Newbies (14 AL, 15 NL) will be a much-needed injection of star-making for a game usually far too dependent on undeserving "rep" players.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Early spin on this Kobe Bryant story
proves that his previously ripple-less off-court
profile translates into what the Quickie calls
"Kobenefit of the doubt."
Consider how this would be playing if he played for
the Blazers or was nicknamed "AI." Instead, the only
rush to judgment is "Couldn't be!"
For now, his legal snafu is a "perception" story
only. Kobe's manicured public image has already
shown signals of correlation to personal credibility;
less important -- but worth tracking -- will be any
correlation between this story's perception and his
And critics complain about fan
voting? Rookie-hating NL players and
favorites-playing NL manager Dusty Baker snubbed
Marlins pitching phenom (and national sensation)
Dontrelle Willis from the NL All-Star roster. That's
But the most baffling (and typical MLB)
travesty is that MLB left Willis -- who more than doubles Marlins ticket sales
when he pitches ... the Marlins!!! -- off the fans'
"32nd All-Star" ballot (open through Wed.), the goal
of which has apparently changed from "right the
wrongs!" to "add insult to injury!"
Instead, the MLB geniuses opted to include
uninspiring hitters only as 32nd man choices, rather than "best player
Can you blame him? Rising star Tony
Parker wants out of San Antonio if the Spurs import
Jason Kidd, the NY Times reports. The Spurs, though,
would get huge trade value for Parker (who apparently
doesn't understand that his success is largely thanks
to Tim Duncan).
Do they read the Quickie? If the
suddenly ring-conscious Karl Malone and Gary Payton
||"NULL-STAR SOSA LEARNS KARMA IS A BOOMERANG"
|THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND|
1 Women's U.S. Open: 3-way, Annika-free, 18-hole playoff|
2 Red Sox at Yankees: See two snubbed Stars (Pedro,
3 Vote for MLB "32nd" All-Star (Write in Dontrelle!)
|THE SIT-DOWN: DROP THESE FROM YOUR HOT LIST|
1 Piniella's blond look: From "Lou 'Do" to "Lou, Don't!"|
2 Michelle Wie's daddy caddy: He wisely stepped aside
3 T'wolves 'big' summer move: Juwan Howard? No chills here
Lakers together on the cheap, L.A. would have
the best foursome to ever take the court in the same
Payton's other choices: Blazers and Heat, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Those two teams
indicate that Payton may not be completely interested
in playing for a title contender.
LPGA Teen Watch: While watching the
U.S. Women's Open from the Wie Bandwagon, who knew
that the 18-year-old Song Sisters (particularly Aree, who finished fifth)
would end the weekend as the sensation? The LPGA needs
a teen exhibition ASAP.
And on men's side: Think Tiger's ready for the
British Open? He won the Western (yet again), posting
a ridiculous 21-under.
"Venus vs. Serena" has lost something,
mainly because Serena doesn't seem nearly as intent on
destroying her opponent when it's her sister as when
it's a non-sibling rival like Kim Clijsters.
* The Pirates' RP Mike Williams is quite
possibly the least qualified All-Star reserve ever ...
* If Atlanta has such apathetic fans, how do they
land three starters? ...
* Think relievers are overrated? They make up half the
AL pitchers, leaving a bunch of great starters at
* Has there ever been a more appropriate solo rep
than Armando Benitez for the Mets? ...
* Albert Pujols overtaking Sammy Sosa for the third
NL starting OF spot proves that we fans actually know
what we're doing.
Don't know what's worse: That he was injured riding an
ATV (learn *nothing* from Jay Williams?), or that he
did it at the university president's house.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|P2: Pac Bell ratings|
|MLB: All-Star controversy|
|"Barry White" Edition|
|Can't Get Enough|
|Seven Atlanta All-Stars?|
|Japanese fans love Matsui|
|First, Last, Everything|
|Managers still rule picks|
|Jeter, Tejada didn't have it|
|Just a Little More|
|Vote for 32nd A-S player|
If Roger Federer was American, he'd be a sensation.
But he's not, so wake me when Roddick makes a Slam
Could it actually be that NASCAR's best hope to end
the "Axis of DEI-vil" is a rookie named Biffle? ...
Forget Lance: Isn't the real miracle of the Tour de
France that rack-ups like yesterday's don't happen
every day? ...
Lacking the crystallizing visual of Sosa's corked bat, the Kobe story won't likely explode as
intensely, but will linger longer ...