Last July he was recovering from infected spider bites. This year he's buggingpitchers with 25 home runs and 68 RBIs (on pace for career highs), and he senthimself off to the All-Star Game with a two-out, game-tying, ninth-inning homerthat led to a 19th-inning win for the Chisox.
Those perky tennis twins, Bob and Mike, keep getting identical results: Bywinning Wimbledon they completed a career Grand Slam and won $406,000. It wastheir seventh straight trip to a finals.
Not going anywhere. Avalanche captain and 17-year-vet Joe Sakic inked aone-year deal to stay with the only NHL franchise he's played for, and youngNugget Carmelo Anthony signed for five years and about $80 million.
July 16, 2006
Now playing for the independent Long Beach Armada and charging that baseballstill turns a blind eye to steroids. (He sure got a lot right in Juiced.) Hewas also set to host an All-Star bash in Pittsburgh--with a bikini team. TheArmada gave out Canseco photos to fans, and get this: He even got a hit!
Last July, despite injuries, he was delivering clutch hits for first-placeWashington en route to a .283, 24-homer season. This year, hobbled by injury,he's hitting .211 and stranding runners for the last-place Nats. Guillen to TheWashington Post: "I'm just horse [manure] right now."
After 120 minutes of gorgeous play (page 48), and then that head-butting drama,the World Cup final (for only the second time) came down to a silly shootout.Ditto for two quarter-final matches. Would you settle a bullfight with a gameof pin the tail on the donkey?
Their ranks are thinning: After 22 seasons the Captain, Steve Yzerman, bidfarewell to the Red Wings. (He wept.) And after six seasons as a meanmutha-Piston, Ben Wallace bolted for some Chicago green.
As if a career-low 4.6-point average weren't embarrassing enough, the T-Wolvesbig man is fending off a suit stemming from a March car accident. The suit isreportedly supported by a surveillance video that shows Griffin saying he'sdrunk, and it claims he was engrossed in an adult movie as he drove.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Who is the best hitter you have ever playedagainst?
Barry Bonds, Giants LF ...... 34%
Albert Pujols, Cardinals 1B ...... 17%
Manny Ramirez, Red Sox LF ...... 9%
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 3B ...... 5%
Eight-time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn, who retired in 2001 after 20 years,all as a Padre, was fifth (3.1%).... Former Mariner Edgar Martinez, primarily aDH, was sixth (2.4%).... Yankees Gary Sheffield (2.2%) and Derek Jeter (1.6%)joined Rodriguez in the top 12.... Bonds got nearly 42% of the vote amongplayers 34 and older and almost 54% among voters from the NL West.... KenGriffey Jr. (554 career HRs) drew three votes, one more than retired sluggerMark McGwire.
[Based on a survey of 470 MLB players] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.