Keep these snakes off the plane! Arizona won seven of 10 on a post--All-Starhomestand and, led by hitters such as shortstop phenom Stephen Drew (above,.303) and Luis Gonzalez (.394 in July), were a game out of first place in theNL West.
Tour de France historians may judge Mountain Landis's cycling comeback amongthe greatest ever (page 52). Mets outfielder Cliff Floyd could be rounding intoslugging form with 15 RBIs in his last 13 games. And Carlos Baldomir's KO ofArturo Gatti sets up a marquee matchup with--and a huge payday for--unbeatenwelterweight Floyd Mayweather.
Warriors forward (right) told SI PLAYERS (SI, Feb. 13) that if he weren't inthe NBA, he'd be a "third base coach for the Newark Bears." On Friday,the New Jersey native got his wish and was butt-slapping Bears as they roundedfor home.
The Clippers and the Lakers both making the playoffs was the start of hightimes. Led by newlywed Lisa Leslie (left; she married a commercial pilot),L.A.'s Sparks are 20--6 and flying atop the WNBA West.
Nothing artful about this performance: Los Angeles had gone 1--10 after theAll-Star break through Sunday. With slumping hitters like J.D. Drew (above,Stephen's brother; homerless since June 1), they'd scored just 17 runs in thosegames and slipped to 4 1/2 back in the NL West.
A few days after Sammy said he'd come back to the majors for "the rightoffer," his agent, perhaps reflecting on Sosa's .221 season last year withBaltimore, said "he's likely played his last game." Braves fans mayhope reliever Jorge Sosa (no relation, but a 5.61 ERA) joins Sammy on thesidelines: He's given up seven runs and blown three saves in his last fouroutings.
Popular pugilist--whose anemic five-goal season helped keep the Maple Leafs outof the playoffs--remains unsigned, and seemingly bound for retirement at age36, after having his contract bought out by Toronto.
The miserable Knicks--23--59; the ugly exit of Larry Brown; the draft-daybooing of their top pick--have sisters in crime. The WNBA Liberty (and ErinThorn, right) fell to 4--19 with a 37-point loss. Coach Pat Coyle: "We havenot gotten the job done."
Should these players be elected to the Hall of Fame?
FAST FACTS Small percentages of respondents said "Idon't know."... Closer Bruce Sutter as well as 17 stars and executives fromthe Negro leagues go into the Hall this Sunday.... Palmeiro tested positive forsteroids last year.... Rose admitted in 2004 that he bet on baseball whilemanaging the Reds.
[ Based on a survey of 470 MLB players ] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.