Piniella must be Spanish for spoiler. Tampa Bay wrapped up a 9--4 home stand--its best ever--with a three-game sweep of the Angels. The Rays (27--15 in the second half) will have a lot to say about who makes the AL playoffs. In September they'll face the Red Sox, Yankees, Angels and Indians.
It was a just-what-the-doctor-ordered week for the Canadian pharmaceutical tycoon and Ottawa Senators owner. Season-ticket sales soared after Ottawa traded for former NHL rookie of the year Dany Heatley on Aug. 23. And four days later Melnyk's colt Flower Alley came from off the pace to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
He said he no longer smokes pot and that there isn't "anything [he'd] rather be doing" than playing football. Then the Dolphins' running back showed some of his old form on the field, rushing for 59 yards in two quarters--his best preseason performance--in a win over Tampa Bay.
The Argentine soccer hero came clean, admitting that his 1986 World Cup goal against England was punched in by him and not, as he'd claimed, by "the Hand of God." The confession came on his new talk show, a hit in Argentina. In the pursuit of ratings, honesty is the best policy.
A 1--6 skid dropped them 7 1/2 games back in the NL wild-card race; by the weekend the Cubbies were raising a white flag. They traded leftfielder Matt Lawton to make room for prospects, and on Monday pitcher Kerry Wood scheduled season-ending shoulder surgery for this week.
The Boss's colt Bellamy Road, the Kentucky Derby favorite who missed the Preakness and the Belmont with a leg injury, blew a three-length lead and finished second in the Travers. That same day Steinbrenner's other hobby, the Yankees, underwhelmed fans by trading for Lawton, who's hitting .266 and went 1 for 6 in his first two games in pinstripes.
The former Vikings running back said in an interview that he smoked marijuana during his NFL career and still enjoys the occasional puff. The admission may have cost him a chance at a TV gig: Newsday reported that the NFL Network, fearing that he was sending the wrong message to viewers, withdrew a job offer for this season.
Mick and Keith
The Stones gave fans satisfaction at Fenway Park last week, but the groundskeepers had 19 nervous breakdowns. The Red Sox delayed last Friday's game by an hour to give the crew time to replace 40,000 square feet of sod destroyed by the wrinkly rockers' stage.