June 9, 2005
Alex Rodriguez:
Youngest to reach 400 HRs (by a half-year over Griffey Jr.) 10 more years of 40-plus HRs is a stretch; 700-750, however, isn't out of the question.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
FINAL.  EXAM.

Expectations are so low for the NBA Finals tonight (Game 1, 9 p.m., ABC), Las Vegas is only offering an "under-under."

ESPN.com users know better: More than 80 percent polled say that they think the series either will be "good" or even "a classic."

But as anyone who has been on a successful blind date knows, nothing beats a low bar for a happy ending.

A few close games, halfway exciting finishes, a clutch game-winning shot or two, some moments we can replay on TV over and over...

There's nothing wrong with "Good Enough," if you're open enough to recognize what that means.

Speaking of expectations,
as for those predictions...

Simmons: Spurs in 5.
Stein: Spurs in 6.
Ford: Spurs in 7.

I'm sensing a trend. I recall the media had similarly uniform expectations of the Lakers' preeminence a year ago.

That alone should be enough to send you running the other way.

But I'm with ESPN.com users, who are much more bullish about the Pistons' prospects: They see the series as a dead-even toss-up.

Recent history and the collective wisdom of fans is enough to convince me:

Pistons in 7.

MLB Ace Watch
Dontrelle Willis: First MLB pitcher to reach 10 wins. And, for my money, a much more appropriate "face of baseball" than Jeter.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Michigan: Wins Women's College World Series title in 10th
Nationals: Beat A's to win 6th straight. They're for real!
USA Soccer: Beat Panama 3-0, edges closer to '06 World Cup
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
49ers: *Another* video? At what point will league step in?
Cards: Finally lose to BoSox; there's the choker we know!
Paul Pierce: Subject of trade rumor (to Blazers for pick?)
 
Roy Halladay: Couldn't win his 10th after being outpitched by the Cubs' Sergio Mitre. (Who?! Who knows? But he had an RBI double, too.)

Johan Santana: Stays unbeatable on the road, throwing a 4-hit shutout with 9 Ks. Let's be clear: He's still MLB's best.

Boss on Torre
"The entire coaching staff is in Torre's hands... It's up to Torre. Torre says he can still turn it around. Let's see him do it."

For those who like to read into Steinbrenner's statements (as always, through his publicist), that sounds like a lot more rope to go.

Belmont Odds
Afleet Alex 6-5, Giacomo 4-1 in the Triple Crown's "rubber match," that strrretch of a rationale for caring as soon as Giacomo lost at the Preakness to Alex.

NHL: Cap This!
League, union agree on cap? As expected, the cap would be much tighter than any cap the players could have accepted back October.

(Also as expected, the union disputes the report, for now.)

It also means that we're one step closer to not caring about hockey when the players are actually on the ice, not just not caring when the teams are locked out.

Quotable Tyson
"I'm going to gut you like a fish," he told weekend opponent Kevin McBride at their press conference on Wednesday.

And on that happy note, enjoy your day.

Dee Brown:
In NBA Chicago pre-draft camp's biggest news, the speedy Illinois guard breaks his foot and will likely return to school for his senior year.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
P2: NBA Finals
Stark on A-Rod
 
MLB HR Totals, 2015:
A-Rod
By an infielder, no less!
 
Hank Aaron
Leads for another decade
 
Barry Bonds
At least will pass Babe
 
Babe Ruth
By 2015, Babe Who?
 
Willie Mays
Sosa won't catch him
 

Fantasy owners frustrated by Phillies 2B Chase Utley's uneven playing time rejoice! The Phils traded Placido Polanco; Utley should play daily.

"Ice Bowl" has nothing on THIS: Lambeau Field will host a college hockey game between Wisconsin and Ohio State on Feb. 11. Yes, outside.

It's not complete closure, but ex-Baylor player Carlos Dotson pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing his teammate Patrick Dennehy.

Prime Time returns to Baltimore! Deion Sanders signs up for one more year of madness in the Ravens defensive backfield.

Cam Neely elected to Hockey Hall of Fame. Wait: I forgot no one cares.What a depressing moment to be a Hockey HOF'er.

MLB Draft Nepotism of Day: Mariners draft manager Mike Hargrove's son, Andy, in the 47th. Hey, being a pity pick is better than going undrafted.



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