4 Leading Off

10 Letters

13 Air and Space

In sports, as in life, Mom is always right ... especially when she's got a hard right hand by Steve Rushin

14 Scorecard

• Bullriding goes for the big bucks

• Can USA Basketball be fixed?

• Selig's pumped-up steroids plan

21 Faces in the Crowd

23 Players

68 Life of Reilly

The author is proud of his body of work, but are those tattoos he is showing us real or pigments of his imagination? by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

64 Baseball

• A run of injuries may signal an end to the era of the dominant closer • Jim Thome is hurting, and the weak-hitting Phillies feel his pain

66 Motor Sports

• With a car to match his talent, Greg Biffle is a Nextel front-runner


30 Let's Get Physical

The critical difference is often made by the players who wreak the most havoc

by Jack McCallum


40 Dominance in Disguise

The remarkable Annika Sorenstam is taking aim at every major LPGA mark

by Michael Bamberger


46 Big Fish

The Marlins' pitching trio of Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett are blowing through the early schedule

by Albert Chen


50 Scoping Out the Derby

Who's the horse to beat in Kentucky? Check our tip sheet

by Tim Layden


54 Cinderella Man

He'd been laid low, but nothing could keep James J. Braddock down for the count

by Jeremy Schaap



INSET PHOTO: Timothy D. Easley/AP

SI Extra

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• breaks out of the gate with complete coverage of the Run for the Roses--read Mark Beech's list of the top Kentucky Derby moments and Tim Layden's analysis from Churchill Downs at

COLOR PHOTOBOB ROSATO SPECIAL DELIVERY Having worked out the kinks in his pitching motion, the Marlins' Dontrelle Willis got off to a 5-0 start (page 46). B/W PHOTOAP (BRADDOCK)