Sept. 11, 2003
Astros rookie P
Jeriome Robertson:

Hard to dis Dontrelle for NL Rookie of the Year, but with J.R.'s rookie-leading 14th W last night, he ekes onto leaderboard with D-Train and Brandon Webb.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
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Usually, sports are a welcome respite from reality.

Today is an emotional reminder that despite ongoing fascinations with Maurice Clarett, MLB pennant races, college football rankings, the NFL and everything else, sports are just a distraction.

Whatever your perspective may be, don't forget to think about the victims of September 11, 2001.

AL Pennant Race
Next year's AL Cy Young winner: Minnesota's Johan Santana won his fifth straight, handcuffing the White Sox in a 4-1 Twins win -- Round 3 of Minnesota's critical seven-games-in-two-weeks with Chicago, whose division lead was cut to a single tenuous game.

Santana's season stats: 10-3, 155 Ks in 142 IP and a 1.10 WHIP. He's pitching better than anyone else in the AL right now (2 runs or less in seven of last eight starts), including Minnesota's Round 4 problem today, Esteban Loaiza, the current Cy front-runner.

Clarett Watch
How convenient: Ohio State coach Jim Tressel questioned his own responsibility in this Clarett mess after OSU announced a year-long suspension for Mo yesterday. But don't worry: Tressel didn't question himself too critically.

Meanwhile: You'd think the suspension would provide some clarity on what Maurice should do next, but we're still waiting on the NCAA's possible punishment.

Kobe Watch
Prosecution's court brief gave a preview of what to expect from them -- and it'll be multimedia, including photos, a videotaped statement from the accuser and an "electronically enhanced" copy of Kobe's interview with investigators.

1 AL Races: Round 4 of Twins vs. White Sox
2 NL Races: Cubs, Phils, Dodgers need to get off mat
3 Cal at Utah: If you need a college FB fix (7:45 p.m., ESPN)
1 Questions re: 'Zo Mourning -- 25 pts in Wed charity game
2 Pats leaders: Ted Johnson adds injury to Milloy insult
3 Peter Ueberroth for Cali gov: Ex-MLB commish drops out
What does "electronically enhanced" mean? Pop-up video would be the first choice, but also accepting the Queer Eye guys making catty comments on a split screen.

Expos: No Decision
Frustratingly, MLB is taking its sweet time on what to do with the Expos next year. Not that the indecision is keeping Montreal from sick rallies, like yesterday's five-run 8th to beat the Cubs, who pulled Matt Clement in the 6th despite a no-hitter. In a ripe US market (say, like, D.C.), the likeable Expos would be a force.

NCAA Blotter
Refreshing to see usual suspects back in the news: Fresno State hoops gets four years probation for various academic violations. How about giving 'em the Vandy treatment and putting the AD on the same org-chart level as the IM coordinator?

Blind Item
Which NYC-area baseball player was reportedly swindled by an athlete-groupie blackmail scam? The rumored gist is that players get lured back to a hotel room, slipped a knock-out drug, then photographed in p.r.-unfriendly positions with other men.

Bennifer: It's Off
All that pre-nup stuff is old news: Jen Lopez and Ben Affleck actually cancelled their Sunday wedding because of the premarital infidelity overwhelming publicity. But where's the "rain date" info on my ticket ...

Justine Henin-Hardenne:
US Open champ unfairly linked to doping by sore loser Leo Clijsters (Kim's dad) and others. H-H won us over vs. Capriati in semis.
Today on
P2: College football tailgate tour
FAN: Hec and Vic predictions
MLB: Stark's Rumblings & Grumblings
"Zeitgheisman Ballot"
Clarett jerseys
Instant-retro: Get yours
'Sportsman' Deion
Where's "Catch-Fish" dance?
Anything w/Loni Anderson
Music downloads
Next NCAA infraction?
Slip'n Slide
Any p.r. is good p.r.?

Despite his yawn-inducing overuse of the bullpen, Tony La Russa was already a HOF lock before his 2,000th win last night...

Just what an already-chunky Carmelo Anthony needs: The Nuggets are talking to unrestricted eater/free agent Shawn Kemp ...

If Howard Stern is "news," I expect my Pulitzer in '04 ...

Whatever happened to the spring sensation Jiggy? The Ducks announced they gave him a hefty contract bump, as he deserved ...

Just giving you a heads up: Britney's Rolling Stone photos ...

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