June 28, 2004
Carlos Beltran:
Just days into his Astros career, he's already won them a game: Scored lone run Sunday and had HR-robbing snag.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
FREDDY.  NIGHTMARE.

Despite beating the Mets in both ends of a doubleheader Sunday, the Yankees managed to get swept in a talent doubleheader in the fantasy league known as Midseason Trades (Group name: "Contenders"; Password: "BooBoss2004.")

OF Carlos Beltran?
Winning games for Houston.

Starting P Freddy Garcia?
Escapes Cashman's clutches for Chicago's South Side.

Good move for the White Sox? Sure, but -- really -- who cares? The bigger issue is how this hurts the Yankees ... and creates just a little tension between the Boss and his front office.

Make deals because they can?
Not this year: New York covets another starting pitcher; even with a Contreras revival, the rotation is as sketchy as the trade bait the Yankees are offering.

And that's the problem: Years of offseason and midseason deals have left the Yankees with slop for swapping. They may need a starter badly, but no relief is in sight.

Shaq Trade
When asked Sunday where he would like to be traded, Shaq was coquettish. What a good excuse for another round of What He Said, What He Meant:

What he said:
"Everyone knows."

What he meant:
* Anywhere but the Clippers.

* Picture the Duncan-Diesel Dynasty in San Antonio.

* Shaq-Daddy coming to Big D!

MLB Bans Andro
Why do I suspect there will never be an "asterisk" debate over Mark McGwire? There should be. MLB's andro ban was announced way too quietly.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Curt Schilling: 7-0 at Fenway (but won't matter 'til Oct.)
"Simulated games": PS2 thing? No, Wood throws faux 3 IP
The Stadler family: Dad AND son win golf tourneys Sunday
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
D-Backs: Lose for 9th consecutive time, a franchise record
Michelle Wie: Loses Publinx title in the final strokes
Texas: UT CWS L AND Rangers W streak snaps. D'oh, y'all!
 
Technically (if retroactively), doesn't MLB's new andro ban indicate he (sort of) cheated when he hit those 70 HRs? Yes, it's an ex post facto argument, but let's finally lose the mythologized reverence for his "achievement."

A New Contreras
6 IP, 0R, 2H, 10K: Jose Contreras' line in his first start since his family reunion. (OK, OK, it was against the Mets, but doubters lose evidence that he won't be a top AL pitcher in the second half.)

College World Series
Say this for the wearying College World Series format: When a team wins a title 2-0 in a best-of-3, it's undisputed. No denying Cal State Fullerton's bonafides after sweeping heavily favored Texas.

That said: In a perennial plea, the CWS should strongly consider a single-elimination bracket that would help the sport go more mainstream.

ArenaBowl Madness
An over-under of 127 on a game's combined point total is anathema to the NBA, but it's why Arena football is considered a "growth" sports league.

San Jose 69, Arizona 62: Just looking at that score makes you want to see how that happened. (Debate over whether or not the SaberCats are a "dynasty?" Not so much.)

Dream Job Tryouts
There's at least one huge reason to try out for the new season of "Dream Job" -- you might meet ESPN talent exec and Dream Job judge Al Jaffe, who was the true star of DJ's first season.

(Runner-up reason: You might end up on ESPN like Season 1 winner Mike, or hocking dodgeball like runner-up Zach.) See "Q It Up" for a link to the casting info, including tomorrow and Wednesday in NYC.

U. of Texas:
Refused to come on field to accept second-place trophy at CWS, saying, "We don't need a trophy to tell us we're champions." Umm, wrong: second place does not mean champion.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2: Best teams in the world
NBA draft coverage
Dream Job
 
ESPN FFL Mock Draft Top 5
Priest Holmes
He'll slip (as usual)
 
LaDanian Tomlinson
How is he not No. 1?
 
Ahman Green
Now in FFL top tier
 
Deuce McAllister
Notice no Ricky Williams
 
Clinton Portis
New digs, same big stats
 

Thinking about "ESPN" as a baby name? Maybe you too will get your family featured in an ESPN25 profile. Whoops, that idea is taken ...

Wimbledon: That's quite the exciting weekend, watching all those "Wimby Classic" re-runs. Build a freakin' retractable roof already ...

NHL draft: No. 1 pick Alex Ovechkin is apparently the next Young Mario, but with the lockout, he might be the next Old Man Messier ...

D-Rays watch: Lost to Florida, but still America's favorite underdog-done-good. Put Piniella on the AL All-Star managerial team! ...

Jim Thome hit his 26th HR this weekend, and he's got to be the current favorite for the All-Star HR Derby in two weeks ...

The Rumor Mill is buzzing about Kobe leaning toward the Clippers. Just wait until Thursday, when teams can actually woo players ...



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