April 23, 2003
Jennie Finch:
MLB bringing in Finch to contribute to "This Week in Baseball." As late TWIB host Mel Allen might say: "HOW a-bout THAT?"
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
SMALL.  BALL.

Rumors of the Timberwolves' continued collapse were exaggerated -- as were reports the Lakers could turn it on and off when they want.

KG finally showed MVP fortitude in the playoffs (35 pts/20 reb), but teammate Troy Hudson (37pts/10 ast) was the difference-maker. Minny's unlikely "small ball" frenzy on D also gave L.A. fits.

You didn't think the T-Wolves would get swept at home, did you? But that doesn't mean they'll win another game. Lakers will still take it in 5.

Bucks rebound: Probably wasn't a field trip to Scores that did it, but "club kids" Payton and Cassell combined for 43 to help Milwaukee swipe home-court advantage from the Nets.

Game 7 Madness
After two games ended in blowout, NHL non-fans who tuned in for Tuesday's Triple-7 might feel like they were hyped a bill of goods. But Minnesota's 3-2 OT win in Colorado redeemed the night.

In a flip-flop: The Wild's Manny Fernandez (43 saves) looked like the goalie with 240 games of playoff experience, and the Avs' Patrick "Dare To Say He's Lost It?" Roy resembled the neophyte.

Crean's Surprise
Tom Crean ruined the college hoops coaching-domino game when he signed a long-term contract extension with Marquette yesterday, ending massive speculation he was heading to Illinois.

Who are the new top contenders? No one who gets Illini fans fired up, that's for sure.

MLB SARS Alert
Does playing in a packed stadium count as "mingling with large crowds?" MLB has told 10 teams visiting Toronto through the All-Star break to stay away from ... umm ... people.

"YOU EARNED A BREAK FROM NHL" EDITION
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR TODAY
1 Magic at Pistons: Wallace says "Put up or shut up"
2 Blazers at Dallas: Time for Portland to show up
3 Hornets at Sixers: Can AI top 55?
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 Tyson, Lewis to fight in LA: Yeah, but not each other
2 Underrating the Royals: Soft schedule? So what?
3 Game 7, Game 7, Game 7: Back to Square (uh, Game) 1
 
Instructions include avoiding: Autograph sessions, hospital visits and mingling with large crowds. And you thought Montreal was baseball's Canadian leper colony ...

Trend Watch
Who else is thrilled that "tugging on front of jersey" (read: all about my team) has displaced "pounding left side of chest with fist" (read: all about me) as the player celebration of choice?

NFL Draft
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, Willis: Why wouldn't any team with even a slight RB need take a first-round flier on Willis "Uber-Upside" McGahee, whose public workout yesterday generated massive buzz that he's worthy? The playoff teams can afford to wait a year for his full recovery, and the non-playoff teams aren't improving that much next year anyway.

Meanwhile: The Bengals are closing in on a deal with Carson Palmer. When this guy busts, they can't say they weren't warned.

Stadium Award
Who needs the Sports Emmys: The National Building Museum is giving MLB and the NFL an award for the role of their stadiums in revitalizing cities.

No word, though whether the National Strip Club Museum, National Taxpayer Fleecing Museum or National Scalpers Association will be offering "thank-you" awards of their own.

O.J.: Mr. Personality?
And you thought Anna Nicole Smith was nutty: O.J. Simpson reportedly will star in his own reality TV series in June. Parody ... overload ...send ... email comments ...below. (Collapse.)

Anaheim Angels:
With chance to prove title hangover a fluke, KO'd early by Yankees.
 
 
How many for Iverson? Vote below
Today on ESPN.com
TMQ: Mockery Draft
NFL Draft
NBA Playoffs
 
College Fight Songs Edition
"The Minnesota Rouser"
Wild, T-Wolves get big Ws
 
"Fight On" (USC)
McGahee battles into 1st rd?
 
"Hail to the Victors"
Congrats to NHL winners
 
"Texas Fight"
Blazers' Pippen to play in Big D
 
"On Wisconsin"
Crean to stay at Marquette
 

Mark your calendar on May 11: "90210" reunion show (w/o Donna Martin, btw) ...

Pedro as dominant as ever, but don't sleep on Runelvys (4-0) ...

C-Webb has until ... Saturday?! ... to rehab back. Kings-Jazz series had no momentum to lose anyway ...

Name-brands trump actual qualifying: USGA giving U.S. Open exemptions to seniors Watson, Irwin and Kite ...

Will an NFL team take a late-round flier on Yankees perma-prospect Drew Henson? ...

Felice Bryant, who penned "Rocky Top" -- perhaps the most opposition-infuriating fight song in college football -- passed away at 77 ...


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