This is an article from the Aug. 13, 2007 issue
Hellooo, first place! Thirteen wins in 15 games had Arizona atop the NL West, and their ace is delivering a whole lot of nothing: Brandon Webb (above) had thrown 24 straight shutout innings through Sunday. (The phrase "another Webb gem" is getting a workout.) Better yet, said outfielder Eric Byrnes to The Arizona Republic, "Guys are getting used to winning in here."
Last month the receiver got a $13 million deal with the Dolphins. This month? He's in business with the King! Ginn signed a deal with old pal LeBron James and his young marketing company. Ginn's goal: "To maybe get on a Sprite commercial with LeBron ... that'd be fun."
Trot on! The Hambletonian favorite—no relation to former wife of Rudy Giuliani, Donna Hanover—rallied to pull away in harness racing's $1.5 million main event, his 13th straight victory.
After just one full NHL season, the never-drafted Canadian puckster returns to his homeland a rich man. For his work leading Anaheim to the Stanley Cup (29 goals) he was rewarded by the Oilers, getting $21.25 million over five years.
Goodbye, first place. Twelve losses in 16 games dropped L.A. to four games back in the NL West, and their ace hasn't done much for them lately: Cy Young candidate Brad Penny (above) was 2--3 with a 4.71 ERA in his last five starts. The offense was struggling too, and, said manager Grady Little to the L.A. Times, "[We've] hit rock bottom ... there's nowhere to go but up."
Once he was a Pro Bowl tackle. Now, after failing a physical—he also missed all of 2006 for undisclosed reasons—he's been cut by the Colts, two years into a five-year deal. Signing Simon, Colts owner Jim Irsay told the Indy Star, was "just a bad mistake."
What happened? The Preakness winner (left) was heavily favored in the Haskell Invitational but finished a distant third. Trainer Steve Asmussen: "He ran the worst race of his career."
The great Mexican boxer got soundly beaten by David Diaz. The 12-rounder was Morales's fourth straight loss and also, he says, the end to his career. Why retire? "Punches to the head are really beginning to bother me," Morales said.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Who is the most intimidating starting pitcher in baseball?
¬´ Randy Johnson, Diamondbacks 15%
Jake Peavy, Padres 13% ¬ª
Johan Santana, Twins 12%
Roger Clemens, Yankees 10%
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs 7%
The 6'10" Johnson, 44, will miss the rest of the season after having back surgery.... Johnson is third alltime in hit batsmen, with 182; Clemens is 11th at 155.... The Tigers' Justin Verlander, who has plunked a MLB-leading 14 batters this season, was sixth in the voting at 6.1%.... Santana got a poll-leading 16.5% among pitchers who voted.
[Based on a survey of 469 MLB players] • For an expanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.