By the U.S., its Davis Cup match against the Czech Republic. Andy Roddick (above) clinched the win with his second singles victory, a four-set win over Tomàs Berdych that ran Roddick's career record to 8--0 in deciding matches. "It is one of his biggest wins, certainly in Davis Cup—one of his most impressive wins," said U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe. The U.S. will return home to face Spain in the quarterfinals in April in a rematch of the 2004 final, which was won by Spain.
To skip the 2007 Tour de France, disgraced reigning Tour champ Floyd Landis. Landis, who tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after the 17th stage of last year's race, asked the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) to postpone his hearing until after he is through defending himself before the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. (Landis wrote that having two cases open simultaneously was "complicating matters.") In return for that consideration, Landis promised not to race in France in 2007. Landis, who faces a two-year ban, will appear before USADA on May 14; the AFLD will hold its hearing in June. Last Thursday, AFLD president Pierre Bordry said that if Landis "didn't act today, we would start the procedure immediately."
By Eagles coach Andy Reid, a leave of absence to deal with family matters. Reid's two oldest sons were involved in separate incidents in suburban Philadelphia on Jan. 30. Garrett Reid, 23, tested positive for heroin after causing a traffic accident. And Britt Reid, 21, is accused of pointing a gun at a motorist during a traffic dispute. (Garrett has not yet been charged; Britt faces several charges, including carrying a firearm without a license, a felony.) Reid is expected to rejoin the team in a month, meaning he is likely to miss the NFL combine and the start of free agency.
Guilty, to felony and misdemeanor charges of shipping codeine-based cough syrup, Chargers safety Terrence Kiel. The agreement requires that he perform 100 hours of community service, including talking to kids about the dangers of drugs. (Codeine-based cough syrup is used to make a concoction known as "lean" that sells on the street for several hundred dollars.) If Kiel stays out of trouble the felony conviction will be dismissed, and he will be placed on probation. Kiel, who was arrested in the Chargers' locker room by DEA agents on Sept. 26, still has a Feb. 20 court date relating to a citation he received for urinating outside a San Diego club in December.
Of attacking the manager of an Indianapolis bar, Pacers guards Jamaal Tinsley (above) and Marquis Daniels. The players were at the 8 Seconds Saloon in the early morning hours of Feb. 6 when a fight broke out among other patrons. The manager told police that Daniels and Tinsley criticized his handling of the situation, and when he told them to mind their own business, they repeatedly punched him in the head. Witnesses told police they thought the manager's life was in danger. (Teammate Keith McLeod was also present, and witnesses say he was shoving people.) At the Pacers' home game against the Sonics on Feb. 7, Tinsley was booed by Indianapolis fans. "I had nothing to do with it," Tinsley said. "For my name to be brought up in something is very disappointing." Daniels and McLeod also deny any wrongdoing, and police are still investigating.
That he is gay, former center John Amaechi, the first NBA player to publicly acknowledge that he is homosexual. In a five-year career that ended in 2003, Amaechi, 36, played for three teams—including Utah, where, he says, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan directed antigay slurs at him. (Sloan, who said he didn't know Amaechi was gay, said, "I wish John the best.") Amaechi's announcement elicited a mixed reaction around the league. Many players said it was no big deal, and Sixers forward Shavlik Randolph said, "As long as you don't bring your gayness on me, I'm fine."
By animal control officers, Socks, a Great Dane owned by Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest. Neighbors had been complaining that Socks looked like she was starving inside a pen at Artest's $1.85 million estate. In an e-mail to The Sacramento Bee, Artest wrote that he has "a new professional doggy watcher." He added that some of the dogs may have missed meals because one bulldog "dominated all the food."
By Bears fan Scott Wiese, his name, to Peyton Manning. Before Super Bowl XLI, Wiese, 26, vowed to take the Colts QB's name as his own if the Bears lost. They did, so after completing a lengthy legal process (which includes paying $150 for newspaper ads announcing the change and a $205 application fee), Wiese will become Peyton Scott Manning—a name he settled on to appease his not-so-thrilled parents. If the Bears return to the Super Bowl, he says he'd consider a similar promise, with the added provision that he gets his name back if the Bears win. "What's the worst that can happen?" he asks. "I become Tom Brady?"
Of pancreatic cancer at the age of 67, Willye White, the only track and field athlete to compete in five Olympics for the U.S. White (left) won two silver medals—in the long jump in 1956 (when she was 16) and in the 4 √ó 100-meter relay in 1964. For White, who chopped cotton as a child in the Mississippi delta, the Games were a chance to experience life beyond her hometown of Greenwood, Miss. "Before my first Olympics, I thought the whole world consisted of cross burnings and lynchings," she said in 1999.
At age 81, Eddie (the King) Feigner, who barnstormed with the four-man softball team The King and His Court for five decades. Feigner started his abbreviated squad in 1946 on a dare after his nine-man Walla Walla, Wash., team routed a team from Oregon. Feigner, his catcher, first baseman and shortstop won the rematch 7--0. Over the next 54 years Feigner, whose fastball was once clocked at 104 mph, pitched more than 10,000 games, often throwing between his legs, behind his back or from second base. He also pitched—blindfolded—to celebrities, including Johnny Carson, and in a 1964 exhibition at Dodger Stadium he struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills, Harmon Killebrew, Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson in order.
100 Seconds it took Hurricanes winger Ray Whitney to score a hat trick in the second period of a 5--2 win over the Bruins.
70°, 50% Temperature and humidity at which major league teams must store game balls this season, according to a new directive from the commissioner.
100% Albert Pujols's score on the U.S. citizenship test; the Cardinals first baseman and Dominican Republic native was sworn in as a citizen on Feb. 7.
41 Points by which Gilbert Arenas fell short of his pregame scoring prediction in a loss to the Trail Blazers on Sunday; the Wizards guard said he would score 50 but was held to nine points.
HANK BAUER 1922--2007
AFTER HANK BAUER returned from a 34-month overseas stint in the Marines, he thought his baseball career was over. An outfielder for Oshkosh of the Class D Wisconsin State League, Bauer, who died last week at age 84, enlisted in January 1942. He served in nearly every major Pacific invasion and came home with two Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and a very sore left leg, courtesy of some shrapnel he took on Okinawa. Bauer was ready to take a job as a steamfitter when an old friend persuaded him to give baseball one more chance. Three years later Bauer was in the Yankees' outfield, winning the first of his seven World Series titles with the Bombers. (He won an eighth as the Orioles' manager in 1966.)
A three-time All-Star, Bauer hit .277 with 164 homers in 14 seasons. His 17-game World Series hitting streak, set between '56 and '58, is still a record. But his contribution to the Yankees' dynasty went deeper than numbers. On one of the most talent-rich squads ever, Bauer gave the team its grit. In 1955 he incurred the wrath of White Sox players and fans after he bowled over Chicago second baseman Nellie Fox while breaking up a double play. "What did those guys expect from me?" Bauer said. "To roll out of Fox's way? No, sir. It took me long enough to win a regular job in this league without me endangering it by playing gently. This is how I make my living, and I got to play it this way every time out."
LEW BURDETTE 1926--2007
LEW BURDETTE, who died last week at age 80, will be best remembered for beating the Yankees three times in the 1957 World Series for the Milwaukee Braves. But the righty's proudest moment came a year and a half later, on a more modest stage. In Milwaukee on May 26, 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pirates threw 12 perfect innings before giving up a walk and a hit in the 13th and losing—to Burdette, who scattered 12 hits but didn't allow a run. Joked Burdette, "I told Harvey, 'I thought you were an experienced pitcher. You should know better than to bunch your hits.'"
Burdette knew a thing or two about being crafty. The Nitro, W.Va., native—who practiced as a boy by throwing rocks at church windows—relied on a sinker that many insisted was a spitball. (Red Smith said his three pitching stats were "wins, losses and relative humidity.") His prepitch routine did little to alleviate suspicion. He incessantly tugged on his hat and licked his fingers, earning the nickname Fidgety Lew. Off the field he enjoyed a good time. After he and Warren Spahn argued over whether their hotel's courtyard was big enough to land a helicopter in, they rented one to find out. (It was.) But on the field Burdette, who won 203 games, was all business. "He was a very hard-nosed, tough pitcher when he crossed that white line," former Braves shortstop Johnny Logan said. "He was a battler."