Cirstea
6-1, 6-3.
Stat of the day: 20—Consecutive Grand Slam
semifinals reached by Federer, a record.
Quote of the day: “It’s my lucky court. Maybe
I should ask themto move tomorrowto this
court.”—Kuznetsova, after beatingWilliams on
Court Suzanne Lenglen. Thursday’s semifinals are
scheduled for Court Philippe Chatrier.
Today’s semifinals: No. 1 Dinara Safina vs. No. 20
Dominika Cibulkova, No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs.
No. 30 Samantha Stosur.
Today’s forecast: Sunny. High of 68 degrees.
Today’s TV: Tennis Channel, 5-8 a.m.; ESPN2, 8
a.m.-1 p.m. EDT.
Svetlana Kuznetsova took eight of the last nine points against Serena Williams.
Mine That Bird 2-1 favorite for Belmont Stakes
NEW YORK—Mine That Bird is
the 2-1 morning-line favorite for
the Belmont Stakes on Saturday,
when Calvin Borel will attempt
to become the first jockey to win
all three Triple Crown races with
different horses.
Borel rode Mine That Bird to
victory in the Kentucky Derby,
then won the Preakness Stakes
aboard the filly Rachel Alexan-
dra, and is back on Mine That
Bird for the 1 1⁄2-mile Belmont.
A field of 10 3-year-olds was
entered Wednesday, with Mine
That Bird drawing the No. 7 post
position. Charitable Man, who
missed the Derby and the Preak-
ness, was the second choice at
3-1. The colt, owned by William
K. and Suzanne Warren of Tulsa,
Okla., drew the No. 6 post.
Also entered, from the rail out,
are: Chocolate Candy (10-1),
Dunkirk (4-1), Mr. Hot Stuff (15-
1), Summer Bird (12-1), Luv Gov
(20-1), Flying Private (12-1), Min-
er’s Escape (15-1) and Brave Vic-
tory (15-1).
Borel guided Mine That Bird to
a breathtaking last-to-first run
along the rail to win the Derby by
63⁄4 lengths on May 2, and the
gelding finished a diminishing
length behind Rachel Alexandra
in the Preakness two weeks later
under Mike Smith with another
come-from-behind run.
In the Belmont, the longest and
most grueling of the Triple
Crown races, Mine That Bird
may be closer to the leaders
because the early pace is not as
fast as in shorter races.
“That’s what we’re hoping for,”
Mine That Bird’s trainer Chip
Woolley said at the post position
draw at Belmont Park. “With his
running style, we’re going to have
to let him run his race. When you
start slowing the fractions down,
if you let him run his same race,
he’s going to move way on up.”
“If we can just be within 10 or
12 lengths of them, I feel comfort-
able he’ll have enough to come
kicking in.”
Charitable Man, winner of the
Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on
May 9, is expected to set the early
pace, and that’s just fine with
trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The
son of 1999 Belmont winner
Lemon Drop kid will be ridden
by Alan Garcia, winner of last
year’s Belmont aboard 38-1 long
shot Da’ Tara.
“I wouldn’t trade horses with
anybody else,” said McLaughlin,
who won the 2006 Belmont with
Jazil. “Our horse couldn’t be
doing any better and we’re very
excited about the race.”
Dunkirk is the 4-1 third choice
and drew the No. 2 post. He’ll be
ridden for the first time by John
Velazquez. The gray colt trained by
Todd Pletcher will try to rebound
from an 11th-place finish in the
Derby. Pletcher said Dunkirk
stumbled at the start, took four or
five strides to right himself and
never got into the race.
Trainer Nick Zito, a two-time
Belmont winner with Birdstone
in 2004 and Da’ Tara last year,
has two chances to win a third
with Brave Victory and Miner’s
Escape. Rachel Alexandra was
considered for the Belmont, but
co-owner Jess Jackson decided
last Friday to pass on the race to
give his exceptional filly a break
after the Preakness—her sixth
straight victory. Borel would
have ridden the filly in the
Belmont, and Woolley would
have had to find a new rider.
“I’m glad she’s not running,”
Borel said.
Mine That Bird trainer Chip Woolley, right, says he expects the Kentucky Derby winner to start quick at Belmont.
The field for Saturday’s 141st Belmont Stakes.
1. Chocolate Candy Gomez 10-1
2. Dunkirk Velazquez 4-1
3. Mr. Hot Stuff Prado 15-1
4. Summer Bird Desormeaux 12-1
5. Luv Gov Mena 20-1
6. Charitable Man Garcia 3-1
7. Mine That Bird Borel 2-1
8. Flying Private Leparoux 12-1
9. Miner’s Escape Lezcano 15-1
10. Brave Victory Maragh 15-1
Trainers (by post position): 1, Jerry Hollendorfer.
2, Todd Pletcher. 3, Eoin Harty. 4, Tim Ice. 5, D.
Wayne Lukas. 6, Kiaran McLaughlin. 7, Chip
Woolley. 8, D. Wayne Lukas. 9, Nick Zito. 10, Nick
Owners (by post position): 1, The Craig Family
Trust. 2, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor, and
Derrick Smith. 3, WinStar Farm. 4, Kalarikkal K. and
Vilasini D. Jayaraman. 5, Marylou Whitney Stables.
6. Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Warren Jr. 7, Double Eagle
Ranch & Buena Suerte Equine. 8, Robert C. Baker
& William L. Mack. 9, Robert LaPenta. 10, Robert
Weights: 126 pounds. Distance: 11⁄ 2 miles.
Purse: $1 million. First place: $600,000. Second
place: $200,000. Thirdplace: $110,000. Fourth
place: $60,000. Fifthplace: $30,000. Post time:
6:27 p.m. EDT.
LOS ANGELES—World Boxing Association
welterweight champion Shane Mosley
said Wednesday that only a few details
stand between him and an Oct. 17 fight
with Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao knocked out England’s Ricky
Hatton in the second round last month
while Mosley stopped Mexico’s Antonio
Margarito in the ninth round back in
Mosley is 46-5 with 39 knockouts,
while Pacquiao is 49-3 with two draws
and 37 knockouts.
But Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum,
was more reserved.
“This has absolutely no credibility to
it,” Arum told The Los Angeles Times.
“Manny hasn’t decided who he’s going to
fight,” Arum said. “It could be Mosley, or
it could be (Miguel) Cotto, (Floyd) May-
weather Jr., (Juan Manuel) Marquez or
(Edwin) Valero. They’re all in the mix.”
LONDON—David Haye has pulled out
of his IBF and WBO heavyweight title
fight against Wladimir Klitschko
because of an injury. The British fighter
had been scheduled to challenge
Klitschko before a sellout crowd of more
than 60,000 at Schalke’s football sta-
dium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on
June 20. Haye’s camp said Wednesday
he sustained an injury in training and
had to pull out. One report said Haye had
a hand injury.
LONDON—Manchester United announced
a four-year shirt sponsorship agreement
with Chicago-based insurance broker
Aon Corp. on Wednesday in what media
reports said was worth more than $130
An Aon logo will adorn the United
players’ red shirts for four years starting
with the 2010-11 season, replacing that
of embattled New York-based insurer
American International Group Inc.
The Premier League champions did
not announce financial terms but British
newspapers reported that the deal was
worth $131.2 million over the four years.
The reports said that is about 40 per-
cent more than AIG was paying and 17
percent more than Bayern Munich’s shirt
sponsorship with mobile phone provider
FORT WAYNE, IND.—Former DePaul coach
Joey Meyer has signed a two-year contract
to coach the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the
NBA Developmental League. It’s his third
D-League job, following stints with the
Asheville Altitude and Tulsa 66ers.
He was a DePaul assistant to his father
for 11 years and moved up as Blue
Demons head coach in 1984, compiling a
231-158 record in 13 seasons. The Mad
Ants are a D-League affiliate of the Indi-
ana Pacers.
Northwestern senior Hannah Nielsen
was chosen the top lacrosse player for the
second straight year. Nielsen earned the
Honda Sports Award on Wednesday, given
annually to female athletes in 12 NCAA
sports. The Australian helped lead her
team to its fifth straight NCAA title. She
had six assists in the 21-7 win over North
Carolina in the championship game.
MLB: Suspended free agent RHP
Justin Mallett for 100-games for test-
ing positive for drug abuse for the
second time under baseball minor
league program.
American League
Chad Moeller outright to Norfolk (IL).
Asdrubal Cabrera on the 15-day
DL. Recalled OF Josh Barfield from
Columbus (IL).
TEXAS RANGERS: Purchased the con-
tract of RHP Doug Mathis. Optioned
RHP Warner Madrigal to Oklahoma
City (PCL). Moved RHP Willie Eyre
from 15 to the 60-day DL.
National League
McLouth from the Pittsburgh Pirates
in exchange for RHP Charlie Morton,
OF Gorkys Hernandez and RHP Jeff
Locke. Placed RHP Jorge Campillo
on the 15-day DL. Recalled OF Brian
Barton fro Gwinnett (IL). Released
LHP Tom Glavine.
Martinez on the 15-day DL. Pur-
chased the contract of OF Emil Brown
from Buffalo (IL).
Hairston on the 15-day DL. Recalled
OF Will Venable from Portland (PCL).
American Association
1B Billy Munoz and RHP David
Signed INF Joe Urtuzuastegui.
BROCKTON ROX: Released OF Roberto
FENDERS: Signed RHP Miguel Flores.
Felix Arellan.
United League
RHP Bryan Heaston and INF Osiel
SIgned RHP Juan Peralta and RHP
Manuel Santillan.
Caleb Rodgers, OF Nick Mahin, RHP
David Dinelli, INF Donnie Ecker and C
Jerry Cervantes.
Women’s National Basketball
MINNESOTA LYNX: Announced the
resignation of coach Don Zierden
to become an assistant coach for
Washington (NBA). Named Jennifer
Gillom coach.
NBA Developmental League
Meyer coach and signed him to a
two-year contract.
National Football League
the retirement of S Rodney Harrison.
Anthony Harris.
Canadian Football League
FB Martin Bedard and FB Benoit
National Hockey League
Tony Granato, assistant coaches
Jacques Cloutier and Dave Barr, goal-
tending coach Jeff Hackett, assistant
to the general manger Michel Goulet
and video coordinator PJ DeLuca.
their affiliation agreement with
Manitoba (AHL).
ENCE: Signed commissioner Richard
Ensor to a contract extension through
June 30, 2012. Named Meghan Ber-
tovich director of women’s basketball
CINCINNATI: Named George Jackson
men’s assistant basketball coach.
English assistant volleyball coach.
N.C. STATE: Named Walter Mebane
women’s assistant basketball coach.
OKLAHOMA: Named Jozsef Szendrei
strength and conditioning coach
and Michael Neal graduate assistant
manager for men’s basketball.
PARK: Named Rick Mischka men’s
and women’s volleyball coach.
TOLEDO: Named Rachel Wagener
women’s assistant volleyball coach.
Mosley says deal near on bout with Pacquiao
Major League Soccer
Chicago 5 1 6 21 20 16
Kansas City 4 4 4 16 16 14
D.C. 3 2 7 16 18 17
TorontoFC 4 4 4 16 16 19
Columbus 2 2 7 13 15 17
NewEngland 3 3 4 13 10 17
NewYork 2 7 3 9 12 16
Chivas USA 7 2 3 24 17 9
Houston 5 2 3 18 14 7
Seattle 4 2 5 17 15 9
Colorado 4 2 4 16 16 13
Los Angeles 1 1 9 12 13 13
Real Salt Lake 3 6 2 11 15 15
FCDallas 2 6 3 9 12 17
SanJose 2 7 2 8 12 22
NOTE: Threepoints for victory, onepoint for tie.
Today’s Game
Chivas USAat D.C. United, 7:30p.m.
Friday’s Game
Houstonat Chicago, 9p.m.
Saturday’s Games
Los Angeles atTorontoFC, 3:30p.m.
Columbus at Kansas City, 8:30p.m.
Coloradoat Real Salt Lake, 10p.m.
SeattleFCat Chivas USA, 10:30p.m.
Sunday, June7
SanJoseat FCDallas, 3p.m.
Chivas USAat NewEngland, 6p.m..
David Haye, center right, reportedly suffered a hand injury that forced himto withdrawfroma fight with Wladimir Klitschko.