August 1, 2005
Manny Ramirez:
"I'm still here. I'm here to win. I'm here to help this team win for 2005." And apparently win Sunday, when he had the pinch-hit, game-winning RBI.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
RIFF.  RAFF.

We can assume that Rafael Palmeiro wasn't busted for testing positive for Viagra.

But Raffy can't assume that fans will simply buy his protest that he never "intentionally" took the steroids he was just busted for using.

He can't explain himself this time, which is a contrast to his outraged "never-never-never" testimony in front of Congress last spring.

That's what makes this so shocking: Of all the players who testified last March, Palmeiro offered the strongest, most heartfelt denials.

He was in the clear.

And apparently The Clear, or something similar.

Just weeks after ensuring that his name would forever be attached to the remarkable 3,000-hit club (and even more remarkable 3,000-hit, 500-HR club), he's now ensured, intentionally or not, that he'll always be remembered for being the first high-profile bust of the same MLB steroid plan he so strenuously supported last spring.

MLB Trade Dudline
You know it's a lame trade deadline when ... Matt Lawton is the biggest name of the day.

Farnsworth? Groom? Blum? Zzz.

Of course, Dave Roberts was exactly this kind of narcoleptic move last year, and he ended up with a pivotal role in Boston's ALCS miracle.

I'm not saying Geoff Blum isn't the utility infielder to get the White Sox over the top, but only that you never know with these things.

HOF Inductions
Who knew that Ryne Sandberg had so much pent-up hostility? His money quote:

"If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two are more important than knowing where to find the little red light on the dugout camera."

So: Do you think Sandberg will show up at Sammy Sosa's HOF induction? And wouldn't that be ironic, given yesterday's no-shows?

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Vijay Singh: What "Big One"? Holds off Woods to win Buick
NBA in Vegas: Site of 2007 All-Star Game?
Stephen A. Smith: Your favorite yakker debuts his new show
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Dusty to Dodgers: Cubs mgr. denies report he loves L.A.
D.C. Region Baseball Teams: O's, Nats suddenly summer cold
NCAA: Antitrust lawsuit from NIT begins in New York today
 
NFL Camp: Eagles
Will T.O. show? There's a 7 p.m. meeting to kick off Eagles camp, and it's a day-of-game decision whether Owens will be in Bethlehem, Pa., for it.

Considering T.O.'s stature among NFL stars, the Eagles Super-breakthrough in 2004 (and the correlation between them), this is the most dramatic showdown of the training-camp season.

NFL Holdouts
Hines Ward holding out, as expected. Here's the problem: He won't show up at camp without a new deal, but the team won't negotiate with him until he shows up. See the problem?

Another intractable conflict is driving all this summer's contract issues, from Ward to T.O. to Bubba Franks: Players should try to get their best deal, but teams should try their best to not give in.

Fans have limited patience for players like Ward, who have earned leeway from MVP-quality efforts last season. (Limited patience for teams, too: Kudos to the Cards for giving stud WR Anquan Boldin a 4-year extension.)

Joe Johnson to ATL
Hunh?! Of the Day: Rising star would rather be The Man for a terrible Hawks team than supporting cast on a Suns contender?

Amazingly, it's not about the money: The Suns were prepared to match the Hawks' 5-year, $70 million offer.

It's hard to fault his dilemma, seeing how well Gilbert Arenas has done with the same strategy in Washington. (Still: The Hawks?!)

You know the old saying:: The road to a 15-win season is paved with good intentions.

Quickie 50/50: NC
Impressions of N. Carolina:

Hoops Hotbed: UNC, Duke, Wake, NC State forms the best combo of college hoops of any single state. Cult and culture of hoops defines N.C.

Vote Best of N.C. here!

NFL rookie holdouts
Unlike stars like Ward or T.O., rookies like Ced Benson and Pac-Man Jones have no record to justify holdouts (or to earn fan support). Get to camp already.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Clayton on Colts
HOF Roll Call
 
MLB Weekend Results
Giambi Rules
2 HRs Sunday, 14 in July
 
Braves Rolling
18-8 July, 5 up on Nats
 
Padres Sliding
D-Backs 1st in West
 
DC-area Debacle
O's, Nats both stink
 
No More Trade Talk
Pennant races are on
 

More NBA Trade Rumors: Eddie Jones from Heat to Griz for Jason Williams and James Posey? Jerry West likes Jones; J-Will spicy enough for SoBe?

Of course Sean Taylor smiled arriving at Redskins camp on Sunday. You'd smile too if you were on the practice field, not in the exercise yard.

Sure, you know that Sidney Crosby was the No. 1 overall pick of Saturday's NHL draft. But can you name anyone after that? Didn't think so.

Vikings sign WR Williamson: He's no Randy, but maybe that's a good thing.

The Panthers are doing the right thing retiring Sam Mills' No. 51.



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