||Double All-Star Carlos Beltran:
With all of 57 NL at-bats (.263), first player to switch All-Star teams in the same year, and yet another All-Star Game marketing coup for MLB.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
The only thing more surprising than the news
that the 500 Club's newest member, Ken Griffey, would
miss the Home Run Derby (8 pm ET, ESPN) with yet
another hamstring problem would be if his
replacement/Houston hometown hero Lance Berkman could
pull the upset and topple prohibitive favorite Barry
Bonds alone makes the event must-see. Sosa adds
intrigue, because he's always a threat to
send out a moon shot like you've never seen. Raffy
Palmeiro provides even more "500" flavor, but I can't
wait for the guest TV commentary from retired "500
Club" members. Maybe they'll even defend their Club
from those who say the 500-HR milestone is "The New
There's a decided "old-school" flavor tonight, but the
Home Run Derby remains -- by the length of a towering
shot over the wall -- the best of all
sports' All-Star exhibition contests.
Shaq to Miami is great ...
For O'Neal himself: Could average 35
For the NBA: Shifts marquee name to
For realignment: "Southleast" Division? No
For Dwyane Wade: Unlike Kobe, happy to defer to
For Kobe: Even more leverage vs. suitors.
For rumor-mongering: Mailman to Miami? Riley to
un-retire? MJ to buy Heat? Franchise moving to
In his first start since May 11, Wood
is solid (5 IP, 1R, 3H, 5K) -- and the Cubs solidify
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Maurice Greene: Wins 100m, plus he's hugely entertaining|
Freddy Garcia: Shining in Chicago; beats old team Seattle
El Duque: Ageless Hernandez shines in Yankee spot start
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Phillies: Tenuous grasp on 1st; looking to trade Millwood?|
D-Rays: Weekend sweep in NY (still a commendable 1st half)
"I Love the 90s": Really ... so soon? Are we all that old?
as favorites to win the NL wild card
(Winning the division? Who cares? There's a new mantra
in town: Just make the playoffs.)
More from Chicago: Spent the weekend there, and
the biggest story is the 25th anniversary of Disco
Demolition, complete with must-see PBS documentary
Schmidt: 11 Straight
Marketing has always trumped
meritocracy at the MLB All-Star Game. In any other
year -- and any other host city -- Jason Schmidt (who
won his 11th decision in a row Sunday) would deserve
to be the starter. Only the pitching calendar and
home-turf advantage gives MLB a legit excuse to use
Houston's own Roger Clemens instead.
The NL's most impressive first-half has
come from ... the Braves?!?! Written off just a few
weeks ago, Atlanta is just a game out of first
in the NL East after taking 2 of 3 in Philly this
weekend. They are MLB's zombies; they can't be
The Tony Stewart dilemma: The same antics that make casual fans want to tune in, like Sunday's nudge that caused Kasey Kahne to crash and resulted in a fight between the two pit crews, makes other drivers want to punch Stewart in the face. NASCAR drivers should be smart enough to know that the double-standard, while frustrating, is a
||Marion Jones and
Track's power couple fizzles at the Olympic trials -- MJ 5th in the women's 100; Montgomery 7th -- and 'roid rumors still dogging them.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Page 2: Most outrageous characters|
|NFL: Offseason overviews|
|Stark: MLB Rumblings & Grumblings|
|Updated HR Derby Picks|
|Darkhorse: Late sub/Houston's own|
|Does he really care though?|
|Slept on, like his Texas team|
|NL is deep, will go deep|
|Just a couple moon shots, please|
It's the "NBA
Summer Activity" Edition:|
Gary Payton wants out of L.A.? The Lakers should oblige
him as fast as possible ...
Kenyon Martin to Denver would make the Nuggets the West's second-best team
(behind the Spurs) ...
Biggest bargain yet? Pistons getting McDyess at 4yr/$23mil -- if
he's healthy. Huge "if" ...
If Pacers-Hawks trade goes
through, Al Harrington will blossom into an NBA
All-Star in Atlanta ...
Next June, we'll look back and
understand that the Spurs signing Brent Barry was the
most valuable move made ...
Fair-weather in Miami: Think Pat Riley might find
motivation to come back and coach the Heat after
quitting on them last season? ...