Maybe he wrote Juiced just to make a buck, maybe he sold out some old mates, maybe he's nuts to advocate using performance-enhancing drugs under certain conditions. But his best-selling book probably helped bring about congressional hearings on baseball's steroid use and may be remembered as what broke the sport's conspiracy of silence.
March 21, 2005
Acquired from the Hawks at the NBA trade deadline, the three-time All-Star has goosed Celtics to a 7-1 run, and fans drown out his pregame introduction with cheers. Walker, in the number 8 he wore with Boston from 1996 through 2003, is rebounding (9.4 a game) and scoring (17.8) and, says coach Doc Rivers, "He's probably been our best post defender.... It's nice."
Who says this is football country? The Lone Star State is sending three teams to the men's NCAA tournament (UTEP could feel mighty at home in the Austin Regional), and no less than seven Texas teams are in the women's bracket--including four who will begin play in Dallas. As for the pros: The Spurs, Mavericks and Rockets are all riding high toward the NBA playoffs.
On the same weekend Washington's Huskies steamed to Pac-10 title and a No. 1 NCAA seed--"I'm really hyped," said guard Will Conroy of team's being sent to nearby Boise. "It means the Dawg Pack can go"--a Norfolk terrier named Coco (right) got best-in-show at Crufts, the world's largest dog show, which drew 120,000 fans in Birmingham, England.
Reports in Juiced and the New York Daily News that Big Mac was named by FBI agents as a steroid user may forever taint his summer of '98, when he shattered Roger Maris's home run record. McGwire's place in Cooperstown is suddenly shaky, but we'd respect him more if he finally comes out and talks.
Acquired from the Kings at the NBA trade deadline, the five-time All-Star has done little to boost mediocre Sixers (page 98)--and Philly fans are booing loudly. Webber, who is averaging 15.1 points since the trade (about six fewer than he was scoring with Sacramento), has griped about his playing time and says, "Negativity and controversy ... always follow me."
This is the seat of U.S. basketball? The men's tournament opens without the Hoosiers, Notre Dame (beaten by Rutgers in the Big East) or 7--21 Purdue. Bad news for the pro fellas too: Pacers lost five of eight, and coach Rick Carlisle says of Jermaine O'Neal's injured right shoulder, "I'm starting to be afraid this is more serious than we hoped."
Arizona's Wildcats were beaten by Washington in the Pac-10; Kentucky's got whupped by Florida in the SEC; Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff is blaming his NBA team's ill fortune (injuries, a 12-48 record) on "Satan"; and, in an NFL steroid investigation, nine current or former Carolina Panthers were subpoenaed.