by Thomas Neumann
Also Receiving Votes
- Michael Ray Richardson no longer known only for drug problems
- Diego Maradona arrives early for bimonthly hospitalization
- Bettors exult: U.S.-Guatemala exhibition total stays under one-half goal
- Odds on who will eventually succeed George Steinbrenner as the Yankees' boss:
- 10 to 1 Gene Michael
- 5 to 1 Randy Levine
- 2 to 1 Isiah Thomas
Not In This Issue
- Judge rejects Peyton Manning's request of name change to Baskerville Holmes
- UFC in discussions to sign Ukrainian swimming coach
- Newest athlete pen pals: Ugueth Urbina and Tank Johnson
- REASONS WE COULDN'T SLEEP LAST NIGHT
NOMAR'S WIFE IS A SOCCER MOM
Soccer star Mia Hamm gave birth to twin daughters Wednesday as her husband, Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, flew home from spring training in Florida. Garciaparra wasn't able to make it back to California in time for the births, but he was able to experience the event by phone. Mother and daughters are doing well, although dad strained an oblique hanging up the phone.
YANKEES' FUTURE CLOUDED BY UNCERTAINTY
George Steinbrenner's daughter Jenny is divorcing her husband of 23 years, Steve Swindal, the man George once said would succeed him as head of the Yankees. Let's squash this right now: There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that The Boss is already trying to set up Jenny on a blind date with Billy Beane.
CUBS INTENT ON ENDING CHAMPIONSHIP DROUGHT
The Pacific Coast League championship drought, that is. Chicago has optioned oft-injured star right-hander Mark Prior to Triple-A Iowa, where he can anchor a pitching staff trying to win the team's first championship since raising the American Association flag in 1993.
O.J. MAYO IS SO READY FOR THE NBA
Prep star O.J. Mayo, set to play at USC next season, showcased his talents at the McDonald's All-American Game in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday night. Judging by his 4-for-17 shooting from the field, he'd fit right in as a pro, if not for the NBA age minimum.
JAZZ CLINCH NBA'S NORTHWEST DIVISION
Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur combined for 48 points and 23 rebounds as Utah clinched its first division title since 1999-2000. Also notable were the five blocks by Andrei Kirilenko. We mention this because we love his "AK47" nickname, although we thought Stephen Jackson had dibs on it.
NOWITZKI DINGS ANKLE AS MAVS WIN NO. 60
Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki tweaked his ankle in Dallas' Wednesday night win over the Bucks, the team that drafted him in 1998. In an unrelated story, Robert "Tractor" Traylor, the player the Mavs sent to Milwaukee in the draft-day swap for Nowitzki, sprained a wrist flipping burgers at a Detroit-area restaurant.
MICHAEL PHELPS IS UNBEATABLE
Phelps scored his fourth gold medal and blazed to a third world record in as many days at the world swimming championships Thursday in Melbourne, Australia. Phelps seems to have his competitors' respect, although one accused him of cheating -- claiming the 21-year-old American star rarely responds "Polo" when the "Marco" command is given.
Thursday March 29
NIT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, 7 PM, ESPN
Two top seeds, West Virginia and Clemson, battle for the tournament title -- after ousting the Celtics and Grizzlies, respectively, in the semifinals.
WORLD'S UGLIEST DOG COMPETITION, 8 PM, ANIMAL PLANET
Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter is considering entering his pit bull and mastiff no wait, that's the World's Strongest Dog Competition.
PROS VS. JOES, 10 PM, SPIKE
Contestants square off against Randall Cunningham in a football drill and Tim Hardaway in a name-calling contest.