Who's Hot/Who's Not

August 07, 2005

WHO'S HOT

Cardinals
In St. Louis the Redbirds are 33-20 at home and will play most games at Busch Stadium over the next few weeks, trying to pad a 9½-game division lead. And could times be changing in Arizona? Some NFL experts have the perennial doormats (LIFE OF REILLY, Aug.1) winning the NFC West--and the team is suddenly spending, locking up wide receiver Anquan Boldin (above) through 2010.

Ryne and Wade
On a gorgeous day at Cooperstown (84°, blue sky), the former infielders got their due: During Sandberg's induction speech the crowd shouted, "We love you, Ryno." They loved Boggs, too, who broke down on the podium.

Vijay Singh
With Tiger coming on, Singh calmly defended his Buick Open title. He matched Woods with his fourth Tour victory this season and moved to within $185,000 of the money lead. Said Tiger, "He's playing beautifully."

Jack Johnsons
J.J. the boxer may be on the verge of receiving a posthumous pardon for the once unpardonable sin of taking his white girlfriend across state lines. The pro surfer and musician J.J. has made big waves this summer with a tour and his No. 2 album, In Between Dreams. The Michigan puckster J.J. went No. 3 to the Hurricanes in the NHL draft--highest ever for a Wolverine.

WHO'S NOT

Bears
The remake of the Bad News Bears hasn't been good news at the box office despite solid reviews. And the remaking of Chicago's NFL team is off to a rough start: Top pick, running back Cedric Benson (right), isn't in camp, and talks had stalled. Said coach Lovie Smith, "There's no way for me to sugarcoat it ... he needs to get into camp."

Craig Stadler
Walrus had a three-stroke lead at the Senior Open before he shot a double bogey on 9, and went seven over on the final 10 to limp home four strokes back. Said Stadler, "Everything I did was wrong."

Bob Goodenow
Rough times. NHL players' union boss was forced to swallow a salary cap; he alienated his constituents (he was removed from final negotiations with the league), and he lost his job--resigning under pressure last week. The resignation, he said, "is the right step at the right time."

Orioles
The Rafael Palmeiro steroid suspension (page 16) is the worst in a series of revoltin' developments. Unable to land pitcher A.J. Burnett or slugger Phil Nevin by the trade deadline, the O's lost 14 of their last 16 to fall 8½ games back. After Sunday's 9-4 loss to the White Sox, manager Lee Mazzilli opined, "You have to stay positive. This too shall pass."

SI PLAYERS POLL

Which current major leaguer would make the best manager?
[ Based on a survey of 450 MLB players ]

Mike Matheny 10%
Giants catcher

Brad Ausmus 3%
Astros catcher

Jason Varitek 4%
Red Sox catcher

Omar Vizquel 3%
Giants shortstop

For an expanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/scorecard.

FAST FACTS
The only noncatchers among the top eight were Vizquel and Padres second baseman Mark Loretta, who was fifth.... Eleven of the 30 current managers played some catcher in the big leagues.... Greg Maddux (1.5%) got the most votes for a pitcher.

COLOR PHOTOPAUL CONNORS/AP (BOLDIN) COLOR PHOTOFRED VUICH (SINGH) COLOR PHOTOSTEPHEN CARRERA/SPORTPICS (BENSON) COLOR PHOTOWARREN TODA/EPA (GOODENOW) COLOR PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (MATHENY) COLOR PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (VARITEK)

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)