April 3, 2003
Mario Lemieux:
Last game? Maybe. If so, a classic way to go out: Super M set up the Pens' game-winner with 10 seconds to go.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
THROW.  BACK.

After becoming the youngest to reach 300 HRs last night (topping Jimmie Foxx and Ken Griffey Jr.), A-Rod's place in the Pantheon of sluggers is not the question of immediate concern. Real issue: Which Anaheim idiot fan threw the valuable ball back on the field?

Key lesson: Always bring a crappy spare to trick the "throw-it-back!" bleacher fools if you catch a visiting player's dinger.

Jeter's Replacement
Don't be calling Jeter "Wally Pipp" just yet: But sub Erick "No, Not Danny" Almonte hit a HR and played great D in his debut.

Meanwhile: DJ's long-term status will become less cloudy after an MRI this afternoon.

Artest Watch
But if they suspend him, he can't entertain us: Ron "Anger Management" Artest might be looking at a few more games off after flipping a double-bird to Cleveland fans last night.

But wait, there's more: Artest also shoved Ricky Davis, pushed a teammate who tried to restrain him and knocked away his coach's arm during his cool-down. Give him credit for a "triple-trouble."

UNC Coach Search
Could it be that UNC is heeding the Quickie's advice from yesterday to look out of the family for a new coach? George Karl said he hasn't been contacted by his alma mater about the job.

Meanwhile: Larry Brown said he has no plans to leave the Sixers. Given Brown's history, though, that's a loaded statement.

"WILL EXPLORERS OUTDRAW ROYALS?" EDITION
CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE IN PLAY:
1 Kevin Brown renaissance? Won last night vs. 'Zona
2 Modano's injury: Dallas C left game last night
3 NIT title on the line: Quickie pick -- Johnnies
CONVERSATION TOPICS THAT ARE SO OVER:
1 Ripping on Red Sox pen: They got it done last night
2 Mike Bordick's errorless streak (110 gms) finito
3 In case you didn't hear, Jen Garner split with hubby
 
Fire the Laser
For you conspiracy theorists, the best evidence that Dr. Evil is on the NFL payroll is that the league is looking into a first-down laser, visible on the field to players and fans.

Three problems: It's expensive, it's creepy and it eliminates the "they're bringing out the chain gang, I've got 20 seconds to run to the kitchen" opportunities.

LeBron Lottery
Fitting its prize, the NBA LeBron lottery (uh, "draft lottery") will be on network TV on May 22 ... in primetime, no less.

Talk about reality TV: It's Survivor, Fear Factor, Am I Hot?, Mr. Personality and American Idol all rolled into one.

Kournikova No. 1
King James is sports royalty, but Queen Anna rules: LeBron as NBA top pick is the biggest slam-dunk lock in sports-draft history, right?

Wrong: Kournikova assumed the top spot when she went No. 1 to the Kansas City Explorers in Wednesday's World TeamTennis draft. If the NFL is Mardi Gras, WTT (dating back to the swinging disco era) is a '70s key party.

Where was the Hartford FoxForce with the deal to trade up?

Atlanta Hawks Ex-GM Pete Babcock:
Fired yesterday. What did him in? Terrible drafting? Bad coaching hire? Perhaps mismanaged expectations via "playoff-or-payoff" pledge.
 
 
Home runs: To keep or throw back? Vote below
Today on ESPN.com
Jocks to GIs
NCAA Tourney
Women's Final Four
 

How quickly will it take critics to sic new UCLA coach Ben Howland? Clock starts ... now ...

Can't believe the ho-hum Bucks are now 2 games up on East's final playoff spot, and MJ on outside looking in ...

Well, that coveted Penn State hoops-coaching job is off the market. Try to hide your disappointment ...

MLB players union decides today on owners' proposal to give All-Star-winning league home-field for World Series ...

"Hard to see Emmitt in red," Jerry Jones said. Will be harder to see him outgain Cowboys RBs this season ...

Closely watching that Lakers at Mavs game tonight ...


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