August 3, 2004
Tiger wins!
Woods-Kuehne come back to beat Mickelson-Daly in the "Bridges" battle. Hey, critics: Tiger's still got it! (Um, if it's an exhibition.)
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
ALCS.  PREVIEW.

Fast-forward to mid-October: Tonight's A's-Yankees matchup in New York is pretty good foreshadowing. Oakland throws ace Mark Mulder; New York counters with Jon Lieber.

In a nutshell, that's why the A's will finally break through this fall -- and why the Yankees were so desperate to get Randy Johnson (settling for Esteban Loiaza, a deal-for-deal's-sake if ever there was one).

In the playoffs, starting pitching rules: It gives the A's a decided edge -- their only edge -- over the Yankees. The Yankees' only solace is that they can afford to buy all the A's starters when they reach free agency.

Kobe Trial Update
Mark it down: The Kobe case will never get to trial.

Astute legal analysis? Nah: It doesn't take a Roger Cossack to read between the lines of the transcripts where the prosecution admits they don't like their chances if Kobe's accuser's sex life was admitted into evidence (which it apparently will be).

New NBA Sked
Xmas Day: Really, the biggest day of the regular season, and the NBA knows how to milk it -- Shaq vs. Kobe in L.A. in the unmatched must-see NBA game of the year.

Best regular season in a long time: Check out the full-season schedule and notice how parity among the top 12 teams creates at least one (usually more) great game every night.

NFL Camping
Where are J-Clay and Len P? Monday, checking out the Lions and Panthers. Detroit would love to be this year's Carolina -- that "surprise" team that comes out of nowhere.

Here's the problem: The Panthers did it with explosive D and solid, unspectacular QB play; the Lions are built on unspectacular D and an explosive offense.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Jason Marquis: Start tonight; 0 runs allowed last 2 starts
Pat Summerall: A treat to see him on NFL Sunday nights
Dave Chapelle: Comedian will cash in on new 2-year TV deal
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Kwame Brown: Chronic dud gets new excuse (broken foot)
Jose Contreras: 22 HR allowed in just 95.2 innings
Bill Clinton: Love him, but he should *NOT* host SNL
 
Upshot: The Panthers have a better chance to repeat as NFC champs than the Lions do of earning that title.

Today: Pasquarelli is filing on the Packers and Falcons. Hey, Len, give us some scoop on which QB will be the better fantasy bet: Favre or Vick?

Smarty Retires
As far as retired jocks go, you can keep coaching career, car dealer and even TV analyst; nothing beats "stud."

Good luck, Smarty: Hope your boys can swim as effectively as you ran.

Clemens' Ejection
Who is this 20-year-old ump who tossed Clemens from the kiddie game last weekend -- and why hasn't he made the talk-show circuit yet?

Get this kid a sunflower-seed endorsement deal or a lower-tier reality-TV show or something. Forget tonight's newest addition to the reality canon ("The Player"); how about "The Ump?"

Trade Results
Two to watch tonight: In the NL, new Dodgers starter Brad Penny (not to mention his GM, Paul DePodesta) is under a ton of pressure to pitch well vs. the Pirates.

In the AL: White Sox starter Jose Contreras will bask -- and thrive -- in the decreased expectations that come with playing anywhere outside New York. (Helps that he gets KC, too.)

ESPN25: Records
High apples/oranges factor: Team marks vs. individual achievement in a season vs. individual achievement in a career? Compare the Bulls' 72-win season to Gretzky's 215-point season to Nolan Ryan's 7 no-hitters? Not easy. See the Big 5 for my top 5.

And be sure to have your say: See "Q It Up" for a link to the ballot. And catch the show tonight on ESPN (8 p.m. ET).

Calvin Harrison:
U.S. Olympic gold medalist (and part of Athens 1600 relay team) booted for positive drug test. Sydney relay gold in further jeopardy of being stripped.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2: Caple on Clemens
Vote: Greatest Records of ESPN25
NBA schedule
 
Greatest Records
Ripken's 2632
Ironman streak WAS the era
 
Bonds' 73
Bumped Mac from list
 
Gretzky's 215
Never to be broken
 
Lance's 6
As recent as ... last week!
 
UConn's 70
The UCLA of ESPN era
 

Antoine Walker is reportedly being traded to the Hawks, where he will get all the shots he could ever want (which is saying a lot) ...

Cuban's no fool: Eyeing the Nets' cost-cutting, he should swipe Kidd, the only player who can vault Dallas into the NBA upper tier ...

The reality (TV) of a swimsuit-model comp is that it's going to be a hit, but there needs emotional drama to go with the skin ...

More NBA: Reportedly, the Knicks will get Jamal Crawford from the Bulls; still think it'll backfire (no mesh with Marbury) ...

Puff, puff, passes on season: Ricky Williams filed his retirement papers with NFL; no word on whether he rolled them up first ...

More Clemens: Starts for Astros tonight, following his weekend ejection; think the ump will make jokes? (Uh, no ...)



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