April 27, 2005
Alex Rodriguez:
Who's your No. 1 overall fantasy pick NOW?! A-Rod clobbers 3 HR and collects 10 RBI, becoming the first to have that many in Yankee Stadium.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Are fans so sure that the NFL doesn't have a steroid problem that the league's hearings in front of Congress today register barely a blip on the radar?

Or are fans so cynical that performance enhancers (not just 'roids, but undetectable stuff like HGH) are so ingrained as a part of pro football that fans can't be bothered?

Congress sure seems ready to give the NFL a pass.

Unlike the MLB hearings, Congress didn't subpoena a single current player, even though there are enough high-profile examples to find someone to testify.

Unlike the MLB hearings, Congress isn't parading a panel of parents whose kids were hurt by steroid use, even though it defies logic that 'roids aren't a bigger problem in high school football than baseball.

Unlike the MLB hearings, Congress won't spend hours browbeating league officials over lax policy; expect unending praise for the NFL's aggressiveness, especially relative to MLB.

(In fact, the NFL is busting out a new, even stronger element, allowing it to triple player testing in a single year.)

If nothing else, I would have expected Congress to seize the hot topic and trot out one of the reportedly seven percent of junior high girls who have dabbled in 'roids (according to an AP story), either for sports help or poor body image.

While Congress squabbles and preens like the worst kind of middle-school cliques, the NFL will skate on the tough questions, like:

"Do you think steroid use has anything to do with the staggering premature death rate of your ex-players?"

Phil Jax Watch
If it wasn't for the Knicks' horrible payroll and equally bad management, it's reasonable to think Phil Jackson would coach there.

But that albatross of "IF" means that should Jackson return at all, it will likely be to the Lakers, where he at least it's the devil he knows.

NBA Tuesday
Holding HCA: Don't write off the Nets or Sixers until they get their two games at home ...

John Smoltz: Gets first W as a starter in 2005 (d. Pedro)
Michelle Wie: Could play in Brit Open -- if she qualifies
NFL Draft: Highest-rated draft in broadcast history (Wow!)
David Wells: Joins "Who Else Saw This Coming?" injury list
Chad Fox: Go figure! A Cubs pitcher hits the 15-day DL
More Closer Injuries: Isringhausen and Benitez hurt, too
Oh, who am I kidding? The Heat and Pistons look like they're on a collision course for the Best. East Finals. Ever.

Another night, another star in Miami: With Shaq limited, Zo Mourning had the best game of his comeback: 21 and 9 in only 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Sonics took a 2-0 lead on Sacto and look like the team that started the season. Jerome James (19/9) had another big game.

NBA Tonight
DEN-SA: The Nuggets are playing the "disrespect" card, which seems totally ludicrous given the way they beat the Spurs in Game 1.

WAS-CHI: Someone get Gilbert Arenas a Pampers so he can keep up with Ben Gordon before the Wizards' playoff run is over before it starts.

MEM-PHX: Who needs playoff defense? The Suns may allow more than 100 points in every playoff game, yet still continue to win.

BCS Update
New game: Count the problems with the BCS's newest proposed solution!

The BCS will (1) merely replace the media poll in its (2) same-old three-piece formula (along with (3) the coaches poll and (4) the computers) with a (5) new arcane poll.

The new poll will possibly be made up of (6) ex-coaches and (7) ex-administrators (and, in one report, (8) players).

So the BCS apparently (9) rejected an NCAA Tournament-style committee, even though fans have come to accept that format.

And they apparently have (10) rejected the longtime Quickie idea to allow fans themselves to have a say as part of the poll.

BCS Postscript
Funniest plan detail: The BCS honcho said they would use a "code of ethics," which includes mandating that voters actually watch games and not have colleagues fill out their ballots for them.

Stop and think about that.

It begs a huge question: If the BCS feels it needs an ethics code, does that mean that they have evidence of participants NOT actually watching games or filling out ballots themselves?

Everyone suspected this was happening; this "ethics code" talk just confirms that it's an actual problem. What a farce.

Jamal Strong:
One more for MLB's "10 Days Suspension" List (aka Best. Euphemism. Ever.) Once again, it's a player no one has heard of (a minor-leaguer, in fact).
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
BBTN Extra
Why your MLB team won't win
"Saw This Coming" MLB Injuries
Nomar Garciaparra
So much for one-year deal
David Wells
Theo should have known...
Magglio Ordonez
He's no Vlad; out 'til July
Chad Fox
The way Dusty misused him?
Bobby Crosby
ROY? Knew it couldn't last

Always Pats-Watching: Signed Steelers ex-pat CB Chad Scott; talking with Seahawks ex-pat LB Chad Brown.

Legal File: Don't discount the huge impact of the decision to award benefits to Mike Webster's estate based on damage suffered during his NFL career.

Johan Watch: Wins his 17th straight decision in a gem (1 R, 8 IP, 8 K) over the Royals, 2-1.

Meanwhile, Harden vs. Beuhrle turned into a double-ND; the game, however, was an exciting one, with the A's snapping Chicago's 8-game win streak.

Police Blotter: Packers RB Ahman Green was arrested Monday night for disorderly conduct related to an incident at Green's house.

The NCAA is going to carefully examine American Indian nicknames, mascots and logos, and 30 colleges are on the "review" list. This is a good step.

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