May 29, 2003
Ashley
H-A-R-K-L-E-R-O-A-D:

Tennis' "next Anna" beat No. 9 Daniela H-A-N-T-U-C-H-O-V-A (who makes Tayshaun Prince look porky) to advance to French Open 3rd round.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
SPELL.  THIS.

Not much makes for as gripping drama as the National Spelling Bee. (If you haven't seen the Oscar-nominated "Spellbound," it's the most thrilling sports documentary -- that's right, it's sport -- since "Hoop Dreams.") Doesn't make for a bad column theme, either ...

Yankees Theater
Word: A-M-O-K
"Can you use it in a sentence, please?" Baseball conventional wisdom run amok is instructing a Red Sox relief pitcher to throw two intentional walks to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game at Yankee Stadium with the expectation that he'll get not one but two more outs.

Word: D-I-S-S-E-N-T
"Sentence, please?" When Yankees coach Don Zimmer says he's "fed up" with the blame game (mainly at Torre), the drama and the Boss, some may call it dissent; it's closer to "dis'-strategy," to draw heat away from his manager.

Umps in Arms
Word: Q-U-E-S-T-E-C
"Can you use it in a sentence, please?" MLB's Questec ump-monitoring system is "having an effect on the game," one unidentified ump said in today's NY Times, as umps modify their strike zones from park to park (and system to system). So is it man-vs.-machine posturing or a real problem? Call it a power play at the plate.

Spurs/Mavs Game 6
Word: A-S-Y-L-U-M
"Sentence, please?" Dallas' home arena will sound like an asylum tonight -- and that's just Mark Cuban's seating section. That said, Don Nelson better have more scampering surprises ready for the Spurs, because nothing motivates like two days of humiliation.

"CAN THE SPURS SPELL GAAAAACK?" EDITION
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND
1 Spurs at Mavs (Game 6). Only 2 outcomes: Clinch or choke
2 Ducks at Devils (Game 2): Anaheim must re-track
3 National Spelling Bee: Sneak a peek from work
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 Nowitzki's health: He'd hurt skittish-D strategy anyway
2 Honoring Roy: Let's re-focus on Brodeur, Jiggy
3 Mo Vaughn's future: Report he might be be finished
 
Tyson's Threat
Word: S-O-C-I-O-P-A-T-H
"Sentence, please?" Forget Mike Tyson's cuddly turn as co-host on Jimmy Kimmel; he's still a sociopath, telling a reporter, "Now I really do want to rape her" about his early-'90s victim.

Blazers Keep Cheeks
Word: P-E-N-I-T-E-N-T-I-A-R-Y
"Sentence, please?" Putting a new twist on the mocking nickname "Jail Blazers," Portland's most expensive penitentiary (per player/inmate) told the Sixers that they couldn't talk to Blazers coach Mo Cheeks.

Fillibluster
Word: D-I-S-T-R-E-S-S
"Sentence, please?" The country is in economic distress, but apparently U.S. Senators from Big East states don't have anything more important to spend their tax-funded time on than to lobby the ACC not to poach.

Friendly Confines
Word: G-R-A-T-U-I-T-O-U-S
"Sentence, please?" More than 68,000 Michigan State fans will pay for nosebleed seats when the Spartans play Kentucky in December at cavernous Ford Field, in the team's gratuitous pursuit of the college-hoops attendance record.

How to Win Bee
Word: P-R-O-S-P-I-C-I-E-N-C-E
"Sentence, please?" Prospicience was the word that won last year's Bee. By the way, is this a skill that translates? At least let's hope there's a 1600 SAT score in it for these kids down the road.

Reds P Jeff Austin:
Gave up three straight HRs to start game vs. Braves. Second straight start to be KO'd in 1st inn. D-E-M-O-T-E-D to Triple-A after game.
 
 
Can you S-P-E-L-L? Take the SportsNation Spelling Bee quiz.
Today on ESPN.com
NBA Playoffs
TEN: French Open
MLB: No Nolan?
 
"Bob Hope Turns 100" Edition
Entertaining
Day-to-day drama in Bronx
 
Vaudeville
Kind of like Boston 'pen
 
"Road to ..." movies
NBA West runs through Big D
 
"Thanks for the Memory"
Roy skates into retirement
 
Golf fetish
Memorial tees off today
 

If only there was a "National Sports Jersey Bee" when I was 14 ...

If MJ buys Bucks, he'll show up at team offices just enough to realize roster is uninspiring ...

Welcome to San Fran, Coach Erickson: Terrell Owens has no interest in attending your voluntary minicamp ...

Watch the upcoming trial of ex-FSU QB McPherson; as USA Today nailed this morning, nasty things are going to emerge ...

Tiger the Cheap-Tipper makes a rare appearance at a real U.S. comp at the Memorial today, complete with that funky new goatee ...


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