WHO'S Hot/WHO'S Not

April 17, 2005

WHO'S Hot

Bearded Ballplayers

After Johnny Damon graced the cover of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (for Fever Pitch), the full-bearded Tiger Dmitri Young (right) and goateed White Sox Paul Konerko (three home runs each), and fuzzy-faced Diamondback Luis Gonzalez (.409 average) made things hairy for pitchers.

Tigers

Eldrick held off scrappy Chris DiMarco to win the Masters in a playoff (page 42), Detroit led the American League in runs scored, and the Indian government finally got serious about languishing Project Tiger conservation program, suspending eight forestry officials for failing to protect the beasts.

Donovans

Returning from a three-month stint in Germany, during which he rode the bench for Bayer Leverkusen, Landon Donovan (right) scored two goals to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Meanwhile, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is in discussions to renew his Chunky Soup contract, and last week John Mellencamp announced he was bringing '60s British pop star Donovan Leitch (Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman) on his latest tour.

Denver

Let it snow! The once-lowly Nuggets had won seven in a row and 21 of 23 but weren't even the hottest team in town. That would be the Denver Pioneers, who won a second straight NCAA hockey title--on the same weekend the city hosted 1,000 competitors from six countries in the third annual World Sport Stacking Championships (left).

WHO'S Not

Beardless Ballplayers

After new Mets manager (and former Steinbrenner employee) Willie Randolph instituted a no-beard policy (Mike Piazza, right, shaved his goatee), his team opened with five straight losses. The always-smooth Yankees opened 3--4 and after watching the Red Sox collect their championship rings on Monday, got pounded 8--1.

Timberwolves

On the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in nine years, Kevin Garnett (left) and the T-Wolves suffered a crushing defeat when they fell to lowly Atlanta 105--98 on Saturday night. Said Minnesota coach--V.P. Kevin McHale, "We have no one to blame beside ourselves."

Mitch Albom

The best-selling author and award-winning Detroit Free Press columnist wrote a story, in advance, describing former Michigan State stars Mateen Cleaves and Jason Richardson sitting in the stands and cheering for the Spartans during their Final Four game with North Carolina. The problem: Those guys never appeared--but the column did. Albom, as things turned out, wasn't even in St. Louis.

Freddie Mitchell

The Philly receiver is usually open wide but seldom wide open. A nonfactor in the Eagles' Super Bowl loss to New England, Mitchell was talking again last week, taking shots at his teammates, including Donovan McNabb, and Pats coach Bill Belichick. "You have to know my story," Mitchell told The Philadelphia Inquirer, "to know my glory." So you say. Now go away.

COLOR PHOTOTOM DIPACE (YOUNG) COLOR PHOTOREX BROWN/WIREIMAGE.COM (PIAZZA) COLOR PHOTOGREG NELSON (GARNETT) COLOR PHOTOJOSEPH LABOLITO/WIREIMAGE.COM (MITCHELL) COLOR PHOTOKATHRYN SCOTT OSLER/DENVER POST (STACKING) COLOR PHOTOMATT A. BROWN/WWW.INTERNATIONALSPORTSIMAGES.COM (DONOVAN)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)