Morning Jolt: August 18, 2011

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Thursday, August 18

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Thome may yet land in a pennant race

The Twins gave the newest member of the 600-homer club a rest Tuesday, and Jim Thome can now turn his attention to other matters. As much as Thome doesn't want to address it, the possibility that he could end up in a pennant race -- with another team -- exists. With the Aug. 31 trade deadline approaching, a team looking for some lefthanded punch could be interested in acquiring Thome for the stretch drive. And Thome wants to win. ... If Thome clears waivers, the Phillies, Angels and Indians could be among teams interested in dealing for him. All three are in pennant races. He played for the Phillies from 2003 to '05, and he broke in with Cleveland in 1991 and was there until 2002. (Star Tribune)Comment

Gabbert on fast track to starting

After five days of practice, Jack Del Rio was gushing over Blaine Gabbert, and his trajectory, according to some, has face-of-the-franchise potential. [Gabbert] downplayed his increased repetitions with the first-team offense, but that is just his style. The reality is, the Jaguars have a very real quarterback competition. David Garrard is still in the lead and will start Friday against the Atlanta Falcons. ... But Garrard's grip on the starting job is not as definite as it was heading into camp. It's become apparent from talking to people in the building and by watching Gabbert throughout camp that he has the ability to be an NFL quarterback -- and soon. (The Florida Times-Union)Comment

Mavs want Stevenson back, too

Getting the band back together? From the moment the team hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy, Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has consistently stated his desire to bring all the boys back for another title run. That message is consistent with what Nelson has told the players' agents, too. Mark Bartelstein, agent for down-and-dirty shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, who proved himself as being resilient, a hard-edged defender and quite capable of draining big 3-pointers on a championship squad, said he spoke to Nelson after the Mavs traded for shooting guard Rudy Fernandez on draft night, a move that, on the surface, said good-bye to Stevenson, an unrestricted free agent. "I spoke to Donnie after the trade and he said that's not the case at all," Bartelstein said. (

Must-See Photo

Ramon Santiago slides safely into third base as Danny Valencia tries to make the tag during the first inning of last night's Twins-Tigers game.

Must-See Video

Roberto Clemente would've been 67 today. Here's a video of the former Pirates great recording his 3,000th hit.

Game To Watch

Eagles at Steelers, 8 p.m. ET

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers

SI Vault: More Red Sox

This Day in Sports

  • 1967 -- Tony Conigliaro's left cheekbone is shattered by a fastball thrown by Angels' hurler Jack Hamilton.
  • 1983 -- Royals defeat Yanks, 5-4, completing the famous "pine-tar" game (12 minutes).
  • 2006 -- Jared Weaver joins Whitey Ford (Yankees, 1950) to become only the second American League rookie to begin a career with nine straight victories as a starter.